F*ck You. Pay Me. By Mike Monteiro

If you’re a freelancer or small business owner you should check this out. It’s a great talk by Mike Monteiro, Design Director and co-founder of Mule Design Studio, on the benefits of having a contract. It was filmed on March 25th, 2011, as part of the Creative Mornings (San Francisco) sessions. There’s a followup blog post, here.

This talk is specific to the design industry, but it’s good advice for everyone.

Vimeo Link | via Swiss Miss

Admin Bar Minimiser: Show or Hide the New WordPress Admin Bar with a Single Click

WordPress 3.1 brought with it a new Admin Bar. When administrators are logged in, the bar sits on top of all the front-end pages of the site, allowing quick access to some basic wordpress settings and functions.

The new Admin Bar seems to have been met with a love it or hate it reaction. Personally, I love the functionality, but I hate having to look at the bar all the time. Luckily, that’s where the Admin Bar Minimiser plugin comes in very handy. Instead of being forced to choose between enabling or disabling the bar completely, this plugin allows you to simply show / hide the bar with a single click.

My thanks go out to developer, dgwyer, for creating such a useful plugin.

A fix for WordPress gallery comments not showing up in comments RSS feed

This won’t be of a huge interest to a lot of people, but it took me a while to find an answer, so hopefully this will save someone else a little time.

WordPress has a very nice built-in photo gallery feature where each thumbnail in a gallery automatically links to a dynamic page for that image, allowing visitors to comment on the photo.

Unfortunately, there’s been a bug in this feature ever since it was first introduced. Comments made on these dynamic gallery pages don’t show up in the site’s comment rss feed. The feed ignores them completely.

For whatever reason, the folks behind WordPress haven’t seen this as a high priority issue, so it’s never been fixed. I’m currently working on a personal project (more on that later), that would really benefit from these comments showing up in the comment rss feed like they should. Fortunately, after a fair amount of digging I found the answer in this comment in the WordPress Forums.

To force gallery-page comments to show up the standard WordPress comments rss feed, simply add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function fix_comments_rss_attachments($cwhere) {
return "WHERE comment_approved = '1'";

add_filter('comment_feed_where', 'fix_comments_rss_attachments');

Or, if you would rather not edit your functions file, I’ve dropped this code into a handy WordPress plugin:

  1. Download the plugin
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Upload “gallery-comments-rssfeed-fixer.php” to your Plugins folder and activate it. There’s no configuration options – it just works.

Request Files from Non-Tech-Savvy Clients with Dropbox and AirDropper

AirDropper

Dropbox is an awesome web-based service for syncing and sharing files, but despite how good it is, I’ve never really found a way to get it into my workflow.

I’m an independent freelance designer / developer, and I only use one computer, so I don’t need the ability to sync files across multiple machines. I also have my own server, so sharing files with others is very easy for me. But, the one thing that does often come up is the need to collect (large) files from clients who are not necessarily too tech-savvy. That’s where AirDropper is going to be very useful.

AirDropper is separate web-service that allows you to use your Dropbox account to collect files from others, who don’t have an account with either service.

Basically, you link your AirDropper account to your Dropbox account, and then simply generate a file-request through the AirDropper website. An email is sent to your recipient with a link to an upload form. They upload files, which are uploaded into your Dropbox account, and sync back down to your local machine. It’s extremely simple and straightforward.

It should be noted that the upload form is single-use, meaning once the person you sent a request to uploads some files, the form can’t be used again. This is actually an important feature. Since the files being uploaded are being synced (downloaded) to your local computer, you wouldn’t want that form to become public, or used some time in the future when you weren’t expecting to receive files. If you need more files from the same person, simply send a new request.

There are, of course, no shortage of file sharing services out there on the internet. But, it seems like most of them either require your client to sign up for an account, or the cost is a bit too high. In contrast, both Dropbox and AirDropper have free accounts available, and don’t require your client to do anything.

AirDropper is currently in beta, so we’ll see what final pricing ends up being. For now, this is the cheapest, and most convenient way I’ve found to collect files from others.

It should go without saying that you don’t have to be a freelancer to use these services. Anyone can use them to request files from anyone else.

Thanks to The Graphic Mac for the tip!

UPDATE: I just noticed that Dropbox has a referral program. If you sign up for an account using my link, we’ll both get an extra 250MB of space added to our account for free. Yay!

Is After Effects Gobbling Up Your Hard Drive?

Adobe After Effects CS3 Cache - Cache.MACC

I recently discovered that After Effects (CS3) wasn’t deleting it’s Media Cache files when I quit the application. The folder had swelled to 6.19 GB.

I’m not sure if this is a bug in CS3, or if all versions of AE suffered from this problem. But, if you’re an After Effects user you may want to make sure you haven’t (unnecessarily) lost some drive space. On a Mac, the folder is located at ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/After Effects CS3/Media Cache Files. You can either manually toss the content of the folder, or you can open AE on go to the Memory & Cache preferences and click, Clean Database & Cache.

How to upgrade your music to 256 kbps DRM-Free versions in iTunes

Upgrade iTunes Library

Earlier today Apple announced that they’re removing Digital Rights Management (DRM) from music bought through the iTunes music store. They also announced that you could upgrade your previously purchased music from the old standard (128 kbps protected file) to the new format (256 kbps DRM Free) for $0.30 per song on individual tracks or 30% of the current album price on full albums, but it’s not immediately apparent on how you go about doing that.

It’s actually very easy… simply open iTunes and select the iTunes Store in the sidebar (on the left). On the store home page, look in the upper right, under QUICK LINKS, for “Upgrade my Library”. Clicking that will take you to a summary page of what it would cost to upgrade everything you’ve bought. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged unless you click the “Buy” button on that summery screen.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any way of upgrading individual tracks or albums… it’s either everything you’ve bought, or nothing. Also, since the entire catalogue offered through iTunes hasn’t been upgraded to the new format yet, not everything will be available. In my own tests, only about half of what I’ve bought is available for upgrade. Apple should have everything updated by the end of March, 2009.

Personally, I’m bummed about the all or nothing approach Apple has taken. I really don’t want to upgrade everything I’ve bought.

UPDATE (1/07/2009): Macworld has posted much more information about this.

Don’t change your Mighty Mouse batteries before you have to

Apple Mighty Mouse Battery Warning

If you use an Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse, you’ve probably seen this battery warning at some point. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a little premature in when it tells you to change batteries. I sometimes get 2-3 weeks of additional use after I get the warning before the batteries actually die. And that’s using my mouse all day, every day.

Ignore the warning. Don’t change the batteries until they actually die.

iPhone copy/paste between Safari and Mail with pastebud

pastebud

Starting tomorrow (12/12) we’ll be able to copy and paste text on the iPhone between Safari and Mail, or between 2 web pages. And, it doesn’t require any software to be installed, or the iPhone to be tampered with.

It works by using 2 Javascript bookmarklets provided by pastebud. There’s a video of it in action over on Gizmodo (fyi… the video won’t play for me in Safari, I had to use Firefox).

All in all it looks pretty cool. I can’t wait to try it out. It is sad though that Apple hasn’t provided this ability long ago. Who knows, maybe it will be announced at Macworld in January.

via The Apple Blog

UPDATE (12/12/2008): The service went online today, and apparently there’s some concerns about security. use at your own risk.