hjertnes.blog

Redesign

18.12.2014 01:00

My old design have finally been put to sleep, where it belongs. I was never happy about it. The old one was just ment to do one thing, work until I had the time to implement something better. And it’s finally here.

The process was simple. I started sketching down some ideas last month. And then I moved on to writing a few words about what I wanted.

This design is different from what I have done in the past. I spent a long time figuring out what I wanted. But I also wanted to try something different.

I wanted something that did as much as possible, with as little as possible. The result is a design that just rely on a basic structure and type.

This is what I have done

  1. I restructured the post style, to make it work better with linked post. And I implemented symbols to show that something is a linked post(the arrow) and a true permalink symbol ∞.

  2. Then I moved the menu to where I prefer it to be.

  3. My next step was to make sure the basic structure, and that everything I needed, and nothing more, was in the template.

  4. I set up the margins, to make sure things looked right. This was one of the major issues with my old design. It was too hard to see if something was a blog-post title, or just a header in the post itself.

  5. My last step, and the largest one was to set the type. I wanted both the structure and the text to look just right. And I think I have it.

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The real App Store problem

12.12.2014 01:00

There have been a lot of unfortunate events with the iOS AppStore review team since iOS 8 came out. Some people blame the review Team, while others blame the lack of communication between them and the marketing(editor picks). I think both of them are wrong.

Apple shouldn’t do what they have been doing. Which is: make it hard to make cool stuff with their new API’s. And they shouldn’t just make exception for developers that are big enough to get media to back them. The thing Apple should do is ot make the guidlines better.

Let me explain what I mean with better. Should be clearer. And it should be more like a consitution. This is what both the developers and the reviewers have to work form. Both have to follow them. If Apple want to have a App Store with bleeding edge software, that are pushing the limits of the platform, then they have to do things in a different way.

  1. Don’t pull apps that have been accepted to the store, unless you have a very good reason for doing so.

  2. If you see something you don’t like, that dosen’t break the guidlines – update them. And make the developer change it in the next update.

  3. Make sure the guidelines provide the right constraints. Avvoid the bad stuff, and foster the great apps we have seen in the past.

Developers need the security to know that they you don’t remove something they worked on for a year, after a few days. Think like this: you need to live with it, in 910 situations, until the next update, if you accept it into the store.

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Relay.fm

01.12.2014 01:00

Relay.fm have been running for a while now, and I thought it was about time to write about their shows, and why you should listen to them.

  • Analog(ue). Was a brand new show at Relay.fm. This is one of my favorite new shows this year. Myke Hurley and Casey Liss, from ATP talk about all the “touchy feely” things. It’s a great show.

  • BONANZA!. This is new show on Relay. It’s hosted by Myke Hurley and Matt Alexander. This show picks up, where Bionic left off. The only word that could describe it weird. The good kind.

  • Clockwize used to be a IDG show, and was brought over to Relay when Jason Snell left Macworld. It’s a short show, with two regular and two guest hosts. A great concept. And a great show.

  • Connected started as the 512 podcasts, and was renamed The Prompt when 70Decibels moved to 5by5, and Federico Viticci from MacStories joined the show. It’s one of my favorite tech shows.

  • Inquisitive is the next incarnation of Myke’s interview show. It started out as The Brow Show, then CMD+Space. This is without doubt one of the best interview shows out there.

  • The Pen Addict is the show for everyone that likes stuff like pen and paper. Brad Dowdy of PenAddict.com is the Gruber of pen and paper. You should check it out, if you have any interest in pen and paper; or if you want to get into it.

  • Upgrade was another new show right after the network launched. Jason Snell and Myke Hurley talk about tech. My only thought when it launched was – finally. Jason Snell is a brilliant writer. And this have become one of my favorite shows.

  • Virtual. I’m not really into gaming. But you should check out Virtual if you are. I listen to it now and then. Frederico and Myke talk about gaming.

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My backup post.

28.11.2014 01:00

I have written about backups many times before. But I still know a lot of people that never do backups. And I think I know why. Every time I have written about backups I end up with a huge list of things people should do. I have also read a lot of similar posts.

