Let The Words Be Free

Written on FB just now:

Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?” then gives you a tiny little box to write your thoughts into. Yes, I know it expands, but the implication, to me, seems clear. “We can’t have you thinking for too long, otherwise you might start to wonder why you’re putting your longform writing here in the walled garden.”

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC*

Andrew Orlowski at The Register wrote this obit for Dr Bernard L Peuto, his work at Zilog (makers of the 8-bit Z80 and 16-bit Z8000 processors), the Processor Wars, and more.

Dr Peuto graduated in Paris and completed PhDs at Berkeley in 1969 and 1974. He joined Zilog in 1976, and for the next six years managed 120 component products. He led the design of the MMU, Z Bus, and the Z8. He founded ViewTech in 1984 and led the SPARC graphic team at Sun Microsystems from 1987 to 1991. He was later a member of the executive committee of the Computer History Museum. Dr Peuto was badly injured at a road intersection in San Francisco some years ago.

(*Gotta love El Reg’s headline writers.)

I have a new system for stuff I want to read later. I put it in my task manager (Todoist, in my case) with due date set to tomorrow. Then, when it shows up on my task list, a) I’ll remember I saved it, b) I’ll have the opportunity to consider whether I still want to read it.

Related to my previous post about DEVONthink, though it’s applicable to Evernote, OneNote and other services: some web pages just won’t let you extract just the article content, usually through choice of HTML markup.

I’ve discovered a lot of bit-rot in my DEVONthink Pro Office databases, due to their previously using Instapaper to create clutter-free versions of web pages. :(

Just posted this to FB

Just posted this to FB:

I know quite a few of you have blogs out there on the interwebs. And some of you even update them occasionally. The trouble is, we’ve been lured by the convenience of being connected to all our friend inside the walled gardens, and rarely venture out from there. That’s why I’m making a conscious effort to get back to blogging out on the open Internet. Because the gardens aren’t as nice as we thought they were, and the estate owners are, quite frankly, assholes.

Why isn't the Internet more fun and weird?

Why isn’t the Internet more fun and weird?

By mistake, MySpace inspired a generation of teenagers to learn how to code. From Stealing MySpace:

But Nguyen forgot to block Web markup language in user submissions.

His mistake allowed users to build colorful backgrounds and wallpapers and load them onto their MySpace pages.

The post is an intro to a new blogging service called Codeblog:

Posts are written in a flavor of Markdown that renders React components inline. This makes writing words feel natural and writing JavaScript feel like HTML.

I’ve requested an invite, and will update when I know more.

I’ve had Brainwave Studio for Mac for a while, and usually use it to help me relax. But the last few days, I’ve tried using it to help me do sessions of work at the computer. I’ve not had that level of focus and flow in ages.

A few notes on the iPhone 4S

Riccardo Mori recently got an iPhone 4S to see how it fares nowadays.

I do miss my iPhone 4S a bit. It was truly ‘small, but perfectly formed’. While I love the long battery life on my Lenovo PHAB2, it is just too big to ever operate with just one hand. sigh Maybe I should try and score an iPhone SE while I still can?

Isn’t a 3.5-inch display a bit small for today’s standards? — More than ‘standards’, I’d say ‘habits’, but anyway. There are two major scenarios where a smaller display such as this may show its limits today, I think. The first is media consumption, particularly videos. While you can definitely watch a YouTube video on the iPhone 4S — the device is still powerful enough to provide playback without hiccups — you’ll just want a bigger, more widescreen viewing area. The second is web browsing. Here, the problem isn’t so much that a lot of today’s websites are tailored for bigger screens, even on mobile (although this has an undeniable impact), but web advertising. There are essentially no content blockers for iOS 8 (and 32‐bit devices in general), and a lot of websites end up crowding that 3.5-inch screen with ads and popups that are difficult to dismiss given the cramped space. Still, I’ve been positively surprised by the iPhone 4S’s ability to handle certain heavy, ad‐ridden websites.

OK, I can definitely remember how painful that aspect was. Then again, I have an iPad Mini 4, so that would be my first port of call for reading and watching content.

And as Riccardo points out in his article, for most uses the iPhone 4S still works pretty well. That said, I would definitely want to keep it clean in terms of number of apps installed.

Inoreader New Plans and Pricing Updates in February 2019

I’ve mentioned before that I’m using Inoreader as my RSS feed collector of choice. You get a lot more tools and customisation than Feedly for a lot less money.

They’ve recently announced changes to their pricing plans. They are going to introduce new custom plans for heavy users and those requiring a lot of customisations. But they’re also tweaking the features of the existing plans, and removing one tier (Plus) completed.

I’m not immediately affected, since my current subscription run until mid-2020 and I don’t use filters much. But I’ll be keeping an eye on how this develops.

My new ergonomic setup

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 plus R-Go HE vertical mouse

Took delivery of a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 today. It replaces an Apple Wired Extended Keyboard, which while fully functional was also decidedly low and flat. The R-Go HE vertical mouse, which I’ve had for about a month now, replaced a regular size Logitech wireless mouse.

My wrists are already thanking me.