📷 Glass Photo Walk

On Sunday I went to a meetup and photo walk with the team behind Glass. It was wonderful to see old friends, and to make new ones. Glass has a great community, as has become more evident with these gatherings.

A silhouette of people walking under a shade structure with a basketball hoop in the middle. Many of the people have cameras in their hands. There’s a red brick building and a field in the distance.

Close in view of speckled shadows on a red and blue play structure. Some blurred green trees in the background.

A man holds a camera pointing straight at the viewer. He’s lit by the warm glow of the afternoon sun. The entire background is blue sky with a few puffy clouds.

A man holds a camera pointing to the left of the viewer. He’s standing atop a structure. The background is blue sky with a couple of puffy clouds.

People with cameras are scattered about taking photos in a field with green grass and rose beds. In the background is a house with trees on both sides, and a bit of blue sky above.

A shiny motorcycle with some bright blue parts is parked by the side of a road. In the background is some yellow metal scaffolding, orange traffic cones, and some trees lining the other side of the road.

Close up of a stack of green plastic pipes. Each one is about 12 to 18 inches in diameter.

Two men work on a large mural on the side of a building. They are applying white paint over a previous mural that is mostly hidden except for two red roses and the partial word, “PORTLA”. The men are standing in a hanging platform with the words “HAND OF DOGG” in large letters.

Some sonic explorations with modular synthesis.

Listener beware: It’s a bit rough round the edges 😆

Just before the 10 minute mark I came across some fun computer-voicey sounds so I settled in to relish those with minor variations until the end.

Recorded directly with iPhone camera and mic so the sound is not the best it can be. Someday I expect to do a better job at recording the actual sound.

A gathering of people in a city park in an open field surrounded by trees. The ground is speckled with shadows. They blue sky is specked with clouds.

Side view of a vintage car in red white and black parked on the other side of the street. There’s a tall green hedge behind, blue sky above, and road in the foreground. The car has the speckled shadow of a tree on it.

New version of Mimi Uploader is out 🎉

The latest version of Mimi Uploader is out. Here’s what’s new:

  • Recent Uploads entries will scroll to first image that doesn’t have alt text. So as you add alt text to a large batch of images, you won’t have to scroll to the farthest one each time. Check it out in this video (also embedded below).
  • For accounts that have a tweets archive, do not show it as an upload destination.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Get it from the App Store!

Backyard view from a hammock under a pergola with a grapevine on it. In the distance the sky has clouds lit in the yellow orange light of the sunset.

A puffy cloud with blue skies and distant wispy clouds behind it.

I got 4/10 correct before I gave up on this AI or Art quiz 😬

Flowers in a pot with a blurred background of trees and bushes.

Little bug in the neighborhood.

A vintage VW Beetle car parked in a driveway. It is two toned in color, sky blue and white, and has trim and roof rack in matching steel. It it lit by the warm light of the morning sun.

BFF

A laughing woman hugs an inflatable tube man on a sidewalk.

A new beta for Mimi Uploader is about to come out. The main update is an improvement to the alt text editing workflow. Now, as you add text to each image in a batch, there’s some auto scrolling to make it convenient. Check it out in this video (also embedded below).

TIL, the frustrating way, that a Mac with FileVault can’t be logged into remotely unless it is attached to a display.

Went to a Timbers game the other evening, after a very long time. Loved seeing these banners there!

View of a stadium full of people with a very large banner full of Timbers and Pride imagery and words that read, “It matters not what we are born, but what we grow to be!”

View of a stadium full of people with a banner behind the soccer goal with words that read, “No transphobia on our turf”

📷 WWDC at Apple Park

A set of rainbow colored arches are visible in the background with some trees and flowers in the foreground.

Last week I went to Cupertino for Apple’s Special Event at Apple Park.

The Main Event

The announcements at the event and the hot takes around it have gone around the internet, and the world, perhaps a dozen times by now. This is not a post about that, but about my personal experience.

View of conference area from back and above. A large screen with the Apple logo is visible in the distance. There a number of rows of chairs in between. Tall steel grey pillars dominate the vertical space.

