Photoshop Mobile for the iPhone

Photoshop Mobile for the iPhone. It does a few things, but luckily it’s free (app store link). It’s nice to adjust your photos after you snapped them, but there’s nothing extraordinary about this app that would make it even come close to full-blown Photoshop. The difference between this app and the others like it, is that it’s free.

You can:

  • Crop, rotate, flip
  • Adjust exposure, saturation, tint, make B&W
  • Sketch on the image, add soft focus
  • Apply any of 8 filters including photo border, vignette blur, and glow

Where on the desktop you would adjust parameters with a slider, you move your finger left and right on the screen to adjust the level of blur, for example.

It looks like one of the main features involves having a Photoshop.com account to upload your images to. I haven’t bothered to create an account yet to try that. Check it out!

Lemongrass Black from Rishi Tea

Had my first cups of Lemongrass black from Rishi Tea tonight. Great tea, really hit the spot. I’ve always liked lemongrass, but this is the first time I’ve drank it, blended with black tea leaves. Good stuff.

From the package:

“Refreshing and fruity with a unique citrus and floral aroma.”

Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Certified black tea, organic lemongrass, natural essential lemon oil.

Fresh-Faced Twitter.com

I just visited twitter.com to discover their landing page has been redesigned. It’s a nice look, but what I like the most is the login, which drops down from a tab at the top of the layout. Disable JavaScript, and the button simply directs you to the old Sign In page.

They’ve also swapped out accolades from the likes of Wire and TIME, for three lists of trending topics—topics trending now, today, and this week. Still far less going on across the page. Even fits nicely on netbook-sized screens (at least 800×600)!

There is now a search field, which has a lot of focus, perhaps catering to those who would rather “see what others are tweeting” than log in and tweet.

With the large percentage of Twitter users spectating (and sadly, journalists quoting) tweets, regular users skipping twitter.com for their own client of choice, it might be good to take emphasis off the login and place it on search and trending topics.

What do you think?

Adding Books to Coda

Coda Books

I spend a lot of my day (and night [and dreams]) in Panic’s Coda doing web development voodoo stuff. So I found Coda’s built-in reference library to be quite handy, but I felt like it was missing something by only including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. So I added Ruby on Rails documentation, quite pissed that the book’s “cover” didn’t look as much like a book as the rest, which are clearly designed to appear as such.

Well I just quit my whining, when I came across Ray Brown’s Coda Book Cover Template PSD. With it, you can make as many new books of documentation as you’d like, and their covers will finally have a nice polished look to them. Just open the PSD, customize and drag the image into Coda when you create a new book. Have fun!

Coda Clips

Looking for some more ways to gear up your Coda editor? Look no further than Coda Clips. It’ll save you time! Browse and submit your own code clips, with one-click download to your Coda clips collection. Clips available for: HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript/jQuery, WordPress and others. Nice!

Tools for Rails Development on Linux

Hello again! Lately I’ve been learning to use the Ruby language as well as the Rails framework for building web apps. Ruby/Rails are a lot of fun, as are the tools I’ve been using throughout my projects. I’d like to share a few of these tools/tips.

For Rails work, either a simple text editor or a full-blown IDE will do. I’m usually doing something in between. I noticed all over the web in photos and screencasts that many who work on Rails use a Mac-only text editor called TextMate. TextMate seems like a great app–and it’s also enormously popular for that–but I’m just fine using gEdit, the GNOME text editor. That is, after a little tweaking. If you’re able to use gEdit (and that’s anybody now that there are Windows and Mac binaries), try these out:

gEdit Tweaks/Plugins

  • You might want to start by getting all the low-hanging fruit out of the way, like Line Numbering and the dark theme. Context coloring of code will happen on its own when you open/edit a file with the proper extension. Don’t forget about Find & Replace right on your main toolbar.
  • The default set of plugins that come with gEdit are a great start for making the editor work harder for you. Among these defaults (toggled in the Preferences > Plugins menu) are External Tools, which adds to your standard Tools menu, allowing the user to pipe output to a shell command or script, as well as the “Open a Terminal Here” feature and so on. This tool is easily extensible by you.
  • A very essential default plugin is the File Browser panel. When you enable it in the plugins menu and make the left panel visible, this makes navigating the file tree of your Rails project effortless. This tool is huge for productivity. I also think having the file browser open at the left provides a very useful mental reference as you move through your Rails project and focus on making adjustments in the Model, View, Controller framework. The ubiquitous TextMate also offers the same.
  • The Indent tool allows you to quickly indent/un-indent lines of code with either <Ctrl>T  or  <Ctrl><Shift>T. Quite useful.
  • Another tweak that adds TextMate-like functionality is the Snippets plugin. After entering a short tag you specify and using Tab completion (like bash tab-completion), gEdit will insert lines of code you often enter, saving you time and your hands the typing. Even higher productivity, less carpal tunnel.
  • Session Saver helps you be more productive and efficient in editing your Rails project, by saving all open files as a session. You can even name the sessions and keep track of many, as your workload increases.
  • And finally, the indispensable Terminal. This tool sits at the bottom of your gEdit window, completing your Ruby on Rails work environment. The terminal is great for running Ruby scripts, generating app components, debugging, and starting the application server–all without moving away from the file tree on your left and any open text files.

