An Illustrated History of Mac OS X

The maker of the popular Git client for mac Tower have created a great illustrated history of OSX which gives a potted history of how OSX has progressed over the past 14 years of development.

My first ever titanium PowerBook laptop came with Mac OSX 10.1 Puma on it, there's quite a difference in aesthetic from those days to now!

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Animated gif of XKCD's Philae probe Comet Landing cartoon

XKCD's daily cartoon covered the Rosetta / Philae comet landing that took place on 12 November 2014 with a great continously updating cartoon throughout the day.

As all of XKCD's cartoons are available under a Creative Commons licence I thought it would be good to make an animated gif of all of the frames, so here it is:

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iPhone view of 2013

Well, it took me the first half of the year to get around to compiling my 'iPhone view' video for 2013 but I finally got a round to it so here it is:

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HTML 5 Application Cache device storage limits - Jan 2014

A large project I'm working on just now requires some offline capability so I've been doing a lot of research into the various HTML5 technologies available. One thing I found is that a lot of the information out there about storage limitations of browsers and devices was often quite old (2 years being quite old in this context!), so I've performed a range of tests to establish more up-to-date information, so as of Jan 2014 this is hopefully accurate!

Tests were performed using the AppCache test page at apart from the Firefox results as that test page wouldn't work at the time of testing, Firefox tests were performed using my own test page instead.

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Creative Dundee Mid Week Meets

We've been a bit starved of late in Dundee for any kind of creative meetups so it's good to see that Creative Dundee are starting up the Mid Week Meets again.

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GoPro Hero 3 - 720p 120fps slowmo After Effects test

I have finally got myself a GoPro! This is a couple of test clips with footage shot in 720p 120fps mode on the GoPro Hero 3, then slowed down further in After Effects CS6 using Timestretch and Timewarp. 

A bit glitchy due to the flickering from light behind it, I'll try this again in bright daylight and compare results.

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R.I.P. BrowserLab

I wrote about BrowserLab here on Suburbia back when it launched in 2009, at the time it was one of very few web apps that let you preview websites in different browser / OS combinations. But things have moved on a lot since then with new services such as BrowserStack and Sauce which offer the much more compelling feature-set of being able to use live virtual machines accessed through your browser in order to use and test sites rather than just static screenshots. 

BrowserLab has languished a bit for a while with very few desktop browser options and nothing to offer in the increasingly important areas of mobile and tablet device testing, in light of this Adobe seems to have decided that it's better to kill it off instead of languish any further. Although some may be disappointed in this decision I had already 'jumped ship' and started using BrowserStack instead (as per my recent post) so it doesn't affect my own workflow.

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Rolling. (iPhone video experimentation)

I made this as a little experiment in self-filming with my iPhone, there was no-one else at my local skatepark late one night.

I thought it would be fun to try a multi-angle shoot of a rolling carve line around the park.

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Cross-platform, cross-browser website testing with BrowserStack

Like many web design / developers I've made use of virtualisation applications like VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion for Mac in order to test websites in the various versions of Internet Explorer. Using these apps requires buying the relevant Windows licences for the various virtual machines and also the overhead of keeping these current with the latest OS updates and browser / plugin updates too.

However, I recently did a fresh install of OSX on my Mac and decided just to remove all of the virtual machines due to the amount of space they used and had every intention of installing them all fresh and continuing to work that way. But due to project demands at work I had no time to do it and decided to look around for alternative ways to do some testing as I needed to do it for a project. I had previously used Adobe's BrowserLab tool for quick static testing for layout issues in browsers but I needed something that let me browse sites and actually interact with the pages, and that's where BrowserStack fits the bill perfectly.

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Remotely debugging mobile devices: Remote web inspection in Safari and iOS6

It doesn't take a genius to note that mobile devices are pretty much overtaking the web, and that a huge amount of people – the majority depending on the statistics you pay attention to – are accessing the web via a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad or other smartphone / tablet.

As such there has been a huge buzz about responsive design and how to make sites adapt well between a range of screen sizes and resolutions, and moving away from the concept of a fixed size of screen such as the ubiquitous 960 pixel grid framework. One of the biggest challenges in this new era of web design and development has been the lack of good tools to aid you in the process of creating responsive, adaptive websites.

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