April 28, 2021

Drafts Web Capture Released

agiletortoise, on forums.getdrafts.com

Drafts Web Capture is a web page that integrates directly with your Drafts iCloud storage, allowing the creation of drafts from any web browser on any platform.

This is great, I have a bunch of bookmarklets based on the URL Schemes that I use every day, but I see a few potential uses for this.

April 26, 2021

Earth Restored Photos

Toby Ord tobyord.com:

Only 24 people have journeyed far enough to see the whole Earth against the black of space.

The images they brought back changed our world.Here is a selection of the most beautiful photographs of Earth— iconic images and unknown gems —digitally restored to their full glory.

Amazing photos on a great looking website. Even the backdrop to the project is great:

I restored these images over many long evenings. During the days I worked on a book, which would consume me for three years.

The book is on philosophy, still, added to my list.

April 19, 2021

Apple Spring Loaded Event Wishlist

My wishlist for tomorrow’s event:

  1. $1.999 iMac that shames any PC for the same price.
  2. Magic Mouse 3 with actual (gasp) buttons.
  3. $999 Apple Display that shames any PC monitor for the same price.
  4. AirPods 3.

There’s a very high probability that none or these will be released, but hey, it’s my wishlist.

Why no iPad stuff? I’m absolutely fine with my new (used) iPad Pro 11in 2018. So I’m happy for some big changes I may purchase (used) in a year or two.

April 19, 2021
Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2)


Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Shorefall is a fun continuation of the previous book Foundryside. I absolutely recommend it and I’m ready to read what’s next in the series. It also falls into the distinct category of books that got me out of a fiction slump, all which always have a special place in my heart.

The whole concept of magic as coding is still there, but is not expanded — which is a bit sad. I enjoyed the story and characters, but was a bit disappointed in the end. While the first book was self contained, this one leaves more open threads and doesn’t give the last act as much closure as I was expecting. It’s a trilogy, so this usually happens in book 2.

Still, I absolutely enjoyed the book. It was fast paced, and had a lot of action. Actually, and this is an observation, it had a lot more action than expected, which made me feel that some of it was writing for a movie or TV show. Not a bad thing, especially when done in a fun way as in this case.

April 15, 2021

Spotify Launches Smart Player Car Thing”


Car Thing enables you to play your favorite audio faster, so you’re already listening to that hit song or the latest podcast episode before you’ve even pulled out of the driveway. Switching between your favorite audio is effortless, allowing you to shift gears to something else as soon as the mood strikes. And when it comes to controlling the device, use it in the way that works best for you, whether that’s voice, touch, or physical controls.

Looks very cool, but I think Matt Ronge hits the nail of the head:

Who is this for really? Have to confess that I signed up, just for the love of hardware1_, but since I already have CarPlay — I find it hard to think when it would be useful. Maybe it will be a Wireless CarPlay cheap substitute. Still, it does look nice.

  1. Now we know why they were looking for harware talent a few years back.↩︎

April 15, 2021

System76 Announces COSMIC Desktop for Pop!_OS 21.04

Alexander Gerber on blog.system76.com:

We’re providing a honed desktop user experience in Pop!_OS through our GNOME-based desktop environment: COSMIC. It’s a refined solution that makes the desktop easier to use, yet more powerful and efficient for our users through customization.

Pop!_OS has some pretty cool UX implementations recently. These seems like a brave logical step for them to own the experience.

If macOS suddenly disappeared, I’d use either Pop!_OS or elementary OS.

April 12, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 15

  • Bird Folder: Name new folders after random birds in macOS. Stupid, yet brilliant.
  • Dolt: SQL database that you can fork, clone, branch, merge, push and pull just like a git repository. I want ro use this off something.
  • Typewriter: Markdown editor for macOS and iOS with syntax highlighting and live preview support.
  • Wormhole: share files with end-to-end encryption and a link that automatically expires.
April 6, 2021

Brent Simmons on The Perfect To-Do System

Brent Simmons, on inessential.com:

[…] these apps are all going to take more constant input from you than you’d wish for. They don’t take away the need for some amount of self-discipline to use them effectively.

Aww crap. So true.

After a month in Reminders, I’m considering going back to Things — but not after discovering (duh) that I currently don’t have a habit for reviewing tasks. My task manager is a black hole where tasks go to die.

If I really have to do it, I remember or react to another input. The only category of items that make me visit my task manager are my payment reminders. Which could be calendar items, only if I don’t forget about them.

What to do? What to do.

