Recent tidbits

  • Command Palette • access to all Menu Bar functions of current focused app. I’m in love.
May 25, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 21

  • Vidrio puts transparent webcam behind your windows. Seems very useful for trainings.
  • Tinnire • generative music app to concentrate or relax. iOS and Android.
  • Calndr.link • simple and easy way to generate calendar links.
  • Glance • Quick Look previews for geeky files.
  • Ambiently • free iOS ambient sounds app with nice design.
  • Thyself • interesting journaling app in with a chat interface.
tidbits
May 23, 2020

The Reinvention of iPad

Dave B, on Medium:

I think that’s going to be a big story of iPadOS 14. I suspect more apps are going to be following this same path. Landscape and portrait orientation won’t merely be two aspect ratios of the same basic thing. Portrait orientation will continue to be designed for use as Tablet Mode’, and landscape will now be designed as the de facto Laptop Mode’.

Excellent take. Not sure if Apple will be this explicit about the orientation defining the experience, but sounds very smart.

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May 22, 2020

NASA Declares That SpaceX Is Ready to Fly Its First Crewed Mission

Eric Berger on arstechnica.com:

The flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, is set to begin at 4:33pm ET (20:33 UTC) on Wednesday, May 27.

Roberto Jorge, Roberto Andres and Roberto Francisco will be glued to the TV. Although I suspect it will likely have some delays — it’s been raining most afternoons in Florida, and I’m sure they’ll want everything to be perfect.

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May 20, 2020

Roundup of Remote Work Setups

Is not clear to me if we’re closer to the end of the WFM isolation or the begining. But here’s my favorite posts on the different setups from the makers of products I enjoy:

Josh Ginter, The Desks of The Sweet Setup

So here’s Blanc Media’s work-from-home setups, complete with a list of the main items in each setup. If you’re anything like us, you’re sure to be curious about a few of the coffee cups gracing these tables.

Jason Fried, The home office desks of Basecamp:

People are always curious about work-from-home (WFH), remote working setups. So, I posted a Basecamp message asking our employees to share a photo of their home office, desk, table, whatever. Here’s what came in.

Emily Marchant, The 1Password team share their work-from-home setups

Looking for inspiration for your work-from-home setup? From Studio Ghibli-inspired spaces to clean, minimalist setups, our team share what makes their workstations work for them.

I enjoy these posts so much. And while they can sometimes create an urge to purchase stuff — it’s also a reminder that sometimes the sausage gets made with fairly simple setups.

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May 19, 2020

Please Print (A Journaling Rant)

Patrick Rhone, on thecramped.com:

So please, I implore you, if you insist on journalling using any digital tool. Please also regularly print what you are writing.

I’m taking this to heart. Although the idea of my journal being out there is uncomfortable, it not existing — even to be dismissed — is a bit more.

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May 19, 2020
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
👍🏼

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Finished this last year, and surprisingly, some of its teachings have stuck. There’s a lot of little gold nuggets on the book, and it’s actually on my reread list, but the most useful concept for me was habit stacking:

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.

More than any other lifehack over the past year, this has helped me not waste time on start long a habit without the help of an existing one.

Like many good self-help books, you have to be careful with expectations. Great ones are life changing, but it usually takes a lifetime to measure the change.

I feel this is one of those books: the time invested reading will totally pay out by the small improvements that come from its pages. Even (specially?) if you make a habit of revisiting it.

May 18, 2020
A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)
👍🏼

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1) by Arkady Martine

If sci-fi as a genre was laid out on a table, with page turning galactic battles on one end and space opera’s on the other… then this book would put its feet on the table while rolling its eyes.

That said, it’s still closer to Asimov’s Foundation than Peter Hamilton, but the point stands: it does things differently than expected — than accepted, in fact.

This should be a boring book. If I tried to explain it at a party, people would be sad for my entertainment low bar1. But just like British drama, you can get away with so much when the characters are good.

And that’s the thing about A Memory Called Empire, I made friends and enemies of the characters, so I was along for the ride. Will absolutely read the next in the series when it’s out.


