The Modern Complexity of the Simple Blog

While researching a new platform for Macdrifter.com I learned just how complicated simplicity has become. I wanted to avoid Medium or Substack which meant I needed to accept my role in managing the publishing platform. I wasn’t prepared for how complex plain-text blogging has become.1 One popular trend is to implement a what I would consider a software development pipeline and not a blogging system. I love technology as much as the next nerd, but I do not understand this trend of increasing the dependencies and technical infrastructure for turning Markdown into HTML.

Cornell Notes

I know. I drone on about digital notes and apps like Obsidian and DEVONthink. But, I also love writing on paper. I always have. I was the weird kid in high school using graph paper to take notes and it’s not much different today. My preferred style of note is the Cornell method. I learned this by accident in college. Through trial and error I started dividing my pages into the the primary note body and the meta data sections and then I discovered that there’s actually paper designed for this purpose.

Write More

I liked this analogy by Antoine Lehurt: After the “keep it simple” in programming, the “keep it short” for writing. I often write too much.

Feeds and Redirects

EDIT: Apparently https is hard and I am not up to the challenge today. I updated this post with a new feed address. Well that wasn’t a great re-launch of this site. I probably broke some RSS feed readers. In case you came here randomly and want a feed URL it has changed. The old feed: http://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/all.atom.xml Has now become: http://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/rss.xml and the https version is here: https://www.macdrifter.com/feeds/rss.xml It may update automatically as a result of the .

Obsidian Templater Fun

I’m still having fun and friction with Obsidian. But let’s try something a bit more challenging than deciding on a folder structure for our notes. One of the things I like about modern text editors is that they are incredibly extensible. Most have a plugin architecture and also support some sort of scripting language. Obsidian has both and they are built on JavaScript. This article concerns the extremely powerful Templater plugin for Obsidian.

Zoom and Prostitution

Zoom really made a splash during the pandemic and I think overall it improved people’s lives during a hard time. But, it also proved to be dishonest and pretty gross. Now they are finally paying a tiny amount as a penalty. But this line from Bruce Schneier really caught my attention: …for lying to users about end-to-end encryption, and for giving user data to Facebook and Google without consent.

Obsidian Notes

I spent the last few weeks traveling and working out of hotels.1 Much of that work involved text files in Obsidian. I have a few notes on the experience.2 Most of the themes in Obsidian are just not that attractive to me. Some use monospace fonts in the body text. Some use wacky colors for every attribute, which I find very distracting. I’m not a huge fan of the variable size header styles in most themes.

A Couple New Python Tricks

It’s a slow week around here while I attend to some new projects. But these two python links are just too good to not share. First up is the announcement of a new O’Reily book about Excel automation with open source python. I don’t buy many O’Reily books these days but since I can get a PDF version I’m all in on this one. So much data is stored and used in Excel that it’s a no-brainer to get better at using it.

Jupyter on the Web

JupyterLab has announced JupyterLite: The goal of the project is to provide a lightweight computing environment accessible in a matter of seconds with a single click, in a web browser, and without having to install anything on the end-user device.