Hourly Comic Day 2018

Posted 1 week, 4 days ago.

After missing it last year, I added a reminder to my calendar so I would remember Hourly Comic Day as it approached this year. So on the 1st of February, I created a short comic to document every hour of my waking day and posted them to Twitter.

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Maintaining Sanity by Preloading App Data for Screenshots

Posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

Preparing screenshots for new versions of GIFwrapped has always been something of a hands-on process for me, despite using fastlane’s snapshot tool. Each time, I’d have to build GIFwrapped to a bunch of simulators, load a set of GIFs into each one by hand, then run my screenshots script.

Theoretically, this would be where Xcode’s xcappdata bundles would come in super handy, but since they don’t really work in simulators, they’re not very useful. Oh sure, the option is there and it totally works for actual devices, both for running tests and for debugging… but literally nothing happens for the simulator, which is less than ideal. There’s already a bunch of radars around this issue, so hopefully we’ll see it fixed at some point.

In the meantime, rather than continuing to struggle through that monotony, I decided to set up some code to handle it all for me. Because what even is life if you can’t automate away your annoyances?

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All Good Things

Posted 1 year, 22 weeks ago.

Out of the three podcasts I’ve done so far, Topical is one of the most fun I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. This is in part because of my co-host, Russell, who I will continue to consider a close friend, long after this show is forgotten by everyone else.

It’s also because of the nature of the show: we’ve learned a lot about each other and about the world simply by having discussions. We didn’t always get things right, or come to the right conclusion, but we took the journey, and it was both enlightening and satisfying.

As is the eventual nature of everything, however, Topical is complete. I’m not saying that we’ve covered everything we possibly could have, or reached the end of things that we could talk about; neither would be true. We’ve simply come to the point where circumstances prohibit us from continuing, and while it’s sad (I will miss our weekly conversations), it’s also exciting to consider what is in store.

Thank you for listening, for caring enough to make us a part of your week, and most of all, thank you for having feelings about the end of this show. It’s been an incredible honour, and we’ll remember it until the robots take over and kill us all.

I Tried AppCode so You Wouldn’t Have To

Posted 1 year, 52 weeks ago.

Today’s episode of Mobile Couch is basically the story of my experience using JetBrains’s AppCode in the last few weeks. I had so many notes for the episode (which seriously never happens, I’m lucky to have half this on a normal episode). So I figured, hey, why not throw this up on my blog?

And here we are.

This is by no means a COMPLETE review. I tested under my typical working conditions, as part of my “normal” workflow, which differs from person to person. If any of these features sound enticing, I suggest downloading the trial yourself and using it for at least a week. Your experience might be different!

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iPad Pro, for Illustrators

Posted 2 years, 11 weeks ago.

The last iPad I purchased was the original iPad mini. When I got it, I was excited by the prospect of having a smaller device that would be easier to carry about; given that its size is roughly equal to some of the (paper) notebooks I already carry around, I thought it might be a better match for me than the 10”, 3rd-generation iPad which had preceded it. As always, however, my excitement over new tech subsided and I discovered that I used it less and less.

Now that I’ve had my iPhone 6 plus for over a year I’ve realised why: what I really wanted was a device that was both iPhone and iPad. One device to rule them all, so to speak. This, I think, has always been iPad’s failing point: the ecosystem is so similar to iPhone’s that many will find themselves questioning the need for both devices. As soon as that question rears its head, the battle is lost.

Obviously, the exception here is the iPad’s screen. Being as large as it is, it should make the device an excellent illustration tool, but I always found the experience ever-so-slightly lacking. The styluses have always felt imprecise, and palm rejection has never been amazing. This made drawing with the tablet feel like drawing on a whiteboard, which isn’t something I necessarily enjoy.

My decision to purchase an iPad Pro was reluctant to say the least. I obviously have no love in my heart for the iPad, but the idea of the Pencil brings its own excitement, albeit a cautious excitement. My track record with iPad styluses so far has been lacking, so would this be any different? Is the iPad even capable of being a device for professional illustration work?

I decided to buy one and trial it for a few days before I really made my decision. I mean, I could go into the Apple store and try one there, but I didn’t feel like I’d really be able to grasp the limitations without using it in my regular workflow, which I can’t do in-store. If all else failed and my fears were warranted, I could simply return the device (Apple’s return policies are quite amazing), and never look back.

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