December 22, 2009

Scrolling for iPhone Web Apps

I have created a new iPhone Scroll Demo page. This webpage is a proof-of-concept for scrolling with:

  • "low-friction",
  • "pseudo-fixed-position toolbars", and
  • "rubber-band 'bounce' scrolling" (even when you "you pull down all the way off the bottom [or top] of the display").
I don't know if this is the "best" way, just a way (if I had to start from scratch I'd probably try a few things differently).

This all began because I was reading John Gruber's (of Daring Fireball) discussions about iPhone web apps and PastryKit (here, here). It struck me that what he wanted really wouldn't be that hard to do (for the most part). So I put together this little page. As he noted, I doubt it will scroll as nicely on a non-3GS iPhone (although I was only able to test on my own 3GS). Even on a 3GS, I get occasional hiccups when background processes kick off.

To save time and effort, the page will only really work in portrait orientation when saved to the home screen. I also could have spent a lot more time using HTML5 and CSS3 to make this more web-app-y, but that was not the point of this project. You may also note a few HTML errors when you load - this is my host, not me.

My next task will be trying to get a scroll bar to show (I will likely have to code up a new one). I also had a lot of trouble embedding Google ads (so much so that I removed them on the iPhone), because they live in their own iframes, which handle events differently (and I cannot access them via JS because it comes from a different domain).

Disclaimer: While it just so happens that I do work part-time for Apple Inc., I have not used here, nor do I have, any proprietary information on this immediate subject matter. In fact, I haven't even looked at PastryKit itself (as dug up by John Gruber). I am also a student at Carnegie Mellon University, and this prototype was just a mental exercise; I simply tried create something based on John Gruber's notes and thoughts.

Check out the iPhone Scroll Demo.

December 16, 2009

Get Lyrical - Italian & Spanish + Legal

The Good news:
Since the last news posting versions 3.4 and 3.5 of Get Lyrical have added Italian and Spanish localizations respectively (and thanks to Vincenzo Boiano and Israel López Fernández respectively!). That brings the total language count up to four. (And I hear through the grapevine that French may be coming soon - we'll see!)

The Bad news:
I've received word from the lawyers of TuneUp Media (makers of TuneUp) that SP is infringing on their trademark for "AUTOMAGICALLY" (SP's 2nd ever C&D – woohoo!). You may note from Get Lyrical's description page that it:

"Auto-magically adds lyrics to songs in iTunes from"
If you take a look at the letter, you'll see that TuneUp claims to have begun using the term in December 2008. A quick search of the USTPO shows that they filed for the term in January 2009 ... oh, and the trademark was published for opposition at the beginning of the month*.
TuneUp can – forgive me, I don't know the legal term – suck it; not only have I been using "Auto-magically" since at least 2005, I know that a number of my actual competitors use the term as well. Oddly enough, I was recently thinking of changing this description. But now that I've gotten this ridiculous claim, I think GL may just have to be auto-magic for the indefinite future. (We'll see though, the TuneUp lawyers have given me until the 22nd to respond.)

*For those of you not keeping track, it is December 2009.

October 27, 2009

Get Lyrical v3.3 - Now in German!

Get Lyrical 3.3 is out, and it's been localized to German (much thanks to Kay van Haagen!). There are also bug fixes that should clear up any problems with international, or just plain garbled lyrics. And of course, a new icon:

October 21, 2009

Get Lyrical in MACup's iPhone & Co

Get Lyrical was recently included on the cover mount CD of a special iPhone & Co issue of MACup magazine; "Europas erstes Magazin für Apple-Anwender" (yeah, it's German).

Get Lyrical is a perfect companion to lyric-lovers on the iPhone or iPod touch. It's actually easier to see lyrics in these devices than in iTunes itself. Once you let Get Lyrical tag your songs in iTunes, the lyrics will be sync to your device; just tap the cover art (between the top and bottom controls) to see the them:

You can also see lyrics on other iPods by clicking the center Select button (while in the music playback view) until you see the lyrics.

The latest version of Get Lyrical actually provides better support for non-English characters within lyrics. Some of my apps are even in multiple languages. (Eventually, I even hope to have a German version of Get Lyrical.)

