November 21, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 47

  • Playground AI: Free Stable Diffusion image generation. Paid options for Dall-E. Simplest tool I’ve foud if you want to play with AI images.

  • Tweek Calendar: web-based minimal weekly planner & to-do list app. Nice printable PDF also. Keeping around.

  • Grila: macOS keyboard-driven calendar. Trying it out, not sure it will stick, but interesting.

  • Split CSV: Filter and split a CSV file into multiple files. Don’t need it nowadays, but I would have gladly paid $40 for this a few years back.

  • Haikei: Wave and others image generators. Useful for slide backgrounds.

  • Maparoni: macOS/iOS organise, explore and share map data using tables on a map. Not sure how, but will try it soon.

  • Add to Obsidian Note: Configurable Draft action adds the content of the current draft to a selectable note in your Obsidian vault.
  • Plain Text Editor: Simple free macOS text editor with Brain Dump Mode” (no backspace). Good to have around.
  • Flowist: Focus Mode for Todoist. Display one task at a time. Could be useful.
November 19, 2022

Vimcal for iOS

Ivan Mehta, on

Vimcal for iOS is a free app, but if you want to use the product on the desktop you will have to pay $15 per month or $150 per year. For teams with more than five members, the product costs $120 per year. The company is already working on making Vimcal adaptable to enterprise usage with customizable features.

Been testing iOS and macOS with Microsoft 365 for work, and it’s really good. $150 a year good? Not sure. Unlike email, where perceived speed of the UX is important to me — and worth twice as much — on calendar I don’t suffer was much.

But if calendaring is your beat, Vimcal is worth a serious try.

November 18, 2022

Dave Winer on Mastodon and RSS


The more I learn about Mastodon, the more impressed I am. It’s a very nicely done piece of software. And unlike Twitter, they have RSS feeds for every user. Just add a .rss to the end of the URL and you get a nice feed, like this. When I look at the feed I see something someone put some love into. Or if it was a team, they worked well as a team.

I subscribe to Marco Arment’s theorem:

On a long enough timescale, Dave Winer is usually proven right.

So, when I read that Dave Winer is excited about Mastodon it makes me feel a bit more optimist about its future.

November 17, 2022

Kicking Projects Kickoffs

Large companies love project kickoffs. They seem to represent an efficient way to jumpstart a project and achieve quicker results.

Yet, many kickoffs are (at best) none of these things. Most are a waste of time. And, I’d argue, they actually delay results because they force superficial planning at the start. Not to say project kickoffs are a doomed practice.

They can be very useful. But it requires stepping far away of most companies daily-norm. Why? Because successful kickoffs, in essence, need to be a waste of productive time. A large part of the team needs to go be thrown together and dragged through many of the topics at hand. Without much time to dig into any specific area.

Here’s the thing, kickoffs are not about kick-starting a project, they’re about resetting previous beliefs and notions of those involved. To allow them to come up with a new type of solution. 

The kickoff itself needs to strike a balance between discussing issues, without starting to work on them, and still have the group interact with each other enough that a team bond comes out of it. All of this usually without significant budget and/or with business as usual sending a message/email to derail attention.

Obviously, I just finished one of these. It feels like it was successful, but won’t be clear until we start working on it.

November 17, 2022

Arc Browser

Arc Browser seems to getting closer to release. It’s a beautiful opinionated browser, and my default for last month. It even managed to replace Safari for my personal browsing.

Funnily, on paper, many of the features we’re done first by Vivaldi. In practice, Arc’s beautiful design really sets in apart. It does require you to let go of 20 years of browser conventions.

David Pierce on

Arc is more like ChromeOS than Chrome. It tries to expand the browser to become the only app you need because, in a world where all your apps are web apps and all your files are URLs, who really needs more than a browser? For the moment, I do, if only because Arc’s bad window management makes it too hard to quickly move amongst all my stuff. 

Chris Hannah:

There are certainly good parts to the browser, I like the design, split-view, separate spaces, chrome plugins, the concept of a command bar, and a few other things. But for how I want to use the web, and a web browser specifically, I started to get the feeling like it was working against me. And I don’t have the energy to use a web browser that makes me feel like that when there are much better options available for me.

