Category Archives: Tips

Exporting your Google Stars to CSV or KML

I’m part of the Google Local Guides and a question came up amongst our cohort about being able to export your Stars from Google maps into something useful you can then import elsewhere. For example being able to import by Name, longitude and latitude would allow you to import into Google My Maps.

You can visit Google Bookmarks and download an html file of your bookmarks, but it’s a relatively useless Netscape Bookmark format. So to convert this to a useful CSV file I’ve devise this linux script using sed and awk:

CSV Export

for i in `sed -ne 's/.*\(http[^"]*\).*/\1/p' < GoogleBookmarks.html`; do curl -sL $i | awk '{split($0,a,"[")}; {split(a[21],b,","); printf b[2]}; {split(a[4],c,","); print ",",c[2],",",c[3]}' | sed 's/\"//g' | sed 's/\]//g' | awk '!/, , /' >> googbook.csv; done
This will output the Name, Longitude and Latitude to a CSV file.

To spit out the full address too use the following:

for i in `sed -ne 's/.*\(http[^"]*\).*/\1/p' < GoogleBookmarks.html`; do curl -sL $i | awk '{split($0,a,"[")}; {split(a[21],b,","); printf b[2]; printf "\",\""; printf b[3]; printf b[4]}; {split(a[4],c,","); print ",",c[2],",",c[3]}' | sed 's/\]//g' | awk '!/\",\", ,/' >> googbook.csv;; done;

KML Export

Visit http://gexport.somee.com/ upload your GoogleBookmarks.html file and then download the KML file (easy peasy).

How I Coloured My Life with Live Music

Some years ago now I used to live in suburbia and work in the city, 1.5 hours each way door to door 15 hours of my life a week taken up by moving my flesh and bones to another location.

Not only was this a waste of my time, but sitting idly reading thru the newspaper on the way home I would see gig listings for gigs that were due to imminently start and I was already heading in the wrong direction from. I’ve since made a point of filling my evenings with live music and here’s how I achieve it.

Automatically Find Gigs

I scrobble all the tracks I listen to, from my phone, my home stereo system, everything, to Last.fm http://www.last.fm/user/mikedixson
This means that my Last.fm data is a pretty complete picture of my musical tastes.

I use the Songkick application on my smartphone to scan my Last.fm profile for artists to track. Song kick then keeps an eye out for gigs posted by artists I like and alerts me on my phone when a new gig is posted.
I’ve also got BandsInTown installed, but this doesn’t seem to let me know about as many gigs as Songkick does.

Money’s not a problem

If I hear about a gig within the first couple of weeks after pay day I’ll usually just book the ticket. But towards the end of the month, like most of you, money’s a little tighter. So what I do is whenever I see a gig that I want to go to I set myself a reminder using Google Now or Google Keep to go off on my next pay day.

That way, come pay day I buy a load of tickets to gigs and set up my coming months.

Size might be everything

I like a lot of small bands that I’ve discovered by going to small/medium size festivals and listening to less mainstream radio like BBC 6 Music.

As a result a lot of the tickets I buy are between £5-£15 a ticket. Much better than shelling out £60-£100 on one gig.

Ticket to ride

A lot of my tickets nowadays are bought thru the Dice app or thru Songkick themselves.
Both of these resellers allow for digital only tickets and no fees!

This keep the price down, and saves me having to hunt around in ‘safe places’ for tickets for gigs that I’ve booked 6 months ago.

Dice app also has a pretty nice interface to just go scrolling thru looking for other gigs that you might not have otherwise known about and then buy tickets for them too.

Solution: Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Pressure Sensitivity in Photoshop

So in order to use pressure sensitivity in Photoshop you MUST have Use Windows Ink enabled.

Wacom Control Panel use Windows Link
Wacom Control Panel use Windows Link

But without it no pressure sensitivity at all and in Brush Dynamics the pen control option just gives you an exclamation mark next to it.

Update: I’ve upgraded one of my machines to Windows 10 and Windows Ink doesn’t seem necessary on that one for pressure sensitivity.

Weekend Project: Battery Powered Sonos Play:1

Following this video guide and the step up booster converter from ebay below I’m going to make a Sonos Play:1 battery powered so I can enjoy some lovely music on the balcony over the summer.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XL6009-DC-DC-Voltage-Step-Up-Boost-Converter-replace-LM2577-3-32v-input-UK-Fast-/400858208676

[Solved] Mac Right Click Print Selected Files

As someone who works in IT I don’t find the need to print very much nowadays, mostly just for some procedural things at work. So on a monthly basis I have the experience of selecting a bunch of files in Finder, right clicking and then wondering why the hell something as user friendly as a Mac not have a Print selected files context menu. So finally I bothered to find out how to do it, it’s so simple that I’ve no idea why Apple didn’t just include it.

  1. Open Automator
  2. From the menu of what type of document you want to make select Service
  3. Configure the options as below (click to enlarge):print selected items
  4. Save with the name you want to see the item listed as in the right click menu i.e. Print Selected Items

[Update] A Mac expert that I know has informed me you can always select the files and then hit command + p