October 18, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 42

  • komorebi: free tiling Window Management for Windows.
  • Keypoints: upcoming Mac note-taking and PDF highlighting app which stores notes in Markdown format.
  • Keyb: type with one hand on macOS. Hold down the spacebar, and the left and right half of your keyboard swap places.
  • Sloth: native Mac app that shows all open files, directories, sockets, pipes, and devices in use.
October 9, 2021

The Tao of Mac on Windows 11

Rui Carmo, on taoofmac.com:

I’m a bit weirded out by this, but, overall, the multitasking UX on Windows is actually better than on the Mac for me right now.

In all the review videos, this is what makes me both curious and envious. Mac window management is stuck on the Snow Leopard era. With smaller screens and less powerful multitasking than we have now.

Just like with other Windows windowing features, I hope 3rd party apps implement them soon.

October 8, 2021

Markdown Footnotes now supported in GitHub


You can now use footnote syntax in any Markdown field!Footnotes are displayed as superscript links. Click them to jump to their referenced information, displayed in a new section at the bottom of the document

My blogging workflow is mostly based on Drafts and Shortcuts - but for a while I used Github Issues with labels and Integromat. It worked really well, but the lack of footnotes was the main blocker.

Already used it in a couple of work issues.

October 5, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 40

  • ActiveTab: makes it easier to spot the active tab in Safari 15 on Mac by drawing a line below it. How far have we fallen.
  • Texty: native macOS app for Google Messages. Looks clean and fast — dreaming of a day I can use this for GoogleFi.
  • WhichSpace: menubar item that shows which space is currently active on macOS.
  • tape it: iOS App for songwriting & audio recording. Looks simple and powerful. Looking for way to use it.

  • BrowserParrot: local browsing history search engine for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Safari. Currently on macOS only.

  • Barrier: software that mimics the functionality of a KVM switch for Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD.
October 4, 2021

Stephen Hackett on the New iPad mini

Stephen Hackett, on 512pixels.net:

Its small size — and lack of a first-party keyboard case — means that I don’t feel any tension about not using it for work. Its form factor has freed me up to use the iPad how I want, without feeling like I’ve relegated an amazing tablet to something below its station in life.

I’m flipping my 2018 iPad Pro 11in for the new mini. It seems to be the digital moleskine / new Newton™ I’m always looking for.

September 28, 2021

Weekly Work Review

Every Friday at 4pm, I have a 42min meeting with a link to an Obsidian file. The file contains the following template:

  • Emails Sorted
  • Review Folder 1 Projects
  • Next Week Calendar
  • Things Work Tasks
  • Sort Download Files Folder Tidy.app

Each has a link that makes it actionable on the Mac1. The intent of each:

  • Email Sorted: my passive aggressive version of InboxZero. It allows me to reach a clean inbox, but allows a lot of email snoozing.
  • Review Folder 1 Projects: opens the folder, and I try to have no more than 5 folders there. Inactive’s or done projects are moved to 4 Archive.
  • Next Week Calendar: opens Fantastical. I try to move around meetings from a high-level view, and make block some focus time.
  • Things Work Tasks: although most of my tasks are in Obsidian, there’s still items that will fall in my Things work area.
  • Sort Download Files: Use Folder Tidy to sort the Download folder. Afterwards I’ll usually rescue some files to either add to a project above or group into a folder and send to 4 Archive or to a 2 Areas sub-folder.

This check list is linked at the end of my weekly notes with the name Weekly Review 2021w38.md for historical reasons.

  1. Mostly with the help of Hook.↩︎

September 27, 2021

Debugging as a Project Stage

In a typical meeting where the team has neglected QA and is flying head-first into a release wall, I would throw the cliche at them:

Measure twice and cut once.

Far from being true, this is a last ditch attempt to soften the (crash)landing. In reality — if involved earlier — I would have found a way to transmit the opposite:

Guesstimate quickly, then measure and cut multiple times.

Rarest is the case when there’s enough information on a new project or implementation where you can accurately estimate what you don’t know. There’s all sorts of tricks in which you multiply what you expect based on other experiences.

