Month: December 2012

On the Marketing shift from Aspiration to Inspiration

Interesting views on brand evolution:

Great brands, those most in touch in with consumer sentiment, have evolved their message from one of Aspiration to one of Inspiration. They are focused less on what they can give, and more on what consumers themselves can achieve. […] These brands have realized their role is not to be the solution, but to be the motivation for one. The call to action isn’t merely to buy something, but to build something. ~A Brand Shift for 2013: From Aspiration To Inspiration

On Innovation vs. Imitation

This should be applicable to apps, magazines and any kind of project:

A publication’s app should be designed and built with purpose and consideration. The Magazine works because I based decisions not on what everyone else was doing, but on what would be best for this magazine. Every publication has its own unique needs, audience, economics, and style, so their apps should reflect that. ~ My master plan for revolutionizing the future of publishing and saving tablet-native journalism

Creative Coding with Cinder & Xcode – Getting Started

Of all the “creative coding” languages out there I’ve decide to give Cinder a try.

I could go back to Actionscript but that’s still a few years away from feeling like coding a vintage language. I could try again Processing but I feel like Processing still needs to graduate to the next level. I’ve heard of VVVV (or ‘V4’) and, even though, it feels refreshing to try a node-base language, it seems to me that the node metaphor is best suited for VJs but not for non-real-time coding. So then we have OpenFrameworks and Cinder. Since I’m new to both, and Cinder seems to be more actively developed these days, I’ll give it a try.


Cinder is a free, opensource library for creative coding, originally created by the Barbarian Group.

In their own words:

Cinder provides a powerful, intuitive toolbox for programming graphics, audio, video, networking, image processing and computational geometry. Cinder is cross-platform, and in general the exact same code works under Mac OS X, Windows and a growing list of other platforms — most recently the iPhone and iPad.

Running the sample projects

I’m using Mountain Lion but Cinder should work on previous versions of the Mac OS.X. I have upgraded Xcode, which now must be done through the app store, or else random errors might popup (thanks Apple). All Cinder development in the Mac takes place inside Xcode.

Step #1 – Download Cinder for Mac:

Step #2 – Try to run a sample demo
Cinder comes with a welcome guide, sample demos and a tutorial. When I first tried to run the demos I got the following error when launching the .xcodeproj file:

It turns out that the Cinder demos and tutorials target 10.5 OS and Xcode under Mountain Lion is not happy about that. In order to get these projects running you must have the SDK for the OS you are targeting. My Xcode setup had SDKs for 10.7 and 10.8.

You’ll find the configurations paths to change under:

Project/BuildSettings/Architecture/Base SDK/

Targets/Build Settings/Architecture/Base SDK/

With those fixes in place all the Cinder XCode project should work

Starting a project from scratch

The easiest way to start a new project is using the TinderBox app, found in the tools folder. Since you can install the Cinder library on any folder the TinderBox requires the user to point to the folder where the Cinder library is to be found.

The TinderBox app creates simple apps to create standard desktop apps, IOS apps and screensavers. It is definitely the easiest to start a new project since it takes care of setting up all the dependencies, SDK paths, libraries, etc.

The basic structure of a Cinder app

First of all, Cinder is written on C++. It’s years I write C or C++. We have to deal with pointers (yuk) and the separation of declaration (header files) and definition (source files). Besides that, C++ is object oriented and really fast (great for interactive visualizations, managing large number of objects, large sets of data, video processing, etc).

A Cinder app has three main functions. These functions will look very familiar to those that have used Processing before. They basically define the elements of the app and then the routines to be executed on an endless loop. Cinder, like Processing, runs an infinite loop where graphics can be updated to create animations and interaction.

  • setup() where the initialization takes place (similar to Processing’s setup)
  • update() called every frame of the execution loop, intended to handle your calculations
  • draw() similar to update in that it gets executed once per frame, but intended to deal only with graphics

(image via

Having both update and draw function allows for separation of logic and presentation layer, while keeping the main app loop very simple.

