May 2012

05/28/2012 20:22:31

Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

We’ve got to cut the extraneous out of our lives, and we’ve got to learn to stem the inflow. We need to think before we buy. Ask ourselves, ‘Is that really going to make me happier? Truly?’

(via Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness | Video on

05/27/2012 20:25:21

Quickly convert movies using FFmpeg

An interesting problem someone had recently on Audio Video Productions on Stack Exchange. He/she needed a quick way to convert videos using a command line program, i.e. FFmpeg.
If you don’t want to mess with the (endless) command line options FFmpeg provideos, the solution is pretty simple. Just use one of the provided presets and FFmpeg will figure out the rest for you.


ffmpeg -i highres.avi -vpre medium lowerresforceh264vpremedium.avi


05/27/2012 11:19:00

Keyboard Maestro Macros: Measure Window and Set Window Size

For my screencasts I typlically need to “measure windows” so I know if a certain arrangement of the windows of an app fit into the frame I’m recording. I would normally use xScope, but… you know… If Keyboard Maestro can do what I need, why not?

The first macro basically measure the front window’s size and displays the size as Growl message.

The second one first takes the size of the frontmost window and displays its size in the “Prompt User for Input” action.

UPDATE: I issued a minor update for this macro. The input is now split into two text fields, makes this easier to use.


Note: Both macros are included in the download.


Measure Window

Set Window Size

05/27/2012 10:49:01

Keyboard Maestro Macro: Manipulate Clipboard

Here’s a macro I just quickly whipped up. It displays the current clipboard in a text field, so you can manipulate it, then press return and the manipulated text is put back on the clipboard.

Use case:

I received an email and had problems with a URL embedded in it. The text of the URL was surrounded with “<” and “>”. With this macro I could just select the line, manipulate it and use it in the browser.
Not sure how useful this is for anyone else though.

Note: Formatted text will be removed!


Macro screenshot

05/25/2012 10:29:51

Hosts adds a preference pane to your system preferences which lets you toggle your host file entries on and off, as well as add and remove them.
Thanks, @rcarmo

Get it on GitHub.

I wouldn’t have linked to this, but here’s an interesting bit from the developers’ blog about App Store rejections:

"Hmm, my evil plot failed. I managed to never become root and still edit /etc/hosts, but I got rejected, how is that fair? Ofcourse I sent in an appeal to the review board. As they stated, it does not matter that none of the code I wrote ever runs as root, thereby neutralizing any security risk. Rule 2.27 also means you can not authenticate as an admin either!"

Apple is trying to play super-safe. As the developer mentions in his blog post also, they are the ones who are responsible for the software they sell. If they sell a virus or malware, they are the ones who are blamed.

05/24/2012 20:29:35

Editing using gestures (by JasonChongComedian)

05/22/2012 10:10:56

Deals of the day: Dropzone and Socialite only $2

Dropzone and Socialite are $2 only today.



Via Two Dollar Tunes

05/16/2012 20:31:00

Fountain: Use Markdown for screencasts

I’ve been intrigued by Fountain ever since its first announcement.
The idea is interesting. Write screenplay in a “Markdown’ish syntax”.
I gave it two test runs now and after the second one I feel confident to share my experience.

I use screenplay syntax to write the scripts for my screencasts. It may sound weird for hobby screencasters, but since I’m doing this as my full-time job, it has been very beneficial. Clients can check the script and make adjustments before I start recording. This saves a lot of trouble for me, i.e. painful re-re-re-recordings. On the Mac I use my beloved Scrivener for this.
On the other hand. What if I want freedom from a proprietary system? What if I’m on the iPad? How does one “share” the data between multiple apps? This all seem to be tasks Fountain shines in. It’s text-based, open, free. Unfortunately I struggled using it. The syntax isn’t (or wasn’t) as straight forward as learning Markdown. Markdown’s appeal is that it’s very easy to use. If you wrote HTML before, you get into Markdown very quickly.
With Fountain, that’s not the case. When I first tried it, right before its release, it wasn’t quite finished, thus lacking some final polish.

I let it settle in for a couple of months and gave it another try two weeks ago. This time it felt much easier. The syntax made sense and it was almost a pleasure to use. (Using it will probably be a pleasure, if used more often.) I think it’s going in the right direction. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or checked it out earlier, I recommend giving it another try.

Using Fountain

Fountain is best used with a text editor, and in case you need to check the final formatting, with a Markdown previewing app. On the Mac you got a plethora of choices. Byword, iAwriter, Vim (I’m using Vim), etc. To preview Fountain files, go download Marked by Brett Terpstra.

On the iPad, there is, only one app that is recommendable for using Fountain: Writing Kit. It’s got some really interesting features. Go check it out.


I don’t want to make this article longer than necessary. Fountain feels “ready” for me, although I will keep using Scrivener for my scriptwriting. Scrivener is the environment where I can get the writing done in a desirable quality.
That said, I enjoyed using Fountain. It made it easier to share screenplays with, for example, clients.

Give Fountain a whirl!

05/12/2012 20:31:00

How text editing on the iPad should work.

A interesting case proposed by a developer named Daniel Hooper. Advertised much the same way as Fix Radar of GTFO.

  1. Go to, sign in and click “New Problem”
  2. Set the Title to “Editing Text on iPad (duplicate of rdar://11365152)”
  3. Set the Product to “iPad”, Version Number to “N/A”, Classification to “Feature (New)” and Is It Reproducible to “Not Applicable”
  4. Copy the letter below and paste it in the Problem Details section then click submit.

via iDownloadBlog


05/11/2012 20:21:00

Etcher: Etch A Sketch for iPad

Pledge on Kickstarter

05/11/2012 13:51:45

If Twitter had been invented in the ’80s… (by SquirrelMonkeyCom)

05/05/2012 20:31:52

How algorithms shape our world

It’s creepy how many (important) monetary things are running off of automated algorithms.