For best results I’ve found that you must incorporate debug time after the design as part of the overall process. In the majority of cases, the debug part will take considerably longer — regardless of how long to design takes.

Thinking your design is proven because of the time it took, will take you down a dark path. Design and debugging are independent. If you do have a hard date, take time off the design and give it to debugging. It will not be pretty, but it will deliver.

September 27, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 39

  • OK JSON: Format and View JSON on macOS. Careful with what you paste online.
  • bonsai: interesting Web Browser for research”. Some new usable new paradigms here.
  • Mirror Magnet: Floating Camera Viewer for macOS. Useful for presenting.
  • Peek v2: Advanced Quick Look for 324+ filetypes.
  • Overbrowsered: open links in the most recently used browser, instead of a default one. Still using Choosy, but I like this model also.
  • Booby Track: keep track of breastfeeds, on iPhone and Apple Watch. TMI, but this would have been useful 4 years ago.
  • WebCrate: web based link organizer. Very interesting.
September 26, 2021

Mindset Snapshot at Forty

Turned 40 today. Here’s a snapshot of the mantras and tenets of my personal OS. I have picked up these from friends & family, reading and remixed my own1. Some I’ve had for a long time, other’s have become important more recently.

  • Mind the Joy: be mindful of the moment — even stuck in traffic with screaming kids, you’re together, safe, loved and heading to a home. Very few moments in our life are one’s we rather not-exist than be in them.

  • Think Positive: this is a better take than Marcus Aurelius’ not being afraid of tomorrow. Things have an amazing way of working out. Of course there’s a lot of biases and human adaptability behind this, but who cares? Use it to your advantage.

  • Be Proactive: a recent reframing of be a good person from Marcus Aurelius’– at least much more actionable.

  • Writing Helps Thinking: doesn’t matter if it’s on a napkin you throw away or a text file, all thoughts are ephemeral until you attempt to externalize them. Writing is the simplest, cheapest, fastest and best lifehack you have.

  • Never Keep Score in Relationships: specially in marriage. If you are thinking in terms of net-positive or negative, you’re doing it wrong and somehow it always shows. We’ve been part of tribes for millennia, we all have a sixth sense about it.

  • Find the Fun: it takes less effort than being mad. It’s like polarized sunglasses for reality — doesn’t change it, but it gives you more detail with less strain.

  • Remove Negatives Before Adding Positives: helps a lot in buying gadgets, but applies to everything.

  • Put on Your Mask Before Helping Others: works in flight emergencies and in life. Notice that you still help others, but careful with continuously placing others needs ahead of yours. The burden on you will be multiple times more than the benefits of the other. Or if flipped: a slight delay on taking care of the other might not be noticeable for them, but provide a much needed breather for you.

Hope you notice the lack of productivity in the above. I’ll revisit this soon, but it’s not an accident.

  1. Which means they’re likely stolen.↩︎

September 2, 2021

Summer of the Mini Tablets

This year’s batch of e-Ink mini tablets have awakened something within me. The existence of sub $400 tablets with a readable screen, pen support and moleskine size is a great thing for a still in-recovery Newton fan as myself.

The top two in my radar are:

Tablet Size (mm) Weight (g) Price
BOOX Nova Air 194 x 136.5 x 6.3 235 $349.99
Supernote A5 X 178 x 245 x ?? 375 ~$350.001

Estimated tablet sizesEstimated tablet sizes

Both of these devices use an Android based OS, which allow it to run Google Play apps — like Amazon Kindle — with a little configuration. Of course anything with a high refresh rate or wide color range won’t work great. But most reports are that for reading, they’re fine.

Note taking is limited to the included apps for the same reason — any Android app (like Nebo) would have a terrible screen lag.

Guestimated lineupGuestimated lineup

Here’s where the rumored mini elephant in the room shows it’s head: the iPad mini 6 is expected to be an all screen device, in the same form factor as the iPad Air. In other words, a beautiful beast of a tablet. With all the power of a regular iPad — and it’s ease of distraction.

