April 19, 2020
org-mode In Your Pocket Is a GNU-Shaped Devil - Mike Hall
With Emacs, you don’t just go “la la la … I’m gonna add org mode back and call it a day!” You think to yourself, “I love org mode. I wish there was an easy way to turn an e-mail message into a todo …” and the next thing you know you’re dealing with how to configure GNUS.
Then you think “All my calendar stuff is in Google calendar … how can I get it into my org mode agenda?” and that means you’re off reading this guy’s page and just getting angrier and angrier.
Then you go in the kitchen and make a drink, and while you’re making it and calming down you think to yourself, if I’m doing all this stuff in Emacs anyhow, what would it hurt to follow Twitter in Emacs?
Now you’re not drinking because you’re angry … you’re drinking because you wonder what happened to you and it makes you sad. But you’re drunk, so it seems like a perfectly good idea to build an entire Web site using nothing but Emacs because then you can get a LaTeX version of it for if the asteroids hit and their radiation destroys all HTML. And having decided to do that, part of you thinks about how glad you are you have org mode, so you can organize the lengthy process of making sure you never have to leave Emacs again.
That’s right … because org-mode is just a collection of lisp running in an editor. It cannot impose more complex features on you. The genius of org-mode is that you will eventually impose more complex features on yourself.
This is exactly me every other week.
April 18, 2020
Curio 14 public beta
Curio is one of the nicest, best-looking, useful, and thoughtful apps I’ve used. George, the developer, is insanely responsive and helpful.
I started using Curio in 2006 and never stopped for more than a month or two at a time. Here’s why I sometimes stop using Curio:
- I think I’ll be going all-in with the iPad (there’s no Curio for iOS)
- I decide that plain-text only is the way to go
- What if I switch to Linux?
I come back each time because Curio is so good. It’s just so damn pleasant to use. I’ll open a Curio document I created for some project from years earlier and after just a few seconds I am able to wrap my head around everything related to the project. It’s all about the free-form visual layout. No matter how much I want to just write everything down in, say, Emacs, I end up admitting that I’m a visual thinker. Curio excels for people like me.
There’s a public beta of Curio 14, so of course I’m trying it. Version 14’s tentpole features most interesting to me are “Journal” and “Auto scoot”. The Journal is just a handy way of creating a date-based tree of idea spaces with specific templates. Here’s what one of the built-in templates looks like.
Curio’s Creative Planner journal template
Or there’s the “Meeting” template
Curio’s Meeting journal template
Of course these can be customized as desired, and they are still idea spaces that can be used like any other in Curio. I’m looking forward to giving the journaling features a spin.
The other feature I’m excited about is called “Auto scoot”, which I must admit is an adorable name. If I have a text or other expandable object in a space, and there are other objects below the text object, those objects below will automatically move (scoot) down and out of the way. This sounds minor, but is kind of a big dea.
Curio 14, as with every update, contains dozens of thoughtful and useful new features and tweaks.
Check out the Release notes.
April 18, 2020
I started this painting of Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” from their “Killers” album cover in 1981 and have yet to finish it. I’m guessing I never will, but it remains in my closet, just in case. I think I was afraid of painting his hair so I’ve put it off for going on 40 years and counting.
April 17, 2020
Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters 🎵
Wonderful, weird, powerful new record from Fiona Apple; and I’m very very happy about it.
I resent you for having each other
I resent you for being so sure
I resent you presenting your life
like a fucking propaganda brochure
Whenever you want to begin, begin
We don’t have to go back to where we’ve been.
I saw Apple perform in 2012 and I’d love to go back and do it again.
Fiona Apple, Frederik Meijer Gardens (2012)
April 14, 2020
More notes about Mylio for photo management
I started using Mylio for photo management a few days ago and it’s gone swimmingly so far.
I still prefer keeping my photos organized as files in folders on my hard drive. I use Capture One for editing raw files, and then I export the “keepers” to what I call my Digital Print Archive. This is comfortable for me. It feels permanent and manageable. The problem is that I lose out on the features of tools like Apple Photos or Lightroom or Google Photos. I don’t have face recognition or automatic organization by date and/or location. I don’t get automatic sync across devices. I feel left out.
For the past couple years I’ve added everything in my DPA to Google Photos. This way everything is available everywhere, at least for viewing, and I get all the fancy tools. Still, Google gives me the creeps. I could use Lightroom but I don’t want to rely on a cloud solution.
This is where Mylio comes in. Mylio doesn’t use a cloud. It syncs peer to peer whenever devices are on the same network. When they’re apart, changes are saved locally until re-connected. There is some form of https-based sync, but I’ve not investigated how that works
I started out by using my DPA folder as a “Source Folder”, meaning all changes to that folder are mirrored to all devices running Mylio. All managed files are also synced to one or more “Vaults”. The key difference here is that I can use any number of things as Vaults and everything is mirrored to each of them. Currently, I have a single vault on an external USB drive. The beautiful part is that my folder structure is mirrored both ways. In other words, I can move files around in folders, create folders, etc, and that same folder structure is synced to the Vaults and each device. It’s like the best of both worlds: Local management and cloud sync all in one.
Once I got comfortable adding my DPA folder, I also added other folders. Things like “Projects” and miscellaneous folders with avatars, watermarks, and misc logos and images I use other places. Here’s what my top-level folder view looks like now.
