Happy Birthday, Nate

Today is my cousin Nate’s birthday.

When we were kids, my aunt and uncle would fly him out to Colorado and we would spend our summers working for my dad, playing video games, and blowing our hard-earned cash on comic books at the local shop.

Years later we were roommates in Kansas City, and in 2005 Nate was the best man in my wedding. He’s a stand up guy worth celebrating.


Happy birthday, Nate. (And sorry for the crappy picture. It’s the only one I could find.)

Happy Birthday, Nate

I mostly use 1Password on my Mac to generate and save passwords and logins for websites. But on my iPhone and iPad it makes for a fantastic way to keep notes and other top-secret info safe and secure. And now that it has free cloud syncing via Dropbox (which works perfectly), 1Password just became that much more useful and vital to me.

With the amount of shared information I keep between my iPad, iPhone, and Mac, apps which sync via the cloud are becoming a necessity while apps that don’t are quickly becoming so cumbersome to maintain they’re almost useless.

1Password Pro Now Syncs Over the Air via Dropbox

How I Order an Americano

Americano Breve

When at coffee shops I order an 8-ounce, double Americano with a little bit of half-and-half steamed in.

I used to just add cream to my Americano at the coffee fix-up bar, but now I ask the barista to steam a little bit of half and half in to the drink instead. (This is not the same as an Americano Misto. An Americano Misto is half water and half milk.)

There are several advantages to getting the half-and-half steamed in:

  • It keeps your Americano piping hot (by not pouring in cold creamer).
  • It adds flavor (the steamed milk gives a latte-esque flavoring to the drink).

If you prefer lattes or cappuccinos, an Americano is about half the cost, but with the steamed-in creamer it tastes nearly the same.

On occasion the cashier wants to charge me $0.50 extra — calling it a “breve”. Sometimes I think that’s a crock, and I tell them they already offer free half-and-half at the coffee fix-up bar but that you would prefer the barista to steam it in for you so your drink stays nice and hot. And sometimes I realize I’m at a local coffee establishment and every little bit helps them keep the lights on and the coffee hot.

It’s a great drink. You should try it sometime.

How I Order an Americano

Neal Pollack wrote a great piece for Wired Magazine which looks behind the scenes of the start and growth of both Gowalla and Foursquare. I use Gowalla and picked it mostly because I love the look and feel of it over Foursqaure. But I always assumed the two apps were basically the same. And though it’s true that they both have the same foundational usage — go places and get rewards for checking in — the two apps reward and encourage those check-ins quite differently.

The Great Check-In Battle

Jason Santa Maria:

I think it’s safe to say the web is not the domain of just the geeks anymore — we all live here. And those of us who work here should have sophisticated, native tools to do our jobs.

It’s a fantastic article by Jason with an overview of the tools used for Web design, along with his pitch for what the “InDesign for HTML and CSS” program could look and act like. In short, Web designers are in need of a fluid and interactive canvas to design on, not a static one.

A Real Web Design Application

Brett Kelly:

With Tumblr, I don’t need to think about things like scalability or reliability. I don’t need to make sure my caching plugin is up to date and working because they probably pay dudes to make sure their servers stay up. The fact that I get all of this for free was another big mark in Tumblr’s favor.

There are some trade-offs I’m not ready to give up yet, but my list of reasons to stay with WordPress does seem to get a little bit shorter every day.

Why Brett Kelly Chose Tumblr

A nice overview and some good tips from David Chartier. I use iCal every day but rarely use the Web-app version of MobileMe Calendar. I am glad, however, to see that there is finally some collaboration features being built in.

What I’d really like is improved handling of event reminders. Including a way to keep my laptop, iPad, and iPhone from all buzzing an event reminder at the same time if they’re in proximity to one another, as well as syncing the dismissal of on-display reminders.

David Chartier on MobileMe Calendar Beta

Phil Coffman prefers AutoStitch over Pano for taking panoramic photos with his iPhone. AutoStitch has a few more options than Pano does, and it seems better at rendering the final panoramic photo.

But I wouldn’t agree that AutoStitch is all this as well as being easier to use than Pano. With Pano you just launch it, follow the in-app instructions as you snap each each photo, and then click done. With AutoStitch you’re use the native camera app for snapping the photos, you then launch AutoStitch to select and import your photos, and after the panoramic is rendered you have the option to crop it.

My first attempt at using AutoStitch turned up a horrendous panoramic. But after a few more tries I was able to get the hang of it. And ultimately, it does produce a better end product. So all that to say I think I prefer AutoStitch now, too. Thanks, Phil!


Pano is my current favorite iPhone camera app (second only to FatBooth). It’s a very minimal app that does one thing quite well: help you take multi-shot panoramic images. The UI is so clever anyone can use it. And it’s a lot of fun to take such high-resolution, well-made panoramic shots using your camera phone.

Here are some shots I’ve taken with Pano: pne of Kauffman Stadium from the nose bleeds, and one of my then-cluttered office. (And sorry, but no example shots of FatBooth pictures will be posted. My wife would kill me.)

Pano iPhone App [iTunes Link]