OS X Tip: Prevent iTunes from Opening when Pressing Play/Pause Key

People that own a Mac and use Spotify must have noticed the same annoying behavior of iTunes as I did. When you press the Play/Pause key on your keyboard, not only will Spotify start/stop playback of your music, but iTunes will open and start playing music as well. I don’t know if Apple sees this as an intended feature of iTunes but what I do know is that it’s incredibly annoying to say the least.

After looking around for a while on the Internet for a solution I found a workaround that is very elegant and does not need any additional programs to be installed or any scripts to be run.

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iTunes Tip: Keyboard Shortcut for the Search Field

As long as I have been using iTunes on the Mac I have been looking for a keyboard shortcut that puts the cursor in the search field in the upper right corner of the iTunes window. There is absolutely no mention of this shortcut key in the help files or in the menus. Even the official keyboard shortcuts overview for iTunes on Apple’s website does not list it.

After googling for a solution numerous times, trying out lots of key combinations and asking questions on Twitter a couple of times I finally found the answer on a forum:

Command + Option + F


Update January 8th, 2011:
In the Windows version of iTunes, use


(Kudos to Stefaan for mentioning this in the comments)

TotalFinder for Mac OS X: Tabs and Folders Always on Top

Update September 27th, 2010:
As of today TotalFinder launched commercially. You may try the tool for free for 14 days. After the trial period you can buy a license for $15.

About four months ago I switched to a Mac after using a Windows machine for more than 15 years. I did this for a couple of reasons. The most important ones are the outstanding hardware and software for home studio recording that are available for the Mac and the fact that OS X is the only platform that can be used for app development for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, which I am putting a lot of effort in to learn. (More on that subject later in an other post.)

One thing I still find hard to get used to is the Finder application on OS X. Not that it is bad software, but because the folders are sorted alphabetically together with the files. This is a real pain in the ass since I am used to having the folders displayed first and the rest of the files below the folders in Explorer on Windows.

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An Impression of the IFA 2010 Trade Show in Berlin

Last weekend I went to the 50th edition of the IFA trade show which took place at the Messe in Berlin. This is one of the biggest trade shows (if not, the biggest) in Europe for consumer electronics and home appliance. Spanning over 160,000 m2 and an interlinked network of 26 fair halls there is an awful lot to see and check out. Needless to say I was able to fill up the better part of two days walking around at the IFA and still did not see everything that was going on at the Messe. In this post I will discuss my highlights of these two days.

Visually Stunning Exhibition

The big and most influential brands of course had the biggest booths. Some of these companies even had a complete hall at their disposal. Among them were Samsung, Sony, LG, Phillips and Panasonic. No expense was spared by these big companies to show off their trade in visually stunning ways. I have included a few pictures at the bottom of this post to give you an idea, although I realize they cannot get across what I have seen with my own eyes.

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Website Tip: Is It Down for Everyone or Just Me?

Have you ever tried to open a website and couldn’t reach it? You probably have, lots of times.

But what if you wanted to know if the problem is on your end or not? For example: is your own domain unreachable for you because of a firewall issue? Or is your favorite social media site unreachable because it is blocked by your company network?

Here’s a tip: go to “Down for everyone or just me?” at http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/, enter the domain you are having problems with and click on the link.

Simple or what?

TeamViewer: My Program of Choice for Remote Access

Ever needed to connect to a different PC in your network for a remote session or to transfer some files? Or wished you could control the computer of a family member over the Internet without too much fuss because they called you for the umpteenth time for your much needed support? There are numerous applications to choose from that can support you doing these kind of tasks. One of them is TeamViewer, and I like it very much. It runs on all the major platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and even on your iPhone or iPad.

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My Favorite Alternative Twitter Clients on the Web

As you may know there are dozens, maybe even hundreds of Twitter clients available. Lots of them work on the desktop and need to be downloaded and installed. Tweetdeck is a very popular example of a desktop client. (Tweetdeck also offers versions of their client for the iPhone and the iPad.) I prefer using an alternative webclient for Twitter though that offers more functionality than the standard Twitter webpage. Advantages are that I don’t have to install anything on the computer I am using and that my settings are remembered and stored with my account that I have created for the webclient. Some of the webclients don’t even need separate accounts and only need you to login with your Twitter account to be able to work with them.

In this post I give you an overview of my favorite alternative webclients for Twitter. Please note that this post does not give you an exhaustive list and details of all the features of the webclients. I have tried to focus on the most important aspects and features that are in my opinion interesting to the user. For more information on a services, please visit their websites.
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A New Beginning

The idea for me to start a blog is definitely not new. A dear friend and co-worker of mine, Patrick Barel, knows what I am talking about. I think I talked with him about this at least five years ago. At that time we maintained a site called OracleDeveloper.nl (which is out of service now unfortunately). On that site I was actively writing message about Oracle-related news and technologies. After doing this for a couple of years I realized that I was actually blogging. That was the first time I was thinking about starting a blog.

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Twitter Is Useless… But I Like It!

Sometimes someone has an idea for a website that at first glance looks incredibly useless and stupid. Take for example Twitter. What is the point of posting messages that may not exceed the number of 140 characters? I asked myself that question numerous times.

The first time I heard about Twitter was at the Adobe Live 2007 event. A couple of presenters took a sidestep in their presentations, briefly talking about Twitter, showing the site to the audience, and telling them how excited they were about it. When I looked at it I thought: “You got to be kidding me!”

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