Egg Freckles Latest news from Egg Freckles Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:54:56 -0400 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:54:56 -0400 PieCrust 1.2.0 Soldered to the Board (Thomas Brand) genius Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:02:17 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Firmware" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>The following list details the first Macintosh in its form factor to have its memory soldered to the logicboard.` Every Mac that has followed in that form factor has continued in this trend. Can you see a pattern developing?</p> <ul> <li>MacBook Air (Mid 2008, MacBookAir1.1) 2 GBs</li> <li>MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012, MacBookPro10.1) 8 or 16 GBs </li> <li>MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012, MacBOokPro10.2) 8 GBs</li> <li>iMac (21.5 inch, Mid 2014, iMac14.4) 8 GBs<sup id="fnref:notes/soldered-to-the-board-1"><a href="#fn:notes/soldered-to-the-board-1" class="footnote-ref">1</a></sup></li> <li>Mac mini (Late 2014, Macmini7.1) 4, 8, or 16 GBs</li> </ul> <p>Only the 27-inch iMac, and Mac Pro still have user-replaceable memory, and even these models include proprietary parts that are departures from their predecessors.<sup id="fnref:notes/soldered-to-the-board-2"><a href="#fn:notes/soldered-to-the-board-2" class="footnote-ref">2</a></sup> To anyone who thinks Apple&#8217;s move to integrated components is a fad soon to be reversed, think again. The days of the Macintosh II, and &#8220;user-upgradable everything&#8221; are over. If you see your computer as more than a sealed appliance, you are no longer Apple&#8217;s customer. But you are missing out on a great Mac.</p> <div class="footnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn:notes/soldered-to-the-board-1"> <p>The iMac (21.5-inch Late 2012, iMac13.1) had 8 or 16 GBs of RAM in 2 non user-servicable slots, located behind the logic board.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/soldered-to-the-board-1" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> <li id="fn:notes/soldered-to-the-board-2"> <p>Both the current 27-inch iMac, and Mac Pro contain proprietary storage and graphics, when previous models did not.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/soldered-to-the-board-2" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> </ol> </div> Yosemite Treasures (Thomas Brand) apple Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:53:52 -0400 <p>I am not a fan of OS X&#8217;s new look, I don&#8217;t keep my documents in iCloud, and I don&#8217;t own an iPhone. Yosemite&#8217;s colorful new icons, iCloud Drive, and Continuity features do little for me. On the surface it would appear there are very few reasons why I should upgrade to the latest version of Mac OS X.</p> <p>But OS X Yosemite is more than just makeup, online storage, and mobile integration. Here are a couple of <a href="">Yosemite&#8217;s hidden treasures</a> that might interest Mac OS X fans like myself who are not completely sold on the rest of Apple&#8217;s ecosystem.</p> <p><strong>Dictation</strong></p> <p>Star Trek showed us a computer that could answer our every command. With each new release, Mac OS X gets one step closer to reaching that fantasy. When Siri made its debut to the Mac in Mountain Lion, one of the loudest criticisms was that it did not understand enough commands; especially while editing text. Now with the release of Yosemite, Mac OS X understands over 50 editing and formatting commands for Dictation.</p> <blockquote> <p>So you can turn on Dictation and tell your Mac to bold a paragraph, delete a sentence, or replace a word. You can change your mind as many times as you want to.</p> </blockquote> <p>And if that wasn&#8217;t enough…</p> <blockquote> <p>OS X Yosemite includes a new Automator template for creating voice-activated workflows, available whenever and wherever OS X dictation is used.</p> </blockquote> <p>OS X Yosemite is far from Star Trek. But for the first time Mac users will be able to issue extensible commands and edit text using only their voice and without the need of expensive third-party voice recognition software.</p> <p><strong>AirDrop</strong></p> <p>I won&#8217;t be using Yosemite&#8217;s Handoff features to move anything from iOS to my Mac, but I may be using Yosemite&#8217;s new Apple ID authenticated AirDrop feature to move files fast between my laptop and my desktop.</p> <blockquote> <p>Automatic download When you use AirDrop to send a file between two devices that have the same Apple ID, the file is automatically downloaded on the receiving device, making it quick and easy to send files between two of your own devices.