The Stanley 64oz Classic Vacuum Growler
Dec 25, 2015
Shortly after I posted my Klean Kanteen review, Stanely offered to send me one of their own bottles to play around with: the 64oz Classic Vacuum Growler. I was quite happy with the build quality of the Stanleys I saw at REI, so at risk of becoming a professional growler reviewer, I figured I’d give this bottle an equally thorough look.Continue Reading...
iPad Pro + Pencil Slow Motion Bug
Dec 5, 2015
I noticed an interesting problem with the Apple Pencil while developing my app. It seems that if you’re using the Pencil while simultaneously using a gesture recognizer (as, for instance, in a scroll view), touch processing goes into slow motion. (Approximately half-speed, according to some quick measurements.) Seems there’s some sort of interference between Pencil and gesture event processing. Notably, the framerate remains stable while this is happening.Continue Reading...
Sep 29, 2015
I made a Mac app! It’s called Backgroundifier, and it turns any image into a desktop background. (But it’s better for fine art and illustration.)Continue Reading...
The Klean Kanteen 32oz Insulated Stainless Steel Growler (With Swing Lok Cap)
Sep 9, 2015
One vital lesson I’ve been recently learning in regards to the pleasures of rampant materialism is that it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with objects that not only work well, but feel good. Quality finishes; smooth hinges; great materials and top-shelf workmanship. It’s not about pretension or an abstract desire for “good design”. Rather, the aim is to get the objects in your life to radiate just a little warmth your way by virtue of their excellence. Here’s an example of what I mean. A few months ago, I needed to buy a new paper notebook. I was all set to pick up the cheapest one at the grocery like I always do, but this time I decided to peek into a stationary store just to see if something could tempt me away from the budget option. There, I discovered a stunningly beautiful notebook with a textured, gently undulating cover and perfect pearly pages. I immediately fell in love with it. The sticker price was a shocking $15, and while I berated myself at the time for spending so much money on basically paper, I’ve noticed over the past year that I always feel a little burst of joy whenever I leaf through its pages or run my hands over its cover. Point being, if you surround yourself with enough of these kinds of things, you’ll find yourself smiling when doing something as simple as picking up your favorite pen or putting a pot of water on the stove.Continue Reading...
Who cares about the Apple Watch Edition?
Mar 8, 2015
It’s disappointing to see many of my favorite Apple bloggers devote so much of their time to Apple Watch Edition gossip. How much of it is going to be solid gold? Will it be $5000, $10000, $15000? How much of them will Apple sell in their first quarter? Will they be a hit with the rich and powerful in China?Continue Reading...
Feb 1, 2015
On August 23rd, 2013, my Seattle friends and I boarded the Amtrak Cascades and headed up north in the direction of Vancouver. I couldn’t resist bringing along a small bag of produce and dairy that I’d been using to cook in the hostels, even though it added a few pounds of heft to my already-painful load. (This pattern will be shown to repeat itself throughout my travels.)
State of the Union
Jan 31, 2015
I’m sure bad at this blogging thing. Since I first set out in — technically, July 2013, but let’s say August — I’ve only gotten one week into my journey before hanging up. I’d like to see if I can try again, perhaps this time with a little more success.
Right now, I’m writing this from Dublin, Ireland. In the interim, since my last entry from an actual city, I’ve visited Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Paris, London, Cornwall, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Bologna, Modena, Milan, Florence, Rome, and Turin — plus a number of smaller towns along the way. That’s more than a dozen different countries over the course of the past two years. To the person first setting out on this trip — the person who expected to arrive in London and cautiously venture to other countries only on rare occasion — this list would have been unimaginable. I was nervous. I’d never been alone in a place where the primary language wasn’t English. I wasn’t sure about the logistics. I didn’t even know if I’d be able to tinker with my projects in peace.Continue Reading...
What's Up with Google Maps These Days?
Nov 19, 2014
When Apple replaced its Google-powered maps app with a complete in-house rewrite for iOS 6, most users had little good to say about it. It was inaccurate. It lacked public transit directions. The search was paltry, as was the iconography. At best, it could be described as slick, with the pixellated pop-in of previous generations replaced by crisp, swiftly scaling vector lines. But this was not enough to offset the lack of functionality compared to Google’s definitive mapping solution, and so Tim Cook apologized and we all went on with our lives.Continue Reading...
The Trials and Tribulations of Writing a 3rd Party iOS Keyboard
Nov 8, 2014
I recently released my first commercial project: Translit Keyboard, a 3rd party keyboard for iPhone that lets you transliterate Latin characters into Cyrillic and some other alphabets. When I was first investigating this problem, around the time that iOS 7 came out, I discovered that I could implement an elegant solution in OSX using the lesser-known Input Method Kit. My program sat between the keyboard and text field; the framework provided me with each raw character as it was entered, and I could either pass it along with the default behavior, or instead take control of the output and send off whatever I pleased. Sadly, iOS was off-limits: since 3rd party extensions weren’t even on the radar at the time, there was nothing anyone could do to enable this sort of behavior system-wide. The only solution was to make a nice app with a special text field that you could copy and paste from — too clunky for rapid-pace tasks like messaging.Continue Reading...
Old iPhone Tricks: GPS Tracker
Sep 18, 2014
This is the time of year when a lot of people are upgrading their phones. If you are, don’t chuck your old phone just yet!
Here’s a thing you might not know about your iPhone: the GPS unit works even without a data connection. I was confused for a long time about what “assisted GPS” actually meant. My understanding was that it was impossible for an AGPS phone (which the iPhone is) to acquire a GPS signal without a data connection. Turns out it works fine — you just have to wait a bit longer for the phone to find a satellite.Continue Reading...