Associate →

John Vorhees has released Associate, an incredibly clever and useful iOS app for creating Amazon affiliate links:

Associate’s search functionality means the entire Amazon store is at the tips of your fingers, literally. Run a search and tap the result you want. Associate does all the hard work of generating an affiliate link that includes your Amazon Associates credentials. Once you have your link, you can share it with one person or a thousand, its just as easy either way.

If I review hardware or link to a book on Amazon, I do it with affiliate links.1 It’s not a huge part of the income 512 Pixels generates, but it helps. On the Mac, I’ve used a bookmarklet in Chrome to create affiliate links, and now, thanks to John, I can do it easily on my iOS devices.

Finding items to link to is done in a very clever way: Associate simply passes the search query to an in-app browser that loads up the Amazon website. Tap the item, and a link (or Markdown-formatted link) is generated automatically.

Associate is $4.99 on the iOS App Store. Go check it out!


  1. I know some people don’t like this, but oh well. HEY LOOK GO BUY A DRONE. 

How to search Giphy from Alfred 

Search Giphy from Alred

I’ve spent way too much time today searching for GIFs, and realized I’ve never shared my workflow to search Giphy from Alfred.

It’s an easy little workflow to put together. I set the keyword to be gif and the workflow activates this little bash script:

search=$(echo "{query}" | sed 's/ /-/g')
open "http://giphy.com/tags/${search}"

Once it’s set up, you can hit the keyword in Alfred and start typing your search query. Hit enter and Giphy will open in your browser with its results.

If you don’t want to set that up, you can download the workflow here.

Quitter →

Marco Arment has a new app:

Quitter automatically hides or quits distracting apps after periods of inactivity. I’ve found it tremendously helpful to my work efficiency to hide Slack and quit Tweetbot after 10 minutes.

It’s free and works as advertised. I dig it.

Fixing an endless ‘The Messages database is being upgraded’ dialog box 

After a rocky day, I rebooted my MacBook Pro last night, and when I went to open Messages, I was greeted with this error message:

Messages is updating…
The Messages database is bring upgraded, please wait while it finishes or Quit Messages and relaunch it later.

Comma splice aside, I let it this sit overnight, with no change this morning. Clearly something had happened to my Messages.app database, but it didn’t seem like it was going to fix itself. Here’s what I did to get the app going again:

  1. Quit Messages
  2. Kill the IMDPersistenceAgent process via Terminal with killall IMDPersistenceAgent
  3. Searched my user Library > Messages folder for anything with Messages, iMessage, or iChat in the name and deleted it.
  4. Emptied the Trash.
  5. Cleared the preferences cache by running killall cfprefsd in Terminal
  6. Restarted the Mac.

After this, opening Messages brought it to the setup screen. I logged back in with my accounts and am now off to the races. While I don’t like that Messages imploded, at least it was fixable without major surgery.

Creative Cloud nuking hidden folder content →

Backblaze support:

We’ve encountered an issue on the Mac where Adobe Creative Cloud appears to be removing the contents of the first hidden folder at the root of the drive, in alphabetic order. By happenstance, the first hidden folder on most Backblaze customer’s internal drive is the .bzvol folder.

WTF, Adobe. This is why we can’t have nice things; I guess this is a vote in favor of enforced sandboxing on the Mac.

Happiness is a podcasting family →

Myke Hurley, writing at iMore:

The fact that we have computers in our pockets now — on our person at all times — means that we are all just a tap away from each other. And since we have hosts who live all over the world, there’s someone online at practically any time of the day or night. That’s powerful, and that’s why I love my Apple devices. They not only help me do my work in a practical sense; they also help me stay connected to the people that are most important in my life.

Having my co-founder six time zones and 4,300 miles away isn’t as hard as it may seem. With things like iMessage, FaceTime, Skype and Slack, Myke and I can communicate with each other and our hosts no matter where we are. Relay FM wouldn’t be possible without the technology we use everyday. We do deeply enjoy the handful of times we see each other a year but it hasn’t stopped us from running a growing business from different continent.

The best part is that you’d never know it looking at what we’ve been able to accomplish. Our company could only exist in the 21s century, and I think that’s pretty cool.