</p> </blockquote> <p>Faster than Dropbox, no wireless network required, more convenient than beaming a business card from my Newton.</p> <p><strong>Family Sharing Calendar</strong></p> <p>One of the hardest parts of running a family is picking a calendaring solution. With Mac OS X Yosemite the choice is easy, and all of your family members can see the same events without having to sign-up for a third-party service.</p> <blockquote> <p>A family calendar is automatically set up in Calendar for all members in the Family Sharing account through iCloud. Each member can see and edit events.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Batch Rename</strong></p> <p>I can&#8217;t tell you how many times I have setup the same Automator workflow just to quickly rename some files. Now with OS X Yosemite, Batch renaming files is built right into the Finder.</p> <blockquote> <p>Quickly rename a set of files in the Finder. Select the files and choose Rename. You can also add custom text and numbers to each filename.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Mail Drop</strong></p> <p>Sending large attachements over email is another task I use Dropbox for. But with OS X Yosemite, and iCloud takes care of the heaving lifting so I can concentrate on my correspondance.</p> <blockquote> <p>Mail Drop makes it easy to send large attachments — perfect for sharing videos, presentations, and folders of images via email. With Mail Drop, you can send messages of up to 5GB.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Auto Shapes</strong></p> <p>Finally one of the Newton&#8217;s most impressive features makes it way back to the Mac.</p> <blockquote> <p>You can use your trackpad to draw shapes, and Preview will intelligently tidy them up.</p> </blockquote> <p>Don&#8217;t be surprised if you find a stylus shipping with future MacBooks.</p> <p><strong>Video Support</strong></p> <p>For years iOS has been able to play videos on popular websites without the need of plug-ins like Flash ot Silverlight. Finally Apple is bringing that feature back to the Mac without spoofing the user agent and tricking the browser into loading the mobile version of a webpage.</p> <blockquote> <p>You can watch Netflix, most YouTube videos, and content from other video sites in Safari without plug-ins.</p> <p>With energy-efficient native video playback for Netflix, Safari lets you watch Netflix videos for up to three hours longer than before.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>SMB 3</strong></p> <p>Mavericks made Microsoft&#8217;s SMB 2 the default way to share files on Mac OS X. OS X Yosemite supports the latest in Windows file sharing, SMB 3.</p> <blockquote> <p>SMB 3 provides end-to-end encryption to protect data and secure communication on untrusted networks. SMB 3 in OS X Yosemite uses AES-CCM for encryption to ensure that communications between client and server are private.</p> <p>OS X Yosemite supports persistent handles for transparent failover and reconnects to enterprise SMB 3 file servers.</p> </blockquote> <p>If you work in a Windows environment SMB 3 is a big deal. It keeps your communications safe and your fileshares mounted, even after your Mac wakes from sleep.</p> <p><strong>Auto-Install OS X Updates</strong></p> <p>Mavericks gave users the choice to have their App Store purchases automatically updated each time a new version is released. OS X Yosemite now supports the same choice for system and security updates, keeping you Mac up-to-date.</p> <blockquote> <p>You can choose to have OS X updates installed automatically after they have been downloaded. Your Mac will restart and appear just as you left it.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Projector Calibrator</strong></p> <p>Far too often connecting to the meeting room projector is still a task that requires a call to the IT department. With the release of OS X Yosemite, Apple hopes to make those calls a rare occurrence.</p> <blockquote> <p>When using a projector, an onscreen calibrator allows you to fine-tune the projected image for the room’s lighting conditions.</p> </blockquote> <p>Now if only Yosemite could come with an infinite number of Mini Displayport adapters. I know our IT department goes through them like candy.</p> Security Screws (Thomas Brand) genius Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:43:48 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Tools" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>The new <a href="">Mac mini (Late 2014)</a> has no upgradable Memory. Its 4, 8, or 16 GBs of 1600MHz LPDDR3 are soldered to the logic board. A suction cup is required to remove the Bottom Cover. Six T6 security screws are required to remove the Antenna Plate. Each security screw must be replaced before the Mac mini can be reassembled.