What caught my attention in week twenty-five, 2023
In continuation to week twenty-four, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in week twenty-five, 2023:
- 🤘 I had fun setting up the ACAC, the Andy Carolan Avatar Club. It all started with a phrase in my last week notes: I've finally joined the Andy Carolan Avatar Club. Habib picked it up and stated the actually obvious: ACAC is quite a cool name for a club 🤣
So I couldn't help but set up a little site and add some nice people with an Mastodon profile pic created by Andy. It's just a markdown table on a Github page so far, but the whole process was very new to me and I learned a lot of new things and made at least one person smile. I think there are worse things you could do 😄. Now, I just have to learn CSS I guess 🤷♂️.
BTW I registered a new Mastodon account, for the club too: @firstname.lastname@example.org
- 🍸 Some neighbors in our street had the idea to organize a small summer party. In the end, a surprising number of families simply put tables, chairs and a couple of grills in the middle of the streets (it's a "play street"2 through which usually only residents drive anyway) and we had a very nice chat in the best weather and good mood. Afterwards, everyone wondered why we hadn't done this ten years earlier.
- 🚴 Still feeling a little bit sick, 51 km cycling, 46 km walking, of which 19 km with our dog.
- 📖 A while ago, I began writing Daily Notes again. I generally use Day One as my journaling app, and I've been quite pleased with it. I'm not exactly sure why, but for my Daily Notes, I recently switched to Obsidian. Last week, I mentioned that I have created a number of useful Apple Shortcuts for importing my daily activities, such as Mastodon posts, bookmarks saved in Anybox, completed private tasks, some health data, videos and music albums stored in Play or MusicHarbour. I mainly use Actions for Obsidian for this, but I could, and do, similar things via IFTTT and Day One. Perhaps the charm for me lies in the fact that these are pure text and png files and not a data silo, even though Day One actually has a variety of export functions.
I have dug into my archives and found approximately 6,000 old text files with notes, posts on various social platforms, weather data, etc. and dumped them all into Obsidian. So far, I have been using iCloud as the synchronisation platform for Obsidian. It works quite well, but what bothered me on iOS was that the app always wanted to load and synchronise settings and other files at the beginning, delaying the startup by several seconds. Therefore, I decided to try out the native synchronisation function, and what can I say, it is so much better for larger vaults! No more waiting times, absolutely fantastic. I will give it a one-month trial and then probably purchase the annual plan (just to switch back to Day One afterwards, I suppose 🤦♂️🤣).
- 📝 Working with PDFs under macOS, especially annotating them, has become a pain in the a** in recent years. Initially, I loved the fact that macOS has built-in PDF support, but it just does not work reliably for me. Numerous times I've lost hours of work because notes and annotations got lost, which is even worse if you only encounter it weeks or months later. I'm not sure if it's just that Preview is so buggy, or if it's a more fundamental problem. Anyhow, I use different PDF-related tools, like Highlights, Bookends, Preview, PDF Squeezer, to name just a few and recently discovered PDFGenius 4, mentioned by Carlo Zottmann: The ultimate PDF manipulation toolkit is an intuitive and powerful PDF utility that you will ever need. I guess I will throw it into the mix soon.
- 🖥️ Viable: Create and run macOS virtual machines on Apple silicon Macs: With Viable, you should only need a few clicks to set up a virtual Mac and install the latest version of macOS on it. I haven't delved into virtual machines much so far, but maybe this could be a good starting point.
- 🖼 Stumbled upon Ealain : a macOS screensaver that displays abstract art generated by Stable Diffusion using the AI Horde. Limitless generative art gracing your screen, forever.
- 🦙 Matthew Clover mentioned the water tracker Waterllama: Build your healthy hydration habit with the Waterllama app. Cute animal characters, cool widgets, motivating challenges, Apple Watch app and much more! Before I was running WaterMinder but recently lost traction using it on a daily basis. Might be the fact that Waterllama looks visually more pleasant and has some gamification build in, but I had fun tracking my water intake again over the last couple of days.1 This is especially important due to the fact that the summer here is already unusual hot for us. Even in my office it was never cooler than 26 °C (at night) over the last couple of weeks and this Friday it reached the 30 °C mark. Waterllama runs fine on my Mac, iPad and iPhone, albeit I had some troubles getting it to sync properly between all of them. Its developers are based in the Ukraine, and definitely deserve some support.
And on the subject of "hot weather", this website also fits very well: Show Your Stripes: Visualising how the climate has changed for every country across the globe. Doesn't look great for my place, as for everyones I guess.
- 🖊️ Bought Text Shot by Chris Hannah: a universal (iOS/iPadOS/macOS) application that lets you take text snippets and create beautiful shareable images (text shots). Haven't used it yet for "something real", but nevertheless I think it's a great app.
- ☑️ I've joined the Clear 2 (Preview) beta on iOS to find out that the app is not for me. Too basic and no Apple Reminders integration. Even the highly praised UI doesn't appeal to me personally.
- 🐘 I've looked into the Radiant for Mastodon TestFlight beta . Interesting feature set but without extensive list support it's definitely not for me, either.
- 🍿 Joined the TV Forecast 2.0 beta and I am really excited about the fact that soon there will be two great TV and Movie tracker apps for iOS with trakt.tv support. (Yes, I am looking at you, Sequel 👀.)
- 📱 For the first time ever I've installed an Apple developer beta: iPadOS 17. It runs quite stable so far and I really dig the new autocorrect. Other than that, I haven't really noticed much new in my daily work, mainly because I still give Stage Manager a pass.
- 🎅 Unfortunately, I more or less missed that during June there is a Indie App Santa: Summer Edition going on. But at least I was able to grab Söka at a steep discount. I will definitely use it for our summer vacation, and its AI feature actually made some good suggestions already.
- 🔗 I am always on the hunt for new bookmark apps. The pace of development for Interlink recently stalled, but it should be released in the next few weeks, the developer told me. Still, I'm not sure if I prefer it over Anybox. I've joined the Bookmarks TestFlight to see if it would better fit my needs, but TL;DR Anybox is still my preferred app.
- 🍿 We watched Everything Everywhere All at Once - what a STRANGE movie that was! (But we had much fun watching it.)
- 📺 No TV for me this week.
- Accidental Tech Podcast: 540: The Points Don’t Matter
- Besenwagen - der Radsport Podcast: Heino is back! (mit Heinrich Haussler)
- Hemispheric Views One Prime Plus: 033: ChromeBurk!
- The Talk Show With John Gruber: 379: ‘An Extra Kick in the Nuts’, With Christian Selig
- Über Schlafen - Deutschlandfunk Nova: Powernap - Energiekick oder Zeitverschwendung?
- Über Schlafen - Deutschlandfunk Nova: Träumen: Warum machen wir das?
- Upgrade: 464: Godzilla Is Always There
- Of course, the number on reason installing it was the cute llama and the fact, that I can use the 🦙 emoji for my blog post 🤣.↩︎
- I'm not sure what the correct term for this is and if there is such a thing outside Germany / Europe at all 🤔.↩︎