I also expect the iPad mini to increase its $399 base price, in addition to at least $100 for an Apple Pen. Which makes the a checklist comparison difficult. They are really different categories.

So while I will maybe go with a cheaper/smaller Android eInk reader-only device in the future, I do love the idea of these devices. And you can bet someone will be running the NewtonOS on these for fun soon. For sure awaking something within me then.

  1. Depending of which pen you choose. Without pen $299.99↩︎

August 23, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 34

  • Monterey Themes for Alfred: collection of Alfred Powerpack Themes inspired by Apple’s macOS Monterey appearance and accent color schemes.
  • Spotiqueue: Terribly simple macOS app for keyboard-based queue-oriented Spotify client.
  • ShowyEdge: super clear indicator of the current input source for macOS.
August 16, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 33

  • Fastmarks: powerful keyboard-driven bookmark manager for macOS. Almost ready to add this to my toolset.
  • Fugit: nice looking digital desktop clock for macOS.
  • Titls: iOS widget that adds titles to homescreens.
  • Sniptt: end-to-end encrypted secrets via a one-time URL. Destructed once viewed, or after specified expiration.
August 15, 2021

Squatting or Kneeling May Be Beneficial for Health

Emily Gersema, on pressroom.usc.edu:

The USC-led team has shown that resting postures used before the invention of chairs — like squatting and kneeling — may hold the answer, as they involve higher levels of muscle activity then chair-sitting.

I enjoy these reminders that practices thousands of years old are still applicable — even advantageous:

In fact, the Hadza are sedentary for about as much time — around 9 to 10 hours per day — as humans in more developed countries. However, they appear to lack the markers of chronic diseases that are associated, in industrialized societies, with long periods of sitting.

I’ve started doing some flat feet kneeling as part of my stretch routing.

August 15, 2021

1password Abandons its Native Mac App

Jason Snell, on sixcolors.com:

A banner Mac app and app developer has abandoned a platform-native app for the same web-based wrapper it’s using on Windows. Even if it’s the best Electron app you’ve ever seen, it won’t be the same—and more than that, it says something painful about the future of Mac software.

Jason put in words my conflicting initial feelings regarding 1Passwords 8 move to Electron + Rust.

Still, my fatalistic reaction was tempered as first looks of the beta version started coming out:

The end to my hysterics came with Michael Fey post on blog.1password.com regarding how they ended with the current front-end:

Ultimately we decided for a two-prong approach. We would build two Mac apps. One written in SwiftUI that targeted the latest operating systems and another using web UI that allowed us to cover older OSes.

This would have been what I expected to happen — what an old school macOS dev shop would have done. Yet, no plan survives encountering reality (as in, Apple’s APIs):

Despite the fact that SwiftUI allowed us to share more code than ever between iOS and macOS, we still found ourselves building separate implementations of certain components and sometimes whole features to have them feel at home on their target OS.

They tried, they planned for it, but it didn’t work out as expected. It still stings, because 10 years ago AgileBits would have never considered not having and fully native app. It’s that loss that bothers me, not so much the front-end tech stack. Specially given my current most used app, is an electron infidel.

August 10, 2021

Readwise’s New Obsidian Integration


This integration will automatically sync all of your highlights with Obsidian including enriched metadata and a powerful template system for formatting your exports to your bespoke preferences.

It’s official, and working great.

August 10, 2021

elementary OS 6 Odin Available

Cassidy James Blaede on blog.elementary.io:

It’s been a long road to elementary OS 6—what with a whole global pandemic dropped on us in the middle of development—but it’s finally here. elementary OS 6 Odin is available to download now.

Very good looking release. In a world where I have to abandon macOS, elementary and POP!_OS would be my two first choices.

August 8, 2021

First Look at the Official Readwise Obsidian Plugin

Ben Newton on Medium.com:

With this new plugin, you can continuously bring in your latest highlights, along with the metadata for books, or articles, or tweets from your Readwise account into Obsidian. From there, you can incorporate the notes into your note-taking work flow.

There’s a few community ones, but I’ve been waiting for the official version to rethink some of my current workflows — specially the ones that use Goodreads.