April 3, 2021

BrakeCODE’s Drive Image Suspend Cloud Service


DISCS is a new feature of BrakeCODE that allows you to seamlessly suspend cloud compute instances to disk in order to save on cloud vendor cost. This service is useful for instances that don’t need to run 24/7 yet are ones that would benefit from maintaining state […]

I have a few scripts that deal with images which run so much better from hosted instances - compared to my 100mb internet. Current I delete and restore an images in Linode once a month to run them, but this seems like a way more efficient solution. Will try it out soon.

March 25, 2021

Iterations Are Bets

I’m a practitioner of continued iteration, a believer that perfect is the enemy of good. You need to start your project with something basic, solid, workable. Iterate from there to an MVP, and then grow it to a full product.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how many times you iterate, you never reach that point. I haven’t found a rule to objectively identify this is happening. In my experience, you get a gut feeling after enough iterations that there’s no further breakthrough in the horizon — and you still don’t have the solid baseline you need.

You suddenly accept that any further iteration will result in small improvements, and decreasing returns for your efforts gives you once certainty: you will not arrive at your target delivery date with your expected solution.

I write this not looking into the past with nostalgia, but after a long day. One of my projects ran into this fate. I know that I could push the project forward. But the project cannot iterate itself out of this path. In a year, even two, a reboot will be necessary.

When this happens, you have to remember to let go of sunken cost. The best thing to do is to turn the ship around quickly. Accept blame and review the steps taken with the new insight. You will find a past iteration that’s workable — and fork from there.

March 24, 2021

Simple Hyper Key App For macOS

Ryan Hanson on ryanhansondev.medium.com:

A common solution for this problem is to remap a key (often caps lock) to the hyper key”: a combination of shift, control, option, and command. Since this modifier key combination is very unlikely to be taken by shortcuts in any application, it collectively becomes an extra modifier key. My take on this solution is a single purpose app called Hyperkey.

I’ve been looking at setting up a hyper key for a while, and although there are many options, I’d shied away of the configuration. After a day of playing with this app, I’m sold.

I set it up as the right command key for now. In combination with Alfred, the freedom to move many obtuse key combos to simple ones is great.

A few of the key combos I’ve created/moved:

Shortcut Action
right ⌘ + o Opens/Hide Obsidian
right ⌘ + 1 Opens Finder in 1 Projects folder
right ⌘ + 2 Opens Finder in 2 Areas folder
right ⌘ + y Add file to Yoink
right ⌘ + m Copy markdown link with Hook
right ⌘ + c Copy link with Hook

The list will likely grow over the next few weeks, but I have drank the hyper key kool-aid for sure.

March 23, 2021

Tell Me a Little Bit More

In this time-compressed work era, many go straight to the ask. Requesting the feature, fix, report, or expected solution from the start.

But sometimes it’s worth flipping this around and trying to understand what is the pain point. Asking for more information — not as a deterrent on the request, but with genuine curiosity — can be a powerful tool.

Tell me a little bit more is the best phrasing for it that I’ve found. It’s a friendly way of asking why multiple times, and the opposite of how hostile staying quiet to extract more information is. Yet it serves the same objective: giving you a chance to better understand the problem to solve it.

And while delivering a solution is good, solving a problem is better.

March 22, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 12

  • Mac Mouse Fix: my favorite mouse utility is now an App that works great with Big Sur.
  • UTM: QEMU frontend for M1 Macs. Looks nice and it uses Apple’s Hypervisor virtualization framework to run ARM64 OSs. Will look at this with some bash scripts I need to work on soon.
  • Bookfeed.io: RSS feed of all newly released books from your favorite authors. Subscribed.
  • xbar: a BitBar reboot for the Mac menubar with hundreds of plugins.
  • DisplayBuddy: Control external displays from your Mac menu bar. No M1 version yet.
  • Scan Thing: fun scanner that lets extract objects, text, images from the real world for iOS and Mac.
  • Aqueux: OS X Tiger inspired collection of dynamic wallpapers, for desktop & mobile. Instant purchase.
March 22, 2021

The New Tool Trap

Don’t change tools to fix a problem. Change tools because you need to reset your workflow, or you want to optimize some process — but never bet that changing the tool will fix what’s wrong. In most cases, problems have nothing to do with the tool. Sure, a new tool or service can help you reduce friction or better distribute it. But any problem you are blaming on your tool is more likely related to workflows, poorly defined tasks, or… you.

As someone who loves tools, utilities, apps, software, services, alphas, betas, etc, I have zero moral authority to suggest not to try any new tool. But be aware not only of what you’re really changing but also why.

