πŸ“· Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise over a desert landscape with silhouettes of various cacti and trees against a backdrop of mountains and a clear sky.

Sunset over mountain range with trees and cacti in the foreground.

Mimi Uploader Enters the Future

A new beta of Mimi Uploader is now out. It adds a new feature to generate a draft of an image description for use as alt text. An example is at the end of this post. This feature is opt-in. You have to ask for an image description to be generated each time. If you don’t then the app behaves as before.

Thank you for trying this out in the beta, which you can join at this link.

The way it works is that you tap the “Generate” button in the alt text editor. This sends a link to your previously uploaded photo to the service, which responds with the description. At the current time this feature only generates a description in English. Would you like to see an additional feature to translate the description into a different language? If so, please let me know the name of the language(s).

The API used for this feature is a paid service from a third-party. Each tap on “Generate” incurs a cost. If you would like to support this feature, in beta and afterwards, please give a donation directly, or drop a tip using the Settings page in the app. Many thanks to those of you who have already done so. All donations and tips are greatly appreciated.

As I prepare to launch this, I want to add that ever since I added the alt text feature, it’s sometimes been a barrier to me posting batches of photos because I wasn’t always ready to write all the descriptions. It felt like a chore sometimes. This feature greatly removes that friction. I see it as a positive step in my blogging (which often has batches of photos), as well as a more accessible web.

And now for an example illustrating this feature

Some weeks ago I shared the following photo:

Colorful morning sunrise in the background and silhouetted porch in the foreground. In between there is a silhouette of a Joshua Tree.

The alt text I wrote at the time was:

Colorful morning sunrise in the background and silhouetted porch in the foreground. In between there is a silhouette of a Joshua Tree.

Using this feature, the alt text generated was:

A picturesque sunset with vibrant shades of pink, orange, and blue over a desert landscape with silhouettes of Joshua trees. Foreground includes the silhouette of a barbecue grill and patio with hanging light bulbs under a corrugated metal awning.

I’m very impressed by this description. It is spot on for everything except confusing a photo of a sunrise for a sunset, which is something many people do as well.

Additionally, every alt text in this post full of photos was generated using this feature.

I hope you find this feature useful in your blogging as well. I look forward to your feedback.

A new round of beta for Mimi Uploader is about to start. This one adds a feature to generate alt text for a photo based on OpenAI’s GPT 4 Vision model, which is a paid service. So any cash you can throw in the tip-jar in the app store version of the app would be appreciated.

πŸ“· Photos from some hikes around southern Arizona

A person hiking on a desert trail surrounded by various cacti, including tall saguaros and bushy cholla, with a mountain in the background under a clear sky.

Desert landscape with several tall saguaro cacti, smaller cholla cacti, and prickly pear shrubs in the foreground, against a backdrop of a mountain range under a clear blue sky.

Rocky desert terrain with sparse vegetation and several tall saguaro cacti against a clear blue sky.

Desert trail with saguaro cacti and stone ruins under a blue sky.

Large rock formation with petroglyphs, surrounded by desert vegetation including saguaro cacti, under a bright blue sky.

Person walking on a trail through a desert landscape with cacti in the foreground and mountains in the background, under a clear blue sky.

Three people walking on a dry path surrounded by large trees with yellowing leaves under a clear blue sky.

Pond with floating green water plants and scattered autumn leaves, with visible waterbed and stones on the edge.

Autumn foliage with yellow leaves stands out among green shrubs against a backdrop of distant mountains and a clear blue sky, with saguaro cacti dotting the foreground.

A panoramic view of a mountainous landscape with green vegetation and a winding road.

A different sunrise view today 😍

Colorful morning sunrise in the background and silhouetted porch in the foreground. In between there is a silhouette of a Joshua Tree.

πŸ“· A bit of Fall at Mt. Tabor yesterday.

A variety of colorful leaves on a line of trees along a grassy berm.

A tree trunk is in focus in the center of the frame. The background shows softly blurred trees. The ground is full of yellow leaves. The tree bark has various marks of lines and holes.

Ducks hang out in the slope if a water reservoir and in the water inside. Trees and sky are reflected in the water.

An empty reservoir’s concrete floor dominates the foreground. In the background is a hill with grass, colorful fall trees, and the sky.

πŸ“· Some colors of Fall around the neighborhood 😍

Two tree with contrasting yellow and dark green leaves.

A small maple tree with a variety of fall colored leaves below it. Its leaves are very red. There’s a bright green lawn in the background.

An up close view of a tree branch with yellow green leaves and bright red berries.

A tree that’s over twice as tall as the house next to it with a wide canopy of bright yellow leaves and many fallen yellow leaves below.

A tree with bright red leaves on its short but wide canopy and a bed of the same leaves on the street and sidewalk below.

Three trees in a row with yellow green leaves on them and dry dark yellow leaves on the grass below.

Cute! millends.com

14741094

I used ICQ for a few years back in the day. I have not used it in over twenty years but my ICQ number is permanently residing in my head.

New version of Mimi Uploader is out πŸŽ‰

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

  • Support for RAW files and improved support for all formats.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Get it from the App Store!

πŸ“· Quite the light show this morning 😍

Silhouette of trees in the foreground. Orange to yellow to gray hues rising into the cloudy sky from the horizon.

Silhouette of trees in the foreground. Very bright orange to yellow hues rising into the cloudy sky from the horizon.

Fuzzy shapeless clouds of bright pink and orange with a splotchy blue sky behind.

