Powerbook in SFO
April 21, 2021

Remove() Function

This simple function is useful when you want to remove an element from the document.

Sample Query

$(".legal").remove();

This would remove any element that has the words "legal" in the class name.

This would be useful if you are taking screenshots and want to remove certain parts. Also useful for QA to test "hacking" functionality.

Fun Tricks to Try

Remove All Images

This removes all the images on the page:

$("img").remove();

Remove All Anchor

This removes all the anchor tags and text on the page:

$("a").remove();

April 20, 2021

Quantizing

Quantizing in Apple Motion is when you want to add a "step" approach between two keyframes. Instead of the usual smooth action that Motion makes, using the Quantizing feature, you can create a skip type of effect.

This isn't something that you would use a lot, but I can see that this might be an effect to add when you want that extra effect.

Quantize

Things I Learned

You can apply the behavior to an object using the Properties panel. Basically, you add the Parameter Behavior to a Position. (See the graphic above.)

You can control the step size and offset. This is like adjusting the height of the stairs.

If you like Quantizing, you might also want to check out Wriggle. It provides a randomized step-up approach. It's located in the same menu as Quantizing.

I highly recommend checking the Macbreak Studio: Episode 237 - Quantizing in Motion to see it in action.

April 19, 2021

Phone Call gone Wrong

Just about everyone has gotten the extended car warranty phone calls. My favorite is when they call me about a car that I have never owned.

The following phone conversation happened about a year ago. They called me about a car that I have never owned.

This call ends a strange way. I think the lady didn't understand what I said and pretty much wrote off the call.

April 18, 2021

Boston Marathon Planes

Had things been different - tomorrow would be the annual Boston Marathon run.

In the past year, things have been different - because of the COVID-19 virus.

2019 Boston Marathon

We usually watch the Boston Marathon from Framingham. In 2019, I noticed more security than normal. There was a lot of ground security and some in the air.

I checked the Flightradar24 app to see what was going on in the skies. That’s when I noticed this pattern.

Flight Radar

I suspect that it was either media helicopters or just security watching the starting line in Hopkinson Massachusetts.

Flight Radar 24 App

The Flight Radar App is good to have. It really helps identify some of the planes that you see in the sky.

April 17, 2021

Optimizilla

Optimizilla is "yet another" online image compressor. It's an easy way to drag and drop 20 images.

It's good, however it doesn't beat the compression done by shortpixel.com. In my test, I compressed the same image using Optimizilla and ShortPixel. Optimizilla was able to compress the image 13% while ShortPixel was able to compress the image by 65%.

Website Description

This online image optimizer uses a smart combination of the best optimization and lossy compression algorithms to shrink JPEG and PNG images to the minimum possible size while keeping the required level of quality.

Upload up to 20 images. Wait for the compression to finish. Click thumbnails in the queue for quality setting. Use the slider to control the compression level and mouse/gestures to compare images.

optimizilla
https://imagecompressor.com/

ShortPixel

I would recommend taking your own test: ShortPixel vs Optimizella.

April 16, 2021

NSMenuItem

I was looking for something unique to blog today. Since this day "N" of the A-Z April challenge, I was looking for something that started with the letter "N." Here are some of the topics that I was thinking about:

  • Apple Notes - I have been using it a little and thought it would be a useful topic, as maybe I can find some new feature.
  • Notion - Great note application. Its a tool that I use a lot since I stopped using Evernote.
  • News App - I don't use it that much, maybe its something that I should use?
  • Numbers - Maybe I'll discover a new feature or a tip?

None of those applications really sounded interesting to write about. So I decided to head over to the finder and do a search in Help for the letter "N."

To my surprise. I found something interesting. One of the search results was for NSMenuItem. I thought it was a weird menu name, so when I selected it, the help arrow pointed to an empty area above the word "Tag" in the File menu.

nsmenu

Is this a Bug??

I checked a couple of computers and they had the same results. There is no NSMenuItem in the File menu, yet it appears when you do a search for in. (Only in the Finder)

According to the Apple Developer site, the NSMenuItem is a command item in the app menu.

Apparently this is a legitimate item, but whoever worked on the Finder's File menu didn't hide the feature properly. This bug appears in macOS Catalina, so it's been there for a while.

Check It Out!

