Smashing Book #6

Photo showing the design of the Smashing Book 6
The Smashing Book 6 design by Chiara Aliotta

Today the Smashing Book #6 was pre-released and announced and yes, you could say, I am part of the Smashing Magazine team and therefore I am biased, but let me just say a couple of things:

  • the announced content looks absolutely promising
  • the value for money is ace
  • if you like practical books, that one is yours


Let me just list the chapters and people who have written the chapters to show you what I mean, when I say it is a practical book:

  • Making design systems work in real-life – by Laura Elizabeth
  • Accessibility in times of SPAs – by Marcy Sutton
  • Production-ready CSS Grid layouts – by Rachel Andrew
  • Strategic guide to CSS Custom Properties – by Mike Riethmueller
  • Taming performance bottlenecks – by Harry Roberts
  • Building an advanced service worker – by Lyza Gardner
  • Loading assets on the web – by Yoav Weiss
  • Conversation interface design patterns – by Adrian Zumbrunnen
  • Building chatbots and designing for watches – by Greg Nudelman
  • Cross Reality and the web (AR/VR) – by Ada Rose Cannon
  • Bringing personality back to the web – by Vitaly Friedman

Looks good? I think it does.


If you pre-order the book is $29 instead of $39, the e-book $14,90 instead of $19. Already a great price. But what I really can’t see in Vitaly’s post in Smashing Magazine is, that, if you are a Smashing Member, you save another damn $10 (I think that is with the highest plan – but you can definitely save money with the lowest plan as well), so that the whole package only is $19. That, for a printed book, is a lovely price, in my personal opinion.

Do I get any money for this shameless advertising plug? Nope, but I am happy to advertise for something, where I think it is good value for money.

So, my tip: become a Smashing Member and use the benefits of that throughout the year, like the money you save on this book and many more benefits.

I Like This One of Claire and Me

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Photo showing Claire L. Evans and me sitting next to the stage during beyond tellerrand 2018 in Düsseldorf.
Claire and me sitting next to the stage during beyond tellerrand 2018 in Düsseldorf. Photo by Florian Ziegler.

I like this photo of Claire ( and me a lot. Dreaming and smiling ;)

Just stumbled over it while looking for a few photos for the partners. Thanks again Florian for taking the photos!

Apogee Duet 2 and Skype

I just tweeted this:

I can’t get my @apogeedigital Duet 2 USB to work with the latest @Skype version. On none of my Macs. Anyone having an idea? It used to work back in the past and I only updated Skype and not the Duet 2 or its software/firmware. Thanks for help!

This morning – actually yesterday morning – I was setting up a podcast recording for my twumble podcast with Bastian Allgeier. I used to use an USB mic for that, but recently got a new Sure SM 7B and am selling my Rhode USB Podcaster (I’ll write about this later). I connected my Duet 2, opened Skype and picked the Duet USB in the audio preferences of Skype. No input signal …

I recorded the conversation with Bastian using another input device for Skype and locally recorded my own track with Quicktime (since I could not record anything with Audition when using Skype – but that is another story).

After our conversation, I spent a lot of time searching the Web, tried everything, I could think of, but I did not find a solution. A few hours back I have written the Apogee support, as well as I posted a question in the Skype support forums.

Now the Apogee support got back to me with the following, very simple answer:

Skype is considered a 1 input, 2 output software in terms of audio. This means that you would only get signal from input 1 on Duet. Do you have your microphone attached to input 1, or input 2 on Duet? When you have Duet selected as the audio input within Skype's audio preferences menu, and your microphone attached to input 1, do you see signal on Skype's meters?

Doooohhhh … this really is the only thing I did not try to do. I connected my Duet to all my macs, but always had the mic connected to the second input. Now, that I connected it to the first one, it works.

This did cost me a lot of time today and maybe this post saves another person a bit of time, when finding it, while searching the Web for a solution.

Many thanks to the support of Apogee though!

Calibre – Convert E-books

I did not use my Kindle a lot up to now, but with my move out of my office (my daughter wanted my studio) down to the ground floor, I do not have as much space for my books and decided to only really buy pretty physical books and anything tutorial or tech related, I am trying to get digitally.

I recently purchased an e-book in the ePUB format and sent it to my Kindle e-mail, just to find out, that Kindle does not like the ePUB version of a book. I quickly checked, what’s there to convert e-books and stumbled over Calibre. Downloaded the software for my Mac (also available for Windows 32bit, Windows 64bit and Linux), installed it and it directly worked perfectly.

Thanks Calibre!

⇾ Holding the Door Open for Others

My friend Brendan Dawes publishes on his own website and encourages you to do as well.

Eifel Sunset

Photo showing a sunset in above a forest.

Sunset in the Eifel. Staying in a hunting lodge somewhere in the nowhere in the middle of a forest.

Meeting People in Berlin

Photo showing Tantek, me, David and Joschi in Berlin. All smiling.

Meeting a lovely group of people in Berlin. Not even at the event I am at. Hey Joschi, Tantek and David.

Workshops with Eva-Lotta Lamm

My good friend Eva-Lotta Lamm is organising two workshops in London on May 31st and June 1st. They are titled “Sketching Interfaces” and “Sketching for Visual Thinking & Sketchnoting”. If that sounds like anything for you, I can highly recommend checking the long description, as I know you’ll have a good day with Eva-Lotta.

Read workshop description.

Thanks for beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf

As usual I will write a longer wrap-up post at the beyond tellerrand blog shortly, but I am absolutely overwhelmed by the lovely, friendly and kind words for beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf. Thanks so much!

Presents I got in Düsseldorf
Lovely presents I got during beyond tellerrand 2018 in Düsseldorf

Thanks also for the lovely presents I got at beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf to Jens Meiert, Tomas Caspers, Anke Mehlert, Chris Heilmann, Stefan Baumgartner, Andreas Nebiker, Justin Avery, dina Amin, Jared Tarbell and Vic Lee (I hope I did not forget anyone). Anke (and Chris) even did the 2016 Düsseldorf design in a 90x90cm Lego piece! And look at this gorgeous print by Vic Lee. No words.

BTW: I also like single malt whisky ;)

⇾ Print Stylesheets 2018

A well written overview about the state of print stylesheets in 2018. Posted by Rachel Andrew on Smashing Magazine