Setting up a secondary macro keyboard with Karabiner-Elements

I previously wrote that I bought a gamepad keyboard, hooked it up to my Mac and configured it with Karabiner-Elements. On my work machine I’ve taken that idea one step further. I’ve hooked up a full sized keyboard and programmed all the keys to be shortcuts. Using the Karabiner Complex Modification website, I put together a couple of key combinations. Then using Groovy, I wrote a small piece of code to write out the statements for the rest of the keyboard. With that done, I have assigned keys to different functions I find myself repeating. For example, S is to capture a screenshot using SnagIt. J is to capture the number and title of a Jira ticket using TextSoap. That text is then pasted into TaskPaper where I keep my test plan notes. The numbers 1 and 2 are to remove or add carriage returns within my text using TextSoap. I’m now watching how I work to see what steps […]

More fun, and a gamepad, with Karabiner-Elements

After the initial success of using Karabiner-Elements with a keyboard I had laying around, I decided to move a step further by adding a gamepad to the mix and programming it with hotkeys. And it worked with great success. The gamepad of choice, or rather, the gamepad on sale, is the BlueFinger Gaming Keyboard, which is in essence the left side of a regular keyboard. Now, it's no Logitech or Razer, but I'm not going to use it that way. It's standard plastic all round, but it's got a decent size, feels sturdy enough and shows up as a generic keyboard. It was also $30, so many boxes checked there. Next, with the help of a very cool website-Karabiner Complex Modification, I was able to create a list of my own custom rules, which are loaded under the Complex Rules tab. Instead of pressing CAPS LOCK and then another key, I wanted one-click action. So, if I press A, I […]

Creating 3rd party file formats from inside DevonThink

With DevonThink as the hub of my document management, I want to create files from inside the app itself. This works great for text related documents .txt, .rtf, .md, but what about .docx, .xlsx, .pptx and the like. Or even a document format to be named later? The answer is very simple and I’m surprised and perhaps a little disappointed it took me this long to get around to sorting it out. The process involves making a document of the type you plan to use in the future then making that available to DevonThink as a template. First, within DevonThink, select Data->New From Template->Open Templates Folder. This will open the Templates.noindex folder. Next, make a blank document from each application you want to work with in the future. For example, open Writer from within LibreOffice and save a blank document as .docx, then another for .odt. Do the same for Calc as .xlsx and .ods, Presentation and all your other […]

Speculation: Could the new Apple Silicon bring back the Mac Pro 2013?

This is pure speculation. A total hypothesis. A complete, "What if". But, what if the new Apple Silicon could bring back the Mac Pro 2013, or at least the form factor, as a bridge between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro 2019? Currently, there is no "Mac." There is an iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro, but not a desktop machine called "Mac." Something that is more powerful than the Mac mini, but not the set your hair on fire specs of the Mac Pro. For example, a desktop machine that allows both memory and video card upgrades. The Mac Pro form factor would a good choice for it's design and use of space. So, what if Apple made some tweaks, revamped the video cards, offered a higher ceiling for the ram, upped the internal SSD and re-offered the 2013 model as a "Mac"? It could easily be an 8-12 core machine, like the final high end […]

Setting up a secondary keyboard for macros

After setting up several keyboard shortcuts within Alfred and Keyboard Maestro, it became clear that I was putting together some bizarre key combinations and odd hand gestures to make sure I wasn’t interfering with other applications. Then it occurred to me, don’t video and audio editors have dedicated keyboards for shortcuts? Can the same thing be done for keyboard macros? The answer is, yes it can. And rather easily too, using a standard keyboard and Karabiner Elements. You don’t have to buy a specialty keyboard or programmable keypad or anything else. You can use any USB keyboard you have lying around. I have dozens from all the Windows machines I’ve ordered throughout the years. This also works for a Bluetooth keyboard, so it doesn’t have to be wired. The easiest way to configure this is install Karabiner Elements and go to the devices tab. Turn off all the other keyboard except the secondary one you plan to use for macros. Then […]