OK, look: Breaking away from old conventions is hard. I get it. But it
doesn’t make sense to force the norms of 50 years ago onto people
whose parents weren’t even born then.
Adapting a newspaper for the modern web isn’t good enough for people
who never read newspapers in the first place. We deserve something new
“Deserve”, really? I think what you meant is “want”.
I understand the overall sentiment, but…
This kind of layout is what we’d expect from a newspaper. But
something created for a young and sophisticated audience needs better
design, better visual hierarchy and more color. We grew up in the age
of iPod ads, and for us, design matters.
Of course only the young are sophisticated enough to know and understand
that design matters.
Here’s a tip. If you want to get the most out of the news, read real,
Really, it solves many of the problems described in the article.
Mailhub is “a ‘smart’ plug-in for Apple Mail that revolutionises email
management”. Sounds great, but I haven’t used Apple Mail in years. I use
MailMate, which is a fantastic email client.
Or at least I used to use MailMate.
After reading Dr. Drang’s Back to Apple
Mail post, I
realized that switching to the stock Apple email app would fit right in
with the reel-things-in phase I’m going through. Dr. Drang mentioned
Mailhub so I jumped right in.
Mailhub is terrific. It files mail like I’ve always wanted something to
file mail. It feels and works like a tool I would have made, if I was
able to do such a thing.
After a few days of this I’m quite happy to be using Mailhub and
My first Leica was an M6 TTL. I sold it in the mid-2000s and have since
gone through a number of Leica bodies, from an M3 to an M8. For the past
several years I’ve used an M3 and M4. I love them, but I sometimes
missed having a meter in the camera rather than on the camera.
So I bought an M6
It’s the perfect M6 for me. It is one of the last 10 “Classic” M6 bodies
ever produced (1998). It has had the finder optics upgraded to the
flare-free “MP” version. The only framelines displayed are 28, 35, and
50mm. This makes for a bright, beautiful, clutter-free viewfinder.
I chose the M6 “Classic” version because they are generally less
expensive than the newer TTL models, with no real disadvantage. I prefer
the direction of the shutter dial to be the same as my older bodies.
I’ve put one roll through it, and it’s just as smooth and solid as the
M3 and M4. Don’t let the forum trolls convince you otherwise.
As handy as having a built-in meter is, I found that I spent more time
obsessing over the meter’s lights than I did looking at the subject. I
didn’t expect that. I also ended up with a few badly-exposed shots due
to a backlit subject. I would normally have just guessed the exposure.
Instead I listened to the meter. I’ll have to re-learn when to stop
Here are a few shots from the first roll. It’s Tri-X, shot at 1250 ISO
and developed in Diafine, then scanned on the Pakon.
While many move toward carrying only an iPhone or small, mirrorless
system, I’ve been thinking bigger.
A Hasselblad is big enough on its own, but add a prism finder, longer
lens, and that big awkward flash unit and it becomes downright unwieldy.
It’s also awesome. Most of my favorite images from recent years are from
the Hasselblads. I blame the Zeiss lenses. I love the look they produce
and have yet to find anything matching it.
The flash, a Hasselblad D-Flash 40, is a recent addition. With the
503CXi body, it’s fully TTL and meters directly off the film. This means
getting a decent exposure every time without doing much of anything. I
just set the camera to f8 and 125th second and shoot.
This is terrific for shooting indoors. I just don’t have the eye or the
hands for handheld natural-light shooting indoors. I’ve always preferred
natural-light photography, but using the Hasselblad handheld with an
on-camera flash creates a different look, and I’m learning to enjoy it.
I’m diligent when it comes to backing up my computers. I make sure to
always have local and offsite copies of everything. Years ago I began
using Stefan Reitshamer’s Arq utility for
making offline copies (to Amazon S3) and it was great. That is, until
ongoing storage costs became prohibitive. S3 was relatively cheap at the
time, but I was still paying hundreds of dollars per year for storage.
When Backblaze and Crashplan showed up at \$5/month for “unlimited”
backups, I switched (to Crashplan).
I never got on well with Crashplan. I never felt that I could “see” what
was going on with my backups. The interface feels janky and the app
would sometimes refuse to run after OS upgrades. But, it did the job and
While reviewing my backups after the new year, I took another look at
Arq and was reminded what a nice app it is. Arq just feels better. It
can back up from anything to just about anywhere and does so quickly and
securely. And the costs? One of the targets available is Amazon Cloud
Drive, which offers “unlimited” storage for \$60/year.
So I’m back to using Arq for my backups and couldn’t be happier.
What I also wanted to do was capture to a date tree in the buffer I’m
already visiting. This meant that I couldn’t specify the file name ahead
of time. I assumed doing this would require a bunch of fancy tricks (I’m
not good at writing lisp), but it turned out to be easy. I simply
replaced what would normally be a string containing the target file’s
name with buffer-file-name, like this…
A photograph becomes real only when it’s printed. I love photographic
prints of all kinds. This is why I’ve loved the Fuji Instax cameras. All
you get is a print. No muss no fuss.
The Fuji Instax210
has been fun, but let’s face it, it’s kind of ugly. The later versions
are better, but still not great. I loved the Lomo’Instant Wide the
moment I saw it. Especially the “Central Park”
version, so I bought one.
It’s great. Here’s why I like it (compared to my old Fuji):
It looks great
Zone focusing on the lens rather than via menu
Controls are on the back, and are buttons and led indicators. No
The lens cap doubles as a remote shutter release. Genius!
Comes with various lens attachments (Close-up, super-wide, etc)
It’s plastic, but not as “plastic-ey” as the Fuji
There’s a PC sync port. I can use an external flash!
