June 2011

06/30/2011 15:30:06

Final Cut Pro X is not a pro-sumer application

I’ve been quiet about my take on Final Cut Pro X, mainly because I really don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. How could that happen? I mean how could Apple not have seen this? You really start wondering how could Apple balls1 this up? Maybe I should start by arguing what the problem is with Final Cut Pro X.

The problem with Final Cut Pro X

The problem with Final Cut Pro X is not the application itself. I share a lot of thoughts with Don McAllister about this. The application is fine.
As far as I can see, I can’t actually buy and use it, editing is really great. Apple has shown a lot of innovation in terms of editing, rendering, and workflows.

The problem is that existing Final Cut Pro 7 users have no way of directly upgrading to Final Cut Pro X. That is the number one reason I won’t be upgrading to Final Cut Pro X any time soon.
When a client calls and says “Do you remember the screencasts you made half a year ago? We need you to make a minor change. Could you do that, please?” I would have to produce that screencast again, hoping it’ll look the same as it did before, rather than just opening the old project, making that change, export, render, upload, done (…, send an invoice).

That’s really just a minor problem with Final Cut Pro X. They announced yesterday that there’s going to be a possibility for third-parties to use an API that, e.g. converts older projects to the new format. With Automatic Duck being Apple’s “official” partner. (They offer a cheap $500 exporter app that is not available on the Mac App Store.)

The real problem is that a lot of professionals needs aren’t met. Like the inability to have a control monitor attached where you can preview your work. (The FAQ actually says vendors are currently working on drivers for those systems. So you can say, it’s not possible yet, but it also means that studios can’t use the new toy right now.) There are a lot of other problems that I don’t want to go into detail here, but Jeffery Harrell has made an execellent statement on why broadcast professionals literally can’t use Final Cut Pro X. Some things he mentions and I think are important:

The studios out there aren’t new in the industry. 5, maybe 10, maybe 20 years ago a studio deliberately decided to go with a certain configuration of cameras, software and computer systems. In Germany “government” broadcasting studios like ARD, ZDF, WDR still use hardware from 1950’s. I Am Not Joking. Because these studios are paid by our government, or our taxes rather, these studios have to use all that old hardware, because there’s no money for all the newest and greatest (and they started their business in the 1920s). A lot of theses people work with Final Cut. And now Apple tells these broadcasting studios that they need to upgrade all of their hardware. And that is why Final Cut users complain. Apple forces updating their hardware systems down their throat. That is the terrible thing.

Apple also makes professional workflows obsolete. Like omitting OMF export. If you work with other studios … you can’t actually do that anymore. Wait for Automatic Duck to come up with a solution and hope for it to better be good.

Is Final Cut Pro X a pro-sumer application?

No, absolutely not. I don’t think Final Cut Pro X is an “improved” version of iMovie. Someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time editing video will still be overwhelmed with Final Cut Pro X. It is still a professional application. It’s just lacking features professionals need in order to work in their studio. Basically hardware, software, and other studios. Those features will eventually come, but at the moment studios have to wait. Just sit tight as I do. It is way too early to give an estimation how this is going to work out at the end. Maybe Apple decides to put a lot of work again into Final Cut and then say “Ok, scratch the third-party thing. We implemented those things by ourselves. Are you happy now?” That would be an Apple-esque thing to do, wouldn’t it?

Apple has changed a lot in Final Cut Pro X. They say they changed so much they weren’t able to make it “easy” to import Final Cut 7 projects. There are also a lot of influences from iMovie. I totally agree on that point, but that doesn’t mean Final Cut is a non-professional app. Just having learnt something from iMovie, like making editing easier and faster, doesn’t mean an application that offers these kind of functions to professionals makes it less professional. Nor makes the lack of missing features and app less professional. Software changes. Remember? This is a 1.0 of a new era of Final Cut. Apple invests a lot of thought and effort making the best experience for their customers. That’s why we all settled with Apple products in the first place. When we complain, they listen. And we have complained a lot, and loudly, these days. They heard us and for the time being they made the decision to put up an FAQ. A third-party will allow me to upgrade my projects to Pro X later. That’s fine. I’m not happy about it, but it’s something I can live with. It’s an option. An option that makes me less worried about whether I need to change to a different system entirely.

