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Category Archives: Nerd Talk

Make a dedicated Lorem Ipsum Key! (Mac OS X)

loremipsumHere’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages : remap a key on the keyboard that when hit, spits out 1 paragraph of “lorem ipsum”, the ubiquitous standard filler text. If you are a designer / developer you’ve probably wanted this for a while too.

Step 1

Create a new Automator workflow as a Service, select “Applescript” and paste in this text with these settings :

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.02.07 am

Code :

on run

set lorem to “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus elit nisi, tempor at rhoncus id, porta tincidunt metus. Nulla dictum faucibus justo. Quisque non urna nec tortor cursus lobortis. Proin quis nunc nibh. Curabitur consequat gravida augue, vitae vestibulum sem eleifend ac. Maecenas facilisis molestie vehicula. Fusce pulvinar nisi a orci iaculis bibendum.”

set the clipboard to lorem

tell application “System Events” to keystroke “v” using command down

end run

Step 2

Save the workflow as something meaningful eg “Lorem Ipsum Button”

Step 3

Go to Sys Prefs, keyboard shortcuts and add a keyboard shortcut to the service you just created.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.02.30 am

Note .. if you want to use an F-key you have to “unmap” all the existing functions which are then accessible by holding down the function key.

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That’s it! Press your key (in my case, F1) and BOOM! Instant Lorem Ipsum!

I just saved you a couple of copy paste keystrokes right? Hopefully this makes the world a better place.


New cPanel Theme – Paper Lantern!

paperlanternGetting bored of the old x3 cPanel theme? One of it’s criticisms has always been how cluttered it seemed. Perhaps that’s a symptom of being such a powerful control panel with so many features!

cPanel have released “Paper Lantern” recently which is a minimal, clean white theme that help to alleviate some of that cluttered feel, and bring the most used features right to the top.

If you’d like to switch to “Paper Lantern” just ask us via

Modern Cooking for Nerds

Some time ago I heard about Nathan Myrvold’s amazing tome of cooking books – modernist cuisine (an epic codex of 2,400 pages that costs about $750). Ever since then, a niggling voice inside my head has been directing me to pursue and execute one of their signature techniques – cyrofrying.

But before I get that far along, I had to get a grip on “sous vide” which is vacuum sealing food and having it cook in a water bath over several hours. Thankfully, the cost prohibitive sous vide gear has hit finally the main stream with the affordable Sunbeam MU4000 which I bought for about $160 dollars online. I also had to by a vacuum sealer machine and rolls of vacuum bags.

I have to say, the sous vide technique is as compelling as Nathan Myrvold extolls. For starters, the food cooks in a sealed environment – no water – no evaporation. The food cooks in itself and nutrients/flavours are retained. I spent several months sous vide’ing everything from sweet fruits to eggs to various meats and seafoods. I’ve become such a sous vide tragic that I will have my dinner 2-3 hours late just to avoid using a pan or grill. Yep. Ruined.

It’s difficult to make a mistake with sous vide.. you can set the temp then walk away, and even if you come back several hours later, the food is perfect at the exact core temperature you set. No burning, no overcooking.

Meat that has been cooked sous vide comes out perfectly rare all the way through, so I use a propylene blowtorch (a welders torch) to sear the outside.. usually just for visual reasons. I did however, find out that using glucose syrup with the blowtorch add’s a beautiful subtle sweet charring to the outside.

SO .. then I had to source a dewar container to safely store liquid nitrogen, and find a local supplier – which isn’t easy in regional Australia.

3 Minute Cyrofry Demonstration Video

Eventually the planets aligned and I found myself this evening getting ready for my first cyro-fry! After 12 hours cooked sous vide, I gave it 20-30 seconds bathing in the liquid nitrogen – effectively snap-freezing the outer layer. Then I put it straight into hot peanut oil to deep fry. The result – an amazing golden bubbled crust, thinly veiled around an otherwise completely rare piece of meat. Not even a millimetre of tell-tale grey overcooked flesh on the outer later.. just tender, dripping pink. It was a huge success and tasted amazing, even with no sauce or any or flavour.

It’s an amazing cooking technique, and one that chefs are already using. These “laboratory” style cooking methods are quickly becoming feasible for everyday kitchens, especially sous vide.

If you are interested in this kind of cooking, I’d highly recommend the smaller and cheaper version of Nathan Myrvold’s book – “Modernist Cuisine at Home” as a great starting point.


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