Super fun, cute, and more versatile than the one it’s replacing. I’m
happy with it.
I’m not going to write a long review or anything, but I did want to say
that I love the new Apple AirPods. They are the most Apple-like new
product I’ve used in a long time. After using the AirPods for a few
days, one wonders what the hell every Bluetooth headphone maker has been
doing for the past decade. I’ll forgive Apple the Siri-only interaction
model with this round, but they need to fix that. Otherwise, the entire
experience is wonderful.
Apple has (at least historically) been good at eliciting reactions like,
“Well, of course this is how it should work!” They’ve done it again with
I haven’t been “on” Twitter since the first of the year. As of today
that means it’s been a whole week. It sounds stupid just saying that, “A
whole week.” Big deal. But, it’s been surprisingly difficult to stay
I realized that I was using Twitter as an excuse to do nothing useful.
I’d scroll and click and scroll and click and I loved it. So what’s the
problem? The problem is that I was always looking for something new to
do, or more likely, just hoping to be entertained. Nothing inherently
wrong with that, but I was doing it during every spare moment, and
frequently in moments that I couldn’t spare. Not productive.
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, so I’m taking a break. I don’t
know how long it will last. It’s just an experiment.
I’d like to lose my pervasive fear of missing out.
I want to know if my background stress level changes.
I want to learn to seek things out deliberately rather than
passively having everything streamed at me.
I want to reduce my intake of snark and false outrage.
One immediate side effect is that after one week without Twitter I’m
already less angry at the world. That’s something worth pursuing.
In the meantime, I’ll be here at baty.net and probably more active on
I don’t use the Touch Bar on my MacBook Pro for anything other than
Function keys and Touch ID. I love having Touch ID on a Mac, but man I
sure miss having real Function and Escape keys.
Maybe I’ll learn new behavior over time. Maybe there really is a decent
use for the Touch Bar. Right now though, I would swap the Touch Bar for
actual keys in a heartbeat. Also, still hate the keyboard.
But I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not some punk you can distract by making
me ponder which version of black I want on my next iPhone. I want the
same keyboard I’ve been getting the hang of for the last decade. I
want the same form-factor. I want what’s coming to me. I want the best
consumer computing device ever put on a store’s shelf.
I want a new MacBook Air.
You tell him, Dave.
I’ve had one of the fancy new Touch-Bar-having MacBook Pros for a few
weeks and it’s a lovely machine. But, what I’d rather have is a
slightly-faster MacBook Air with a Retina display. I want the old
keyboard and I want real function keys. I want that razor-sharp leading
edge and wonderful taper. Maybe we could compromise on the Touch Bar and
just give me Touch ID up there in the corner.
I don’t like that the best computer I’ll ever have is the one I can no
…a lack of self-control or the state of acting against one’s better
judgement. The adjectival form is “akratic”
I think about this sort of thing in January, naturally. I had first
heard of Akrasia when I was actively using
Beeminder a few years ago. I’m not sure
why I quit using Beeminder (well I do, but I’ll never admit it). Since
I’ve become fatter and more out of shape than I’ve been in years, I’m
firing up Beeminder again to see if it helps curb my akratic tendencies.
While preparing my Daybook for 2017 I decided I wanted to include just
the current condition and temperature rather than the entire weather
summary. The following script grabs the weather (using wu) and returns
either just the current conditions and temperature or, if a date is
passed, it returns summary information for that date.
# Jack Baty, 2016 (https://baty.net)
# Grab and parse weather info using 'wu' by Stephen Ramsay
# Pass the date as YYYYMMDD to get summary info for that date
# If no date is passed, just get current conditions
# Assumes $GOPATH is set
if[$# -ge 1]thenDATE="$1"WEATHER=`$GOPATH/bin/wu --history=$DATE`HITEMP=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Max Temperature/'| cut -d':' -f2-`LOWTEMP=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Min Temperature/'| cut -d':' -f2-`PRECIP=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Precipitation/'| cut -d':' -f2-`COND=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Weather summary/'| cut -d':' -f2-`if["$COND" !=" "]thenecho"High:$HITEMP, Low:$LOWTEMP, Conditions:$COND$PRECIP"elseecho"High:$HITEMP, Low:$LOWTEMP"fielseDATE=`date +%Y%m%d`WEATHER=`$GOPATH/bin/wu --conditions`TEMP=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Temperature/'| cut -d':' -f2-`COND=`echo"$WEATHER"| awk '/Conditions/'| cut -d':' -f2-`echo"$COND$TEMP"fi
My Stamp calls this new script, adds the results to a custom attribute
named “Weather” and then adds Weather as a KeyAttribute to the current
note. This way the weather is only displayed on notes for which I
explicitly asked for it. The new Stamp looks like this:
Now, if I want to include the weather conditions with a note, I apply
the “Get Weather on \$StartDate” Stamp and it looks like this…
Note that this gets the weather on the date set in the \$StartDate
attribute for a note. It could easily use the \$Created attribute
instead but I always set \$StartDate explicitly so that’s what I use.
If I only want the current conditions, I use the “Get Weather
Conditions” Stamp instead. It’s basically the same thing, but without
including a date parameter. The results look like this…
As of today I’m officially suspending sales and support of Mint and
Fever. But! As self-hosted software, absolutely nothing changes and
you can continue using both Mint and Fever as you were yesterday.
That’s a shame. I’ve used Mint for many years and for my purposes it’s
been nearly perfect. As Shaun says, I can keep using it indefinitely,
which is what I plan to do.