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Finder Catalog Numbers

Stick with me, folks. This is going to get super nerdy and may take a while to explain. It’s also going to cover some of my favorite topics: a custom-built Mac app, a small server-side script, Keyboard Maestro, the command line, and URL schemes.

Let’s talk about the stuff you need to do and the files, supporting documents, and reference material you need to accomplish those tasks.

Mortal Mac App Sins

Maybe I’m just an ornery old man yelling at the new kids running through my lawn. Maybe I should be content to retrain myself to hit ⌘H instead of ⌘W when I no longer want to see a non-document-based app but want to keep it running.

Maybe Apple has done the research and realized that a decade-plus of relearning computers with iOS had taught the over-60 crowd that fullscreen apps are the be-all-end-all. And Gen-Z, who grew up with touch screens, intuits that as well. Maybe there are diminishing numbers of us in the middle reluctantly dragging overlapping windows around like cave people?

Regardless, there is one specific UX sin that interrupts my workflow and annoys me more than anything else on macOS. I want to call out a few of those offending apps now before offering my dumb solution.

Calendar Hero

Let’s be honest. I’m an idiot. If it weren’t for technology holding my hand and functioning as a second brain, I wouldn’t be able to make it through this modern world.

That’s why I trust software to remember all the things I would otherwise forget.

And with the number of meetings I’m in now, it really helps if my calendar is front and center.

So, another week, another app. This time it’s a small little open-source calendar for your macOS Desktop I call Calendar Hero. I made it last week after I was late to a meeting because, well, I was vacuuming and not thinking about the day ahead.

I used another Mac app to do this, but it stopped working for me sometime during Catalina in 2019. I missed what it did, so I reimplemented a simple version of it last week.

This is Calendar Hero.

TextBuddy for macOS

“You either die a programmer, or you live long enough to see yourself build a text editor.”
—Harvey Dent (or someone)

Two weeks ago, I released TextBuddy – a new text editor for macOS. And now I’m finally getting around to sharing why I built it.

Receipts

Ten months ago I drafted a post about how incredible the Apple ecosystem is when all the pieces fit together. It was a month into the pandemic and I found myself walking through a real-life Apple commercial in the grocery store.

I was a bit stunned when I got back to my car and it sorta hit me just how well the entire end-to-end experience worked. As a lifelong adherent of the positive influence and power that well made software and hardware can have over our lives, I was taken aback.

And so while I was planning on finishing my thank-you post to Apple this weekend, that’s not going to happen.

Instead, let’s talk about receipts.

Roundabout Syncing

I don’t mean for this blog post to only be more complaining. It’s just my dumb solution to a Finder bug I’ve been running into for years. And also a great example of how a little bit of automation can go a long way. (And an even better example of how unique the macOS ecosystem is that tools like this can exist – and how scared I am that (despite assurances) we seem to be headed in a direction where powerful and clever apps are not wanted.)

Anyway, something must have broken in Finder around when Apple integrated iCloud Drive into macOS Sierra in 2016. That’s when I noticed that the files on my Desktop would stop appearing on…my Desktop.

An Email Followup About Standing Desks and Ultrawide Monitors

An online friend emailed me after reading my previous standing desk post with a few questions about the monitor pictured on my office desk.

My reply kept getting longer and longer (go figure) until I decided I might as well publish it here in case anyone else finds it interesting. Without further ado, here’s another 869 words about ultrawide and multiple monitor setups.

Ow, My Back

We officially went into quarantine on March 22. One hot afternoon in June, I found myself in the garage with a pair of shears, a screwdriver, and a hammer so I could cut an inch of leather off my belt and punch a new hole.

All in all, I had lost twenty pounds by doing nothing.

But did I feel better? Not at all. By May, I was hurting. The next month I was in pain. That summer was nothing but agony from muscle and skeletal pain.

This post is all the fun, nerdy details that went into making my home and work offices more comfortable. It was a bit of self-preservation mixed with stress-shopping. But if you want the TL;DR, I can sum it up with two words:

Stop. Sitting.

240 Invisible Pixels

I’m generally happy with Big Sur, but the focus on design over usability in many places is baffling to me. One of the worst offenders are the redesigned banner notifications.

Here’s my solution for dismissing them.

One Year of App Pricing Experiments

One of my goals for 2020 is figuring out a financial path forward for my little software business – particularly around how I price and sell my apps.

I’ve been mostly open about the fact that, for a few years, I was incredibly fortunate enough that my software business was successful enough to be my full-time job. I’ve also been pretty honest that sales started slipping in 2017 before cratering in 2018. The reasons for the decline are varied – some my fault, others outside of my control.

But this post is about figuring out what can work in the years ahead. And the genesis of that experiment began last July when I started planning in earnest and setting up the infrastructure to convert my main app to a subscription model.