Garrett Murray

Founder & Creative Director at Karbon. My face will show you how dangerous I am.

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Kickstarter Happiness Rating: 40%

I’ve backed 27 projects on Kickstarter since joining the service in November of 2010. One of those 27 was unsuccessful (and grossly unsuccessful that that, only reaching 2% of its goal), and five are currently in progress, though they’ve all met their goals so they will succeed. I love Kickstarter. Unfortunately, the level of quality of the funded products has been hit or miss. A few have been real winners, but most have been so-so and a few were downright terrible.

 Let’s start with the good stuff

The TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kits project was my first on Kickstarter and it was amazing. The build-quality of these watch bands was top-notch. The guys at MINIMAL know their way around building a solid product, and the LunaTik was especially nice. Based on the success of this project, it’s not surprising I backed the MINIMAL crew again when their LunaTik Touch Pen project launched. I

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Free Dongle!

Thank you for purchasing the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, and helping to make it the most popular Android based tablet since its launch in December 2011.

You pathetic sucker.

We greatly appreciate feedback about our products from you, and we take this feedback very seriously. The response to the Transformer Prime generally has been overwhelmingly positive, but we understand that, in certain situations, the GPS functionality has not met some users’ expectations.

Of the 112 people who bought an ASUS Transformer Prime, 110 sent us an email saying GPS on this device “sucks balls” and “doesn’t work at all, pretty much” and “seriously, why did I buy this and am I really surprised?” But otherwise, emails we received were pretty positive. One guy wrote, “I accidentally ordered this in a drunken haze.”

Although the Transformer Prime is not a professional GPS device, as part of our

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Recruiters

Recently, I posted a job listing for an iOS Developer position at Karbon. We’ve received some great applications so far, and it has been a lot of fun to read résumés and look at the amazing work folks in this field are doing.

Yesterday, my business line rang, and on the other end of the line someone asked if I was still hiring for the iOS Developer position. I confirmed we were. “Great! I have a great applicant and I would love to discuss his qualifications with you.” Ugh, I thought. Recruiter. I made it clear we weren’t accepting applications from recruiters, which I had to say several times because of the arguments coming from the other end of the line, and then I hung up. Before I did, I said, “If the guy you’re talking about feels he’d be a good fit for the job, tell him to apply directly.” This did not go over well.

 I’m not a heartless bastard

I know it can be hard to find work

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Messages Alert Insanity

Dan Moren mentions the nice thing about Messages:

Apple clearly intends for you to always be available for iMessages—case in point, Messages on the Mac will continue to receive messages even when it’s not open, displaying an unread count on its Dock icon.

Which inevitably leads to the bad thing about Messages:

That also means that we get the same message on multiple devices—for me, up to four or five—at the same time, along with a cavalcade of alert sounds.

Which, of course, leads to hope Apple might one day solve this:

Figuring out which device we’re using at any given time is a challenging problem for Apple to solve, but in the meantime, the least it can do is give us an option to avoid being deluged with pop-up alerts and chimes on every device.

And the realization that Messages is not really suited for being part of iChat:

So why not two separate apps? Keep iChat the way it

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Das Keyboard Pro for Mac

I’ve been using this thing since Friday morning. I should say, right off the bat, that everything in me wants to return it purely based on the way it looks.

Das Keyboard Pro for Mac

It’s a hideous beast, a giant black plastic monster, ruining my pleasant and clean modern setup. It has a cord (yuck) and a built-in USB hub (yuck, but at least useful). It is roughly twice the length of my Apple Wireless Keyboard, and about three times thicker all told, which makes for just this giant, giant keyboard. It has a number pad, which I’ve gotten used to not having, separate arrow and home/end/pgup/pgdown buttons, all these things I left behind a few years back when I went with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard and Apple laptops. This big hunk of plastic is really cramping my style.

And the click-clack–I’m nearly deaf over here. It’s very loud. My wife says she can’t hear it from the living room or when she’s in bed, but

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Instagram + Facebook

We can’t have nice things. We can’t have small design companies who make kick-ass products, we can’t have new ideas or features or applications. We can’t have any of these things because Facebook is an internet juggernaut, slowly rolling over everyone and everything.

I complained a few years ago about Facebook steamrolling check-in apps when they released their “Places” product, which was basically a simple version of what other apps like Foursquare and Gowalla were already doing really well (I’m aware of the irony that Facebook later acquired Gowalla):

And, most recently, Facebook launched Places, competing with Foursquare and Gowalla (my favorite). Places launched and 20 minutes later nearly everyone in my Facebook friends list had already checked in. It’s not that Facebook’s Places feature is bad, it’s just that it’s boring. It’s nothing special. They didn’t do it better than anyone

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PSA: Twitter Feed

Just a quick note: If you’re the type of person who would rather follow a Twitter account than an RSS feed to get notified every time I post something to this site, you should follow @gmurrayfeed. Of course, the RSS feed is available as well.

And while we’re at it, you should follow my personal account on Twitter (@garrettmurray) where I complain about the weather on a regular basis (not really, but kind of).

Something about this post made me feel dirty. I’m going to cleanse myself by using some creepy javascript to insert hidden ads and Google keywords and then sending out a newsletter to a bunch of people who didn’t subscribe.

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Scrolling

It took me about two weeks to feel completely comfortable with the “natural” scrolling system in OS X 10.7 Lion. When I first installed the developer beta, I changed the default setting back to the old way (scroll down, go down). But when Lion was released to the public, and everyone decided to switch, I figured it was a good idea to get on board. After all, if this is what Apple was going to consider normal moving forward, it would be in my best interest not to fight it. It was a tough first week–nearly ten years of muscle memory is hard to overcome, but I eventually got the swing of it. And of course, I immediately installed scroll reversers on every non-Lion machine I used. As any ex-smoker will tell you, quitting only works if you do it the whole way.

I was recently asked why I thought Apple made this change. Was it really the better way to scroll, or did they just decide it should

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