Show full website address

Is it unreasonable that I’m annoyed by the fact that I have to ask my browser to show me the actual address of the page I’m on?

Expired Elite Chrome reversal film scans

Jess with her new shed (2018). Leica M6, Expired Kodak Elite Chrome

I shot a roll of very expired Elite Chrome and since I don’t have any E-6 chemistry I sent it out for processing. I don’t know why I bother with color film. The scans were super noisy and grainy and the color was icky. I’m not sure how much of this was due to the age of the film and how much was in the processing.

I’m still planning to try the new Ektachrome, so we’ll see if that’s any better.

Magnum’s “The Art of Street Photography”

Magnum Photos just announced their first course, “The Art of Street Photography” and I think I’d like to try it.

I often poke fun at “Street Photography” as “a genre invented by people with a camera but without ideas”.

That’s unfair, of course, as there are plenty of great photographers whose work can be called “Street Photography”. Bresson, Winogrand, Erwitt, Koudelka, Levitt, Moriyama, and so on.

Snark aside, many of my favorite photographs could be considered “Street”, and watching a few of the greats from Magnum talk about their process sounds fascinating and informative.

Elliot Erwitt photograph of woman with vegetables that look like breasts in front of her

Elliot Erwitt, Managua, Nicaragua, 1957
Martin Parr photograph of sunbathers near construction equipment
Martin Parr, The Last Resort New Brighton, England. 1983-85
Nils Jorgensen photograph of man at urinals, 1979
Nils Jorgensen, 1979

More people should write – James Somers

James Somers:

Walk around with a pen and a scrap of paper. Write some meaty emails. Engage more intensely with this place.

I find my attention is too scattered to successfully write anything particularly long or coherent, but I do jot a lot of things down. It helps.

Gutenberg schmutenberg

Releasing an entirely new, and almost entirely different editor in WordPress is A Big Deal, but I personally don’t care that much.

I edit using so many different editors, on web and desktop and mobile, that I’ve learned to deal with whatever’s there and be done with it. As long as one of my favorite choices isn’t readily available, that is.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in six months once we’ve weeded out all of the “OMG! It’s too different, change it back!” reactions and people have settled down. At least I assume they’ll settle down, but ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

Running Tiddlywiki on a server

I’m still tinkering with Tiddlywiki because I’m convinced there’s something to it. Version 5.1.18 was released recently and included improvements to the web server features.

The thing I’ve been waiting for is the ability to run the node version as read-only for anonymous users but editable by authenticated users. This worked great while testing on my local machine, but I had trouble when running it out on a server, proxied via nginx.

The problem was that even after I authenticated, the wiki was still in read-only mode. I think what may be happening is that the nginx proxy isn’t forwarding the proper headers and so Tiddlywiki doesn’t know that I’m logged in.

Another issue was that the node process would die after a handful of requests. I’d see a “Killed” message in the terminal and the app would stop responding.

So for now I’m still doing it the old-fashioned way. I’m editing locally and rsync-ing the results to the server. I created a little Makefile to make it easier.

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PUBLIC_DIR=output/
SERVER_HOST=static.baty.net
SERVER_DIR=/home/jbaty/apps/wiki
TARGET=lightsail

deploy: build
	@echo "\033[0;32mDeploying updates to $(TARGET)...\033[0m"
	rsync -v -rz --checksum --delete --no-perms ~/Dropbox/wiki/batywiki/output/index.html $(SERVER_HOST):$(SERVER_DIR)


build: clean
	@echo "\033[0;32mBuilding site...\033[0m"
	tiddlywiki ./ --build index

commit:
	git add -A
	git commit -m "Build site `date`"

push:
	git push origin master

clean:
	rm -rf $(PUBLIC_DIR)

.FORCE:

A quick tour of my Tinderbox Daybook

I’ve been keeping a “Daybook” using Tinderbox since at least 2008. My Daybook is basically a collection of outlines and notes. Here’s a quick overview.

The main sections are:

  • Daybook - This is a daily log/journal, organized by month
  • Meal Log - I log what I eat, when, the type of meal, and a quality score
  • Media Log - I record books read and movies watched
  • Weight log - Most days I enter my weight.

At the end of each month I export the Daybook outline for the month as Markdown, which I also then convert to PDF and print. From there it gets punched and put into a 3-ring binder.

Tinderbox Daybook outline

There’s a simple dashboard “Map” view showing aggregate metrics.

Tinderbox Daybook Dashboard

Tinderbox lets me add any metadata I want to notes. For example, the Media Log contains the following:

  • StartDate - When I started a book or watched a film
  • EndDate - When I finished a book or film
  • Rating - I rate things on a scale with 1 (I didn’t care for it), 2 (It was fine), and 3 (I enjoyed it)
  • Media Type - Currently this is either Book or Movie. I thought would include Podcast and TV but have not done that
  • URL - Usually a link to Goodreads or Letterboxd
  • Authors - Book author
  • BookTitle - Full title of the book
  • PublicationYear - Year of release
  • ISBN - for books
  • Genre - Fiction or Non-fiction

Tinderbox Media Log

Outline titles can show not only the note’s title, but any other metadata as well.

