inessential by Brent Simmons

May 2011

Fantastical released

It happened a few days ago, and I was heads-down, so I missed it. If by any chance you missed all the other links to Fantastical, here’s another one.

Half of Flexibits is Michael Simmons. There are those who say we’re cousins, some who say we’re brothers. (Our origins are shrouded in mystery, but I can say that we were both at hand for the invention of papyrus. And Pythagoras stole Michael’s idea, for which he’s still a bit miffed.)

I like to think I’m Michael’s evil twin. But I have more hair, so there’s that.

Family business aside. Fantastical makes dealing with your calendar less tyrannical. Enter new calendar entries using English, instead of beating up your tendons with a bunch of mousing and clicking and mis-mousing and mis-clicking.

When I say “English” I don’t mean AppleScript English — I mean the real thing. It works! Feels like deep magic from beyond the dawn of time.

And the app looks great. It’s a pleasure to use.

Hype up

I’m so excited to see Hype released. It’s what we’ve needed.

I can write code. Not scared. Do it all the time. But if an app means I don’t have to, and I can iterate faster, and do things I haven’t learned how to code yet… then I love that app. Which I do.

NickH on Exceptions

Exceptions are Exceptional: “I’ve run into so many webservices that return HTTP STATUS 200 OK with an html body that says ‘400.’ If you’re doing this, you suck.”

Dave on Twitter and flow

Scripting News: “The good stuff is already outside of Twitter and flows into it.”

TouchUp 1.2

My friends at RogueSheep released TouchUp 1.2 a week ago — and I was a little busy at that moment and missed linking to it.

It’s a cool update to a cool app. New features include deeper Flickr integration, new filters such as Pixelate and Vignette, and support for AirPrint.

The app is gorgeous, and it’s one of those great apps that make the iPad a creation device, not just a fancy movie-player.

Sandvox 2

Karelia Software just released Sandvox 2. It’s a website creator — and very much a traditional Mac app in the best sense: instead of being all about coding, it’s all about making a website.

You choose from templates, drag-and-drop pictures and video from your library, add your own words, create your own designs, publish to a server, all without having to know any HTML. (But, of course, you can write HTML too, if you want.)

There’s a coupon code: 20% off for readers of my weblog, good through May 20. Use the code INESSENTIAL.