The personal weblog of Jack Baty

Hey Siri

Hey Siri

I’d love for Siri to become more than just a gimmick. For years I’ve anticipated that things would improve real soon now. I’m beginning to think it’s never going to happen.

I still love my Echo, though.

Tesla Parking Only

I wonder how often this is a problem for them?

Tesla Parking Only (2016). Nikon F3. Tri-X in HC-110 dilution B 6min.

Tinderbox to Day One

I use both Day One and Tinderbox for journaling.

Day One is nice when I’m out and about and want to include photos and location information. The Day One mobile app is great.

Creating a Day One entry would go something like…

Snap a photo, then type…

“Had dinner at Amore and ordered this delicious lasagna”

This would create an entry with the photo, put a pin on the map, and record the weather. For logging travel, events, food, and people, Day One is great.

I use Tinderbox for all other entries. It’s my “Daybook”. Tinderbox lends itself to data analysis and text processing, so I put as much in there as possible.

An example Tinderbox entry might be…

Ordered replacement filter for CPAP

Boring, but useful. There’s no need for location information or a photo. I just want to record it so I can find it later.

I used to import all of my Day One entries into my Daybook but found the process a bit clumsy and error-prone.

What I’m finding more useful is copying specific entries from the Tinderbox Daybook into Day One, rather than the other way around. This is easily done using a Stamp in Tinderbox and the dayone CLI. Tinderbox “Stamps” are simply a convenient way of setting attributes or running scripts on a note or collection of Tinderbox notes.

Here’s the Stamp I’m using…

runCommand("/usr/local/bin/dayone -d="+$StartDate.format("y-M0-D")+" new", $Name+"\r\r"+$Text)

This Stamp calls runCommand, which allows Tinderbox to pass things to the shell. In this case, it’s calling the dayone command-line utility using the selected note’s date, title, and text as input. I just select a note, apply the Stamp, and Poof! a new entry appears in Day One.

Self-absorbed Release Notes

Kirk McElhern:

This is wrong, and dangerous. Users look to release notes to find out what is new, and what has been fixed. If you cannot quickly see these changes in the release notes, you miss out on something important.

I don’t know about “dangerous”, but overly-clever release notes are an annoying trend. The sooner the trend is over, the better.

About that Learning Javascript article

Many of you may have read Jose Aguinaga’s post,How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016. You may have laughed, or you may have cried. Maybe you did both.

I thought it was a fine way to poke a little fun at the runaway situation facing the JavaScript community. Most of the reaction I’ve seen has been combination of amused nods and quiet sighs. Some felt the need to rebut it. And some, of course, felt attacked. None of this is surprising.

For me, there are a couple of ways to respond to an article like Aguinaga’s. The first is as an apologist. I feel Tom MacWright did this with Everything is Fine with JavaScript

If someone is holier-than-thou about technology choices, they’re wrong and you should ignore them

The second, is to determine where the sentiment comes from and try to understand it, as Tim Kadlec does, in Chasing Tools

The thing is, it’s not the ecosystem that’s the problem. It’s great that we have a plethora of options available to us. It beats the alternative. No, the problem is the way we’ve chased after each new tool that comes along and even more concerning to me, the way we teach.

I prefer the second option.

Desktop Speakers

I have a pretty decent sound system in my home office, but I rarely listen to it. Instead, I find myself just playing music through the iMac. It occurred to me that it could be because the stereo’s speakers are situated behind me. Maybe that’s what causes my “listener fatigue”.

To test this theory, I ordered a pair of Audioengine A2+ powered desktop speakers and it’s made all the difference.


I can now listen to music all day while sitting at my desk and never tire of it.

Audioengine A2+ on my home office desk

Dropbox issues

Dropbox has always been one of those services that did exactly what it was supposed to, and did so without fuss or bother.

Lately, not so much. More often than not when my CPU is pegged it’s because of Dropbox. The hacky way Dropbox enables permissions for itself is discomforting.

And now this thing with an unwanted Finder toolbar. It showed up yesterday for me and it immediately irritated me and I couldn’t disable it. Gross.

I’d quit Dropbox and use Resilio (formerly Bittorrent) Sync for everything but so many other services integrate nicely with Dropbox that I’m not quite ready for that yet.

Getting there, though.

Sage and Portra

I put a roll of Portra through the Canon 1v. I haven’t shot much color film lately, so this was fun. The roll was processed at Meijer and scanned using the Pakon.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Dictation using Apple Watch vs Sony Microcassette

I carry a microcassette recorder in my car so that I can dictate quick notes while driving, with minimal fuss. I’ve tried replacing it with using Siri or other methods on my phone, but nothing is as quick and easy as the little cassette recorder. See this earlier post for details.

Today I discovered an iOS app that attempts to make voice recording as easy as possible. It’s called Just Press Record and I’m finding it very promising. It comes with an Apple Watch app and can be used as a complication. This means that with a single tap on my watch, I can begin recording and then have the audio and transcription automatically synced to my phone (via iCloud).

One thing I’d like to see added to Just Press Record is an option to automatically save each recording. I’d rather not need to tap the Save button each time and just deal with deleting unwanted recordings later, while not driving. The fewer taps the better for my use case.

Still, the Sony allows for dictation using one hand and without needing to take my eyes off the road, so it remains to be seen whether using the watch can replace it in the long run.

Canon EOS-1DS

Canon EOS-1DS from 2002

At nearly 15 years old, one might think it would be time to retire the 2002 Canon EOS-1DS in my closet. Not quite yet!

I’ve always really liked the files from the camera, so I pulled it out today, charged the giant, clumsy battery, and shot a few snaps around the yard.

I think it holds up quite well.

Flowers (2016). Canon EOS-1DS