Not Martha

links: technology

The Wirecutter | A List of the Best Gadgets. I love recommendations for things I need but don’t have time to obsessively research. This site is all about that.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: SendTab: a great simple app for managing screens.

Google Kills Its Other Plus, and How to Bring It Back –

Arcade Improv: Humans Pretending to Be Videogames –

· comments [0] · 11-17-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

swissmiss | Sugru Hacking Putty. Used to reinforce iPhone cables where they most often split. This is exactly what I thought of when I first learned about Sugru!

swissmiss | Codecademy. Coding for beginners.

Go ahead, make a circle. « Door Sixteen. A Photoshop Tutorial on how to put an image inside a circle.

SEO for Non-dicks – Matt Legend Gemmell. Via Matt.

What lens for low-light food photography? | Ask MetaFilter.

oh meaghan: a new outfit. Some great sources for a blog facelift.

This Is Not How You Should Handle E-Book Corrections | Slog. “Whispersync™ giveth, and Whispersync™ taketh away.” I bought Reamde on my Kindle for iPhone so I’ve been following this story, turns out the missing content is likely just small corrections.

· comments [4] · 10-3-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

swissmiss | Make Photoshop Faster.

Does this LED sound funny to you? – Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. All about the candle flicker LED.

Nordstrom Mobile POS at GirlHacker’s Random Log. Oh dear, this could lead to a dangerous amount of spontaneous purchasing.

TIGSource » Recent Good Knytt Stories #3. I’m so very glad levels are still being made, Knytt Stories remains one of my all time favorite games.

I buy macs, despite the premium, but my macbook pro just died and fcpx may signal the end of needing a mac to edit video. Should I not buy a mac? | Ask MetaFilter. Our house has been primarily PC but recently Scott bought a Macbook for the video editing that came with it. I’ll be interested to see if that changes. Right now we’re happy being a mixed house.

swissmiss | Don’t Fear The Internet. Basics for non-web designers.

‘Machinarium’ Heading To iPad Next Month | Touch Arcade. It’s from the makers of Samarost. Few things make me wish I had an iPad, this is one.

· comments [3] · 08-5-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

Project Runway, HP computers and me and Scott.

Project Runway screencapture

To celebrate their collaboration with Project Runway for season 9 HP invited me to take on a few of the episode challenges, at least in digital sketch form. I’m a huge fan of the show and have watched every single season so I was super happy to be part of this partnership. The lovely people at HP sent me a TouchSmart computer to use for the virtual creations. Project Runway very well might be my version of watching professional sports so this whole thing is sort of overwhelming.

Quick background: I entered college to study costume design where I learned that I really wasn’t that good at it. After college I stumbled into building websites and discovered that being able to pay rent is awfully nice. Somewhere in there I started this site and these days pretty much only use Photoshop to resize the pictures of stuff I’ve made out of meat. Scott, on the other hand, studied actual graphic design before being hired away to work on the web. He continues to design album covers and band posters for his various awesome music projects. He knows how to use Illustrator and send things to fancy print shops.

Which is why when Scott declared he would like to also play along with the Project Runway challenges that I began to feel a bit intimidated. He is so much better at this stuff than I am.

The set up: In the first episode of this season the Project Runway contestants were woken up early, told to grab a sheet off their bed and hustled out of their apartments still in their pajamas. They headed (actually, walked through the streets of New York!) to the workroom where they discovered that their first challenge was to create an outfit from the pajamas they were wearing and the sheet they were carrying. (Is this your new worst nightmare? Because it’s way up there among mine.) Happily for everybody involved they were given scrubs to change in to. They were also given the option of using fabric dyes. Also, scrubs look really comfy.

At this point I paused Tivo and Scott and I agreed we’d have to incorporate what we were wearing at that very moment in to our designs. We were wearing very boring stuff. I had on a white jersey tank top and loose fitting black jersey workout pants from Old Navy (meaning, really, pajama pants). Scott was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. I wish I’d been wearing something lacy or at least patterned. (Did you see what the winner did using his boxer shorts?)

