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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I occassioanlly need to scan a folder and all of its subdirectories to see if any of them DO NOT contain files of a certain type.
I’m fully aware you can do this with some combination of shell commands, but I always spent 20 minutes googling for how to do it again every time I needed to. It was faster just to write this small utility myself.
I call it
dnc, which stands for “does not contain”. You can download the source or a pre-built binary on GitHub. The builds aren’t notarized. So be sure to ask Apple if it’s OK to run this on your Mac.
Read the full post for an example of why I need this script.
Inline with my affinity for backing up and owning my data, one component of that strategy is avoiding proprietary file formats and databases whenever possible and reasonable. That’s why I prefer plain text (and more recently
.textbundle) for all of my notes, and why I’m so meticulous about how I organize my family’s photo archives.
It gives me the agility to move from app to app or even (heaven forbid, it may eventually happen) to a new platform as my needs change. If you own your own data, there’s no lock-in.
So along those lines, here’s a very tiny optimization (is that the right word for this?) that I’ve been doing for years that helps keep my reference material organized and more easily searchable and filterable.
(Oh, and also a quick story about how I effed up someone else’s data.)