Over the past few years we have seen a huge reversal in the amount of complexity we hand over to our users through our interfaces.  This is such a good thing.  One item that has always remained for me is finding a decent WYSIWYG editor.  There are quite a few good ones of late.

Medium’s editor interface is the gold standard these days.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to recreate that easily unless we have the huge capital investment they do 🙁

TinyMCE and FCKEditor (CKEditor now?) were the most powerful editors for some time.  But they brought complexity.

My new favorite is EpicEditor.  It’s syntax is in markdown which is really nice for the sweetspot of a newbie user vs a power user.  Check it out:



Phatness.com is the personal blog of Mike Wille

I'm a developer with a passion for building products.

Need help with building something? Check me out at: Brilliant Chemistry or get in touch:

A new project of mine has launched: SideDolla.

It’s one of those passion projects that come along every once in awhile.  I built this while thinking about specific friends and co-workers.  Some employers out there aren’t great for the creative person.  They aren’t great if you want to feel like you are making a difference in whatever the business sells.

SideDolla is a way to get that creative outlet.  It’s intended for those with experience in any field to be able to offer their services as part time work out side of a full time job.  It’s a hit with everyone we talk to about it.

Check it out: SideDolla

Remember to change your auto/home insurance every so often.

After 3 years, Allstate hiked my Homeowner’s Insurance by $700 to $1500.  When my auto policy was to renew, they hiked my premium up to $4,500 from $2,760.  Almost $2K more!  That was with no accidents and no tickets.

If I wasn’t in an a hurry, I would have shopped around.  I was on the computer already so I checked Progressive.  Their quoted auto premium for 6 months?  $780.  For 12 months, that’s over $1000 less than what Allstate used to be.

There is no concept of customer retention in insurance.  Buh Bye!

Unfortunately, my Valentine has had a rough week. This won’t make it better but maybe it makes her smile for a little bit. I love you babe.


I’m proud to announce the launch of DesignPad, an iPad app for drawing out your ideas.

We do a lot of ideation at my company, Brilliant Chemistry. DesignPad helps with visualizing your ideas and explaining them to someone else. It’s a great communication tool, on top of being a drawing app.

One of my favorite features is the snap-to-grid drawing mode. You can toggle a grid, reminiscent of my favorite paper drawing pads and when you draw, your line sticks to the grid lines. This is great when you need to quick layout some dialog boxes or windows or floor plans or whatever. Then you switch back to free hand and draw in the details.

Zoom mode is great. Unlike other drawing apps that allow you to zoom, the brush size changes to match your zoom level. You can get some pretty intricate detail with this.

Of course, everything is vector. So when you print out your drawings, they look as good as they did on the Retina screen of the iPad.

Get it now while it’s 50% off!

The current price for the 15″ 2.6 ghz Retina MacBook Pro is $2,799.00 on Apple.com. It has free shipping and takes 3-4 days to get to your door. You also have to pay state sales tax. In my case it is 6% which works out to $2,966.94.

Or you can get the exact same configuration on amazon.com for $2,649.99

You don’t pay sales tax and if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, then you can have it shipped to your door the next day for $3.99.

That’s a savings of 11% off the Apple price! You save $316.95!

I’m doing it… go buy the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro from amazon…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated the tools out there for managing domains. Except for a brief, very happy period when I hosted my own bind servers, I’ve been using the
services of others. And they all stink. Off the top of my head I’ve used:

  • Inexpensive Domains
  • GoDaddy
  • Moniker
  • Gandi.net

Inexpensive Domains was actually great until they adopted the GoDaddy interface. GoDaddy is just the suck and is one of the worst internet companies in my opinion. Moniker looks like someone outsourced the development of the tools and neither party spoke the same language. I’ve looked at many others but they aren’t worth mentioning.

I started using Gandi.net a little over two years ago. They have been good for a few reasons:

  • You can register international domains
  • Very powerful DNS management. Though it is confusing and difficult to get the hang of.
  • Did I mention flexible DNS? You can set any TTL you want. You have complete control of the zone file. Love it.

However, Gandi.net has some negatives. The management interface is very slow to load. (Not as bad as GoDaddy, though) You can’t auto renew a domain unless you pre-purchase and store funds in your account. They are in France which triggers a fraud alert every.single.time. I put my card through. The death stroke is that it takes 15 minutes for a zone file edit to get pushed to their name servers. Grrr, that one can piss you off during an application upgrade.

And then today, I found DNSimple. These guys look like they have it all. Auto renewals. International domains. Full control over DNS records (though not at the raw zone file level). And very reasonable pricing. It’s cheaper than Amazon’s DNS service. Plus they offer RapidSSL certificates. Finally, a one stop shop.

I just signed up. I’m going to give them a test and then migrate the rest Check them out: DNSimple. If you use that link, you can get 2 free months of service!

Kaleidoscope is a beautiful, relatively new text and image comparison tool for Mac OS X.

When I say beautiful, I mean it has to be the most spectacular, mouth watering application I use in my development workflow.

But it has its problems. <Read on…>