  1. Thanks to the Yogscast for this word. 

06/28/2011 22:01:07

Another sad case of holding it wrong.

We just connected this new device to the network and now nothing is working.
So then disconnect it again.
But we want to use it.
Well, if you want to use your network, you need to disconnect the offending device.
So you have disconnected the device, so I can login remotely to diagnose what is happening?
(Trying to SSH into the server) The server isn't responding. Did you really disconnect that device?
Then why did you say yes you did when I asked you the moment before?
Shall I disconnect it?
Yes, please disconnect it now.
(SSHs into the server) Ah, now it's working.
No it's not working. The network is down again.
(the network stalls) Did you just reconnect the device?
Yes, you said it was working now, but it's not.
I meant that my connection was working. Please disconnect the device again, so I can prepare some tests to see why your device affects your network.
Can't you just do that now? You don't need the network to setup something on the server!
How do you expect me to remotely connect to the server from <number> kilometers away without a network?
Well, use the internet!

06/26/2011 21:31:06

A wallpaper for developers


Download Wallpaper (.jpeg | 2560x1600)

Don’t forget to check out all the other wallpapers Michael has created.

06/24/2011 21:31:06

flickery giveaway

We currently have a raffle (which means you can get stuff for free!) going on at Mac OS X Screencasts. Seems like a lot of people didn’t get what “raffle” means. I switched from “free serials” to “raffle” to clarify that we’re transitioning to “the Mac App Store”, where no licenses and serials exist.

Currently there’s flickery available to get.
flickery is an awesome client for Flickr.

The review is also available in German.

06/23/2011 21:14:00

Tetris Japan Finals

Hint: The level is shown on the bottom right. Playing Tetris apparently gets really hard from level 700 on.

06/23/2011 12:27:03

Building the Ravelry logo built in Minecraft

I couldn’t help myself. My girlfriend, Paula, inspired me to do build another logo in Minecraft. (Paula is ChemieEmma on Ravelry.)

Ravelry is a free site for knitters and crocheters.

This goes to all the knitting people at Ravelry. Have fun punching trees and sheep!

Ravelry logo screenshot

I heard they have a Minecraft group as well. Wouldn’t this screen shot make a perfect logo for them?

Here’s the picture in 1920x1200.

Alfred world

In case you want to play the Alfred, and now, Ravelry world by yourself. You can download this world here.

06/22/2011 21:30:06

Detexify - Find the LaTeX symbol you want by drawing

Anyone who works with LaTeX knows how time-consuming it can be to find a symbol in symbols-a4.pdf that you just can’t memorize. Detexify is an attempt to simplify this search.

You simply draw the symbol you need the code for on a canvas and Detexify gives a couple of it thinks are the correct ones.

06/21/2011 21:31:07

All About launchd Items (and How To Make One Yourself)

Great article by Adam Knight about launchd, launchctl, LaunchDaemons. Easier than man launchctl.

06/20/2011 21:46:06

What license?

What License?:

Ever wondered which Open Source license is used for a project? Most of them look very similar, but it might make a big difference to know the license’s origin. Just paste the license and see what our tool is guessing.

Just paste the license text and the website will figure out the license type.

via cocoaheads.at

06/19/2011 21:30:06

Kieffer Bros. Games

Dear Kieffer Bros,

We bought all of your games. Including the new release Monster Soup. We curse you for making such addictive games. I got a receipt dating back to 2009 when Orba was free for a short while. I sneaked it, but never actually played it. Then 2010, when I got my first iPhone, I looked over my old purchases and found Orba. Hooked. Totally hooked. I told Paula about the game and she still has it installed on her iPhone. (over 1 year after installation!)
But the game that really got us hooked was Aqueduct. I bought that game last year and it’s sooo great. We loved it. In fact it’s the only game that she played through, but I didn’t. She’s not a gamer, nor am I, but this game though, she played through.

Anyway, Enso•Dot, Enso•Dot Zen, Hyper Puck, and Abca were the next to follow.

Then, this month, you released Monster Soup and got us hooked once more. We love your games, designs and ideas. We curse you for making great games.

