Picnik

Found via TidBITS: Picnik.

From the developers:

People have asked about which tools/languages we use. We use Flash 9/Flex on our client. Our server is Linux, Apache, MySQL and Python. Given our Microsoft systems backgrounds (Darrin and I worked on OS/2 and NT back in the day), this has been a fun and interesting experience.

It’s amazingly responsive, and, from reading the blog associated with it, it’s all only running on one server at the moment… very nicely done.

On Hockey: Bruins give up too much

Surely, surely, this is some sort of cosmic joke:
On Hockey: Bruins give up too much – The MetroWest Daily News:
Now, no offense to Wideman, but I saw him play back when he was with St Louis’ farm club in Worcester, the Ice Cats… and, umm… Dennis Wideman? For Brad Boyes? Really?

I bet Dan the CHB, if anybody points it out to him, would love to jump at the idea that Bobby Orr’s agent Alan Eagleson cursed the Bruins back in the day, and this is why they haven’t won a championship in 86… err, 36 years. In fact, he could just borrow his old Red Sox material, change a couple of names and dates, and he’s good to go. I’m surprised he hasn’t noticed this, himself, yet.
(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Schilling has the backing of the fans?

What? Eric, are you all right? Who the hell are you talking to?

The message to the Red Sox front office from the fans is clear: Sign Curt Schilling.

Just about everything I’ve read has come down on the side of the Sox, versus a talented pitcher who just cannot keep his big mouth shut. I don’t get how that is a clear message to sign Curt… he’s getting on, he’s no longer the number one sole anchor (I suppose you’d hope Daisuke and Josh and Jon Papelbon will form an incredible tandem anchor (wow, how about that, number one starter by committee, forget the ill-fated bullpen by committee idea), and he’s gone the weasel route and started negotiating through the media. No. Thanks for the bloody sock and all, Curt, but no. We’ll see how you’re feeling at the end of the season.

Dot Apps – Writing

These are a few of the tools I use to get some writing done. For Sane Magazine I use a few home-rolled apps to generate the main issue and the horoscopes. They aren’t public as of yet, nor are they even Universal Binary yet. They just work, mostly, and don’t get tweaked too much. Maybe someday. It’s funny, I seem to use considerably less apps for writing than I do for the other things. Well, not funny. Or even interesting, really. Strike that thought from your mind, in fact. It is what it is:

Tinderboxicon Tinderbox – This is such a great knowledge management tool… I used Storyspace back at Vassar with MJ and the HyperCrew, from which Tinderbox inherits a lot, visually. I use the map view, more than anything, to organize my novels (like Lemon Wrestler (Working title), for example)… usually there are a few notes that encompass other notes, working areas, drafts (notes with links to files created by Writer.app), research (notes with clips from webpages or notes on my own or URLs from which Tinderbox will fetch content off a web page for me). There are character, plot, location, and scene prototypes to color my notes certain ways. Entire subnotes for the principal characters and character work and “story behind the story” work that goes in early. I also use it to manage the Q.I. Software web site. It’s a pretty powerful, flexible tool, and using that in conjunction with CSSEdit comes out with something a lot nicer than iWeb produces, for example.

Mellelicon Mellel – Mellel is an excellent word processor. I try to use this as my main word processor because it’s so much lighter and more responsive than MS Word. It’s just as fully featured, and the developers are pretty responsive. All in all, it’s a great alternative to Word (and much cheaper). However, Word being Word, if I send something out to someone, more often than not I give it the old Word treatment before it goes, seeing as it is the de facto standard, and, as good as AppKit’s RTF to Word export is (which Mellel sensibly relies on), sometimes the results aren’t quite what you’d expect. And you don’t want a funny-looking manuscript being the thing that turns an agent or publisher off. No, you want the piss poor quality of writing to do that, at a much slower, more insidious rate.
Writerappicon Writer.app (of course) – Yeah, I hate the icon, too. Why don’t you do something about it and leave a comment? Or drop me a mail? I liked Khoi’s idea of a focused, ultra-focused writing environment that I went out and implemented it. I could use WriteRoom, I suppose, but I think it’s default look and feel puts me off (I know that you can change it), and Writer *really* forces you to just write forward. I do like the idea of having the Edit in WriteRoom service it provides, though.

All icons copyright or so to their respective developers. Especially the Writer.app one.

Dot Apps – Development

For the development apps, more than anything these should not be taken as ringing endorsements… I like these apps, or, at the very least, put up with them. One thing that’s definitely hit me, being away from my former company, is that Java development is not nearly as nice as AppKit development. I’d much prefer to be digging around in Xcode, Interface Builder, Quartz Composer, Shark (a great performance analysis tool!), and agvtool (in /Developer/Tools/agvtool, useful for bumping version numbers in your application) than anything else. But you are what you, umm, get paid for, and so I don’t get to do that all that often these days.

