Chris Hannah

Text Shot 1.1 #

It hasn’t been long since Text Shot was released, but it’s already time for the first update.

There is now some basic Markdown support for bold and italic text. Which means you can emphasise certain words and phrases.

You can also now choose different fonts for the highlight and the title/URL.

And there’s also a bunch of optimisations that have been made to the text shot generation, so it should be a bit faster, more efficient, and stable.

If you haven’t already, you can find Text Shot for iOS and macOS on the App Store.

Text Case 2023.2 #

Ever since I rebuilt Text Case around the concept of user-built flows, I’ve always been missing one key part of the original version, the list of all of the formats with instant previews. It might have been long, and maybe with big bits of text it took a second or two to transform into every format. But it was really useful to not only transform text quickly, but to also see it in various formats at once.

That’s why, I’ve decided to add back that feature, but in a new slightly new guise.

There’s now a new “Scratchpad” tab in Text Case, which allows you to enter text at the top, and then see the results of it being formatted using all of your custom flows, and also every single format available in Text Case!

At the same time, there’s also a new button in the Flows section to add a single Format. This is when you want to have your own custom list of formats, but you don’t really want to build a full flow.

And I couldn’t stop there without also adding a few extra colour options for flows, and also some extra visual tweaks all throughout the app.

You can find Text Case on the App Store and the Mac App Store.

My problems with Spaces on macOS #

Although I’d say I’m primarily a Mac user, I do tend to go back and forth occasionally between macOS and Linux. And while Linux isn’t a singular OS, there are a lot of common features that I’ve used on various Linux installations that I really wish would be better supported on macOS.

I wrote about tiling window managers on macOS back in 2021, which is one of said features. And it’s one that I find makes working a lot more efficient and organised.

However, to really get the best out of a tiling window manager, I think you also need to have good a workspace manager. On macOS that comes in the form of Spaces. And while that may let you use multiple fixed workspaces, I find the implementation a bit lacking

Multiple Desktops on macOS using Spaces

Multiple Desktops on macOS using Spaces

You can configure Spaces to have a fixed number of “Desktops” always enabled, and to have them not continuously change order (which is a stupid default option in my opinion).

However, there are a few things that you can’t do with Spaces:

The main problem I have with spaces is the speed of navigation. Because when I mean I want to move between workspaces, I want it to be instant. I don’t want animations between workspaces. I want to quickly switch, and carry on with what I’m doing.

Except with Spaces, you’ll get a short panning animation as you move to another space (with Reduce motion it becomes a fade instead). It’s not that long, but it’s enough to make me pause what I’m doing. It’s enough to just slightly irritate me.

Any keyboard shortcuts are also bound to the same animations.

It might not seem like a big complaint. But these types of small hinderances, are part of what makes me keep going back to Linux. The one thing universally I hate about using technology is when I feel like I’m being slowed down. Especially, when it’s just to show me a nice animation.

You can do a bit more if you use Amethyst (which is what I use for a tiling window manager). That lets you configure keyboard shortcuts to move windows around, but it doesn’t deal with moving your focus between workspaces.

Text Shot #

After really an unforgivable amount of time, it’s finally time for my app, Text Shot to be available on the App Store.

It’s a universal application (iOS/iPadOS/macOS) that lets you take snippets of text from anywhere (although it’s designed for web pages), and to generate beautiful shareable images.

Like these:

All of the functionality is also available within the Shortcuts app, which means you can tie it into much more complex automations.

You can read more about Text Shot on the website.


Text Shot is available right now on the App Store as a fixed price (£2.99/$2.99/€2.99), and is one single purchase for all platforms.

The feeling of film photography #

I just wrote about my recent experience with shooting film, and I already have something else to say about it.

Because I noticed something, the apparent lower quality of film photos doesn’t bother me at all. If anything, I’d say the soft focus, harsh shadows, blown-out highlights, and of course, the grain, gives the photo character.

After I got my scans back, I noticed that I wasn’t drawn to edit them that much. Whereas with the RAW files from my mirrorless camera, I’m sucked into changing the entire aesthetic and fiddling with any slider or number I can.

It was probably the first significant moment when I started thinking of photography as an art form.

I’ve seen photos before and been amazed by them, in a whole bunch of ways, but there’s something visceral about film that I can’t quite explain.

I’ve finally got some 35mm film developed #

After waiting quite a number of months, I finally finished three rolls of 35mm film, and I’ve just got the scans back.

This is my first time getting film developed, and overall I’m happy with the results. There are certainly a few photos that didn’t come out so well, a few fingers that I had to crop out, and also one shot that was cut in half. But at least that gives me a few things to focus on when I’m next out shooting film.

To give some background on the film, there were two rolls of Kodak UltraMax 400 that I used with my Dubblefilm SHOW camera, and another roll of super old Tesco film that was already partially used, that came with a Minolta Maxxum 3xi that someone gave me last year.

I don’t know if or how I’m going to store these long-term, but for now, you can view the full collection on my Flickr:

These files have had some corrections done to them on Capture One. But they were mainly adjusting the exposure/contrast and also cropping/straightening.

