Cleaning an Apple Mighty Mouse Scroll Ball

I’ve recently started using my Macbook Pro a bit more to do some web development stuff, and I quickly ran into an ongoing problem. In a rare case of design failure, the scroll ball on the Mighty Mouse just doesn’t work after extended use. The most common cause of this is a buildup of dirt and gunk around the scroll ball and its surrounding sensors. After some google searching, I found a few different methods for cleaning from the hardcore to the basic (push down and rub). In the end I went with a slightly modified version of this kid’s method which has thus far worked a treat.
Continue reading

Batch Conversion of RAW Images

A little while ago I took some RAW images with my DSLR. Having never used a DSLR or dealt with a RAW format before, I had no idea how to view or use the files. After a brief search, I discovered a most useful program called UFRaw. It’s free (and I think open source), and allows you to open and edit a variety of RAW image formats. Not only that, but it also acts as a GIMP plugin and a batch converter, so you can load your images directly into The GIMP for editing. All of these features appear to be documented on the UFRaw site, although to tell the truth I really haven’t used it all that much.

Today I wanted to convert about 45 RAW images to JPEG. Obviously this is a job for the batch conversion tool that comes with UFRaw, however, the batch conversion program converts images to .PPM by default. In order to batch convert images to JPEG, an additional command line argument must be passed to the program.  Having to get into the command line removes the drag-and-drop simplicity you get with the default behaviour, and I knew I could do better. It quickly became apparent that it was time to get my batch file on. Below is my example script that allows you to drag-and-drop any number of files onto it and have them converted to JPG. This same script could be re-applied to any other program that works in the same way by simply changing the program and command line arguments.


@ECHO OFF
START "converting RAWs to JPEG" "C:\Program Files (x86)\GIMP-2.0\bin\ufraw-batch.exe" --out-type=jpg %*

The first line of the script just turns off printing to the command line. The second line is where the magic happens. Breaking up the second line we have:

  • START – used to start a program
  • the title of the command line window that opens to run the command
  • the path to the executable we’re calling (in this case, ufraw-batch.exe)
  • the command line arguments passed to ufraw-batch.exe to convert images to JPEG instead of PPM
  • finally, the %* at the end passes all of the arguments/files passed to the script, onto the ufraw-batch.exe command we’ve just defined

Obviously if you want to use the script yourself you may need to change the path to ufraw-batch.exe.