I arrived about an hour before the keynote. After going through the security check, I made my way to Caffé Macs where the event was set up. There was food and beverages. I picked up some coffee, some overnight oats with blueberry compote, and a savory pastry. Once I was done with that I found spot amongst some Apple engineers just in time for the keynote to start.

After the keynote was lunchtime. I walked round for a bit looking at all the food options before settling on the grilled chicken with salad. I took this over to the inner meadow where there were a number of tables set up.

A number of tables are set up in rows in a meadow with people seated at them. Rainbow arches are visible in the distance. A cloudy hazy sky above.

I sat down randomly and started to eat and chat with others. Turned out I was sitting right next to an industrial designer on the Vision Pro, so the conversation was mostly about that.

Curved glass windows separate the outside from the inside. People walking around and seated on tables outside. Everything is reflected in glassy ceilings and awnings.

Then it was time for the Platforms State of the Union. At first I went to the outside area by the main stage and sat on the fabric lounge chairs, but that was bothering my back so I came back inside to sit on a sturdier chair.

A number of people in blue T-shirts with WWDC23 written on their backs are watching a screen with a video playing.

As I watched the video, I also noticed the space, how it was full of sunlight, large indoor trees, and expansive and seamlessly transitioning from inside to outside. And every bit of it was curved. This was certainly a unique space.

Curved ceilings and windows let in sunlight high above the hall. The tops of steel pillars and indoor trees are also visible.

A view from above of people on the floor level. Curved glass wall from ground to ceiling in the left and an indoor terrace in the right.

Once that video was done, it was time for other social events. I had previously signed up for walking tours of the inner meadow and of the ring building, but that system seemed to have not worked too well for Apple as they were now just organizing all that on a first come first served basis. I got in line for the inner meadow tour.

A young man is sitting at a table outdoors under a shade structure. He is using an Apple computer from thirty to forty years ago. He is surrounded by other similar tables which are all empty. In the background are a bunch of fruit trees.

The tour lasted about thirty minutes. Our first stop was by some fruit trees where a docent talked about all the fruit they grow and how it is all set up.

A curved concave building with large glass windows is visible in the distance. Fruit trees are in the foreground.

The second stop was by a shallow pond. In the center of the pond was a round plate that goes up and down. This creates a gentle wave that is imperceptible unless one is looking closely, but makes a definite wave crashing sound as it reached the edge of the pond. that was pretty cool.

A large round pond with a couple of ducks near the center. Behind it is a small hill with trees. The top of a curved building is behind that. Over it is a cloudy sky.

The third and final stop was by the rainbow arches where a different docent talked about how it came to be as originally a temporary sculpture that was later made permanent. Then we made our way back on the same path.

Right after that I got in line for the building tour. This was very popular and there was a lot of management going on to get people into small batches and move them along as tour guides returned from their previous tour and started a new one. At this point it definitely felt like I was in line for a theme park ride.

The ring tour took us upstairs to the third level from one side of Caffé Macs. Then to the inner side of the building, across the terrace overlooking the main event area and back down.

At one point a docent talked about the structure of the building. Some interesting facts:

  • Outer circumference is one mile. Inner circumference is 0.75 mile.
  • There’s a four feet quake zone all around the outside, so the whole building is capable of moving significantly in case of an earthquake.
  • The two massive doors are the largest ever of their kind. And apparently super quiet when opening/closing.
  • A lot of the dirt from digging up the foundation is piled up and forms the landscaping.
  • The land is 80% greenery and 20% building. Previously it was the opposite.
  • The roof hosts the largest solar installation on a building.
  • The building temperature is maintained at a comfortable level by passive mechanisms most of the time.

A view through the convex side of a curved glass window. The curve extends far into the background showing four levels of such windows and awnings. In the right is a field with trees. Above is cloudy sky.

A view from above of a row of tables with white umbrellas extending halfway to the background where there is a meadow with rainbow arches in the distance. The other side of the curved building is beyond that with trees spotted all around. In the distance are some hills and a cloudy sky.

An interior view of a conference area as seen from above. There are a number of chairs, some people, a few style pillars and trees.

From there we walked over to an area by the campus transit center. There we descended to a lower level where a gallery space had been set up showing photos and videos from behind the scenes of a project called Mirage. There were even some samples of the cast glass made for the project.

