Home (folders) Improvements

Growing up, I remember my dad usually having some sort of home improvement project over the weekend: fixing the ice machine, clogged shower head, or even replacing some plumbing.

Since I’m a old millennial that always rents, my projects at most involves hanging a shelf. But, on the digital world, I’ve also be slacking on my home front.

Some improvements I’m thinking of:

  • Fixing Ana’s photo workflow
  • Organizing our 1Password vaults content and permission
  • Setting up a local backup drive (again)
  • Moving my Arq backups from Dropbox to Backblaze B2

As I write, many more come to mind. But the actual list is not that important, it’s knowing that there’s an improvement project that needs to happen — rather than refreshing tweetbot yet again.


Posting with a Commit

I’m beta testing Blot’s new Git client — rather than the original Dropbox system — and I’m giddy of how cool it is to post now.

I see some advantages and some pain points. It’s fully reversible, so I’ll play with it a few weeks and decide.


iPhone XS 256GB Space Gray

In case anyone’s wondering, I ordered an iPhone XS 256GB Space Gray with the new AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss warranty.

I’m very excited — since I’m upgrading from an iPhone 7, it’ll be a major jump. The wait wasn’t as painful as expected, and I’m happy to be back on a S upgrade cycle 1. I had no doubt I’d upgrade this year so my finger was already on the mouse button to buy the XS even before it was announced. Still, the bang for the buck’ness of iPhone XR did give me a little pause.

Since I’d already convinced myself that I wanted an OLED screen, the impasse lasted very little. But there’s no doubt it’s a great year to be getting an iPhone.

The new AppleCare+ is another very nice — and as usual with Apple, expensive — service. I haven’t broken my iPhone screen more than twice in the last 9 years, but ever since I first signed up to the first iPhone Upgrade Program I’d worried about losing my iPhone and be left the payments. The simplicity of the program won me over:

Many traditional plans offered through carriers and other insurance providers often require customers to file and get a police report. Apple’s requirement is that the Find My iPhone app is switched on at the time the phone is lost or stolen.

Also different this year I didn’t get the iPhone Upgrade Program. Since I no longer have a major carrier mobile line (switched to Google Fi) I didn’t want to wait until it was available for sim-free phones. I did buy it with PayPal Credit, which claims to give me 6 months interest free payment — we’ll see how that works out.

So how do I like it now that it was delivered? No clue. I’m in Costa Rica, so I have to wait a few weeks before I visit Miami and pick it up… but the picture of the box sure looks nice.

  1. My iPhone models until now: Original -> 3GS -> 4S -> 5S -> 6 -> 6S -> 7.


Posting with a Commit

I’m beta testing Blot’s new Git client — rather than the original Dropbox system — and I’m giddy of how cool it is to post now.

I see some advantages and some pain points. It’s fully reversible, so I’ll play with it a few weeks and decide.


Sublime Merge - a new Git client from the makers of Sublime Text

From the site:

A snappy UI, three-way merge tool, side-by-side diffs, syntax highlighting, and more.

Sublime Text is always open on my Mac — I use it for everything from complex text manipulation to a simple pad for content. We also use Git everyday, but I only need to observe the process. Still, I haven’t found a Git client that clicks with me.

I’ll be testing this out on the next few weeks.


Google’s Inbox app is shutting down in March 2019

Google says that there are still a few features due to make the migration from Inbox, specifically the bundles” that group similar emails together into a single block, like those related to a single trip. That’s coming to Gmail, but there’s no word yet on the timeline for it.

Crap. Inbox is my default email client on the iPhone, and my cleanup-mode email app on the desktop (maybe 30%). Since I’m still on the iPhone 7, I didn’t notice the lack of iPhone X update — so this caught me off-guard.

Guess I’ll follow along to Gmail, but for now lack of bundles and overall flow doesn’t make it a sub-par alternative for me.


On a Twitter Break (Catch Me on Mastodon)

Last Friday I deactivated my Twitter account in protest for the lack of support of 3rd Party APIs. While I have no illusion that: 1) I’ll activate it again a few weeks and, 2) the protest itself was a mere blip in Twitter’s radar. I wanted my data point to exist.

My love for Twitter goes back a decade. I joined in 2006 and like many, didn’t use it much until the iPhone apps started coming out. I then drank the pulse of the planet Kool-Aid, pushed friends to use DMs as BlackBerry Messenger replacements, asked for jobs saying Twitter was going to be great, and even defended it user base stagnation.

But across all of the above, unofficial apps have always been the window to Twitter — which is specially funny since for a long while, there were no official apps. But I digress.

I’ve given up hope for Twitter to be the pulse of the planet, and accepted it’ll likely end up the hyperventilation of media networks. Still, I wanted to make a point. And over the past few days without a Twitter account, something fascinating has happened:

Although I miss the pull to refresh like crazy, I haven’t missed any news — even with massive devaluations, earthquakes and other breaking events.

At the end of the day, there’s a blog post, or news article that references the most important tweets and summarizes the event. Without the need of me refreshing every 5 seconds and having to read the other 99% of the noise.

Yet I can’t deny not to miss the water fountain discussion. Reading why my favorite app developers are reading, what people I find interesting find interesting. In a perfect world, we all have a blog and it’s easy to see the streams post and micropost and interact. Sadly, while the Micro.blog ship is catching some speed, it’s far from taking off.

That’s where Mastodon comes in. For a great overview just check First Time Tooter, Long Time Tweeter, but long story short, it’s a Twitter-like social network with federated instances that interact with each other. While it has being around for some time — the geek sphere unnoticeable protest on Twitter has been noticeable on Mastodon.

I’ve very surprised how much I’m enjoying my Mastodon use. The tone is friendlier, and at least on the instance I joined — Mastodon.technology the generally chatter is usually interesting. The apps are still lagging, but I’m enjoying Tootdon and Amaroq on iOS, and the Tweetdeck like website works good enough on the Mac.

I’m not sure if Mastodon is going to be big — it’s just not build to beat Twitter. However, I’m ready to call it: Mastodon will be a thing for a long time.

If you wanna check it out (or already are), you can find me at @roberto@mastodon.technology. Toot toot.


Walmart and Kobo launch e-book and audiobook store

Choosing between Walmart/Kobo and Amazon (and Apple for that matter) for a digital ecosystem is about the lesser of two evils. I’ve being moving away from DRM content over the past year for my library — either by buying non-DRM content or removing it. It rarely is cheaper, but it continues to approach Amazon prices lately.

I really want to switch away from Kindle devices for my next eBook reader. The Kobo’s look solid, and support regular ePub’s as far as I know.

For audiobooks, I cancelled my Audible subscription last year and have been winding down my backlog. But for new audiobooks I’ve gone to Downpour, and their non-DRM system works great.


Bloomberg: Apple Is Planning a New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini

Not much details, just the rumored confirmation that new entry MacBook’s and Mac Mini are coming. Happy for the MacBook news, because I’d actually have been recommending ChromeBooks for an ever increasing use-cases.

On the Mac Mini side, I’m cautiously optimistic — a powerful cheap Mac always sounds great. But Apple cheap is never what you expect. And when the product arrives, you start to notice that maybe the iMac is not as expensive as you thought, or that an used MacBook Pro might me a better bang for the buck.

Regardless, is great to dream about new affordable Mac’s.


For the Love of Spock is a solid documentary. A cultural icon played by a good person with normal good person problems. The father/son aspect was unexpected, but worth noting in my parenthood’s scrapbook of emotional concerns.


Trailer for Star Wars Resistance

Take to the skies with Star Wars Resistance. Premieres Sunday, October 7

Yes, oh yes. Robie, Bettina and yours truly will be watching this in October.


Palm Android phone leaks

It has a 3.3-inch screen and a rounded webOS devices look:

Android Police acquired images of a device codenamed Pepito” — a beef steak sandwich common in Mexico and Venezuela — that features the new PALM branding on the back of the phone.

I got to see one of these in person.


Done with The Expanse S01 — great book and equally good show. Now onto Westworld S02.


Enjoyed Avengers: Infinity Stone a lot more than expected. Really surprised how well they balanced a huge set of characters and kept a consistent story moving. Loved that Thanos isn’t a flat super villain. Might even go the movie theater for the next day one.


Saw Molly’s Game over the weekend with Ana and liked it. It’s the least Sorkin Sorkin movie I remember.