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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.


Getting started (or reacquainted) with Quicksilver

Hack Attack: A beginner's guide to Quicksilver - Lifehacker

Adam Pash has written a terrific introduction to Quicksilver that I recommend for folks who are still scratching their heads about what all the fuss is about.

Part of the challenge is the "layers of the onion" problem. There's no explanation of what Quicksilver does that's at once brief, accurate, exhaustive, and easy for new users to immediately grok; it really does reveal its delights over time, through repeated usage, and in proportion to your willingness to learn and experiment. Adam does a good job of acquainting new folks with the basic idea and the setup, then he walks through a few of the many bits of fu that have made this app the phenomenon that it is.

Quicksilver can be used to launch files and applications, manipulate data, and seamlessly plug into almost any application on your Mac so that you can perform actions as soon as you think of them in a few short keystrokes.

Also from our own archives, here are a few popular Quicksilver items from the extended 43 Folders family (including 4 video tutorials). And seriously: if you really still don't see why QS is different, do watch the videos; writing about Quicksilver is like singing about a magic trick.

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Robert Daeley on configuring for QS proxies

Enabling Quicksilver proxies and application menus | Celsius1414

Robert Daeley has posted an excellent appendix to yesterday's screencast on Quicksilver proxies.

Because, like most Quicksilver power users, I run the app in full-bore, bleeding-edge mode with all the plug-ins installed, I tend to leave out some of the rubber-chicken-waving that new users need to go through to make advanced features work properly. Robert picks up the slack nicely with this swell tutorial. Many thanks!

Merlin Mann’s new episode of the Merlin Show posted yesterday teaches very powerful Quicksilver-Fu, enabling you to access the menu items of any application, as well as introducing the concept of proxies. These techniques belie the mistaken impression that Quicksilver is “merely” a program launcher — it is an application master. ;)

What isn’t clear in the ‘cast is the settings, downloads, and brand of incense you need to burn in order to make all of that happen. I’m pretty sure the below covers everything, but let me know if I missed something.

Read all of Robert's article.

Process email faster with Mail Act-On

My usage of Mail Act-On, while far from novel, has revolutionized the speed with which I can blow through email processing.

If you've never seen it before, Mail Act-On is a very clever Mail.app plugin that lets you create key commands that execute Rules you've generated in your Preferences. Sounds pretty dull, right? Absolutely. Until you start putting this stuff into action and learn how painfully slow all that draggy mc drag drag business is. Here's how I've set mine up.

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HOWTO: Flag "penciled-in" events in iCal

As I've mentioned before I like using iCal's invitations to share appointments with people -- especially since this lets them easily respond to let me know whether they 1) will attend, 2) won't attend, or 3) are just "tentative." Unfortunately, there's no analogous tentative flag for the (seemingly endless) number of appointments and event I want to just pencil-in -- you know, those times when you want to make sure to block out time for a call or lunch, but are waiting on confirmation from folks who don't use iCal (or for whom it makes no sense to pester with an invitation). My workaround -- yes, like many of these things -- is really simple.

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Eno on the Microsoft Sound: 'Here's a specific problem -- solve it.'

Q and A With Brian Eno

Brian Eno, from 1996, speaking on the creation of “The Microsoft Sound” (the gentle little tune that plays when you boot your Windows PC).

I thought you’d enjoy it as an example of how a novel bit of work and some limitations can re-align your perspective and even help you get unstuck about unrelated projects.

(Thanks, Mike)

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Quicksilver: Setup & Troubleshooting

[n.b.: this post has been updated to reflect the release of version B32r2. --2004-11-06 15:35 PST]

Since there's new folks moving to Quicksilver all the time, I thought I'd post some more starter tips if you're following along here. If you have questions about stuff not working as described, doublecheck your setup and the tips below.

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An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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