</p> <p>Locking customers out of their computers is not a first for Apple. It all started in 1984 with the release of the Macintosh 128k, which had no slots and was bolted together. It makes sense when a computer contains no user serviceable parts. The only upgradable part in a Mac mini (Late 2014) is its Hard Drive. An Apple Certified Macintosh Technician must remove the Power Supply and Logic board to replace the Hard Drive.<sup id="fnref:notes/security-screws-2"><a href="#fn:notes/security-screws-2" class="footnote-ref">1</a></sup></p> <p>I know this because I am a <a href="">Apple Certified Macintosh Technician</a>. I have access to the Apple Service Manuals. I do most of the Macintosh repairs at MIT. And I am the one who told Brian Stucki, the founder of Macminicolo, <a href="">the RAM in the new Mac mini (Late 2014) is not upgradable</a>.</p> <p>If you are thinking of buying an Apple computer, choose your hardware wisely. You won&#8217;t be able to upgrade at a later date.<sup id="fnref:notes/security-screws-1"><a href="#fn:notes/security-screws-1" class="footnote-ref">2</a></sup> All of your computer&#8217;s repairs will be performed by an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician. Your computer will be either be glued shut, or screwed up tight. None of the hardware will be user serviceable anyway.</p> <p>If this bothers you, <a href="">build a Hackintosh</a>, buy a Dell, or complain to someone else. You are not Apple&#8217;s customer. But you are missing out on a great computer.</p> <div class="footnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn:notes/security-screws-2"> <p>There is a shock hazard, and fragile logic board connectors that must be observed.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/security-screws-2" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> <li id="fn:notes/security-screws-1"> <p>With the exception of the Mac Pro (Late 2013), iMac (27-inch), and MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012), which have upgradeable memory.&#160;<a href="#fnref:notes/security-screws-1" rev="footnote" class="footnote-backref">&#8617;</a></p> </li> </ol> </div> Newton Clock (Thomas Brand) newton Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Newton Clock" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>The <a href="">Apple Watch</a> won&rsquo;t be the first mobile timepiece released by Apple. The Newton Clock debuted in</p> <p>1993, and included the following revolutionary features missing from even <a href="">the most advanced timepeices of the day</a>.</p> <p><strong>Day &amp; Night</strong></p> <p>The Newton Clock came in two fashionable styles; one for day and one for night. The border of the clock would change automatically to its corresponding style depending on the hour. 6:00&#160;A.M. &ndash; 6:00 P.M. gave you the daylight border. While 6:00 P.M. &ndash; 6:00&#160;A.M. gave you the nighttime border. No matter the time of day the Newton Clock was only in style.</p> <p>I only wish it could have been a little more sensitive to the seasons. Using the Newton&rsquo;s built-in almanac maybe the nighttime border could be set according to season and geographic location, instead of a hard twelve hour transformation. Perhaps in a future software update?</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Daily Alarm</strong></p> <p>By tapping the simulated <a>Flicp Clock</a> interface, a user could set a dedicated daily alarm. &ldquo;Tap the upper half of a number to increase it; tap the lower half to decrease it. Tap a letter to change from am to pm and vice versa.&rdquo;</p> <p>Features included turning that alarm on or off. Only a single daily alarm could be set a time, and the daily alarm sound is a digital alarm and can&rsquo;t be changed. &ldquo;When the daily alarm goes off, the Clock appears and you hear the digital alarm sound. You hear the sound for approximately one minute, or until you tap X to close the Clock.&rdquo;</p> <p>Users who require multiple alarms could setup events with alarms in the Newton&rsquo;s Dates application.</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Minute Timer</strong></p> <p>Almost as though it was an egg timer from the future, the Newton clock could count down a specified number of minutes ending with an alarm. &ldquo;After the set number of minutes has elapsed, the timer sounds and a message appears. If you want the timer to go off again, tap Snooze and, in the list that appears, tap the number of minutes. Tap X to close the slip.