January 17, 2021

Don Melton Main Machine Is Now Windows

Don Melton, on his blog:

Is Windows as elegant or easy as macOS? Hell no. But it works fine for typical tasks and, really, it’s ideal for gaming and transcoding. The real surprise is its flexibility as a development platform. Didn’t see that one coming.

Don is started the Safari and WebKit projects at Apple, and is someone I admire and enjoy listening to. So I’ll get down my high horse for a while about Windows PCs.

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Recent tidbits

  • Whirl: iPad app for ephemeral sketching.
  • Spaceman: View your Spaces / Virtual Desktops number or name in the menu bar.
  • Analog: Beautiful paper card based productivity system.
  • CotEditor: Swift Plain-Text Editor for macOS.
January 15, 2021

Satechi Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard

Nice looking keyboard from satechi.net:

Apple users in mind, the keyboard features a full QWERTY layout, multi-device Bluetooth connection, and macOS function keys — all with a smaller, more compact size.

I’m patiently waiting for my Keychron K3 Ultra-slim — but alongside a new iMac, a dark keyboard is a must for me.

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January 15, 2021

Rumors on Redesigned iMac with Apple Silicon Chips

Mark Gurman on bloomberg.com:

The new models will slim down the thick black borders around the screen and do away with the sizable metal chin area in favor of a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor. These iMacs will have a flat back, moving away from the curved rear of the current iMac. 

One of these will be on my home office (closet) by the end of the year.

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January 11, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 2

  • Unclack: macOS utility that mutes your microphone while you type.
  • OpenIn.app: macOS application for smart link handling for browsers, emails and files.
  • TabFS: browser extension that mounts your browser tabs as a filesystem.
  • Apparency: Preview macOS Apps details like Gatekeeper, notarization, hardening, entitlements and more. Includes Quicklook plugin.
  • iPreview: Everything geeky Quicklook plugin — since Glance appears to have stopped working.
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December 27, 2020

My 2020 Sofware and Hardware of the Year

A quick look back at the software and hardware that I feel made a significant difference this crazy year. Neither an exhaustive list, nor representative of what I used the most — simply a nod to those items that brought me some joy.

Software of the year: Obsidian.

While I have a history of falling heads of heals for new software, it’s been a long time since an app so completely changed my workflows — and even my setup. I expect Obsidian to continue to influence how I work and play digitally in 2021.

Software Runners Up:

  • Hook: right now it’s mostly a suplemental app to Obsidian. Hook enables me to easily create links to anything in my file system and paste them in a text file. Although a single feature utility at the moment, I see its use growing as my workflow moves away from app silos into a linked file and folder system.

  • TextSniper: during the 4 months I worked on the MacBook Air 13in screen, I spent a lot of time optimizing my movement across apps. This simple OCR app removed a small but continued friction point: carefully selecting text and cleaning up before the next stop. Seems silly, but I realized I would be in a flow and suddenly would have to slow down to carefully copy some text somewhere (HTML link, PDF, screenshot on bug report) before continuing.

Hardware of the year: Dell PC2421DC

Four months into the quarantine, I broke down and started to look for a monitor. Of course I would have loved a retina display, but Apple doesn’t sell the iMac’s 27in 5k display as a stand alone monitor. I initially worried about a 24in monitor with the same pixel count (2560 x 1440) as the 27in one I have at work — the contrary happened: the lower pixel density of the larger display now looks funny. Add the 1 cable USB C charging/connection and additional USB Type A ports, and this has become my favorite monitor ever.

Hardware Runners Up

  • Standing Desk Converter: while I’m linking to the one I bought, my recognition is mostly to the concept of standing desks. My health would have been suffered if I had not used this on the dinner table table for 7 months.

  • Microsoft Precision Mouse: I initially bought the Space Grey Magic Mouse — which is the one I’ve used at work for some years. But after a week, my wrist pain was considerable1, so I search for classically ergonomic mouse. Since the Logitech MX3 wasn’t available, I went for this Microsoft one and the pain was gone the next day2.


  1. My theory is that at the office I have a lot more interruptions/breaks than I thought, which allows the wrist to rest.

  2. I should mention it does seem to have some bluetooth conflict with my Keychron keyboard, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint who’s to blame since they work together fine on the iPad and the 2015 MacBook Pro.

