Set Sound Output via AppleScript

When playing music I usually change my office MacBook’s sound output to a Sonos speaker, which is an AirPlay device. Sometimes the connection freezes and I have to reset output my default device and back to the office speaker. I wanted to automate both of these processes, so I found an AppleScript as a starting point. I modified it and created an Alfred Workflow with a keyword trigger. Here’s my version of the AppleScript. Feel free to modify it for your own use.

-- This script can be used to set/reset the sound output
-- Two devices because sometimes the AirPlay device loses connection
set myDevices to {"LG UltraFine Display Audio", "Office"}

tell application "System Settings"
	-- sometimes it is already open to Sound, which causes an error
	quit
	delay 0.3
	activate
	delay 0.3
	
	tell application "System Events"
		tell process "System Settings"
			set theWindow to first window
			delay 0.3
		end tell
		
		keystroke "Sound"
		delay 1
		
		tell application process "System Settings"
			tell radio button 1 of tab group 1 of group 2 of scroll area 1 of group 1 of group 2 of splitter group 1 of group 1 of window "Sound"
				click
			end tell
			
			delay 0.5
			
			set theRows to (every row of table 1 of scroll area 1 of group 2 of scroll area 1 of group 1 of group 2 of splitter group 1 of group 1 of window "Sound")
			
			repeat with myDevice in myDevices
				set device to myDevice as string
				repeat with aRow in theRows
					try
						if name of first item of static text of group 1 of UI element 1 of aRow is equal to device then
							set selected of aRow to true
							
							exit repeat
						end if
					on error
						display dialog "Error setting output sound to " & device
					end try
				end repeat
			end repeat
		end tell
	end tell
	
	quit
	
end tell

Pi-hole Port Update Helper

I’m a big fan of Pi-hole. Due to my instance running on the same Raspberry Pi as Home Assistant I have it configured for a different port than the default 80. Each time I run an update for Pi-hole I manually edit the config file and restart the service, because the update scripts reset the port. I finally whipped up a script to take care of it.


sudo cp /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf.old
sudo sed -i -e 's/= 80/= 8081/g' /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
sudo systemctl restart lighttpd

Reload Your Mac Camera

Last month I bought some simple stickers to cover up the cameras on my laptops. My friend Ingrid bought some fancy covers at about the same time. Ever since, we’ve both been having issues with MacOS recognizing the camera when uncovered. Rebooting the Mac resolved the issue so I figured something was jacked up internally with sensors. Found a solution, but wanted to make it easier than typing in the terminal commands.

I’m an Alfred user, so I made a workflow (available on Github). Save the file and open it, which should import into Alfred. Change the keyword (default is camera) in Alfred if you want.

If you don’t use Alfred, I also made a command script you can launch instead of manually typing in the commands. It’s also on Github. Use File->Save Page in your browser. Open up a terminal window and cd to wherever you saved the reload-camera.command file. Change the execute permissions on the file by running chmod 744 reload-camera.command. Then you should be able to double-click on the file to run the script.

By the way, yes, you probably should cover up your camera, especially if you never use it.

Hiding Password Input When Running a Remote Script

I have a simple local script, which logs into a remote server (my WordPress.com sandbox) via ssh to run a script there. After finishing, it runs another local command (unison) to pull down all of the files. The remote script is also very simple, calling svn update on several repos. If I ssh directly into the server and run the svn script, typing in passwords correctly shows up as a series of asterisks (****). Executing the same script remotely was showing the actual characters in my local terminal. Not ideal for security.

A Stack Overflow comment gave me what I needed. Wrap the ssh command with some stty commands.

stty_orig=`stty -g`
stty -echo

ssh USER@HOST './script.sh;'

stty $stty_orig

This turns off the output of the password entry completely. I never type in the password since it’s a copy/paste from 1Password, so not having the asterisks is no big deal.

Lock Screen and Sleep Display with Quicksilver

Looking for a quick way to lock your screen and put the display to sleep on Mac OS X using Quicksilver?

  1. Download Sleep Display.
  2. Extract the zip file and move SleepDisplay to your Applications folder.
  3. Run the SleepDisplay application at least once.
  4. Fire up Script Editor and enter the following code:

    do shell script "/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\\ Extras/User.menu/Contents/Resources/CGSession -suspend"

    launch application "SleepDisplay"

  5. Save this script to a location cataloged by Quicksilver.
  6. Create a HotKey Trigger in Quicksilver to run the script. I use command-control-shift-S as my keystroke combination.

I’m running Mac OS 10.5.1 on an iMac and this works great!