iPhone Apps on the Cheap

I’m always on the prowl for cheap (read FREE) iPhone apps, and finding a simple source for such is no easy task, at least in my searches. Unfortunately, all the sites I’ve found that cover this type of information are so full of ads and poorly designed, it’s impossible to actually find anything useful. I have however recently discovered at dealmac.com a RSS feed specifically for discounted iPhone/iPod Touch apps.. I can’t say that I’ve actually found any great deals yet through it, (I haven’t had a chance to play the recent “Let’s Golf!” game posted today), but it’s a start. And don’t get me wrong, I have no problem paying for a quality app, and do so with perhaps too regular of frequency, but still like finding a deal when I can, especially on games, which I know I’ll only play a few times, or very rarely.

Do you have any sites or feeds that you’d care to share? Tips on finding apps on sale?

Mzingi Ported

I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon by a comment left here on the site that my first Habari theme, Mzingi, had been ported to another CMS, WolfCMS. Though I’ve since passed Mzingi off to the official Habari project, and is now owned by the community and part of the official download, it’s a bit rewarding to see it deemed worthy of porting. You can see a demo of it in action as a WolfCMS theme.

It’s also nice they gave attribution on the official site. I’d not heard of the project before, seems like a young project that is a fork of another CMS project, but their site describes the project as something akin to Habari.

How About Giving Me Some Credit Hosers

You’d think “Canada’s best magazine”, The Walrus would at least link back to my bookmarks if they are going to use my graphics in their post about Infinite Summer. Heck, they didn’t even change the name of the image from the 5x bookmark file. Real professional Nav, real professional…

At least they didn’t just hotlink to the image in my post.

Clean Home Theme for Habari

It’s always great to see new themes released for Habari, even if they are ports. Florian has ported the WordPress theme Clean Home to Habari. The theme’s name aptly describes the design, a clean, black and white two column design with contrasting red headings. The theme seems to be coded for trunk, that is, using the areas feature. One thing I noticed is that the theme still has some cruft from WP, calling for a dynamic sidebar (widgets) with some text that also references a text widget and and admin options. I of all people can understand though of wanting to get something out before working out all the kinks, so I’m sure he’ll update it as soon as the areas/blocks feature is fleshed out a bit more. I also don’t speak German, so it’s quite possible he references that in the post announcing the release.

Firebug Add-ons

I’ve recently been using Safari 4 beta, mostly because I had been too lazy to get more RAM, and Firefox was just too damn slow with all the apps I’d have open on only 1 gig. Now that I’m at 4 gigs, I’ve been contemplating going back to Firefox, especially with the comments I’ve been reading about the speed improvements of the next version (3.5??). Another reason I’ve been contemplating going back to Firefox is that Firebug is just far superior to Safari’s built in inspector. To that end, I’ve recently come across two add-ons for Firebug.

The first, Firefinder, is a handy tool to “find HTML elements matching chosen CSS selector(s) or XPath expression”.

The second is one that Google previously used internally. Today they open sourced it and released, Page Speed. Page Speed allows developers to “evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them.”

Excellent Design Bookmarklet Suite

Lately I’ve been contemplating switching to Safari, as Firefox still seems to be a memory hog, especially since I tend to leave my desktop on for days at a time. With the improvements to the developer tools in Safari 4, there’s less and less reason for me to hang on to Firefox. Couple that with this bookmarklet suite of design/development tools I just discovered, and the excuse of having to use Firefox for it’s superior developer tools flies right out the window.

The suite includes a configurable grid overlay, a ruler overlay, a measurement tool to determine distance between two points, and a cursor crosshair tool (I’ve not found how to use this one effectively, but it could be useful for figuring placement when using position: absolute).

I can’t speak to how Firebug and the Safari tools compare regarding javascript, as I don’t do much with javascript, save using various jquery plugins.