If you have a Mac, try this:

Select the Finder, then the Help menu. Type in NSMenuItem, or simply 'N.'

You'll see one of the search results will be the mysterious NSMenuItem, select it and you'll see that it points to the same place as the above screenshot.

April 15, 2021

Memory Cards Reference

The GoPro support website has a list of all the supported micro SD cards. This makes it really easy to find the card that will work with the camera - no second-guessing.

I put together a visual chart of the supported cards. I focused this chart just on the 128GB size cards, as it should be the minimum size card to buy for the GoPro Hero 9.

Go Pro Cards128 Hero9

Terminology

Here's some reference to all those symbols that you see on the cards.

Card Format Tips

Video Speed Class - The number following the "V" indicates the minimum number of MB/s the card is capable of sequentially writing. Example: v30 - the card can sustain at least 30MB/s continuous video recording. The V30 is the best Video Speed for 4k/5k videos.

Speed Class - Indicates the minimum writing speed. In this case, it's 10. You may see other cards have 2, 4, or 6. 10 is the best for video recording.

UHS Class Speed - list a UHS class rating to designate the minimum write performance for the card, with U1 indicating 10 MB/s and U3 indicating 30 MB/s or more.

Bus Interface - This indicates the maximum amount of data that can physically move into and out of the card. A II Bus Interface is more powerful and has a second row of pins. Most likely to be supported in the next version of GoPro.

A note about the Micro SD XC - This is the card format and the SDXC is the most popular format as it supports card sizes more than 32GB, up to 2TB. If you need cards bigger than 2TB you'll be looking for a card format that has SDUC.

April 14, 2021

Load() in jQuery

One cool feature of jQuery is the ability to load up content and place the content in a webpage. This is done using the LOAD() function. It's an alternative way to share a file between web pages.

Official Description

This method is the simplest way to fetch data from the server. It is roughly equivalent to $.get(url, data, success) except that it is a method rather than global function and it has an implicit callback function. When a successful response is detected (i.e. when textStatus is "success" or "notmodified"), .load() sets the HTML contents of the matched elements to the returned data.

jQuery Load Truck

Example Code

<script> $(document).ready(function() { $('#myfooter').load('/footer.html'); $('#myheader').load('/header.html'); }); </script>

Three Things I Learned

In order to use the load() functionality you can't use the jQuery slim minified version. You should be using the jquery minified version.

Developers should call the jquery.js file in the header before calling the load action. Otherwise, you may get delays or undesired behavior.

The full load() syntax is: $.load(url,[data],[callback]); Where data is the GET data to send to the URL and the callback is the JavaScript function to be executed when the request is successful. The data and callback are optional.

April 13, 2021

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are the ten keyboard shortcuts that every Apple Motion user should know. I have found that these can marks you more productive.

AppleMotionShortCut.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Create a Project Command N
Import a File Command I
New Group Shift Command N
Select Library Command 2
Select Inspector Command 3
Keyframe Editor Command 8
Export Movie Command E
Replicate L
Make Clone Layer K
Active Control T

What do you think? Are there any shortcuts that are missing? Mention your favorite in the comments.

April 12, 2021

Job Commercials

This week's Media Monday is a look at some classic Internet Job Commercials and a segment on the Dot Com Guy.

Features:

  • Hot Jobs Commercial - "ipo//ipo"
  • Monster.com - "Where will Ted Go?"
  • Dot Com Guy - KTVU segment about Mitch Maddox being the DOT COM Guy.

There were some other clips that I had, but I couldn't find them. These will have to do this week.

April 11, 2021

Against the Grain Pizza

One of our favorite pizzas is the “Against The Grain.” While some people may shy away from it because it’s a Gluten-Free pizza - that would be a mistake.

Apparently people have this notion that gluten-free pizzas taste like cardboard. That is not the case with the “Above the Grain” pizza.

It’s really good and leftovers are pretty rare.

Against The Grain Pizza

Cooking The Pizza

We cook our pizza with a circular pizza pan. We cook it at 400-degrees for about 18 minutes. It’s a bit longer than the directions. We do this so the crust is nice and crispy.

Finding The Pizza

We get our pizza at Super Stop & Shop. They stock it with the other gluten-free items. Usually in a special foods section. It cost about $12 - about the cost of premium pizza that isn’t gluten-free.