Outline titles showing Media metadata

Outline titles showing Meal metadata

The thing about all this is that with minimal input, I can get all sorts of interesting output and insights. I’ve tried other ways of keeping a Daybook like this but nothing has come close to the utility and flexibility of Tinderbox.

My first ride on the Peloton bike

Once my house sold, I promised myself I would by a Peloton bike.

Peloton Cycle

The bike arrived yesterday and I took my first “class” this morning. The class was a pre-recorded, 30-minute “Advanced Beginner” workout. It reinforced that I am in terrible physical condition, but it was also kind of fun.

The instructor was engaging and supportive, which is good because the group fitness aspect is the Peloton’s biggest selling point. There are more than a dozen “live” group classes available every day, along with nearly 5,000 on-demand classes. I have a feeling Leaderboard feature is going to be important. I finished in the top third of people who did the same workout, and found myself watching my ranking closely during the ride.

For the books, here’s a summary of my first workout.

Why do I try so hard to use an iPad for everything?

I’ve been trying very hard to adopt the iPad as a tool for Serious Work since at least 2013.

I’m not sure why.

It probably started when Federico Viticci (@viticci) started writing about switching to using an iPad only. He claimed to love, and actually prefer it, even though his posts were full of ways he’d learned to work around shortcomings in iOS and how everything was “fine”. Still, it sounded fun.

Many people seem to get along well with only an iPad. I envy them, but why? I’m not at all unhappy with having a desktop Mac or two, and a Macbook or Air or whatever’s relatively portable. What’s the rush?

I’ve had several iPads, starting with the original in 2010. I now have the latest 12.9” iPad Pro and it’s a wonderful, powerful, beautiful machine.

But…

It’s not a viable full-time device for me. Here’s why1.

The iPad doesn’t multi-task well. “Yes it does!” you exclaim. No, it doesn’t. Not really. What it does is pretend to multi-task by letting me glue two apps side-by-side. That doesn’t count, unless your definition of multi-tasking is quite different than mine.

There’s no terminal. I don’t enjoy working on a device that doesn’t offer me a reasonable set of tools available using the command line.

I want a filesystem. I know, we’re supposed to be in a post-files era, but I’m not ready for that yet. Sending files between apps has gotten better, but it’s still awkward, slow, and inconsistent. Having to import photos from a card reader into one specific app just to get them where I wanted them in the first place is crazy-making.

The software I rely on isn’t available on iOS. Software such as…

  • Tinderbox. There is nothing like Tinderbox, anywhere, on any platform. Tinderbox alone is enough to keep me forever on macOS.
  • Capture One Pro. After flirting with Capture One several times over the years, I finally went all-in last year and it’s fantastic. Why would I want something so much less capable just so I can use an iPad? I wouldn’t.
  • BBEdit. There are some nice, surprisingly powerful text editors on iOS, but they’re nothing like BBEdit. (or VS Code, or Atom, or Vim, or Emacs, or…) for dealing with text.
  • DEVONthink. Yes, there’s DEVONthink To Go, which is nice and I rely on it on the iPad, but mostly as a way to get at the stuff I put into the macOS version. I use templates and AI and scripts all over the place in DEVONthink Pro. I would be worse off without them.

It’s not all bad, of course. I really love my new iPad. Here’s why.

Taking meeting notes and annotating PDFs with the Apple Pencil is fantastic. Once I learned to use Notability and LiquidText on the iPad, I’d never want to go back to doing those things on my Mac.

Photo retouching is more fun on a touch screen. I know I said that I rely on Capture One for processing photos, but for actually retouching them, the Pencil and fingers make great tools. I’m looking forward to doing more of it, but until there’s a way that I can reasonably manage photos on the iPad, retouching them there will be more work than it should be.

I’m doing a little drawing with Procreate. I have a soft spot for real sketchbooks and pencils, but the ability to freely experiment digitally is pretty great, especially since I’m not very good at drawing.

The iPad is great when I just want to go somewhere and write something. Calling the iPad “distraction-free” isn’t accurate. I’m always just a gesture away from many of the same distractions available on the Mac, but it’s just a little harder to get to them. On my Mac’s 27-inch screen I can often see three or four app windows at the same time2. One of them is bound to hold something I can use to keep me from doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. The barriers to multi-tasking on the iPad make for a “distraction-reduced” environment. And a darn fine environment at that.

All this to say that for me to do the things I want to do on a computer, the way that I want to do them, I still prefer using a Mac. The number of things I prefer doing on the iPad continues to increase, and some day it may reach a tipping point. Today, though, I’ll continue using both devices for the things each is best at. There’s no reason to push so hard at switching. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I’m not sure why I find it hard to remember that.


  1. You may have all sorts of ways to demonstrate why I’m wrong about everything I’m about to write. Good for you. These are my reasons. [return]
  2. Of course I could maximize apps and/or use multiple desktops, but that’s not how I like to work. [return]