Case Khor

Destroy Today: Lessons learned on a 3‑month sabbatical

Jonnie:

After a week without work, however, I felt fully rested and ready to dive back in. The most surprising and unexpected realization to come out of this sabbatical is that I didn’t need three months—I didn’t even need one. I know now that a single week is all I need to reset after a long sprint. I could’ve returned to work early, but I refrained from doing so. I forced myself to take more time off, as if it were mandatory.

I also forced myself to say no to any client gig that came my way, no matter how tempting the opportunity—I simply said I was on sabbatical. Instead of worrying about missing out, I felt empowered. I had a confindence and restraint that I don’t think I’ve ever had since I started freelancing.

I’ve learnt to turn down client work, but I haven’t quite figured out how to turn down myself. I’m looking forward to a forced break where I don’t just stop all work, I stop thinking about work.

Jonnie’s returned from his sabbatical to focus on a new self-initiated project Cushion, and he’s keeping a public journal (common) and record of expenses for all to see (radical?).

Only Lovers Left Alive

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What a blissful trip.

Three-box House by Byoung Cho

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As with many of Cho’s works, the Three-box House is driven by three dichotomies: the public and the private, the urban and the natural, the open and the bound. Responding to the specific site’s characteristics, Cho composed the house as three concrete boxes, positioned in order to exploit changes in levels while providing separation from their busy surroundings.

The best perk of working out of the National Library (by far, although are quite a few) is being able to time out and pore over some brilliant architectural books. Today’s pick: Byoung Cho’s new monograph.

The Adobe Illustrator Story

When Adobe Illustrator first shipped in 1987, it was the first software application for a young company that had, until then, focused solely on Adobe PostScript. The new product not only altered Adobe’s course, it changed drawing and graphic design forever.

Inspecting Yosemite's Icons

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I want to focus on my favorite visual update in Yosemite — the dock icons. Before Yosemite, Apple maintained a system for icon design through a checklist of mostly unstated and understood guidelines paired with a few specific recommendations in the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). With Yosemite, that system becomes more consistent, and regular, yet the HIG remains silent on the specifics.

Great in-depth analysis of icons in Yosemite. I don’t use the dock at all, but most people seem to. Saving this one for when I'm ready to ship my first OS X app.

Supercut of Autobot and Decepticon battles from the first three of Michael Bay's Transformers films

Been waiting for someone to do this since forever so I wouldn't have to sit through all that crap. And there's a shitload of crap to sit through: the trilogy contain less than 5% of giant robot-on-robot action.

Lego Batman Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy

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Take on the challenge of building The Tumbler, an amazingly cool LEGO® model of the iconic vehicle from the Batman™ The Dark Knight Trilogy. Construct this black armored vehicle highlighted with new color LEGO® elements and brand new LEGO front wheels. Check out the cool, detailed interior and adjustable top wings. Includes 2 new and exclusive minifigures: Batman™ and The Joker.

It's a pity that the doors don’t open and there’s no breakaway Batpod (like with this custom build) but seriously, 2kg worth of black bricks? Take my money. Don’t miss the video featuring the designer Adam gushing over their solution for the front suspension, the detailed interior, and the adjustable flaps.

Kaws Studio by Wonderwall

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[T]he atelier of a Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS. Unlike the solid, brick facade that blends well into the neighbourhood, the interior is a vastly open space. This bright, extensive openness illuminated with toplight is a result of the artist’s request to create large paintings under natural light. The appearance is more of a gallery than an atelier, with a simple composition that reduces detail and amplifies openness.

So fucking sweet.

Aesop Club Street

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Aesop never fails to impress me by just how well they sell in their brand of lifestyle: space, packaging, retail experience, copy … everything is pitch perfect. Got a bit carried away on this occasion, but I’m not ashamed to admit I'm a huge sucker for the whole olfactory experience of using Aesop products.

Samsung to stop making plasma TVs

Samsung says it will stop making plasma TVs on November 30th. While disappointing, this isn’t unexpected news. (Panasonic did the same earlier this year).

The marketing, hyperbole and higher margins behind LCD’s popularity nailing the final nail in the coffin. Sad news for plasma fans. My first flatscreen was a Panasonic plasma and it’s still serving me well, and I had my eyes set on a Samsung make when an upgrade was deemed worthwhile/necessary.

Tengu: God of Mischief - Subway Skating

The NYC subway snippet is so sick, beats are killer. From Tengu: God of Mischief by Colin Read. Original music made entirely of subway sounds by Jacob Ireland.

Applied for the Founder Institute

2 simple questions: * Write 2-4 paragraphs on why you want to be an entrepreneur. * Provide 2-4 paragraphs on a field that you are passionate about

Gave it a lot of thought and wrote it all down, submitted the application just in time to meet the Early Admissions Deadline. Regardless of whether my application is successful, it was an excellent soul-searching exercise. I emerged reinvigorated.

Photoshop “Save For Web” Color Shift

I’ve been saving out jpegs at double the resolution but in low quality, resulting in great looking images at a relatively small file size. Today I learnt that can introduce colour shift, which is bad when you’re matching a background colour to the image.

Yo secure $1.2 million in funding

Jordan Crook offers his 2¢ on Yo:

I’m going to go ahead and place my bets early […] and say that Yo will have dropped out of our collective consciousness by next year. But that’s not to say we should write it off as a silly gimmick.

The brief popularity of Yo is a signal of a larger trend. Software developers are today tasked with a bigger problem than convenience or accessibility or distribution. The line between our physical lives and the lives we lead in our minds, with our thumbs, on a touchscreen, is rapidly fading. Yo may be just a touch too basic (bitch) to last for the long haul, or perhaps Yo is the beginning of a new era in push notifications. But apps that integrate pieces of our real-world lives are just settling in for a long stay.

The API possibilities intrigue me but I can see this rapidly becoming really annoying. I too am betting on it fading away.

Edit: Well that escalated (unsurprisingly) quickly.

iOS Developers Need to Know Objective-C

I took a deep breath and dived into Objective-C just over a month ago. My first serious attempt at learning a “real” programming language, I seem to be making decent progress and finding the challenge fairly enjoyable. Naturally I freaked out a bit post WWDC 2014 Keynote. Am I wasting my time? Should I drop Objective-C and attempt to start learning Swift straight off Apple's ebook?

Aaron Hillegass take on it reaffirms my self-assurance that Objective-C is still the place to start:

If you want to be an iOS developer, you will still need to know Objective-C. Objective-C is easier to learn than Swift. Once you know Objective-C, it will be easy to learn Swift. […] Honestly, it doesn't matter which you learn first; eventually you will know both languages.

Phew, I guess.