&rdquo;</p> <p>How many minutes does it take to boil and egg again?</p> <p style="clear: both;"><strong>Time/Date</strong></p> <p>Set the time, month, and year, then tap X to close the slip.</p> <p><strong>Options</strong></p> <p>Options include setting a twelve or twenty-four hour clock. The change would not be reflected in the clocks twelve hour face, but in the upper-left corner of the Notepad. User&rsquo;s could also access the Clock by tapping the time and date in the upper-left corner of the Notepad instead of searching for it in the Extras drawer.</p> <p><strong>Time Zone</strong></p> <p>A sibling to the Newton Clock is the Time Zone application. User&rsquo;s could use this application to tell the MessagePad which city they are located in. User&rsquo;s could also set a second time zone for traveling, or get information on specific cities and countries.</p> <blockquote>At the top is your current time zone, based on the worksite information. To change this, tap the diamond. In the list that appears, choose the worksite you want as your current time zone. To choose another city, tap Other City. In the slip that appears, tap a city, then tap X to close the slip. A second time zone is listed near the bottom of the Time Zones slip. You can set this if you travel or want to see the time and date for a particular city. The distance from your current time zone is also listed.</blockquote> <p>A user can even add additional cities including their location, Greenwich Mean Time Offset, and preference towards Daylight Savings Time.</p> <p>If a user deleted a city that already existed (one they did not add), they could only get this information back if they perofrm a hard reset. I never like Paris anyway&hellip;</p> <p>Using the Time Zone application it is possible to show two clock faces at the same time.</p> <p style="clear: both;">The Newton Clock, a trendy portable timepiece made before its time. It may not seem like much now, but I can gaurentee you one thing. On four AAAs, or one NiCd re-chargeable battery pack, it gets much better battery life than any Apple Watch. Did I mention its available in green?</p> <blockquote>Don&rsquo;t leave your MessagePad without batteries for more than one hour. The MessagePad maintains backup power using a super capacitor that can maintain a charge up to one hour. If you remove the batteries for a longer period, the super capacitor charge could become depleted, and you may need to reset your clock and calendar information on the MessagePad.</blockquote> Zero All Data (Thomas Brand) genius Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Disk Utility" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>You’ve probably heard that you need to overwrite a drive multiple times to make the data unrecoverable. Many disk-wiping utilities offer multiple-pass wipes. This is an urban legend – you only need to wipe a drive once.</p> <p>Wiping refers to overwriting a drive with all 0’s, all 1’s, or random data. It’s important to wipe a drive once before disposing of it to make your data unrecoverable, but additional wipes offer a false sense of security.</p> <p>How to Geek explains why <a href="">you only have to wipe a drive once to erase it</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>To understand why the <a href="">Gutmann method</a> isn’t necessary for all drives, it’s important to note that the paper and method were designed in 1996, when older hard drive technology was in use. The 35-pass Gutmann method was designed to wipe data from any type of drive, no matter what type of drive it was – everything from current hard disk technology in 1996 to ancient hard disk technology.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a Mac Genius, one of the things that used to bother me most, was customers who insisted the defective hard drives on their computers be wiped multiple times before being returned to Apple. What a waste of time watching a bunch of machines wipe their data 35 times when a single pass would do the job. Today the answer is clear, either protect your data with whole disk encryption like <a href="">FileVault 2</a>, or destroy the drive.<sup id="fnref:notes/zero-all-data-1"><a class="footnote-ref" href="#fn:notes/zero-all-data-1">1</a></sup></p> <div class="footnotes"><hr /><ol> <li id="fn:notes/zero-all-data-1"> <p>Do to the consumable nature of flash storage, no SSD should ever be subjected to multiple wipes. In fact the very <a href="">wear leveling</a> techniques designed to protect SSDs can render the destruction of data by overwriting zeros useless if sensitive data has been written on a block that has already been retired. The only way to protect an SSD is to encrypt it prior to saving your sensitive data.