Douglas Hill’s posts in 2010

1 March 2010

When you use an application as much as I use Instapaper, small changes can make a big difference. Here are assorted thoughts on the 2.2 update. Read more »

2 March 2010

Slide to Unlock Read more »

9 March 2010

Bugfix update 2.2.1 now in App Store Read more »

Use of the word ‘computing’ Read more »

10 March 2010

Apple’s Jobs confirms iPhone ‘kill switch’ — Telegraph:

Phone differentiation used to be about radios and antennas and things like that,” Mr Jobs told the Wall Street Journal. “We think, going forward, the phone of the future will be differentiated by software.

From August 2008, soon after the launch of the App Store. To me, this is so obvious now. I wonder if it wasn't obvious back in 2008?

(Regarding the ‘kill switch’: I'm not aware that it has ever been used.) »

24 March 2010

New feature in Reeder 2:

it's now possible to bring up the services panel for every link in the article


This will fix ‘the Daring Fireball problem’, which is when there is an item on the linked list with lots of additional commentary or other links that I want to send to Instapaper. This is missed out with the current ‘send to Instapaper’ in NetNewsWire and Reeder as DF Linked List article links in the feed point to the original article. »

25 March 2010

It's beginning. »

Apple a force to be reckoned with in portable gaming Read more »

26 March 2010

History of my use of Web Browsers Read more »

27 March 2010

Opera Mini 5 on the Google Nexus One:

It looks a bit odd having two back buttons right on top of each other. This showcases a problem for cross-platform applications: should Opera Mini for Android look and act like Opera Mini or should it fit in with Android? I think Opera Software tends to place more importance on cross-platform consistency than I would. However, I do only use the Mac and the iPhone so my opinion is not balanced. »

Tumblr Theme

I am still working on the appearance of these pages and leaning how about making Tumblr Themes.

The current theme is a good starting point, but I want to work out what all the bits in the source do and take out everything not in use. »

29 March 2010

Marco Arment: Logarithmic calendar view Read more »

More on Marco Arment’s Logarithmic calendar view. Also see my previous post.

I spent too much time making this crude mockup. No, it isn't lined up properly and, no, it doesn’t make sense because the dates do not all match up and that birthday is not really where the pictures say it is. This is not important for now.

The general idea is:

The iPad’s Calendar application is a good start as it has a split view. From what I can tell, it shows the same information twice in day view, which is rather puzzling. »

I’ve been thinking about the iPad’s calendar… Read more »

Here is another idea: in day view show today on the left and tomorrow on the right with a month grid to show you where you are in the month. This view is not for looking at any day you like: only today and tomorrow. A decent view of what is happening on future days is available in week view.
I like this view better than the mix up view I made earlier. Switching views is not a problem. Rather than trying to cram everything into one logarithmic view, I think it would be better to have this day view for the immediate future and week or month views for getting an overview of the more distant future.
I think this would work for me. I regularly check what is happening for the rest of today and tomorrow morning using day view on my iPhone.
I have a feeling all these ideas will have occurred to Apple’s designers, but were rejected. What have they found out that I do not know? »

Some interface commentary:

The iPad contacts app takes the right hand side from the Mac’s Address Book where we have mouse hover feedback. There is no hovering on the iPad. I might be wrong, but I don’t think the blue tint was there on the emails and addresses in earlier screen shots so I think Apple have given this some thought. Do you think the tint is enough to show these items are tappable or should these items be buttons or underlined as links?

(Phone numbers are not tappable on the iPad, of course.)

Image from Apple. »

1 April 2010

David Pogue’s iPad review

The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine.

The only question is: Do you like the concept?

Just to be clear, I love the concept. »

2 April 2010

Nintendo are not doing very well from a web standards point of view…
From what I have picked up, Adobe Flash is still the most practical way to do animations on webpages. The problem here is that the big Flash item in the middle loads a static image and the others only have very simple animations. The page could easily be created with web standard technologies, which are generally better to use.

What’s this?

