Pogue’s review doesn’t touch on anything you probably don’t already know about the RX1. But there were two things in particular I liked about his article: (a) his cheesy (literally) 60-second video; and (b) this closing bit about the RX1 being more than just a great camera, it’s a milestone:

In the meantime, it’s fantastic that Sony decided to produce this expensive, astonishing, limited, one-of-a-kind machine. You may scoff at its nonzooming lens, its slowish focusing and its nosebleed price, and that’s fine; in many ways, the RX1 is a proof of concept, a bold experiment, an effort to achieve what’s always been thought unattainable.

David Pogue’s RX1 Review

Meslo LG is a modified version of Menlo that improves upon one of the typeface’s biggest shortcomings: the tight line spacing. For the longest time I would switch between 11pt Menlo and 13pt Inconsolata about once a month. Then Source Sans Pro came along, and it’s been my daily driver for writing for a while now. But I think I’ll give 11pt Meslo LG M a shot.

Meslo LG

John Gruber, regarding the “simplicity” of iOS:

The utter simplicity and obviousness of the iOS “system”, from a user’s standpoint, is arguably the primary reason iPhones and iPads are so popular. Is such simplicity for everyone? No. Is it suitable for all computers? No. But it is both comforting and comfortable for everyone who’s spent the last two decades more confused than not by their computers.

The utter simplicity of the iOS home screen is Apple’s innovation. It’s the simplest, most obvious “system” ever designed. It is a false and foolish but widespread misconception that “innovation” goes only in the direction of additional complexity.

Innovation Through Simplicity

Charlie Kindel, with some additional thoughts to Horace Dediu’s aforelinked article:

[Apple] only focuses on one customer: The Consumer.

In my experience, the behaviors and culture of an organization (large or small) that focuses on the Consumer as a customer is diametrically incompatible with the behaviors and culture of an organization that focuses on Business as a customer.

And, by extension, Mac and iOS 3rd-party developers have the same mindset. Thus the whole ecosystem is one which focuses on the consumer.

Why Nobody Can Copy Apple

Great conversation between Ben Brooks and Marco Arment:

BB: To your point about a fresh take always having a shot, how do you plan on keeping The Magazine fresh — is that solely done through the content, or through exploring more publishing styles and avenues?

MA: I think it’ll be done primarily through content. Content is enough if it’s good.

Talking Publishing

A very transparent look at all the software and services United Pixelworkers uses to ship over 1,000 t-shirts a month. I’ve done two rounds of t-shirt sales myself, and I learned quickly is that (a) there’s not much money in t-shirt sales, and (b) printing, packing, and shipping t-shirts can be a royal pain in the behind. Which is why I think it’s cool that something new United Pixelworkers is now offering is a partnership program, where you design the shirt, they sell and ship it, and you both share in the profits.

P.S. United Pixelworkers was awesome enough to donate a handful of shirts to the membership giveaway.

So You Want to Make a Whole Bunch of T-Shirts

This is a great review of what’s got to be one of the hottest cameras on the market right now. The RX1 is, more or less, the guts, power, and ability of a full-frame DSLR tucked into the body of a compact.

When I bought my Olympus a few months ago, one of my fears was that I’d soon feel it was out of date and that something better was available. But reading Duncan’s review of the RX1 was actually an encouragement to me that I made the right choice with the E-PL5 and Panasonic 20/1.7. Duncan is a professional photographer with so much more experience and know-how than me it’s not even funny. Yet he loves the small size of the RX1 and the fast 35mm prime that’s attached to it and hasn’t felt held back at all. In short, if he’s satisfied with his camera considering his skill level, then there’s no reason for me to be unsatisfied with my rig considering my skill level — I haven’t even come close to feeling held back by the Olympus.

James Duncan Davidson’s Review of the Sony DSC-RX1

The Membership Giveaway

Yesterday was the kickoff to the 2013 membership drive. As mentioned in that post, there is a new membership system which is now based on Stripe. Also, I announced a new, members-only perk: the Coffee Methods section to the website.

Today, I aim to make things even more fun through the giveaway.

But first things first: my sincere thanks to all the new members who’ve signed up in the past 24 hours. Welcome!

Also, thanks to all the current members who have chosen to migrate their membership over to Stripe. For those of you who aren’t sure if you should migrate over to the new system, I hope you will. Unfortunately, I cannot port your membership for you, nor can I merge the two — which means there are two unique systems in place. Those who wish to stay with PayPal will continue to get access to the membership benefits just as they always have. But new Stripe-based system is leaps and bounds better than the PayPal system, removing nearly all of the frustrations and shortcomings of the latter. I apologize for asking you take this extra step, but I think it’s worth it and the feedback I’ve heard from all the members who have migrated so far has been great. Everyone gives Stripe two thumbs up.