Top level folders in Mylio
Note the Apple Photos folder is just what you’d expect, all of my iPhone photos have also been imported. I used to manually import from my phone into Capture One. Now I don’t have to.
Mylio has a bunch of other tools as well. Batch renaming, automatic organization into folders, exports to Flickr, and so on. Here’s the area of Mylio showing my devices, locations, Exif summaries, etc.
So far I only have around 20,000 photos in Mylio, but it still feels very fast. Syncing happens almost instantly. Best of all, everything is kept exactly where I want it.
Mylio is worth a look.
April 14, 2020
My wiki is more Roam-like thanks to TiddlyBlink
I’ve finally gone and added TiddlyBlink’s modifications to my TiddlyWiki-based wiki at rudimentarylathe.org. This gives me a little of the automatic backlinking functionality of Roam but in TiddlyWiki
This was inspired by Getting started with TiddlyWiki: a beginner’s tutorial. I’m not a complete beginner, but seeing TiddlyBlink’s use mentioned in the context of “getting started” made me feel a little more comfortable trying it.
One of the cool things about TiddlyWiki is that content and feature enhancements can be installed by simply dragging and dropping from another wiki, right in the browser. To install TiddlyBlink, I dragged the
tb tag from the TiddlyBlink sample into my wiki and clicked “Import”. This brought in a couple dozen custom tiddlers and I immediately had all the features of TiddlyBlink and more.
It’s the “…and more” part that caused a bit of trouble. A few of my own customizations were overwritten, such as…
- Default Journal tiddler titles was changed to
YYYY-0MM / 0DD / 0hh:0mm:0ss / which is just way too long for me. I changed it back to
DDD, MMM DD, YYYY since I only create one Journal entry per day. My default regular tiddler title is set to
<<now "YYYY.0MM.0DD">> - which I prefer.
- The styles were changed to an inverse of the grey vs white of my theme. Changed it back to “vanilla”
- Default tiddlers shown in the Story River was changed to
[[TiddlyBlink home]]. Nope, I had mine set the way I like it for a reason.
- Lots of toolbar items were changed and had to be reverted.
- Story View setting was changed to “zoomin”, which I don’t like. Changed it back to “classic”
For someone starting fresh, the above changes are probably beneficial. For me, they were invasive. Not a huge deal. I spent maybe 20 minutes finding and fixing them.
A few benefits that came along with TiddlyBlink were…
- Automatic linking when typing
[[. This is helpful, and makes linking feel more like Roam.
- A different tiddler can be shown in the sidebar, for side-by-side comparision. Not nearly has handy or easy as the way Roam does it, but it could come in handy.
- Handles sources when tagged properly. Have to play with this.
I’ll need to tinker with all this to see how (or if) in improves things.
April 14, 2020
Getting started with TiddlyWiki: a beginner’s tutorial - Ness Labs
Anne-Laure Le Cunff on getting started with TiddlyWiki:
If you are looking for an open source alternative to Roam Research, TiddlyWiki is your best bet. Because it’s self-hosted—meaning you keep your data private—it may seem a bit more daunting to get started. So here is a guide which will take you from complete beginner to completely in love with TiddlyWiki in three steps.
It’s written in the context of an alternative to Roam, so it includes information on integrating TiddlyBlink. There’s no mention of the Timimi extension for Firefox which is my preferred way to edit local wikis.
I haven’t had the guts to pull TiddlyBlink into my main wiki yet, but it’s tempting.
April 13, 2020
Running CloudReady on the 2008 iMac
Patrick Rhone posted a link to a post by Steve Best titled New Life for an Old iMac. Steve had installed Neverware’s CloudReady OS into an old iMac.
CloudReady makes our little iMac feel like a new computer again.
I had never heard of CloudReady.
Based on Google’s Chromium OS, the same open-source architecture as Chromebooks and Chrome OS, CloudReady provides unparalleled speed, simplicity, and security without hardware limitations, whether your computers are brand new or 10 years old.
It so happens I had an ancient iMac gathering dust in a closet, so I dragged it out, dusted it off, and set about installing a weird, new-to-me OS.
2008 iMac running CloudReady OS
I created a boot USB, fired up the iMac, ran the installer, logged in, and I was up and running. I’ve never used Chrome OS so the whole thing is new to me, but I now have a 24-inch screen running a simple, fast OS on hardware that was never going to run a modern version of macOS so I’d say it’s a win.
The Magic Keyboard paired nicely. The Magic Mouse, while it paired, would not scroll, so I grabbed an old wired mouse until I can figure out why the Apple mouse didn’t work. Wifi worked, and so far everything else seems to have worked as well.
I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but it’s fun to tinker with.
April 13, 2020
Arq 6 upgrade issues - Michael Tsai
Michael Tsai’s notes on the Arq 6 update:
Overall, it just seems like the app was shipped before it was ready
I still think that Arq, uniquely, gets the overall backup architecture right. Arq 6 makes major progress, but it also has some serious regressions. Most importantly, it needs more testing and refinement. I do not recommend updating right now. Arq 5 still works great. There’s no rush.
I’ve used Arq for years and it’s great, so I fully intend to upgrade. Just not right now.
April 11, 2020
Gallery of meals
The only thing I’ve been photographing lately are my meals.
It started as a way to test Lychee as a gallery, but I kept going. Now it’s a habit. I don’t pose them or anything. I just set the plate down on my desk and snap a photo from above.