December 27, 2020

Hide Brave Rewards on Twitter, Reddit and GitHub

ircrp on reddit.com:

  1. Navigate to brave://rewards/
  2. Scroll all the way down and press on the settings button of Tips section
  3. Untick the Reddit option (and all the other ones you desire)
  4. Restart the browser

This was driving crazy, seems they added it recently for Github, and since Brave is my work browser — I had to stare at the tip/rewards icon it injected on every comment.

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December 14, 2020

Things Parser 3 for Drafts

Peter Davison-Reiber on polymaths.blog:

For Things Parser 3 […] I decided to use the popular and well-supported TaskPaper format.

If you use Things and Drafts, this is a must have. May take a bit to get used to the TaskPaper format again, but prefer to use the common format.

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December 7, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 49

  • text.fish: Useful page reader than can get around some paywalls.
  • Ejectify: Automatically unmounts external volumes when your Mac starts sleeping.
  • Grist: open-source SQLite-based spreadsheet with Python formulas. I like.
  • Radicle: secure peer-to-peer code hosting. This could be the start of something.
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November 30, 2020

Wyze Noise-Cancelling Headphones Review

Jon L. Jacobi, on techhive.com:

As I’ve said several times now, the Wyze headphones are super comfortable and do a stellar job of shutting off the sound from the outside world. They sound good if not great in that mode, and very good when not cancelling noise. Head to head, I’d give a slight nod to the aforementioned WH-XB900n’s in terms of sound. Then again, the Sony’s are four times the price. $50.

Wyze is going for the Uniqlo of smart products, and as the owner of several of them, I think they’re on their way.

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November 30, 2020

Remembering the Post PC

Horace Dediu, on www.asymco.com:

And so I’m writing this post on a Mac. The graph you see above was created on the Mac. It’s possible to do all this my iPad and even on my iPhone but it would be harder. But I’m also willing to bet you’re reading this on a phone.

And that’s the crux of it. The PC is still the machine of choice for authoring while the device is the machine of choice for consuming and consuming will always be more popular. What the iPad has done is taken a share of PC use and in my case I do use it for some tasks like email a lot more frequently. The theory would suggest that the iPad will continue its upward trajectory while the PC would abandon the low end.

I subscribe to this reality. While I rather take my MacBook over my iPhone or iPad if taken to a deserted island, my wife has switched most of her work to an 2018 iPad Pro with Brydge keyboard. It was initially out of necessity — her MacBook Pro was in Costa Rica while we were in the US — but it was enough to change her workflow.

The M1 Macs have push out/up that tipping point for me, but overall the bar has been raised, and that’s a great thing.

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November 30, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 48

  • TEXTREME: text processor with crazy effects.
  • Is Apple silicon ready?: great resource to check if Apps are universal yet. The more info links are great to see what’s the official word.
  • Mail-To-Merge: rudimentary-yet-smart mail merge solution to get you out of a bind.
  • Badgen: cool badge generating service.
  • Universe app for building websites now available for Mac.
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November 29, 2020

More to the M1 Than Speed

Howard Oakley, on eclecticlight.co:

But above performance, battery life and heat production is usability. The M1 Mac’s new Recovery Mode is already in a different league from Intel Macs when it comes to usability. For me, that’s one of the most compelling reasons to buy an M1 model.

If it weren’t for the international shipping and taxes, I would have ordered an M1 Mac Mini.

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November 27, 2020

Vivaldi Mail Technical Preview

Jon von Tetzchner on vivaldi.com/blog/:

We are excited for you to test the new Vivaldi Mail. Some people fondly call it M3 and there is a bit of history to this that I’ll share later.

[…]

In fact, I’d admit that one of the reasons for Vivaldi’s existence is to provide a browser with a built-in email client. And today we have the first glimpse of it.

[…]

The cornerstone of Vivaldi is the database. All your mails from all your accounts are indexed, therefore searchable offline. If you prefetch your mails, we index all the content of the mails as well even before they are opened.

Used to love Opera’s M2 — even became an annoying purist that wouldn’t open internal mails that weren’t plain text while I worked there.

Then the convenience of Gmail won me over. But many mail clients later (currently Superhuman), I’m always game to try a new old one.

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November 27, 2020

Hook & Obsidian Sitting in a Tree

Luc Beaudoin, on hookproductivity.com:

Hook will soon fully support Obsidian. That means you’ll be able to invoke Hook in the context of an Obsidian document and use Hook’s handy Copy Link, Copy Markdown Link , Hook to Copied Link, and other functions.

Great news. Both apps have become critical in my workflow during the past 6 months. Right now they work together with a bit of friction — still totally worth the effort.

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