Erik’s Brain

The reward of a thing well done...

Impressive. Most Impressive

Apple selling one million copies of iPhoto for iOS in the first ten days sounds pretty impressive. Then you realized they sold three million new iPads in the first weekend. $5,000,000 in ten days vs. at least $1,500,000,000 in three days. 1.5 BILLION dollars. At least 300x more grossed by iPads in less than one third of the time. It kind of boggles the mind.


Unfortunately, it looks like my suspicions were correct: it’s a novelty for shooting one type of photo, and not particularly usable for anything else. That’s too bad — I really thought the Lytro had more potential.

Marco Arment

You know what else sucked for the first few (actually, many) years they were on the market? Digital cameras. Every single digital camera was an over-priced toy that occasionally captured a decent image.

policyfiles.txt Out of Control!

Is your policyfiles.txt file out of control? I just noticed mine was huge at nearly 300MB. Want to get it under control? I did.

You’ve got two options, both of which involve editing the mm.cfg file, located in either your home folder or /Library/Application Support/Macromedia (or somewhere else on your system if you don’t have a Mac).

  1. Set PolicyFileLog=0. That prevents the debug version of the Flash Player from making the file and logging to it in the first place.
  2. Set PolicyFileLogAppend=0. That clears the file every time the Flash Player is relaunched.

Bam. Easy. You’re welcome.

Related: MDS Activity and Flash Player

Mute Switch Madness

In his post on the “great iOS mute switch debate,” Marco Arment mentioned in a footnote that

If only built-in apps were allowed to bypass Mute, we would complain that developers couldn’t make useful alarm apps and Apple was being evil.

Trouble is, it’s only partially true that 3rd party apps can play noises if the mute switch is turned on. Apps that use background notifications for alarms, which is any alarm app worth a damn, can’t play notification noises if the mute switch is on and the app has been exited. However, if the app was the most recently used and you just hit the iPhone’s top “sleep” button, the app can still play noises. That must be what Marco means. I thought this was the case, based on my work on an alarm app that, sadly, changes in iOS 5 made impossible to ship. (Although as I write this I think I’ve thought of a workaround for the app I abandoned).

I also tested it out with Due and Night Stand HD.

The bottom line is that if you want a timer or alarm to go off and ignore the mute switch, no matter what, without worrying about it, you are stuck with the built in iOS Clock app. Which doesn’t suck for the end user, but it does suck for app developers who have ideas for better alarm apps.


If you know me at all, you know that these days Adobe leaves a bad taste in my mouth. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B. And those don’t even mention Adobe’s accusations that I was a liar and a cheat and the overall nightmare I experienced when I had to “crossgrade” from Windows to Mac in 2007.

It wasn’t always that way. Back in the fall of 1996 (or was it winter 1997?) I was a freshman in college and got myself a copy of The Photoshop 3.0 WOW! Book and downloaded a working demo of Photoshop 3. It was a revelation. I had so much fun playing with that software and learning what it could do. I knew Photoshop 4 was on the way so I waited and pounced as soon as it was released. I think that with my student discount I was able to pick it up for around $270. Best money I’d ever spent. If you’ll recall, PS 4 was the first one to have layers. Yes, there were three versions of Photoshop that didn’t have layers. The excitement I felt about computers and creating things with computers was palpable. I still remember it clearly.

TextMate 2 Projects

A little bit of info about how projects work in TextMate 2 was posted to the official Macromates blog. There are some nice things about the way things work now, but I don’t see how I’ll be able to replicate how I’m using TextMate project files (.tmproj) with the project I do the most work on these days. I should point out when I say “project” I’m talking about a work project that involves a lot of TextMate project files.

Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Gripes, Part 1

Here are just two three big beefs with Photoshop CS5.1 vs CS4 under OS 10.7:

  • You can’t change the document window size from all edges and corners anymore
  • Every time the cursor transforms into a spinner it disrupts my train of thought because it’s just wrong to do that. No other app does that. Stop reinventing the wheel just because you think you can make the wheel look cooler, Adobe.
  • Collapsing palettes requires a double click when it used to be a single click