For those who haven’t yet signed up for a membership, well, like they say: there’s no time like the present.

Members contribute nearly half of this site’s income. Which means there is no way I could be writing here as my full-time gig without the generous support of the members.

The Giveaway

Ideally, you are signing up to become a member because the value and enjoyment you get from the writing on this site is worth it to you. But, modesty aside, the members-only perks are a sweet bonus as well, if I do say so myself. But that’s not all.

During the next two weeks of this membership drive my chief aim is to try and sweeten the deal as much as possible. Therefore, I’ve arranged for some sweet prizes to give away to all members who are currently active, or who sign up for a membership on or before March 1.

Anyone who signs up for a membership before 11:59 pm CST on Friday night, March 1 is eligible to win. And all members who already have an active membership are automatically eligible as well. In short, if you’re an active member as of Friday night, March 1, then you’re entered to win.

There are a slew of top-notch prizes donated by friends of the site, with an aggregate value of $3,150.

The List of Prizes

How to Win and Other Rules

  • Anyone who signs up for a membership before 11:59 pm CST on Friday, March 1 will automatically be in the runnings to win something.

  • If you are already a member with an active membership, you are eligible to win.

  • You do not have to live in the United States to win — international members are most welcome and most eligible.

  • The drive ends at 11:59 pm CST on March 1, and the drawing will be held sometime the following week. It will be random and I will contact the winners via their PayPal or Stripe email address.

  • If there is a certain prize in particular that you’d like to win over another, please fill out this form. I will check it once the winners are drawn to try and get people a prize they prefer. You do not have to fill out the form to win, only to request a particular prize.

The Membership Giveaway

The 2013 Membership Drive

Welcome to the kickoff of the 3rd Annual Membership Drive.

This is always a fun time of year for me because not only do I get to give away some awesome stuff (check back tomorrow for the giveaway), but I also get to brag on the current members a bit as well as try my best to persuade any and all non-members to sign up.

It’s been two years since I quit my job and began writing shawnblanc.net as my full-time gig. It’s amazing how vividly I remember being scared out of my wits the morning I announced my intentions to take this site full time. It’s worked out well so far, and I have every intention of continuing.

What’s New This Year?

This year there are some new and fancy things to take note of. For one, the membership system now uses Stripe for processing payments. Secondly, there is a new member’s only section to the site.

Stripe for Payment Processing

The entire membership subscription system has been completely redone. I’ve abandoned PayPal for Stripe, and I’ve integrated the members-only sections into the site in a far more easy-to-use manner.

The new Stripe-based membership system is just fantastic. I switched because Stripe allows for several advantages, including: (a) more reliable billing (many members’ subscriptions have been suspended for no reason, other than a bug in PayPal), (b) easier way to find and access Shawn Today, along with overall better integration with the content on shawnblanc.net, and (c) easier membership management and administration for me.

It really is a significant upgrade the the entire membership system. If you’ve been waiting to become a member, there is no better time than now.

Note to current members who signed up using PayPal: If you wish to move to the new Stripe system, you will have to migrate yourself. I wish I could port your membership for you but I cannot. I apologize for asking you take this extra step, but I think it’s worth it.

Current members have two options:

  1. You can keep your current PayPal membership subscription active and continue enjoying the membership benefits as you have. Nothing will change for those who stay with PayPal.
  2. Or you can move to the new Stripe system and cancel your PayPal subscription.

To migrate your membership from PayPal to Stripe, here’s what to do:

  • Sign up for the new Stripe-based membership here.
  • Cancel your PayPal Membership via this link

If you have any trouble, any questions, or if you need a refund for a recent PayPal billing, please do not hesitate to email me.

Coffee Methods: The New, Members-Only Perk

I’m introducing a new content section to the site: Coffee Methods. This new members-only section is filled with my favorite recipes for AeroPress, French Press, Siphon Vacuum Pot, and Clever dripper. It also includes gear recommendations (such as grinders, brewing contraptions, coffee storage, etc.), and videos (gear overview and how-tos). All for the express purpose of brewing and enjoying good coffee.

My Humble Request

Over the years, this site’s membership base has continued to be the primary source of income allowing me to write here full time. Moreover, the feedback I get regarding Shawn Today proves to me that the perks alone are worth the price of admission.

If the value and enjoyment you get from this site is worth $4/month, then I would be humbled and honored to have your support as a subscribing member. Thank you.

The 2013 Membership Drive