</p> </li> </ol></div> Newton Keyboard (Thomas Brand) newton Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Newton Keyboard" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Apple has a long history of on-screen keyboards.<sup id="fnref:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1"><a class="footnote-ref" href="#fn:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1">1</a></sup> But few have played as important a role as the multitouch keyboard in iOS. In fact, I would go so far as to say the multitouch keyboard is iOS&#8217; most important feature. For without a reliable input mechanism, iOS would be little more than a media-centric mobile operating system, and not the leader of the app revolution it is today.</p> <p>In contrast, the on-screen keyboard that came with every Newton MessagePad was never as important as the on-screen keyboard in iOS. Apple said it themselves in their <a href="">Newton UI Keyboard Guild</a>. The Newton on-screen keyboard always played second fiddle to the pen.</p> <blockquote> <p>In the Newton OS 2.1 interface, users should be able to operate all controls and input all data solely with a pen. A user may attach a keyboard to facilitate entering text, and may use keyboard commands to operate some controls. Keyboard commands are always alternatives to operating controls by tapping with a pen; they should never be the only method of giving a command.</p> </blockquote> <p>Still that&#8217;s not to say the Newton OS keyboard didn&#8217;t have its uses, and in some ways it is even more functional than the on-screen keyboard in iOS.</p> <p>For starters when the <strong>shift</strong> isn&#8217;t tapped, all of the characters on the keyboard are represented in their lowercase state.</p> <p>And the differences between <strong>option</strong>…</p> <p>and <strong>shift-option</strong> are clearly visible.</p> <p>The Newton on-screen keyboard was never a replacement for the pen, but even without multitouch it could still be used to enter information with the tip of your finger. The context-aware number pad was a useful feature for entering phone numbers and performing quick calculations on the go.</p> <p>Starting with the release of iOS 8, Apple will begin letting developers take a crack at designing their own <a href="">third-party keyboards</a>. Maybe it should come as no surprise that the Newton enabled third-party on-screen keyboards more than two decades earlier.</p> <blockquote> <p>The <a href="">FITALY One-Finger Keyboard for the Newton</a> is a stand-alone utility usable as an ergonomic replacement for the standard QWERTY on-screen keyboard.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Newton will always be known as that &#8220;<a href=""> little scribble thing</a>&#8221; to some, but it is hard to deny the important features Newton OS pioneered for mobile on-screen keyboards.</p> <div class="footnotes"><hr /><ol> <li id="fn:notes/newton-os-keyboard-1"> <p><q><a href="">Key Caps 1.0</a> is a fairly useless Desktop Accessory. It&#8217;s useless because when you press a modifier key (Shift, Command, or Option), Key Caps doesn&#8217;t change to show you the special characters associated with that modifier.</q></p> </li> </ol></div> Docklings (Thomas Brand) history Sun, 24 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Dock" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Yesterday, Stephen Hackett described <a href="">the transformation from System 7&#8217;s Control Strip to today&#8217;s Menu Bar extras</a>. But he left out one often-overlooked stage of Control Strip evolution; the Dockling<sup id="fnref:notes/docklings-1"><a href="#fn:notes/docklings-1" class="footnote-ref">1</a></sup>.</p> <p>Page 229 of Dan Frakes&#8217; <a href="">Mac OS X Power Tools</a> describes the Dockling.</p> <blockquote> <p> In early versions of Mac OS X, Apple provided small Dock-based applications called Docklings. These applications didn&#8217;t have any menus in the menu bar, and you couldn&#8217;t even switch to them&mdash;they existed only in the Dock, and all their functionality was provided via their Dock icon and menu. </p> </blockquote> <p>The three Docklings that shipped with <a href="">Mac OS X 10.0</a> provided similar functionality to their corresponding classic Mac OS Control Strip modules; display resolution, Airport signal strength, and battery life. Despite the Docklings private API, third-party examples of Docklings quickly became available. But by the time <a href="">Mac OS X 10.1</a> was released, &#8220;many of the features that made Docklings so popular&mdash;such as custom Dock menus&mdash;were available in normal applications.