Hopefully Useful

Hi I'm Christian Inkster, an independent developer that makes this.

The Future Called 30 Years Ago

Japan circa 2006

I stare at the strange looking symbols with trepidation. Fear mixed with equal doses of excitement, is this the time I finally do it? Yes.

I gather up the courage and push what I believe to be the start button. There is a whirring noise then nothing, for an excruciating second I think I have made a terrible mistake. Then it happens, a gush of initially cool but then warm water blasts my rear end in surprisingly the correct spot. The sensation isn’t unpleasant but certainly unfamiliar and although I seemed to have correctly started the process, I am soon filled with the fear that I won’t be able to stop it.

I again stare intently at the Japanese characters hoping that one unlocks some forgotten part of my brain that will allow me to decipher the stop mechanism. The warm water continues to jet relentlessly. This newness of this experience and the increasing desire to make it end makes me reckless so I just guess and push another button. The water stops. I am unreasonably relieved. This too soon passes.

Another whirring sound puts me on high alert, the vulnerability of this position cannot be overstated. Suddenly another blast, this time of warm air. Although I made a mistake, the urgency to stop a flow of air is less than it was with the water so I take my time analysing the foreign symbols. A part of my brain unlocks, and I press the stop button. I’d done it, achievement unlocked, the boy became a man yadda yadda. Seven seconds.

That was my first true experience with a Japanese toilet seat, but my first ever encounter actually occurred nearly 6 years earlier.

Australia circa 2000

My girlfriend at the time lived with her brother. Having recently visited Japan he returned so enamored with their modern bathrooms that he brought home $800 of electronic rear end washing wizardry.

He spent the next few days wiring it up and adding the necessary plumbing (most seats of this type require power and access to a fresh water tap). It was a lot of work, for something that at the time I felt was frankly, stupid.

Although I probably sat on that seat more than a hundred times I never even once considered pushing the buttons. For whatever reason the idea of using water instead of paper to clean myself repelled me. When you added the uncomfortable just used feeling that the electronically heated seat gave, it wasn’t my favourite location.

I write all this to try and convey how disinterested in Japanese washlet toilets I was. So disinterested that it took 6 years and the pressure of experiencing Japanese Culture while on holiday for me to finally push the wash button.

180°

Today the situation is completely different. For a variety of reasons I ended up spending a large amount of time from that first button push in Japan. I currently live in Tokyo and although I plan to soon return to Australia, I will never return to normal toilets.

So what happened to completely change my opinion on this matter?

Own one / Learn the controls, especially the Stop button.

Most likely when you first experience an washlet toilet you are in not in the comfort of your own home. With this comes the anxiety that if you do something wrong a very embarrassing situation could ensue. A Japanese model only adds to this anxiety, as not knowing how to stop it is the main problem.

When I moved into my apartment I had my own seat to experiment with. There is often a myriad of controls, for controlling everything you could want. From Water/Air temperature and pressure through to seat temperature and timing systems. Knowing that “Stop” will stop everything is crucial, as it allows you to experiment freely without fear.

It’s not just about using less paper.

Often I’ll read some spiel spouting the environmental benefits of using washlet toilets, claiming that you use substantially less paper. These claims are often countered by skeptics who argue that in their experience the wash cycle alone was not enough to… finish the job.

Using such a toilet effectively requires both the wash then the paper approach. They’re not mutually exclusive, it’s about getting the best (cleanest) result. First you blast it down with water, then you dry up with paper. (side note: I’ve found all “air dry” mechanisms to be far too slow in practice.)

As a friend once explained to me, in those times when you experience the perfect mess free evacuation, a Japanese toilet has little to offer over a normal western one. It is in tougher times, say the day after a junk food or beer binge where it will come to the fore. In those more challenging times it can be the difference between feeling refreshed, and immediately desiring a shower.

That warm seat.

This one is pure preference. Initially I couldn’t escape that uncomfortable just used sensation. But you can switch it off, I did that, then during the winter decided to re-enable it. Being in control of the situation has over time completely changed my perception. Now it actually feels really uncomfortable if a seat isn’t perfectly warm in a cold room.

Final Word

I felt the need to write this down mainly because people often still have a look of disgust whenever it comes up in conversation (quite regularly with visitors from outside Japan). I too was once blind, but now I see. I’ll trot the regularly used (but no less true for it) example that if you were to get mud on your hand, would you use paper to wipe it off? Or rinse it with water?

