DoodleDesk 1.1 Released

Version 1.1 of DoodleDesk is now available on the Mac App Store. This update fixes numerous minor bugs from the first release, including:

  • Issues with edit menu items
  • Copy issues on the save dialog
  • Hiding of the “Show desktop” hover
  • Restricting the open file dialog to only DoodleDesk files
  • Issues with the eraser path changing once drawn
  • Issues with save prompt when creating new documents
  • Issues with creating new files when the current file has been edited
DoodleDesk, the Whiteboard for your Desktop, is the perfect application for people who diagram, design, ideate or doodle. It has been endorsed by most of my family, and was given special mention in my primary school’s weekly newsletter. Have you doodled on your desktop yet?

DoodleDesk 1.0 Launch

After much procrastination on my part, I am pleased to announce that DoodleDesk is now live on the App Store. DoodleDesk is a Mac App that replaces your desktop background with a whiteboard, allowing you to draw freely over your desktop, as well as adding text notes. It’s perfect for sketching out ideas, plans, diagrams, or simply wiling away some time idly doodling. But don’t take my word for it, check out these glowing reviews:

DoodleDesk App Icon

This app could single-handedly save the rain-forests.

– Bob Geldoff

One minute I was making bacon, the next minute my world had changed.

– Pork & Apple Magazine

If there’s any silver lining in today’s depressive society, it’s the ability for small companies to post fake reviews of their latest products.

– Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

DoodleDesk is available on Mac OS X for £3.99 ($5.99) through the Mac App Store. Click here to launch the App Store.


Spam, spam, spam, spam and spam

Just received this obviously broken spam comment. Interesting to see the markup!

{The|The very} {crux|heart|core|root} of your writing {while|whilst} {sounding|appearing} {agreeable|reasonable} {initially|at first|in the beginning|originally}, did {not|not really} {sit|work|settle} {well|properly|perfectly|very well} with {me|me ...


A Little Musical Excursion

A short while ago, two people got married in England. A man called Melvin wasn’t very happy about it. We enjoyed it so much at the idio office, that I made a little song out of it. Enjoy

Angry Melvin by jacques-van-der-griff



Chinese Twispers Live

I’ve still not heard anything from Twitter regarding the closure of my Chinese Twispers account. Very annoying. I was a big fan of that account, and felt it deserved to live on. Hence, I give you Chinese Twispers Live. Instead of having a set of pre-determined replacements for words, you can enter your own and enjoy the wonder of defacing other people’s tweets. Then you can share those with your friends so you can all enjoy – what more could you want? Hope you enjoy it!


The End of an Era

Today, I found out that the Chinese Twispers Twitter account (@chinesetwispers) has been suspended. I’ve not heard from Twitter on this matter, but have reached out to them. Annoyingly, all the tweets appear to have been lost, including all the favourites. I’m very disappointed about this, since many months of hilarity were included in that account, and now it’s all gone without so much as a suspension notice from Twitter.

I’ll start work on a replacement this evening, but it will never be the same. Good-bye, old friend!

If anyone has some of their favourite Twispers they happen to remember and would love to share, go ahead and comment on this article and I’ll start a dedication page.


FFT in an SQL Query

I just came across this, and thought I’d share it with you whilst I’m working on a couple of things and don’t have time to post properly.

The Fast Fourier Transform, implemented in an SQL query. This guy must be absolutely insane. Kudos to him!



Thanks to AppleScript, an office with multiple Mac users can be a prankster’s dream. We recently infuriated a co-worker for the best part of a week, using only 3 lines of code, which I’m about to share with you. First, some ground work:

  • You’ll need the user’s computer password (if they lock their Mac). Wait until they’re off sick or out of the office, and call them to say you need something off their computer. Or, if someone has knowledge of your co-worker’s password, sweet-talk them into giving it to you.
  • Whilst you’ve got access to their computer, go to System Preferences -> Sharing, and make sure “Remote Apple Events” are turned on. Make a note of their computer’s address at the top, as in the screengrab below.

System PreferencesNow you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to have fun. Open up the “AppleScript Editor” on your computer, and paste in the code below.

tell application "Chrome" of machine "eppc://user@computer-name.local"
	open location ""
end tell

(Here’s a direct link to the file)

Obviously, replace “user” with the username of your co-worker, and “computer-name” with their computer’s address. You can also change the URL to whatever you like, and if they don’t have Chrome installed be sure to swap that value for Safari. Hitting “Run” in the AppleScript Editor should prompt you for their password, and then open that page in a new tab of their browser. Repeat as much as is deemed necessary. We found it particularly funny convincing our co-worker that it was voice activated – every time they said “Emuspin” we would open on their computer. The possibilities are endless!




After today’s Daily WTF, I discovered this:

griff:~ $ php -a
Interactive mode enabled

var_dump("php" == 0);
var_dump("php" == true);
var_dump(0 == true);

PHP’s type casting is fantastic, isn’t it.


Introducing Setlist

Note: Setlist has been taken down for a while.

Today I’m launching a new web application called Setlist. Setlist is a designed to help bands organise the pool of songs they play into setlists, and then use those setlists to promote themselves. Professional cover bands, for example, can add all of their songs to their profile, and then create example setlists. These can be set to either public or private, so the band could publish their example setlists for potential clients to see the kind of music they play.

It was built out of a desire to better organise the songs my own band are playing. We often found that we would forget one or two songs at a practice, or when constructing a setlist. The ability to collaborate on our song pool and setlists, especially given we are geographically separated, will be a big help.

Interested? Try it out for free at – I’d love to hear any feedback you have