The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by Gus Mueller
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July 22, 2015

Craig Hockenberry: Half-Assed:

"Mac developers have never had access to TestFlight, either internally or externally. It’s “coming soon”, and until that day comes, there’s no way to test apps that use the iCloud servers. Which sucks for both the developer and the customer.

"But wait, there’s more."

Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it:

"I had high hopes for Apple Music. I really wanted it to work and become my default music streaming service, but after the problems I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks, I’m disabling it altogether.

"My problems started about a week after installing Apple Music. While Apple Music Radio and Playlists worked well, adding music to my library is nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration."

Apple is trying to do too much, too quickly. And it's biting them in the ass.

July 20, 2015

Manton Reece:

"I have some big news to share, so obviously I’m going to write a bunch of blog posts about it. This is the first one."

Congrats, sir. Also, it's about time.

July 20, 2015

Shubham Jain: Blog Little Things:

"There are lots of things that can be blogged about and yet, we are stuck in the dilemma of, – “Is it worth something to write?”. The fear of being insignificant aka “Nobody will read it” syndrome, inhibits us from writing that simple thing that might have helped many people."

I write a lot less now than I used to, probably because of this.

July 13, 2015

Mike Kamermans: We are really terrible at digital colours, and digital photography.

A great post on a number of topics including color gamuts, how we represent colors in images, camera sensors, and why it'll take forever to get breakthrough sensors in our cameras.

July 13, 2015

Dave Wiskus at Better Elevation:

"But fuck that. Music is art, and someone who makes art is an artist. More importantly: who sits around waiting for labels to be bestowed upon them? I get to decide who and what I am."

This is something I feel pretty strongly about myself (my twitter bio even has a note to that effect).

What about software? Are programmers artists? I struggled with this one for a long time and came up with the conclusion that no, software isn't art. It's a craft, much like building furniture is. Because for something to be art, it had to have no utility, to be something unto itself. A chair or table can look amazing, but it had utility so it wasn't art. Leonardo's Mona Lisa has no utility, therefore it is art.

I was pretty happy with this definition of Art for many years. I almost majored in art, I took more art history classes than I'd like, and I generally love art. So I felt I was qualified to come up with this definition and was happy with the logic of it.

It also meant I didn't have to wonder if I was an artist or not. And since I didn't fall on the artist side, I didn't have to wonder / be afraid if I was a fraud or not. Because being an artist means you have to put your work out there to be judged as good or bad art. And that's a very weird kind of pressure.

Then one day, while sketching at one of my usual lunch places, an employee walks by, sees what I'm sketching and says "Oh, you're an artist".

For some reason that statement completely locked up my brain and I had no response. I sat there, unable to answer the question. Instead my brain basically entered this loop:

10 Someone just called me an artist. What does this mean?
20 I do not consider myself an artist, what I'm doing is training my brain to see correctly.
30 Is being labeled an artist like the old school definition of being labeled a hacker?
40 goto 10

For some reason, something changed in my brain right then and there. Computer games are art, right? Why not all software*?

There's all kinds of art out there, good and bad, high and low. And there are all kinds of artists as well- some even make a living off it! But I think what it comes down to is this: If you make something which provokes emotions inside someone, if the result is more than the sum of its parts, if there is a beauty to it, then you've got art. And if it was your hands which put it together, congrats - you're an Artist.

* I don't actually think all software is art. It was merely a question that popped up in my brain. Thanks for Dave for prompting this note.

** Also: I absolutely love Frank Krueger's response to this post:

"If I'm not an artist, I'm certainly living the artists's life. I make stuff. People judge it. If they like it, I get to eat."

July 8, 2015

Just what it says on the tin. I'm working on the next big version of Acorn, and I need some folks to help me flush out final bugs with it, and provide feedback as well. Interested in helping out and you're running 10.10+? Shoot me an email, and we'll add you to the list.

July 8, 2015

Wired: Pens Are Making a High-Tech Comeback:

"You can’t type out the folds of a dress, or the gentle curves of a skyscraper. Drawing with your stubby finger on a touchscreen isn’t much better. Humans are tool-based creatures: Our fingers can do amazingly intricate things with a pen, a brush, or a scalpel, that we can’t replicate with a mouse or the pads of our fingers. Our computers are giving back that kind of detailed control. In turn, the pen is opening up new ways of digital expression, new tools for communication, new ways to interact with our tech."

And later:

"Imagine a world where there’s such fine control in your hands that you can chisel a statue out of virtual marble, or create a digital watercolor that is stroke for stroke exactly how it would look in real life. That’s possible, and it’s only possible with a pen. You already know how to use it, as famous stylus-hater Steve Jobs might say. And it gives you the kind of freedom and control every great technology should."

July 7, 2015

I recently had a need to write out an image from a CGImageRef to disk, but without a color space added to it. So I took to twitter, and Ken Ferry came to my rescue. I present the solution here, incase you should ever need it as well:

CGImageRef img = …
CGColorSpaceRef cs = CGColorSpaceCreateDeviceRGB();
img = CGImageCreateCopyWithColorSpace(img, cs);
NSURL *url = [NSURL fileURLWithPath:@"/tmp/foo.jpeg"];
CGImageDestinationRef destRef =
    CGImageDestinationCreateWithURL((CFURLRef)url, kUTTypeJPEG, 1, nil);
CGImageDestinationAddImage(destRef, img, nil);

Thanks Ken!

June 2, 2015

The (Seattle) Stranger Police Reports Illustrated: Followed Off the Bus by a Suspicious Man

"I am from ST. LOUIS and I will NOT be robbed"

This cartoon doesn't suprise me at all for some reason, and makes me a little proud.

May 25, 2015

Kel Rossiter in The Seattle Times: In mountain climbing, as in life, preparation trumps optimism:

"Climbing season on Rainier is under way, and with it comes the flock of would-be summiteers exhorting the cult-of-positive-thinking mantra, “Mind over matter!” This phrase belies an alluring but woefully misguided idea that simple faith in an outcome leads to its actualization, an idea so pervasive in our culture that it shouldn’t be surprising it has also permeated the climbing community."

Via Devin Bishop