Glass awnings and windows are visible on three consecutive levels as viewed from the ground. Blue sky with wispy clouds above.

Next up was the Apple Design Awards event. While it is definitely a crowning achievement for the winners, it is always fun and inspiring to see all the apps that make it to the finals, and this year was no exception. There was a lot of excitement and joy in the design awards.

On the left is a cherry tree with ripe cherries. On the right are some chairs with people sitting on them as seen from behind. In the distance is a stage with three people and a screen that says “Apple Design Awards”.

Following the awards ceremony, was the final event of the day. It was billed as “Special Evening Activity” in the days leading up to WWDC, but it was announced earlier that it would be a visit to the Steve Jobs Theater for something related to the Vision Pro hardware. It was unclear if people would get a chance to try it out so there was suddenly a surge of people towards that direction because of course no one wanted to miss that opportunity if it presented itself. The crowd was met by a line of Apple employees that stopped the flow, while whatever final preparations were made so that we could be led there in small batches. Apparently inside the cafe were preparations for beverages and dinner, but I’m not sure if anyone made it to that.

Thankfully I was near the front of the crowd, so my wait was only about thirty minutes. I walked over to the theater, which was hidden from view until the very last bend in the path.

A path leads to a circular building in the distance. There are people going to and coming from there. The building has floor to ceiling glass which is reflecting some light from the setting sun. The sky above is partly cloudy.

Inside the building was a display of all the new mac hardware but also a line to go downstairs. I made my way down there and into a hands-off area where a number of Vision Pro were on display to see, but not to handle.

An up-close photo of two Apple Vision Pro devices with people in the blurred background.

A few minutes later as I emerged from the theater building, I saw this lovely sunset view of the grass and the main building.

Golden grass in the foreground and Apple Park building in the distance, with a dramatic cloudy sky above. Everything is lit by the late evening sunlight.

From there I made my way out as that was it for the day.

The Evening Before the Main Event

A selfie of me in front of the “1 Infinite Loop” sign.

The main event was on Monday, but an early check-in gathering was organized for the evening before at Apple’s old headquarters at Infinite Loop. I arrived there at about 6pm. There were hundreds of Apple retail employees at various stations for facilitating check-ins and to greet people as they arrived and left. On check-in I received a badge and also a tote bag filled with goodies.

Event swag on a table: tote bag, black cap, small black insulated tumblr, various enamel pins.

The gathering was in a courtyard-like large open area surrounded by campus buildings. There were beverages, and seating. I got a beverage and mulled about the crowd. I met a couple of people I knew from online, and a few other people that I’d not met before. I was there for less than an hour and left shortly before the event ended, to make my way to Miniboss Arcade in downtown San Jose for the RevenueCat party.

The Morning After the Main Event

A dimly lit theater in blue and red light, with a screen showing the Apple logo. A number of seated people are viewed from behind.

On Tuesday morning I went to an event at the Apple Developer Center, across the street from Apple Park. We were led into their Big Sur theater that seats two hundred people. There we got a live presentation about the space and how it is relevant to developers. That was followed by second presentation about developing for visionOS using RealityKit, ARKit, Reality Composer Pro, and the new simulator. It looks like Apple has put a lot of thought into making this new platform approachable by developers who currently build apps for all their existing platforms, but perhaps have no experience with developing for headsets using 3D frameworks.

After the presentation we were led to a space that had beverages and food for socializing and meeting people from relevant teams at Apple. This developer center event was unexpected and I was pleasantly surprised at the thought that went into it. It was a nice culmination of my time in person at WWDC.

My heartiest gratitude to the people of Apple for their hospitality ❤️

Saturday morning vibes at the dining table.

A warm and cozy selfie with me and Mr. Momo (cat).

Golden grass in the foreground and Apple Park building in the distance, with a dramatic cloudy sky above. Everything is lit by the late evening sunlight.

Sunset over Apple Park, as seen from the Steve Jobs Theater. 5th June, 2023.

My heartiest gratitude to the people of Apple for their hospitality ❤️

Less than 24 hours left for my flight to California. A day in SF, then on to Apple Park in Cupertino. Starting to feel the excitement!