This is a screen shot of the the Nintendo UK and Ireland home page shown in Safari with ClickToFlash. »

Ignore the Code: iPad Springboard Breaks Spatiality Read more »

Rotating to Landscape & Sideways Scrolling Read more »

3 April 2010

Andy Ihnatko: iPad Accessories Read more »

Bread maker: poor interface

True, it is not required to do anything particularly advanced but that does not mean there is no need to consider improvements. »

10 April 2010

iPhone OS 4 Developer Preview Event Read more »

11 April 2010

My iPhone Background Processes List Read more »

13 April 2010

iPad Web Browser with built in Google Search Read more »

21 April 2010

iPhone OS requirements Read more »

Put This On, Episode 2: Shoes Read more »

22 April 2010

Gizmodo and the Prototype iPhone Read more »

24 April 2010

Have I lost my iPhone? Read more »

Instapaper Pro 2.2.3 Read more »

iPad and engineering textbooks Read more »

30 April 2010

The best thing about Flash Read more »

Pixelated missing plugin icon:

They should really be using SVG for this. »

1 May 2010

John Sullivan, the Free Software Foundation: Read more »

5 May 2010

John Gruber on Michael Gartenberg on the iPad’s Early Success Read more »

Safari for Mac’s Menubar Read more »

Follow-up on Safari’s Menubar Read more »

6 May 2010

Marco Arment: Ads Read more »

8 May 2010

Apple’s iPhone Background Processes List Read more »

The Alt-Tab Problem Read more »

Lukas Mathis on the iPhone OS 4 Task Switcher Read more »

Rapidly Switching Between iPhone Apps Read more »

9 May 2010

Typos Read more »

iPhone OS 4 Task Switcher and Spatiality Read more »

13 May 2010

Facebook’s Bewildering Tangle of Privacy Options

John Gruber:

Or you can manage it my way, by never having signed up for it.

It referring to Facebook.

That certainly would make some things simpler. »

The windows in Opera for Mac Read more »

14 May 2010

New Beta Version of MobileMe Mail Read more »

John Nack on Apple’s Control Over Native iPhone OS Software) Read more »

Ideal PDF handing in Opera Read more »

16 May 2010


The iPhone auto-correction amuses me sometimes.

I don't think I've ever typed that word before, so someone must have decided it was worth including in the dictionary. »

19 May 2010

Soulver 2.0 Read more »

20 May 2010

Mac OS X built-in Applications are Locked Read more »

25 May 2010

Different Universe, Different Programming Preferences Read more »

26 May 2010

AppleScript to Wrap Text in Quotation Marks Read more »

Close and Quit Read more »

27 May 2010

John Gruber on Chrome's Dictionary Extension Read more »

30 May 2010

I only use the Google Reader web interface to check my trends once every so often.

Here is my list of feed obscurity (subscriber numbers).

Woo! Nobody is subscribed to my own Tumblr except me. I don’t mind since I am writing for myself rather than others.

Ars Technica Infinite Loop has only one subscriber as it is a personal URL for my full text feed. (I pay money.)

This is interesting: Marco Arment and Lukas Mathis (ignore the code) have the same number of subscribers to within 0.04%. I don’t know what to make of that other than it is a strange coincidence.

As always Daring Fireball has crazy numbers of subscribers. This is just Google Reader subscribers; this does not include direct feed access, the Twitter feed and the normal website. »

Why so few news feeds?

Exam term.

I cut down from 53 to 5 at the start of term. I quite like it this way. »

2 June 2010

Paul Thurrott: ‘Understanding iPad’ Read more »

Jim Ray: ‘Understanding Paul Thurrott’ Read more »

Steve Jobs at the D8 Conference Read more »

3 June 2010

Daring Fireball: AT&T’s New Data Plans Read more »

Skinning the frog - iPad definitely a threat to Windows Read more »

5 June 2010

Another Simple Service: List Sorting Read more »

Pastebot Feature Idea Read more »

Deleting from the iPhone Home Screen Read more »

Thread on Hacker News Read more »

10 June 2010

iPhone Multitasking and Background Updating Read more »

11 June 2010

Duncan Wilcox on content creation on the iPad

Objects and actions are pleasingly orthogonal to the mathematically inclined

Certianly are. I think this distinction is what makes Quicksilver so appealing to me. »

12 June 2010

Resolving the iPhone 4 Resolution

The ability to see two sources very close together is called resolution. It’s measured as an angle

This is an important definition from a great article. I love technical articles like this. »

Daring Fireball: Obsession Times Voice

…the notion that blogging is a meaningful verb. It is not. The verb is writing. The format and medium are new, but the craft is ancient.

