andres marrugo

Always Late to the Party

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

It always seems I’m late to the party. For several years I pondered on the idea of joining Twitter, but it never really made much sense to me – at least at the time – to join a social network where there were hardly any friends of mine1. Big mistake, that actually is one of the cool things about twitter. Unlike Facebook, it does provides an open space suitable for engaging in discussions, albeit short, of all sorts with interesting people who don’t really have to be your “friend.”

It turns out that shortly after joining twitter most people2 were already considering abandoning it in favor of App.net. For the time being App.net seems like a niche thing, and most people seem to continue on twitter. Whether that stays that way for the next year or so depends on twitter and their recent policy changes that could well endanger the platform as we know it today.

Convert Image to PDF With Automator and Imagemagick

I often use Imagemagick for image manipulation1. However, for simple conversion of an image to another format or similar things I have to go to the terminal and type something like the following

convert somefile.png somefile.pdf

Which is quite simple, and much better than opening preview -> export2->select pdf-> and hit save. But typing that for more than one image is also tedious. So, I decided I’d better create a service that would essentially do the following.

It would take the selected finder items, mainly images in png, jpeg, or whatever, and convert all of them to pdf. Simple.

My Blog Post Writing Workflow With Dropbox and Hazel

It may seem that, for the most part, I’ve been blogging about blogging. No matter how pointless it seems, I do think that this could prove useful to someone, in the same way I have benefited from others while setting up this site1.

One of the things I like about having an Octopress driven txt-only blog is that I have the liberty to set things my way. The topic I am addressing here is that of writing blog posts on different devices2 with the help of Dropbox3 and Hazel. I’m still working out the whole remote blogging thing, this is but the first stage of a soon-to-be remote blogging workflow with Octopress.

Spanish Keyboard and Aperture

20121007-PA077266
My new keyboard.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve grown accustomed to switching back and forth between an english keyboard at home and a spanish keyboard at work. Like anything, at first it takes a while to get fully accustomed, but all in all it isn’t too bad. This week my English keyboard at home died, so I bought a new one this time in Spanish, because that was what they had at the store.

One of the things I don’t like of the spanish keyboard 1 is that most (if not all) applications design the shortcuts assuming an English keyboard. Therefore, what could be single key shortcut in the English keyboard becomes a double key shortcut in the Spanish keyboard. And that’s not all.

A Service for Writing Day One Footnotes Inline

I recently wrote about inserting footnotes in Day One and how it could be achieved with the new markdown support. I realize that ideally Day One should support multimarkdown footnotes, but this has not arrived yet. It could well be planned for a future release, but I’ll stick to my solution for the mean time.

One of the tedious things about my solution to footnotes in Day One is that you have to do everything manually. The insertion of the footnotes plus the formatting, not to mention keeping count of the number of footnotes. For one or two footnotes this doesn’t seem like a big issue. But for several more it gets complicated.1 You have to put the superscript (^), the number of the footnote, the horizontal line (which I think necessary) and the footnote itself. Therefore, I thought I could automate this–somewhat.

It Makes a Difference to Know the Backstory

Selbstporträt
selbstporträt by Vincent van Gogh .

I think that everybody, to get the screaming out of their heads do different things […] beautiful losers and genius lunatics […] there are people who make things that we really, really admire, and love and feel some kind of a resonance with because the work itself is fantastic, but there’s another level to what they make when you know the backstory […] There are a lot of people whose work I admire that I think partly what brought me to them, in some ways, is knowing that backstory.

Merlin Mann, Back to Work Episode #84 - Every Genie is an Actuary.

As Feynman spoke once of the science knowledge of a flower,1 I restate here in another context. There are many interesting questions that come from the knowledge of the backstory of the work of those we admire, which only adds to the excitement and mystery of the work itself. I don’t understand how it subtracts.

I’m Writing the Site I Want to Read

a day in the life of striatic ~ end of day accident
photo by striatic.

If there’s something I learned from the famous talk “149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!” by John Gruber and Merlin Mann, was that one should make a great effort to write as if the people you admire we’re going to read your work. This is true even if the people you admire are fictional, or like in Gruber’s case, an idealized version of himself. I like to think that this piece of advice is as valid for writing/blogging as it is for anything else you do in life.

It’s All About Writing

Typewriter
photo by fiddle oak.

In the past year or so I’ve read a lot about how different people get their stuff done, specially when referring to writing. There are some people who just wait for inspiration to knock on their doors, whereas others simply force themselves to write every day. Inspiration is a tricky thing, but no one can’t deny that when it comes, it certainly feels good. In the words of Cristian Mihai

On the Human Intellect and Prehistoric People

Lascaux
photo by JackVersloot.

I recently finished reading “The Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M. Auel. It is a beautiful story of the human struggle for survival. In the time of mammoths and cave lions, a young human girl finds herself orphan because of an earthquake. Her survival instincts are put to test at their maximum, but she knows very little of surviving on her own. This desolate picture changes when she is rescued by a group of Neanderthals, the “clan of the cave bear”. She looks like them a bit, but at the same time she is too different to be accepted without it raising a few concerns.