How to Change Your Default Screenshot Location on Mac OS X Lion

I’m just getting around to setting up my new Macbook Pro and figured I’d document my experiences in case it helps anyone else.

In order to write tutorials I need to take screenshots and by default Mac’s save screenshots to the Desktop, which I don’t like because  the Desktop tends to get cluttered very quickly.

Instead, I prefer to keep them in a separate folder reserved only for screenshots.

To change the default screenshot location, follow these instructions:

1) Create a folder called Screenshots in your Pictures folder (or wherever):

2) Open up Terminal and enter the following (one line):

defaults write location /Users/yourlogin/Pictures/Screenshots

(Replacing yourlogin with your login name.)

3) Restart your computer for the changes to take effect

After you restart, new screenshots will be automatically saved to the Screenshots folder instead of the Desktop:

Hat tip to Macworld for the original instructions.

New Twitter Name: @mhmazur

Hey everyone, I just changed my Twitter name from @leandesigns to @mhmazur. If you were following @leandesigns, it should have automatically updated for you.

I originally set up the @leandesigns account after I renamed jMockups to Lean Designs, but never really found the right balance between using it for marketing and using it for personal use. I’m not much of a Twitterer (?), but saying Hi to friends from a company’s Twitter account seemed awkward. I probably should have used it more to engage with folks looking for a web design tool, but that always seemed too spammy (which is probably wrong).

Anyway, I think I’ll use it more now that it’s just a personal account. Feel free to say hi @mhmazur.

How to Switch Your Cedar Heroku App from Webrick to Thin

Received an en email today from Cody K on my use of Webrick in production for Lean Domain Search:

Hey Matt,

Lean Domain Search is really neat – thanks for making it available.

Just wanted to let you know that it’s a really bad idea to run Ruby web apps with Webrick in production – you should be using something like nginx and either Unicorn or Passenger. Those are battle-hardened and production-ready, whereas Webrick’s sole purpose is for development environments, and, as such, is not heavily tested (if at all) for security issues and whatnot.

Just a friendly heads up. :) Thanks again.

Heroku’s Rails 3 docs are also pretty clear on this and I remember reading it during my initial upgrade, but never got around to actually doing it.

Thin is a recommended app server over Webrick (the default for rails).

Switching to Thin is pretty easy:

1. Add gem 'thin' to your Gemfile:

I added it to the production group because I want to keep using Webrick in development for now.

2. Make sure that you run bundle install to update your Gemfile otherwise you’ll receive a warning like this when you push to Heroku:

You are trying to install in deployment mode after changing
your Gemfile. Run `bundle install` elsewhere and add the
updated Gemfile.lock to version control.
You have added to the Gemfile:
* thin

3. Add a Procfile to your root directory to instruct Heroku to use Thin instead of Webrick:

4. Commit and push your updated app to Heroku.

If all went well, you should see something like this in your logs:

2012-01-18T12:44:33+00:00 app[web.1]: >> Using rack adapter
2012-01-18T12:44:33+00:00 app[web.1]: >> Thin web server (v1.3.1 codename Triple Espresso)
2012-01-18T12:44:33+00:00 app[web.1]: >> Listening on, CTRL+C to stop
2012-01-18T12:44:33+00:00 app[web.1]: >> Maximum connections set to 1024
2012-01-18T12:44:34+00:00 heroku[web.1]: State changed from starting to up

Too easy.

One thing confused me though: How did Cody know that I was using Webrick? I emailed him and asked.

His response:

I mistakenly typed some bogus characters in at the end of my address bar while I was on your site…something like this:^jf

Sure enough, Webrick fails loudly when the URL includes a caret:


Integrating Big Huge Thesaurus’s API into Lean Domain Search

Big Huge Thesaurus by John Watson provides an excellent thesaurus API that can be quickly integrated into any app.

The first step is to sign up for an API key which takes less than a minute. The API is free up to 10,000 requests per day and cheap if you need more than that.

After you fill out the required information the site will generate an API key for you which you can use to access the API.

Here’s a simplified example of how I’m using it with in Lean Domain Search via jQuery:

  url : "" + word + "/json?callback=?", 
  dataType : 'json',
  complete : function(jqXHR, textStatus) {
    if (textStatus == 'parsererror') {
      // Did not find any synonyms
  success : function(data) {
    // Found synonyms

(View Gist)

Here’s an example of the returned JSON data for the word “open”:

Note that the results are broken up by part of speech (noun, adjective, etc) and are further broken up into groups (“ant” for antonyms, “rel” for related terms, “sim” for similar terms, “syn” for synonyms).

All in all it took about two hours to integrate the Big Huge Thesaurus API into Lean Domain Search and only because I added some extra functionality (sorting and filtering the synonym list, tracking what % of the searches are discovered via the synonym list, etc).

Here’s what Lean Domain Search looks like now — note the synonym list in the right column:

Click here to check out the results for “open”.