&#8221;</p> <p>The Dockling was short-lived, but its legacy lives on in the contextual menus and live icons our docked applications enjoy today.</p> <div class="footnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn:notes/docklings-1"> <p>Can you blame him? Stephen Hackett was only 9 when Mac OS X was first released.</p> </li> </ol> </div> Public Beta (Thomas Brand) history Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:37:25 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Public" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>Earlier this year, Apple announced the availability of the <a href="">OS X Beta Seed Program</a>. Allowing anyone with a valid Apple ID to try-out pre-release versions of OS X. Up until the <a href="">announcement of OS X Yosemite</a>, the OS X Beta Seed Program wasn&#8217;t very interesting. But <a href="">starting tomorrow</a>, Apple will begin distributing pre-release copies of Yosemite, the next major version of OS X, to the first million people who have signed up. This marks the first time the public has had access to a pre-release version of an Apple operating system in over 14 years.</p> <p>The first <a href="">Mac OS X Public Beta</a> was released on September 13th, 2000 for the price of $29.95. It came on a single CD, accompanied by the following message.</p> <blockquote> <p>Dear Mac OS X Beta Tester, You are holding the future of the Macintosh in your hands.</p> <p>Mac OS X is a new, super-modern operating system that will usher in a new era for the Macintosh. New from the ground up, Mac OS X is specifically designed for the Internet and includes advanced technologies for incredible improvements in stability and performance. It also features a stunning new interface called Aqua.</p> <p>This Public Beta will give you a chance to start using Mac OS X and give us a chance to hear what you think. Let us know by visiting our website at</p> <p>Thanks for your help and for being a part of Apple history. We couldn&#8217;t do it without you.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Mac OS X Public Beta allowed users to preview key Mac OS X features including <a href="">preemptive multitasking</a>, <a href="">protected memory</a>, and the <a href="">Aqua user interface</a>. It included many of the standard Mac OS X applications, including <a href="">TextEdit</a>, <a href="">Preview</a>, <a href="">Mail</a>, <a href="">QuickTime</a>, and the <a href="">Terminal</a>. The Mac OS X Public Beta was the first consumer release of Mac OS to include a command line interface. Included with the Public Beta, but not in any subsequent versions of Mac OS X, was a <a href="">simple MP3 player</a>. iTunes had not been introduced yet.</p> <p>Native third-party applications for the Mac OS X Public Beta were few and far between. Early adopters had to turn to open source or shareware alternatives, giving rise to an active homebrew software community around the new operating system. The poor state of the <a href="">Carbon API</a> contrasted with the relative maturity of <a href="">Cocoa</a>, giving rise to an anti-Carbon bias among OS X users that still persists to this day. Legacy Mac OS applications were restricted to the <a href="">Classic Environment</a>.</p> <p>The Mac OS X Public Beta expired in Spring 2001, following the official release of <a href="">Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah</a>. Owners of the Public Beta were entitled to a $30 discount on the price of Mac OS X. But due to demanding system requirements, many opted to wait before adopting Mac OS X as their primary operating system. It wasn&#8217;t until the introduction of <a href="">Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar</a>, and <a href="">Quartz Extreme</a>, that Mac OS X would start to feel snappy.</p> <p>The differences between the first Mac OS X and Yosemite are great. But Apple&#8217;s motivation behind releasing beta software to the public is still the same.</p> <blockquote> <p>To make the next version of OS X our best yet.</p> </blockquote> <p>Here&#8217;s to &#8220;holding the future of the Macintosh in your hands.