August 5, 2021

Superhuman raises $75M Series C

Rahul Vohra, on blog.superhuman.com:

This new funding will enable us to bring Superhuman to everybody, starting with the hundreds of millions of people who use Outlook and Android.

Yes please. I’ve been using a number of Mac and iOS email clients ever since we switched to Office 365 at work — and nothing comes close to Superhuman in terms of speed and design.

The silver lining is that my work sessions have somewhat improved, since doing my email sweep now is something I do less often.

August 2, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 31

  • Anybuffer: newish clipboard manager for iOS.
  • TRex: free text extraction tool for macOS. I use TextSniper, but this seems very similar.
July 30, 2021

Productivity and Energy

Lorenzo Gravina, on trms.me:

The most crucial element in productivity is not picking the right method. It’s not organizing your calendar. It’s not keeping a to-do list. The important bit is actually doing the thing you need to do. And to do the thing, you need energy.

I tend to go on productivity rabbit holes, this is a reminder of what’s really important.

July 12, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 28

  • Esse: out of nowhere text transformation for iOS and macOS.
  • Mailo: Mail to self reincarnated for iOS.
  • Brickit: iOS (soon Android) app to get Lego ideas from showing it your bricks.
  • Fomalhaut2: nice and free comic viewer for macOS.
  • Transloader: start downloads on Macs remotely from iOS, or other Macs.
  • Dynamo: Safari extension to control YouTube’s speed and skip ads.
  • Moped: full native Notepad macOS, with a touch of modern syntax highlight and themes.
  • Fontshare: very nice professional grade fonts free for personal and commercial use.
July 12, 2021

Universal Actions Coming in Alfred 4.5


Alfred 4.5 brings a new Powerpack feature; Universal Actions. Take any text, URLs or files and perform actions on them from anywhere within Alfred or on your Mac using your Universal Action hotkey.


With the new Universal Actions, you can select text in your browser, a URL in an email or a file on your Desktop and pop up Alfred’s Actions panel to choose what to do with your content. Start anywhere and jump into action.

I’ve been using Suffix Web Search to get around this in previous version — and it really leveled up my use of Alfred. Very excited about this feature.

July 12, 2021

Habit Tweaks: Eating

After a few days in Europe, I’m reminded of how easy it is to eat trash food in the US. The key being how processed everything is1. Choosing to snack on fruits, or have a quick lunch of tomatoes and fresh cheese did help me feel much better — even if I was still eating like a pig on vacation.

Now that we’re back on routine, I need to fine tune my previous eating habits, most of which I was failing. So I’m removing No S Diet, and replacing it with:

  • Prime Ingredients: eat/purchase food with the least ingredients in the label (1, 2, 3, 5, 7)

As usual, don’t read too much into the naming. It just needs to be something something catchy that helps you remember and nudge you towards the desired habit.

I still need to support this with another habit. Likely it will be a formal return to interment fasting, with smaller eating window (18/6?).

  1. You still won’t find a rant against the food industry from me. Mass production of food makes life in the 21st century an unimaginable heaven compared to 200 years ago.↩︎

June 22, 2021

Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox Series X / S consoles

Tom Warren, on theverge.com:

Microsoft Flight Simulator is landing on Xbox Series X / S consoles on July 27th. Available on Xbox Game Pass, it’s the first next-gen-exclusive Xbox Game Studios title as Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t launching on Xbox One.

I’m fairly close to buying an Xbox S and connecting to my Dell monitor just to play Flight Simulator. But I’m going to wait to see how it performs on xCloud. If it’s comparable, I rather just pay the $10 for the cloud service.

However, the $25 a month for an Xbox S with game pass will sound more justifiable if the gameplay changes a lot. Will have to wait until September it seems.

June 22, 2021

Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s New Band

Allison Hussey and Matthew Ismael Ruiz, on pitchfork.com:

Performing in a corrugated shed with what appeared to be a parachute as a roof, the Smile ran through eight new songs in just more than 30 minutes, with Yorke and Greenwood shuffling between guitars, bass, a Moog synthesizer, and a Fender Rhodes. Yorke introduced the band with a bit of a riddle: Ladies and gentlemen, we are called The Smile.’ Not the smile as in ahh!’, more The Smile’ as in, the guy who lies to you every day….”