Uibrowsericon UI Browser – This is an excellent tool for finding out what element is considered what in the UI, from an AppleScript point of view. Not being an AppleScript expert, myself, when I need to drop into it to do a certain task, or quickly manipulate data in another app, this thing has proved invaluable a couple times.

Cssediticon CSSEdit – I don’t even edit CSS all that often (thank the heavens), but I bought this app when I moved the Q.I. Software site out of iWeb (for the sake of all your eyes). I needed something more than vim to make the damn thing look nice, so I spring for this, which was nice enough at version 1.x, and is now 50 million times nicer in version 2.0. Nice job, guys.
Subethaediticon SubEthaEdit – I liked this one when it came out, and still have a soft spot for it. I use it now the way I might have used BBEdit on the old Macs – spot html/code editing in which you only want a lightweight editor for the job. The collaborative features I’ve used with dev teams in the past, and are handy to have.

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Dot Apps – General Purpose

As requested, here are a couple apps I use, have paid for, and swear at. Err, by. I’ve decided to break the entries down into: General Purpose, Writing, and Development. I’ve chucked each app, scientifically, into the group I probably use it most for, though it may apply to all the groups (or none of them). It almost went without saying, but these are all Mac OS X apps, and stuff I tend to use nearly every day.

Omniwebicon OmniWeb – the bookmark management, tabs, textarea handling, and site preferences, in which you can set per-site user agent preferences are my big reasons for sticking with this one over Safari. But I’ve also been using this browser since 1996 on OpenStep, so it’s something I’ve always appreciated the fit and finish on.
Deliciouslibraryicon Delicious Library – I had an app that never saw the light of day. It was a little bindings-based book tracker that could have been done easily with a spreadsheet or OmniOutliner or any number of other apps. But it was mine, it was called CharltonPublic.app, and it got me a sollid record of all the books I had to give away when we moved from the UK to Cupertino. And as soon as I saw Delicious Library I dropped that app like a sack of sledgehammers with a greasy handle. The scanner and Amazon integration sold me on this one. The checkin/checkout lending feature is also handy when my dad stops by and makes off with a few books.
Newsfireicon NewsFire – A simple news reader. I love(d) the “Discover Feeds for Current Site in Safari…” when I used Safari everyday. But the recent(ish) fix to the default RSS reader behavior allows me to click the feed icon in the bottom right corner of an OmniWeb window and have it added to NewsFire, so no big loss. I also love the keyboard shortcuts to get around my unread feed items as quickly as possible. NewsFire’s simple interface had this one out on top over NetNewsWire (and definitely over PulpFiction). And that set of RSS tcl scripts from 1999 that I never turned into an app like I said I would. Doh.
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MetaxuCafé Litblog Network: Music and Writing: What Works For You?

MetaxuCafé Litblog Network:

I can’t imagine listening to songs with lyrics (at least in a language I understand) while I’m writing, but I imagine that sometimes a certain tune or whatever will set the scene or tone for what you’re writing.

I’ve been listening largely to classical in the new writer’s room L gave me for Christmas, had forgotten to consider jazz, but it mostly has to be without words. Maybe I’ll give the jazz a shot tonight. For programming I’ll listen to anything, but writing it really needs to be just wordless. That said, I’ve definitely been inspired by some songs to write short stories or more after hearing some music or while just henpecking the keyboard while listening to music (“Destiny Calling” (pdf link), title ripped from the James song of the same name, “A Parable” inspired by “Pale Green Stars” by Everclear (go figure), and, of course, the Spice Girls song at the beginning of the first draft of God Coffee, I Miss You, perpetually in an unfinished state now). With the first two, at least, it was the melody, more than the words, that drove me… captured that certain feeling… I still think of “Destiny Calling” as a Brooklyn story – three storeys up after having finished Timequake (Kurt Vonnegut) in the old apartment on Atlantic Avenue, and “A Parable” as a London/Chelsea story, again, three storeys up in a mansions block, looking out at the Royal Albert bridge at night a few days after September 11th, 2001.

So there you have it.

Netminders Blog – Boston.com

Hear, hear!

Netminders Blog – Boston.com

I’m tired of getting e-mails from hard core, or formerly hard-core fans, complaining about the game. Why does the NHL have this disease, it’s like the League suffers from low self-esteem: what can we change next, we’ve gotta make the nets bigger, we’ve gotta get more scoring, we’ve gotta this, we’ve gotta that. When I was a kid, nothing changed. The game was great, I loved it, I grew to love it more than anything else in the world. The only thing that occasionally changed was the number of teams in the League. Otherwise, nothing else really changed. The game was as consistent as the Canadiens power play. Leave the darn thing alone for awhile. The only change I’d make … lose the instigator rule.





Rob’s been doing a great job, both on Rubber Biscuit and the Bear Tracks blog.

And I think that one change (the number of teams in the league) wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Bring back the Original 6! ;)