FileSafe From Standard Notes

FileSafe, from Standard Notes:

FileSafe is a new platform by Standard Notes that integrates directly with your day-to-day usage of Standard Notes, and serves as an encryption intermediary between you and your favorite cloud provider

Standard Notes is fighting the good fight.

Lifeproof Case for iPhone

I’ve been going without a case on my iPhone X for a while now. I love a caseless phone. However, I felt I needed to baby it too much so I did a 180 and ordered a Lifeproof FRĒ. I thought it would be nice to play more fast and loose with the phone, and the Lifeproof is supposed to be all sorts of tough. And it’s waterproof to boot.

Lifeproof case

I was wrong. I put the case on and knew immediately that I’d made a mistake. It ruined one of the best things about the X…the feel of it. The case felt like cheap plastic. Like something I’d grabbed out of the impulse bin at Best Buy. I didn’t expect that, given all the great reviews. I also didn’t like having a screen cover. It was very reflective and felt off somehow.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s a fine case for someone who needs something like it. I sent mine back.

Throw Your Children's Art Away - The Atlantic

Why It’s Okay to Throw Your Children’s Art Away - The Atlantic:

Nostalgia for youth is probably inevitable. It’s certainly not the vice of any one generation alone, although it can become characteristic of an age. But saving your children’s art stretches the goodwill of even the most powerful nostalgia.

I wanted to scream “Noooo!” but then I read the article and came around—a little. I say we split the difference:

“Throw Most of Your Children’s Art Away”

Hobonichi Techo For Years

Seven years of Hobonichi

2019 will be my seventh year using a Hobonichi Techo.

The Techo is great for planning, doodling, scheduling, and journaling. It uses Tomoe River paper, which is magically thin yet still usable with just about any writing tool. There are many fun covers available, but I love the size and the feel of the bare notebook so I’ve never used one.

I’ve noticed that the Techo has become my default notebook for nearly everything. I have almost always carried a mid-sized notebook like a Moleskin or Leuchtturm for use as a modified bullet journal but lately I’ve been leaving that at home and only using the Techo.

It’s nice to find things that I enjoy and find consistently useful for many years.

Owning My Content - Or Not

I am in 100% agreement with the concept of “Owning Your Content”. I have had my own blog on my own domain for going on twenty years and have no plans to stop. The writing (aka “Content”) on my blog is displayed the way I want it and no one can take it away from me or change it or otherwise interfere. This is as it should be and I recommend this to anyone wanting to publish their writing online.

For short posts and status updates, I’ve used social media. This has mostly been Twitter since 2009. After all, it’s what Twitter was made for.

I’ve felt no need to own or control the type of content I post to social media.

It’s like Mitch Hedberg’s thoughts on flyers…

“Here, you throw this away” is exactly how I feel about the things I post to Twitter. This doesn’t mean I don’t keep a copy for myself, but I’ve never felt a need to “own” it. Twitter can do with it what it wants.

But that’s the problem now, isn’t it? The issue with posting to social media is no longer simply a matter of maintaining ownership. According to some it’s become a matter of moral responsibility1. Avoiding social media (specifically Twitter and Facebook) has become about disarming those who would use it to spread hatred or falsities or target and abuse others.

It’s taken me a while, but I’m coming around on this viewpoint, and it means that I’ve mostly stopped posting to social media.

Of course I still like to post short bits and images about what I’m thinking about or interested in. For this, I have my own microblog using the wonderful platform.

For blurting out silly little things that can (and probably should) be thrown away, I’m using Mastodon. I don’t truly own my content there but I don’t care. And given that Mastodon is decentralized, moderated, and trying to do the right thing by default, I don’t mind giving up control there.

So, I own the content that’s most important to me and I don’t worry about owning throwaway content.

Also, I’m not contributing to manipulative, hatred-and-abuse-enabling platforms hell-bent on surveillance and targeted advertising, because that’s gross.

Beorg and Sync

Beorg is a pretty good implementation of Org-mode on iOS. The latest version introduced a couple new sync options and much better editing features.

My problem is that I keep my Org files in ~/org on my Mac and sync them between machines using Syncthing. I don’t want them in Dropbox or iCloud, but I’d probably choose iCloud first. What I haven’t figured out is how to nicely create a symlink to the ~/org directory in the iCloud Drive directory. None of the crazy paths I’ve tried seem to work. I suppose I could go the other way and make ~/org a symlink into iCloud but I’d rather go the other way. Any ideas?

I May Be Stuck With Org-Mode Forever

I’ve been feeling rather point-and-clicky lately, so I decided to move all my tasks to Things and use it for the month of August.

I spent a few hours moving everything out of Org-mode into Things, and it was a terrible idea. Things is great, and the iOS version is one of my favorites on the platform, but I missed Org-mode almost immediately.

It always starts out fine. I “ooh” and “aah” quite a lot, saying, “Now THIS is how a task manager should look! Org-mode is sooo dry and complicated.” And to be fair, Org-mode is dry and complicated. Plain text is boring. Not being able to just drag things around and having to remember 7,500 keybindings instead is complicated and wearisome.

No matter which task manager I use, I end up ignoring what’s in it anyway. It’s counterintuitive, but switching task managers is a very productive process for me, so this hasn’t been a total wash.

There’s just no way I could use anything but Org-mode now. It’s simply too good at everything I want a task manager to be good at. The only thing I miss is a decent iOS option for the iPad. On the other hand, I rarely manage tasks on the iPad anyway, so I’ll be sticking with Org-mode. Probably forever1.

  1. With my usual quarterly attempts to leave it for something else. [return]

I'm Not Using the Major macOS Mojave Features

I’ve been running the Mojave beta of macOS since it was released. Two of the most touted features, Dark Mode and Desktop Stacks, are interesting but I’m not using them.

I didn’t expect to love Dark Mode, as I’m not a fan of dark themes in general. At first it was fun, but the novelty wore off and I switched back to Light. I may try it again once more apps are fully compatible with it. It’s a fun, low impact way to shake things up a bit, but not for my everyday use.

I truly dislike the “Stacks” feature for files on the Desktop. I don’t use the desktop as a dumping ground for files. I use it as a temporary landing place for things I need to access quickly. I cluster files visually, and manually. With Stacks enabled, my files are moved automatically into stacks based on file type (by default). I’m not sure how automatically organizing things by file type would ever be useful. I never think, “Hmm, now where did I put that PDF file?” Files can also be organized by dates and also tags. Stacking by tags would be most likely to work for me, but I’m not going to tag files just so they can be swept up into a pile of documents I can’t see without clicking on first.

What’s worse is when clicking a Stack, the stack expands and moves everything around so I have to then try to find the file I’m looking for. I don’t like things being moved around like that. It’s like having the rug pulled out from under me. I find it disconcerting and not useful.

I look forward to hearing what people think of these features once in widespread use. My hunch is that many people will love Dark Mode but fewer will like Stacks.

Linked Out

I deleted my LinkedIn account this morning. I never use it for anything other than to decline connection requests.

My profile is outdated and not representative of anything useful. I don’t find much use for content there posted by other people.

Seems like a perfect candidate for deletion.

Fixing Roon on Mojave beta

Roon would not launch after I installed the Mojave public beta 2 on my iMac. I found this thread on the Roon forums which suggested that I remove and re-add Roon from the list of apps in the Accessibility list in Security preferences

Roon Accessibility

It worked! Phew.