Tuesday
Sep152009

Moving From Quicksilver to QSB

A few weeks ago, on the day it was released, I installed Snow Leopard on my Macbook Pro. Installation was simple and after a few hours of play, I made an attempt at getting back to work. I hit my "alt-space" key combo to bring up my trusted Quicksilver application, but alas nothing happened except for the lonely system beep of my MBP telling me it was confused and didn't know what to do next.

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Monday
Jul132009

From iPhone to YouTube to Twitter

Users YouTube RSS Feed in FirefoxIt's not that I don't like yFrog or Twitpic or any of the other services out there for twittering my latest videos on the internet, but I'm really trying hard to keep all of my videos and pictures in one place rather than spread all over the internet.

With the introduction of the video recorder in the iPhone 3GS and the ability to 'one-click' upload videos directly to YouTube, the only thing that was missing was the ability to have those videos automagically twittered.

After a little research, I discovered that it is possible to subscribe to a user's YouTube RSS feed by using the URL: http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/username/uploads?orderby=published

That URL, after replacing 'username' with the user's YouTube account ID, is the RSS subscription feed.  Once established, the next step is to simply have the feed monitored by a service such as TwitterFeed.com which will automatically 'tweet' new videos uploaded via the iPhone or other device

For my next trick, I'm going to work on doing the exact same thing with pictures using either Picasa Web Albums or Flickr.

Wednesday
Jul082009

Blogging from the iPhone with iBlogger

image106121167.jpgI recently heard about about a blogging application for the iPhone called iBlogger from illumineX. Intrigued and seeing that they had plugins for Squarespace, I downloaded the app immediately from iTunes (iTunes Link) and had no problem spending the $9.99.

Now, a couple things should be noted before I continue: First, there are cheaper alternatives out there for blogging sites such as WordPress and Google's Blogger, but this was the first app I found that worked with Squarespace. Second, since I only use Squarespace, I can't comment on how iBlogger works with other blogging platforms.

Also, I decided that the best way to review this little gem was, shall we say, 'trial by fire'. So I'm writing this entire entry on my iPhone using iBlogger.

The Good New Is...


It works right out of the box (so to speak). I have had no problems running the application and adding my Squarespace account was a breeze. Once my account was added to the list, I immediately had access to all of my existing blog entries.

I appreciate as well that I can work on an entry and leave the application without losing my work or having the half-completed article publish before it is done. In the list of entries, iBlogger shows published articles with green text and entries-in-progress with black text.

Adding an image to a new post is a snap, giving you the option to take a picture from the iPhone camera or selecting one from the library. Once added, you can adjust alignment or remove it completely.

In addition to images, iBlogger allows you to add links, choose categories and add tags. It also has a GPS link so you can add the location you are blogging from, which will open a Google Map when clicked.

It should also be noted that iBlogger is fast, really fast. I'm using the application on an iPhone 3GS and it works as quickly as I can move with no delays and no hang ups.

And the Bad News...


While being a pretty robust application for a mobile device, there were a few things I struggled with.

The first thing I immediately noticed was the lack of text controls for selecting headers, colors, etc., within the editor. It is conceivable that this is an iPhone software limitation, but the only way to add headers or special text is to enter the source code. If you have ever tried to write code using the iPhone keyboard, you know what a frustrating experience this can be. A landscape keyboard might help with this a little, but landscape mode is not an option within iBlogger.

Also, while you can adjust the image alignment, you can't adjust where it goes within paragraphs. The one image, which is all that is allowed, is always within the first paragraph. Image resizing and cropping is also not an option as you can see in my screenshot above.

While adding a link is an option, it can't be done within the editor. It helps in generating the source code, but the code then has to be cut and paste in the appropriate place within the paragraph. It's only a hair faster than manually typing the code without using the link button.

Is it Worth It?


Seems to be! While it certainly isn't going to replace my desktop as a blogging tool, iBlogger can come in real handy when out on the road. I can see this application being used a lot at conferences, trade shows and big events like WWDC and CES.

Is it worth 10 bucks? That depends on how and when you are going to use it, but for me, absolutely. While there are some features and options missing, I'm willing to bet that future versions are only going to get better and fill in some of those gaps.
Sunday
Jun142009

New Site Launch: DRC1000.com

Every now and then I get to work on a website that is not only challenging, but a whole lot of fun, and drc1000.com is one of those sites. Designed by John Sabo from Sabo Creative, DRC1000.com is one of the most beautiful and graphically intensive websites I have ever had the pleasure of working on.

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Tuesday
Jun022009

Be An Uber-Geek with GeekTools for Mac

Whenever I'm at the movies or watching some spy show on TV and I see some lonesome tech guy sitting at a computer trying to hack some system to help the hero of the day, I suddenly find myself more interested in the computer than the story. I start trying to guess the operating system, figure out what software they are using and determine if it is all some great piece of geekness that I haven't seen yet, or just a figment of some set managers imagination. In any case, I'm constantly looking for cool ways to make my Mac desktop look just like what I see on the television and a few months ago, I found a real gem. GeekTool from Tynsoe.org not only makes my desktop look Uber-Geeky, but is extremely functional.

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