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Scott Willsey

iOS nerd, old school computer guy

Level Up Your Zsh Terminal Prompt in macOS

Scott Hanselman is one of the good people in tech, and his YouTube channel is full of great tech topics explained in his clear, instructive fashion. While watching one of his git videos, I noticed his nice Windows terminal prompts that even indicate git status for him when he’s in a repo directory. You can see his terminal setup in his blog post How to make a pretty prompt in Windows Terminal with Powerline, Nerd Fonts, Cascadia Code, WSL, and oh-my-posh.

Obviously the first thing I did upon seeing this was pause the video and go in search of a way to make my Mac terminal do that crazy prompt thing. As I discovered, it’s easy if you use Zsh, which I already do.

Note: All this below assumes you’re already using Zsh as your shell.

You can see for yourself whether you’re using Bash or Zsh with the echo $SHELL command. You’ll …

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Homebridge Logs

You may know that Homebridge is an outstanding piece of software that lets you tie many smart home devices that don’t have native HomeKit support into your HomeKit ecosystem, but I submit to you that one of Homebridge’s biggest benefits besides that is its logging.

Most smart home devices are just kind of there and do their thing, but you have no insight into historical activity, aside from HomeKit secure video cameras which keep recordings around for some period of time depending on your available iCloud space. Homebridge changes that.

Homebridge logs the activity of any devices connected to it. If a light goes on, it gets logged. If someone connects to the smart doorbell camera and takes a peek, that gets logged. It’s wonderful. You can set up your Homebridge Config UI X web view to show the more recent entries in your log file, which is handy for quick understanding of recent activity if you’re restarting the service or adding or updating plugins. …

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RSS to Text in Shortcuts

Sometimes Shortcuts makes me scratch my head in bewilderment at how convoluted dealing with different data types can be. If you ever pull in an RSS feed to parse, you’ll know what I mean.

I’m writing a shortcut for Ronnie Lutes to easily publish episodes of The Liner Project. Why he needs a shortcut to do this is another topic, but primarily it’s because we’re hosting his site in a static site generated by Hugo. In order for him to get an episode added, uploaded, and scheduled for publication without having to deal with an annoying checklist of tasks that all have to be done in exactly the right way each time, an automation is perfect.

In order to present as few information-gathering dialogs and text boxes to Ronnie as possible, the shortcut tries to figure out everything it needs to about the episode being published, including things like season and episode number. A lot …

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