Let me put it this way: if you’re fat, changing your shirt can help you feel better or start a new habit. But it won’t magically make you lose weight. The tool comes along for the journey, but it has little to do with the destination.

Also, remember there’s a cost when changing your workflow, and if it’s higher than the benefits of the switch, then you’re going to end up in a worse spot.

Finally, be careful with how specialized your new tool is, or the level of abstraction from real data it removes you to. Unless you want to be easily replaced by AI or machine learning, then your job and workflow should be continuously changing. Anything close to a perfect system means that you –at the top of it — are yet another tool that can be to be optimized.

March 21, 2021

Humanist Optimist

Had a fun afternoon listening to a member of the previous generation argue against: vaccines, GMO crops, mass food production — among others.

Since we were invited I practiced my best listening skills, trying not to fill story blanks with common knowledge and accepting factoids to reach a bit farther in my attempt to understand. Even with the healthy dose of skepticism 2020 injected into many of us, my brain kept yelling fact check! fact check!.

However, apart of the teeny tiny detail of facts, I also noticed a difference in our priorities. And neither of us was wrong. I just realized I’m a humanist at his point in my life: meaning, humans come first. All 8 billions of us.

Earth, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, each will be consumed at the service of the species. Not fair or pretty, just the way it is.

Yes, we can be cleaner, more efficient, less cruel. But humans come first. I’m not trying to convince anyone right now, it was the realization that this is the first principle filter I apply to arguments and ideas.

I’m very sure 20 years ago, I didn’t have this mindset. So good luck to whomever is going to listen to my crap in 20 years.

March 20, 2021
To Be Taught, If Fortunate


To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

I read this at the beginning of the pandemic last year. It’s a sci-fi story, but not set up in a soap opera or too distant future. It is not disconnected from our current timeline. Actually it has surprising, but fairly probable realities. The characters have depth and their behavior is believable. And as usual with great sci-fi there’s no bad guy. Exemplefied but my favorite quote of the book:

We should’ve known better, as students of the universe. There’s no escaping entropy.

As 2020 progressed and SpaceX launches continued, the possibility of a space faring future and certainly future. Like this is seems again possible. It’s a book I’ve been whose overall feeling has been in the back of my mind.

I’ll likely start one of Becky Chambers other books soon and can easily recommend To Be Taught, If Fortunate as a great weekend read.

March 19, 2021

Macintosh Application Environment


As A/UX development was winding down, Apple was working on another project called the Macintosh Application Environment. This was an emulator that allowed users to run Mac software under Sun’s Solaris or Hewlett Packard’s HP-UX. A great deal of A/UX technology went into the design of this ill-fated product. This page is a pictorial tribute to the Macintosh Application Environment, running under Solaris 8 on an Ultra 10 workstation.

Never knew this existed. Can imagine an alternate reality where a dying Apple tries to survive as a friendly UI layer on top of Linux in the late 90’s.

February 22, 2021

Daily Index Cards with Daily Numbering

Using the same numbering format for digital and analog organizing seemed like a given compatibility requirement for me. But by just changing the numbering of my index cards to Julian Date and making their sorting magnitudes easier, my workflow has improved. The usefulness of these low-effort analog notes add value because they help me make better and easier digital notes with what I identified in the previous step.

Julian DatesJulian Dates

Logical dates like ISOs YYYY-MM-DD work great for files and folders. But on loose pieces of pages with my terrible handwriting1, the system breaks down quickly. There’s also a lot of additional information that is not useful in the moment: year and month are easy enough, but it’s 6 characters (plus 2 separators) more than I need when: 1) creating the note, and 2) sorting them.

On 2) sorting, is where the simple D format2 shines: try to quick sort pieces of paper by date (2021-02-19, 2021-01-30, 2021-02-1) vs by number (50,30,32) and notice which one you finish faster. You can argue that dates allow you to sort and classify, because when you need to check on a day’s note you’d have to convert from the Julian date calendar — and you’re right.

Here’s the thing: I’m hardly going back to these notes. I’m storing them, yes. But they are just a step above sticky notes. I’m drawing on them in meetings, making quick lists, writing an important concept or something I didn’t understand. Their value is in creating a visual reminder of where my thoughts were at the time of writing — not so much as document of record.

These notes have really helped me on my shutdown and startup routines, and extracting the most important items from days. That’s it.