Darin Fisher, Chrome and ChromeOS Lead Joins Arc Browser:

I co-created the world’s most popular browser. Now, I’m joining The Browser Co to fulfill an old dream. […] I imagine a browser that is more than just a browser — that makes it easier for me to create on the web, and easier for me to discover what others have created. I dream of the browser fueling a virtuous cycle between creator and consumer, and ultimately growing the web ecosystem.

Matt Birchler, on

I’m still loving Arc by @browsercompany and this video touches on some of the little things that I just don’t get from the other browsers out there today.

November 14, 2022

Dates Are Content

I found an old notebook with notes and writings. If it weren’t for a small date scribbled on the top right, it would have been really hard to pinpoint when I wrote it.

In fact, I have many similar notebooks with stuff on them that I can’t bother to deduce when they were written. Just 10 characters — if you use ISO dates — are the difference between curiosity and archeology.

This isn’t limited to the analog world. Text files in a computer are great at keeping metadata on creation and modification dates … until you do a restore, and it all gets flattened to today.

A date is part of the content. It can provide context, a sorting parameter, or an organizing convention.

Just like habit makes any writing without a title feel unfinished, a lack of date should make it incomplete.

November 12, 2022

The Way I Heard It
by Mike Rowe

The Way I Heard ItThe Way I Heard It

Some audiobooks truly benefit from the author’s narration, and this is one of them. On the surface, The Way I Heard It is a selection of episodes of the podcast with the same name. Rowe’s commentary glues the episodes together, and it is done in such a way that it justifies calling this collection a book.

Both in each of stories and in between, I learned, was entertained, and made me think. What else can you ask of a good book?

I think this book will make me revisit my top 10 audiobooks post from a few years back. An easy recommendation.

November 11, 2022

State Your Processes

Starting a major project soon, in which we need to map all our processes. We have a lot of practices that are not always formalized. And while we’re staying clear of codifying ourselves into a corner, we can’t hide behind the agile banner anymore.

Thinking about how to do an initial inventory, the playbook first step is to ask: what are your current processes?. To which, I can imagine half the team blankly staring back and repeating the question out loud: what do you mean by pro-cé-sees?

Therefore, the new script asks: what are your responsibilities and common tasks? And in a few initial meetings, it has worked extremely well.

It is fascinating how we already have many systems but are not aware of them. The next challenge is going to be translate and document them.

November 9, 2022

Affinity V2 of Photo, Designer and Publisher Launched

Jess Weatherbed on

Affinity Designer 2, Affinity Photo 2, and Affinity Publisher 2 have all been visually redesigned and introduce some new features for designers and creative professionals.

Denny Henke on

Exciting day for users of the Affinity suite of creative apps, especially #iPad users. Serif have released the new 2.0 suite which includes Publisher for iPad. Publisher was previously only available for Mac/Windows. So, now all 3 desktop apps have been updated and all three are also updated and available on the iPad. I’ve already imported a project from my Mac into Affinity Publisher on the iPad and it’s fantastic.

Matt Gemmell on

Wow. Affinity Photo, Publisher, and Designer v2 are all out. You can buy a one-time license that covers all three, on all three platforms they support (macOS, Windows, and iPadOS) all for £90 right now. No subscription. That’s ridiculously good value.

Robert McGovern on

[…] even better is that other people in your household are allowed to use those apps, and only required to get there own license if used for commercial use.

That’s fab for families where say kids use windows/iPads and adults use a Mac/iPad

Still deciding if I’m only getting Affinity Designer 2 for the intro price of $40.99, or the three apps for $99.99. I really only need a vector drawing app — since Sketch went subscription years ago — but every so often a more powerful photo and publishing app is needed. Specially since it includes the iPad version.

November 9, 2022

Calendar App Walkabout

Taking a break from the beloved Fantastical as my main calendar app. A couple of circumstances helped me make the change:

  1. Access to Vimcal’s Microsoft 365 Beta test.
  2. Fantastical’s yearly renewal was up last week.

I knew that as long as Fantastical was an option, it would be my comfortable place to go when I didn’t know how to do something in Vimcal. So cancelling (likely just postponing) the subscription helped the experiment.

After a few days of testing Fantastical’s free version, Outlook, Apple Calendar and other’s the current setup is as follows:

  • Mac:
    • Vimcal in browser (their electron app still doesn’t have support for M365)
    • Apple Calendar
    • Raycast Calendar for Menubar up-next view of events.
  • iPhone/iPad:
    • Apple Calendar
    • Eventually Vimcal iOS app, but still doesn’t support M365 either.