You will find all of the plugins I mentioned in gEdit by default, or with the addition of the “gedit-plugins” package from the repositories.

Firefox Add-Ons

Of course, no web developer’s arsenal would be complete without a few very effective Firefox Add-ons. Here’s what I’m using…

  • Firebug (but you probably have this already) to edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page. ‘Right-click > Inspect Element’ is probably the fastest way to find out what I’m working with in unfamiliar code.
  • YSlow for diagnosing performance problems in your web apps. Note that this requires the Firebug Add-on.
  • SQLite Manager for working with the SQLite databases created and used by my Rails apps. This is an excellent tool for quickly examining data you are working with on pages in your browser. You can view and update records in a snap with the SQLite Manager.
  • Screengrab lets you take screen shots of entire web pages or just a certain section, and save it to a file or your clipboard. This is nice for storing and sharing a snapshot of your Rails App, without worrying about cutting off the bottom as with a regular screenshot.

I hope you find some or all of these tools to be helpful in your Ruby on Rails development. They only add to the fun and ease of use that Rails provides. If you have any questions or something to add, please leave a comment or use other methods. Good luck!

BackTrack 4 is Debian/Ubuntu-based!

Of course, while I’m in the middle of writing about nUbuntu and singing its praises for being based on Ubuntu (I discovered this fact using methods of rocket science), I find out the beta release of BackTrack 4 comes along with some fantastic changes.

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OpenOffice Easter Egg: Space Invaders

open-office

While reading an article on pcmag.com, I came across a fun feature hidden in OpenOffice. Unfortunately this feature isn’t a button you press to make it as fast as Gnumeric

Run OpenOffice.org’s Calc (found here), and enter =GAME(“StarWars”) exactly that way into any cell in your blank worksheet. When you  do, a window pops up with a simple space invaders game, for the wasting of your time.

True, a much better version of the classic Space Invaders could be found elsewhere on the web as a flash game. But on a network where these types of sites are blocked content, it could… come in handy? Personally I’ve always preferred  Galaga.

Then again, OOo most likely would not be implemented in a corporate/education environment. Not to generalize. :D

Palm SSH: Secure Shell for Palm OS

pssh

My Palm T|X just got a new lease on life thanks to my servers. Why, you ask? Continue reading

Countdown to Ubuntu 8.10

Here I am, 5:30AM, awake and sitting at my computer waiting for the upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10. What is wrong with me. Continue reading

Linux in the Funnies

Here are some of my favorite comic strips that mention Linux. Plenty of Foxtrot, and some Dilbert at the end. Click to enlarge for best results. I hope you like them!

For more comics like these and some laughs on Linux, go to my source, LinuxToons.

Banshee Let’s You See the Future!

It’s true–and what this young gun media player can do, I have yet to see with any other FOSS equivalent on the Linux desktop.

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Xfce Desktop Environment

Pardon me, but I would just like to brag about my favorite Linux desktop environment, Xfce.

Okay, it’s not as pretty as GNOME (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder), and perhaps not nearly as configurable as KDE. All conceded. But like anything else you fall in love with, it need not be the best in every category or everyone’s favorite–its unique features made you a silly fanboy and you just can’t help but love that, too.

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Impressions of Fedora 9

Earlier this year, May marked the release of Fedora 9, just five years since the Fedora Project began. While the release is hardly breaking news in the Linux community, I have to cover Fedora 9 myself–I’m just too impressed. Continue reading

Esquire magazine uses ‘E-Ink’

It takes a licking and keeps on ticking

So it seems that everyone who owns a 75th anniversary issue of Esquire magazine, complete with the novel E-Ink cover, is selling it on ebay for $40.

But not me. I’m keeping mine. Nevermind the fact that I haven’t bothered reading it yet.I’m just too good to sell out like everyone else. Literally.

Besides being worth a bit, the E-Ink display seems to be quite durable. I’m hesitant to try anything on my own issue, so follow the link to see what conditions others have subjected the device to.

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