MacUser is swapping Labs with sister title Custom PC – a total head-fuck of a story, but I won't bore you with it here – and I came across this little floppy disk carefully archived away.
So many things appeal to me about it: the fact that a backup copy was made, the fact that though it's obsolete, we've stored it this last decade, but most of all the fact that we went to the trouble all those years ago to buy or have a stamp made up specifically to denote those items which were obsolete. Truly, publishing was different in them days.
High technology and I enjoy something of a love/hate relationship, which at the moment is best characterised by the observation that I love it and it hates me. To wit: our router is odd. It has taken to deciding – apparently at whim, for I can discern no pattern – that one or more of the four main computers in our household has no business being on the network. The connection just drops. No warning, just the plaintive message in Safari upon attempting to load a page informing us that we 'are not connected to the Internet'. Clearly, Safari attends the School of the Bloody Obvious as well.
This is more than just irritating: restarting the bastard device sometimes – sometimes – clears it up, and we'll biff along quite the thing for a bit. Then pouf and we're once more disconnected from the Hive Mind.
What's worse, it's interfering with my ability to work, which is doubly bad. Bad in the first because it means that work cannot be done, and bad in the second because it saps what very little motivation I have to be writing content for the magazine at this time on a Sunday evening. Hence blogging.
And what have I got to look forward to? According to my diary, I have a dental check-up at 9am. I ask you, should any man be forced to start the week with an admittedly very kindly man poking about in your gob while cross-examining you about what RAM his laptop takes? (The answer to that question is 'no', by the way.)
(Note: never tell your dentist what you do for a living. He will only try to take an interest, and your repartee will be a little curtailed by the presence in your mouth of three fingers, a couple of chunks of compressed cotton wool, some variety of hand-held pick-axe and a small Dust Buster. Failing that, inform your dentist that you do something unspeakable, in the possibly vain hope that he won't press you to speak of it.)
Oh hells. Right, the connection is back, and the gods alone know for how long, so I must get back to this feature. Blasted technology; maybe Stevenson has the right idea after all...
impressions, February 2006
To be clear: on February 27, Receding Hairline was viewed 13,681 times. The next day, 22,112 page impressions; that's almost a thousand-fold increase. Things have quietened down a little now, but so far in March, I'm still seeing a page impression average of well over six thousand. In the last week, I've had almost 75,000 page impressions. I am agog. Um, hi, everyone.
And what an overwhelmingly positive experience it has been. I've had emails from people all over the world telling me how much they appreciate the tutorial, and how fun it is. The co-creator of the cult Mac game Myst, Robyn Miller, picked up on the technique, I had a few emails from Microsoft's Virtual Earth Program Manager, people are using it on stills from games, and a Flickr group on tilt-shift which had, I think, fewer than a dozen photos in it before I posted my tutorial, now has almost 900. At its height, the tutorial was the third most popular link overall on del.icio.us, and, much to my amusement, I'm still getting a lot of Swedish readers thanks to IDG.se (the Swedish website of MacUser's main competitor publishing house) posting my tutorial on its front page. Scott Kelby linked to it too; oh, the irony.
So... a huge thank you to everyone who has linked to the tutorial, and everyone who visited. In celebration and as a thank you, I've put up the second Receding Hairline tutorial. It's not as fun as the first – and in all honesty is here mostly so I can point people to it to save me explaining the same thing over and over again – but it is useful. If you have a Mac, you really should bookmark my guide to basic Mac troubleshooting.
Two final notes. Some people have asked me if there's a way to show their appreciation for the tilt-shift tutorial, so I've placed a donate via PayPal button on the tutorial page. This is fast, secure, and can handle payments from all major credit cards.
Lastly, I need to make it clear that this will remain primarily my personal site; I'll post tutorials when I have a good idea, but most of the time, Receding Hairline's primary function is as my blog. It's a place for me to tinker and to vent. You're all very welcome to stick around for that, but it's unlikely to be pretty or useful; it may, if we're all very lucky, be entertaining.
Thank you, and goodnight.