How to Change a Quick Fix Into a Large Project 😬

Our house has five steps to get down to the backyard. A few weeks ago, a board on the top step cracked on the edge. I added some blue tape to make it more visible until I got around to fixing it.

Front view of steps. There’s blue tape on a board on the top tread.

Soon thereafter I started working on a plan to fix it. The simplest thing would be to replace the board but many other boards are also not in good shape, so a fresh set would be best, especially since I may be getting some painting work done and a fresh coat on this could be added to that. Once I decided to go with that I felt like I had to address the fact that the treads are held up by two stringers, and there really ought to be three. This was starting to feel like yak shaving but I hadn’t taken on a project like this in a while and it was appealing to spend the time to do it right.

So my plan was to remove the treads, measure out a new stringer to go in the middle, cut it out of a 2x12, attach it and then put a whole bunch of fresh boards, probably also adding risers. After talking to friends and looking at some videos it seemed like reasonable idea.

Yesterday I got to it. First I removed the treads. I noticed that the bottom of one stringer had a crack and was about to come apart. I drove a couple of screws to reattach it. This was the first new issue I noticed. I also noticed that each stringer was resting differently, the concrete seems to go around one, but under the other. That was the second new issue.

A view of the steps after removing the treads. Two stringers are visible.

After removing the treads I measured out the stringers and this is what those measurements were like. As you can see, there is not much consistency between the two, including the fact that the first step from the ground was not only wildly higher than the others, it is also well over the building code. These were the third and fourth new issues.

A page in a notebook with a rough sketch showing the geometry and measurements on each stringer. They differ significantly.

Nevertheless I figured out measurements and marked it on the board but that didn’t look right. I did it again. Something was still off. I looked at the stringers closely and noticed a fifth new issue.

A carpenter’s square placed against the riser of a stringer showing that is is not square and in fact has been deliberately cut off square.

For whatever reason the builder had removed extra material from each corner of each stringer so the angles weren’t square. That was the last straw. At that point I decided that there were too many issues with leaving the existing structure intact and that the more reasonable thing would be to just rebuild the steps from scratch.

I put the treads back while moving the cracked board to the bottom tread so it was out of the way where it would cause any harm. I also cleaned it up a bit and applied wood glue for good measure. All of this is a temporary measure until these can be rebuilt either by me, or by someone I hire. Will report back after that!

A New App, Maybe

Some time ago I wrote about a simple app I made to export routes for workouts so that I can embed them in blog posts, or Google Maps.

Well, I kept making improvements to it to the point that now it looks like an interface to my workouts that I prefer over the standard one from Apple (like supporting light and dark modes 🙄).

What do you think? Would you be interested in using it? Should I start a beta so you can share how you really feel?

P.S. Many of the map tiles are blurred because one of the features of the app is to enable blurring them out if they contain any user-defined private locations, e.g. for sharing such a video, or a screenshot.

This time around I was unexpectedly busy around Micro.camp so I missed out on pretty much the entire camp, except for tuning in for a brief moment on Friday. Hoping to catch up on all the videos this week.

Sights from a walk in the neighborhood.

A street view of a house and its backyard with a partly cloudy blue sky above. In the backyard is a metal tower taller than the house with a bicycle mounted on top of it.

A view from the street of a meadow with a few trees with a skate park beyond. A skater can be seen approaching a ramp.

📷 Hike at Lacamas Park

A couple of weeks ago we went hiking at Lacamas Park in the city of Camas, about 20 minutes drive from Portland. This was our first time there and it was a lovely hike in a park that is well maintained and has lots of crisscrossing trails.

A waterfall and rapids visible from the trail.

A few times I got the feeling of being farther from the city than we actually were, like when the trail drops down to the base of a waterfall.

Jenni in front of a waterfall.

We even spotted some trilliums!

Purple trillium flower amongst other plants.

Jenni stands next to some rapids viewed from a bridge above.

You can get right next to the water, so this one might be worth revisiting on those hot summer days.

Activity Stats and Map

Distance: 3.38 miles
Elevation Gain: 450 ft
Time (including breaks): 1h 56m

See full screen

It’s the colorful season.

Blue and yellow plants in a small cluster potted in a barrel.