I’m a convert and I think if you give it a real shot you probably will be laughing at Stallone too.

If you have any comments feel free to add them over at the corresponding Google+ post.

I Couldn’t Wait for the New Mac Pro

For those of you coming from Hacker News wondering why I need OS X it’s because I’m an indie developer that makes this.

I’m not sure if it was the after the 4th or 5th time my Macbook Air hard crashed rendering in Final Cut Pro that my planned upgrade timing would need to be brought forward. In any case, the writing was on the wall. I had been asking too much of the little 11” wonder. Although I had bought the most powerful configuration available at the time (i7/256GB/4GBRam), rendering 2.7k video was not part of its original job description.

The majority of my work is done at my standing desk on a large external monitor. My girlfriend’s MacBook Pro 13 had finally finished its slow death so my upgrade path seemed clear. Give the 11” to said girlfriend and purchase a new desktop. For trips to a local cafe, take the 11”.

For new desktop options I basically had 3 choices.

  • Mac Mini
  • iMac 27”
  • New Mac Pro

The Mac Mini was ruled out pretty quickly. It just wasn’t a big enough performance jump over the Air. If I was going to compromise mobility with a desktop machine I wanted it to be more powerful.

The 27” iMac was harder to eliminate. It seems like a great machine, and in retrospect I should have bought one years ago. But alas I didn’t and now I’ve reached a point where I’ve basically decided that I will never buy a non retina/high dpi display again. Retina iMacs aren’t available yet so that was out.

Speaking of retina, I should probably also explain why the retina MacBook Pro was not considered. It’s probably the perfect compromise for me, fast yet still portable with a beautiful screen. Two problems there, one is the screen is not quite big enough for me and two, much like the iPad 3 the graphics hardware doesn’t quite match the screen. Scrolling and animation tasks are jerky or just plain slow. I can’t deal with that in a new machine. Maybe in a year or two when it can drive its screen and a large external retina smoothly.

That left me with the upcoming Mac Pro. The non upgradeable graphics and external only storage expansion did concern me but I still had decided that moving forward, with new external retina displays in mind I could justify what ever price they commanded.

So it was decided. New Mac Pro. Will buy.

Or so I thought. A couple of months ago a change in circumstances meant my girlfriend’s need for my 11” Air went from “After you buy a new Mac Pro” to “Yesterday”. Since the Mac Pro was still months away I had to make a decision.

Hackintosh?

I’ve had Mac computers in my personal and work life since the 1984 512k. But working as a web developer from 2000 till 2006 I only owned PC laptop/desktop machines. In early 2006 after seeing the Ruby on Rails Textmate screen cast I decided I wanted to dabble in OS X again (primarily to use textmate).

At the time the Hackintosh scene was starting to gain momentum and I was able after a lot of tedious mucking around able to get OS X running on my pimped up Dell Inspiron 9300. It ran decently enough for web programming tasks but the lack of hardware supported Quartz graphics and working onboard wifi meant I quickly upgraded to a proper MacBook.

Fast forward to 2013 and from all reports the Hackintosh scene is much improved, with guides often stating that if you buy the correct compatible hardware the whole install process will go very smoothly. I didn’t really believe these reports (Hackintosh users have a very different understanding of the word “smooth”). However, seeing as my gaming PC was due for a refresh I figured I could give it a go and if it all went to hell, I’d suffer through the pain then move it to that role when the Mac Pro was ready.

So I headed to what seems to be the ultimate source of all things Hackintosh, www.tonymacx86.com. This site has a monthly updated guides on several different confirmed working hackintosh builds. I chose the “CustoMac Mini Deluxe” as it seemed like the perfect combination of size and power for me. It was a mini case that also supported a full size video card. This was important to me because if this system had the possibility of being my main machine I wanted it capable of driving any Retina/HiDPI screens that may appear in the near future.

I quickly sorted the equivalent parts on Amazon.jp and placed my order:

A few days later it all arrived:

Putting it together

Assembling the components is the same as any other PC build. I’ve done this countless times in the past but realise that many people are very apprehensive regarding doing this themselves. I won’t write too much about this but to say, if you have all the right components it’s nearly impossible to go wrong. If you can put together IKEA furniture you can build a computer from OEM parts.