You might say this is crazy… and you’re right. What can I say? Some people enjoy hours of pain going uphill on bikes, I like to break my perfectly tuned workflows to play with new apps.

Will it hold? Not sure. Vimcal is really good, but not sure if $15 a month good. When the iOS version gets M365 support, I’m will be able to more clearly test it.

At the same time, Superhuman calendar continues to improve (albeit slowly), and on Google it already supports team availability. That’s currently my main blocker for not using its calendar to create events.

Still, I don’t expect Superhuman to come up with iOS Widgets or Apple Watch complications. Knowing that Apple Calendar is can do those tasks is great news.

Going to give Vimcal a few more days before sharing some impressions.

November 8, 2022

Fix OneDrive for Mac Not Opening Files From Spotlight

Resetting Microsoft OneDrive can sometimes resolve sync issues and resets all OneDrive settings. OneDrive will perform a full sync after the reset.

Not sure if it was Ventura’s update, but my files and folders in OneDrive wouldn’t open from Spotlight. This was very frustrating.

Luckily, following the steps in the above Microsoft Support page, fixes the issue.

November 8, 2022

Write If Else End If

Yesterday was the conclusion of the month long daily writing experiment. I dare to say that maybe a habit has started to form. It was a good experiment.

I think the most successful part was understanding the goal: creating a system to write every day.

If I had to pick the three biggest learnings:

  1. Make it very easy to succeed. During this month, my metric was to write something at least longer than a tweet (280 characters). Anything above that, was good enough.
  2. Deadlines make you deliver. I didn’t question if” I wanted to write, I had to. This made it easier to just grab the less bad idea and go exploring in writing.
  3. Chew on ideas. Write down your sparks during the day, but let them marinate a little before sitting down to write. This helped a few lines ready to come up when the writing started.

That’s it. I’m going to continue posting everyday, but it won’t be part of this Daily Post tag anymore.

November 7, 2022

A Roundup of Mastodon Mentions

Interesting week for Mastodon given Twitter’s latest circus show. Here’s some interesting points I came across throughout the last few days:

Exploring Mastodon:

Indeed I’d expect that most people won’t use Mastodon. The essence of this federated social future isn’t the software the instances run on, but the protocol they use to communicate (ActivityPub). Hosting services will run different kinds of software, designed more with the needs of a hosting service in mind.

Taking a look at Mastodon:

Twitter can’t really be replaced with anything else, because everyone’s Twitter experience is unique to them and their community. […] With email, it doesn’t matter which provider you go with. Thanks to universal SMTP standards that every server uses, you can exchange messages with everyone else. This is the same with Mastodon. You’re not siloed into a single instance, and you can follow people from any other instance.

Mastodon is the new Google Reader:

Mastodon is to ActivityPub what Google Reader is to RSS. Google Reader wasn’t the only RSS reader, but at its height it was the biggest. Mastodon isn’t the only ActivityPub application, but it is the biggest.

I agree with the narrative in which the ActivityPub protocol is a” next big something™ being brewed here. Mastodon is just the biggest (small) application at the moment.

Mastodon is not ready for me:

I have managed my own email server since the 90s, but I do not feel that the system administration effort required to maintain a private Mastodon instance would be justified at this point: there is not even a Debian package! Mastodon either needs to become much simpler to maintain or become much more socially important, and so far it is neither.

The Elon Gambit:

So the exodus will continue until morale improves, but mostly as far as the exiles are concerned. Many will come back, or post on multiple networks, or just do what normal people do and use different forums for different things.

Colin Devroe:

I have to admit, I’m surprised that just a few tens of thousands of new users can make Mastodon underperform.

Elon and Twitter:

A few of my friends — maybe 10, which actually isn’t a small number for this situation — have declared the future is Mastodon and that I should come and join. I looked at Mastodon years ago, and I took a fresh look this week, and no, it’s not a place I’m interested in moving. It is, and always will be, the linux on the desktop, this time for sure” of social networks.

Still, if you grade Mastodon on a curve with Twitter, it clearly is far from ready to be a replacement. But that’s the rub, it isn’t a replacement. The Linux on the desktop burn is on point, but not for the reasons most people say.

