Blog Archives

Hard linking videos to save space in your iMovie library

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After an initial adjustment period, I’ve come to quite enjoy the new iMovie (2013). While it initially appears to be oversimplified, it actually still has most of the editing and organizational features that were available in older versions of iMovie, and it moves to a Final Cut Pro X based backend that is much faster and more powerful. In fact, it’s pretty clear that the new iMovie is just a reskinned, limited version of Final Cut Pro X. The best part about this is that many operations that used to block and make you wait in older iMovies are now done asynchronously, allowing you to keep working while clips import, movies render, or stabilization is analyzed. This is a huge win even for the small, simple videos that I put together of scuba diving or flying my quadcopter.

One thing about the new iMovie that I strongly dislike is that it now consolidates all your files into an opaque “library” which can only be used by a single application. Any videos that you import into iMovie get...

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Casting the Apple of Eden from bronze

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Early in August, my wife, Eva Funderburgh texted me from her bronze casting class:

Hey! I’m one of only two people in the class. I get as many investments as I want. Can you come up with a good plan to make an apple of Eden model by the time I’m home?

Until recently, I’ve been a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed series of video games, especially since it intersects with my interests in parkour and climbing, history, and science fiction. One of the key artifacts in the games' fiction is the Apple of Eden, an ancient piece of technology that gives its owner magical powers and the ability to influence people’s minds. The plot of the games often focuses on finding or controlling these artifacts.

My wife had been branching out from ceramic sculpture to bronze casting, and we’d talked a bit about making a replica prop of the Apple out of bronze, but I never wanted to take up space and materials that she could use for her actual art. But now we had the opportunity, and better yet, a deadline. Within a week, we needed to have the wax form of the Apple built and ready.

The Apple of Eden

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Maruku is obsolete

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A few weeks ago I finally released Maruku 0.7.0 after a short beta that revealed no serious issues. This was the first release in four years of the venerable Ruby Markdown library. I inherited Maruku over a year ago and I’m very proud of the work I’ve put into it during that year. I’m glad that I was able to fix many of its bugs and update it to work in a modern Ruby environment. However, I want to recommend that, if you have a choice, you should choose a different Markdown library instead of Maruku.

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Redesigning evafunderburgh.com

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My wife Eva Funderburgh (Hollis) is a professional artist, and has been making sculptures full-time since we both moved to Seattle in 2005. I don’t have much talent for clay, so my main contribution is to help with her website. A few weeks ago we launched the third iteration of her site, which we’d been working on for several months.

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Middleman 3.0

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For the last 8 months or so, I’ve been contributing to Thomas Reynolds‘ open source project Middleman. Middleman is a Ruby framework for building static websites using all the nice tools (Haml, Sass, Compass, CoffeeScript, partials, layouts, etc.) that we’re used to from the Ruby on Rails world, and then some. This website is built with Middleman, and I think it’s the best way to put together a site that doesn’t need dynamic content. Since I started working on Middleman in November 2011, I’ve been contributing to the as-yet-unreleased version 3.0, which overhauls almost every part of the framework. Today, after many betas and release candidates, Middleman 3.0 is finally released and ready for general use, and I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to help build.

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Securely and conveniently managing passwords

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Good password security habits are more important than ever, but it can be hard to take the common advice about using complex, unique passwords when they’re so inconvenient to manage. This article explains why password security is such a big deal, and then lays out a strategy for managing passwords that can tame your accounts without causing an undue burden.

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