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Roundabout Syncing

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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.

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An Email Followup About Standing Desks and Ultrawide Monitors

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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.

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Ow, My Back

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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.

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240 Invisible Pixels

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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.

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One Year of App Pricing Experiments

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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.

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Standup.app

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Standup.app is a tiny little Mac app that I made last week because I needed it in my day job. I’m not sure what to do with it or what will ultimately become of it, but, as usual, I figured I should make the app available in case anyone else finds it useful.

It helps facilitate the super-short standup call I run with my team every morning.

It also serves double-duty as a weird, helpful presentation utility for the seemingly never-ending stream of video meetings I have throughout the day.

I know there are other solutions out there, but this one is mine and built to my odd specifications.

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The Apple Hero 2020 Needs

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Rakhim is the hero we need in 2020.

Please don’t let the comedic nature of the video turn you away. I’m not sure if there is a better way he could have presented this.

Stay for the entire trainwreck so you can appreciate the focus of a two-trillion dollar company that says subscription services revenue is the future.

He really does make some excellent observations about usability, attention to detail, care, and obviousness in software.

I cackled for the full 18 minutes.

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Voxmail – Voice Email with Siri

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The idea for this app started eleven months ago as a collection of PHP scripts and a giant Shortcuts.app shortcut. But I quickly realized it would be best served as a real iOS app. I’ve been working on it off and on since February and have teased it a few times publicly on Twitter.

But now I think I’m ready for broader feedback from outside my small group of testers. And hope that feedback will show that it’s useful to more people than just me.

The app is called Voxmail. And (I think?) it’s the first iOS email client that you can’t use on your phone.

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Talking to OmniFocus

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But one significant change I have made is to my morning routine. And it was made possible by OmniFocus’ version 3.4 update last year. I’m sorry that I’m just now getting around to writing about this new workflow because it’s a lot of fun. And it just might be my favorite new feature Omni has ever shipped. As a user, it’s wowing me with the possibilities. And as an Apple developer, I’m amazed at how well done it is.

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Motivation

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A few years ago, my therapist told me I’m going to have just the right personality and temperament to enjoy my 40s when I get there. I wasn’t entirely sure how to take his comment then, but now that I’m well into my thirty-eighth trip around the Sun, I think it’s beginning to sink in.

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