I edited a few pictures from the last few days using iPhoto for iPad and posted them to my Flickr. I took them using a Panasonic GF2, with a 20mm Panasonic lens. All of them looked slightly underexposed, especially the one of my guinea pig, and needed the white balance adjusted. The auto white balance feature using skin tones, or white points works great. This is one of the most impressive, and genuinely useful apps I’ve seen on the iPad yet.
Gruber asks, “What would it take for the iPad 3 to be deemed an immodest update?”:
But if a faster processor, more RAM, a double-the-resolution retina display, a better camera, and maybe even LTE networking make for a “modest” update, then what would it take for the iPad 3 to be deemed an immodest update? A fusion energy source? Teleportation? A camera that sees into the future?
So with that, in mind my predictions are as follows:
Over the past week I’ve moved away completely from the template-based hosting service I was using, to creating by hand both a new site for my company, and a custom WordPress theme for this blog. I created both in Coda and BBEdit using nothing but HTML and CSS1, which I needed to learn a lot more about to do what I wanted2. Neither site is the most sophisticated example of web site creation imaginable, but I’m very pleased with how far I’ve gotten in the amount of time I’ve spent.
Previously I’d been using Squarespace for both sites. I would recommend Squarespace for anyone looking for that kind of template based system and isn’t very comfortable mucking around in a text editor. I thought I might be that way when it comes to web sites for a while, but I’m really not. I love the opportunity to feel unencumbered in my creativity, and to learn new things, to much. The only technical problems I really had is that I wanted it to work better with MarsEdit and Markdown than it did.
The real reason I switched was to own more of my sites, create them using the tools I want and understand what went into them.
I think there’s value in owning the things you make and not being afraid to get your hands dirty with something you’re not yet comfortable with. You’ll probably find out it’s less intimidating than you imagined once you scratch the surface — creating a WordPress theme, for example, was much easier than I thought it would be.
I don’t mean that everyone needs to literally create from scratch every part of what they make. When I say own, I mean taking responsibility for the things you put into the world and making them the best they can be. Every person should pick the level of dirty they need to get to feel ownership.
I thought I wanted to be as hands off as possible when it came to my websites — and I was wrong — but for a lot of people using something like a Squarespace or WordPress.com site is perfect and empowers them in a different way. I also could have rolled my own static blogging engine3, but didn’t feel a strong enough desire to take things that direction. The thing that no one should be is afraid to challenge themselves or settle for a level of ownership below what makes them satisfied. After all, learning and creating new things is a lot of fun.
I edited some PHP too, which was mostly just tweaking what was there already. ↩
I wasn’t starting from zero, but I did have to really grow my understanding of CSS. ↩
Played a bit with creating a blog system using Python — and I still might go that direction eventually — but felt that WordPress had some desirable benefits, and also allowed me to get off the ground quicker. ↩
Today, I get to do something we’ve been looking forward to for a while now: announce that the Omni Sync Server is coming out of beta.
I use OmniFocus every day to manage my personal and professional tasks. It’s the only task management app I’ve been able to stick with and get more out of than I put into it.
I’ve moved this blog to a new host — so sorry if you saw repeats in the RSS feed.
Looking at this gallery of beautiful work spaces (via The Loop), my initial thought is actually — how much does this matter to anyone? I don’t mean to say that I don’t think some of them aren’t gorgeous, what I mean is that all of them look like places where people sit in chairs and stare at computer screens.
The kinds of things that are appealing to me are having a private office, having enough room to move and having good snacks and coffee. I’m not sure a slide is one that even rates for me.
This week I finally decided to put together a new site for my company using just HTML, CSS and Photoshop. I’d been hosting it using Squarespace, but it felt like a really heavy solution for a static site. I also never felt as though I could get far enough away from it looking like a template — although I’m sure someone with more CSS skills could. Mostly though, the biggest reason is that I was never totally comfortable not owning every part of my site, and wanted the entire thing on my Mac.
Since I haven’t made any web sites by hand in a long time, I learned a lot — I’m also sure I got some things wrong and will need to tweak it over time. I found that using Coda and BBEdit helped the whole thing come together pretty easily.
Coda is great because the auto-complete works so well, and the CSS editor was really helpful. It’s also nice having everything in one app. The BBEdit features that helped the most were letting me keep all of my related files in a project and search globally across them.
The one thing that really struck me with doing it this way was how much it’s similar to, but not like programming.
I’m a big fan of Brett Terptra’s app Marked for showing Markdown previews while writing in another app. Since I’ve been using BBEdit more for writing Markdown, I’ve wanted a way to preview the current document without leaving the app, so I took a few minutes to write an AppleScript which does that. If you haven’t previously saved the document, you’ll be prompted to. Once the document’s on disk it’ll open up in Marked.
A new app I created called Closeby is now available on the App Store. It uses your address book to tell you how far you are from people you’ve saved addresses for. Closeby is great if you’re visiting a town you don’t live in, are stumbling home from a bar and need the closest couch to crash on (I take no responsibility for the damage this does to your personal relationships), or just want to see all your friends addresses on a map.
I’m trying to eliminate ever using log messages in my code for debugging. I’m sure a a lot of people already know this, but if you ever need to log an NSData you know contains a string in the debugger the command is:
po (char *)[data bytes]