True, Linux and ChromeOS together have an inmaterial share of the desktop market. But Linux as the underpinning of Android, is the most popular OS in mobile. Maybe that’s ActivityPub reason-to-be, the next something.

But, but, but, I keep seeing positive posts regarding Mastodon:

It looks like I’m moving to Mastodon:

I’ve been using Twitter since November 2006—wow, that’s 16 years! I’ve accumulated 42,804 followers there. It’s been really good to me, and I’ve invested a lot of work generating content there to feed the machine. It’s also attracting very much the kind of people I want to hang out with. Mastodon is, unsurprisingly, entirely populated by nerds. But the variety of nerds is highly pleasing to me. I’ve been checking in on the #introduction hashtag and I’m seeing artists, academics, writers, historians. It’s not just programmers. The variety of interest areas on Twitter is the thing I’ll miss most about it, so seeing that start to become true on Mastodon too is a huge relief.

All said, there’s still a significan uptick in Mastodon activity, and it feels like a new baseline has been reached. One that isn’t a Twitter replacement, but does feel like a geeky water-cooler with some rough edge… just like Twitter 15 years ago.

November 7, 2022

A Quick Review of the Logi MX Mechanical Mini for Mac

Thord Hedengren, on

It’s a bit too plasticky for my taste, the travel doesn’t feel nice to me, and I’m just not making friends with it.

For $150, you should love a keyboard.

November 7, 2022

Do Make Me Repeat Myself

Among all the voices in the back of my mind when I’m writing the post: you already said that before always has a front seat.

Here’s Tony Fadell on Steve Job’s iPhone introduction from his book Build:

Steve didn’t just read a script for the presentation. He’d been telling a version of that same story every single day for months and months during development—to us, to his friends, his family. He was constantly working on it, refining it. Every time he’d get a puzzled look or a request for clarification from his unwitting early audience, he’d sand it down, tweak it slightly, until it was perfectly polished.

Of course, if I replied to the voice in my head with the above quote, the laughter would likely be heard outside my head. Still, there’s an important thread here.

Iteration can happen in many ways. And if consciously — or unconsciously — I’m revisiting the same idea in a different post, it should be something to double-down on. Not shy away from.

November 6, 2022

by Eric Berger


Robie grabbed this book from the shelves of B&N and asked me what it was about. I told him I’d start reading it that night and tell him what I learned. So I loved this booked even before reading the first page.

It’s a great book about the SpaceX early days. Enjoyed that it’s not a how they made it, but rather: in now many ways they almost didn’t. My admiration and appreciation of SpaceX and the new space age we’re now only increased after many of the stories.

November 6, 2022

iPhone 14 Pro Models COVID Update from Apple

COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China. The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity.

Whoa, don’t recall a similar consumer-facing note from Apple. Hold on to your hats for iPhone Pro resell value as we head into the holidays.

Sadly/luckily(?), doesn’t affect me. Holding on to my iPhone 12 mini. Only thing I’m considering is replacing the battery — since I still have AppleCare+ for it.

November 6, 2022

Blog am I?

This experiment has made me think a bit about this blog. I imagine was born like most blogs: with dreams of grandeur and me copying other bloggers.

My first three posts 14 years ago have styles which basically set the tone for all the rest: a link/quote post, a personal note, a longer commentary on a tech feature.

The last 28 daily posts have slowly become easier to write. Not to start writing. But once the kids are in bed, I know any of the half-baked ideas in my head must do.

That’s a change for me. Only Seth Godin writes this way — and he’s really smart. And while I’ve copied his style in the past, it feels uncomfortable to do everyday. Dave Winer’s blog is likely the one I’d stand behind if I had to justify a new style.

But why justify the style? It must be time to face the music and realize my geeky commentary on news is not going to earn me a micro-celebrity status. Nor was that something I wanted.

I blog to write and post. Writing makes me feel good, sharing it on the internet is even better. Would I mess this now if I find an audience?

As I start to go down this rabbit hole, changing the domain name is the first sign I’m procrastinating with planning instead of writing. For now the plan is to finish the monthly experiment with tomorrow’s post — and then decide what the system really is: daily writing or daily postings.

November 5, 2022

The World Keeps Happening

On routine filled, boring days, it’s good to ponder how many people would appreciate a few days like this. No bombs or dramas. No fights or anxiety. Just a simple meh day you can roll your eyes at, and try to avoid repeating by reading some self-help articles.

Of course, you can have a totally not-boring life, and not imply any of the negatives above. That’s an even better quadrant — I think. But a note to self to appreciate the goodness of this spot in the comfort/excitement matrix is not wasted space.

November 4, 2022

A Morning Page Practice

The morning page is becoming a habit at the start of the day, but unlike the evening journal, it lacks structure. On most days, is ends being a forward-looking journal. On others, it’s a reflection to whatever problem or projects I went to bed with. Sometimes it’s personal contemplation, while others a productive plan for the day.

Not sure if my struggle to force it into a productive tool is the right way forward. If its the intent is to give my awaking mind an audience to make some sense, of the morning fight between my monkey and lizard brain.

Regardless, the recipe is simple: blank page and pen (analog or digital), and a free flow of thoughts. It won’t make sense individually, but in aggregate, you’ll see something come out of it.

November 3, 2022

Good Tired and Bad Tired

Some days you finish exhausted, but with a sense of accomplishment that let’s with a nice mellow felling. Other days, you barely survive.

On those bad days, I still consider myself lucky that I’m able to say eff it and close the laptop. It’s giving up, knowing that tomorrow you get another round.

November 2, 2022

Changelog to Checklist

New month, yet another monthly report. I’m really getting dividends out of a detailed checklist created over the past few months.

It’s actually a log/checklist I’ve been updating for the past year. But it has help bring down what used to be two full days of report generation to a couple of hours.

As usual, the blank page scares the shite out of me. What helped this checklist get created is that started as a changelog. Over a few months the repeating parts got codified, and what could be automated was scripted.

Next step is documenting the checklist so it can be handed off.

November 1, 2022

Sugar Rush

Halloween as a celebration of scariness doesn’t hold any particular attraction to me. But with kids, I now enjoy the community aspect it brings.

Granted, you could recreate the community experience in a much healthier way. But as immigrants, it’s also comfortable to have a 3rd party custom we can all vaguely relate to.

Very sure I’ll change my tune in 10 years when Bettina tries to leave the house with some horrifically short costume — but I hope we still have a few more years of geeking out with Robie on how to put the decorations, and arguing with Bettina on how to give out candies.

October 31, 2022

Who’s the Boss?

A combination of old age and capitalism bias is making me care about today’s twitter circus news. Never a good sign.

But here’s the thing: Musk is now Twitter’s boss and owner. Does that excuse him for being a tyrannical maniac? Well, no. But it’s his show. He bought for $44 billion something that appears to be worth around $15 billion.

He will cut costs and generate revenue. Setting crazy expectations from one of the few revenue streams Twitter has, seems like a simple way to achieve both.

It’s now make or break time for a lot of teams inside Twitter. I don’t envy them one bit. An almost 20 year old company thrown back into startup mode. The surgery will hurt. The patient might not survive.

There are many reasons why I might leave Twitter. Even more reason for me not wanting to work there. But the current news cycle drama isn’t on them.

October 30, 2022

Micro or Not

When I started this daily experiment, I was certain that these dailies would end up on my microblog. Au contraire.

Now I’m leaning to consolidate everything back to one blog. The segmentation between this main blog, the microblog and twitter/mastodon is not worth the trouble.

The question then is going to be: is the url for the next 14 years of this blog?

October 29, 2022

Lucky Me

Sometimes you’re not where you want to be in your life/career/tennis forehand. But a better introspection is to travel back to the past and see how your current situation would look from the past.

Would past Roberto be happy with where present Roberto is now?

You can of course skip talking to yourself in third person — that’s a great first step to not making your past self hate your present self.

October 28, 2022

Back to Square 5

The strangest thing happened today. For the first time since February 2020, the office was full. So full, in fact, that even the meeting rooms weren’t available. When 3 of us in the office had a meeting with a fourth that was remote, we had to take it each on our seat.

Here’s the strange part: it felt perfectly natural. Actually, it felt less uncomfortable than trying to involve the remote person when 3 others are in the same room.

Not sure what it means, but some sort of threshold has been crossed. The office is forever changed. And… noise cancellation headphones should be part of desktop equipment soon.