WhatTheFont for iPhone

””/Perhaps not perfect, but certainly works (I tested it by taking a pic of my latest AT&T bill, it recognized the logo and returned Humanist 777 Bold Condensed). I’ve often seen an advertisement while out and and about and wondered what the font face was, now I’ve got a fighting chance to find out. Currently free and a .1 release, one can only imagine it will improve.

The app basically allows you to take a pic, use your finger to crop the image to just highlight the text, and then it uploads the font to their server. It then does what the web app does, compares the image with some kind of OCR and has you confirm that the corresponding characters are correct. Once you approve the recognition, it returns the font(s).

Pretty nifty little app if you ask me.

Hat tip to Inman

Free LED Football for iPhone

mattel_footballI must have worn out at least 3 of Mattel’s little hand held football games when I was a kid. Probably had another 2 confiscated from teachers for playing it during class.

So it’s no surprise that I’m stoked to see that there is a game for the iPhone heavily influenced by said handheld, and it’s free this weekend to boot. TouchGrove is offering their version based on the game, (oh yeah, there was a sequel that was kick butt) until February 2. Normally only $0.99, this seems like a great marketing plan, as they offer several other games based on similar hand held devices. For instance I wouldn’t have known that they are working on a baseball game based on a similar handheld which I totally will buy!

Download LED football from the App Store.

hat tip MacAppers

Free Tracks from Amazon

Kottke points out that Amazon has free music for download, and checking out the list, I see that the title track from my favorite album of 2008, Gaslight Anthem’s ‘59 Sound is among the tracks available for free. Also on the list is a track from another of my top albums of the year, David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Strange Overtones.

All in all, there are over 500 free tracks, though at quick glance, the bulk of the list are lesser known artists.

iLife09 Up-to-Date Program

So my mac mini took a dirt nap on Friday, (I’ve yet to fully diagnose the problem, suffice to say it won’t boot, and I wasn’t able to find the hard drive in target disk mode) so I purchased a new iMac to replace it. Unfortunately, iLife09 wasn’t installed on it, but I’d already read that I’d be eligible for a free upgrade. Well, it seems iLife09 will be available tomorrow. What sucks is that I’m going to have to pay the $10 for shipping and handling for the disc. I can’t just go into the Apple Store with my receipt and get a copy that they will be dropping into boxes, even though I made the purchase 4 days prior to the release. Certainly not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but as much as Apple prides itself on it’s retail experience, this seems to slip through the cracks. Couple that with the less than obvious link to the page you actually need to claim your copy, and I start to get the feeling that they aren’t really making a priority to get the copy in the hands of owners of new machines. From the press release, it took me 3 more pages to actually find the link to qualify my purchase and upgrade, which included going through the Apple Store. Maybe rather than try to push MobileMe or a printer bundle, the salesperson could have provided me with this information?

Comment Feed Fixed

Little did I know that I needed to create a separate feed for comments at Feedburner for it to actually work with the Feedburner plugin for Habari. So if for some reason you wanted to subscribe to site wide comments vs a single post, it’s now working. I’ve also added recent comments to the sidebar, complete with a spiffy excerpt of the comment. Thanks to whomever created the summarize function, it only took a PHP n00b like myself a couple of minutes to figure out how to have a separate comment content excerpt in Habari.

Protecting the iPhone

Finally made it out of the house after a week of being holed up sick, and stopped off to get a case for the iPhone. First stop was the Apple store, only to be terribly disappointed with the selection. I did however pick up some anti-glare film, which as advertised “provides traction for improved responsiveness”. I was worried about bubbles, but it applied just fine, with only one small bubble, however the anti-glare totally hides it when the phone is on. From there, I hit Best Buy and grabbed an inexpensive, utilitarian silicone case. It’s quite sufficient for now, at least until I get a dock, not sure it would fit in one, though it’s a fairly thin sleeve. I’d highly recommend the anti-glare film to any iPhone user.

