Alfred Dropbox Snippets Workflow

I'm a big user of the macos utility app Alfred - its an amazing replacement for spotlight - but so much more too (go check it out if you don't know what it offers). Amongst other things, I have a good collection of URLs to animated gifs - handy for posting into chat conversations at suitable moments. This is fantastic when I'm in front of a Mac at home or work - but often I wish I had quick access to my Alfred snippets on my iPhone or iPad. Now Alfred allows syncing its settings (which include the snippets) via syncing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc - and I already synced mine via dropbox to maintain a common configuration at home and work. So I was dismayed that there was nothing out there that could access this.

As a professional mobile developer, there was no excuse, so I figured I'd take some weekend time and write myself a nice iOS app to access the snippets from anywhere. Hooray! A nice side project! Then I mentioned it to my colleague and friend Tom Wilson, who reckoned that I could probably do it all in Workflow.

What's Workflow you ask?. Its an automation utility for iOS - and whilst I've always thought it was damn impressive, I had never thought of a great use for it, beyond as a glorified bookmark tool. But I set out to see if it was up to the challenge.... and it was!

The only downside, is that it doesn't work all that great as a fully contained today widget workflow - due to a limitation with widgets and being unable to scroll a list. The work-around to that, is forcing it to run in the workflow app itself.

I've submitted the workflow to their Gallery, in the meantime you can download it with the link below.

Download on an iOS device: - Alfred Dropbox Snippets Workflow

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Static Blog Time!

Because I rarely post anymore - indeed rarely use this domain apart from my personal email, I decided it was time to simplify. So I've migrated from WordPress to the Pelican static site generator and cleaned up the place while I was at it for relevance. I've picked the theme voidy-bootstrap since its a nice clean and minimal theme and I used to work with the author Rob) so I can bug him when I realise I don't know what I'm doing.

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Android Dev First Impression - WTFOMGBBQ

So I'm setting up the android SDK to play with, installing the Google "Android Developer Kit" which contains a modfiied Eclipse preconfigured with the android SDK. OK sounds good.

Except on creating a new empty blank project it throws errors and I can't build shit. So I google and many other people have this problem - it  seems to be related to the eclipse/SDK versions as what I have isn't up to date - even though this all came from the latest download package available.

So I upgrade the android dev tools using the android SDK manager to the latest versions - all good. But when I try to update eclipse, it throws errors about not being able to reach the update servers. So I goggle - and I needed to remove the file "log4j-1.2.15.jar" from /Library/Java/Extensions/ - because somehow that java extension mucks up eclipse's ability to talk to the internet. o_O

So I do that and checking for updates in eclipse no-longer throws an error - BUT -  it finds no update. Meanwhile the updated android SDK eclipse plugin is complaining saying that its incompatible with the old version of eclipse I have, and that I should update eclipse. But eclipse can't find any updates!

So I go back to google and it turns out that I need to update eclipse via the "Install New Software" option - which I try, and it then determines that it needs to UPDATE and not install new, which I say "yes f&cking please" and it starts... but then throws an error about not being able to download files! RAGE!

Back to google and the answer is to disable the 'http' update source and enable the 'https' update source. Installing 'new' software again and it worked - although it did warned me that its updating unsigned or verified content - 'sif I care at this stage- but finally I can create a blank project without any errors.

Lesson: I'm never complaining about xcode again - even in iOS 2.0 when the AppStore launched, I was able to just download and install xcode and start making an iPhone app with the simulator (although getting it onto a device was all sorts of pain). Not off to an impressive start Android! Hopefully the new Android Studio will be better, when its ready for production use.

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Dear Australian eBook publishers on Apple's iBookStore

Dear Australian eBook publishers on Apple's iBookStore,

Compare these two pictures and tell me why on earth I'd buy from iBooks and not Amazon?dd



Here's a tip, don't try and sell an ebook for the same price I can pickup a physical copy of the book. AU$9.99 for an ebook is about the right price, AU$29.99 is not. As much of an Apple fan I am, and as much iTunes credit I have sitting there, I'm not going to spend 3x the amount just for the 'Apple experience'. Besides I much prefer the Kindle (on iPhone & iPad) app over the iBook app, Apple pay attention to that too.

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The Tetris Company; business as usual 12 years on


12 years ago I received some cease and desist letters for my freeware tetris-clone Bedter. Its nice to know that 12 years on they are still sending the threats.

I think its worth nothing that my tetris clone Bedter has been available online for download for every day of those 12 years since I ignored the cease and desist threats.

Thanks to Gutch for the slashdot link, as I stopped reading slashdot years ago. Speaking of Gutch, everyone should check out his awesome blog on advertising and promotion; The Puffer Review.

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Andrew Bednarz - otherwise known as Bed, is a Digitarian who love avant-garde/black/folk metal, jazz, sci-fi, pro-wrestling, point & click adventure games; and of course his wife and cats.