October 28, 2022

DuckDuckGo for Mac Public Beta Out


Since announcing the waitlist beta in April, we’ve been listening to beta testers’ feedback and making even more improvements to meet your needs. We added a bookmarks bar, pinned tabs, and a way to view your locally stored browsing history.

Forgot to post this. Not a bad v1. As mentioned before, it uses the Safari engine, so it’s fast with very little resource use. The UX seems slightly off, not in a bad way, just different.

Good option to keep around.

October 27, 2022

Kmapp Store

I don’t go into the App Store anymore. Just like most retail stores, it’s not worth the trouble.

If an app is not recommended on Twitter, Mastodon, a blogs or website, I won’t go into the App Store to search for it. I’m more likely to go into my purchase history and see if any of the apps has been updated than to use the App Store search to browse.

Which means I don’t really care about more ads in the App Store. It’s just more noise in a place I quick visit with my headphones on.

October 26, 2022


With the iPhone becoming the only product line still using the Lighting, the writing is on the wall regarding its switch to USB-C.

The current inconvenience of carrying 2 cables is such a first world problem that complaining about it deserves an eye roll. However, the convenience of carrying only 1 cable is a nice aspirational future.

Question is: how much is this convenience worth? Enough to also change my AirPods 3 battery case if/when they make the switch? Not sure.

Might be one of those cases where the last iPhone’s with Lightning will depreciate at a higher rate than usual. Next year is starting to sound like a good year to buy used.

October 25, 2022

Review the Review

I’m in the middle of a role-change at works, and that has thrown a few of my routines out of whack. The biggest one being the Weekly Review.

In a fun one step forward, two steps backs — I’d started doing a short daily review as part of my shutdown practice. While it’s a bit of a pain, I’ve found it extremely helpful to close the day and disconnect. However, when the daily review started failing, it took the weekly with it.

As I procrastinate on today’s daily review by writing this, I wonder if I should refocus on the weekly or bite the bullet finish the work day.

October 24, 2022

New Keychron K3 Pro in Kickstarter

The Keychron K3 Pro is the world’s first low profile wireless mechanical keyboard with QMK/VIA enabled for endless possibilities. Everyone can easily customize any key or create macro commands through VIA software on the ultra-slim yet durable K3 Pro.

Starting at $89 and shipping in December”. It comes with PBT keycaps and more standard placement of stabilizers.

It looks like a more serious NuPhy Air75, which is a good things for me. If they keep the price under $100, I may get one next year.

October 24, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 43

  • Medley: iOS music player that looks like pre-iOS 6 Music app. Sadly doesn’t work with Spotify.
  • Buzz: OpenAI’s Whisper for Intel Mac, Windows and Linux. No Apple Silicon yet.
  • Note: music(ish) app for iOS for beats, samples melodies. Part companion to desktop App.
  • Velja: macOS browser picker with rules. Will likely replace Choosy for me after 14 years.
  • Copy URL: macOS App that shows as a browser, copies the URL passed to it and then quits. Works great with Velja above.
October 24, 2022

Requiem Reading

My book reading has taken a nosedive over the last few months. Some book choices haven’t helped, but that’s no excuse. So it’s time for another experiment.

Starting today I have to read 5 pages of any book daily. That’s the system: fixed number of pages. Hopefully the number can go up in a few months, but that matters less than the daily reading minimum.

October 23, 2022

On macOS 13.0 Ventura

Not much to say yet. Stage Manager, the main reason I upgraded, is interesting. Will give it a week, but during the first day, it hasn’t gotten in the way.

The new System Settings is atrocious. I may be one of the few that liked the throwback of System Preferences. Since Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar was the OS of my first iBook G3, it was a nice reminder of 20 years of computing.

All in all, I’m always excited with macOS updates — and extra excited if I get a new Window Management feature.

October 22, 2022

Day One Web App in Development

We also have a development team entirely focused on a new Web-based app to allow Day One to work in a web browser in an optimized way while remaining secure and encrypted.

And Coming Soon: Day One on the Web :

We’re hard at work building a web-based version of Day One that will allow secure and encrypted journaling from within your favorite web browser like Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.

I’m happy with native apps. The macOS version did throw Markdown under a bus a few years back — and that made me stopped using it for anything not that is not Journaling.

