Making pi

You know what the internet is like. You click on a link on Twitter which takes you to YouTube which suggests another video, which then suggests another and before you know it you’ve spent far more time than you intended at the computer.

That’s the process that landed me on a series of Numberphile videos. I know about Numberphile through another, much longer series of links. I listened to the NosillaCast, which featured Bart Busschots, who co-hosted the International Mac Podcast (no longer active), on which I appeared with Andrew J Clark who recommended The Prompt (since replaced by Connected) which featured Myke Hurley, who started Relay.FM on which he joined CGP Grey for Cortex, where Grey mentioned Hello Internet which features Brady Haran who makes the Numberphile videos!

Cutting to the chase, I watched a whole bunch of Numberphile videos today on all manner of topics including a number which has long held a fascination for me – pi, or π.

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.

The value of photographs

This post is a revision of one I published in 2015. The topic came to mind again as I was discussing my Adobe Lightroom workflows with an acquaintance who is currently making a switch to this software.

The question at hand is how to decide which of your hundreds or thousands of digital photos you should delete and which you should keep. 

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.