Bed's Stuff - Articles in Software category

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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The Tetris Company; business as usual 12 years on

screenshot

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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Tetris Company is still at it..

A long time ago I wrote a Tetris game. See my old articleto read about it all. Lets say that ultimately my game is still available and I have had no further action taken against me.

This week I got an email from Todd, who wrote to let me know of Apple rejecting his falling blocks game due to legal threats from the Tetris Company. This is what he had to say:

"I wrote my own interpretation of tetris (called Kafablo - instructions and gameplay movie here) for the iPhone because I didn't see any available tetramino games that I liked. In the time it took me to write it I've seen how all the unofficial tetris games get yanked, but since I'd put a fair amount of work into it and my game control scheme is (I think) unique, I went ahead and released mine a couple weeks ago. Sure enough, the lawyers came knocking - now even if I chose to dispute the legality of their claim of copyright infringement, that would take a long time, and Apple (rightfully so) won't keep anything on the App Store that puts them in a position of jeopardy. So I have to take it down. Another win for the lawyers, another loss for creativity, freedom of expression, and competition! If you want a better tetris, too bad!

As far as my letter is concerned, there are no details as to what they think they've copyrighted or why my game is an infringement - the only thing in there (besides the threat of legal action and various legal mumbo-jumbo) is (grammatical error included):

The"Kafablo" game on apple.com violates the copyright in the Tetris game because it is a copy of our client's game and was created and are being reproduced and sold on your web site without our client's prior permission or authorization.

In case anybody is counting, here is the list of falling tetramino games that I know of (there are probably more) that have been removed from the App Store:
- teto teto
- tris
- touchris
- kafablo

I can't comment on the other games, but I know mine at least differs from any official tetris: different controls, different sounds, different graphics, completely different name. I'm not sure what they claim to be copyrighting, but that's a subject for further research."

And today I came across this switched article about another tetris-style game …

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MServ Client for iPhone

Following closely from my first OSX application (MServClientOSX), I have finished up version one of porting it over to the iPhone. The guts of the code compiled over without any issue, so all I had to do was implement the different UI.

This doesn't contain the browsing or queuing support that MServClientOSX does - but it allows viewing the currently playing song, skipping to the next song and adjusting the volume.

MServ Client for iPhone is a client for the MServ music jukebox server for common area music playing. You can download it from the AppStore by clicking here.

Config MServ
status

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MServClientOSX 0.80

logo MservClientOSX is a Mac OSX client for the mserv music server. Version 0.80 supports the following functionality:

  • Viewing the current status of what's playing
  • Play, Stop, Next and volume control
  • Browse and serach the list of tracks available
  • Add tracks to queue
  • Browse and search the queue
  • Configurable menubar status icon
  • Configurable Growl notifications
  • Self-Updating (via the Sparkle framework)

Download MServClientOSX 0.80 and copy to your applications folder.

MServClientOSX Main
Controller

MServClientOSX Track
Browser

MServClient OSXs menubar status
item

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About

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.