This is the post where I tackle everything, and divide everything into different stages.

The first stages will go through the bare minimum that I believe that everyone need to have. It won’t cost much, and it’s a bare minimum setup. Then I’ll move on to what I think is a very good and adequate backup solution. Before I finish the series with my advice on a little bit more crazy backup solution.

The first step

The first step into the world of backup should be something simple, something easy; something that just gets you started.

I’m just going to explain how important backups are, before we move on. Most people that really care about backups have experienced major data-loss at some point. And you should be smarter than us, and do something about it right now. You hard drive will fail at some point; or your operating system might fail so badly that you need to re-install it; your file system could also fail; but the most annoying thing is when somebody steal your device, or something like a fire breaks it.

OS X

I think moving into some kind of online backup is the first step. It don’t require much money or knowledge. There are many alternatives, but I think Backblaze is the best option. I have used it for many years, and it just works. You get unlimited backups for $5 a month, per computer. They are one of the few providers that actually mean unlimited: you can backup all your data, no storage limits. And everything is uploaded as fast as your connection allows.

It’s also easy to restore backups on Backblaze. You can restore single files or folders in their web-interface, or order a USB drive with your complete backup if you need it all.

iOS

We don’t have the same options when it comes to iOS, there are more or less one option. And that is the built-in backup solution. USE IT. You can backup 5GB for free. Enable it on your iPad and iPhone; and make sure everything is safe.

But I don’t have anything.

I know a lot of people that claim they have “everything” in some kind of cloud syncing solution. Trust me, there are always something that wasn’t synced. Or isn’t where you expected it to be. A solid backup isn’t expensive, and it might save your bacon at some point.

A good backup strategy

OS X

The next logical step is go have a solid local backup. This dosn’t require much money. Just get a external drive. I always go for a drive that is at least twice the size of my system. So, I use a 1TB drive to backup a 256GB SSD.

Just plug it in, format it; and configure Time Machine; and wait for it to complete. And Time Machine will back up your system every hour or something as long as the drive is plugged in.

This makes it very easy to restore single files, or moving to a new computer. I have used it when I’m upgrading to a new model, or when computers have failed on me. You just plug in the device, start the new computer and tell the installer that you are restoring from Time Machine. And wait for a few hours; depeding on how much data you have.

iOS

There are not much you can do with iOS. But I always connect my iPhone and iPad to my mac and make a manual backup with iTunes once a month.

iCloud should be enough. But it’s such a time saver to have a local copy. Always do it before updating or restoring your phone.

Going crazy

You should have a pretty decent backup strategy by now. But there is no such thing as “too many backups”. I have three backups, plus a lot of stuff that is kept in Dropbox and Evernote. I have one copy of everything in Backblaze, I have a Time Machine backup. And I clone my system to another drive with SuperDuper. I mainly do this to have a bootable backups. To have something to work from, if my drive fails.

I also used to have a cloned copy of every single external drive containing something else than backups, back in the day.

Most people have less backups than me, and a some people have more. My personal opinion is that you are pretty secure if you have an online backup, plus a Time Machine backup and a cloned copy.

Different people, different needs.

Remember, any good backup solution should be automatic. Make sure you don’t have to do anything to back up.

Some people use two cloud backups, plus Dropbox, plus many cloned copies and Time Machine. I think that’s a little bit over the top. Just make sure to have a system that are secure enough. So you don’t have to worry about losing data.

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Picture workflow

28.11.2014 01:00

What to do with the pictures I shoot with my iPhone was a big issue for me, for a very long time.

I didn’t want to mix them up with my DSLR pictures. They serve a different purpose. They are more like a memory, than the pictures you make prints from.

And I didn’t want to leave them on my camera roll.

My current workflow is the following, I upload everything to Dropbox with the app; I remove the pictures from my phone. And then, I go through all of them and add the good or important ones to Day One.

The Dropbox upload is something I do a few times a week, while the clearing out my camera roll is something I do about once a month. It’s difficult to answer how often I add the pictures to Day One, I do it when there are a a few hundred pictures.

Then I just delete everything in the camera upload folder.