A Headline Right Out of The Wire

In a case of life imitating art imitating life the Baltimore mayor was indicted on 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office. I can see Lester Freeman and his crew heading the investigation, Bunk and McNulty laughing about the headlines as they pass a bottle of Jameson’s in an empty lot.

And from reading the article, it sounds like the mayor and her attorney are taking pages right out of the Clay Davis/Clarence Royce playbook.

Man, that was a great show, I really look forward to another project from Simon.

Color of the Year

In doing some research for design trends in 2009, I stumbled upon Pantone’s 2009 color of the year. PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, a “warm, engaging yellow…no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow”. Interestingly enough, COLOURlovers has relatively few palettes tagged mimosa, and of those few are inspiring.

I’ll admit color and color theory aren’t my strong suit, I tend to rely on Color Schemer Studio and sites like COLOURlovers. I did put together this palatte based on mimosa.

mimosa palette

Twitter Productivity

Twitter Productivity. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Well, with the recent announcement of i want sandy’s demise, I came across a Twitter bot that actually seems like a productive tool for the Twitterer. Timer allows you to simply follow it, in which it then follows you. Then you simply send Timer a direct message to remind you of something upcoming, ie, d Timer 60 call client X. You’ll then get a direct message 60 minutes later reminding you to call client X. Seems it only recognizes minutes, so I’m not sure how efficient it is for reminding you of something past the short term, but it’s still an interesting tool. Couple the concept with the fact that the developers of i want sandy are now working for Twitter, we might see similar type tools integrated into Twitter.

Words of Wisdom

Without getting into the whys and hows this statement came about, I find it very simple, yet poignant and applicable to many of life’s situations.

We’re still learning to walk, and we’re going to trip every now and then and sometimes when we run, we’re going to fall on our faces. But as long as we get up, try again, and learn something from the experience, in the end, skinned knees and all, it’ll be worth it.

Thanks Sean.

edit – might I add, I’m in a new-ish romantic relationship, which very recently hit a bump, and perhaps this analogy hit home there more than anywhere.

Mac SVN Monitoring Widget

SVN Notifiier is a handy little Mac Dashboard widget that, using Growl, will notify you when a local working copy is out of date. I’ve not quite gotten the “sticky” notice to work, but I just might need to edit the actual Growl settings.

Still, it’s nice to be able at a glance check your dashboard, or see a little growl notice pop up.

Apple Drivers in VMware Fusion

I think with the help of a google search and Scott Gruby, I’ve figured out how to use my bluetooth keyboard in VM.

Finally, I found a reference to inserting the Leopard DVD while in Windows. I tried this and when I did, the BootCamp driver installer came up and installed my drivers. Perfect; why couldn’t VMWare say something about this on their website?

Thanks Scott and I agree, why isn’t this documented somewhere.

Edit 8/1/08Seems you also have to disconnect the USB Bluetooth Host Controller to get it to work. Something about only one OS can control the device at a time, so the machine gets confused when the two are both connected. Disconnecting the controller, shutting down the XP install, then restarting VMware Fusion finally got it working.

Prism for Mac

Prism for mac is out. Those not familiar, it’s Mozilla’s Webrunner app, which basically gives you a stripped down browser to run web apps in, so that you don’t have to keep multiple tabs/windows open in your browser, perfect for things like gmail, Basecamp, insert your favorite web app here.

TextMate and Projects

I really, really, really love using TextMate, but I one feature I feel is missing, is the ability to set a project to open on launch. More often than not, I’m using TextMate in conjunction with Transmit, and have a project set up to keep temp files from Transmit collected together, using tabs, vs 12 open windows. I’d love for that project to be set to open on launch, vs the preference now of just being able to open a blank file.

Feeds and Feedburner

Having some issues with feed after installing feedburner plugin. The feed link in sidebar is to feedburner, if you so desire to subscribe, use that link for now, I’ll figure out what I’ve done wrong soon enough.

*editStill issues, so feedburner is deactive for now.