Daily Archives:June 3rd, 2007

Custom disk icons

finder disk iconsIt’s silly, I know, but I’ve started to create custom icons for the various external drives I plug into my MacBook Pro.

This is something I do rather regularly since the internal 100G drive only has about 3G spare, and I have to tidy things up frequently to keep even that much free! Most of my photos now live on a portable external drive which goes almost everywhere the laptop goes, and when I’m at home I plug in a couple of other drives as well.

Having pictorial representations of the disks in Finder windows and on the desktop makes it easier to know which ones are plugged in and turned on, and I’m much more likely to eject the right disk before unplugging it if they don’t all have the same generic icon. It’s a bit of effort to create the icons, but worth it, I think.

Here’s how to do it.


Palm foleoAh – now, this is really quite interesting. I’ve been watching and playing with a variety of smartphones and similar devices recently. They’re starting to get large amounts of storage, quite reasonable email apps and web browsers, and, with the advent of reasonably widespread 3G and Wifi, decent connectivity. In short, they have most of what I need, most of the time – especially while travelling. The one thing they lack is a decent-sized screen and keyboard, and for some time I’ve been thinking that something like an Ndiyo terminal, driven by a smartphone, might be the architecture of the future.

Palm have been thinking the same way, and this summer they’ll be launching the Foleo.

This may look like a laptop, but actually it’s a ‘mobile companion’, designed to accompany your smartphone on those occasions when you need to type more than a few words or browse the web on something more than a tiny screen. It’s not clear yet how the processing tasks are split between the two, but it’s an appealing idea.

I think they could be onto a winner here.


Anyone who’s done any quantity of web design knows that there are often two phases to the process. The first involves creating your design using nice, clean, standards-compliant HTML and CSS, and the second involves inserting tweaks and hacks to get around the bugs and quirks of Internet Explorer.

Most web designers tend not to use IE. This is not just because of its failings; it’s often because other browsers offer designers facilities which make the development process easier; perhaps the best example is the excellent (and free) Firebug extension for Firefox.

In addition, most people of a creative or technical bent don’t use Windows; they use platforms such as Mac or Linux where IE isn’t available. But they do need to check what the sites will look like for people still using IE. So NetRenderer is a useful service – you type in a URL, pick your version of IE, and it promptly displays the image of your page under that browser.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser