Martin Ström

The Podcast

A podcast about nothing

Enjoy! has been aquired

You might have noticed a few changes on @copypastechar as of late: Yes, the site has been acquired & is now handled by The Eighth Network! ✌

— Konst & Teknik (@konst_teknik) October 6, 2015

One (Two, Three, Four) — Unintentional Metallica cover band

The Unintentional Metallica cover band (by Konst & Teknik & Martin 2009/2013)

▶ Play

◣ Photoboth ◥

Photoboth is a new iPhone app that lets the user take a photo with both cameras in just one tap and therefore including the photographer in the photo too. The back and front photos can then be arranged and combined in many different (and fun!) combinations.
The app includes super simple sharing to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Get the app here for a special introduction price right now, find more info here and follow Photoboth on Twitter here!


InstaCRT 1.5 — with color support!

InstaCRT 1.5

Last week we released the biggest update to InstaCRT ever — version 1.5. The biggers new feature in this release is that we now support photos in color!

The coolest thing is that we actually still are using the very same grayscale CRT screen as we always have, but with some clever tricks we can return photos in full color.

How it works

The original photo

When a color photo are received by the machine it separates the photo into three three channels. One for Red, one for Green and one for Blue. The result are three grayscale photos, each representing how much red, green or blue the image has.

Red channel

Green channel

Blue channel

(Read more about channels on Wikipedia).

Each channel is sent through the machine, one by one. So for every color photo there are actually three photos taken. This is why they take a bit longer time to process.

The three photos are recombined back into one photo again, creating a full color photo again!

We do all are image processing using ImageMagick but almost every image manipulation app/library/etc is capable of doing this.

What else is new in 1.5?

Hope you like the new version as much as we do! ^__^

Interested in sharing studio space with us?


Interested in sharing studio space with us? We have 2 available desks right now, for 2975 SEK/month (inc. VAT) each. The price includes internet, coffee, awesome interior design by Uglycute, storage space etc — and a bunch of pretty awesome space mates. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in coming by for a look.

`git yolo`

In your .gitconfig under [alias]:
yolo = push production

then you can deploy with git yolo



Beforecast by Peter Ström and myself.

InstaCRT — Real World Camera Filter


A few days ago we finally released InstaCRT — our real world camera filter (previously mentioned here and here).

The response has been…wow…more than we could ever dreamed of. The Verge interviewed us and wrote an awesome article about the project. Then Engadget (with their half a million followers on Twitter) published their post. A favorite of mine Hack a Day also covered InstaCRT.

Update And Boing Boing, Fast Company and MSNBC.

Update again and The Economist

We’re totally blown away by this.

The machine has worked pretty good actually even if queue times can be up to an hour sometimes. The server crashed directly after Engadged’s tweet but after upgrading RAM and optimizing the InstaCRT machine a bit, we could slowly work through the queue (hopefully).

Today we’re upgrading the hardware but the charm of the project is of course that each and every photo has to wait in line before it gets displayed on the old CRT screen.

It’s so fun to a part of this project. We’re blushing by the amounts of tweets, emails, blog and other response posts we’ve got.

To see how it works, look at this video:

If you’d like to download it:


More info on and on Twitter @instacrt.

Also don’t miss Ruben Broman and Erik Wahlström who I made this project with. And, like always, Konst & Teknik for designing the app.

The narcissistic QR code


Oh hai! I’m participating in an excibition called ❝Bring Your Own Beamer❞ tomorrow at Under Bron in Stockholm together with Peter Ström. (I’m only represented by our work though since I’m in Berlin this month).

Have fun!
BYOB Stockholm

Hosted by Under Bron
Curated by Barriobajero

Jacob Broms Engblom, Disa Braunerhielm, Studio SM, Simon Mullan, Martin Löfqvist, Ilja Karilampi, Ashby Lee Collinson, Jonas Holmer, Jacob Åstrom, Harald Martin Peter Ström, Oscar Ramos, Aron Kullander-Östling, Ida lehtonen, Victoria Durnak, Viktor Nyström Oscar Pastarus, Conan Lai, Blanche, Ricardo Juárez. Music: Press & Look Notes

BYOB Worldwide

Loopcam 1.6 Released ⟿ Featuring 4chan Sharing

I’ve started working with the awesome project/app/site Loopcam and the first thing we did was to add 4chan sharing.

Read more over on the Loopcam /b/log and happy trolling!!!!!

The emo bot

I’m trying to finish the building of my first robot. More info when it’s up and running as intended!

Ruby on Rails, UTF-8 & Heroku

I’m in the middle of moving some sites over from a self hosting VPS to Heroku and had some problems with the text encodings. Everything worked fine on the old site and on my local machine, but after a heroku db:push (copying my local MySQL database to Heroku’s Postgres), all special UTF-8 characters were not displaying correctly.

After some googling and some testing I found this solution (that is, make sure Rails and MySQL is all UTF-8), but it wasn’t enough to properly import the old data. After more googling, this worked for me:

ℂ◉℗⒴ ℘ⓐṨͲℰ Ⓒℌ◭ℝ◬ℂ⒯℮ℛ

A few weeks ago we (me & Konst & Teknik) finally released the long taking new version of — a website to help people find and copy symbols and characters that are not very easily accessible from the keyboard.

The main new thing, featurewise, is that we included many more characters than the previous version had. More characters has been the top #1 feature request the past three years the site has been online. To make the site easy to use with all new characters, we have divided everything into different sets/collections such as “Numerals”, “Symbols” and “Graphic shapes”.
We also made it possible to create your own set with characters and some smaller things like sharing sets and decide what set that should be the start set on

Medborgarbussen / SNMBL

SNMBL is a manifestation against the constant increasing prices in public transportation in Stockholm. The first event took place on September, 18 at Slussen, Stockholm.