Monster Soup Addicts Anonymous

Kieffer Bros Games

Monster Soup





Enso•Dot Zen

Hyper Puck

06/18/2011 21:30:06

Git Achievements

Git Achievements:

Git-Achievements records all of the achievements you acquire while using Git.

There are over 40 achievement, most with different levels to be achieved.
After a git command is executed if a new achievement is unlocked git-achievements will display a message on the console for your enjoyment.

via cocoaheads.at

06/17/2011 21:31:06

A few of Markus Prinz Git tricks, tips and workflows

An Austrian friend, Markus Prinz, has put up a long write up on his Git setup and shared a couple of tricks and workflows.

nuclearsquid.com: A few of my Git tricks, tips and workflows

06/16/2011 21:30:07

gleeBox: Use your browser with the keyboard only

Want to use your browser with your keyboard only and don’t like things like Vimium or want more functionality? Then gleeBox might be the right thing for you.

Works with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Chromium

via aptgetupdate.de

06/15/2011 21:31:06

Mac App Recommendation: Amadeus Pro/Lite 2.0

One of my most favorite audio software apps has been released as 2.0, and I’ve got to say (I’ve been in the beta), the changes are quite dramatic. Amadeus Pro has gained so many new features that you could call it a 3.0 release.

In a nutshell, Amadeus can:

Amadeus Pro

Amadeus Pro

Amadeus Lite

Amadeus Lite

06/14/2011 21:31:06

Learning to play 3D games using Minecraft Teacher's tutorial map

My girlfriend and I played Minecraft yesterday.1 We played a tutorial map created by the Minecraft Teacher. I was quite impressed by how well this map is laid out and by how much (and fast) Paula learned about Minecraft and 3D games in general. She never played any 3D games before. Frankly she doesn’t play many games at all, but after her first two attempts playing a 3D game (Minecraft), she didn’t get very far. She said it was “exhausting moving the eyes around”.
Using this tutorial world however made her actually understand what’s going on. How to move and all these kinds of things. Impressive, really.

Don’t forget to check this world out here.

  1. I pinky-promise to decrease the amount of Minecraft stuff I post here. 

06/08/2011 21:31:06

Screencast tip: Hide your Dropbox menubar icon

I’m using Dropbox to make recorded material available for my editing account on my machine. Due to the size of those recording it’s necessary to keep Dropbox running, while recording.
Here’s the trick:

Only downside: Demoing a menubar application is slightly more complicated, but doable.1

  1. Open the menubar apps before launching Dropbox. 

06/07/2011 16:31:50

I have “ZZ” aliased to “sudo”, just so I can “ZZ top”.

Baron Daniel Crowley via Twitter (via usersfromhell)

Great stuff from userfromhell. Have to stop reading now.

06/07/2011 16:25:24

I’m sorry but no. We cannot increase the email attachment size limit so you can send a whole DVD to someone else.

Random Sysadmin (via usersfromhell)

06/06/2011 22:31:55

Working on making Mac OS X Screencasts even better

You know that I constantly try to make the experience of Mac OS X Screencasts even better. There are a couple of projects running in the background. One are premium screencasts (I call them “In-Depth Tutorials”) another one are the videos themselves.

Currently older screencasts won’t play on an iPad due to the encoding settings I was using at that time. (Remember, there was no iPad when I started. ;) )
A while ago a friend has offered to use his computing powers to reencode all of those screencasts. This project just got serious1 and I hope it will be done in about 1 or 2 months from now on.
This also means that I’m going to replace the video player (once again) on Mac OS X Screencasts.com, which means it’ll be an HTML5 (Yay!) player that falls back to a Flash player rather than a Flash player that has an HTML5 fallback.

In case you want to thank my friend. I think he would be quite happy if you would use his software. mlbackup - rsync based backup solution for server administrators.
Also don’t forget to follow on Twitter.

  1. I got SSH secured VNC access to an encoding slave machine. 

06/05/2011 21:31:06

Simple iPhone wallpaper

If you like simple iPhone wallpapers, check out Gerardo Diaz’ creation. It’s beautiful.

via @mangochutney

PS: I’m using this one for a couple of weeks now, but couldn’t find the original author so I could share it with you. Thanks for sharing, Alexander.