The reason I ended up with Day One, is because it’s my journal. It’s the place I add everything personal and important. It’s also the app I read and browse in, when I don’t have anything better to do.

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Evernote 6

25.11.2014 01:00

Evernote just released version 6 of their OS X app. And there are a lot of great things about it. For example, the first user interface redesign that looks good.

But, I have some concerns about where Evernote as a company and product is going. They have introduced two new features that I don’t get: Chat and Contexts. I can’t understand how either of them belong in Evernote. There are a lot of better chat solutions out there. And Context in it’s current form is more or less useless; and I also have som Privacy concerns. Context wouldn’t be that bad, if it was limited to your notes.

Anyways. I hope that the company moves back into just improving the product.

The thing I really hope for in 2015 is a real competitor to Evernote. They need it for two reasons: to get their act together and make the service as good as possible, and to make sure they focus on features that are relevant to the product.

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Why I care.

25.11.2014 01:00

I sometimes write about both my thoughts, and problems about making money on apps, podcasts and websites. This might be odd to some people. But the reason is quite simple. I have a website, while I don’t have any podcasts or paid apps. I might get into them at some point. But I would love to be able to make money on my site at some point.

But the real reason I care is that I love the work indies and small companies are doing. For example app companies like Tapbots and Agile Tortoise; podcast networks like 5by5 and Relay; or writers like John Gruber and Patrick Rhone. Just to mention a few.

They all provide something large companies or media houses can’t. Small podcast network or indie podcasters test and do the stuff the large corporations can’t. Small app developers do all kinds of great and interesting things, that large companies can’t; and they can afford to make delightful apps, that target a small audience. While indie writers can do the kind of writing that I love to read; it’s not generic writing; it’s personal, something large websites can’t.

We need both small and large; but we need to figure out how to make both parts of the business sustainable.

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Cannot connect to App Store

24.11.2014 01:00

I spent a large portion of the weekend trying to figure out why I couldn’t access the App Store from my phone. The strange thing was that the step listed at all the sites I visited didn’t work. But I finally managed to find out how to fix it last night.

I’m just writing it up here, to know where to look the next time around. I’m going to include all the usual tips, plus the thing that solved it for me.

  1. Restart your phone.

  2. Hard reset: press and hold your home button and power button until the device powers off.

  3. Reset Network settings: Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset network settings

  4. Force quit the App Store app; double click your home button, find the app store app, and drag it up and out to kill it.

  5. If on wifi: try Celluar; and the other way around.

  6. Reconnect to your wifi network; go in to Wifi settings and “forget” the network, before connecting again.

  7. Reboot your wifi router.

  8. View your AppleId; go to Settings – iTunes & App Store -> Click on your Apple ID -> View Apple ID. This is the one that solved it for me. It asked me to enter my password, and suddenly I was able to use the App Store again.

  9. Restore your phone. This is the last resort. There are times when this is the only option.

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Monument Valley

23.11.2014 01:00

Ustwo released an update to their amazing game: Monument Valley, not long ago. The game is amazing, and the $4 game, with the $2 iAP to get access to new levels is worth it.

It always makes me sad when some people on the Internet start complaining about having to pay for extra features or new versions.

It’s okay to complain somewhere the company behind it can respond. This is unfortunately impossible on the App Store. And we also see the same “1 Star” problem every single time. The amazing thing that happened this time was that a lot of people that love the game, and respect Ustwo went on the App Store and responded with adding 5 star reviews; after they tweeted about it.

Monument Valley is my all time favorite iOS game, and you should go and get it.

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Podcast revenue

23.11.2014 01:00

I just wrote about Serial. They are the fastest podcast to reach 5 million download, according to The Guardian.

I was met with a “please donate” pop up, when I went to their website last night. It’s clear that there are some shows where ads alone might not be sustainable. Too limited audience or large production cost are two possible reasons for it.

I don’t mind ads on podcasts, most of them are good. But I think a combination of ads and listener support is the only sustainable way going forward. Unless we don’t want any experimental or only shows with huge audiences.

Even 5by5 are doing it. I think things like Patreon is great.

I have no idea where this will end, but I hope it is a place where podcasts are funded with a combination of ads and listener support.

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