Five Pounds of Flax

Every culture has a burrito.

OsiriX - free DICOM (xray) image viewer for Mac OS X

Wednesday, July 27, 2005posted by Michael Rothwell @ 10:44 PM

OsiriX is a free and open source DICOM Viewer for MacOS X.

My local urgent care gave me a DICOM CD of my shattered right ring finger. It came with a passable Windows viewer. OsiriX immediately recognized the disc and displayed the images. It exports to JPEG, movies, etc. In fact, the image below was exported from OsiriX. It will also creates DICOM-compatible CDs and DVDs, exports/imports to a variety of sources (including, interestingly, "iPod"). I've only just scratched the surface of this program, mainly because it quickly did exactly what I wanted -- exported the xrays of my hand to JPEG images.

Did I mention it's free and open source? It blows the proprietary Windows program out of the water!

If you work with DICOM images, and have a Mac, give OsiriX a spin. And recommend it to your patients.

Disable the dashboard on Mac OS X 10.4

Monday, July 25, 2005posted by Michael Rothwell @ 9:32 PM

I disabled it. Yeah, I wrote SlashBot, a Dashboard widget. But you know what? I never used it.

Disable the Dashboard:
defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES
killall Dock

Re-enable the Dashboard:
defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean NO
killall Dock

Media Center Edition 2005 Theme for XP

Sunday, July 24, 2005posted by Michael Rothwell @ 7:20 PM

The Media Center "Royale" theme is an improvement over the stock Luna theme.

Updated the Royale theme so that it now installs directly into proper location, all users have to do now is just access it through the control panel Display applet, just choose appearance and choose the media Center theme. I also uploaded the default wallpaper for this theme. The install package is here the wallpaper is here

Firefox speedups

posted by Michael Rothwell @ 7:18 PM

This site has some good tips for speeding up firefox:

The quick and simple stuff is as follows:

Open firefox and in the address type type:


This will display the preference name, the status, the type and the value.

If the configuration setting already exist: double click on it and then change the value.

If the configuration setting does NOT exist: right click on the web page, New, the depensing on the preference it's either a string, an integer [number] or a boolean [true/false]

network.http.pipelining true
network.http.pipelining.firstrequest true
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests 8
nglayout.initialpaint.delay 0

Logitech MX900 Bluetooth mouse and Mac OS X 10.4 - jumpy!

posted by Michael Rothwell @ 7:08 PM

The Logitech MX900 optical bluetooth mouse is nice, but is unsupported on Mac OS X. It still works as a basic mouse, but the system prefs don't let you see the battery level, assign keys or anything like that. It seems to also have a rather jumpy cursor behavior. I plugged in a USB old-fashioned-rubber-ball mouse for comparison to the MX900. The USB mouse would track movement very accurately, keeping the pointer in a tight circle as I moved the mouse. When testing the MX900, however, the pointer would suddenly jump to another part of the screen, even though I was simply moving it in small circles as I was the USB mouse. This was driving me insane. I upgraded the bluetooth drivers in my powerbook. No fix. I threw the mouse across the room into the trashcan. Oddly, that didn't help either. I fished it out. I plugged its base into the Mac and paird the mouse with the base (still bluetooth, but not to the Mac). The Mac saw it as a USB mouse, then, and the jumpiness was quelled. So there must be an issue with the bluetooth in the Powerbook. Occasionally, I get odd key repeats and lag with my Apple bluetooth keyboard, as well. That's really annoying as well -- totally throws off my typing rhythm. I hope Apple fixes it soon.

** update: the MX900 is no more. I just couldn't take it.