The Ianternet and Popup Fiasco are back, and they’ve joined forces. I’ve rolled these hitherto separate blogs into one, because:

  • maintaining two blogs is time-consuming, and

  • joining them up makes it look like I’ve written more.

2013-10-04 18:14:47 +1000

I’d like to interrupt this extended period of inactivity to announce a modest update of Ease and Wizz. Version 2.0.2 squishes a bug that caused the inBounce behaviour to look exactly the same as the outBounce behaviour, annoyingly.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve changed the colour of the type in the popup menus to white – for the legibility, innit – and added a few tooltips for when you’re idly hovering over menus while querying their raisons d’être.

Grab it! Grab it NOW!

Update: Thanks to Simon Bronson I’ve reverted the type back to its darker shade, due to the small matter of it being completely illegible in CS5. I should’ve known that black never goes out of style.

2012-10-11 15:37:36 +1100

If you’ve upgraded to After Effects CS6, you might have noticed that the whole thing crashes when applying certain easing types via Ease and Wizz. But there’s good news: Adobe have released an bug-squashing update that fixes it right up.

You can read more about what’s covered in the 11.0.1 update, or just go ahead and fire up Adobe Updater to grab the latest and greatest.

2012-05-30 12:46:47 +1000

Usually when you want to record a keyboard shortcut for Textmate, you just click in the “Key Equivalent” box and type the shortcut. However this seems to be currently broken in Textmate 2 (which is in alpha, at the time of writing).

However, you can type in specific symbols to assign the keyboard combination you’re after. It took me a while to discover which symbols did what, and I couldn’t find anything about this on the ol’ Google, so thought I’d record it here for posterity.

<code>@ : command
~ : option
^ : control</code>

And you can include the shift-key by simply typing in a capital letter.

For example, to add this keyboard shortcut:


… you’d use:


… in the “Keyboard Equivalent” text field. Note that the order seems important, too – the caret has to come before the at-symbol, in this example.

Update: I’ve just downloaded a nightly build of Textmate and … the old behaviour has been restored ;)

2012-03-06 14:24:38 +1100

Nate Anderson, at Ars Technica:

Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, is a sharp guy with degrees from Cornell and Harvard Law. When we’ve spoken in the past, Sherman has shown a keen grasp of the issues. But as head of a major trade group and lobbying association, Sherman is not above hand-waving demagoguery, a trait on full display in yesterday’s strangely angry New York Times op-ed.

In it, Sherman throws down the gauntlet. Not interested in playing the “humble” card, Sherman apparently believes he’s going to get better results in his quest to revive something like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) by resorting to rank insults. He follows the line of attack carved out by MPAA boss Chris Dodd, who last month called the anti-SOPA Internet blackout “an irresponsible response,” “an abuse of power,” “a dangerous and troubling development,” and a “gimmick.”

The MPAA and RIAA reaction to the groundswell of popular opinion will probably be studied in communications textbooks for years to come as “what were they thinking?” case studies. For now, though, it’s just baffling on a practical level. This is going to get tech companies and the public on board with tougher copyright enforcement? Good luck with that.

I don’t pretend to know a great deal deal about online freedom – I blithely, naively trust that the EFF and their ilk will keep us all safe from an Orwellian dystopia. That said, it’s not a bad idea to keep up-to-date with the titanic struggle between copyright holders and the rest of the world, and in that spirit I’ve been inspired me to dust off the ol’ blog and to share this article with you. Stick with it for the metaphor involving poisoning chipmunks.

2012-02-14 20:57:26 +1100

My iPhone 3GS died after trying to install iOS 5 on it. Really, it just gave up the ghost completely. I had managed to jailbreak it and get it to the home screen, but then it would just spontaneously reboot. It was like watching someone drowning in a sea of esoteric console output, only to make it to the surface for a breath … and slowly sinking back into the inky depths of monospaced jargon.

However, what I didn’t realise is that when you perform a backup of your iPhone through iTunes, it copies your photos too – I thought it just copied apps and settings. So the pics that I thought were gone forever were hiding in obscure, encrypted files right there on my hard drive (I had performed a backup of the iPhone before the attempted upgrade, of course).

