Welcome to the lab.

PicGIF Giveaway

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There are a few good Mac apps for creating animated gifs from movies and images. I don’t need to do this very often, but I happen to really like PicGIF for it.

PicGIF can import hundreds of image formats, including other GIFs, and all common video formats. You can trim down to any section of a movie with easy in/out marker tools, and then add text and image overlays. You can also create slideshows from multiple images easily.

Fine tune your gifs with size/cropping, frame delay, special effects/color settings and more. You can drag frames around to modify the order, too.

PicGIF automatically optimizes the output to reduce the total size of longer GIFs (which can get huge if you don’t). It even includes sharing tools that you can hook into multiple social services.

You can download a limited trial from PearlMountain, but I also have 5 free copies to give away ($19.99 value). Just enter a name and email address below for a chance at a free full license. Winners will be randomly drawn on Saturday, September 20th.

One entry per person, valid email required to win. Giveaway ends on 09/20/14 at 12:00 PM. I will never sell or misuse your email address.

Web Excursions for September 12, 2014

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Macworld Layoffs
Michael Tsai collected comments from around the Internet on the Macworld layoffs. All together it makes a pretty good eulogy.
The iOS “@@” Shortcut As A TextExpander For Emails
Such a smart idea.
Press Pass
This is a great resource for devs (and anyone needing PR). “a live directory of journalists organized by beat, outlet, & region.”
A nifty, mouse-capable, command line editor. If you don’t feel like learning Vim or Emacs, this looks like a great way to quickly make edits to a file on the command line.
Hydra, the Lua-based tool for hacking your OS X setup, is now Mjolnir. Check it out and support it!

Marked 2.4.1 released

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Marked 2.4.1 is out on the Mac App Store and available for download for direct customers. For non-MAS customers, automatic update will still be broken, but this is the last time! Once you have this version, automatic updates will begin working with the next release!

Download the latest version of Marked 2 here!

Here’s the full changelog, but the highlights are:


  • Allow print headers and footers to be specified per-document using MMD metadata
  • Allow HTML comments (<!-- -->) around all metadata for compatibility with other processors
  • Render Leanpub “X>” blocks (error, info, exercise, etc.)
  • Previews created with the URL handler (marked://preview?text=) can now have a window and id passed to create a transient window that can be updated by successive calls
  • Streaming preview (more on this soon)
  • Markdown Export - export Markdown results after processing includes and running any preprocessor


  • Fixes for image detection and permission requests (Scrivener and others)
  • Multi-column theme print fix
  • Don’t preserve newlines in GFM by default
  • Fix trailing # in ATX headers when using Discount

And of course, the new TextBundle format is supported, and there’s a suprise included that you’ll learn more about in the next week.

Download here, and enjoy!

The Antetype winners!

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The lucky winners of a free copy of Antetype are:

  • matt lemaire
  • Yuri G
  • Nils Wieland
  • Tami Mitchell
  • Andy Guzman

If you didn’t win but part of your job is building prototypes for websites, you’ll want to check out Antetype anyway. Take it for a spin and see its responsive design tools in action!

Web Excursions for September 06, 2014

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Clicktunes - Enhance your every day music experience!
This seems like a really good idea. It watches your average mouse/keyboard movement and changes your Spotify playlist based on how fast you’re working. I haven’t tried it long enough to get a real feel for how much it helps, but I like the idea so far.
Chartist - Simple responsive charts
“Simple Responsive Charts.” A JS library for creating some great-looking charts with full separation of design and functionality (and Sass). This could be great in Übersicht
furbo.org - The Terminal
A “Siracusian” compendium of Terminal tricks on OSX. Here’s a Markdown version if you (like me) want to save this in nvALT for future reference.
A JavaScript tool that puts a “performance bar” at the bottom of a page showing load times, DOM element counts, and other useful information for testing.
This is a very cool plugin that puts a colored dot in the gutter indicating the value of any detected CSS color specification. Works with Sass files, too, among others.

iBetterCharge: remember to charge your iDevices

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I frequently forget about charging my iPhone and iPad until I’m headed out the door (or already in the car). I could add repeating reminders to OmniFocus or Calendars or something, but Softorino has a far better solution: iBetterCharge.

This free utility will track the battery levels of your devices over your wifi network. When a battery gets down to a percentage you set, it will pop up a notification and optionally play a sound and animate the menu bar icon. It can also notify you when your battery reaches 100%.

The setup is pretty magical. You just have to enable “Sync over Wifi” for your device in iTunes, connect it once over USB, and iBetterCharge will start tracking it. You can choose to ignore specific devices on the network, if needed. After that, you’ll never again pull out your iPad to read in bed only to find it has about 5 minutes of life left in it.

As I said, iBetterCharge is free, and I can attest to its effectiveness. If you’ve ever suffered from charge-forgetfulness, check it out. There’s a video demonstration on YouTube, as well.