Just like Star Wars, I rather live in world that still produces Radiohead albums every few years. I need to listen to the set a few more times, but if this the sort of no pressure album 66% of Radiohead will produce, I’m in.

Also, the website is amazing.

June 22, 2021

Bryan — a Font in Honor of Jon Hicks Dad

Jon Hicks, on hicks.design:

Growing up I was subconsciously inspired by the different aspects of design that he introduced to me, from mid-century vinyl record covers to architecture and signage. In particular, his distinctive architect’s handwriting was very evocative to me, and I decided I should try and capture it as a font. It could be something carrying his name that outlives him, and also something else to talk to him about.

So wish this was my handwriting — I also can see using it designs where some analog warmth is needed. Never mind the great story behind it, from one of the designers I admire the most.

June 22, 2021

Rethinking Recovery and Re-Installing macOS

Howard Oakley on eclecticlight.co:

Best practice for an M1 Mac is to ensure that it’s fully backed up, Data and external volumes only, to separable external storage. Should a problem arise which require Recovery, then it should be started up in primary Recovery mode. If necessary, it can then have its macOS container erased, a fresh copy installed, and migration performed from the backup. Cloning to or installing macOS on a backup disk serves no useful purpose, and just wastes 15 GB of space.

The rules have have changed. I’ve focused my backup workflow on cloud redundancy for files and photos. This breaks the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies, in 2 devices, and 1 offsite. Having two different cloud copies, shouldn’t count. But given the changes in macOS — mostly SuperDuper, I got lazy.

No more, on my calendar is to have have my new backup strategy set by July 31st — a full 8 months before the next World Backup Day.

June 21, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 25

  • WordCounter: tracks your writing productivity on MacOS.
  • One Goal: have goal always visible on the menu bar.
  • Moodmonk: iOS mood journal that suggest positive content, daily affirmations, exercises, and thoughts.
  • Catapult: macOS menu-app that let’s you create or open your projects easily.
June 14, 2021

A Missed Hello Becomes a Lost Goodbye

Last week a childhood friend passed away. The type of close friend where we called each other cousins — and our parents were uncles correspondingly. We drifted away over the years. Can’t remember the last interaction we had other than some BS over WhatsApp.

On Friday I dreamt of him. I knew it was a dream so I just enjoyed his presence. It’s amazing what we can make out of the randomness our cortex throws at us. It was just as I remembered being with him. His brash jokes, his roaring laughter, his inability with staying put, and also his bravery.

It was fighter pilot type bravery. Literally jump out of plane, scuba under rocks, motorcycle up a vertical wall while screaming like a maniac bravery.

He was not fearless. I know, for a very small window of time — I rode in front of him on our enduro trips. But he would get a look of determination, he didn’t allow himself to be the obstacle. He was going to always try. He lead most trips very soon.

I know there’s little we could both have done to stay closer. Paths just diverge, and when both emigrate the common ground fades even more. But it pains me that over the last year I had one thousand awake minutes every day to do a quick call. Ask him what’s up, remember a fall, or a whole weekend fixing a damn carburador.

Too late. He’s gone. But if I’m feeling hollow for missing a minute in a year — can’t imagine what those that are lamenting missing a lifetime with him are feeling.

June 7, 2021

WWDC 2021

What a great start. The keynote itself was ok, but the overall feeling of a iterative improvements gave us fantastic features and updates. Rapid fire thoughts:

  • Shortcuts for Mac: mentally insert a yes! GIF here. Still waiting for details, but having automatization and easy scriptability across the platforms is great news.
  • Better iPadOS Multitasking: better as in button based window management — rather than hard to discover and remember gestures — is a huge improvement.
  • Safari redesign: in fairness, of course the desktop features Opera did it all first™, and the new design is a close cousin of Firefox’s 89. But the Mobile Safari UX looks sweet.
    • Extensions for iOS/iPadOS: gets a double sweet from me. Hopefully now my favorite extensions will finally come to Safari.
  • Live Text: OCR across all your images is a powerful and useful feature.
  • Universal Control: is typical Apple, a feature that has existed for years on other platforms/3rd party apps, but done in such an elegant and integrated way it sets a new high bar.
  • Focus: very simple profiles for notifications, but happy it’s available across all platforms also.
  • iCloud+: confused, all I understood is now I get a free VPN with my iCloud plan.
  • Quick Notes: already have this with Drafts on Mac, but useful on the iPad when using the Pen.
  • On Device Siri: hopefully means faster Siri for simple tasks. Not holding my breath.
  • macOS Monterey:
    • On device Dictation: without 60 timeout will be useful.
    • New Split View Options: minor but great for me, you can now swap full screen split windows or make them both go full screen without having to return to regular size first.
June 1, 2021

Firefox Redesign

Selena Deckelmann on blog.mozilla.org:

We redesigned these tabs so that they floated neatly, and we added the visual indicators, like blocking autoplay videos until you’re ready to visit that tab. We detached the tab from the browser to invite you to move, rearrange and pull out tabs into a new window to suit your flow, and organize them so they’re easier for you to find.

I really like it. Very clean. Will use it the rest of the week — although I don’t see myself leaving Brave.

Also of note: with the M1, all browsers feel crazy fast. Not sure if the baseline speed of these machines is the contributing factor, but Firefox 89 flies on my MacBook Air.

May 31, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 22

  • McClockface: collection timepiece widgets for the home screen.
  • Cloudron: self-hosting app manager and store.
  • WidgeTube: YouTube videos widget on the Home Screen.
  • SlideMark: Web app for creating markdown slides.
  • Trexy: Track Expenses Easily
  • Numbr: web currency calculator combined with a notepad.
  • UTC Time: Show the time in UTC in the menu bar or a widget.
May 24, 2021

Square Nears Launch of Checking, Savings Accounts

Mark Gurman, Kurt Wagner, and Jennifer Surane, on bloomberg.com:

Evidence of the still-unannounced plan appeared in hidden code in a recent update to Square’s app for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad. The code references both types of accounts and indicates that the checking version will integrate with Square’s existing debit card for businesses

The closure of Simple and transfer of its accounts to BBVA have been rough. The App, the fees and overall experience have not been great. Hoping Square is an option soon.

May 23, 2021
Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

Some books influence you, others are thought provoking — this one I gave as christmas gifts last year to my uncle and cousins-in-law. Which is to say, it’s a great book.

I didn’t buy into every single concept, my notes included lots of questions and counter-arguments. Never in exasperation though, but in a healthy debate with the authors voice in my mind.

Although I read this book about three years ago, the following passage has become part of my operating system, and I revisit it weekly:

Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t right” or wrong” based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration.

Like the above, other ideas continue to influence me: the difference between listening to a friend vent versus actually expecting advise, the difference between chess and games, using prospective hindsight for better planning. All these and other great nuggets of ideas could justify books of their own.

In this sense, this is the best sort of self-help book. It gives you a story, a set beliefs, evidence to back them up, and then challenges you to come up with a better answer.

It’s also a tight book, not driving a point over and over with different examples. The overall arc of the book does have a driving idea. But some chapters barely touches it before going down a different rabbit hole. Not all of them are as interesting or convincing. But all them make sense, and I don’t recall skimming over any.

I haven’t heard a lot of positive things about Annie Duke’s latest book — but I’m still going to give it a go. Thinking in Bets ROI has been so high that even a total dud would leave her in good standing with me.

May 21, 2021

Apple TV+ Is Making a Wool Series

Press Release on apple.com:

Wool” is a set in a ruined and toxic future where a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Ferguson will star as Juliette,’ an independent and hardworking engineer.

I went through all three books ../Books/Wool (Silo 1) last year — this could be a great series. And Ferguson as Juliette makes perfect sense to me know.

snippet snippets
May 20, 2021

Kobo Elipsa is a 10.3 inch e-note and eReader

Michael Kozlowski on goodereader.com:

Kobo has just announced the Elipsa, which is their first E INK product that is geared towards professionals. You can freehand draw, jot down notes, edit and make highlights in a dedicated app, and you can also do the same thing in PDF files and ebooks.