Installing OS X however is not so simple. The “smooth” version in point form:

  1. Use the AppStore on an actual Mac to download the Mountain Lion installer
  2. Use UniBeast from tonymacx86.com to build a bootable USB key image of the installer.
  3. Setup your newly built computers BIOS to match the recommended settings.
  4. Install OS X using the bootable USB
  5. Boot into OS X then use MultiBeast to fill in the missing drivers and boot loader.
  6. Reboot & Enjoy OS X

Steps 1-4 actually were actually straight forward, but that was expected. Getting a Hackintosh working right is the hardest bit, and this build was no different.

My first problem was that after install I could not get OS X to boot using anything but safe mode. I spent a good couple of hours googling this and could find no solutions. Eventually a complete reinstall seemed to sort this shrugs.

Working (ish)

After it would boot correctly I ran MultiBeast and about 8 hours after I had started, finally had a working (ish) system. I say “ish” because all was not perfect. Example of problems were:

  • Onboard Wifi didn’t work (nor ever will apparently)
  • Onboard Bluetooth works, but only after login (meaning no password on startup)
  • HDMI audio out is a no show
  • USB 3.0 only works with USB 3.0 devices (no backwards compatibility)
  • Sleeps fine, just doesn’t wake up :)

Of these some I could live with, some I could not. WiFi for example I don’t need at all, kind of defeats the purpose of my optical fibre internet connection. Most of the others though, as I used the computer for the following few days, really ate at me.

A lot of these problems are related to something called a DSDT file (Differentiated System Description Table) which you can use to better direct OS X to use the hardware you are giving it. Tonymacx86.com suggested that the hardware I chose was so compatible that I didn’t need this file. This may have been true to get it to boot, but was certainly not true for full functionality.

Tonymacx86.com includes a database of these files but the one included for the H77N mother board I had suggested that it fixed nothing except the HDMI audio. I tried it and it changed nothing on my system so I thought I would just have to live with the problems.

Salvation

That was until I stumbled onto this thread. Apparently by creating a clean rip of my own hardware’s DSDT file I could then use a tool to apply community supplied patches for my exact hardware. I was dubious at first because it seemed like a lot of work, but the problems I listed above were annoying me so much I had to try.

The process involved me booting using no DSDT file at all then using an app called MaciASL to rip a clean version of my system description (I could have used Linux or Windows apparently but this seemed easiest). You then add a couple of online patch repositories and apply the appropriate patches to your vanilla system description file. Install the file in the correct location (/Extras/DSDT.aml) and reboot.

Like magic my HDMI audio and USB 3 ports started working. Another issue I had with Ethernet not working with DHCP also was fixed. If you end up building a similar system I cannot recommend this patch your own dsdt technique enough.

So a week after starting I had a system that cost me approximately $850 has 4 times the Ram of my previous machine and scores 13000ish on geekbench (32bit).

Epilogue/Is it worth it?

I guess it depends on how much you value your time, and how much you enjoy challenges like this. I would guess over the last 2 months I have spent probably 3 or 4 full work days building and debugging this system. We haven’t seen pricing for the new Mac Pro’s yet so it is hard to compare. It will no doubt be faster and more expensive. How much more so in each changes the equation, so I’ll just list the pros and cons of the system I built.

Pros:

  • Price, it can’t be beat
  • Performance, Final Cut Pro renders smoke my old MacBook.
  • Internal Storage (seriously look at the photo below) I’m loving having all my drives in one enclosure.
  • Ports 2xHDMI 1xDVI 2xGb Ethernet 4xUSB 3 4xUSB 2 SPDif Optical Audio

Cons

  • Massive, Massive pain in the butt to setup compared to a retail Mac.
  • Every new OS X system update means the pain might start again.

I really don’t want to downplay the negative aspects at all. They are huge. Huge enough that when the Mac Pro pricing is announced I will be doing the price/performance calculations to determine whether an upgrade is worth my time. A retina iMac would be a no-brainer, I wouldn’t hesitate but I’m not hearing any word on those.

What I would do differently

I wouldn’t do much differently with the exception of the BitFenix case. As I said at the start I chose this due to the ability to install a full high powered GFX card (for future Retina display use). But the case turned out to be much much larger than I had expected. As you can see in the picture above it has room for a ridiculous number of extra drives. While I’m certainly happy to be using one or two of those slots the potential 9 or whatever is total overkill. Had I seen BitDoctors MiniMacPro build beforehand I most certainly would have gone a similar route.

Wow if you actually read this far I applaud you. I’m still new at this blogging stuff so need to definitely work on my post length.

If you have any comments feel free to add them over at the corresponding Google+ post.

Making an App Promo Video on a Budget

After nearly a year of hard work I finally released EasyBeats 3 Pro Drum Machine last week on the AppStore. A week before releasing the app I put a promo video of it up on youtube. It had the desired effect, there was a lot of excitement generated about the app, but there was also a good number of questions asked about the making of the video.

I’ll do my best to cover the process here, but first if you haven’t actually seen the video you should probably do so here, I’ll wait below.

Ok so how did I make it?

TLDR:

I walked around Higashi-Shinjuku station carrying a GoPro on a monopod looking incredibly shady videoing myself play the same song a hundred times over. Mixed it together using software I had never really used on a computer that barely made it through the process.

Long Version

I’m generally pretty terrible at marketing. Like a lot of devs I leave it last and don’t dedicate any where near enough time towards it. This is definitely something I’m trying to improve.

One thing I always do though is make promotional/tutorial videos. My initial thought for a teaser video for EB3 was a setup similar to (find and add link to small budget lightbox promo video setup here), with a well choreographed tutorial that covered all the apps key features.

My tutorial video budget recording center.

I started on this with good results but quickly realized that although great for teaching users exactly how to do certain tasks it didn’t really convey just how easy it was to create something great in those small fractions of free time people have in real situations.

A new plan

My next idea was I would don my snowboarding helmet with my GoPro Hero 3 attached, walk around my neighborhood and make a beat. With the helmet I could position the camera correctly then have two hands completely free to work the app. With this setup I could show users just how easy it was to create a beat on their walk to the train, idle time etc…

After a small bit of experimentation with this I found two major problems.

  1. The position of the camera on top of my helmet was too high and felt strangely impersonal for an app demonstration. This resulted in me having to hold the device up much higher than was comfortable and I often would accidentally move out of shot.
  2. I looked pretty scary and perhaps mentally unstable walking around wearing a black snowboarding helmet. I wanted to shoot the video walking through my local subway station and possibly on a couple of trains. This would be difficult or at the very least incredibly awkward.

Ok so helmet cam was out, so again after a bunch of experimenting around the apartment I found that I could get decent results mounting the camera on my monopod, then tucking said monopod under my armpit.

Unusable Footage

So off I set walking around Higashi Shinjuku station filming myself creating different beats from scratch (the beat I ended up using I actually made on my second take). I still looked ridiculous with the camera pole tucked under my arm but much less so than before. I was out and about for about an hour and a half before I returned home to check the results.

This highlighted one of the main problems with using a GoPro for app promo videos. Although it shoots fantastic 2.7K video (What I filmed in), you have no real idea of the results until you plug it into your computer. When I got back I found that most of my footage was unusable, due to reflections or general positioning of the shot. To be fair this is not what the GoPro is designed for, and outdoor action shooting does not require this kind of feedback.

A lot of footage looked like this.

Another problem I experienced as filming novice was fluorescent flicker. Any time you shoot video under fluorescent lights you might have to deal with your footage flickering. This is impossible to remove afterwards and without a viewfinder on a GoPro you won’t know till later. I ended up having to trash a significant number of shots due to this.

Boring

A bigger concern however was that although a one take shot of beat being created was informative, it still lacked the excitement a promo video needs. The video needed multiple cuts and camera angles to stay interesting. Initially I tried filming from another angle with a spare iPhone but it was near impossible to walk while doing this by myself.

The lack of good footage I got on the first outing actually caused me to find the solution. I didn’t have any shots long enough so I combined two completely separate shots in Final Cut Pro to at least have something to build on. I found that the cut between these two shots was coincidentally on a drum hit, this definitely made it more interesting, but the problem was the clips weren’t really related. As such I decided I would again head out and record myself making the same beat again and again in as many different locations and configurations as possible.

A very small sample of shots I took.

Side Benefit

Now that I was no longer doing the video in one take it gave me a lot more opportunity to show off the other customizable features of EasyBeats 3. EB3 is usable in both Portrait and Landscape, so I could show that. EB3 has custom color themes so I could jump between them. Finally EasyBeats 3 is a universal app available on iPhone, iPod and iPad so the video could now convey all of this without me needing to state it specifically.

For about 3 hours I walked the streets of Shinjuku filming the app in all the different combinations I could, all the time not knowing what footage would work and what wouldn’t. In terms of positioning the shots I decided to shoot everything in 2.7k because that would later allow me to zoom in without losing quality on my final 1080p export.

Filming all went fine but I must admit to being pretty self conscious about holding a camera on a pole while riding escalators throught the train station. Up Skirt filming is an issue here and I certainly looked suspicious.

2.7K is Awesome, just not on a Macbook Air 11”

At the time my main development machine was a late 2011 Macbook Air with an i7 and 4GB of ram. For iOS development I used it connected to an external monitor with a separate keyboard and mouse. It is perfectly capable for most anything an iOS developer could throw at it (with the exception of 3D games I assume). It has also been fine for me when using iMovie and Final Cut Pro X in 1080P situations.

2.7K video however, made it cry. Then whimper. Then die. The only way to resurrect it was a full power off and on. 2.7K video was always going to be slow, I knew that (finder previews stuttered constantly). But I constantly experienced a problem when trying to render even small sections where all memory would be consumed, followed by the swap file growing up to 90GB, filling my entire SSD, crashing the system.

Obviously something was seriously wrong and although I found the exact same problem reported in the user forums there was very little in the way of solutions. Eventually I tried completely duplicating my entire project (including GBs of video) and recreating from scratch. (My Posted solution on Apple forums)

With this problem solved and by using proxy media you can actually edit 2.7K footage reasonably on a Macbook Air 11”. It’s just not fast so expect a lot of delays.

Multiple Angle Editor

Final Cut Pro X has an awesome multi angle editor for quickly mixing footage from the same event in time. Basically it automatically aligns all the shots by time stamp so you can easily switch between angles live like a set director.

Although my footage wasn’t all of the same event, I was performing the same song so as long as I synced my footage to my master audio track I could use this. You can see from the above image that only certain parts of each take were actually usable, so the whole thing behind the scenes is pretty scattered. Click here to watch the video I used to learn multi cam editing

With this knowledge I was able to quickly cut between all the footage I had assembled according to the audio track.

Lack of Focus

Now the video was exciting, with nice cuts in time with the audio track but due to the wide angle lens of the GoPro I found my attention was often distracted away from the app.

The solution was to blur the background. I had always planned on doing this when ever peoples faces were visible (They’re pretty sensitive about that here). I used basically the technique shown here with the only difference really being that I inversed the mask. I also fortunately didn’t need tracking as most of my shots the phone stayed in the same position.

My fridge is better blurred out, believe me.

Add Titles and a vignette

I wasn’t sure if I wanted titles at all at first. I added them only at the very end and tried to keep them as sparse as possible hoping not to detract from the fact that the music the user was hearing was being made effectively live in front of them.

I added a slight vignette to make the whole thing look a little more professional. It took forever on the Macbook Air. Do this last if you are using something similar.

Quick Note on Audio

All audio in my video was recorded in one take on my iPhone with a cable jacked into my computer. I used Audacity with monitoring on (so I could hear what I was playing) to record to a wav file. Syncing any audio up to video is really easy with modern software so do it! I’ve seen a few videos that visually seem to have pretty good production values, but then the audio is hissy and terrible and really cheapens the whole thing.

Total Cost

I already had all of the below so really the only cost to me was time. It took me about 3 days in total I think but at least 50% of that was spent watching tutorial videos on youtube.

  • GoPro Hero 3 Black $399
  • Final Cut Pro X $299 – Though I think there is a 1 month free trial
  • Monopod pole thing $20 from Amazon.jp

So thats what you would need to create exactly what I did, but you could probably get by with just the following.

Free Option

  • iPhone 4S or above (I actually use this for all my tutorial videos and the results are great.)
  • iMovie (I think the cutting would have been slower but all possible)

Lessons learned and final thoughts.

Wow for only my second ever blog post this has turned out way too long. Congratulations if you actually read this far.

  • You can edit video 2.7K video on a Macbook Air 11” it’s just not fun.
  • I should have bought the LCD Backpac for the GoPro, at $80 it would have been easily worth it.
  • Don’t use too many compound clips.
  • YouTube has so many free tutorials for Final Cut Pro you can become pretty damn proficient in a very short period of time.
  • A good product is easy to make a good looking video for.

