Is Developing on the Best… the Best?

Thu, 04 Apr, 2013

My 15” MacBook Pro Retina Display is awesome. It’s such a powerful, beautifully designed machine, and it does everything I want it to (and about a million things more). But sometimes it’s even too good. Everything on it has been so optimized by Apple and everything is so absolutely perfect on the 5 million-pixel display that developing on it gives me a false sense of security. It’s not like the real world, but I’ve been conditioned to think it is.

It’s been about eight months since I got this machine, and I’ve grown accustomed to the display’s vibrancy, clarity, and sharpness of colors, images, and (most importantly) text. The reason I say this about text is that since fonts are scalable vectors, my MacBook renders them with incredible resolution that other displays can’t reproduce. Let’s play a game. I’ll let you pick which of the following two images is of text on my display and which isn’t.

The problem with me growing accustomed to this kind of resolution is that whenever I go about making something, I’m biased to believe what I’m looking at is normal when it really isn’t at all. After I’m totally satisfied with how the design of something looks, I’ll pull it up on another machine only to find out that it just doesn’t look as good as I thought it did, and I’ll have to rethink some things. I really have an issue with this because when I develop, I try to put myself in the shoes of the user. With this retina-induced disability though, I fall short of doing so.

I guess until the rest of the world’s displays catch up, I’ll just use my external monitors some more to get my head out of the clouds.


Really Amazing What Spring Can Do

Sat, 30 Mar, 2013

Until today, the warmest weather we’ve had up here in Troy, NY, has been in the low 40’s at best. Right now, it’s 55 degrees and unbelievably sunny. The entire campus of RPI has changed. It’s alive, bustling, and happy. A couple of my friends and I hiked up to the hill outside of the Sage Dining Hall to do work and take in the sun - something that I always looked for in a school when I went college visiting last spring. Just to give you a taste, we did work to this view:

Until today, I wasn’t at my best. It wasn’t like I was depressed or anything, but I was stressed out and I guess just living/surviving day-by-day. And now, it’s totally different. It’s amazing how 15 degrees can change your mood entirely. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for a while, but I was so busy with other stuff that blogging fell below other things on my list of priorities. Now, I feel rejuvenated, filled with energy, and really relaxed all at the same time, and with that I’ve felt the need to post something. So, as I’m writing this, sun’s shining through my window and Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills And Far Away” is playing outside. And it’s just so nice. I’ve had probably the most productive Saturday for months and I owe it to the sun. Thanks. I’ll post more often.

Oh, and also, I’ve implemented Disqus on my blog, so posts can be commented on now – not that there’s anything to really comment on with this post, but hey, if you’re here and inspired, how’s your spring? :)