An image manipulation and compression app I’ve been working on.

After reading Jeff Atwood’s recent blog post on Zopfli optimization, I wanted to see how hard it would be to create a GUI to apply the compression algorithm to my PNG files.

The design is borrowed heavily from Teeny Tokyo. I don’t know whether I’ll ever release this thing, but if I do I’ll be sure to change the interface so John Saddington doesn’t punch me in the face.

prink

The thing is actually completely functional – except for the image resizing stuff – and does reduce the filesize of PNG images considerably. Unfortunately the compression algorithm is horrendously slow, sometimes taking 15-20 seconds per file. Basically, the only way this ever sees a public release is if I can make it run considerably faster with some multithreading magic.

Atom Editor ‘Open With’ Assistant for Windows

Github’s Atom text editor is one of the best available. Unfortunately on Windows, there’s no easy way to set Atom as the default editor for specific file formats.

The issue was reported on Github and a viable workaround was devised, however the workaround has its own set of annoyances. Atom user bilderbuchi observes the following:

  • I got no way to select the Atom icon, I got an empty white rectangle.
  • It flickers the terminal for a split second, which interestingly does not happen when starting atom via the start menu. Annoying, but not vital.
  • It says “atom.cmd” in the relevant dialogs/menus, which is not exactly beautiful/elegant.
  • I can’t imagine a normal user to go through this dance to do this, compared to the experience in other editors like Notepad++.
  • I’ve created my own solution to this problem by adding an “intermediary” executable file that can easily be set as the default associated program for filetypes that then passes the file along to Atom. The most significant benefit of this method is that it correctly sets the file association icon.

    Simply install ‘Atom Editor OpenWith Assistant‘ and associate your code files with ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Atom Editor OpenWith Assistant\Atom OpenWith Assistant.exe

    AtomAssignment

    Files associated with the OpenWith Assistant will now display the above Atom icon designed by Tharique Azeez. The hastily written VB.NET code behind this program is available on Github.

    “Internet Fame”

    John Saddington; one of my favorite bloggers and creators-of-cool-shit, earlier wrote a fantastic piece on the topic of internet fame titled I Got Boring. While it would be egregious of me to compare my brief moments of popularity with Saddington’s long list of accomplishments, many of his observations resonated strongly with me.

    When I was in high school, I wrote a couple of apps that became popular. My name and projects would appear frequently in technology publications. There were newspaper columnists heralding me as a boy-genius, there was fanmail, radio show invitations, strangers sending me wads of cash; MajorGeeks even sent me a stack of t-shirts just for letting them host my damn .exe file. For a seventeen year old kid, this attention was overwhelming.

    Unlike Saddington, I immensely enjoyed all the attention. Not in the “I’m a fame whore” sense, but rather; in the sense that I work harder when I have something to prove. I felt like the internet was waiting with bated breath to see what my next ingenious creation would be. I’ve worked tirelessly over the last five years to recreate that “I matter” feeling, but despite my best efforts I can’t shake the “I’m a failure” feeling. Intellectually I know that isn’t true. I’ve built a business that can almost support me financially. The attention of total strangers really isn’t important.

    As Saddington writes; the biggest loss as popularity wanes is the social circle that accompanies it:

    The calls have stopped, the emails have ceased, the invitations to events no longer find their way into my hands… What is disappointing, though, is that I had unrightly and ignorantly believed that some of those people were my friends, that they were people that cared about me and not just what I could bring to the table…

    I miss the mentors, the encouragers, the small army of people practically begging to beta test every little thing I was working on. Now when I show off a cool new app or website, it’s met with cold silence. It’s hard to stay motivated when it feels like nobody gives a shit what you’re up to.

    (For the record; I don’t think you got boring, John. Desk looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it)