Bright orange nebulous clouds fill the entire frame. A bright white moon is near the center right. Bits of blue sky are in the background.

A new beta for Mimi Uploader is now out with support for RAW files and improved support for all formats. Also included are some bug fixes and performance improvements.

If you’re not in the beta, you can opt-in.

I look forward to your feedback. Thank you!

πŸ“· Hike at Latourell Falls

A couple weekends ago we went hiking at Latourell Falls. It’s a lovely hike that has immediate view of the lower falls from the trailhead. There’s a short hike to the base of the lower falls. There’s also a separate loop hike that goes up and around those falls and comes across the higher falls. That’s the one we did.

Along the way we saw a number of mushrooms, some huge Devil’s Clubs (identified by the phone), and a whole lot of moss and trees. It’s a popular hike. There were people all along the way.

A tall thin waterfall backed by a large gray rock wall. Trees with fall colors in the foreground.

Dark orange mushrooms with even darker spots on them, growing out of the face of a fallen tree trunk.

Leaves in varying fall colors with spikes in their surface. A blurry backdrop of a small bridge and waterfall behind.

A waterfall coming downs a rock wall in a twist. Hikers walking towards it on the trail in the foreground.

A close view of a waterfall and the water below. A woman stands on the trail to the side of and in between the waterfall and a rock wall.

A woman hangs from a tree branch that goes over a hiking trail. Her knees are bent.

Flat yellowish mushrooms grow out the face of a fallen tree trunk. They are surrounded by green germs and leaves.

A woman on a hiking trail takes a picture of a bridge that goes over the trail.

Selfie of a man and a woman. The man in the foreground is blurry. The woman in the background is in sharp focus.

On a side note, I’m really enjoying the new iOS 17 feature that lets you choose the point of focus after taking the photo. I used that in the photo above.

Activity Stats and Map

Distance: 2.54 miles
Elevation Gain: 587 ft
Time (including breaks): 1h 34m

The Story of Mimi Uploader So Far

This is about an iOS/iPadOS app I make, called Mimi Uploader.

The Past

This is all from memory, so let me apologize in advance for any errors/omissions.

The concept of Mimi Uploader as an app came about gradually. First I started using Micro.blog regularly. I like putting together sets of photos, so I often have posts with those. Soon thereafter I realized it was a pain to manage uploading a series of photos for a post. Thankfully Micro.blog provided an API. So I wrote a python script that would do that from the command line on my Mac, and that greatly eased the friction.

Some time later I noticed that very often I was taking the step of moving photos from my phone to my Mac (or over iCloud), exporting them, and then using the script to do the upload. Often even for single photos. This increased over time as I used my big camera less often and most of my photos came from the iPhone.

Now, I’m always looking for app ideas to try and improve my skills as a professional iOS developer. It was with that in mind that I started the side project that later came to be Mimi Uploader.

I didn’t want to make the app free as I was wary of supporting too many users and feature requests for a side project. This was just before subscriptions on iOS became a focus of Apple and a source of much consternation amongst the community. And I wasn’t ready to wade into that for this side project so I set it up as a one-time purchase for $4.99. Mimi has remained at that price since it started in early 2020.

As time passed, people in the community started to notice and recommend it, and even Micro.blog encouraged, supported, and promoted it, for which they all have my gratitude.

Since Mimi Uploader was a side project that helped me learn and acquire new skills on iOS I was glad to put in the time to maintain it when I had any to spare. And yes, the evolution of software platforms means that there is a constant need for that labor. At some point I thought that perhaps people want to support ongoing maintenance, so I added a tip jar in the app. And some people tipped some times, for which they have my gratitude as well.

Every enhancement has been implemented because I wanted it, or because someone in the community asked for it.

And now four years have passed in total.

The Present

Mimi Uploader remains a passion project that is at the mercy of my spare time and spare motivation. So I continue with maintenance and small enhancements every now and then.

I should also mention that in the intervening four years that march of software platform evolution has led to a plethora of ways to accomplish what Mimi does, further diminishing its utility.

The Future

I have no idea. What do you think?

Edited to add: This is not a call for feature requests. There’s already an extensive list of that.

hike muddy
mushrooms water
falls in love
again

Selfie of two people in a sun speckled forest

Warm evening golden light falls on an open white door with a bluish wall behind. On the wall is a geometric pattern of prismatic rainbow colored spikes in a semicircular pattern.

This is what it looks like when your partner is running a half marathon, and you’re chasing them all over the place πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ

Screenshot of an app, showing a biking route that goes all over the downtown area of Portland, Oregon

Came across Momo reading Viticci’s iOS 17 review. He didn’t say much, but his expression said it was the best one ever, and I concur.

A cat looks at an iPad with an article on it.

πŸ“· Some photos from last week

View of downtown buildings in the distance, there’s gray clouds above with a hint of blue sky, and tall green trees in the foreground.

The base of a tree trunk with some moss and some red berries scattered about.

A cat sits on a short fence with a house in the background and blue sky above. There are tall sunflowers next to the cat.

View of a sunrise with a silhouette of a trees and the roof of a house in the foreground.

People standing next to a van that has a large window with a water tank and a woman dressed as a mermaid inside it.

My ideal Apple Watch is basically a fitness band with all the sensors, and critically, no/tiny screen. This is why I stick with the smallest one.

Was hoping for new sensors this year but regardless I will be upgrading from Series 6.