Author Archive for

22
Mar
08

The Not-So-Long Goodbye (and hello)

After more than 2 years, quite a few posts, dozens of themes and a lot of fun, this blog is leaving wordpress.com.  The blog’s URL (www.acrossthepod.com) will remain the same, but you will now get sent to our new wordpress installation over at dreamhost.  Our feed shall also remain the same (feeds.feedburner.com/acrossthepod).  Thanks to the wordpress guys, i have only seen features grow while i was here, not once was this site down, and overall this was the best experience possible to teach me how to use wordpress.  See ya! 

22
Mar
08

New Episode in the works!

After a few months work, a lot of emails, and strangely enough, a lot of ichat usage: the next Across The Pod episode is officially in the works.  It will be a round-table discussion with me, Alex Lindsay and John Foster.  It should be good, we are recording on the 28th march, and the show should be released a few days after that.

21
Mar
08

Scribbling with Scrivener

Word processing is a traditionally utterly mundane task.  Just lay out your document exactly the way it will appear on paper, write it, and print it.  Microsoft word is the titan of this area, dominating well over 70% of the market.  However, a few growing niche alternatives exist, such as Apple’s Pages (’08), which i switched to recently in order to leave MS word behind.  It was an easy transition, and the prowess of pages at its job astounded me.  Pages is still fundamentally a “word processor”  though, and after i discovered a piece of software called “Scrivener”, i have left pages behind too, in favor of Scrivener.  

  • The actual typography and writing tools of Scrivener are very polished, and a very handy full screen mode offers distraction free writing when needed, but this is besides the point.
  •  There is something fundamentally different about Scrivener compared to other software products in its class- Scrivener is designed to write content.  In many cases, the finished product is not what you see, as i write this, i don’t need to write it in the exact same fashion that it will appear on the site (something which effectively, all word processors do), i just need to have good writing tools.  Scrivener offers a variety of templates for novels, radio drama’s and plays, as well as the obligatory “blank”.  The key to the operation is the one-window nature of the application.  Within one window (and quite importantly, one application) i can store an entire project, its chapters, notes, and even research i have done for the article.  This is what sets scrivener apart, scrivener is not a word processor, it is a content processor.  Later, when you want your work exported to the required format, scrivener’s export function takes care of producing an exported file to the users specifications.  Regrettably,  Scrivener can not handle files from Apple’s Pages directly when importing.  What is most frustrating is seeing the potential scrivener has, but only being able to access what it has now, to really complete the package, Scrivener could really do with some templates for other types of contents such as columns and online articles, as well as an additional plug-in to directly post Scrivener articles to web-sites (such as wordpress and moveable type) via the XML-RPC standard. Overall, Scrivener is a revolution in content creation, but could do with just a tad more work. 

  • Star Rating: 4/5
  • Link to developer 
  • 08
    Mar
    08

    Blogging Fluidly

    I just started using fluid.app .  It’s a small app for mac that makes Web-Kit based SSB’s (Site Specific Browser).  In other words it makes a cocoa mac app for your website based on the same great technology of safari.  I used it to create a little app for the wordpress admin for the website.  This functions perfectly, and works great, because while i love word press’s advanced admin and posting features: i hate that they are confined to the web browser (and don’t really want marsedit).  So know i have the desktop blogging app i always wanted.  The apps are real cocoa apps with scripting and automator support, and can be handed around just like normal apps if you want.  I know some people who’ve used fluid to create desktop iterations of google reader, and before i tried fluid, a friend of mine sent me one, and i didn’t even know it was built with fluid, it even had a custom icon (which fluid supports)

    08
    Mar
    08

    The New Direction

    As many of you will know, the podcast that goes with this blog has kind of been stop-start for the last few months.  That’s mainly because i’ve been experimenting to find our niche in podland (wherever podland actually is).  Well, i think i’ve found it.  In future the show is probably going to be a round-table discussion of well known tech people (and me) just “geeking-out” and talking about cool stuff we like.  This sort of thing has seeped into other shows, but to my knowledge, there is no show dedicated to it.  So there you go, our next episode, and the first one as part of our new direction, will be released within 1 month, so head over to iTunes and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it!

    23
    Feb
    08

    Spotting the “SLR Shot”

    When i take photo’s i like to think of the “SLR Shot”, think of a photo that you would want printed and hung on a wall, having this mindset helps you take much better photos, landscapes and scenery in particular.  Also, going through your old photos once in a while helps too, as this can help you realize the value of something that, at the time seemed like an OK photo, was actually a great one!

    23
    Feb
    08

    Delayed…

    The next episode of the show has been delayed, until my voice chords start working again, i don’t feel as bad as i sound, but its not worth talking like this….