Installing ImageMagick & RMagick on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

This marks hour 4 of setting up ImageMagick & RMagick on my MacBook Pro – without MacPorts (MacPorts and I had a falling out years ago).

In an effort to save all of us that time, here’s how I got ImageMagick and RMagick working on my MacBook Pro running 10.6.2 Snow Leopard

  1. Download and unpack masterkain’s install script from github:
  2. open up a terminal, cd into the install script’s directory.
  3. run ./ .
  4. Let it run. Note – you will need to provide your admin password a couple times.
  5. Give the kids a bath.
  6. Download and unpack RMagick (I couldn’t get the gem to work)
  7. cd into the resulting RMagick directory and run ruby setup.rb config --disable-htmldoc
  8. then, provided no errors are thrown run sudo ruby setup.rb install

ImageMagick didn’t correctly guess the location of the Ghostscript fonts and threw the following error in my log when it ran

Magick::ImageMagickError (unable to read font `/usr/local/lib/ImageMagick-6.5.8/config//usr/local/share/ghostscript/n019003l.pfb' @ annotate.c/RenderFreetype/1043: `(null)'):

To fix this, navigate to ImageMagick’s config directory in the terminal, cd /usr/local/lib/ImageMagick-6.5.8/config then open up configure.xml in your favorite text editor. Then look for --with-gs-font-dir= and set it to the correct path (in my case I just appended /fonts to the path).

MacBook Back Up Strategy Part 2

A couple years ago, I duct-tape-and-baling-twined a backup strategy together with rsync and ical with an offsite backup to the down defunct StrongSpace.

Since then, I’ve attempted to use Apple’s TimeMachine – both with a local drive and a driver connected to my AirPort Extreme.

Too frequently, I ended up corrupt backup files or the backups would completely fail. Additionally, when TimeMachine was running – my MacBook Pro would slow to an unusable crawl.

I’ve revisited my original rsync script to make a bootable, full-disk backup

Every night when I’m done working, I (manually, for the time being) kick off the rsync script in

As of this writing it makes 3 backups of my MacBook Pro to 3 different drives; a full disk bootable backup, a user account backup to a portable drive, and a user account backup to a network drive (additionally it backs up my Kindle to the network drive).

Here’s the script

sudo rsync -xrlptgoEv --progress --delete / /Volumes/Full_Backup_Drive_Name

rsync -rltv --exclude='.*' ~/ /Volumes/Portable_Drive_Name/MacBookPro_Backup/

rsync -rltv --exclude='.*' ~/ /Volumes/Network_Drive_Name/MacBookPro_Backup/

On top of that, CrashPlan is backing up to both a networked drive and a portable drive.

Yes, I fully expect my MacBook Pro to completely die at any moment.

This post was inspired by Peter Fleck’s ‘Backing up is hard to do’

Planting Flying Meat Acorn Near Photoshop Elements Grave

Like most professional graphic designers, my career was measured in versions of Adobe Photoshop.

v2.5: I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer. The dad of a high school classmate was one. I went to talk with him about it. He worked out of his basement home office with a view of the lake, a room full of Apple gear, and telecommuted to Minneapolis. He launched Photoshop and showed me some of the crazy stuff he was doing with it. I left stunned.

v3: Spent far too long on the Photoshop Classroom-in-a-book tutorial as part of my least favorite college course – something about printing methods and preparing images for press.

v4: The first version I used in a professional environment auch auf Deutsche.

v5: Editable type, Multiple Undo. Those two features are reason enough to fall in love with it.

v6: Like Word 6, and Star Wars 2 – all the hope, promise, performance, and love of the previous version was an unsaved memory. This is the last full version I used and the beginning of my strained relationship with Adobe.

In 2002, my new digital camera shipped with Photoshop Elements v2 and then a couple years later, my scanner shipped with Elements v3. Aside from a few small omissions (inverse selection, select color range, etc), Elements was all the image editing horsepower I needed. It was my go to app, until I switched to the MacBook.

Elements never launched on the MacBook. It’d just bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce until I forgot why I opened it and Force Quit (a pretty good indicator of my image editing workload over the past 2 years).

After 15 years, my relationship with Photoshop officially ended today.

A while back, I downloaded Flying Meat’s Acorn and hadn’t opened it until this afternoon. While Elements was bouncing, I opened Acorn to take a closer look at a client website mockup. Instinct kicked in and I was pushing pixels, using the same key commands I remembered from Photoshop.

Before I hit Save the first time, I bought a license.

In addition to costing less than 1/10th the price of Photoshop, it was the most integrated web/desktop licensing experience I’ve seen. After completing the purchase online, a single click in the browser applied the license to the still running desktop app. Seamless. Fast. Amazing.

I’m one step closer to being Adobe-free and happier than ever.

Small MacBook Pro Joys

After living with a 17″ MacBook Pro for a couple weeks, there’s a couple things I’ve been pleasantly surprised with:

  1. MagSafe magnetic power connector
    Connecting the power cord takes far less precise alignment than before. Get the connector near the socket and it’s magnetically pulled in. Small joys.
  2. Horizontal scrolling trackpad
    No, I probably won’t be complaining about horizontal scrolling anymore…probably be encouraging it because it’s just so dang much fun.