I also gave myself the rule that once I got started sketching something I wouldn’t be able to back down. It only seemed fair. This might have been folly on my part.

Here is my design:

my first design

Here is how I fantasize, in the style of the Project Project Runway girls, that this would have gone down: I took apart my white tank top at the seams and dyed half fuchsia and the other half a bright green. Both turned out more neon than I intended but I forged ahead. I turned them into a tight fitting top using the black jersey from my pants to create a collar, center stripe and hem. At this point Tim Gunn came around and showed a lot of concern when I admitted I hadn’t thought about what I was going to do for the bottom piece. I freaked out. Since everybody else appeared to be making smaller garments I decided to make a long flowy skirt and dyed bits of my sheet black, pink and green. Tragically the sheet color didn’t match jersey very well so I decided to keep the sheet fabric as far away from the top as possible. I constructed a skirt with vertical black stripes and blocks of color at the bottom.

In the middle of sewing long seams I was called in to give a workroom interview where I shakily admitted to the cameras that I was worried about my idea but it was too late to start over. I was only half finished sewing the skirt just as the end of the night was called. On the way out I contemplated scrapping the skirt altogether and making a mini out of my remaining fabric instead. (Seriously, in real life I went to bed that night giving some real thought to just drawing a different skirt and wondering how much fabric I might have left over if this were, you know, reality.)

It would have looked something like this:

my look with a mini skirt

But the next morning I decided I just didn’t have time and that the mini skirt would be, how to say this? Too Pretty Woman? I had to go with what I had. I spent some precious last minutes uselessly fretting towards the cameras and nearly forgot about accessories. I dramatically grabbed a pair of strappy heels for my model as she was leaving the room.

Here is Scott’s design:

the design from Scott

Scott created a fitted shell from part of the sheet he had dyed gray and appliqued strips of the black t-shirt to create asymmetrical stripes. He dyed the rest of the sheet a melon color, it turned out a bit more muted than he intended but decided to work with it. Lastly he deconstructed his jeans to turn into a cropped jacket with short sleeves. Scott remained fairly calm in the work room and when Tim Gunn came around he had everything ready to show, the jacket wasn’t finished but it was pinned to the form so Tim could see the outfit emerging. Scott worked quietly and the cameramen were unable to even get a shot of him that could later be edited into something that could be interpreted as “looking disdainfully at other people’s work”. During his workroom interview the producers weren’t able to get him to criticize anybody else so none of the footage was used. He worked carefully and had enough time to fit the pants well and finish the seams in the denim nicely. He decided to only accessorize with shoes.

Judging was swift. (We’re still in fantasy mode here, just in case you started reading somewhere in the middle.) I was in the bottom three, Scott was in the top three. My vision and taste level were questioned, I tried to explain that I had run out of time but was reminded that being decisive is part of the competition.

Heidi didn’t absolutely hate the top, Nina had that expression she gets, Michael Kors generously pointed out that I had at least attempted something sweeping, Nina Ricci said something vaguely complementary but ultimately unswaying. I barely managed to stay on until next week and groveled to the judges. I later showed an insincere amount of concern for the loser before Tim Gunn had to come and tell them it was time to leave. Whew. Scott didn’t win but showed pleasant surprise that his first outfit for Project Runway was so well received and heartily congratulated the winner.

The end.

Scott also sent me this, his first idea that he feared might be taking the challenge a bit too literally:

Scott gave me a funny look

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· comments [18] · 08-3-2011 · categories:technology ·

links: technology

iDixit Needs Players « Further Dispatches. Jorge Garcia kindly requests you download this game to your iPhone so that he has people to play with! And it’s free to the end of the month, sounds perfect.

The iPhone SLR Mount Let’s your iPhone use your SLR lenses (for Canon and Nikon). Somebody buy this for me. Please? Via Heather Champ on Twitter.