So after reading this this MacObserver article, which gives you two options for rescuing pics, I downloaded Picturescue (a measly five bucks) and now I have 592 MB of photos back on my hard drive. No movies, but I’ll regard that as penance for not keeping on top of my backups.

The original link was courtesy of the excellent MacTalk.

2011-11-17 12:41:10 +1100

Recently I’ve been using a search engine that provides a compelling alternative to Google. It’s called DuckDuckGo, and its main selling point is, simply, privacy. They make a very good case as to why your online privacy is important.

Google remains significantly faster, and has features, such as autocompletion in Chrome, that DuckDuckGo doesn’t currently match. But if you’re concerned that Big Internet is compiling a dossier on you, and you aren’t quite prepared to forgo your digital lifestyle by becoming a goat herder in Kazakstan, this is a great alternative. (They even have an iPhone app.)

2011-11-05 11:49:09 +1100

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

The world would be a very different place were it not for Steve Jobs.

I was fortunate enough to begin my love affair with all things Apple back in 1990, at my first job. I’ve praised, cursed, coveted, fucked up, fixed, dropped, lusted over, and spent my entire adult life using their products ever since. I fended off advances from Windows users to join them and rule the galaxy together, even when Apple was in the wilderness and on the verge of bankruptcy. Something about their products – and their philosophy – felt right.

The key to Steve’s success, it seems to me, is that he remained focused on the user. Right back at the launch of the original Macintosh in 1984, its tagline was “The Computer for the rest of us”. When Apple’s competitors were covering their laptops with stickers and pre-installing useless software, Steve’s vision of simplicity prevailed: what would the user want? Jobs described a computer as a “bicycle for the mind”, which sums it up, for me. A computer is a tool for people to create with, not an end in itself.

He upended the entire planet. He was a genius, and the world is a richer place having had him.

2011-10-06 15:30:38 +1100

Ease and Wizz is useful for quickly applying preset motion curves to your keyframes. However, it only lets you apply one easing type per property (expoOut to position, for example). What if you want to have expoOut at the start of the animation, and expoIn at the end?

There are a couple of alternatives:

  • Split your layer, thereby duplicating it and getting a fresh set of properties to apply an expression to.
  • Parent your layer to a null (or more than one null), and apply the easing to the null’s properties.
  • Apply an instance of the “transform” effect, and apply the easing to that.
  • Use ExpressionTimeline to mix and match your expressions.

Alternatively, it’s possibly to hack together an Ease and Wizz expression to allow more than one easing type on a single property. And that’s what I’ve done here, as an example:

ExpoOut then

Create an expression on the property you want to apply it to (option/alt-click the stopwatch), then paste in the contents of this document. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go into the source of Ease and Wizz and paste in any easing function in place of expoOut or expoIn.

2011-10-01 15:04:37 +1000

Boy Has Birthday

Because it’s a Friday and I’m in an absurdly good mood for some reason, I thought I’d show you this, the birthday invitation to my 20th birthday party. I painstakingly recreated the front page of The Dominion, which was Wellington’s morning newspaper way back when there were two daily broadsheets covering a city of just 300,000 people.

Click the image to make it, you know, bigger.

Things of note:

  • At the time, I had only ever heard the phrase “Armed Offenders Squad”, and had taken it to be “Armed Defenders Squad”. As in, these people are out to defend us. Hence the reference to the AOS in my invite was actually supposed to be a joke.
  • In the bottom right you can see my brother, Jeff, standing in for Bill Clinton and brokering peace in the Middle East. I went on to repurpose that image into a campaign poster for Jeff when he ran for school council at Wellington College – the strapline was “VOTE HAIGH. You know it makes sense”. He won.
  • Meena’s Dairy (under “Coca Cola Sold”) was a popular place for students at Victoria University to pick up junk food and cigarettes. As I recall it, their sign was defaced by a disgruntled customer to read “Meeny’s Dairy” – a move that I heartily endorsed at the time.
  • I printed these out at my workplace (The Bromide Express), carefully cut them out with a scalpel, and hand delivered them all on my scooter. My scooter ran on an electric toothbrush motor, so it took hours. Evidently a couple of people just thought this was a clipping from the newspaper, such was the quality of my forgery, and didn’t actually come to my birthday party.

2011-07-22 14:58:46 +1000