How to give Eclipse a bit more RAM on a Mac

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If you are developing Java on a Mac, chances are pretty high that you are using Eclipse for development. In addition you probably (or at least you better) have lots of RAM too, however, Eclipse is a bit conservative when allocating RAM. If you have tons of plugins installed, or the plugins are quite heavy (Android SDK, I am looking at you), then you can easily get in low memory situations.

The way to change the max amount of memory reserved for eclipse is somewhat buried and not trivial to find (unless you ask Google). The way to do it is to go into the eclipse folder, right click on and then select “Show Package Contents”. Inside look for the eclipse.ini file (if you are running windows you can skip this step).

Here is my version of the eclipse.ini


The sections in bold are the ones that I have changed. Then just save the file and relaunch Eclipse. That should give you a bit more RAM and you should hopefully get better performance.

Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 3

Omnifocus-1  Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 3 Omnifocus 1

It seems that my previous script to make omnifocus tasks out of entourage stopped working, either due to OF 1.7.x or Snow Leopard.

Anyway I have updated the script now and it should work on all versions.


Update 7.1.2010

While this mail rule is currently the latest one, please take a look at the newest posts tagged with “Omnifocus“, to find if there is a newer version.

Update 19.10.2010

In case you have switched to Outlook, take a look at this post.

Update 7.12.2010

Just in time for the holidays there is an updated version of the script for all you Entourage users out there.

Creating OmniFocus tasks in Entourage – take 4

Mac OSX Uninstallation

Mac OSX Uninstallation perform uninstall
Are you also annoyed that on Mac OS while its super easy to install / uninstall applications, they often leave some trash behind (~/Library/ApplicationSupport …). With AppTrap you can automatically get rid of those files too once you delete an app.
It monitors your trashcan. As soon as you move an app to the trash it tries to find associated files and asks you if you want to get rid off them too.
And best of all, its free!

iPhone Programming courses

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I have stumbled across a quite nice introductory course on iphone programming on iTunesU. Its from the university of Utah and they got a nice video podcast along with slides and some sample code. Definitely a good way to start developing for the iPhone.


Another course can be found at

However, I havent had time to check that one out yet.

Made some changes to Audiobook Maker

Made some changes to Audiobook Maker dbimage

If you are an audiobook fan like I am, then you probably often wondered how to create nice audiobooks with chapters and all. I am such a guy and have been using Audiobook Maker for a while since its open source and free. However, it has a few shortcomings that made me want some modifications. Unfortunately, it seems that the author has stopped maintaining the app and thus I went to work and made the changes I needed.


  • added warning when file > 350MB or > 14h since usually then ChapterTool bombs out
  • added support to process m4a and mp4 files (however, no bitrate transcoding yet)
  • fixed issues with files containing special characters like spaces, quotes, …

I will ask the developer to integrate the changes, if not, I will post the sources here.

A big thanks to the guys at


which tools I have used in order to process mp4 files.

Audiobook Maker

Audiobook Maker

My GTD Setup

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I have posted a lot about a few of the scripts and tools I use but I wanted to wrap this up in order to give a consolidated overview of the tools and little life hacks that I am using on a daily basis. So maybe some of you find this interesting.

OmniFocus for Mac:

On the Mac, I use OmniFocus which is the tool that fits my needs the most. I have tried Things and it would be my 2nd best in the list but as of now, I prefer OmniFocus for a number of reasons.

I have a number of contexts such as :

  • Office
  • HomeOffice
  • Home
  • Errands
  • Car
  • Phone
  • a few others…

In addition I have projects which I group into personal and work related. There are quite a lot of tutorials and infos out there for OmniFocus which is why I dont want to spend too much time on this topic. If you are interested, leave a comment and I might go into more detail in a follow up post.

IMAP inbox + mail rule:

I have a dedicated IMAP inbox which I use to quickly post new tasks to myself. This inbox is hooked up with my modified OmniFocus Mail Rule so every mail I send to my todo account will automatically be added to OmniFocus once I turn on my Mac. I use this feature mainly when my mac is not around or also when I am on my iphone.

OmniFocus for iPhone:

On my iPhone I also use OmniFocus for iPhone sometimes. While I have paid good money for it I am not happy with it (I am actually working on an own iPhone app that will let me do similar things). The reason why I am not very happy with it is that its ridiculously slow. I mean it usually takes 20 secs or more to start the app and around 2 minutes to synchronize which makes it pretty much a deal killer for me. Anyhow if you can live with the delays then IMHO its pretty much still the best GTD app on the iphone so far (at least when considering the good integration with the desktop).

So when I just need to quickly capture a new task then I usually only use the email rule mentioned above. However, when I want to see what I have to do or organize some of the tasks on the go, then I take the time to launch OF on the iPhone.

Entourage script plugin

At work we use Exchange so until Snow Leopard is out I am stuck with Entourage on the Mac (which is the least terrible of the Office:mac apps but that does not say that I am happy with it 🙂

Unfortunately Entourage does not support the quick entry feature (since MS does not know how to write Cocoa apps) I have to resort to my modified Entourage script plugin. With this one you can assign a hotkey combination and whenever you hit it, it will add the selected mail to your tasks which is very nice.

So thats about it, I hope this will help whoever is interested in doing GTD on a Mac.

Meet Hudson: an awesome continuous integration server

I just wanted to recommend Hudson to anyone who is in development (primarily Java) and uses continuous integration for their process. In my company we have been using various products from freeware to commercialware in the past. Recently I stumbled upon Hudson and was seriously impressed by it. It supports SVN, CVS out of the box and can run shell builds, ant builds and a few others right out of the box.

It supports plugins for a lot of other projects (FindBugs, PMD, Emma code coverage, checkstyle, Ruby, …) and is an awesome tool to monitor and improve the quality of your software. The most useful feature is that it can aggregate all results and present them in a timeline (trend). So you can see how your unit test code coverage has changed over time, …

Screenshot of a typical trend view  Meet Hudson: an awesome continuous integration server mmc 2 hudson minefield 300x200
Screenshot of a typical trend view

The screenshot above illustrates some of the graphs and analysis that hudson can produce. I know that I have previously focused on mainly Mac projects but this one obviously also runs on a Mac, I use it at work and best of all: its open source!

TimeTracker OSX b12 bugfix release

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This is a minor bugfix release for time tracker. It fixes a problem where the app would start to behave weird when you have multiple projects with the same name or multiple tasks within a project with the same name.

Basically all I currently do is warn you when you try to choose a duplicate name. If you already have projects with the same name, then the app will change the project names (add a number after the duplicate name) so that the project name will be unique again.

In addition I have added a few more options to the configuration screen:

  • # of last tasks in menubar: lets you choose how many quickstart tasks are shown in the menu bar (you can quick start a task by clicking on the menubar icon and then selecting one of the most recent previous recorded tasks).
  • show time in menubar: if this is enabled then the duration of the current work period is shown in the menubar.
  • idle timeout (seconds): lets you configure the idle timeout in seconds. This basically defines how soon TimeTracker will prompt you whether you still want to keep on recording the time, default is 300s (i.e. 5 minutes).
  • Computer sleep detection: lets you define whether TimeTracker will attempt to recognize the computer going into sleep / standby. If turned on and TimeTracker notices a clock jump of > 60 seconds it will interpret this as standby mode and also trigger the idle warning. The default is on since at least on laptops that makes a lot of sense.

As always if you are new to my beta, be sure to read previous articles in my blog tagged with TimeTracker about data compability with public TimeTracker releases.


Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 2

Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Entourage, take 2 entourage

This is a different solution to the previous entourage 2 omnifocus problem. This script will create an omnifocus task from an entourage mail message (I believe it will also store the attachments). I found it on the OmniGroup Forum and I like it better than the previous one, since it now also creates a back link.
latest, greatest Entourage to Omnifocus – Page 2 – The Omni Group Forums

The only drawback in my setup is that the mail is subsequently opened in (which can be a plus too, depending on how you see it :). Most likely thats just what the default email app is configured to be to handle .eml files.

You can either use the script directly from the page or take my slightly modified version. The original script saves the file to the users folder where you have to actually change the file name inside the script to make it work for you. I have changed the path to /tmp which works fine for me and is independent of the user.

I also took the liberty to bring Omnifocus to the front which is quite nice.

download the script here.

Place the script in your ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Entourage Script Menu Items/ directory

You can rename it if you wish; I put an [OF] so it sorts to the top and groups with more OF scripts as they become available.

The script currently supports importing multiple emails: just select all the emails you want to import (you can command click them to select non-sequential emails), then hit the hotkey (control-O for me).

Entourage Hotkey:
I have also assigned it a keyboard shortcut of control-O for OmniFocus (which you can change by altering the last character in the filename, but be sure to beware of conflicts)

This has been tested with Entourage 2008 on Exchange messages.

Let me know what you think

Update 11.11.2008

I have noticed that my wordpress mangled up the filename of the script. Please rename it to

[OF] SendEntourageToOmniFocuscO.scpt

Update 17.11.2008

I have now placed a zip file for download so that you dont have to rename the script anymore.

In addition as already noted in the comments, in order to make OF open the linked mails in Entourage instead of you have to assign the .eml extension to entourage. You can do this by

  1. drag a mail to the desktop (from Entourage or
  2. select the mail file (should be something.eml) and hit Cmd-I (to show info)
  3. then in the open with dropdown select “Entourage” and click “change all”


this mail rule is out out date, please take a look at the newest posts tagged with “Omnifocus“, to find the latest version.