I just my first Android phone. What’s the easiest way to get my NPR and BBC podcasts onto it? And what are your favourite must-have apps in general? | Ask MetaFilter.

say YES! to hoboken: How to Make an Animated Gif.

the Tumbly Green Chair | dbox: Instagram Filters as Photoshop Actions. Yay!

WordPress for a noob who isn’t a noob developer: Can you explain the basics of using a framework theme to create a new theme? | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [1] · 07-11-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

a road trip with Posterous

When Scott and I moved from Ohio to California we had the types of mobile phones that only make calls, remember those? While exploring our new state we would go to places that were amazing (the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite, the beach right there on the real actual ocean) and call our parents and say “guess where we are!” It seems like we blinked and here we are with phones that take photos and send email and so many ways of sharing our experiences with photos and video online.

I was thinking about this the other day when Posterous got in touch to talk about about their Posterous Groups and privacy. They want to let us know that Posterous is an easy way you can share thoughts, photos, video and documents just with the people on your list. So Scott and I decided to take a mini summer vacation to try it out.

We went for a one-day road trip. These are all photos we sent to our family Posterous Group (meaning each time we sent a photo it landed in the email of our family members almost right away) and which would be completely private except for the fact that, well, I’m showing them to you here. Below is what we learned on our trip:

East of Seattle are a few places that make for a nice day trip without it being too long of a car ride, which is especially nice if you have kids in the car or, like me, get car sick pretty easily. First on our list was Snoqualmie Falls. We drove up to the just-redone park where you can get some great views of the falls. On the day we visited the water was rushing harder than we’d ever seen it before and the wind was picking up the mist and covering those of us on the viewing platforms.

Since the photos only go to your Posterous Group you don’t have to worry about sending a slightly unflattering or just plain boring photo to a list or site where more people than you’d really like can see them. You mom loves you and wants to see your pretty face no matter what. (I was so cold and my hair was getting very wet in photo above. Hi Mom!)

Posterous is free (yay) and super simple to set up. It does two things, it works as a simple blogging platform to allow you to share whatever you’d like with the world, and it also allows you to set up Groups to share words, images, video and attachments with only those you’d like to while keeping it nice and private from everybody else. People in your Posterous Group can also send items to share so exchanging information or keeping in touch is as easy as possible. Examples! You need to see some examples, go here on Posterous to peek at some sites. And look! The Maker Faire Daily is a Posterous site, awesome.

The Salish Lodge is perched on the land just next to the falls (you can see it in the first photo of the falls above). There has been an inn in that spot since 1919 (the current one was was rebuilt in the 80s). Salish Lodge has an amazing brunch menu and in particular the Country Breakfast is famous for being enormous and must be attempted at least once. Brunch and then a nice stroll along the park trails to view the falls is a good start (you might need to walk back and forth through the park more than once to recover from the meal). I hear the rooms in the lodge are nice. We’ve never stayed at the lodge but we have lingered in the lobby while pretending that we’re staying there.

When you send a photo out using Posterous the email arrives in the inboxes of your group with the sendee being your own email address, so there is no confusion over who the message is coming from. Score one for making it easy on your family.

The town of Snoqualmie is a very short drive just down the road and they display old trains all along the main street, which grew up along the train tracks there. A lot of them are available for you to climb on and in, I felt like we were getting away with something. We also saw a large wedding party out to get a group photograph (the bridesmaids were wearing navy dresses with bright yellow accents, it worked surprisingly well). We also saw a couple on bicycles who were both wearing large paper crowns and totally owning the look, I liked them immediately.

The photos you send to your Posterous Group are also collected in your Posterous account, all neat and tidy and together. You don’t have to worry about sorting them or uploading them somewhere else later. I really fell for this feature, the album of the trip is ready for you right away with no extra work. Nice.

Snoqualmie also has train rides out of the Train Museum! We watched as one passed by, we were a bit jealous of those on board. Scott’s nephew and his dad would love this, so we have a reason to return.