  1. As my best man and Robie’s godfather once said: you’re easily amused.

May 17, 2020

Listen(ing) Up

As the isolation eases up, I’m trying listen more and be openly curious of those around me. Most times I’m shy and respectful of others lives, and will not ask about areas I don’t feel the person gave me an opening.

I don’t think this is the right approach anymore. I will ask if I’m curious, and understand if the person doesn’t want to share. I will be more comfortable with silence, or at least not jump first to break it. In other words, I want this to be said about me someday:

He was humble, respectful, and listened more than he spoke.

📖 Ken Liu, The Grace of Kings

There’s a balance between being respectful and uninterested. I’m hoping to find mine.

May 16, 2020

Microsoft Precision Mouse on Mac

For some reason, during the last month using my beloved Magic Mouse became uncomfortable by the afternoon. I’ve been pulling some long hours on my travel setup, but the pain on my wrist was a bit worrying.

Enter the Microsoft Precision Mouse. I heard about it from John Siracusa and found a good deal on Amazon.

MS Precision MouseMS Precision Mouse

After a week, I’m in love. The wrist pain went away in one day — probably the magic of placebo — but I’ll take it.

One big part of it working from me is the app Mouse Fix. It allows the side buttons to work as previous/next desktop gestures, and most importantly: enables smooth scrolling.

MS Precision MouseMS Precision Mouse

With smooth scrolling in software, the mouse’s magnetic scrolling wheel feedback is extremely enjoyable. I don’t recall ever caring much for the sound of the scrolling wheel, but since this one is totally silent — I found myself toggling it on most of the time.

It’s not a cheap mouse, I got mine for $69, but it’s on the Magic Mouse price range. For the list price of $99 you’re probably better off looking at the Logitech MX Master 3, which is much more powerful for the price. But I didn’t want a monstrosity, just a good ergonomic mouse that allowed to replace gestures with buttons and didn’t look out of place next to my MacBook. And the Microsoft Precision Mouse delivers just that. Recommended.

May 13, 2020

Google’s Nest Aware New Pricing

Jon Porter on theverge.com:

The new model means that a single subscription now covers all of your Nest devices, rather than asking you to pay on a per-device basis.

Took them long enough, here’s yours truly 4 years ago:

[…] please, make it $10 a month for 3 cameras and suddenly I have more incentives to buy more than 1. I know video storage is not cheap, but your parent company might know a bit about cloud stuff.

Too late. Other than the two Nest’s I used as baby cams that now are in the rooms areas — I went all in on Wyze Cams throughout the house. Yes they’re way cheaper to buy, but it was the services cost that pushed me away.

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May 11, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 19

  • lite lightweight text editor written in Lua for Windows and Linux.
  • Blurred • reduce distraction by dimming your inactive background apps.
  • Hidden Bar • Another free utility that helps hide menu bar icons.
  • Aware • simple menubar app that tracks how long you’ve been actively using your computer.
  • GitHub Codespaces • full Visual Studio Code experience without leaving GitHub. Whoa.
tidbits
May 9, 2020

First, it was Craigslist, next it’s Zapier

Kameron Tanseli, on his blog:

So my advice if you’re looking for your next indie software idea. Just observe what these no-coders are automating on Zapier and build a nice UI around it.

Makes so much sense for me. Simple advice to keep close by.

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May 6, 2020
Wool (Silo #1)Wool (Silo #1)
★★★★☆

Wool (Silo #1) by Hugh Howey

I’d started the original Wool book a few times, but it never stuck. Nothing like a quarantine to make a story about living in a silo interesting. Have to say this was a great read. Probably the most page turning book of the year for me — at least the only that made me stay up until 4am at a point.

I enjoyed the characters and story. And the author drops enough clues of what happened to the outside world to satisfy some of my disaster movie genre curiosity. Moved on the next in the series right away.

May 4, 2020

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard

Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing on apple.com:

With these updates, our entire notebook lineup features the Magic Keyboard for the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook […].

Will wait for benchmarks to see how bad I feel for going for the MacBook Air last month. But the fact that the whole lineup now has the new/old keyboard is great news.

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