  1. Anything beyond 3 digits becomes unreadable — evident by the fact that I didn’t need to blackout anything on the photo, since my handwriting is encrypted even to me↩︎

  2. Formally Day of year (numeric) D in the Unicode #35 standard, it’s a non-issue to get the date from iOS shortcuts, Alfred or even use them in Obsidian.↩︎

February 14, 2021

Ben Brooks on the Reminders App

Ben Brooks, on


Things and OmniFocus make for shitty reminder tools. They aren’t built for it. They are built for workflows, for managing tasks, projects, and tackling complexity with complex and flexible tooling. They are the JIRA of the personal task management world.

This prompted me to move to Reminders for the next few weeks. I’ve been struggling with Things for a while — nothing to do with the app, it still is one of the best designed iOS apps with the best backend sync engine.

But my love affair with Obsidian has changed my tasks/projects flow considerably. Now it’s Obsidian what I open to figure out today’s tasks, or sort what’s the plan for the week. And in the duality of project management use, Things was being left behind.

I’ve tried using the stock Reminders app since its last update a few times, but it has never stuck.

There’s an additional source of imbalance in the force: Fantastical. I’ve become a calendar worker; peers and superiors now look at my calendar to set meetings. Timeboxed work sessions have appeared out of necessity rather than philosophy. So what?

Fantastical has reminders support, which I’ve stayed away until now — because I didn’t want to dilute my tasks inputs into yet-another-bucket. But if the same bucket can have multiple interfaces, that seems like a workable compromise.

Let’s see how this three body problem turns out.

February 12, 2021

The Right Time

Through the ways only a 5 year old can orchestrate, Robie ended up with a very old Timex digital watch yesterday. First thing he did was feature compare against my Apple Watch — took me a while to convince him that the indiglo backlight was actually a superior technology than an OLED screen.

Next, we arrived at the question of time. The marvel of his watch, my watch, my iPhone – all having the same time. But the magic ended abruptly when he asked about the analog kitchen wall watch…

Robie: Why is it 7:05 and not 7:00 like ours?”

Me: Dunno, your mom likes it that way”.

Ana: I don’t like it that way, it just loses time”.

Me: (mumbling as we go up the stairs) she does like it that way”.

Robie: (throughout his bath, bedtime story, and light-off) But, is it a different time like when we travel? if it isn’t why can’t you fix it? why can it be wrong?.

As I write this, I can say the kitchen wall watch time has been synched with the Apple Servers — and I have so say… it does feel right.

January 31, 2021

State of the Habits - January

For 2021 — and my 40th birthday in Sept — I kicked the year with some aggressive experimentation inspired by Everyday Systems and the Atomic Habits book. The objective of which is to create new habits that help me level up by my fourth decade.

An everyday system, as defined by its mastermind Reinhard Engels, is

[…] a simple, commonsense solution to an everyday problem, grounded by a pun or metaphor.

This has worked surprisingly well, and even outlasted the usual honeymoon period after which all new year’s resolutions go to die.

Below my current list of systems and their compliance state:


  • HIIT Man: Define myself as a High-Intensity Interval Training person so I practice it more.
    • With a target of 5 min first week, and 10 the 2nd. I’m already at 15min a day of T-Handle Kettlebell exercises.
  • Zero Coke Zero: No Coke’s or Dr. Pepper’s during the weekdays.
    • Surprisingly easy once I replaced it with club soda with half a squeezed lemon.
  • Mind the joy: Be aware and in control of the hundreds of joyful moments through out the day.
    • Direct result of reading Flow last year, and probably the single most important lifehack I’ve done in the last 5 years.
  • An Errand a Day: Tackle the personal tasks lists.
    • Just do one, it’s adds up quickly.
  • Bipedal mobility: I can get there walking.
    • Another one for the toolbox. Not an everyday thing, but I’ve exchanged a couple of 5 minute drives, for 30 min walks.
  • localhost pillow: Once the head hits the pillow, no browsing the internet.
    • Not the same as being offline — video streaming is allowed for example. But no wondering without intent on the web.
  • DoerEats: Cook something.
    • Instead of just making a sandwich, I’ve cooked a few evening omelets to put a check on this.
  • Motion & Action: Don’t get stuck in planning, execute something.
    • For side-projects and personal stuff, I overthink instead of experimenting and iterating from there. It has felt good to have this on the agenda daily.


