Koken in the Wild

Last week, a new platform was released for photographers, videographers, and artists. It’s called Koken.

Being the perennial tinkerer that I am, I thought I’d give it a whirl. To be fair, I wouldn’t call myself a developer. Not even a quasi-developer. I’d categorize myself as knowledgeably dangerous and obviously unknowledgable. Ok, so I’m a bit wiser than some on the web, but I’m not quitting my day job.

My voyage for these types of projects (like developing a new WordPress site) generally begins with developing locally so that I don’t need to invest in a big development environment. So, I headed to the Koken site and found the tech specs. At first glance, I thought “hot damn, I’m in.”  Mainly because I saw the need for PHP and MySQL and ignored the rest.

Herein lies the rub.

Apparently I can’t read. I missed the part about needing ImageMagick installed. I’d never heard of it before, so naturally, I hit up the Googles. (One thing I have learned is that I am a professional Googler.)

The documentation for ImageMagick seemed pretty straightforward. “Use MacPorts, it’ll be easiest*.” So I did. Then I realized I hadn’t had MacPorts installed on my laptop which I was working on. So I started that process:

• Download installer

• Run installer

• Realize I need Xcode installed

• Install Xcode

• Install Command Line Tools (In Xcode, Preferences->Downloads)

• Realize I need X11

• Headed over to XQuartz for an X11 download and install

• Log out and back in from my user to start the service

Ok. So by getting Xcode and X11 taken care of, now I had MacPorts installed (which, in the end is unnecessary). Sweet. So, I go back to the ImageMagick installation guide and read through it one more time. I had downloaded the zip file already, then I realized I didn’t need it (yet). In Terminal, I entered the following:

$ sudo port install ImageMagick

Ok. Then Terminal (which is a scary place for me) started doing a bunch of stuff. Then eventually it looked like it had completed. ImageMagick had some test code to see if it installed correctly:

$ convert logo: logo.gif

$ identify logo.gif

$ display logo.gif

Sweet. All of those commands worked!  I had succesfully gotten ImageMagick installed!

So, I fired up MAMP and then went back to the Koken install instructions which are awesomely simple:

• Download file and extract it

• Place the file in the root directory of your site

• Go to the site and watch the magic happen

So I did. The way MAMP works is it takes your Mac and turns it into a web server running Apache, MySQL and PHP (hence MAMP). When it’s running, you can go to localhost:8888 in a web browser, and that’s the root of your domain for your local environment. So, naturally, I went to localhost:8888/koken

What happened was awesome. It did this fantastic self-check to see if it would work on my “server”.

And then it fucking failed. About 15 times. The error that caused me the problems (which I was grateful it actually let me know WHAT was failing) was ImageMagick.

So, I went back and tried installing it all again.


Eventually, after some more professional Googling, I found a great site that explained not how to get ImageMagick installed, but ImageMagick installed in a MAMP environment.

Those fucking /bin files, man.

Here’s the article that helped save my butt: http://www.maratz.com/blog/archives/2010/05/11/imagemagick-with-mamp/

Now, to note, there is something that had to be changed. In the instructions (borrowed below), there is a change based on the version of ImageMagick that is now current:

• Download the ImageMagick package and unarchive it in /Applications/MAMP/bin/ImageMagick     <—- you may need to create the file ImageMagick

• In Terminal, type the following three commands:

$ export  MAGICK_HOME="/Applications/MAMP/bin/ImageMagick/ImageMagick-6.8.3" 

$ export PATH="$MAGICK_HOME/bin:$PATH"


• And then, we can run those same test from previous, but from the right directory:

$ cd /Applications/MAMP/bin/ImageMagick/ImageMagick-6.8.3

$ convert logo: logo.gif

$ identify logo.gif

$ display logo.gif

• Lastly, you need to edit the envars file located in /Applications/MAMP/Library/bin

• In the two uncommented lines, change them to:

DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH="/Applications/MAMP/bin/ImageMagick/ImageMagick-6.8.3/lib:/Applications/MAMP/Library/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH" export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH

• Bask in your glory, as now ImageMagick is installed in the right damned place.

