Personal Code

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I'm working on a "self-help web app", and today I'd like to formally announce its existence (so far I've only told a few friends, and linked to it on Twitter).

The site is called Personal Code. The blurb on the home page describes it like this:

Conditional Image Resizing with Photoshop and JavaScript

Often I find myself having to do a lot of bulk image processing when I'm working on websites: resizing a bunch of pictures to a certain width or height, color adjustments, and sharpening, usually. It can be the most mind-numbing part of my work, and I'm always looking for ways to avoid that.

In Photoshop, you can use actions to help you automate a lot of repetitive work. However, the shortcoming I've found with actions is their lack of conditional behavior. For example, let's say I have a big batch of images, some portrait-oriented (taller than they are wide) and some landscape-oriented (vice versa), and I want to resize each of them to fit within a 500 x 500 pixel square. If the image is portrait-oriented, then I need to resize proportionally, setting the height to 500 pixels. If it's landscape-oriented, then I should resize proportionally with a 500 pixel width, instead of height. I've never found a good way to do this with a single action. But where actions fail, JavaScript comes to the rescue.

So Many Projects

Aside from HourPatch, I've started development on a self-help web app, and an iPhone app that's going to take the world by storm. And then of course, there are the projects I have to work on to actually pay my bills. Busy, busy.

Any iPhone or Rails developers out there that want to work on a cool idea (for free, until we start making $$$)? Hit me up...

HourPatch is Here

A few days ago, I quietly launched HourPatch. It's now available for public signup at www.hourpatch.com. From the promo site:

Why HourPatch?

Because you have a schedule (or many of them) that people want to make reservations on, and you want them to be able to do that quickly and easily, and maybe according to some rules you've made.

Try it out.

HourPatch is Still Coming...

It turns out I was overly optimistic about the launch date for HourPatch, but rest assured that work is still progressing with the project! For the moment, I'm not going to wager making another prediction on a launch date.

Most of what remains to be done is on the business end of things: I'm still searching around for some legal and financial advice concerning the logistics of releasing a subscription-based web application. It's a different world from that of doing one-off projects for clients.

I Thought That I Was Suddenly So Popular

Today, Google Analytics is telling me that, over the past two days, there's been a surge in traffic for sphericle.com, where I occasionally post music that I've made. The site usually gets a few hits per day, but on Friday it had 60 visitors, and Saturday saw 180! Great news, right? I wondered, how did this happen? Where are these visitors coming from?

HourPatch

Update: HourPatch is now available to the public. Try it out at www.hourpatch.com

For the past few months, I've been working quietly on a web application that I've named HourPatch.

Development Hosting on Your Mac

I'd like to share how I go about hosting development versions of websites on my Apple laptop (it's a 12" Powerbook G4). These instructions should work for anyone running OS X 10.3 and up (probably even earlier versions, as well). I'm talking about the regular OS X, not OS X Server.

The goal for these instructions is to be able to run a local version of a website, under a domain name of your choosing. Incredibly useful for development.

Collective Playlist

Collective Playlist is an ongoing web-based art project that I got involved with a couple of months ago. From the website:

What is the Collective Playlist?

TOPICAL PLAYLISTS
A series of playlists organized by artists, curators and other cultural producers.

PUBLIC STREAM
A collection of user-contributed Mp3s linked from across the internet and made available as one streaming m3u file.