I still remember Day One Publish — their weblog tool. That was before microblog as a thing. Now that they are owned by Automattic, it would be cool to see some publishing integration with Wordpress — as a one-stop blog service.

October 22, 2022

Consistent Shortcuts

If my über-geekness shows anywhere, it is on how peculiar I am with keyboard shortcuts. Go back a decade on this blog, you’ll find a post about triggering bookmarklets with shortcuts.

Thankfully, present day macOS is a garden for multiple way to go nuts with keyboard shortcuts at the OS level — and darling Obsidian literally allows assigning one to any command. Please hold me.

That said, apps sometimes develop different conventions for similar actions: Things and Fantastical, have completely different commands to go to today. So very uncivilized.

What to do? What to do? Most of the time I try to allow both shortcuts to develop muscle memory. If the apps are different enough — task manager and calendar — it works. Other times, I catch myself using the keyboard commands in the wrong place. This means war. The most logical one must survive — even if you can argue my sanity didn’t.

All is fine… until a third app implements the shortcut that was voted out of the island.

October 21, 2022

Obsidian 1.0 Released

ericax on

Obsidian 1.0 introduces two big changes: a UI overhaul and an new tabbed interface. We’ve put a lot of care into making the app more approachable and more accessible. We’ve also prioritized using more native OS features for menus, windows, and many details.


Calling Obsidian 1.0” is a scary thing. It comes with a lot of expectations and means both everything and nothing. It doesn’t mean Obsidian is feature complete, it doesn’t mean it’s bug-free. But it does still mark an important milestone. It means we’re proud enough to drop the word beta”.We have grand plans to continue making Obsidian the best and most refined thought-processing app for decades to come. Obsidian 1.0 is just the start.

Obsidian completely transformed how I worked during the first year of the pandemic. Similar to Keynote and Superhuman, it made all my synapsis trigger at once while I shouted Eureka! the first time I used it.

I may be exaggerating the first time use, but this is no exaggeration: Obsidian is the tool that generates more value in my software stack. I’m very excited to see where it will go next.

October 21, 2022

Plan, Do, Repeat

I tend to go on planning binges, where I over analyze situations and over plan. In many cases I don’t even execute. Which makes these rabbit holes the most pathetic daydreams possible.

The concept of iterating as part of planning has helped me a lot. Over the years I keep trying to manifest it with some catchy habit goal:

  • Learn by Doing
  • Let the Error Happen
  • Motion & Action

But the point is the same: in thinking about solutions to a problem, the point diminishing returns arrives early one. You can afford a few wrong decisions in the same timeframe and end up with a much better (informed) solution.

October 20, 2022

Workflow Interrupted

I’ve mentioned non-zero days before. But the gist of it is: on those days when everything got in the way — including yourself — just do one thing. The difference between an irrelevant and a relevant one thing is for you to ponder, we all have the yardstick in the back of our minds.

It’s a magical psychological trick. But it works. Even if you waste a day in an 1x task, which is shameful. That’s still a lot more than a 0x day.

I want to revisit 1x, 10x, 100x and 1000x tasks soon. But what better way to set the stage for it than almost having a 0x day?

October 19, 2022

A Day for Review

Almost missed today’s update. Actually, not sure if I’m going to make even as I write this. Which makes this a great day to check compliance.

Overall it hasn’t been hard. Filtering these posts from RSS and social feeds has worked. It helps me feel ok about writing reflective posts without clear messaging.

Posting the directly with tomorrow’s 12am time has also worked great. It helps me fail forward. Makes me have to opt-out of the post. Might as well finish it.

Finally, days when I get something down in the morning a much much easier. Either creativity goes down throughout the day, or the voice in my head judging each sentence gets louder.

Was going to negotiate with myself to allow snippet post count as the daily post. No dice. Dailies shall continue.

October 18, 2022

Earlish Adopter

I fancy considering myself an early adopter — but with time I’ve become more conservative with core technologies. Sometimes this is reflected on an aversion to beta versions: iOS/macOS, Obsidian, even services like Tana.

Other times, I hold myself back with a technology to give it time. At the moment, I’m really excited to incorporate Whisper’s voice recognition into my workflow. But instead of diving-in, I’ve setup search alerts to keep an eye out on a less geeky macOS release and/or some sort of online service to take some of the setup pain away.

I’m all about testing the rollercoaster on opening day… I just prefer the afternoon slots.