Got a Zeppelin Air? Upgrade its firmware now.

All in all, after several months of using it, I can strongly recommend the B & W Zeppelin Air. It’s a truly great iPod/iPhone speaker, filling even larger rooms with quite impressive depths and crisp heights. And in contrast to its competitors (e.g. think of the lousy hardware of the otherwise innovative Sonos speakers – what a pity!), you can see, feel and hear its excellent build quality. It’s been engineered by the guys who equip the famous Abbey Road Studios, supply the audio system for Jaguars and invented extravagant speakers like the Nautilus, after all.

The only thing which wasn’t satisfying so far, is the Zeppelin Air’s buggy default (software) implementation of Airplay, i.e. that the Zeppelin Air lost the Wifi connection after a while in stand-by mode. As I finally found out, all that’s needed to fix this is a firmware upgrade to version 2.00.24 [updated 20120930]. At least, my Zeppelin Air hasn’t ever lost its Wifi connection anymore since. So, if you experience Wifi connectivity issues with your Zeppelin Air (likely), don’t hesitate and upgrade the Zeppelin’s firmware now, although it’s somewhat cumbersome (you need a suitable USB cable, e.g. from an external hard drive or printer, as this isn’t included in spite of the Zeppelin’s upmarket price). It’s well worth it!

Zeppelin Air firmware download at Bowers & Wilkins Support.

MagicPrefs

MagicPrefs.

“MagicPrefs is a free application for OS X which aims to improve the functionality and configuration options of the Apple Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and the MacBook glass trackpad.

It features the ability to bind a variable number of finger clicks, taps, swipes, pinch and other gestures to functions like Middle Click, Hold Down Both Mouse Buttons, Spaces, Expose, Dashboard, Recent Applications, Tweet, Read Tweets, Google Reader etc.”

A must-have.

Notes on tracing code execution in Django and Python « SaltyCrane Blog

Eliot from the SaltyCrane blog wrote a nice Django management command that allows to easily trace a Django runserver simply by executing ./manage.py trace runserver. Works great!

Django trace tool, django-trace is [..] a Django management command that uses sys.settrace with other Django management commands. https://github.com/saltycrane/django-trace.

via Notes on tracing code execution in Django and Python « SaltyCrane Blog.

Essential Mac OS X tools: Shades app

Shades is a FREE utility for controlling the brightness of your screen. It runs in the background providing always-available fine-grained control over the brightness of your display via a slick Mac-like interface

via Shades | Software | Charcoal Design.

My new Thunderbolt Apple Display seemed to be rather dark, compared to other displays and what I expected. Thanks to the Shades app I then found out that the display had a factory brightness setting of only about 50% of its maximum brightness. Shades now lets me control the Apple Display’s brightness.

Essential Mac OS X tools: Scroll Reverser

Scroll Reverser is a free app for Mac OS X that reverses the direction of scrolling. You can use it with OS X Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard to make your scrolling match the ‘natural scrolling’ in Lion.

via Scroll Reverser for Mac OS X.

I use it on Mac OS X Lion in order to use natural scrolling with the trackpad of my MacBook Air and unnatural scrolling with the attached mouse.

(kudos to @romeroabelleira for the hint) 

Less is more: colordiff and more or less

In the Unix/Linux/Mac OS X world, less is more. Literally, in that ‘less‘ fully emulates ‘more‘, and figuratively, as it provides useful additional functionality like backwards scrolling. So, you really want to use ‘less’ instead of ‘more’ for paging another command’s output, e.g.

cat a_long_document.txt|less

When used to page the output of colordiff however, ‘less’ displays a mess instead of properly displaying colored output like ‘more’.
The trick is to use ‘less’ with either the -r or -R option (which both repaint the screen), i.e.

colordiff -u file_old.py file_new.py|less -r

or

colordiff -u file_old.py file_new.py|less -R

(try which one works better with your system and terminal)