My Favourites

I ended up with 79 photos from the three rolls of film (I haven’t shared the photos that I didn’t take), and while I enjoy quite a lot of them, I had to share some of my favourites here.

All of my favourites were actually from the Kodak UltraMax film with the Dubblefilm SHOW camera. I only got a handful on the Minolta, so that’s not too much of a surprise. But to be honest, I think a lot of the shots were a bit weird because the film was just so old. From memory, I think it was from the mid-2000s.

Looking over Dunstable Downs

Looking over Dunstable Downs

The beach near Durdle Door

The beach near Durdle Door



Spekes Mill Mouth Waterfall

Spekes Mill Mouth Waterfall

Spekes Mill Mouth

Spekes Mill Mouth




I have quite a few lessons that I’ve learned from this whole process. Some relating to actually taking the shots, the composition, the cameras, and film in general.

As for taking photos, I found that the resulting shot didn’t always turn out the same as I had seen it through the viewfinder. So sometimes the frame was larger than expected, and that seemed to mean my fingers were present more than I’d like. I also seem to have an issue keeping the camera level, which I don’t think I can blame on anything else but myself.

Waiting to get three films complete before I could get them developed is something I probably won’t do in the future. That restriction was just based on how I’d ordered the scans, as I paid for three in advance, and wanted to ship them all at the same time. But I think in the future, I might find a more regular way of getting them developed.

What’s Next

As of yesterday, I’ve actually ordered another film camera. So I guess that itself shows my current feelings towards film photography.

The camera I chose was a Canon AV1. Primarily because it offers me an aperture-priority mode, which I use on my mirrorless camera. But also because it means I can use different lenses, filters, and sort of get the “real” camera experience.

At the same time, I also ordered more Kodak UltraMax 400 film, because I’m happy with the results, and I think I can get even more out of it.

However, right now I do still have three cameras on the go. I’ve got the Dubblefilm SHOW with a roll of Kodak Portra, the Minolta has a black and white film with a weird name “Street Candy MTN”, and I still have an expired Fujifilm disposable camera that is nearly ready to be sent off.

Support #

If you’ve enjoyed anything I’ve written here on my blog, or even appreciate my work elsewhere, and you feel like supporting me, then I’d like to share a few methods of doing so.

BTC: 17jnBzgrnZLNqytsfJZNbXX4Cx8AtbvQyJ

ETH: 0x485bA3409a7d03024bc3329a0a14c20a839396B6


iPadOS 17 is starting to sound very impressive #

Chance Miller, at 9to5 Mac writing about a potential Stage Manager leak:

According to the leaker, one of the biggest areas of focus for iPadOS 17 will be Stage Manager. Apple debuted Stage Manager as a new multi-tasking interface as part of iPadOS 16, but the feature has received mix feedback from iPad power users. As part of iPadOS 17, Apple reportedly has a multiple updates in store for Stage Manager, though it sounds like the basis of the functionality will stay the same.

  • External monitor webcam support.
  • Audio output source settings.
  • Stream Multiple audio/vid sources at once with Stage Manager on.
  • Resizable dock (in external display settings only)
  • Sleep iPad display; external display stays on.

This leaker also says that Apple is developing a “special version of iPadOS 17” for the oft-rumored larger iPad that’s in the works. Sources such as Ross Young and Bloomberg have said that Apple is working on a 14.1-inch iPad that could be launched sometime this year or in early 2024. There’s even been one rumor suggesting a 16-inch model is in development.

If all of this is true, I can see the iPad becoming a much more useful device for so many people. That’s a lot of the annoyances I have with my iPad suddenly vanishing.

My current experience of using Twitter #

I signed up for Twitter Blue recently, just to see what all the fuss was about. And while it has a few cool features, such as a customisable navigation bar, and the top stories section, the content, or at least the content that is presented to me, is just an endless stream of homogenised shite.

The majority of tweets I see now, are usually about AI, growth, or people sharing their expertise. All nicely packaged in annoying threads.

There are still things that Twitter does better than any other platform, such as current events, trending topics, the Explore page, etc. I also have a really good Twitter list that I use for football news and opinions. But I think the majority of my social media use is no longer going to be on Twitter.

I’ve been going back and forward between Twitter and Mastodon. Even cross-posting along the way, but I think I’m now going to be primarily over on Mastodon.

The story behind the game of chess in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone #

I started playing chess a few months ago, and I was recently thinking about the chess game at the end of the first Harry Potter film. Did it follow the rules of chess? Did the moves make sense? Etc.

Fortunately, I found a great1 blog post on The Leaky Cauldron , where the International Master, Jeremy Silman, that worked with the producers of the film, explains how he planed the game of chess, and that some of it was in fact cut from the film2.

I probably should have expected that the producers got some professional help for the chess scene, but it still fascinated me seeing how the game was planned, and the constraints that had to be met.

I can’t quote any section here without spoiling any section, but if it sounds interesting, head over to The Leaky Cauldron to read the full story.

  1. Apart from the fact that they use “Sorcerer” instead of “Philosopher”. ↩︎

  2. It doesn’t appear that this specific post was authored by him, but instead used with his permission, and adapted for the websites audience. ↩︎