E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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Useless script: View180

Upside down For reasons that will remain mysterious, I was asked about the possibility of an OS X program or script that would allow you to quickly rotate the contents of any window 180 degrees. I had written some image processing scripts before, but nothing involving screen capture, so I got interested. I came up with this Applescript, View180, which if nothing else is a neat demo of a couple of undeservedly obscure OS X commands, sips and screencapture.

The meat of the script is:

do shell script "screencapture -iWx " & pngFile 
    & ";sips -r 180 " & pngFile 
    & ";open " & pngFile

The options on screencapture there are: "iW" to start in window selection mode (you can press the spacebar to toggle to mouse selection mode), and "x" to keep it from making sound effects.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

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