You can find them at Wegmans and Roche Brothers.

It’s not available at Market Basket.

April 10, 2021

InkyDeals

If your looking for great graphic deals, the place to go is InkyDeals. I have purchased several of their graphic packages. InkyDeals have some of the best collection on the Internet. 

You can't beat their deals!

Not all their graphic collections are paid packages. They have some great freebie collections that are free. In fact, they have 35 freebies that you can download. 

Website Description

Since 2011 Inky is bringing great Designer Deals every day for creatives all around the world. InkyDeals.com was created from the desire to offer our fellow designers (beginners and veterans alike) high-quality resources at unbeatable prices.

Inky Deals
https://www.inkydeals.com/active-deals/free

April 9, 2021

Hemingway App

Do you want to write better blogs? 

One way, is to use a program like Hemingway. Its purpose is to help you write better sentences. 

How Hemingway Works

Information From their website:

Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear. It's like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose.

Too often, our words are like our thoughts " innumerable and disorganized. Almost any bit of writing could use some cutting. Less is more, etc.

So, the Hemingway Editor will highlight (in yellow and red) where your writing is too dense. Try removing needless words or splitting the sentence into two. Your readers will thank you.

Hemingway
Abraham Lincoln would have benefited from the Hemingway App.

Seven Things I Learned

  1. The Hemingway Application cost $19.99 via the company store. This is a one-time fee, there is no subscription. I purchased it in August 2015 and in January 2017 got a free update.
  2. You can export the text into 4 formats: Plain text, Markdown, HTML, Word Doc, PDF Document and PDF.
  3. You can also Publish the document to Medium or WordPress.
  4. You don't need internet access to use Hemingway - which is the case with Grammarly.
  5. The sidebar can give you interesting statistics about your content. One stats that I find interesting is the Reading Time. So if you are into SEO, you'll be able to create content that matches the desired reading time. You can get information on the Adverb, Passive Voice, Phrases, and sentence readability.
  6. Hemingway Editor didn't catch some basic grammar errors. For example, when composing this blog post, I wrote the words better twice, it was caught by Grammarly.
  7. Hemingway Editor is a good last step in the editing process. I don't see it as a good writing environment to composed content. The Markdown export is really good and clean.
April 8, 2021

Gooseneck

Back in October, I purchased the Topmener Jaws Flex Clamp Mount with Adjustable Gooseneck. This allows me to clamp the GoPro where ever I want.

Go Pro Gooseneck Desktop
Go Pro Gooseneck Mobile

Five Things I Learned

  • The "arm" or Gooseneck is 18 centimeters or 7-inches long. The official GoPro version is 8-inches.
  • There is a longer Gooseneck available on Amazon.com which give you 14-inches Gooseneck.
  • My Topmener Jaws Flex Clamp Mount with Adjustable Gooseneck sells for $13.99 on Amazon.com. It's a good price for a "nice to have" accessory.
  • The GoPro version sells the Gooseneck and Jaws separately. The Gooseneck cost $19.99 (or $9.99 with the cloud discount) and the Jaws cost $49.99 ( or $34.99 with the cloud discount).
  • I am certain that the GoPro Jaws is really tight, so if you plan on using this in a moving vehicle, the GoPro version is the way to go. While the one I have works well. I don't really want to test its strength attached to a railing on a moving car or boat.
  • This Gooseneck has worked great! It's really easy to adjust. The clamp has fit on just about everything that I needed. Note: The clamp is design to fit between .25" and 2".
  • My only concern with the Gooseneck is trying to make sure that the GoPro is level to the shot. It's very easy to make minor adjustments, just not all that easy to determine if the shot is leveled.
April 7, 2021

Form Hacking

This is something that I learned a long time ago at a Web Developer's conference

Never Trust The Browser2

Developers should put in place to make sure that people are not adding improper data. The best-case scenario would be to add this check to the browser.

QA teams should add a check to make sure that field data validation is actually occuring.

HTML Select Options

Developers usually use HTML form select option functionality to make it easy for users to select from a set of options. This is more commonly used as selecting states. There's even a GitHub code snippet available to make it easy for developers.