They were nice enough to send me a copy: MACup

August 4, 2009


That's right, SP has bottled the rocket; for use whenever we want.

Replacing the old "Clown-feet Rocket" the "Rocketship-in-a-Bottle" logo will now greet people to

Many thanks to my girlfriend, Hannah, who was sweet enough to do this for me (and put up with the tiniest, minutest, change requests).

May 3, 2009


The foundation of any good wardrobe has to be the belt. Not only does it keep your pants up (which is an unfortunate problem still plaguing modern society), but a good belt also draws one of the few acceptable horizontal lines across the human figure. This, of course, should be a clean line - Texan-sized belt buckles should be regarded like our last Texan president, and likewise stay in Texas.
As a further note, if you're your responce response to this statement is that your pants don't have belt loops, then you should take this as a sign that you are not wearing the right kind of pants (the only exception being for women wearing dresses).

Good Belt
Good Belt
Great Belt
Bad Belt
Crazy-Bad Belt

April 20, 2009

Acting Warmup

I am a mother pheasant plucker.
I pluck mother pheasants.
I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker,
to ever pluck a mother pheasant.

April 6, 2009

You Know You're Crazy When...

You start recognizing interesting hacks in your own framework.
(Either you get it or you don't.)

April 3, 2009

Let's Sue Congress

Is anyone else curious as to whether we can sue/prosecute Congress for all the crap they pull?
I'm thinking it could be the biggest class-action in all history (306 million +). I'm sure there are a boatload of thins to bring them up on - but I'd say the easiest thing to get them on is perjury (while it didn't stick, think Clinton - Q.E.D.). Though it seems these DC bastards are never accountable for the things they say, I say we can get them with their oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God." ()
Does anyone really think these guys "well and faithfully discharge" their duties? Let me at 'em - it would be hard to prove my point!

April 2, 2009

SP News!

At around 9:00AM this morning Get Lyrical v3 hit the 10,000 download mark (the above shot is from my personal download logs). This is especially exciting news, given that it's been out for less than two weeks.

In other news, you may have noticed that has recently been given some small look-and-feel tweaks. For those using the latest version of Safari (or other WebKit based browser), there are some extra visual enhancements that can only be done in WebKit browsers. If you're running something else, look below to see the difference.

March 25, 2009

Continuing the theme of crazy promos - I like this one from Jos. A. Banks.

So I recently bought something from, and they were running the most ridiculous promo with GoDaddy - one free domain with every purchase. So I got (why not?). Right now it just points to, but we'll see...

March 21, 2009

Get Lyrical v3 Goes GM

Yesterday marked the public release of Get Lyrical v3 (actually v3.1.5). Here's what people are already saying:

  • Worked well for me. Finds large % of popular ... impressed! ()
  • Danke, genau so etwas hab ich gesucht seit ich auf Mac umgestiegen bin. ()
  • Ένα μικρό προγραμματάκι που προσπαθεί να κάνει την συμβίωση σας με το iTunes ακόμη καλύτερη είναι το Lyrical. ()

March 7, 2009

So Fast

Ever since I moved to Pittsburgh, I've wanted to bike down Squirrel Hill. There is, essentially, a straight mile shot downhill from my grocery store to campus (map).
Well, today the weather was nice, and I needed some groceries. So I hopped on a bus (conveniently equipped with bike racks), grabbed some food, and rocketed back down to campus. Totally awesome!

February 21, 2009

London Cuckolds

I just saw CMU's performance of London Cuckolds, and I do believe it is my new favorite show. And it's not even a musical! Rather, it is a delicious comedy reminiscent of my favorite Whose Line is it Anyway bits (only scripted, of course).

January 17, 2009

This post

Posted from my iPod touch!

January 15, 2009

Biking in the Snow

For the first time had chance to ride my bicycle in a substantial amount of snow. I'll keep it simple ad just say this:

If you think it's hard to drive a car in snow - remember that a bike has two fewer points of contact with the road.

January 4, 2009

Risk Roll!

No, that's not Rick Roll. Risk Roll [iPhone link] is an iPhone/iPod Touch webapp to simulate dice rolls for Risk: The Game of Global Domination.
I made it a while back just to test out the webapp style. Check it out.