John Gruber

Old post found via Marco Arment »

16 June 2010

Research with Instapaper Read more »

17 June 2010

Google TV Read more »

28 June 2010

John Gruber on the Oddest Point of the WWDC Keynote: Farmville Read more »

1 July 2010

Status Update Read more »

Early Impressions of iOS 4 Performance on my iPhone 3G Read more »

Small Observations on iOS 4 Read more »

The Bullet on the iOS 4 Keyboard Read more »

15 July 2010

URLs in User Interfaces Read more »

Moving Email Messages Between Accounts on iOS 4 Read more »

16 July 2010

The Holy Grail Of Ubiquitous Plain-Text Capture | Lifehacker Australia Read more »

Are You Using a Broken Tool? | Bridging the Nerd Gap Read more »

17 July 2010

Looks, Physical Design and Technical Advantages Read more »

20 July 2010

Mac OS X Utilities folder Read more »

Ars Technica: Apple responds to Congress, swears location data is private Read more »

23 July 2010

YouTube — iOS 4.0 on iPhone 3G

John Gruber's comment:

It’s a lot funnier if you have an iPhone 3GS or 4.

It is funny, but for me it's funny because it's true. That Safari performance is very typical. »

26 July 2010

Reeder for iPhone takes on the iPad style

The latest version of Reeder for iPhone uses the black rather than light status bar, with rounded corners on the navigation bar just like the iPad. This style suits Reeder very well. »

27 July 2010

Magic Trackpad

Apple releases a trackpad for desktop Macs, and then there are people like me who buy mice to use with MacBooks. Is the choice good? I really don’t know; I find mice so much better for moving the cursor compared to trackpads. »

Minimal Mac: Of Mice and Magic Read more »

28 July 2010

Kottke: Phone etiquette

Using a phone for an unrelated task when talking to someone is rude.

It is also inefficient multitasking. »

YouTube and Web Apps on iOS Read more »

29 July 2010

Old Article: John Gruber’s iPhone 4 Review Read more »

Safari’s resizable textareas are good, but sometime go wrong. Here is the post to Tumblr bookmarklet’s window. »

More on Avoiding Mobile Carriers Read more »


Not designed in isolation from the rest of the system. »

Marco Arment: The Kindle update Read more »

Hooray: YouTube videos straight out of articles in Instapaper. I don't know if this is deliberate, but it is a grand success for the Instapaper HTML parser.

The article is from Tested and about Microsoft Research's Street Slide and I found it via Lukas Mathis on Ignore the Code. »

30 July 2010

Ars: Apple looking into slow iOS 4 performance on iPhone 3G Read more »

1 August 2010

NYT Article on Femtocells Read more »

14 August 2010

Marco Arment:

This iPhone/iPod sync option is new to a recent version of iTunes. It’s incredibly useful and helps cram a lot more music into a device’s limited space, especially if you have a lot of high-bitrate songs.

It’s strange when you download music on the device then connect it with iTunes. The data transfers from the device up to iTunes at full quality then is converted to 128 kb/s and sent back. This makes sense, but just seems a bit odd.

(Reblogged from Marco Arment) »

This is what happens when I press command-L to bring up the Safari toolbar. It shows only 1Password in the real toolbar and makes this crazy toolbar window containing everything else. Sometimes I love bugs.

I normally go without a toolbar. »

17 August 2010

Safari Knows About Its Open Pages Read more »

Skype recommends iOS 3.

That's just great. The version of the OS I am using (the latest) is not recommended for my hardware (iPhone 3G). »

19 August 2010

The latest version of Soulver for iPhone (1.1) is a really nice upgrade to the best iPhone calculation tool.

