April 20, 2020

TiddlyBlink on Glitch

Tom Critchlow:

While Anne-Laure’s post walks through how to self-host or set up a local instance easily none of the web options for TiddlyWiki seemed very satisfying so I went fiddling… I quickly discovered this excellent TiddlyWiki reference project on Glitch from Thomas Elmiger. So all I did was remix this project - install TiddlyBlink and hey presto it works out of the box!

He’s right, it does work right out of the box. I made this in 2 minutes…


It requires authentication in order to edit anything, but allows for anonymous access otherwise. An ideal configuration for a public hosted wiki with next-to-zero setup. It’s stock TiddlyWiki with the Roam-like backlinking features of TiddlyBlink pre-installed.

I should spend more time in Glitch.

TiddlyWiki Glitch
April 19, 2020

org-mode In Your Pocket Is a GNU-Shaped Devil - Mike Hall

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.

Emacs Org-mode
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 templateCurio’s Creative Planner journal template

Or there’s the Meeting” template

Curio’s Meeting journal templateCurio’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.

Software Curio
April 18, 2020

Painting Eddie

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

Seriously great.

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)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 MylioTop 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.

Mylio nerdaryMylio nerdary

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.

Software Photography Workflow
April 14, 2020

My wiki is more Roam-like thanks to TiddlyBlink

I’ve finally gone and added TiddlyBlinks 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.

Wiki TiddlyWiki
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 OS2008 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.

Hardware Apple
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.