Ok, then back to localhost:8888/koken and it should work!

Then it fails.

The last change is to make sure that the directory that Koken is looking at is correct. In the box that Koken has, type: /Applications/MAMP/bin/ImageMagick/ImageMagick-6.8.3/


Until you get through the next screen and realize that you didn’t actually create a new database in MySQL yet. Head over to localhost:8888 and the MAMP start page should have a phpMyAdmin link on the top where you can log in, create a new database and go from there.

Now. It’s time for the fun part. Using Koken.  I was going to do this post with screenshots and then realized that I’d have to go through the process again. Needless to say, I’m going to pass on that for now and actually start working. Hopefully this will help you get to that point too!

The Meow of the Mountain Lion

Originally posted at the day job: http://fndtn.com/2012/02/16/mountain-lions-first-meows/


Today, Apple announced that there would be a new version of the Mac operating system released in late summer of 2012.

For some, the update has said to be yawn worthy. We disagree.

That being said, no, it isn’t a gigantic jump like going from XP to Windows 7. What it does provide is an ample opportunity for something else. That something else is what may be dubbed as the greatest iPhone/iPad accessory ever: the Mac.

This release in particular is bringing more and more of iOS to our desktops and laptops. Some may think that statement means “less computer like”. To those doubters, I ask how much you love your iPhone or iPad. Mountain Lion’s release has several interesting features that are making us rethink what computers, and peripheral devices are supposed to do together.


This is probably the most talked about feature of Mountain Lion so far. It is truly a unified ecosystem of communication. If I start a conversation on my iPhone through iMessage, how great would it be to pick that same conversation up when I’m on my computer? Apple has even been so kind as to release a Beta version here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/messages-beta/

AirPlay Mirroring

Projectors and VGA adapters no more. I’ll take an AppleTV please. With AirPlay Mirroring, a Mac running Mountain Lion can stream its desktop over wifi to a TV. Wirelessly. This is a huge opportunity to look at in the business world. Imagine if instead of paying a few thousand dollars for a new projector, you bought a nice television and an Apple TV. By now, there’s a good chance you have a TV mounted in your conference rooms as it is. For $99, it’s an easy bet –  especially when it’s this easy to set up.

Game Center

Sure, you may not think that it’s a big deal. But give it time to sink in. Again, Apple is providing another way to let the experience of a game translate to whatever device you are in front of. No nasty “Save” or “Load” (or heaven forbid “Export”). It just works. Games have never been seen as a big selling point for a Mac, but when the majority of apps for iPhone and iPad are games, there’s no reason not to port that across platforms.


This little gem is probably the most underrated of all the features. It didn’t even get a nod in the promo video (here). Gatekeeper lets the administrator of the computer add a layer of protection from malware. The security is such that you can allow only apps to be downloaded from the Mac App Store, or authorized developers based on their Developer ID. Don’t fret if your favorite apps aren’t in the App Store – all the big players (and plenty of the smaller ones) have fully qualified Developer IDs.

This is huge. Malware’s root cause is based on the idea that you get tricked into downloading and installing a “bad” application. By qualifying who made the application, it guarantees that Apple says the app is OK.

Mountain Lion is new, and improved Lion. It helps those who have iPhones and iPads immediately identify with how the Mac works, and helps round out a seamless experience between devices. Zack Morris’ phone was just a phone. The Commodore 64 was a computer. The internet brought things together, but Mountain Lion and iOS 5 continue to break down the barriers between devices, data, and sharing.

We’re excited to see what happens this summer, but for now, we’re busy downloading the Message Beta.


From a marketing standpoint, another thing that I noticed was that no where that I could find was it referred to as Mac OS X 10.8. Just an interesting observation.

Also, updates for China were specifically called out. Apple, and Tim Cook see China as the latest land of opportunity, and I expect them to do quite well (as long as they stop getting sued).