&#8221;</p> Blixt (Thomas Brand) review Sat, 07 Jun 2014 16:00:47 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Blixt" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>I met <a href="">Bryan Clark</a> and <a href="">Jesse Herlitz</a> during last year&#8217;s WWDC. Under the cover of darkness, in the backroom of a bar, they showed me the beginning of a brand new client for <a href=""></a>. By combining slick animations, colorful transparencies, and intuitive natural gestures, they created an app the looked at home on Apple&#8217;s new iOS 7; introduced just days earlier. Today, after a year of refinement, <a href="">Blixt</a> has finally made it to the App Store.</p> <p>Instead of re-envisioning how an iOS application should look, Blixt has reinvented how an iOS application should behave. Users are no longer content navigating their apps the same way they browse their address books. Being pulled along a string of endless lists tied together by the Back button. Instead Blixt takes a new approach. Giving users full screen content in stacks they can shuffle using just their fingertips.</p> <p>Think of Blixt as a stack of playing cards. Want to get more information on a particular post? Tap the entry and a new card comes to the top of the stack. The post you just tapped travels with you to the new card using a simple sliding animation. Swiping from the left returns the top card back to the stack and repeats the sliding animation in reverse. By using simple animations like these Blixt reminds users of their position within the stack.</p> <p>Each new card is its own full screen view of a conversation, profile, or reply. There are separate stacks of cards for your timeline and mentions. Accounts and settings can be accessed by swiping from the left. The iOS title bar shows unread counts, and status updates. A search field can by revealed by pulling down on a timeline or conversation card. The only visible control on each card is a large circular post/reply button in the lower left. The rest of the screen is dedicated to content. It is easy to forget Blixt is an application, and not just a series of colorful cards painted on your iPhone&#8217;s screen.</p> <p>Unlike other applications that offer a choice of font or theme, Blixt lets the people you follow control the experience. The background of each card is colored with a blurred reproduction of the conversation owner&#8217;s cover image. By following more people there is an even greater chance to make the next card look different than the last, and for Blixt to become a whole new experience every time you launch it.</p> <p>Blixt doesn&#8217;t do private messages, and Like <a href="">Ben Brooks I found a pretty bad bug</a> when you tap on a post with a link it. Normally missing features and bugs on a version 1.0 wouldn&#8217;t mean much, but by being built on the, <a href="">Blixt may have a short time to live</a>.</p> <p>From the <a href="">icon</a> to the scroll, Blixt is one of the best iOS experiences I have had in some time. At this point it isn&#8217;t optimized for iPad, but with the upcoming features coming to iOS 8 I expect it to eventually work on an iOS device of any size. It is a shame Blixt&#8217;s life may be cut short by the loss of, but I advise anyone with or without an account to <a href="">try Blixt out today</a>.</p> Stop Syncing A Folder In Dropbox (Thomas Brand) genius Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:56:22 -0400 <p><img src="" alt="Dropbox" title="" class="dither" /></p> <p>My first post on Egg Freckles covered how to sync almost any folder on your computer using <a href="">Dropbox and symbolic links</a>. I couldn&#8217;t imagine a reason why someone would want to put a folder in their Dropbox and not sync it, until <a href="">Stephen Hackett asked the question</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p> Is there anyway for a folder to be in a Dropbox sync’d directory, but not synced itself, and reside only on the local disk? </p> </blockquote> <p>The answer wasn&#8217;t available in 2010 but it is now, <a href="">Selective Sync</a>.</p> <ol> <li> Create a new folder inside your Dropbox folder in the same location of the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync. </li> <li> Rename the folder you just created to the name of the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync. </li> <li> Use Dropbox&#8217;s Selective Sync preference to disable syncing for the folder you just created. </li> <li> Watch the empty folder you just created disappear from your Dropbox. </li> <li> Now move the folder you don&#8217;t want to sync to the same location inside your Dropbox as the folder that just disappeared. </li> </ol> <p>Dropbox will continue to ignore this folder until you either rename it, delete its ghost copy from the Dropbox website, or disable Selective Sync.</p> <p>It turns out Stephen Hackett came up with the <a href="">same solution for his iPod Photo Cache folder</a>.</p>