06/03/2011 21:31:06


Very helpful. I was always tempted to sudo rm -rf /, now I can finally do it without losing my home directory. (I’m just kidding)


If you want to protect a directory from a careless rm -rf *, touching a file named -i inside it will force rm to ask for confirmation :

touch ~/important-directory/-i

From Command Line Fu, via HN.

06/02/2011 21:30:00

City Tour recommendations from Google

A Google Labs project named City Tours recommends City Tours for you to take in, e.g. Stuttgart.

06/02/2011 18:26:06

My menu bar has been featured at the blog of the great folks of Mac Menu Bars.
I highly recommend to check out their blog. You gonna find some nuggets there.


Scroll Reverser: Inversed scrolling like in Lion.
Keyboard Maestro: Automation Maestro. One of my favorite tools. I use it for such a lot of stuff.
Dropbox: No explanation required.
iStat Menus: System status in menubar. (Network, memory, CPU, day and 24h clock)
Watts: Calibration monitor.
(From Andreas, of Mac OS X Screencasts and MOSX.Tumblr.com)

06/02/2011 15:08:32

Toggle Repeat in iTunes with Alfred

Alfred doesn’t allow to toggle repeat in iTunes at the moment.
I’ve taken the toggle iTunes script from my (very old) Quicksilver Actions: Spotlight Port package and reduced it to one line.1

osascript -e "tell application \"iTunes\"" -e "tell current playlist" -e "if song repeat is off then" -e "set song repeat to all" -e "else if song repeat is all then" -e "set song repeat to one" -e "else" -e "set song repeat to off" -e "end if" -e "end tell" -e "end tell"

Just add as a new Terminal/Shell script. Add more as needed. As I said on Twitter: Alfred is hopefully the mighty return of all the lovely one-liners.

  1. I am totally aware that this script breaks the design. I’m already investigating how to integrate GitHub Gists here. Would make a lot things easier. Post any suggestions as comments, please. 

06/02/2011 10:52:28

Things to follow in Minecraft

I’m quite impressed with all the things that are going on in the Minecraft universe.
The Shaft1 podcast:

It’s like LEGO, but digital. Of course it’s great!

Two things that are great:

Paul Soares Jr.

Paul is an old man playing Minecraft with his kids. I think that’s the right thing to do to make your kids become media aware and prepare them for their future. (Plus they are learning some things like being creative or to take care of each other.)
In case you don’t know what to watch from his channel. I would recommend watching Minecraft Mom. (She’s not as bad as Minecraft Chick.)

Minecraft Teacher

He’s playing Minecraft at school with his kids. They seem to have a lot of fun while learning things. He also built an (awesome) tutorial world that you can download.
But he also recorded this birthday serenade2:

Aren’t they cute? Awwwww!


Tutorials on how to build things in Minecraft. He just gets how this game works and comes up with unique solutions like a Minecraft Vending Machine3:


  1. Subscribe, they are doing a really really great show! 

  2. Happy birthday, Notch! 

  3. Which can now be built easier using Powered Rails

  4. In case you didn’t get it from this writing: Subscribe to The Shaft podcast! 

06/01/2011 22:05:06

Shorten URL's with bit.ly and Alfred

I’m slowly digging my way through Don Southard’s Alfred “Pro” Tips.

He wrote a (rather complicated) script to shorten URLs using bit.ly’s API. The script can be shortened to one line and thus doesn’t need any external script file to run from Alfred:

curl -s --data "login=YOUR_USER_NAME&apiKey=YOUR_API_KEY&longUrl=$(pbpaste)&format=txt" http://api.bitly.com/v3/shorten | pbcopy

In case you want to give this command a shiny icon, I would suggest to use the one on their Twitter account rather than their about page.

In case you don’t have a link yet on your clipboard, I would suggest the following (basically Don’s script):

curl -s --data "login=YOUR_USER_NAME&apiKey=YOUR_API_KEY&longUrl={query}&format=txt" http://api.bitly.com/v3/shorten | pbcopy

Don’t forget to run this silently or otherwise you will get annoyed with an open Terminal window.
Here’s how mine looks like: