Restore iA Writer's background with this script [Update]

This is a very quick and dirty utility to restore iA Writer’s background to the pre–1.3.1 state. What it does is that it replaces these three images inside the iA Writer folder: backgroundPattern, tr-up-pattern and td-down-pattern.

The original solution was posted in this thread on the support forum.

Background fix for iA Writer 1.5

To use this script simply unzip the file wherever you like. Once it is done run the script like this in the terminal (it will be ran as root, you will have to enter your password)

sudo sh

Updated to work with iA Writer 1.5 on 2013-10-10


This post was originally posted on 2012-10-24

If you want to sell iPhones, colors matter

So I was looking around during the big launch day and stumbled upon some terrible terrible promotion material.

Wrong settings in Photoshop, maybe?


Left image is by Apple, right image is used in the Bouygues store. Sizes are original.

What is wrong with ebook prices

After the whole dung-storm about price fixing of ebooks at Apple I wanted to add my own rant.

When digital music came out CD publishers were unhappy; why? Because digital download prices were much lower that CD prices, people did not have to lift their ass of their couch and had the music right away.

What do we get with digital downloaded books? This:

Screenshot from Amazon book pricing

First to clarify: the book currently runs a $10 discount on the paperback edition, normally it sells for $29.99. Regardless though, how is it more convenient to get the book for more in digital format than a physical copy? No matter the shipping cost you still save money on getting a hardcover. And let us not even mention the used book for $0.01…

Note: Apple does not sell this book as an iBook, the book in question is The inmates are running the asylum by Alan Cooper

Apple's (future) presence in China

Rumours about the new lower-cost plastic iPhone are so prominent that we can, rather safely, take the “iPhone 5C” for granted. Its target is purportedly the cost conscious customer, and according to many articles, Asian emerging markets (read China).

On my recent trip there I came to wonder if this is really the right move to increase presence in China. Walking around, one realises that Chinese people do not necessarily seek cheap stuff; when buying phones the thing that matters most is the size. People do not care that they can not put their massive 6.3” Samsung MEGAs into their pocket because it never leaves their hand. (I wonder what effect on health this will have on the long term)

It is quite unlike Apple to create derivate devices for specific markets. iOS, for example, is the same in every country with all social networking options available everywhere. However it is not a coincidence that all car makers make specific (bigger) versions of their vehicles tailored for Chinese taste. Such an enormous population is well worth additional upkeep expenses.

While the new iPhone will inevitably attract new customers, I would not bet it will help Apple gain much traction in China. The alleged new iPhone will not be cheap, and the price is not the main reason why people in China do not buy iPhones. One reason is the size, the other is that Chinese input method in iOS sucks. What they need is an ugly maxi-phone, which they could sell at a premium price. And buy Sogou.

gzip, bzip, zip and md5sum a folder

During the OpenViBE releases I found myself to repeat this procedure ad nauseum. So I made a little script that does the thing automatically. I will just leave it here for future reference:


$folder = $ARGV[0];

print `tar czf $folder.tar.gz $folder\n`;
print `tar cjf $folder.tar.bz2 $folder\n`;
print `zip -9 -r $ $folder\n`;

print `md5sum $folder.tar.gz $folder.tar.bz2 $ > $folder.md5\n`;

Happy hacking

A bookmarklet to make a stretched article readable

There are many tools like Readability or Evernote Clearly to make any arbitrary article readable and they are very good at their job.

Sometimes however you do not want to get rid of all of the formatting and sometimes they simply just do not work, e.g., on web forums.

One thing you can find all over the Internet is pages stretched from side to side, and they are all but readable on larger screens. Of course with responsive design you can just resize your browser but that is not what you want to do all of the time.

Here is a handy bookmarklet that will ‘columnize’ any webpage:

javascript:d=document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];"11in";"0 auto";void(0);



I have updated my biography page. I have added a link to my PRESENCE paper and citation for the T:CIAIG one.

Augmented sausages

My sausages are augmented

As I came home, craving for some chowder, I was wondering what to cook. I wanted to finish some meat from earlier in my fridge but had to make decisions. Do I cook sausages, or do I grill some bacon?

Finally I have decided to do both.


With a bit of cayenne and cheese you got yourself a good healthy dinner. Oh, and for vitamins grill it in some pig fat.


Betteridge's vengeance

By Shaunacy Ferro, Are Angry Legos Harming Our Children?

The paper estimates that on average, there are 75 Lego bricks for every person on Earth. “We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts how children play,” the researchers write. “The children that grow up with LEGO today will remember not only smileys, but also anger and fear in the Minifigures’ faces.”

Another headline, another “no”. I remember painting over the lego faces to give them any expression I wished them to have. Bad guys were quite angry.

Gulf color theme for Xcode

I have started teaching myself some Objective-C which also means that I have to use something else than my beloved Qt Creator.

As to feel a bit at home I have ported my Gulf theme over to Xcode. The choice I have made in creating this theme is to conserve all of the colours from the original (e.g. Types and Classes are greenish, while attributes are blueish).

Sadly Xcode does not provide different colours for global and local variables. However, all externally imported classes, types and functions are marked in italics, so you can easily know what belongs to you.

Here is a quick look at the theme:


And here is the download link, enjoy:

Gulf theme for Xcode