Reading the release notes, I was thinking 'how does the interface work for all these new features?' The answer is 'so slickly I wouldn't have believed it possible'. Everything just fits in and feels right.

Time will tell, but I still doubt this will replace my Casio for 'real work'. Soulver is the best software only calculator though. »

I caught a wasp dismembering and beheading a fly. I love the way the wing jumps towards the camera when torn off.

I made a smoothie. Smoothies are delicious and healthy, although time-consuming to make.


Blended until smooth, this made about 400 ml which was slightly too much for this glass.

This is close to as simple as a smoothie can get. The taste is good though so I recommend this recipe. Don’t add too much banana or it dominates, and try to avoid blending pineapple seeds as they’re very bitter. »

that canadian girl » Three Reasons Why the Mac Community Makes Me Happy Read more »

20 August 2010

One Thing Well: Go SSD Read more »

21 August 2010

Is Microsoft Office really the right tool? Read more »

25 August 2010

iOS 4 Feature Removal: iTunes Background Audio Read more »

27 August 2010

Tumblr Theme

I’ve been looking over my Tumblr theme this evening. It does not look much different, but I took out a lot of redundant CSS and made a few modifications here and there. The post titles still don’t look right on iPhone.

I am learning how this stuff works as I go along. »

Minimal Mac: What's in your Simplenote? Read more »

28 August 2010

Question Mark in Facebook Interface Read more »

1 September 2010

Wi iTV Read more »

2 September 2010

Answers to my Questions in Wi iTV Read more »

9 September 2010

Facebook for iPhone’s Home Screen Read more »

11 September 2010

Desktop Trash Read more »

21 September 2010

Guardian: Facebook fraud a ‘major issue’ Read more »

23 September 2010

Fun with ad-hoc bathroom signage

Some very good fun. Marco is the best. I love the closing sentence.

(Reblogged from Marco Arment) »

24 September 2010

Accessibly Irony with the iPad-Optimised iOS Reference Library Read more »

BBC News — Nuclear power at heart of Russia’s Arctic ambition Read more »

26 September 2010

Thibaut Sailly:

I made this website's layout react to your browser window's width. If you play with the resize handle, you'll figure out what that means it if you haven't already. If nothing happens, download and use a modern browser. Blondes will smile at you in the street. It's very heartwarming, you'll see. »

1 October 2010

2010 Gadget Census — The IET Read more »

5 October 2010

Skype and Support Read more »

6 October 2010

Sony's Google TV controller outed on ABC's Nightline (Engadget):

This is a funny joke. Ha ha.

(Engadget piece found via Daring Fireball) »

9 October 2010

My Trash ‘Application’ and Aliases Read more »

Design Read more »

10 October 2010

Seven Steps to Mastering Your Web Browser Read more »

A write up about my DAAD RISE internship at the University of Lübeck’s Institute for Signal Processing. Read more »

12 October 2010

Fun With the Theme Read more »

13 October 2010

Notational Velocity Tricks Read more »

26 October 2010

Looking for ClickToGif Read more »

Downloads Destination Read more »

Jason Kottke does some interesting calculations Read more »

29 October 2010

Devin Graham on YouTube: Huge Bike Jump into a Pond 35 feet in the air

Amazing quality. The whole thing is like a well shot photograph. Looks fun too.

I thought it was going to be too long, but it was so gorgeous I was hooked.

Via Alan (through Facebook). He’s a super great guy to know. »

What is Amazon's approach to product development and product management? (Quora) Read more »

Does Flash Crash? Read more »

Neven Mrgan: Black Menu Bars in Lion:

A suggestion for Mac OS X Lion: since the team is trying to integrate the menubar into the desktop a bit more, to make it less prominent - the translucent menubar was an attempt at just this - why not go all the way and make it black? This way, it’ll blend into the bezel of (most) new Macs.

Neven Mrgan’s mockup of an iMac sporting a black menu bar with white text

Looks like iPad. Looks good.

(via Minimal Mac)

(Reblogged from Neven Mrgan's tumbl) »

30 October 2010

Designing with Steel. That's what it's all about.