Posterous sizes, orients, hosts and generally makes good the photos and video you send. Get your family members set up to all post to the group and this feature might also eliminate you getting emailed giant photos of your niece at her dance recital that take forever to download and are sideways when you open them. (Can you tell this happens to us? This happens to us.)

The next town over from Snoqualmie is North Bend. It’s a sweet little town surrounded by looming mountains. One is Mount Si, a popular hiking spot which we have yet to take on, I hear the view at the top is amazing. I’ll take their word on it. North Bend is also home to Twede’s Cafe, made famous by Twin Peaks. We didn’t stop and have pie, we should have had pie!

On the way back to Seattle we stopped at the historic XXX Root Beer Drive-In in Issaquah. The walls are covered with old rock-and-roll posters and souvenirs and classic car stuff, it’s really something to behold.

While we were out we sent photos with descriptions and notes using the email on my phone and the Posterous app (requires iOS 4) on Scott’s iPhone (there is an Android app as well). My iPhone is older and takes the grainy photos you’re seeing, Scott’s iPhone is shiny-new and takes nice photos. I also played with his Hipstamatic photo app that day, I like it.

Since we were on vacation we took the opportunity to order the XXX signature burger, an enormous creation that is about 10 inches across. That mug of root beer? Also enormous. We split both but didn’t finish either. Ok, maybe one of us finished their half of the burger.

It seems like every time we stop at XXX Root Beer there is a classic car show in the parking lot next door. Shiny and red!

Because the things you send to your Posterous Group only get sent out to your list (in our case family) you can show off your vacation photos immediately without letting the whole internet know something like: “Look! We’re at the Grand Canyon! And we’re obviously nowhere near home right now so go ahead and steal that giant television I posted a photo of last week!”

You can tell the people who make Posterous like you. They make it easy to share information with everybody, or just the ones that you’d like, using whichever way is most convenient for you. You can post using an app, by sending the information you’d like in an email (either from your computer or from your phone) or by using the Posterous website itself. Basically anywhere you might be. Handy. And Posterous knows just what to do with the words/photos/video you send when it gets there. I’m really impressed with the care that they put into everything.

Just so you know: This is a sponsored post from a company that I like.

· comments [20] · 06-27-2011 · categories:technology · travel ·

links: technology

Cool Tools: Vim. This might be the simple text/html editor I’ve been looking for.

Pano | A good app for taking panoramic photos.

{seo q & a} what is the best way to spell this term? | minted condition. They took on my question about papier-mache, and suggested a wonderful new-to-me resource. Thanks!

10 Free Web Based Photoshop Alternatives | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

A bunch of nerdy interviews. What do people use to get stuff done? A whole site to answer this question: The Setup. Via Ask Metafilter.

A Whole Lotta Nothing: Kickstarter tips from a fan of crowd-funding.

Upgrading from a Basic Canon Rebel DSLR | Making it Lovely.

I am wondering what new podcasts are out that are in the category: “Mindblowing.” Things that amaze, inspire, or make you reflect | Ask MetaFilter.

Lara Ferroni » Plate to Pixel and Other Food Photography Resources.

Reunited (With Blogs) And It Feels So Gooood : whoorl. About how it used to be, and getting that back with the Google Reader Next Button for your browser, I’ll have to do this. Somehow I still miss you-know-what-Lines, my Google Reader seems impenetrable.

· comments [9] · 06-16-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

’8-Bit Pocket Camera’ – A Glorious Homage to the Gameboy Camera | Touch Arcade. Hipstamatic has failed to grab my attention but this? I want this.

Pioneer Woman Actions UPDATE! | Pioneer Woman Photography | Ree Drummond.

Want to turn low res web image to higher res print ready image. | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [3] · 04-27-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

A Whole Lotta Nothing: My SXSW 2011 talk on lessons from 11 years of community.

c h o o k o o l o o n k s – blog – occasionally technical tuesday: apertures and shutter speeds and iso (oh my!).

iPhoto replacement for Windows 7…NOT PICASA! | Ask MetaFilter.

