Friends of Dave Interview

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with my friend David Sparks to talk about nerdy stuff. I always love talking with Dave because he’s exactly as nice as he sounds. We talked about Keyboard Maestro, Shortcuts, and plenty of Star Wars. If you haven’t tried MacSparky Labs, I can tell you it’s pretty great. It comes with member-only posts as well as insightful webinars.

Low Bar

This list over at is maybe the lowest possible bar for being thankful but I still love it. That hokey unfashionable techniques like practicing gratitude turn out to have strong scientific evidence behind them, and several countries happen to have a preexisting holiday that’s already, at least in theory, dedicated to this practice.

Warhammer 40K Disavows Nazis

Apparently Warhammer 40K had to explain why hate groups aren’t part of their real-life culture. For clarity: satire is the use of humour, irony, or exaggeration, displaying people’s vices or a system’s flaws for scorn, derision, and ridicule. Something doesn’t have to be wacky or laugh-out-loud funny to be satire. The derision is in the setting’s amplification of a tyrannical, genocidal regime, turned up to 11. The Imperium is not an aspirational state, outside of the in-universe perspectives of those who are slaves to its systems.

An Adventure Time Cipher

Thank you Aaron Randall, for this fun solution to something I still think about. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have the Adventure Time comic he is referencing. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I was not clever enough to solve the cipher. At least Aaron proves that those two things aren’t related.

Mac Power Users and the Future of Work

The latest episode of MPU with Sean McCabe was one of my favorites. I don’t listen to very many podcasts now that I don’t have a 90 minute commute but I try to stick with a few like Mac Power Users. This episode was chock full of ideas, some of which just make me giggle. I also enjoyed the closing conversation about work breaks and identity.

An Oral History of Bank Python

Disregarding the fact that this is a written history, I found Cal Paterson’s essay fascinating. It could be that the biggest disadvantage is professional. Every year you spend in the Minerva monoculture the skills you need interact with normal software atrophy. By the time I left I had pretty much forgotten how to wrestle pip and virtualenv into shape (essential skills for normal Python). I’ve known people that worked in COBOL for the baking industry but I had no idea that a private Python branch was replacing it.

The DEVONthink Field Guide

David Sparks has a new Field Guide out and it might be the biggest one yet. This guide covers pretty much all of the DEVONthink functionality and even includes a sample database to work with. David covers every detail of the app, from the settings to integration with third party apps. These are focused lessons that get to the point, unlike the random stuff I find on YouTube. David gets straight to useful information without wasting time asking for likes or telling me to check out other videos.

COVID Links in

I switched my bookmarking to awhile back and I’m still pretty happy with it. Sadly, I’ve also been using it to collect bookmarks about COVID. That collection is now publicly available without needing to sign-up for Raindrop.

Stones Turned This Week

I found the idea of a minimum viable self interesting. Illusion or not, we tend to see other people’s lives as works of art. And having seen them this way, we struggle to (make our lives) the same. I was reading a bit about the Rust programming language and found a nice article about the community around Rust. Without people who have it as their personal goal to make something happen, things just don’t happen.