Photo edited with Pastebot and TiltShift Generator. »

1 November 2010

In part two of the lecture handout titles series, we see that I'm actually going to a lecture course in random stuff. »

3 November 2010

Lawsuit: Apple turned iPhone 3Gs into “iBricks” to boost iPhone 4 Read more »

4 November 2010

Camera doesn't Task Complete Read more »

View PDFs in Chrome | Mac OS X Hints | Macworld Read more »

iPhone 4 Read more »

The Macalope Weekly: Gates! (Macworld) Read more »

6 November 2010

Yesterday was November the fifth: fireworks night! Also known as Guy Fawkes Night. (Wikipedia)

I took this with with my iPhone 4 with HDR mode on. I like the tree: it adds more interest to the shot. The location is Midsummer Common, Cambridge. (Google Maps) »

Speed of Returning to the Home Screen on iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 Read more »

7 November 2010

See this video of a fast running goal keeper. (YouTube link)

Jason Kottke describes it well:

He's moving so comically fast compared to the other players on the pitch that it reminds me of the not-so-special effect of Clark Kent racing the train in Superman.

If all football was like this, I’d watch it a lot. (I don’t watch it at all.) »

10 November 2010

US Navy Sea Water Antenna System Read more »

11 November 2010

Samuel Arbesman:

There is a reason Hermione seems much more intelligent than Ron Weasley. It’s because Ron is very likely completely uneducated. »

14 November 2010

Compare Many Photos in iPhoto Read more »

15 November 2010

Eject Read more »

16 November 2010

Fake Finder Read more »

19 November 2010

Automatic State Saving in Lion Read more »

20 November 2010


Not a pretty picture, but I couldn’t resist altering this to state it's typeface.

Shot, edited and posted with my iPhone. Edited with Adobe Ideas and Pastebot.

I couldn't think of a way to move the ‘A’ over on my iPhone. If there's not an app that can do this already, I bet there will be soon. »

23 November 2010

Why does this need to be scrollable?

screen shot of iTunes, showing a a big empty space but also scroll bars to scroll through more of the empty space

I feel that iTunes is unloved. »

27 November 2010

Google have made some tremendous enhancements to the search results page in the last couple of weeks.

I recently noticed the arrow on the left side of the results. What this means is keyboard navigation. This is so satisfying to use. Up and down on the arrow keys to go up and down, of course. Right arrow to bring up the lovely page preview, which is great for peeking when you’re not quite certain a page is what you want. Hit return to follow a result. I use this when I forget to do an ‘I’m feeling lucky’: just press return as soon as the results page loads to go to the top hit.

I just noticed Google Instant has ‘rolled out’ to me now. It’s really fast. Google feels like a power-tool, and yet I don’t think it is too complex to be difficult to use. They’re really good at this. »

28 November 2010

These never get old


(Reblogged from Uncommon Nonsense) »

1 December 2010


Well, this is my first shot shared with Instagram. I decided to try out Instagram on the recommendation of Rands. While the concept of the service seemed strange to me, it does make sense now: make it really easy to make photos looks great and share them. I must say they seem to have done a superb job on making the filters great.

Let’s see if Instagram can stand the test of time.

Update: 9 April 2012 — today Facebook bought Instagram, and I decided to delete my account because I wasn't using the service anyway. »

4 December 2010

Dark Mode in Instapaper ‘for Mac’.

Enable this with the keyboard shortcut specified under Universal Access in Keyboard Shortcuts in System Preferences. Look for ‘Reverse black and white’.

Of course, I prefer reading in Instapaper on my iPhone but, for some reason, this article (Daring Fireball: Viber) would not load in the app. »

Bringing iOS to the Desktop: Why You Should Get Excited | Mac.AppStorm Read more »

5 December 2010

Remiel: Making the leap to SSD:

Not only does my Mac now “just work”, it “just works NOW”.

(Reblogged from Remiel) »

ignore the code: Saving Documents by Proxy

Lukas Mathis discusses the benefits of saving files by dragging to a destination already on screen. Worth a look.