Challenge the Code

Using jQuery, you can change the values in a select menu. This is useful to test to make sure that form validation is happening. Hopefully, it's done on the client-side and not on the server-side.

To do this you'll need to know the name of the select tag. This might be an ID or a class name. If there isn't a name, you could always use an XPath tree. (That is a bit more complex for this post.)

We'll assume that it has a Class Name or an ID set. You can find the class name/id by clicking on the field and right-clicking and select inspect.

Change the Options in a Form

Class

Change the "selectClass" to the class name of the select field. You can't append values, so we have to wipe out the options and put in new options.

var newOptions = {
    "Option 1":"option-1",
    "Option 2":"option-2"
};

var $el = $('.selectClass');
$el.html(' ');
$.each(newOptions, function(key, value) {
    $el.append($("<option></option>")
    .attr("value", value).text(key));
});

ID

Change the "selectID" to the id of the select field. You can't append values, so we have to wipe out the options and put in new options.

var newOptions = {
    "Option 1":"option-1",
    "Option 2":"option-2"
};

var $el = $('.selectID');
$el.html(' ');
$.each(newOptions, function(key, value) {
    $el.append($("<option></option>")
    .attr("value", value).text(key));
});

Simple Steps

Here are the simple steps

  • Visit a website that has a Select Option on the page.
  • Open up the Console
  • Paste in the code above and hit return
  • You should immediate change on the page.
  • Submit the form (after filling in all the required fields)
  • How does the web application handle it?
April 6, 2021

Earth Rotation

One of the 3D Objects in the Apple Motion collection is the Earth. Did you know that you can easily rotate the planet as an Intro or something?

Earth Roation Example

Simple Steps to Create the Earth Rotation

  1. Create a new Motion Project
  2. In the left Library, go to the 3D Objects, select Education, and drag the Earth.usdz to the Layers section.
  3. Make sure that Earth is Selected
  4. Click on the Inspector and then Properties
  5. Click on the Arrow next to the Rotation, You should see X,YZ.
  6. Click on the Key Frame on the Y Line.
  7. In the Project Timeline Move the position tool to the right. (Or Use the Menu: Mark ' Go To ' Project End. Or the Keyboard Shortcut: End Key)
  8. Type in 360 on the Y Line.

Download Project File

Confused? Download my Earth Rotation Motion Project file.

Feel Free to play around with the effect.

April 5, 2021

Driving in San Francisco

San Francisco has one of the worst traffic in the country. It wasn't all that great in 2000.

Here's a mix of the Traffic Report from TV and the Radio.

I am not sure about the date of the radio piece. I believe it was sometime in the 2000s.

April 4, 2021

Massachusetts Welcome Sign

This afternoon we came from Connecticut to Massachusetts via Interstate 84. Shortly after crossing the border, we saw the "Massachusetts Welcome You" sign.

Massachusetts Welcome Desktop
Massachusetts Welcome Mobile

Fun facts about the Welcome sign.

Exact Location of the sign on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zhf741BoYjdLC1hZ6

According to Google Maps the sign is 2,174 feet from the Massachusetts/Connecticut state line. I don't know why Massachusetts didn't put the sign closer to the border.

The sign features the state bird, the Black-capped chickadee. As well as the state flower, the Mayflower.

The State "Game Bird" is Wild Turkey. (Some people get that confused with the State Bird.)

The words "MassDOT" is the Massachusetts Department of Transportation which is the state agency responsible for keeping Massachusetts roads in top shape.

Connecticut Welcome Sign

Connecticut Welcome Desktop
Connecticut Welcome Mobile

Interesting to note that the Connecticut "Welcome Sign" simply says "Connecticut Welcomes You" and then has the current Governor

This sign will have to get updated every time a new Governor is elected, whereas the Massachusetts sign doesn't need to be updated.

April 3, 2021

Collection of Louvre Art Museum

You can now do a virtual tour of the famous Louvre Art museum. You can see all the famous artworks that is in their collection.

You can see 300+ works of Leonardo da Vinci.

Website Description

The Collections database consists of entries for more than 480,000 works in the Musée du Louvre and Musée National Eugène-Delacroix. Updated on a daily basis, it is the result of the continuous research and documentation efforts carried out by teams of experts from both museums.

Louvre Collection
https://collections.louvre.fr/en/