Ok, you KNOW I am a total [QuickSilver](http://www.blacktree.com/ “Blacktree”) freak and that there is no way around a computer that is faster for me then QuickSilver. And you also I’ve gone on about making [web search triggers](http://www.nutmac.com/index.php/2008/02/01/web-search-with-quicksilver-the-definitive-how-to/ “Web Search with Quicksilver: how-to”) for QuickSilver and on and on… Trouble has been that you have to have a Mac and you have to have the patience to put up with Quicksilver’s idiosyncrasies long enough to recognize it’s pure God-like power over your operating system… ok, a bit over zealous but you get the point.
So imagine QuickSilver as a web app, to do all the things that online like you would offline with QuickSilver. Well I just got wind that [Julius Eckert](http://www.julius-eckert.com/ “Julius Eckert”) and friends have done just that; put QuickSilver functionality on the web.
It’s called [chosr](http://chosr.com/ “chosr”) and it functions like QuickSilver, uses the same commands as QuickSilver and turns your online life into a productivity whirlwind just like QuickSilver would… if it could… which it can… sort of… anyway, go check out [chosr](http://chosr.com/ “chosr”)!
DataMind Srl is delighted to announce Jade 1.2, their highly acclaimed digital image processing application for Mac OS X Leopard. Implementing state-of-the-art algorithms to enhance color, contrast and dynamic range, Jade is an easy-to-use image enhancement and batch processing tool that will automatically improve digital images. As DataMind’s main product of a series of image processing and computer vision tools, Version 1.2 is a staff pick on Apple’s download website.
Feature highlights include:
- One-Button Automatic Image Enhancement
- Batch Process large volumes of images at once
- Fine-tune Intensity Values, Contrast and Colour Correction for unbalanced images
- Upload to Flickr of enhanced images
- Mac OS X Version 10.5 (Leopard) or higher
- Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel
- 10.4 MB Hard Drive space
Pricing and Availability:
Jade 1.2 is offered in both Home and Pro versions, and are available as a full-featured 30 day demo. Jade Home is €19.99 EUR, and Jade Pro is 49.99 EUR. An Apple Aperture Plugin that makes use of the same identical algorithms and parameters as Jade is also available. Owners of the Jade Aperture plug-in may take advantage of a big discount on both Home and Pro license.
Wow! I am blown away by the response to our latest theme cataLog Pro. In what I think is both a case of timing and luck, cataLog Pro for RapidWeaver 4.0 has surpassed any other theme in our library for initial launch numbers. Timing being a factor for a few reasons:
- RapidWeaver 4.0 is fresh in peoples minds
- There is a lot of new activity and 3rd party development surrounding RapidWeaver
- There are a great deal of new users
- RapidWeaver is fast approaching critical mass
And as always, luck can always play a big part in these things. Some themes I’ve made in the past have been the right idea at the wrong time and have picked up more and more as time went on. cataLog Pro seems to be a case of the right idea at the right time. This, apparently, was a theme that fit the bill for so many people with a need for it at that moment. I’ve received countess emails to that effect, “This is exactly what I needed for a project I was starting.”
With RapidWeaver really taking off as it has off late, I really ought to do another talk at WatRMUG (Waterloo Regional Mac Users Group) and reintroduce the Kitchener-Waterloo users to website building, the RapidWeaver way.
Sometimes we web guys move towards the odd, the sublime and sometimes the ridiculous. I’m not sure which these Droplets fall under but it is one of those indulgences that only another designer can understand. Well I ordered four of these droplets, one for each of the kids and one for myself. Don’t know why really, I just love them. Perhaps it’s the character of their designer, Gavin Strange, that drew me to them.
I have known of and on occasion talked with Gavin, an accomplished and renowned designer of all things colorful. Gavin has even had a write up in the Apple Pro profiles section of their website so that tells you how serious his work is taken. But Gavin, as I see it, is quite a humble guy on the web. I follow his on-goings on Twitter and he is just a regular guy.
When these Droplets were released in a limited run a few months back I missed out by a hair. So when the official launch happened last week I was quick to snatch up my four gleaming little buddies. The hardest part will be giving the other three up to the kids.
With all the commotion as of late it must have totally passed me by that seyDesign.com got a permanent listing on DesignSnack (probably a few weeks back now). It’s always an honor to appear on sites like these, especially this one, because it helps you gauge your designs and see if you are really making the grade. Go ahead and give it a vote if you like seyDesign 2008.
I think it was more than a year ago now when the 2007 version of seyDesign got listed on this site so it’s nice to see that my designs are still on track and hopefully improving in the public eye. And speaking of seyDesign 2007, that site is actually appearing in Design Meltdown‘s The Web Designers Idea Book, due out in October, which is just about the biggest honor any web designer can have bestowed upon him. Hopefully the site appears in a good light and not as an example of what not to do, lol. So if you are a seyDoggy or seyDesign fan, or just a fan of great web design, head over to the Design Meltdown store and pre-order your copy.