Daniel Eskils, together with a bunch of other people documented everything and made a movie from the event (here with English subtitles):

Peter and I did the website for the project and the manifestation. To make it easier to find out where the buses were all the time, I built an iPhone app that tracked the current location of the iPhone and sent it to the server. Then a map on the web page reads the latest reported location and show the bus’s location on the map with all the stops.

Read more about the project on — mostly in Swedish though.


OH HAI! go to!

ZOMG Update I
InstaCRT is released in the AppStore (and beeing featured everywhere!) ^__^. Read more!

ZOMG Update II 2012-11-18
InstaCRT with color support was just released! Read more on how it works! ♥‿♥

This project started as an idea to see how a “real world” filter for photos (like the popular Histamatic and Instagram apps) would work, except our filter is actually real and not digitally applied.

When I joined the project, Ruben Broman and Erik Wåhlström were more or less already done connecting all the hardware and had the screen working as a regular external screen connected to his old laptop. The same night I hacked together a funny looking Ruby script that fetched images from a ftp server, downloaded them and showed them in fullscren on the old CRT display while a Canon 7D took the photo. We managed to get it up and running the same night and even had time to throw together a quick iPhone application that uploads the photos to the ftp server. This early version of the project used the Ruby script, Image Capture (built into OS X) and QuickTime 7 to display the photo in fullscreen on the little display. The day after I added a Tumblr uploader so the photos get published on the blog.

This worked but was very instable so all code was rewritten within the first week it was up and running, mostly for stability but also seperated into different smaller scripts to they could run asyncronysly. We replaced QuickTime with a Quartz Composer project that allowed images to be displayed in fullscreen while not beeing the forground application, and replaced Image Capture with the command line tool GPhoto. Everything was still controlled by Ruby scripts but, as written above, seperated into three smaller classes/files so they could work in parallel, with a main deamon file using Forever The ftp server was replaced with a smarter REST based server to handle the uploading, downloading and archiving of the images.

The iPhone app was also rewritten from scratch to be cleaner and smarter. As of today, about 30 people have the beta (distributed using awesome Testflight).

Except for some smaller tweaks, the current version of the project has been up and running for about a month without restart nor crash so I would say it’s pretty stable now. We haven’t really decided exactly what to do with the project right now. We might release the app to the public and keep it going for as long as it’s possible, or just see InstaCRT as a fun hack.

Haxxor night

I’m building a pretty cool little project with Ruben right now. More info soon here!

The My Domain Tote Bags!

Tote Bag

Finally they’re here — The My Domain Tote bags! Most of them are at WWDC in San Francisco right now so if you’re here, grab/ping me (@haraldmartin) for a free bag.

The bags are made by Peter Ström (also my brother) from Konst & Teknik <3 <3 <3 <3<3.


The TwitterFax is a small project done together with Konst & Teknik. It will watch a given Twitter username for mentions and then print it, together with any twitpics or yimg images attached to it.

The code is pretty simple and uses the Twitter gem for communicating with Twitter and Prawn to genereate the PDF’s. I’ve set it up to run every 15 minute using a Cron job.

Check out the full source code. You’ll need to change what typeface to use or get LucidFaxEFRom.ttf from somewhere else.

So go ahead and mention @konst_teknik to try it out!

Download torrent files from Twitter DMs

Here’s a simple ruby script to download torrent files in Safari sent to you/an account as URLs in Twitter direct messages.

It could be used on your home server to download torrent files you send to it from something like your iPad.

I’ve set it up to run every fifth minute (using cron) to check for new files, but can of course be adjusted to something that works for you.

Also, make sure to point Safari’s download folder (in Safari’s preferences) to the same folder as you have Transmission automatically watch for .torrent files so the download actually starts.

Paperclip processor to turn images into grayscale

We wanted to automatically create a grayscale version of the uploaded images for a current project. Here’s the Paperclip processor we’re using:

A better Mail-to-Things-ToDo script

Until now I’ve been creating todos in Things from Mail messages in OS X using the quick entry built into Things and the “autofill” feature. But I didn’t like that it, by default, created the todos in Things’ Inbox and that I had to manually select text in the mail message to get it as notes (which is important when using Things on your iPhone/iPad when the link back to the mail message doesn’t work).

Instead here’s an AppleScript which will take the selected message(s) and automatically create one task for each email in the “Next” focus in Things. It will then archive the mail messages and show a Growl notification. The todos in Things will get tagged with the “Reply” tag (which in my setup is a subtag of “Email”).

The script is a modified version of the one found here. I also put the script in an Automator action like described in the article so you can assign a shortcut key to it without including third party software.

QuickTip: Change Finder’s default folder

#protip: Change Finder’s default folder to one you often use (like ~/Projects or whatever) than a minute ago via Tweetie

Open Selected Folder or File in TextMate from Finder


Before upgrading to Snow Leopard I had a QuickSilver trigger (⌃⌥⌘M) to open the currently selected file(s) or folder(s) in TextMate. It was setup as a QuickSilver trigger using the Proxy Object “Finder Selection”. Too bad it doesn’t work for me in the later QuickSilver versions and/or Snow Leopard.

I missed this trigger so I made a 10.6 Service to accomplish the same task:


  1. Run Automator and select “Service” from the template chooser.
  2. Select “Files and Folders” from “Finder”
  3. Find the “Open Finder Items” action from the left pane and select TextMate as the application.
  4. Save the service in ~/Library/Services. I called mine “Open With TextMate”

Keyboard Preferences

To run the service from the keyboard, run “System Preferences” and select “Keyboard”, then select “Services” in the left menu and locate the “Open With TextMate” service on the right side. Add a keyboard shortcut (I choose the same as I’m used to, ⌃⌥⌘M).

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