Looks a bit chunky to me, but glad the Kindle is getting some competition on the new_ish_ e-Ink reader/note taking category. Personally, the smaller Supernote A5 X seems more interesting, but Kobo’s reach is much more massive.

Update: Turns out the handwriting recognition is done by MyScript, who’s Nebo app is the best HWR software on the iPad. Still not getting one, but it does tip the scale.

May 19, 2021

Hidden Fantastical Settings


There are only so many settings a developer can put in a setting screen. Along the road of development, there are often niche settings that don’t make the cut. For better apps, developers often leave hidden settings to access via Terminal or URL callback.

Can’t believe I hadn’t linked to this. Extremely useful if Fantastical is your default Calendar.

These are the ones I use:

Always Show All: Set to YES (“1”) to have the details always visible in the event and reminder popover.


Dim All Past Items: Set to YES to dim all events and tasks on days in the past. This affects Mac and iOS, List, Month, Week, and Day View.


Default Event Duration: Specify the default event duration in seconds (gives finer control than the presets in the app). For example, to make a default event duration of 25 minutes, use 1500 seconds.

May 18, 2021

1Password for Linux Released

Dave Teare, on blog.1password.com:

But nothing beats a full-featured desktop app that takes advantage of everything the operating system has to offer, especially if it can make the browser experience itself better (spoiler alert: it does).

Nice to have in the hypothetical universe where I need to switch to Linux. Great to have in the current universe where the devOps stores the production environments credentials in a teams account.

May 17, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 20

  • Sleeve: currently playing track from Spotify & Apple Music, displayed right on Mac desktop.
  • VitalSigns 3: macOS system monitor for intel and M1 (beta).
  • Brave Playlist: Save for later for YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, Soundcloud and nearly any podcast. Interesting.
May 17, 2021

GTD Advanced Workflow Diagram

Scott Moehring ​on moehrbetter.com:

When I read GTD, there was an existing flowchart, but I wanted to make my own. It was supposed to be just for myself as a GTD binder cover insert. When I was done with the design, I was so happy with it that I shared it with David. He liked it and put it on his site as a free downloadable file.

Not new, but I crossed this great printable PDF before and lost it. Posting mostly as a note-to-self.

May 17, 2021

How M1 Macs Feel Faster Than Intel Models

Howard Oakley, on eclecticlight.co:

Benchmarks are all very well, but one almost universal comment made about M1 Macs is how much faster they feel, even when performance measurements don’t show as big a difference as we might like.

I tell anyone who asks about the speed: the late 2020 MacBook Air M1 feels consistently fast — not necessarily having a faster top speed — but plowing through every tasks that would slow down the early 2020 MacBook Air Intel.

Since I had two 16GB RAM MacBook Air’s back to back from each architecture over the last year — I was certain the speed difference wasn’t anecdotal over the same tasks. Which is supported by this explanation:

[…] Because those processes are handed over to the Efficiency cores, all they do now is slow other macOS background tasks, to which we’re much less sensitive.

And while there are many more elements, it mostly boils down to optimization:

[…] Because Macs with Intel processors can’t segregate their tasks onto different cores in the same way, when macOS starts to choke on something it affects user processes too.

The chip wars will argue for years if Apple Silicone is faster than other processors — but the integration that Apple now has will make the end result clear: M family will feel way faster.

May 16, 2021

You Can Take My Hand Coffee Grinder from My Cold, Dead Hands

Tyler Chin, on gearpatrol.com:

Most importantly, hand grinding my beans brings me closer to the hands that farmed them. I try to buy coffee from roasters that are sustainably and ethically sourcing their beans. Coffee farming is a labor-intensive job, sometimes with minimal profit. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel a connection to the farmers who spend their days making sure the rest of the world stays caffeinated.

I used a hand grinder during most of 2020. The above is a great sentiment, but I was so happy to be reunited with my electric grinder — and don’t think I’d ever switch voluntarily.