The best camera – update

Back in 2013 I wrote a blog post (since taken offline) about my disagreement that modern smartphone cameras “make compact cameras obsolete.” My premise being that for many types of photo – just about anything of an object out of reach – the lack of optical zoom is a severely limiting factor.

Later I purchased what I call “the hundred dollar camera” and have been carrying this in the bag I take to work every day, and sometimes – when I remember – in my pocket. My goal is to find and capture scenes that are simply impossible to capture on a phone, using a device that’s just as pocketable and super cheap.

Not realising potential

This is a follow-up to my previous post and came about due to a discussion I had on that post with a friend.

One of the basic issues I identified with the cut-and-paste situation was that the touch interface is having to deal with an “old school” model of text editing that came, in fact, from the days before the mouse. However, I came to realise there are things that a touch interface should be really good are still hamstrung by old ideas.

Trucks and cars

There has been a recent resurgence of discussion in the Apple commentator’s world about the future of the Mac. In many cases, the discussion turns to how well, or not, iOS can take the place of macOS for many types of work.

I love my Mac and would hate to see it fade away. I’ve always had this feeling that some basic tasks are just more intuitive and simple on a Mac than on iOS but until a few days ago I couldn’t come up with any concrete examples.

Design iOS icons in Affinity Designer

I’m a recent convert to Affinity Photo, so when a special offer came up for Affinity Designer, I leapt at the chance. I’ve not done much more than mucking around to learn Designer, but while doing so I figured it’d be a great tool for designing the type of strong, bold icon I need for my (planned) iOS apps.

That got me thinking about the standard icon grid of golden ratios and the all important squircle corners. Having used a Photoshop template in the past, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. I ended up basing it off an SVG design from German software company Kodira.

Towards enterprise

In a recent episode of the Accidental Tech PodcastJohn Siracusa said something that really resonated with me. In reference to the unfolding drama of Smile Software moving to a subscription model for their Text Expander product, someone had mentioned maybe their intent was “to move towards ‘enterprise.'” John’s response was along the lines of “I hope not, because moving towards enterprise means moving away from quality.”

I’ve been living with this fact for the last while at work and it can be soul destroying.

What a laptop should be

Back in January I wrote about returning to the fold of desktop computers with the purchase of my 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display. After four and a half years with a MacBook Pro (2011, 15″) I was not in love with the laptop concept.

In that post I said I didn’t see myself returning to a laptop for my primary computer, which inferred what I had and have been thinking – a laptop as a secondary computer was still appealing.

A week ago I decided to make that leap and what I found surprised me.

Trying out Google Photos

I’ve been hearing a fair bit lately about how amazing Google Photos is at intelligently identifying the subjects of photos. On numerous podcasts I’ve heard about people searching for “hugs” and “dogs” and “patios” and getting “astonishing” results. So I thought I’d give it a go.

Me too, Apple

Marco Arment wrote about it. Friends Scott Willsey, and Allison Sheridan have written about it. I’ve lost count of the number of podcasts I’ve listened to in the last while that have discussed it. Apple’s software is not living up to fairly basic expectations – that it do what it says on the box. Every time.

Mostly I’ve tended to think “yeah, they have a point, but it’s not so bad as I see it.” Today I’m writing this blog post because it is bad as I see it and it’s getting beyond being simply disappointing.