Photography for Designers « Jessica Walsh. Her small studio set up. Via Kottke.

Is there a way to automatically “force” Google to search for the words I typed in, without having to manually include “+” before every single term? | Ask MetaFilter.

TIGSource » Gemini Rue. A game I want to check out.

Everything I’ve learned about casual podcasting | fortuitous.

· comments [4] · 03-25-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

Orbis To Ray Flash: Ring Flashes Under $200 | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

how to make your own inspiration board, at petite Elefant. People without Photoshop take note, she shows you how using Picasa.

Free Antivirus… That Doesn’t Suck | Apartment Therapy Unplggd.

Free or cheap fiction audiobooks or podcasts | Ask MetaFilter. Great suggestions for things I hadn’t heard of.

chookooloonks – occasionally technical tuesdays: on choosing a camera lens. Excellent guide to how lenses work. Via Tea Austen on Twitter.

Type-O-Phile at Ugly Green Chair, she offers a list of the best places to find both free and not-free fonts. This is great because every time I need a new font I end up emailing to ask her again where all the best font sites are!

· comments [5] · 03-15-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

Infinight Review | Touch Arcade. A game that has you trapped in the dark.

CreaVures by Muse Games — Kickstarter. This looks amazing.

Infinite Ammo » Marian: From 3D to 2D. An article about the current game project from one of the creators of Aquaria, he talks about it from the initial idea, through stumbles and where it is today.

Telltale Games SF Event – Upcoming ‘Puzzle Agent 2′, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Hector: Badge of Carnage Ep 2 & 3′, and More | Touch Arcade. Wow, it’s a bunch of games I am very much looking forward to. (I will never admit to enjoying Hector Badge of Carnage because it’s very juvenile, offensive and disgusting humor but let’s just say that had I played it I would have found that it is a lot of fun, like an old Sierra game.)

Women Entrepreneurs for Social Change | May 13-14, 2011 | Vancouver, BC. If you run a business I highly encourage you to attend this, I predict great thing will happen.

TIGSource » More Good Knytt Stories. Level I have not played yet!

· comments [5] · 03-2-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

FingerGaming » Studio Pepwuper Launches Stealth Puzzler Megan and the Giant. It’s like it was made for me.

Cool Tools: X-Keys Desktop. A programmable add-on keypad that can give you the freedom to easily create your own single keystroke shortcuts for programming or using graphics programs. I like this idea.

Finally! A Respectable Onslaught of Game Releases – ‘Sacred Odyssey’, ‘Devil May Cry 4,’ ‘Monty Python’ and More | Touch Arcade. I’m look at Cardboard Castle here.

Secure Yer Facebook | Slog.

FingerGaming » iControlPad Opens Preorders, Begins Shipping Next Week – Gaming on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

So You Just Got a Verizon iPhone… Let’s Get You Up To Speed! | Touch Arcade. With links to previous years Best Of games and the tip that game apps often go on sale.

· comments [2] · 02-11-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

BBC – Podcasts – Secret History of Social Networking. Via Waxy.

ALT Summit Presentation  | Mighty Girl. “Beyond the Banner: A 12-Step Program for Successful Content Campaigns”. This was a fabulous panel, I sat and absorbed every word.

opensource html editor? | Ask MetaFilter. I’m researching alternatives to my ancient version of Homesite that does not work with my new computer, lots of suggestions here.

Best Homesite replacement for PC? – Doctype. Another good list of Homesite replacements.

Free or very low cost image editing software? | Ask MetaFilter.

Things I learned at Altitude Design Summit | PROMISE TANGEMAN ART & DESIGN. A good summary of what was shared at Alt.

Gameloft Unmasks Mysterious RPG, Now Titled ‘Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden’ | Touch Arcade. Zelda like, you say?

They Need To Be Fed Review | Touch Arcade. Looks like a very cute and fun little game. Is Back with Activision’s Approval | Touch Arcade.

swissmiss | Grid-A-licious. A beautiful and minimal theme for WordPress.

