NC #591 Theodore Bearington, Typeeto, Wire, DropShadow App, Security Bits

John, AKA NASAnut in the live chatroom sends a spectacular gift to us. We’ll talk about a free Mac utility called Typeeto that lets you use your Mac as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iOS devices and AppleTV. Joe LaGreca gives us a review of the secure messaging service, Wire, with full instructions on how to install and configure it. I’ll tell you how I made fire, otherwise known as how I wrote an actual Mac application using Automator and bash shell scripts (you can download it here but make sure you read the Read Me!) We’re also joined by Bart Busschots for another session of Security Bits.


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DropShadow App Made With Automator and ImageMagick

DropShadow shell scriptHave you ever had a favorite piece of software be abandoned by the developer? I’m not even talking about Apple or Google here, but maybe some nifty little utility that does exactly what you want. For years I have been adding a pretty little drop shadow to all images I post on the blog with a utility called Drop Shadow from Del Sol Software. As Tim Verpoorten used to say, “it does one thing and does it well.”

Del Sol’s Drop Shadow app let you change the angle and size and blur of the shadow and even add a little border to the image as well. The border was handy when I had a screenshot with a white background, otherwise it would wash out on the top and left against my white blog post.

A few weeks ago I thought to write to the developer to ask for an enhancement. I wanted a way to save the parameters of my drop shadows. It’s not hard to drag the little sliders, but I have to do it every time I edit an image. To my surprise, Del Sol Software is nowhere to be found. I searched on the web, on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and even LinkedIn, but it has vanished. Oddly you can still buy Drop Shadow from the Mac App Store so someone must be cashing the checks, but there’s no way to get updates ever again.

When software is abandoned, you can take one of two paths. You can keep using it and just hope each time a new OS comes out it will still work. Then when it stops working you can hold off on the update, or try to find hacks to keep it working (I’m looking at you, George.)

I choose a different path. As soon as I know something is abandoned, I find an alternative. I don’t want to be held hostage by an app. It was time to find an alternative for my beloved Drop Shadow.

Continue reading “DropShadow App Made With Automator and ImageMagick”

CCATP #451 Programming By Stealth – Solving JavaScript Challenges Part 2

In episode #449, Bart Busschots walked us through how he’d solve the first half of the JavaScript challenges from PBS 19. This week we finish the second half of the 5th problem about Complex Numbers. Just like the last episode, we’re giving you the audio in the podcast, but if you’d like to watch the video of Bart building the solutions, you can watch right here.

Using a Screen Reader? click here

If you’d prefer the audio, of course that’s still available in the Podcast feed or directly below.


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CCATP #449 Programming By Stealth – Solving JavaScript Challenges

In this week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart Busschots starts walking us through the JavaScript challenges he gave us on Programming By Stealth 19. Bart got this crazy idea that we should do this episode as a video so that he could walk through each challenge from scratch on a blank canvas. He builds up the solutions and explains each step while I ask him questions. It was our first time recording video so we’re pretty excited that it actually worked. Thanks to Steve for the intro video that incorporates Bart’s Programming By Stealth logo into the Chit Chat Across the Pond logo that Terry Austin made for us!

Using a Screen Reader? click here

If you’d prefer the audio, of course that’s still available in the feed or directly below.


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CodeCademy + PBS to Learn JavaScript

Codecademy+pbsBart Busschots has been working on a series in Chit Chat Across the Pond entitled Programming By Stealth, and we just finished episode 18. These lessons started with HTML, then moved into CSS, and since episode 12 we’ve been learning JavaScript. Bart has written terrific tutorials with excellent explanations of the terminology, logic and process of coding in JavaScript. The foundation he is laying is adaptable to learning other languages as well.

A few lessons back I suggested an enhancement to the series. At the risk of being labeled as teacher’s pet, I asked him to assign homework to us, or as he likes to call them, challenges. He came up with the challenges, but they’ve been really hard for me. Continue reading “CodeCademy + PBS to Learn JavaScript”

CCATP #446 – Programming by Stealth – 18 of x JavaScript Miscellany

In this episode of Programming By Stealth, Bart Busschots takes us through the final stages of learning JavaScript within the playground. Now that we know about objects, we need to re-visit the arguments object present in every JavaScript function. We need to take a detailed look at the typeof operator, and we need to look at some built-in objects and functions JavaScript provides. We also need to look at how JavaScript handles regular expressions, and finally, we need to introduce the concept of exception handling. Bart’s full written tutorial is available at bartbusschots.ie/….


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During this episode we briefly mention a wonderful email from Jill about factorials and more. I wanted to include the full letter in the shownotes here because it contains some wonderful explanations, especially an even better explanation of strongly vs. weakly-typed languages. Here’s Jill’s entire letter:

Hi, me again

I think there’s a concept you haven’t quite grasped in PBS, and that’s types. I know you’ve mostly got it, but I think perhaps I might be able to help unconfuse you on a few edge cases.
Continue reading “CCATP #446 – Programming by Stealth – 18 of x JavaScript Miscellany”

CCATP #444 – Programming by Stealth – 17 of x JavaScript Objects

In this continuing series with Bart Busschots, we get a more detailed look at objects, and then we look at some standard functions and objects that are built into JavaScript. We also take a proper look at two operators we’ve seen before, typeof and instanceof. Bart’s full written tutorial is available at bartbusschots.ie/….


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CCATP #442 – Programming by Stealth – 16 of x JavaScript Callbacks

PBS LogoIn this installment of Programming By Stealth, Bart Busschots takes our understanding of functions to the next level. The techniques we encounter today would be considered advanced techniques in most other languages, and you could spend years developing in Java and never encounter an anonymous function. However, because of how JavaScript is integrated into HTML documents, these techniques are considered fundamental in JavaScript, and anonymous functions are a dime a dozen! Before we delve into anonymous functions, we’ll start by taking a deeper look at how JavaScript deals with function arguments.

Bart’s full tutorial is available at bartbusschots.ie/….


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Continue reading “CCATP #442 – Programming by Stealth – 16 of x JavaScript Callbacks”

CCATP #440 – Programming by Stealth – 15 of x JavaScript Functions

PBS LogoIn this week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart Busschots is back with Programming By Stealth episode 15 of x where he’s going to teach us about JavaScript functions. he’ll twist our brains a bit with recursive functions but it’s a fun ride. And there’s even a challenge at the end!

And as always, here’s a link to Bart’s terrific tutorial for the episode: bartbusschots.ie/…


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