Category Archives: iPhone

Why I didn’t become a graphic artist

I spent most of my grade school years drawing pictures instead of doing classwork. Classwork was easy, so I did that quickly and then “illuminated” my work with fanciful spacecraft, mythic maps, and lots of lizards and horses. My maps were quite good, my spacecraft were probably not flyable, and everything else was quite poor.

But now, thanks to powerful computer hardware and clever software, I can make cartoons based on nothing more than photographs that I’ve taken and odd comments. Such as this:

Cartoon showing two stacks of CD-ROMs mulling over their fate.

Combine powerful computers and software, a decent photo or three and some brief text, and you have cartoons!

You can find more such efforts at KLJC Computing Cartoons.

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Do-it-yourself iPhone 5 advertising

Apple had billions of dollars worth of free pre-release advertising for the iPhone 5, ranging from publicity on news programs to slick ads produced by various mobile phone vendors and resellers.

And then there was this Radio Shack store in Columbia, Maryland. Want to grab everyone’s attention? Use a white board and not one, not two, but three different colors of marking pen! Complete with a somewhat odd happy face and sparkling stars.

iPhone 5 advertisement hand-written on a white board.

One Radio Shack store in Columbia, Maryland, used a high-tech white board and colored markers to advertise the iPhone 5.

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Photos taken at the Apple Store, Columbia Mall, Columbia, Maryland.

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Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

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Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

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Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

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Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

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Steve Jobs memorial, Columbia, MD. Photo taken by Lawrence I. Charters using an iPhone 4.

A Greener San Diego

San Diego has a desert climate. It isn’t just slightly short of water; it has virtually none. The average yearly rainfall is just nine inches. There are virtually no sources of fresh water; virtually all fresh water is piped in from elsewhere.

Historically, the city has not been very concerned about the environment, either. But that has changed in recent years. This photo, taken with an iPhone on the downtown waterfront, shows a sculpture of fish, kelp, and seabirds, illustrating and celebrating the interaction of different parts of the environment.

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A more definitive sign of change is this sign, also photographed with an iPhone at the waterfront. Rather than have visiting cruise ships foul the air by running oil-fired shipboard engines while in port, San Diego is supplying green electrical power at dockside. A sign of a good sign.

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Beach House, Cardiff By the Sea

The Beach House is a marvelous restaurant in Cadriff by the Sea, the poetically named oceanside community in northern San Diego County, California. The restaurant itself is oceanside, too — and that doesn’t mean a block or two away, but right on the beach.

This photo was taken with an iPhone at sunset. As you might expect, the gentleman in front is nothing but a silhouette, the sky is blown out, and generally speaking the view doesn’t look as good as a photo as it does to the eye:

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But this photo, taken just seconds later, looks much better. The gentleman across the table is no longer just a silhouette, the sky has clouds, the waves look much better, and even the two glasses in the foreground look better:

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The second photo was taken using the iPhone’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) setting. This essentially takes two photos, one slightly overexposed and one slightly underexposed, and then combines the two. It isn’t entirely perfect if there is motion; if you look at the gentleman’s hair, you will see slight ghosting at the back as he moved his head a bit. But, generally speaking, this is impressive, considering that it was taken with a phone.

Not quite impressive (it is slightly out of focus) is this photo, also by iPhone, of my dinner at the Beach House: hoisin-glazed salmon with Shitake garlic Shanghai noodles and tempura sea beans. The salmon was impressive, the noodles were fine, but the real surprise were the tempura sea beans. Marvelous.

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Posting via MacJournal

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MacJournal is an inexpensive application that allows you to blog — or create a local journal on your Mac, or both — using a full, native Mac application. There are also iPhone and iPad versions, but we’ll ignore them and stick with…

The Mac version of MacJournal allows you to write text, incorporate graphics, sounds, links, and other things.

We’re going to start off small with some links:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.101672,+-76.654406

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.105775,+-117.313155

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100213,+-116.999352

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100239,+-116.999414

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=32.708186,+-117.164559

which may — or may not — be as meaningful as any other links. If this works, we may venture on to more robust fare.

Such as: useful graphs. Or at least a useful graph:

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It suggests a whole new kind of hobby: electronic scrapbooking.

[Added later] By the way, most of this blog was created with MacJournal and then uploaded, via MacJournal, to WordPress.

Posting via iPad

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There are few things more 21st century than blogging. And there is an app for that! Since WordPress is synonymous with blogging, the iPad and iPhone app is called: WordPress.

It is on the iTunes store, is free, and presumably was written by someone associated with WordPress. This entry was written with the app. Now to see if I can publish my entry…

And of course the application interface offers no obvious means of publishing. None. So you can write a local draft, and it is forever more just that: drafty.

The app has no on-line help, and no manual. The company behind WordPress and the app is Automattic, but the interface isn’t as automatic as you might expect. What to do?

And the answer is: research. The reviewers failed to have an answer (or even note there was a question), but the app Faq has the answer: on the “write” screen, change the Status: entry from “Local Draft” to “Published” and then Save.

Uh, OK. But could it have hurt to have a visible button or toggle?