And… go!

That cover all the basics. The Hello, Cinder tutorial is a good place to see some of the possibilities of the language.

Launch Sublime Text from the command line

To file under 1-minute-fixes.

I find it extremely helpful to open files directly from the command line while in Terminal. Sublime Text —unlike TextMate— doesn’t set up a command for this, but this is easy enough to fix.

Sublime Text Logo Icon by omarrr

The documentation explains how to create a link to sublime in your local bin via:

$ ln -s "/Applications/Sublime Text" /usr/local/bin/subl

which allows you to open files from the terminal like this:

$ subl ~/.profile


Top 7 most iconic magazine covers made icons



Iconic Magazine Cover #1 - The Passion of Muhammad Ali, Esquire 1968 by omarrr

The Passion of Muhammad Ali Esquire, April 1968

The Passion of Muhammad Ali, Esquire 1968
Ali appeared on the cover of the April 1968 issue of Esquire magazine in the style of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian after his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War and the subsequent stripping of his boxing title. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #2 - Playboy 1971 by omarrr

Playboy, October 1971

Playboy, October 1971 Darine Stern was the first African-American model to appear by herself on the cover of Playboy in the magazine’s October 1971 issue. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #3 - Rolling Stone 1981 by omarrr

Rolling Stone, January 1981.

Rolling Stone 1981 Annie Liebovitz shot of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the January cover or Rolling Stone, photographed five hours before Lennon was assassinated. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #4 - Afghan Girl, National Geographic 1985 by omarrr

Afghan Girl, National Geographic, June 1985

Afghan Girl, National Geographic 1985 Although her name was not known, her picture, titled “Afghan Girl”, appeared on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic. The image of her face, with a red scarf draped loosely over her head and with her piercing sea-green eyes staring directly into the camera, became a symbol both of the 1980s Afghan conflict and of the refugee situation worldwide. The image itself was named “the most recognized photograph” in the history of the magazine. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #5 - More on Moore, Vanity Fair 1991 by omarrr

More on Moore, Vanity Fair, August 1991

Iconic Magazine Cover #5 - More on Moore, Vanity Fair 1991 by omarrr More Demi Moore was a controversial nude photograph of the then seven-months pregnant Demi Moore taken by Annie Leibovitz for the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair. Demi Moore was the first celebrity to appear naked and pregnant on the cover of a magazine. Almost fifteen years after its publication it was listed as the second best magazine cover of the last forty years by the American Society of Magazine Editors. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #6 - An American Tragedy, Time 1994 by omarrr

An American Tragedy, Time, June 1994

Iconic Magazine Cover #6 - An American Tragedy, Time 1994 by omarrr On June 27, 1994, Time published a cover story “An American Tragedy” with a mugshot image of O. J. Simpson on the cover. […] Time itself then became the object of a media scandal, and it was found it had employed photo manipulation to darken the photo, for the purpose of, as commentators have claimed, making Simpson appear more “menacing.” The publication of the cover photo drew widespread criticism of racist editorializing, and yellow journalism. Time publicly apologized. ~Wikipedia


Iconic Magazine Cover #7 - 9/11/2001, The New Yorker 2001 by omarrr

9/11/2001, The New Yorker, September 2001

Side by Side - Iconic Magazine Cover #6 - The New Yorker. September, 2001 by omarrr New Yorker Covers Editor Françoise Mouly repositioned Art Spiegelman’s silhouettes, inspired by Ad Reinhardt’s black-on-black paintings, so that the North Tower’s antenna breaks the “W” of the magazine’s logo. Spiegelman wanted to see the emptiness, and find the awful/awe-filled image of all that disappeared on 9/11. The silhouetted Twin Towers were printed in a fifth, black ink, on a field of black made up of the standard four color printing inks. An overprinted clear varnish helps create the ghost images that linger, insisting on their presence through the blackness.~Wikipedia