Up Followup Review

by Jonathan Longnecker in Personal

Up by Jawbone After I got my UP wristband several people asked me to let them know how it was working out. Now that I've had it for a month and a half I think I have a pretty good idea of how well it works. In my last post I said I was only interested in the activity and sleep cycle parts of the band and after using it that's still true. In all honesty, the food tracker isn't very helpful anyway.

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Up - A Wristband to Get Your Butt in Shape

by Jonathan Longnecker in Personal

Up by Jawbone

Jawbone – the makers of fine bluetooth headsets – have expanded their product line to include Up. Official marketing copy is “Band + App Inspires healthy living.” Great, but what does it do? Quite a lot, actually! Thanks to a bunch of sensors inside this tiny wristband – and a simple iPhone app – it can track your activity and your sleep. It can also help track your eating habits and let you start up challenges with a friend, but I’m more interested in the first two.


Up iPhone Activity ScreenUp can actually tell when you’ve been inactive for a certain period of time and buzz to remind you to get up and move around. Seeing as I sit in front of the computer all day and have tried setting little alarms to do this and failed miserably I’m excited by something that will just know when I need to get up and remind me. Added benefits of this are that it tracks a metric ton of other activity like steps, distance, intensity levels and even GPS so you can literally track how active or lazy you’ve been every day.

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Nest - The Thermostat You Actually Want to Buy

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design


I never thought I’d be looking for a way to scrounge up the extra money to buy a thermostat, and yet here we are. Nest looks like a fantastic product from former Apple employees Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Packed with all kinds of sensors, gorgeous industrial design and intelligent software that learns your routines, you can tell the details have been sweated over for a long time. Take a look at the installation guide to see what I mean.

Long story short, these guys are tackling a huge problem with current iterations of thermostats and helping us to save energy and money, all while making it fun. Go check it out →

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Gradient App - A Fine Way to Make CSS3 Gradients

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

Gradient App

Background gradients in CSS3 are a pain. Multiple syntaxes, color stops all over the place. And that’s just for a linear gradient. Anything other than that makes my head hurt. Thankfully Jumpzero has just released the beta of their Gradient App.

It’s a beautiful, simple app that makes it easy to select the exact colors you need, the direction and type of gradient, and then it spits out all the vendor prefixes you could possibly imagine. It will even do RGB and RGBA in addition to HEX codes. The UI is really great and I find myself actually enjoying making gradients. Who’d have thought?

I have no idea what Gradient will eventually cost, but you can grab it for free while it’s in beta. So go do it. Now!

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Blog Pagination, Categories and Comments with Structure in ExpressionEngine

by Jonathan Longnecker in ExpressionEngine

If we haven’t made it plain before, we love ExpressionEngine and Structure. When betrothed together in holy matrimony they make a beautiful pair. But as with any relationship there are some snags. More specifically – blog pagination, categories and comments. Let’s take a look at the problems they have and then some quick tips I’ve stumbled across on how to fix them.

Basic Structure Setup

Before we jump in I’m assuming you know a bit about Structure. It lets you create pages based on URL’s not templates. But it does use templates. Confused yet!? Ok. If you’re creating a blog you will need to do a few things.

  1. Structure Blog ListingCreate two templates - A “show a list of my entries” template and an “individual article” template.
  2. In your Structure tree, go to settings and add your blog channel as a listing and set it to the individual article template.
  3. Create the main blog page with Structure, but choose your list of entries template instead of the default template. Also choose to make the page have listings and choose the Blog channel.
  4. Now back in your Structure tree you’ve got the blog page in your navigation and the option to edit or add new blog entries as listings.

Here’s basic versions of what the two templates should look like:

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Making Music from Anything

by Jonathan Longnecker in Music

Music from a Dry Cleaner →

There are so many lessons we can gain from Diego Stocco’s ingenuity here. I’ll try to spell out a few for you. In the meantime, enjoy the music!

  • Don’t be too busy to notice the beautiful things around us
  • Always be looking for new ways to use what you’ve already got
  • Don’t be afraid to fail miserably
  • Music, art and creativity can come from the most unexpected places
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The Apple Product

by Jonathan Longnecker in Apple

Apple’s Four-Year Product Rollout →

Up until recently, they have been selling tangible products: devices with software. Soon, Apple will be selling universal, ubiquitous access. Or: all your stuff on all your devices in any place.

This is such a great post. It captures all the things that have been in the edges of my mind for a while, but I’ve never been able to articulate it as well as Shawn Blanc has. I will say that what’s truly amazing is that Apple has been able to build towards this “one product” with off the charts success for the individual products. iPhones, iPads, the MacBook Air and even the Mac App Store and OS X Lion have created this steamroller of profit and awesomeness. We’re on the verge of what I know most of us have wanted with all our Apple devices..for them all to truly work seamlessly together from media to apps to content. It’s exciting times, folks.

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Adaptive Images Made Easy

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

Adaptive Images →

As we’re working on a new version of the ol’ FortySeven Media site, we’re looking at putting together one of those fancy adaptive/responsive layouts. The one thing that has always seemed difficult was images. Even if you can scale an image down, you’re still probably loading the full size image on mobile which defeats the whole purpose.

This looks like a nice, easy solution.

- via Chris Coyier

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The Web Type Revolution

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

The Web Leaders Hate Typography →

The choice of a typeface, the care given to kerning and to readability – all sends a powerful signal. When your business card is nothing but Arial on a piece of cardboard, youâve just told people how they ought to think about you⦠precisely the opposite of what you were trying to do when you made the card in the first place.

I love that Seth Godin is bringing this sort of awareness to people who never thought about it before. And thankfully we’re smack in the middle of a type revolution on the web. It’s only going to get better from here.

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Get Rid of Pesky Zip Files After Unzipping in OS X

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Apple

Remove zip file after unzipping

Quick Tip: Remove Zip Files in Mac OS X After Unzipping →

Mac OS X’s built-in Archive Utility is a handy tool that lets you easily expand ZIP files downloaded to your computer. However, the zip files by default stay behind, leaving your Downloads folder cluttered. Luckily, there’s a way to modify the preferences and have the downloaded zip files sent to your Trash.

This has always bugged me, and I’m glad to finally have those zip files magically disappear after unzipping. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know? Thanks, Tony!

via Chris Coyier

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