· comments [7] · 02-1-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

links: technology

What do I need to set up a little photography studio at home? | Ask MetaFilter.

Email Etiquette for the Super-Busy :: Tips :: The 99 Percent. Via Swiss Miss.

Help me buy a new laptop! – laptop upgrade windows | Ask MetaFilter. I’ve bookmarked a response here by Mister Fabulous talking about waiting for Sandy Bridge processors to come out.

swissmiss | Proxlet. An app that will allow you to mute users on Twitter for a set amount of time, among other things. Nice.

A List Apart: Articles: Smartphone Browser Landscape. Via The Sam Barnes on Twitter.

Design*Sponge » biz ladies: top ten etsy web apps.

WordPress › Broken Link Checker « WordPress Plugins. Via Simply Recipes on Twitter.

How To Keep Facebook from Humiliating You Today at Valleyway. Via Heather Champ on Twitter.

· comments [5] · 01-27-2011 · categories:links · technology ·

notes from Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Blogging

first screen of the Harder Better Faster Stronger Blogging session

Image by Erica Reitman of Design Blahg.

I’m back from the Altitude Design Summit and simultaneously exhausted and energized. I got to meet and hang with amazing people (hello all the amazing people! I miss you!).

Here is a quick list of the resources mentioned in the panel I was invited to speak on called Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Blogging. I was up there with Susan Brinson of House of Brinson and Erica Reitman of Design Blahg, who put together the fantastic slide show used in our talk. Big thanks Erica.

  • Skitch for screengrabs. Allows you to made edits and draw on top of the image. Jing is another screen capture tool.
  • Outbrain for related posts. Works with many blogging platforms, gives you stats on what posts are getting the most attention.
  • Evernote for organization. Can organize and sort your information from mobile devices as well. Allows you to save text, images, links and audio notes.
  • Pinterest for sourcing and inspiration. Community currated and full of pretty stuff.
  • Squarespace for blogging. Allows for non-coders and coders alike to have lots of control of the look. (Full disclosure, Squarespace sponsored the panels. Fact, the Alt Summit website was created and is hosted on Squarespace.)
  • Google Alerts to let you see what others might be saying about your site. Sends emails periodically or collects the alerts in a feed. You can monitor any search term.
  • Mention Notifier to keep up with Twitter mentions. Sends you an email or text message any time you are mentioned on Twitter, works with any search or hashtag you’d like.
  • Zinio app for reading magazines. Lets you read all your magazines on your iPad or iPhone.
  • Twitter, obviously. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite were the favorites for the many ways you can sort and organize multiple accounts and searches.
  • Photoshop actions for quick image preparation. Setting up your own actions means a photo can be ready for your blog in one click. You can also download actions created by others to get some very pretty looks going on.
  • Instapaper to read things later. Saves a long form article in a very readable format and lets you read it later on computer or iPhone, downloads it so you can read when offline (hello air travel).
  • Flickr for photos. You can store, share and sort your photos, as well as use search with Creative Commons licenses if you need to find something specific. I’ve been using it for years and people still regularly find my blog from a photo they saw shared on Flickr.
  • RSS Reader to keep you organizes. Google Reader is the favorite choice. Use Helvetireader for a minimalist skin and Feedly provides a magazine like layout.

I want to add my own little tip. I never quite got into the habit of using another site like Evernote or Digg to collect the things I come across, instead what I do is to quickly bookmark/favorite/star/like (in a browser/email/Flickr/Twitter and on my phone) those things I find as I’m surfing but don’t have time to blog about them in that moment. And on Fridays I schedule a block of time, usually it only takes half an hour, to revisit and sort through all those items. I clear them out, which makes me feel like I’m tidying up and is a nice way to end a week, and usually I rediscover something I really dig but would have forgotten about. My method may not be as technically awesome as using a service to draw everything together, but I find that it allows me to move quickly through my week and think more carefully about if I want to include something in my blog later on when I’m more focused.

· comments [22] · 01-24-2011 · categories:technology ·