📕 Book Review – Jony Ive The Genius Behind Apples Greatest Products

More biographies. More Apple. Jony Ive, who’s been working inside Apple since the days of the Newton, has changed the way we view and work with computers and electronic devices. His new approach to the look, feel and interaction, has shifted us away from “beige boxes” to devices of gleaming white plastic, translucent materials, funky colors, aluminum, and who knows what’s next. His concepts of design language and aesthetic has influenced industries far beyond “tech.” Going from near obscurity in the “basement” design lab of Apple, Jony reached celebrity status. Apple has gone from bulky, uninteresting devices to what many consider works of art. Through this journey we see his process. A process open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. It worked in the past, but it can be done better for the future. Jony iterates over a design hundreds of times, making changes, re-evaluating, and going in different directions if need be. When starting, everything is […]

⌘ Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Productivity at it’s finest.

Since they overlap, which tool should you get, Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Yes to both. Even though they share some features, they provide enough different and complimentary functionality that you won’t regret using both. Use Alfred to quickly launch apps, find files, and perform focused searches. Use the Workflows feature to unlock snippets, clipboard history, quick calculations, access to handy system functions, and customized autocomplete. Those features are built in and ready to use. If you want a bit more power, download application workflows or spend a little time with Shell, Javascript, or AppleScript, and write your own. This is a bit more complex, but can yield some incredible results. Even with a small bit of AppleScript, you can accomplish a lot. Just as easily, call out to Java, Groovy or Python for more complex tasks. Next, use Keyboard Maestro to build custom workflows and application macros. Add batch processing to applications that don’t natively support it. Use the building […]

📕 Book Review – Tim Cook The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level

Continuing my biographical reads, I decided to dig a little deeper into Tim Cook, the man successfully pushing Apple through the trillion dollar stratosphere. What we get is a man who comes from humble beginnings who mastered the art of Just in Time inventory. In fact, he took the concept some say was perfected at Dell, and advanced it by leaps and bounds. Not just implementing the process, but improving, enhancing and adapting it. We also see a CEO with more worldly and charitable views that Steve Jobs. Let’s be honest, Jobs wasn’t concerned about or interested in charity. He felt his contributions to the universe were more than enough. Not Tim. Through Apple, he’s donated hundreds of millions of dollars to different organizations. And not in foreign countries like others, but right in his own back yard. Million to education and other projects. Jobs wasn’t too involved with the environment either. Under Cook, the goal is to make products […]

🖼 Adding CameraBag Photo to my image editing toolbox

The application CameraBag Photo, which I’ve never heard of before, came up in a new releases feed and the description intrigued me. CameraBag lets you instantly apply one of hundreds of beautiful presets to your photos (and videos with CameraBag Pro), and then dive deeper with ultra-intuitive professional adjustments. Among the over 200 included fully-adjustable presets (including landscape, classic film emulation, vintage looks, modern photo styles, and more) are presets specifically designed for portrait photography, and other tools perfectly suited for editing portraits. Wait, that sounds like Lightroom… Turns out, it is. CameraBag is a cost effective, high performance alternative to Lightroom. And by cost effective, it’s $30. At that price it has to be a toy, a cheap knock off, right? No, it’s exactly what Lightroom used to be before it went off the rails and increased in price and bloat. CamerBag Photo is all about color adjustment using Tones, Curves, Saturation, White Balance, and Exposure. Those can be […]

⌘ Batch processing images, even when it’s not supported

This is exactly why I love working with the Mac. With the power of macOS and Keyboard Maestro all sorts of magic is possible. I’m a huge fan of the apps/plugins from JixiPix, especially Spektrel Art and Portrait Painter. To that end, I want to process several hundred images, but the JixiPix apps don’t support batch processing. Fear not, with a little help from Keyboard Maestro, it’s possible to write a macro to handle the job with 99% accuracy. This does take a very small amount of prep work. Spektrel Art needs to be open with an image. A preset needs to be selected. Under Preferences, the Last Saved Location option needs to be checked. And at least one image needs to be saved in the output location. Then within Keyboard Maestro, the macro runs like this. Using the For Each Item in Collection action in Keyboard Maestro, get a list of all the files in the folder. Open that […]