Just finished a bench

A bench for the front entry, made entirely of white oak.

Made from plans that appeared in Wood Magazine. The exploded view:

Bench Exploded Plan

I kept the dimensions. The only real change I made was to substitute dowels for the mortise-and-tenon joints. And, I used screws only for the seat slats; everything else was glued only.

Time to drop iOS apps

Most of my iOS apps show photos stored on Smugmug, and somewhere the URLs changed. (I think it’s an Apple problem, not Smugmug’s.) It’s a very minor fix, but it involves updating all the apps. That, unfortunately, involves creating new icons and launch images for different iPhone screen resolutions, and fixing up all sorts of app-submission changes since those apps were last updated.

I would do the work, but Apple’s Xcode-based packaging and submittal process is so ridiculously clumsy that it’s just too unpleasant, for way too many hours. (Example: Apple demands a launch image with a “-568h” suffix for 4-inch iPhone 5 devices. I’ve spent maybe 4 hours trying to get App Store to accept my app with the icon, with no luck. 9/11 and Dorothea Lange worked, but not Manzanar. I give up.)

I went through the torture for 9/11 and Dorothea Lange and got them submitted. If Apple accepts them, fine. If they’re as difficult to deal with as they are on the Mac side, then those will go, too, although I will make a huge effort to keep at least 9/11 available.

This is only for iOS apps. Mac versions in the App Store will continue to be there as long as they continue to work, which they do as of now. For some of them (Ingestamatic, ExifChanger, and ProofSheet), you can get an unlock code for the newer version downloadable from basepath.com just by sending an email to support. None of my Mac apps will be updated on the Mac App Store, ever, because Apple rejects all of my updates. (Features that were acceptable a few years ago no longer are, and I don’t have time or interest in redesigning the apps to suit Apple’s changing requirements.)

Do you get the impression that I don’t think much of Apple from a developer viewpoint? They’re arrogant, non-communicative, inflexible, and stupid, and life’s too short to spend any of it dealing with them. Fortunately, it’s still possible to distribute Mac apps outside of the App Store, which I’ll continue to do. When and if Apple puts a stop to that, I’ll drop Apple completely.

ProofSheet Version 1.71

One more nifty new feature: I’m creating a book (Dorothea Lange: 500 FSA Photographs) with captions that vary widely in length, and if I allow enough footer space for the longest, the photos are smaller than they could be:


Some captions are much longer than the one shown here, so the problem is even worse than it appears here. But with a new {Expand} variable, anywhere in the footer text, captions that don’t fill the footer space are moved down, and the image is expanded, like this:


Note that {Expand} only works in cell footers.

ProofSheet Version 1.70

Adds a new {Indent} variable which indents the text by about 7% of the width on the left and right. Also, centers the block of text (not the individual lines) in the cell. Generally results in a more pleasing appearance when the text is a title or caption.

Instead of this:


With {indent} anywhere in the text, you get this:


The footer that produced this was:


New book: Wright Brothers Photographs from the Library of Congress

The perfect companion to David McCullough’s new book, “The Wright Brothers.” Photographs taken by the Wright Brothers themselves, digitized by the Library of Congress from the original glass plates. Contains 183 photographs with captions. Includes many taken at Kitty Hawk, including early gliding experiments and the first flight.

It’s available from Amazon for $2.99.

Rebuilding My Tall Ships Montage

(A reprint of a post I wrote on 25-Nov-2007.)

In 1976 I sailed, as a passenger, on the Roseway (see below) from Camden, Maine, to New York for Operation Sail, a gathering of hundreds of sailboats to celebrate the Bicentennial, on July 4, 1976.
The main attraction was 16 tall ships.

“Tall ship” doesn’t have an exact definition, but they are all large and square-rigged.
The Roseway isn’t a tall ship—it’s a schooner that’s only about 130 feet long and squeezes in about 35 passengers plus crew.

I shot a few hundred pictures during the 2-week voyage from Maine to New York and back.
My camera at the time was a completely manual Konica FP SLR.
(Shortly thereafter I switched to a Canon AE-1, the first entirely electronic SLR.)
Later in 1976, as I was going through my 4×5 prints, I made the happy discovery that I had at least one photo of each of the 16 tall ships.
I didn’t remember all of the names, so I matched the photos against those in an Op Sail ’76 guidebook I had bought somewhere along the way.
Then I arranged them into a 4-by-4 grid and mounted them in a large frame.
I must have been pleased with my work because I took a picture of it (above).

Years later, the pictures all fell from the mounting board (I recall that they were fastened with double-sided Scotch tape) and collected in a pile at the bottom.
None of the pictures were labeled, but they had been arranged in alphabetical order.
The guidebook disappeared, too.

Earlier this year [2007] I scanned all 1000-or-so of my slides, including the few hundred from Op Sail.
Just today, I decided it was time to try to find the original 16 photos that were in the montage so I could put it back together, but this time digitally.
I didn’t have the original prints (I’m sure they’re around somewhere), but I did have that shot of the framed arrangement.
Also, I remembered seeing that guidebook and found it on the basement shelves where I keep my old books.

I got them all matched except for the Mircea (bottom-left).
I either lost that slide or didn’t scan it, but, rather than go back to the slide tray to see, I just used another taken a few seconds later.

Here’s the result: All digital, rearranged into the same montage (without tape, this time).
Note how I was able to improve the white balance and exposure with Lightroom.

Larger versions of these images, along with the names and countries, are on my
SmugMug site.

ZipVerifier 1.01

A few bugs fixed that resulted in external verification failing when the archive was good. Any archives reported as good were good.

 Download here.