Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Another Week, Another Project: Icon Maven

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On Monday night, I was trolling through Google looking for an icon for an iOS app I’m building. I have literally thousands of icons stored on my computer, but none of them fit my needs. Google was basically no help at all. Searching for “iOS app icons”, “mobile app icons”, or variations of the above sends you to year old Quora and Stack Overflow posts, one-off sites from icon creators, or borderline spam sites. Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated.

So, I did what anyone would do: I fired up TextMate, created a new Rails app, and launched it within 24 hours.

Icon Maven is the the easiest way to find icons for your iOS, mobile and web projects. It’s a curated collection of icon sets that don’t suck. For the moment, the collection is relatively small. But, I think what’s there is fantastic, and it will only continue to grow. Check it out!

Find Farmers Markets Near You

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Earlier today it struck me that, although I know about and frequent the Broadway Farmers Market, there are a ton of other markets in the Seattle area that I never go to. I went off to find out how many, and was surprised to discover that there appear to be no less than fifteen Farmers Markets in and around Seattle. From there, I started wondering how many there were across the United States. I happened upon a dataset hosted on Data.gov that pegged the answer as being around 6,000. This, quite frankly, blew my mind.

Anyway, being the kind of dork that I am, I immediately decided to take this dataset and wrap a website around it. About two hours later, I had a fully functioning guide to local farmers markets, and even a halfway decent domain name to go with it. Hopefully, it’ll be useful to someone!

Video Game Emulators for Kindle Fire

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I don’t know why this never occurred to me before today, but it struck me that the Kindle Fire would be a great system on which to play old-school video games. I’m not a big fan of the virtual controller setup, but I bet that the 7” screen would work way better than a bitty little 3.5 or 4” screen. So, I think I’m going to have to play around with this in the next couple days and see what my old go-to game, Final Fantasy VI, looks like on the Fire.

To that end, I found this Android (or Kindle Fire) emulator for the SNES that ought to work for me. Let’s see what happens; I’m excited! (and yes, for the record, I do own FFVI. Or 3, I suppose.)

Bite Me, Wordpress

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I finally bit the bullet and moved off Wordpress today after learning that my blog had been hacked at some point in the recent past. I decided to switch over to Octopress, which is based on Jekyll, in part because there’s an easy-to-use Wordpress importer. Additionally, I was able to install a clean version of Wordpress, and dump out a collection of all of my posts into WxR format, so no content lost, no permalinks changed.

Yay for Ruby, boo for Wordpress security.

(Via Instapaper) - the Most Popular Articles on Twitter

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A couple weeks back, I noticed that when you ‘like’ an article in Instapaper, it will publish a link to it on your Twitter account with a predictable suffix, assuming of course that you have enabled Twitter integration. The most interesting part of this for me was the predictable suffix thing. Namely, it’s really easy to run a search on Twitter to specifically pull out all of the articles that people have liked “(via Instapaper)”. With that bit of knowledge, I was able to build a working prototype of what would become my new site, (via Instapaper).

In short, (via Instapaper) helps you find the most popular articles (or liked) from Instapaper, as seen on Twitter. The site has, given the amount of time I’ve spent on it, become a reasonable success. I’ve gotten mentioned by Marco Arment’s official Twitter account, received props from the creators of Longform and Give Me Something to Read, and am followed by a number of highly regarded journalists. All in all, not too shabby for a weekend project.

A Letter to Mayor McGinn

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Regarding http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/15/dorli-rainey-84-pepper-sprayed-by-spd-at-occupy-seattle-protest

This needs to stop. Now. I voted for you because I thought Nickels was a useless idiot. I don’t think the same of you, but—assuming you do not—I will vote-for, donate-to and GOTV-for anyone who repudiates this action.

thanks, Aaron

What Is There to Say?

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Begin forwarded message:

From: Aaron Brethorst Subject: What is there to say? Date: August 25, 2011 1:54:21 AM PDT To: steve@apple.com

For some reason, i feel like i am emailing santa claus. I’m saddened to hear that you’ve resigned.

You’ve been an inspiration to me for well over half my life. I wish you all the best, and if I prayed, you’d be in them.

You’re an inspiration to millions, and an incredible human being.

I hope to see a fourth act. Godspeed.


Sent from my iPhone

SB 5073 - Medical Marijuana

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From: Aaron Brethorst
Date: April 28, 2011 9:34:49 PM PDT
To: christine.gregoire@gov.wa.gov
Cc: chopp.frank@leg.wa.gov, jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov
Subject: Please Sign SB 5073 Into Law–Don’t Veto Any of It
Dear Governor Gregoire, I’ve been a Seattle resident for the past eight years. I don’t smoke pot, I work in the software industry, and I want you to sign this bill. I have friends who are cancer survivors who have needed and benefitted from medical uses of marijuana, and the act of vetoing this bill would do nothing but harm these wonderful people. You’re stepping down in less than two years and will never have to worry about negative campaign ads vilifying you over this issue. So please, do the right thing and sign SB 5073 into law. Thank you, Aaron Brethorst 425-241-4008 1450 E Republican St #203 Seattle WA 98112