Hi, I’m Sam Hi, I’m Sam

This is my blog. I also have a website thing.

Custom Mechanical Keyboard

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I ordered a mechanical keyboard from WASD Keyboards awhile back. I got Cherry MX Brown switches. The still have a satisfying click but aren’t insanely loud like greens or blues. After having it for awhile, I decided to get dampers for it to make it even quieter. This made it feel too squishy and I removed them.

A few months in, I decided to design new keycaps. It’s fairly cheap to order a new set, so you can change your mind often if you’re into that. Here’s my latest iteration:

Keyboard

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Aggressively Hiding the Cursor

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I’m working on a Mac app that has a color picker in it. Here’s a screenshot:

Loupe

For this to work, I hide the cursor and have a custom view track your mouse movements. (When I say cursor I mean the pointer on screen you control with your mouse, and when I say mouse I mean your physical input device.) I use a full screen, borderless window and NSTrackingArea to do this. Nothing too crazy there. I do this to avoid dealing with custom a NSCursor since that was a lot more work.

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Automating Simple Things

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Most of my projects contain a Rakefile with some common tasks. rake is Ruby’s tool for running tasks. It’s my tool of choice for little scripts, but you could of course do whatever you want. My friend Ayaka even did a talk on scripting with Swift!

Usually my scripts are for something tedious that can be easily automated. Here’s a few examples in my own projects:

Some of the most elaborate scripts I’ve written in projects have been to automate gathering dependencies. This can be complicated depending on your setup. My goal is always for someone that isn’t a developer to clone, run the command, open Xcode, and build. That may seem like overkill, but if you make it that easy, you make it that easy for yourself and teammates which saves a ton of time.

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Cancel Borderless Window

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I just spent the last hour trying to figure out why cancelOperation wasn’t getting called in an NSWindowController subclass. At first I tried performKeyEquivalent in the window controller or in a custom NSWindow subclass. That didn’t work. I then resorted to keyDown in the window subclass and that wasn’t getting called.

After a long while, I figured out that my window wasn’t becoming key even after I called makeKeyAndOrderFront. It turns out windows with borderless in the styleMask cannot become key by default. You can solve this with a tiny amount of code in a window subclass:

class MyWindow: NSWindow {
    override var canBecomeKey: Bool {
        return true
    }
}

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