Sometimes we write stuff.
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For the printer project I'm working on, most of the software behind it runs "in the cloud", but there's some software that needs to run beside each printer, to check for new things to print and manage the process of downloading and sending those things to the printer component itself.
In the current incarnation of the project, this "on the desk" software runs on a small Raspberry Pi computer, which acts as a simple bridge between your Wi-Fi and the printer, funnelling data from our servers to thing that will actually print it out.
Earlier this week, I watched the pilot episode of Alias. Yes, that Alias – the one that began airing 22 years ago and ran for 5 seasons and was a pretty big hit and launched the careers of two bonafide movie stars and featured a cast of very well known supporting actors. So yeah, I finally got around to checking that out lol.
Turns out it was a very good pilot with more artfully executed twists and turns in 69 minutes than most thriller movies pull off in 2.5+ hours. Aside from the clothes and hair and technology, the show felt surprisingly modern — with the kind of editing and writing and acting that we've come to expect from big, prestige TV shows. I will watch more of it and I hope that quality holds up beyond episode 1!
Anywho, I’m writing about Alias because I wanted to share a little web search rabbit hole I went down after watching the episode.
We recently launched Quack, a simple utility for you to share a beautifully rendered version of any Markdown text. This software is completely front-end based, and for me personally it was a bit of a challenging puzzle to implement. Thankfully we have genius hackers like Arun here at Good Enough!
Today we're launching a tiny beta tool called Quack. It is a simple utility for you to share a beautifully rendered version of any markdown text. Type away in our simple editor. When you're done writing, click Share to grab the link for sending to others. There are no servers in this beta. Everything you write is stored in the URL, so every time you change your writing the URL changes as well.
This is a blog post that has nothing to do with Good Enough, but I was told “There needs to be a record of this somewhere on the internet!” and I don’t have my own blog.
Years ago my friend and I ran a radio show called Gorilla Madness, which we also spun out into a podcast after we graduated. It was a half-decade of silly stupid fun that I miss dearly. No, you can’t listen to it, it’s very embarrassing and I like my job.
Anyway, one of our friend-fans was an editor at Marvel, and he was the only member of the street team (inside joke) that actually engaged in
gorillaguerilla marketing tactics: he snuck us into a comic book.
While everyone at Good Enough is their own kind of nerd, thank you very much, as builders of the web you probably expect that we also play video games. And we do! Well, collectively we do, but not to an unhealthy degree. Usually.
I asked the team to share with me what their current favorite game console was, as well as the games they are playing right now. The Nintendo Switch is the big winner amongst our crowd, which is interesting because Nintendo definitely seems to abide by the mantra of good enough hardware.
As Barry wrote in his recent blogpost, we're busy building prototypes here at Good Enough.
It's weird to be in this situation. Most of the Good Enough team are used to working on just one software at a time, focusing on steadily improving it. But right now we're doing the opposite. For the next few months we'll have no revenue and no customers. Most afternoons, we won't even know what we'll be working on the next morning. Exciting times! 😅
We’re primarily a web shop. We’re dipping our toes into mobile app development, but our collective expertise is in making products and services for the web. And like everyone else, our use of the web has shifted from our desktops and laptops to our phones.
As we’re creating and prototyping new ideas, we keep developing websites that we think might also be good apps. So a few of us are using “Add to Home Screen” on these products, which has mostly been great, but we ran into something annoying: we couldn’t figure out how to hide the Safari toolbars as we navigate this new website-as-app.
We’re all familiar with this hasn’t-been-updated-since-2016 document from Apple explaining the meta tags required to hide Safari user interface components:
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-status-bar-style" content="default">
<!-- Not needed but suggested -->
<meta name="viewport" content="initial-scale=1, user-scalable=no, viewport-fit=cover, width=device-width">
However, even with those added to our whole app, once the user navigates away from the first page the Safari browser toolbars show up again. Maddening.
I’ll save you the hassle we had finding a solution: you need to include a Web Application Manifest file with a few parameters.
This is actually the resurrection of a project I began in 2012 with the help of some colleagues, and while I've been updating it, it's been fun to explore some of the original posts and tweets about the project. Quite a few people made their own printer to connect to the open-source architecture, and it was great to read about their experiences.
... except now, 11 years later, pretty much all of those links are dead. Personal blogs are either gone, or redirect en masse to some new domain. Company blogs share a similar fate: with a few notable exceptions, blogs don't survive company website redesigns, let alone when the company is bought or ceases trading. Even links on esteemed and ongoing tech blogs like Wired haven't survived, despite the content still being available if you search hard enough.
And you know what? That's not cool. Cool URLs don't change. And Cool URLs shouldn't die either. URLs that die are not good enough.
This morning I wanted to deploy a simple Sinatra app to Render.com. It wasn’t super obvious to me, so I figured I’d write down what worked in the end.
First, a Gemfile:
* I’m pretty sure
sinatra-contribis not necessary.
Also at this point in time you’ll need to
bundle lock --add-platform x86_64-linuxfor your Render.com deployment to work.
main.rb"hello world" app:
More to come.
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