I mocked up this this idea about a month ago:

Mocked up screen shot of a large icon in the Mac OS X menu bar under File > Export

It’s a static image; there is no working code. The principle is that you drag an icon out of the menu bar to a folder that is already open. Lukas points out that the destination could even be an FTP application. »

9 December 2010

Apple - iPhone - Tips and Tricks Read more »

10 December 2010

Some Thoughts on the Instapaper App’s Interface Read more »

13 December 2010

The Brooks Review: On Caps Lock Read more »

14 December 2010

Instapaper Blog Archive Read more »

(Video missing)


OMG. This seems to be an actual game. Via listentothebit.

This brings together so much of what I love. So happy watching this (although it’s a bit too long).

(Reblogged from lkm and Listen To The Bit) »

From Ars Technica:

For instance, users that have jailbroken iPhones would like to have a modified version of iTunes that does not ask to update iOS when the device is plugged in, since the update might overwrite jailbreak modifications," Freeman said.

Try these:

No system hack necessary.

Another thought: We don’t normally include the serial comma in British English (the one before the ‘and’ in the second path above). Should localisation take conventions such as this into account? »

15 December 2010

Tip: run Pastebot in the background when putting together a blog post on an iPhone. Pastebot can run for ten minutes in the background. Periodically copy the whole post, just in case something bad happens. (For example, an app gets pushed out of memory and does not implement full state saving.) »

18 December 2010

Lost Posts Read more »

21 December 2010

Despite chaos in out postal system due to all the snow, my Glif arrived today — on schedule. Rock steady cat movies are the order of the day. »

Daring Fireball: Title Junk Read more »

22 December 2010

Accessibility for iPhone and iPad Apps — Matt Legend Gemmell

All iOS developers should read this. As Marco Arment says: “Excellent VoiceOver UI is extremely little effort that yields massive improvements for many people.”

(Reblogged from Marco Arment) »

Merlin Mann: It is done. Adieu, Quicksilver. Read more »

Inconsistency in Settings Read more »

23 December 2010

We had a terrific frost the night before I left Cambridge — which was a few weeks ago now. The ground was already whitened late in the evening. I had never seen frost like that before.

I nearly froze my hands off taking photos in the morning — my iPhone is my camera so gloves were out of the question. Picking a best one to share here was tricky. This one is beautiful; it’s a clear example of the benefit of turning the flash on when outside in daylight. »

Reeder and the Keyboard — Shawn Blanc Read more »

24 December 2010

Christmas Day TV (Taken with instagram) »

Apple’s Christmas present to me: a firmware update for my Time Capsule. How lovely. »

27 December 2010

‘Byron G’, in an article on batteries:

Be warned, however, that repeated bump charging will wear your battery faster and begin to reduce its capacity. If you are a “power user” who will buy a new battery a few months from now anyway, this presumably isn’t a concern.

Pun intended? »

28 December 2010

The Mighty Eagle Soars — The Brooks Review Read more »

Adobe Loves Web Standards

Screen shot of a page on Adobe’s website reading ‘To view this page you need an SVG viewer. There is currently no Adobe SVG Viewer available for your browser.’ Screen shot taken from Safari

Supposed to be an SVG example. Screen shot taken from Safari. Is Webkit’s own SVG rendering not good enough? »

29 December 2010

This video tries to explain Scribblenauts in Japanese. For me, this guarantees it's hilarious and I'm left clueless.

(Owning Scribblenauts doesn't seem to help me understand what’s going on in this video.)

(Reblogged from Tiny Cartridge 3DS) »

I caught you out iMovie developers. You know what they say about using system provided controls… »

InstaFavor — The Brooks Review Read more »

30 December 2010

System Preferences iOSification

System Preferences with just a Show All button at the left end of its toolbar. The button points to the left.

Maybe System Preferences will look like this in Mac OS X Lion.

For reference, here is what it currently looks like:

System Preferences with Back, Forward and Show All buttons in its toolbar

I never use the Back or Forwards buttons. I think Show All is all that is necessary. »

Very Tempting (Taken with instagram) »