Thursday, May 28, 2009

Introducing QuickPost Beta 2

Exactly 5 months in the making, I'd like to introduce the second beta of QuickPost for Mac. Beta 2 is one incredible update due to the fact that almost none of the code from the first beta is present in this one, thats right it was built from the ground up. Finished 2 days ago, it's been in private testing while I finish the new website which I'm extremely proud about so go check it out to get the full details on this new release.

New Stuff
  • Offline Post Storage
  • Multiple Blog and User accounts
  • More powerful and stable visual editor
  • Source code editing
  • URL Shortening
  • Tweeting new posts
  • Search and add maps and videos to entries
  • Higher control of web images
  • Powerful hyperlink creator for websites and mail-to links
  • Smoother posting
  • Text formatting
  • Interface
These are just to name a few, head to the website to check out the release notes and download the latest beta. It works with Mac OS X 10.5+ and Google Blogger. Support for wordpress and more coming soon, here's proof.

Please download, if you like, love or hate something about the app, use the built in feedback (In the QuickPost menu) to let me know :). Or just post a comment here. Just remember that this is a beta app so the features, interface, icons and finish are not final and will change over time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Latest Chromium Screenshots

Chromium is the open source project behind the Google Chrome project. For a couple months now you have been able to download nightly builds of the native mac version which is awesome for fans of the windows app. While these are early builds of the browser they show great maturity and stability, even though most of the preference options don't actually work. Many of the main features work including tab dragging (including to new windows) and incognito mode. It's far from complete and suitable for real world use but it's definitely on the way so we should be seeing a Google Chrome beta for Mac soon. 

I love this browser, the fact that the dock icon doesn't even bounce is great indication of the performance during startup and that address bar, just brilliant! When using my current browser Camino, 90% of the time I open a new tab to search so with Chromium I don't have to tab to the search field, I just begin typing. The interface is just stunning, which is not easy on a mac. It's very hard for designers to create interfaces that use different kinds of controls and make it look like it belongs in leopard but  reckon they have succeeded with this one. This is something the ugliest browser on the planet could really spend time doing. Check out the screen shot of how the leopard chrome works with the browser interface. 

Chromium chrome and interface
Something that could be interesting? Maybe the feature by the same name in Safari 4 is actually a webkit project?

Creat application interface
So go check out the latest nightly builds and test, if you find an issue or the browser crashes, make sure you can repeat the steps and submit a bug report. Check out the screenshot of the full app below.

Chromium Browser

Saturday, May 9, 2009

iTunes could be smarter.. even a little

Check out the screenshot above. Now let me explain. To save space on my MacBook Pro hard drive I keep all my movies (I own the DVD versions, don't stress) on an external drive that iTunes links to. What annoys me is that this dialog suits a situation where the user has changed the location of a file, but not one when an external device is missing. iTunes should detect that the file is located on a external device and then prompt the user to connect it if it isn't already. No one wants to see this dialog when they haven't touched their library for months, and while the new dialog works the same as the old, it tells them why the file cannot be played and how to fix it. I have made a mockup below of an example dialog that I believe would be more suited. It does look the same but the user knows how to fix it and that something hasn't gone wrong with their library.

Friday, May 8, 2009

End of an era

I'd like to take this time to talk about a period of my life that has now come to an end, Digilife. In early 2006 I walked into Perth's best Apple store ready for my first day of work experience as a year 10 student. Starting out in the admin, it quickly became clear to my supervisor that the workshop gained most of my attention and on the third day I became their first and only student to work on an Apple product. That Apple product was a 17 inch Powerbook G4, at the time it was their flagship notebook so you will understand that I was more than nervous. 

All through year 11 and 12 I worked as an Apple technician for Digilife through workplace learning and as a part time job, it was amazing. I can proudly say I have worked on every non-vintage mac produced, and my favourite being the 17 inch MacBook Pro due to ease of access with the case. Though the new unibody macbook's are beautiful inside and out, they are a little fiddly and the connectors are a nightmare. 

All through my time at Digilife I worked with another Alex, Jason and Christolph. Unfortunately both Jason and Christolph moved onto different things and I give my best wishes to them. 2009 was the first year of my teenage life where I didn't have to turn up for school, though Tafe is pretty close, and working at Digilife was now my part-time job. That was until a couple of weeks ago. Tough economic times had forced us to close our retail store in the Perth mall, leaving just the flagship store and service centre in osbourne park. Unfortunately the sales team was not able to sell enough products so on the 9th of April, Digilife closed it's doors for good. 

After spending over three years working with the same team that we call a family, it was incredibly difficult to face the fact that we would never return to work together again. Sure some of us may end up working in the same company but not as a team and thats a real shame. Some of the team were angry with the owners Chris and Anne for loosing heir jobs but I'm the complete opposite. Yeah it sucks that I lost my job but if it wasn't for Anne and Chris giving me a chance as a young boy to prove myself to becoming part of the technical team, I would not be the kind of person I am today. I'm so so very proud of what I built in the past four years, relationships, memories and skills. So while I miss everything we have done, I raise my glass to this family and wish them all the very best. Thankyou guys, for accepting me into your lives and hearts, it's been an absolute pleasure to work with you all. I hope the future is fruitful for you and that you make your dreams happen. Peace.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New QuickPost website - Beta signup

I finally got around to making a decent looking website for QuickPost. This version is basically a teaser/signup page for the beta that will be released around the end of May. You get to see the new app icon and a little bit of the new editor, with this beta now feature complete, the next couple weeks will be spent tying up loose ends and testing. Just pop your name and email into the register section and you will be notified of any updates and get early access to the beta. Hope you like it!

Check it out and sign up!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

QuickPost Status

So after I a two week break at home I return to the big city to continue work on my blog editor, QuickPost so I thought i'd provide a little update of where I'm at. Offline editing, account storage, multiple blogs, twitter & support and a new Editor. "What else is there to do"? you ask, well I want to take a second to talk about the new editor. 

Its really neat and powerful, providing full rich text editing, images, videos and maps. It was rebuilt soon after the first beta was released as it was found to not handle large amounts of text very well but the new editor requires more code to do the... editing. Which is all fine and well but when it comes to showing the source code, it all comes to a screeching halt. So in other words, it's not very efficient and stable when working with the HTML source code. But I'm making small steps to building a better editor with the help of some famous developers, hopefully in only a little while I should have a beta out for you guys. The beta will be google only but wordpress has been tested to work but requires more time to implement it into the app properly. 

I wrote and published this using QuickPost Beta 2 as proof of the progress I'm making. If you want to join the beta team, just drop a comment on this post until I have the new signup page finished. So much to do! 

cheers guys!