Droplr: The easiest possible screenshot tool

A couple months ago the leader of a web development team I’m working with introduced me to Droplr, a magnificent screenshot sharing tool that has totally revolutionized the way I show team members and friends what I’m seeing without the hassle of a video call.

This will be a short post, because the app is beautifully simple and functional.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 20.52.21Go to droplr.com, sign up (for free), and download and install the app. If you’re on a Mac like I am, you’ll see a droplet icon in your toolbar. If you’re on Windows you’ll see it in your system tray.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 20.58.49The functionality is simple. When you want to grab a screenshot hit the keyboard shortcut (Command + Shift + 4 on my Mac) and your screen is grayed out and your cursor changes to a select cursor. Select the area that you want to capture, and let go.

The screenshot is instantly saved for you (no need to select a destination), but the especially beautiful part is that as soon as the image is captured it begins uploading to your Droplr account. When it’s done, a short d.pr link is automatically copied to your clipboard, ready to paste into Slack, HipChat, Hangouts, or an email.

Thus far I’ve only used the free plan and it works great for me. The paid plans do look interesting, but I don’t have any reason to think about upgrading.

I love Droplr. It’s one of the essential tools I use every day. I highly recommend it for it’s great functionality and beautiful simplicity. It’s also made by my fellow Oregonians over in Bend :)

New Macbook Pro!

It’s been I long wait, but I finally bought a new Macbook pro! A combination of factors have been moving me toward getting one for a while, but I was pushed over the edge when my good friend Brayden heard about the Broadwell update and said he was going to order his.

I bought an older (2006?) Macbook Pro a couple years ago, but it just didn’t have the power I needed, so I turned around and sold it. This new one is a different story…

I ordered online Tuesday after we got back from a 4th of July trip, and headed into the Apple Store at Washington Square to pick it up.

It’s AWESOME. I love it.

I ordered the 15-inch version. The specs are as follows:

  • 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
  • 16GB 1600MHz memory
  • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage1
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory
  • Built-in battery (9 hours)
  • Force Touch trackpad

Thoughts

The 15″ screen is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but I like it. It’s big enough to do serious work on, but still portable. The retina resolution is everything I thought it would be: crisp, clear, easy on the eyes, and totally beautiful. It’s the way computer displays are supposed to be.

I’m a little disappointed by the mere 2 USB ports, but I guess that’s to be expected. It’s not that big of a deal, I’ll just by a hub, but it is noticeable, especially when I’m at my desk (which is most of the time).

I am very excited about all the display ports this thing has. It’s got 2 thunderbolt ports on one side, and an HDMI port on the other. Right now I have my 24″ Dell display hooked up to the HDMI port on the right side. The lack of retina resolution is very obvious, but the display is still super useful.

The new force Touch Trackpad is interesting. It basically has 2 click levels, a lot like a camera’s shutter button. Push down for your normal click, and push a little harder for your secondary click. This gives you another dimension of control with a single input surface.

Frankly I’m not that impressed with the graphics or processing power thus far (granted, it’s only been 2 days). I did some work in iMovie, partly because I needed to, partly because I wanted to test it out, and although I never noticed any lag, hangs, or response time issues, the machine got really hot, especially up above the keyboard, both while editing and rendering.

The same thing happened when I recorded some screencasts. I’ve been looking forward to getting a Mac for a long time because the OS X version of Quicktime has a screen recording feature, offering a free alternative to the expensive Camtasia Studio screen recorder. I ran some tests yesterday, and while again I noticed no response issues and the Activity Monitor reported a light load on both RAM and CPU, the fan was pumping the whole time and the area above the keyboard was almost to hot to touch.

I had this same issue on the older Macbook Pro I had, but I assumed it was just a lack of digital muscle (those Core 2 Duos…), and a new Mac would run cool. I’m still hoping that’s the case, and I’m just doing something wrong.

OS X Yosemite is, of course, awesome. Sleek, efficient, minimal. There are a lot of Mac apps that don’t have a Windows counterpart. I’ve installed a couple new ones, and they’re proving to be really useful. For me, the OS alone is probably the biggest reason for getting back on the Apple train. It just works so much better than Windows.

For me the only downside to going OS X is that we have CS5.5 for Windows only, which means that I have to do without the Adobe tools I’m used to, unless I spend another boatload of money (I’m not particularly eager to do that right now…) on new software. I’m hoping Adobe will be willing to switch our license over to Mac. We’ll see.

Hopes

Building iOS apps is one of the biggest reasons I bought a Mac. It’s going to take a lot of learning, but it will be nice to be able to do everything I need to do from one computer (iOS and Android development, web development, media production, general business and productivity), and not have to worry about being unable do certain things because of my hardware.

I also look forward to traveling with this laptop. We hope to be leaving for the mission field in Central America sooner than later, and I can’t wait to work on it in all sorts of strange and unusual places :)

There are of course lots of other things I hope to do with this computer, but that’s enough for now. I’m super excited about using it as a tool for the kingdom, and I pray that it will always be an instrument of righteousness for the glory of King Jesus and the good of His people.

(More posts to come…)

Fixing Read Only problem for external drives on OS X

For the longest time I’ve had an issue with external drives in OS X. I can’t write to them from my Mac. It turns out that’s because I’ve had my drives formatted in NTFS, which is apparently a Windows only format.

I finally did what I should have done in the first place, and googled the problem.

What do you know… I found an answer.

This worked like a charm for me.

http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/quick-tip-solving-read-only-external-drive-problems-on-your-mac–mac-52507

Resources for learning Android app development

Hey all! Goodness, it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve made a real blog post…

Over the past few months I’ve been working on a mobile app project with 2 good friends. They did most of the work while I attended the meetings, listened in, and ate a fantastic lunch to celebrate the successful completion of the project. I didn’t know enough to be as useful as I wish I could have been, but I learned a ton, and the project left me with a revived passion to learn more about building mobile apps and software development in general.

At the moment I can’t do a whole lot with iOS apps because I’m stranded in the Windows world, so until my situation improves I’m working on developing some Android app skills. I’m not very deep into it yet, but so far here are some resources that have been helpful to me.

That’s just a short list for my current stage. Lord willing I’ll have a lot more as I make progress!

Tomorrow I’ll be getting an Android device via Amazon Prime so I can actually run and test some code (I could never get any of the emulators to work). I’ll be sure to give some updates on that.

Until then!

See the Conqueror mounts in triumph

See, the Lord ascends in triumph,
Conqu’ring King in royal state
Riding on the clouds, His chariot
To His heav’nly palace gate;
Hark! The choirs of angel voices
Joyful alleluias sing,
And the portals high are lifted
To receive their heav’nly King.

Who is this that comes in glory
With the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies,
He has gained the victory.
He who on the cross did suffer,
He who from the grave arose,
He has vanquished sin and Satan;
He by death has spoiled His foes.

While He lifts His hands in blessing
He is parted from His friends;
While their eager eyes behold Him,
He upon the clouds ascends.
He who walked with God and pleased Him,
Preaching truth and doom to come,
He, our Enoch, is translated
To His everlasting home.

Now our heav’nly Aaron enters
With His blood within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan,
And the kings before Him quail.
Now He plants the tribes of Israel
In their promised resting place,
Now our great Elijah offers
Double portion of His grace.

He has raised our human nature
On the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heav’nly places,
There with Him in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
Man with God is on the throne;
By our mighty Lord’s ascension
We by faith behold our own.

http://www.hymnary.org/text/see_the_conqueror_mounts_in_triumph