That last point is probably the key here. Despite being a novice with this kind of video I found it really quite easy to make the video “cool”. This is because EasyBeats 3 is a kick ass ridiculously fun application. Likewise if your app is great, the video part will be easy.

Leave me a comment via Google+

Experimentation With Jekyll/Octopress

So I’ve decided I should probably blog about things in my life that other people might find interesting. I’ve decided this mainly because I’ve noticed that the longer I live in Japan the worse my English skills become. It could just be a case of getting older but I find myself often struggling for words or expressions that I’m sure used to come to me with ease. Since my Japanese is not getting proportionally better I should probably do something to stem the tide. Consider this, my umpteenth attempt at actually blogging that something.

Anyway I have decided to try out this Jekyll markdown based static blog generator. I subsequently chose Octopress because it came with a theme and bunch of instructions I actually found comprehensible.

The reason for using markdown is simple. I would like to keep any blog posts I actually do make readable as text files on my local computer. Although I know its syntax and general conventions, I’ve not actually used it for anything of note and this seems like a good first project.

Smoothish Sailing

Apparently Octopress needs a specific version of Ruby. 1.9.3 and the instructions on the website detailed how to get a program called rbenv to manage multiple versions. I’m completely ignorant to all things ruby so I must admit to being really surprised at this. Why isn’t simply the latest stable version the best choice?

Anyway after installing rbenv I tried to install the recommended version:

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MacPro:~ christian$ rbenv install 1.9.3-p0

ERROR: This package must be compiled with GCC, but ruby-build couldn't
find a suitable `gcc` executable on your system. Please install GCC
and try again.

DETAILS: Apple no longer includes the official GCC compiler with Xcode
as of version 4.2. Instead, the `gcc` executable is a symlink to
`llvm-gcc`, a modified version of GCC which outputs LLVM bytecode.

For most programs the `llvm-gcc` compiler works fine. However,
versions of Ruby older than 1.9.3-p125 are incompatible with
`llvm-gcc`. To build older versions of Ruby you must have the official
GCC compiler installed on your system.

It then detailed how to download the latest version of GCC but I instead decided just to install what looked like the most recent version of 1.9.3

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MacPro:~ christian$ rbenv install 1.9.3-p327
Downloading yaml-0.1.4.tar.gz...
-> http://dqw8nmjcqpjn7.cloudfront.net/36c852831d02cf90508c29852361d01b
Installing yaml-0.1.4...
Installed yaml-0.1.4 to /Users/christian/.rbenv/versions/1.9.3-p327
...success ensued

I thought I was home clear at this point but…

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MacPro:Blog christian$ cd octopress/
MacPro:octopress christian$ ruby --version
rbenv: version `1.9.3-p194' is not installed
MacPro:octopress christian$ rbenv install 1.9.3-p194
Downloading yaml-0.1.4.tar.gz...
-> http://dqw8nmjcqpjn7.cloudfront.net/36c852831d02cf90508c29852361d01b
Installing yaml-0.1.4...
Installed yaml-0.1.4 to /Users/christian/.rbenv/versions/1.9.3-p194
...Success 2.0 ensued

Apparently the version is very specific. I’m sure all of this could have been avoided by anyone with a lick of ruby or yaml experience but I am a complete newbie with both.

Seems pretty good.

Teething problems aside, I quite like the workflow around this system. I edit a post inside the source/_posts directory with a name of YYYY-MM-DD-titleofpost.markdown and in a terminal I have simply entered the following:

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MacPro:octopress christian$ rake preview
Starting to watch source with Jekyll and Compass. Starting Rack on port 4000
Configuration from /Users/christian/Dropbox/HUS/Projects/Blog/octopress/_config.yml
[2013-07-21 19:59:20] INFO  WEBrick 1.3.1
[2013-07-21 19:59:20] INFO  ruby 1.9.3 (2012-04-20) [x86_64-darwin12.4.0]
[2013-07-21 19:59:20] INFO  WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=77031 port=4000
Auto-regenerating enabled: source -> public
[2013-07-21 19:59:20] regeneration: 94 files changed
>>> Compass is watching for changes. Press Ctrl-C to Stop.

Anytime I make a change this preview server notices it and regenerates. I’ve got plenty of my own hosting so I’ll most likely be following Octopress’ rsync deployment instructions. If this post is actually online then I guess it worked.