I took a support call from a customer one time and it came up in conversation that he uses WYSIWYG web editors such as RapidWeaver or DreamWeaver to visualize what he is doing with his web designs. He then asked me what I use… “Nothing,” I replied, “not until I am done, pretty much.”
Baffled, he asked how I could possibly grasp what was going on without seeing it in from of me. I proceeded to compare it to a musician reading sheet music. The musician doesn’t need to here the music to know what it will sound like when performed off the sheet. That analogy did nothing form him.
I then drew the comparison to The Matrix, “You know when there are watching all those characters fall on the screen, but to them it paints a picture of what’s going on in there? It’s the same thing for me (and most web designers I imagine).”
“Wow!” he says, “So you can just see it in your head?”
“Cool,” he says, contemplatively, “can you fly too?”
Sometimes the best thing you can do to speed up your workflow on a Mac is to get OFF your Mac. SOunds crazy doesn’t it? Well recently I was lucky enough to join the ranks of millions as an iPhone 3G users (tried three times to get one at my Kitchener Rogers store on Fischer-Hallman and Ottawa), not because I thought I needed one, but because I do so much work developing sites, icons and artwork for those who develop iPhone apps (which is why I have been so neglectful of this blog).
Instantly I started looking at ways to work the iPhone into my productivity regime… without much success until I really thought about what the little jewel of hardware is really good at; reading things. Reading email, reading RSS feeds, reading tweets… all things that general detract from productivity while sitting in front of a project with a looming deadline.
So I have started to resist the urge to stay current *WHILE* working and decide to take my iPhone with my on whatever daily breaks I might have, coffee, lunch, erm… rest room… and do all my catching up then.
Brilliant! Several things have happened; I know take regular breaks (something I am famous for not doing), and I am now more productive during actual working time.
While I am not expressly endorsing the iPhone, I am endorsing getting away from the computer from time to time to mentally recharge. While sitting on an e-reader of sorts is hardly disconnecting from the cyber world, the change of pace will help keep you on track in your daily grind.
I know I am only speaking to 5-8% of the general population when I say this, but if you are one of the lucky ones who owns a mac, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out RapidWeaver. It’s a great, do-it-yourself web authoring app that is insanely extensible by virtue of its proud and dedicated 3rd party development community (of which I am a long standing member).
I have been developing RapidWeaver themes on a professional level for nearly three years. In that time themes have gotten more and more advanced with each new version of the platform. Cric from Rapid-Ideas was the first theme developer to really take themes to that new level of versatility years back when he introduced the first theme boasting some 500,000 variations. Pretty soon we all followed suit.
Before long though (myself included), we all had products that would take a month or more to complete, nearly as long to update, would upload dozens of css files, a multitude of images and scripts, complex themes mean more support… themes and the site they make were getting slow and fat! The mental taxation on the end user swimming in a sea of variation to make a site that only uses 10% of a themes ability is immeasurable. And it goes without saying that this method of theme development is getting costly, especially if a new theme is a dud.
For the last few years I have been looking at ways and approaches to trim the fat. #1 priority was to eliminate support. While developing themes for THEME WEAVER I really looked at streamlining their approach so that support would be nearly non existent. I found that fewer options in a RapidWeaver theme were the key. This was hard to adopt in my own, already established theme library, so I looked at ways of simplifying the user experience.
That’s when the lightbulb went off. I want to make themes for me, a designer… I want to make designer themes! And so a new line was born at seyDesign.com; Designer themes, a new line of RapidWeaver themes that are just good looking and nothing else. Not ground breaking, not revolutionary, not stuffed with feature over feature… just hot themes!
Yesterday saw the release of the first RapidWeaver theme born of my new approach; Tagg.
With the launch of both the new iPhone 3G and the new Apple App Store, things around seyDoggy have been a little harried trying to cross all our t’s and dot all of our i’s in preparation for the big day. Everything went smooth without so much as a hiccup. I had to pull a couple of all nighters but all for the good of the site.
So it would appear that both FlipSide5 and Michael Sanford are leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Revered in many articles as the man and company to watch simply for the passion they pour into their products, one thing is clear, the level of commitment is unparalleled (and I speak from experience).
Since everything went fairly smooth, I thought I would take a moment to breeze past my local Rogers store on Ottawa and Fischer-Hallman in Kitchener and scope out the iPhone lines. If the crowds were gone I would have stopped in to grab a 3G. No such luck as the crowd was camped out in lawn chairs and been since the store opened hours before.
With it being summer and the air condition on (and everyone being all up in everyone else’s grill ‘bout the environment) I have decide to turn off all but one of my processors in hopes of saving a few coins on the hydro bill. I used to do this back in OS X 10.4 but CPU management seemed a bit buggy and I had more than a few K-panics which put an end to the practice. It all seems a great deal smoother in OS X 10.5 and so far I can report that, with the exception of video compression, it would really seam as though 4 cores and a Mac Pro are really wasted on a web designer. Apart from getting a little chuggy with Adobe AI and PS running things have been running very smooth. I might run this way all year. Uploaded with plasq’s Skitch