Cartoon Header Graphic

Since I don't a header graphic for December, it's the only one missing from my collection, I thought I'd use John Norton's lovely comic core. He's a happy little dude.

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Posted by Rob at 4:30 PM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

New comic strip

George by John Norton - John dropped me a line last night. He discovered this weblog via a friend that was looking for fellow developers from Fresno. I'm amazed more and more each day how small this world really is.

Anywho, now I have a nice new comic strip to visit!

Thanks John!

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Posted by Rob at 3:59 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Seasonal Look

Rob's 2009 Jack-O-LanternDan Wood's Mac Indie Marketing: "The idea was to get as many indie developers to insert a bit of code, and some artwork, into their application, and have it released before Halloween. Then, simultaneously, Snow Leopard users would notice that a lot of their apps - at least those that were from participating indie companies - had special Halloween icons." - I love this idea, and would participate no questions asked, if I had a Mac Application. It should be no surprise I'd participate, just look how my header graphic changes month by month. Not to mention how much I LOVE HALLOWEEN! Great stuff.

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Posted by Rob at 9:19 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

OmniGraffle + FastScripts + User generated script == goodness

I've been working on a web page trying to finish up some last minute touches and I needed a Web 2.0 starburst icon. I tried using one that was auto generated by a website, but that didn't really work out liked I'd planned, so I started looking for alternative solutions.

My first attempt was to fire up Acorn, great application, and edit the one I had. In the end I wasn't pleased with the results, due to my lack of skills with an otherwise fine piece of software.

Next I thought, I know I can do this in Visio in about two minutes, but being lazy like I am, decided against it.

Thought number three was the winner. Since I could do this in Visio I'd probably be able to bang it out in OmniGraffle, right? Well, not so fast. My Visio prowess doesn't translate to OmniGraffle. Hmmm....

Enter a Google search for "star shapes for omnigraffle", which produced a link to a script! Ah-ha!

I downloaded Peter McMasters Star Script, created a new folder in my FastScripts Scripts Folder, called OmniGraffle strangely enough, and dropped Star.scpt in place.

Rob's cheezy Web 2.0 Price StarburstHere's where it gets scary. I switched back over to OmniGraffle, selected the FastScripts menu, located Star, and clicked...

It worked as advertised! Woo-hoo!

After I had the shape I was looking for I added a shadow, changed the fill, inserted some text, exported as .PNG, and did a bit of touchup in Acorn, and I had what I was after. A nice cheezy Web 2.0 Starburst!

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Posted by Rob at 7:41 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Web diagramming?

yUML [via Doug Finke]: "Create online UML diagrams in seconds from inside your blog posts, articles and documents." - I'd experimented with doing web based diagramming back in early 2002. This is an idea whose time has come, but not just for UML, for all kinds of connected diagrams. Flow charts, organization charts, data flow diagrams... the list goes on. The yUML guys use text to direct their diagram creation, back when I did my experiment I used OPML to create a hierarchal connected diagram because OMPL was a perfect fit for it. I used Visio, created a simple application to parse the OPML and turn it into something the Organization Chart Add-On could parse, executed Visio programatically, launched the Organization Chart Add-On programatically, generated the diagram, saved, and exited Visio. When I was thinking the web service through I figured the hardest part would be scaling of course, since I was using Visio to generate the drawings, but that's easy enough to work around.

This is great stuff, and I hope to see more in the future.

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Posted by Rob at 8:54 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Pencil, paper, and computer

Inside Adobe Illustrator: "You'll see that Von's approach, which is in fact used by many professional Illustrators, is very careful and methodical (in the best sense of these words). Before ever firing up Illustrator, Von has gone through lots of thumbnail sketches, roughs and finally produced a tight sketch that he will scan into Illustrator to use as a template he 'builds vectors'." - Pencil and paper are still the quickest way to rough out ideas, even when you're doing software engineering. The artist in this case then scans his work to use as a template. Sounds like a good plan.

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Posted by Rob at 11:17 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Chris gets all Squirclely

Chris Roth: "It turns out that squircles are a sort of rounded square.You can read about the details on Wikipedia, but I'll summarize a squircle as a a 'circle to the fourth power'. Normally, you would describe a circle as being an x2+y2 kind of beast. A squircle would be what you get if you were to plot x4+y4." - For the mathematician in you. If you're not a math head check out Chris' notes for a little math lesson. Enjoy.

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Posted by Rob at 8:15 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Interactive Final-Four Bracket

Visio Guy: "Not to miss a diagramming opportunity, Visio Guy is here to help you with your pool with a smart, interactive Final Four bracket!" - Chris comes through again! If you're a Visio user and a hoops fan take advantage of Chris' hard work and setup your bracket. Thanks Chris.

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Posted by Rob at 7:12 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Fun with video

Tom Distler: "So, we’ve been developing a slick cross-platform media framework to standardize or products on (proprietry, of course), and I couldn’t resist building an ASCII text renderer." - Tom did a brilliant job with the design of our new media pipeline, but this, well, you'll have to forgive him, he couldn't help himself. Smile, life is good!

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Posted by Rob at 10:32 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone design tool?

teehan+lax: "Over the past few months we’ve had to create a few iPhone mock ups for presentations. The problem we’ve encountered is the lack of resources to help us design something efficiently. Up until now we’ve used a nice PSD from but we still found ourselves having to build out additional assets or heavily modifying bitmap based buttons and widgets." - If you're a Visio user and you need a UI design tool for the iPhone I'd encourage Chris Roth, Mr. Visio Guy himself, to get to work.

Chris, you could blow this out of the water. Then we need to figure out how to generate the Interface Builder .xib file, and associated handlers. That would be a fun project.

Just having the template for building UI's would be wonderful.

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Posted by Rob at 7:34 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Job of the week "Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) markets the PlayStation® family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PlayStation®Portable entertainment system, PlayStation®2 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, for the North American market." - I'll bet it's a very tough place to work, but rewarding.

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Posted by Rob at 10:24 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Wish I could be there

This week, February 5th and 6th, is the Visio Conference in Redmond. I'd like to go just to see the new application in action. I don't own a copy of Visio 2007 and I haven't seen what you can do with the new features built around Databases, and random data in general. Heck, I haven't even seen the new AutoConnect in action!

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Posted by Rob at 9:39 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

YUV to RGB and back

FourCC.Org: "There are two specifications, CCIR 656 and CCIR 601 which define standards for component video, and I'm sure other pages on your site refer to them. In any case, CCIR 601 defines the relationship between YCrCb and RGB values:"

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Posted by Rob at 8:39 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.


Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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