I’ll admit, I’m terrible at rote memorization. I always have been, which is weird for someone that became a chemist. Often chemistry is approached by pre-med students as another flashcard topic, and this definitely works for many people. If you are someone that uses flashcards then this Anki system looks very good. There are apps for the Mac and for iOS. Anki has an interesting plain text format that also has quite a bit of power.
Drafts for Mac Status Update: What can Drafts for Mac do? The initial version of Drafts for Mac will support most of the same draft capture, editing and organization features of Drafts 5 on iOS and all drafts, tags, workspaces, versions, etc. will sync between versions. The editor will support themes and all the same editing features, syntax highlighting and more. True to its core, there will be quick-capture tools to easily popup up a window and start typing to start on all your text snippets and notes in Drafts as easily on Mac as you do on iOS.
Let’s see if I can do a Dave Pell style post. I actually liked Snow Leopard more than Leopard, so a year of improvements is just fine by me. 2018 feels like the year of “sorry we ruined your family life” from Apple. I still don’t want a HomePod I actually kind of want a pair of HomePods. I wouldn’t say no to a series-3 Watch but I’m also not saying yes until I see Overcast for Apple Watch Siri actions will enable the most productive, dumbest assistant I’ve ever worked with Great, now I need to pretend I don’t know how to do group FaceTime just like I pretend I don’t know how to do group messaging Please, oh please don’t let game makers use tongue detection.
I immediately turned on iCloud storage for Messages with the latest iOS update. I liked this succinct summary by Paul Horowitz over at OS X Daily. That’s a lot of storage moved to iCloud.
Affiliate: This basically converts Amazon and iTunes links on my clipboard to affiliate links. It’s simple but it works. Default Folder X: The “Save as…” window is so much better with this app. The menu bar app provides a convenient way to navigate to recent and favorite locations. I don’t use it often but it’s nice to have access to. Path Finder can also provide this option but I think it’s too noisy.
This is a big update for 1Password on the Mac. Not only does the applicaiton look great but one of my favorite features is getting a lot more useful: Secure notes now support Markdown formatting! I have a lot of secure notes in 1Password. I don’t just need to know passwords, I need to know the details about restarting servers once I login. I need to know details about my family that extend beyond birthdays.
FoldingText is quite the impressive text editor. It was started by the same folks behind TaskPaper and was spun out as a more powerful text editor with task management features. A post in the support forum is now talking about the future of this unique beast. 2018 might just be the year when plain text lovers have a variety of new apps to try. It’s finally the year of Notational Velocity alternatives.
The makers of my favorite image editing application for the Mac, Acorn, are out with a new piece of software. It follows the data pipelining methodology. I love this way of working with data. I think it makes a lot more sense than the traditional stacked filter model used in other image editors (including Acorn). Gus Mueller has a terrific blog post describing the application. The app is in beta now but it’s already very fun to play with.
Just when it feels like interest in workflow automation is dying, I discover a terrific new site: Automation Orchard. The new site has a terrific navigation and crosses over between iOS and Mac through a single portal. I also like that the site aggregates links from other sites to avoid a single perspective. Automation Orchard goes way beyond a few apps on iOS. The collections are broken down between hardware, software, and web services.
I’ve used the Orbi WiFi system for several months. With the demise of the Apple wireless base stations I figured this was a good time to write about it. Let me start with two disclaimers: I don’t use most of the advanced features of the Orbi The Orbi is an expensive WiFi solution that may not be for everyone Mesh networks have become consumer products. I ran my own Frankenstein’s monster of a network before buying into the Orbi lifestyle.