  • No S Diet: No snacks, sweets, seconds, except (sometimes) on days that start with S”.
    • Another of Reinhard Engels creatures. Having some trouble with too many Special days with Ana, but still more days on it than off it.
  • Walkabout: Whenever I get stuck on something walk it off™.
    • Not an everyday thing, but it has been useful tool to have.
  • Inward Thinking: When there’s something nagging me, give me time to explore it.
    • You know that thought that leads you to a rabbit hole? sit quickly without anything electronic in reach, and follow it.
  • Compound reading: Remember to read stuff that adds something, whoever small.
    • This is the same as opening Instapaper instead of twitter. Not doing so great.
  • Weekend Luddite: Avoid my devices on weekends (Breakfast to Dinner)
    • Currently at 50% compliance, next weekend breaks or makes the trend.


  • Writing session: Set time and either write or just sit there.
    • Not working, need to reframe it on habit stack it differently.
  • Pleasure reading: Read what makes me happy.
    • Having conflicts with compound reading I think.

I’m loosely tracking all of this with Pixelist - Habit Tracker app for iOS. I will deprecate the fails and play with the gaps to improve compliance for February.

January 30, 2021

GameStop’s wallstreetbets Project Kickoff

User Jeffamazon , 4 months ago on reddit.com:

You know Citadel? The MM that took all our money today? Well now we finally won’t be at the mercy of the MMs. Instead, we’re going to temporarily join forces with the Galactic Empire and hijack the death star.

Our choice of weapon… $GME.

This story is complex and has many angles, but what interest me is the clarity of the initial post, and the update a month later.

The posts was mix and match of many ideas at the time — the poster even says so — but as kick off document it has everything:

  • Intent
  • Objective
  • Reason to believe
  • Timeline
  • Risk contingency (what could go wrong)

And it closes with a direct association to make the concept stick:

TL;DR: $GME is vastly oversold.

GME is TSLA one year ago. GME is AAPL in 2017. Add to that the greatest short burn you’ll see in history, and you’re in for a hell of a show.

January 25, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 4

  • Hush: Block nags to accept cookies and privacy invasive tracking in Safari on Mac, iPhone and iPad.
  • Iconduck: thousands of downloadable open source icons and illustrations.
  • Noo: map mouse buttons and multi-touch gestures to keys.
  • Cycles: another simple timer made in swiftui.
  • timer-app: a simple free Timer app for Mac.
  • Gitify: GitHub notifications on the menu bar for Mac/Win/Linux.
  • spotter: open source launcher for macOS.
  • yabai: Another tiling window management for the Mac. I might try this one.
  • Haste: Web search app for macOS. Good option if you don’t use LaunchBar or Alfred.
  • TV Forecast: Pretty TV shows tracker and explorer for iOS.
January 18, 2021

Tidbits for 2021 Week 3

  • 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 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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

December 14, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 50

  • Soundore: browser ambient noise generator. Scroll down for more options.
  • OneTab: convert all of your tabs into a list, now available for Safari 14.
  • Hookshot: macOS Window Snapping with cursor gestures. Trying it out this week.
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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

November 22, 2020

Alex Barredo on Apple’s new MacBook Strategy

Alex Barredo, on apple.substack.com:

I’m using my faulty crystal ball, of course, but imagine a 2022 Apple laptop line up of: MacBook with M3 for $999, and the then two-year old MacBook with M1 for $849 (say $799 for schools?). Going lower means more buyers, and Apple computers can last for 5-7 years instead of iPhones mere average lifespan of 2-3 years.

Fun and thoughtful crystal ball. For sure the Mac’s release calendar and lineup is going to through some big changes.

November 15, 2020

1Password and Privacy.com Integration

Andrew Beyer on blog.1password.com:

[…] we’re announcing a new partnership with Privacy.com. 1Password now lets you create virtual cards in your browser to make online payments more safely. You can create as many virtual cards as you need and control where and how they’re used.

Finally got a chance to test this and in works great. Sadly it needs the 1PasswordX plugin — which doesn’t work in Safari — so I need to go out of my workflow to use it. Will see if it’s easer to open my personal Brave profile, rather than opening the Privacy.com app and doing multiple copy/pastes.

November 9, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 45

  • TripMode 3: if you work remote on slow internet or with data caps, this is the app to have.
  • Raycast: VC backed next-gen launcher with multiple integrations (Github, Google Docs, etc). Very interesting.
  • Dendron: open-source markdown notes tool built on top of VSCode.

Note taking is officially a fad. W00t.

  • Polar: Integrated reading environment for EPUBs, PDFs, & web pages. Love this new crop of geeky desktop apps.
  • Cometeer: Nitro frozen coffee capsules. I’d try this.