Christmas Card 2018 Autopsy

Rausch Family 2018 Christmas Quiz

We recently announced our 2018 Christmas Card. Every year, my wife and I design and develop a digital Christmas card. These cards are opportunities to explore new technologies or techniques, and they usually turn into more trouble than they seem to be worth.

In this post, I’ll dissect the process and product of our Christmas Card. View the card at Check out the code on GitHub at awayken/2018-christmas-card.

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Google Wave

This should have happened years ago. File this into my “Why aren’t things easier?” list.

UPDATE: Apparently the idea of spending an hour and twenty minutes on my website was too daunting for some readers. Let me sum up the video.

Google recently held the 2009 version of its annual Google I/O conference. Essentially, it’s a developers’ conference, devoted to all sorts of nerdy, engineer stuff that Google does so well with. The conference lasted for two days, and two keynotes were given by members of the Google company. The above video is from Day Two’s keynote, presented by a new team at Google: Google Wave.

In short, Google Wave is a new way of communicating online. Today’s online conversations are broken and broken up. I have emails in one place, blog posts in another, Twitter updates, Facebook messages, and instant messages in a third. What if you could seamlessly blend all of these communications together in a way that was intuitive, easy, and a little bit fun? What if it was as intuitive as Google Maps, as easy as Google Search, and a little bit fun like GMail? What if you could also collaborate and share these streams of communication like Google Docs? That’s what this video is about.

The video goes through a number of scenarios and demonstrations, stepping through the typicaly communication problems that they overcame with the new interface. What really helped to sell things was the live, interactive demos. You could see as one presenter typed and published how those results were broadcast on the other presenter’s screen. The demo was not without its sticky points, as the software is still very early, but the presenters handled it pretty well.

It’s something to behold. As you watch them work with the product, it really opens up possibilities. Simply hearing what it’s about, or seeing screenshots, does very little to demonstrate it. It’s a tool to facilitate communication, and communication cannot be adequately photographed or screen captured.

If you have the time, or you’re even a little bit geeky, definitely check out this video.

MacHeist II

If you are an Apple computer user, then you should check out MacHeist II. Below is a quote from their latest e-mail.

The MacHeist Bundle is back, and features an amazing roster of software from the indie Mac development community. Already the bundle features such beloved software as 1password, CoverSutra, Cha-Ching, iStopMotion, Awaken, AppZapper, TaskPaper, and as an added bonus, Speed Download. Plus, more applications are on their way… CSSEdit is just about to be unlocked for all customers, with Snapz Pro and Pixelmator as the next two unlock apps.

The bundle is $49 for eleven applications. According to them, these applications individually cost $368.75, so you get a pretty good saving off them, and 25% of your $49 goes to a charity! You should check it out, even if you don’t buy anything. I paid my $49, and I’m glad I did.