There's a lot to be discovered by putting some current day 6 to 13 year olds in front of a functioning Apple II from the 1980s and watch them try to operate it. The things that we adults took for granted when using our own Apple IIs back in those days utterly mystify a modern kid who's never known anything but iPhones, iPads with multi-touch and Macs with mice. This is a stellar presentation, filled with both delicious technical amazement as well as charming reactions by some very smart kids. It is OMG sensational. If only Art Linkletter could have lived to see this.
You may have heard a lot about Markdown, it’s a syntax for formatting documents in an easy-to-read way. One of the Masters Of Markdown is my friend Brett Terpstra, who builds tools like Marked and nvALT that help take advantage of Markdown and all it has to offer. Brett is what I like to call a SuperMegaSmartyPants, and now he’s offering to share those pants with you. OK, that came out wrong. Brett has teamed up with Peachpit Press for a Markdown chapter of the Learn By Video series. If you go to Brett’s site you can get a coupon for the video, and I highly recommend doing so if you are tired of trying to read raw HTML documents or you’re familiar with Markdown and just want to level up. Here's a screenshot from the video. It has a kitten in it to show you how cute it is!
I’m a huge fan of the Monkees, and have been for most of my life. Coming across this clip really entertained me because it is a fun intersection of three things I enjoy: The Monkees, Johnny Cash, and TV variety shows. There should TOTALLY be more variety shows. And by more I mean any. And Craig Ferguson should host one since Wayne Brady already has that other thing he does, and Craig will have free time in the near future. But I digress. Check out this clip of 75% of the Monkees hanging out with Johnny Cash. Watching them make him laugh was my favorite part, but I also got a kick out of seeing them all sing something together.
Walhub is a company that makes a nifty little product: An add-on for a light switch cover. It adds a couple of hooks, or hooks and a "keeper" for mail or a phone that’s charging. They’re available in both switch and rocker styles, so whatever you have you can upgrade your covers to add a convenient place to keep your keys/umbrella/mail. I’ve only just discovered these, but I am definitely looking to upgrade a few of the switch covers in my house. Since I have the rocker style, I can put one of these around either a switch or a power outlet, so basically anyplace in my house I want to add these will work well. As an added bonus, they were designed in California and made in Washington state, so for those who prefer to buy local, these are American made from beginning to end.
Remember Word Lens, the app in Apple's 'Powerful' ad that translated a sign in real time? Earlier this month, Google bought Quest Visual—the company that makes Word Lens—and on Tuesday, the search giant made the app a free download on the App Store. Even the in-app language packs are free. Word Lens works just like the commercial shows: Hold up the camera to some text, and have that text translated into another language as you stand there. It's the kind of app that borders on magic when you use it. However, snap it up quickly and back up often; Google is known for buying something cool that ultimately gets Old Yellered. Hopefully that won’t happen to Word Lens since it really is nifty, but with Google you never can tell. [via TUAW]
If you've had an iPhone ever since the original or the 3G, you might remember the original tones Apple used for the ringtones and alerts. They have evolved a bit over the years, and now someone has taken them to the next level: Remix! Via The Next Web, I have a new favorite version of those default sounds. YouTuber itsMetroGnome has turned them into music. It's certainly a different way to experience them, so check it out for a slightly different take on iOS noises. If you like it lots, you can head to his site (through the description in the video) and donate a little cash to the cause. What cause? 'Cause it's awesome.
If you have an extra 22,694 LEGO bricks sitting around and a love for the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., what do you do? How about build your own helicarrier and submit it as a kit proposal to LEGO's Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) project. The completed LEGO model measures in at 85.4-inches long and is loaded with details from the helicarrier's lift rotars to planes on its deck ready to take flight. It's simply beautiful and assuming LEGO decides it's a kit worth producing, will no doubt be ridiculously expensive. The Avengers Helicarrier already has passed the minimum 10,000 votes needed for consideration, so now this one is in LEGO's hands. Thanks to my awesome follower batwench for the heads up.
I started on computers a long time ago, when they were much bigger and I was much littler. Back then, it was a long way from the giant (clacky) keyboard to the mouse, so discovering I could do those things with a keyboard made things faster when “fast” wasn’t a very accurate description of the computer experience. As time went on, input devices got more accurate and convenient, but muscle memory kept me using keyboard commands. Some of the basic commands are easy to pick up and can shave time off of repetitive tasks, and Matt Gemmell has compiled a list of keyboard commands that is a nice reference for people who aren’t yet well versed in the dark art of keyboard magic. Check out the list and see what you can use to whip some workflows into shape, and while you're at it, you should check out the piece Sandro Cuccia wrote for TMO about getting the most from the Option key.
Calendars 5 from Readdle is a slick alternative to the built-in Calendars app on your iPhone and iPad, and it's available for free through Monday. Calendars 5 uses the same database as Apple's own Calendar app, sports a clean interface that makes it easy to see just how busy your schedule is, and lets you create new events with plain English, like "Lunch with Bryan tomorrow at noon." It also supports syncing with Google Calendars, so
aren't limited to iCloud for keeping your appointments in line across your devices. Calendars 5 is regularly priced at US$6.99 and is available at Apple's iTunes-based App Store.
Sometimes you have the right tool for the job, and sometimes you need to MacGyver something together. Like if you’re attempting to enjoy an impromptu bottle of wine with no corkscrew. No matter, Mirabeau Wine will save the day! Watch the video below, and check out the Demystifying Wine section of their site. I really enjoy the explanations and tips there, and I thought you might too. It’s Friday, odds of opening a bottle of something today are pretty good.
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