On a cold, cloudy afternoon at a presidential inauguration, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger lead “This Land Is Your Land” from the steps of Lincoln Memorial.
I’ve been going to the gym (more on that later) and haven’t fallen to the siren song of Bluetooth earbuds. I’m still stuck with the cords on my trusty Apple EarPods. I got tired of the tangles and remembered this video published by The Verge.
I hope it helps my fellow slow adopters.
Sometimes when I press ⌘⇥, the switcher pops up on the wrong display. This seems random, but I learned it isn’t.
The switcher display shows up on the last display where the Dock was active. That’s all there is to it!
The solution wasn’t hard to find, but the answer I read was on StackExchange.
We can finally scrape all of that 2016 goo away and move forward to 2017. I think this is going to be our year.
The horror of watching something terrible unfold right in front of you makes it nearly impossible to look away. The 2016 election is such a train wreck, the candidates’ voices like the horrible screeching of metal, so much vitriol like blood spilling onto the tracks.
All the world’s a stage and the greatest nation in the world has sunk to become the world’s stage for reality TV. This campaign has all the makings from bombshell accusations from FBI Director James Comey and Trump’s outright threats (I’ll put her in jail!) to backstabbing within the party (sensible Republicans versus The Donald) and outside interference (I’m looking at you Russia). Could Shakespeare write such a dark farce? If he tried, would scholars label it as tragedy or comedy?
The investigations of Clinton’s emails—opened and reopened during this campaign—ended as much ado about nothing. Twice. Likewise the so-called assassination attempt at a Trump rally. The “assassin” was nothing more than a member of their own Republican Party holding a sign in peaceful protest of a truly terrible candidate.
I feel like the main character in a (more) dystopian version of The Truman Show. Is this reality? Really? The whole campaign is so transparently ridiculous and almost scripted to seem unreal, yet here we are hunkered down on the edge of chaos with a hopeful tyrant snapping at the heels of the only presidential candidate on the ballot.
While some subscriptions clearly aren’t worth the cost to me, others are. The problem is that a bunch of cheap subscriptions add up to a bunch of money.
- $11.99 for Netflix for 4 screens + ultra HD
- $11.99 for Hulu no commercials
- $9.99 for Apple Music
- $14.99 for HBO Now
- $13.99 for web hosting
- $19.99 for Slingplayer
- $4.99 for CBS
No one feels like much. Together, they’re nearly $90 a month, or more than $1,000 a year.
We cut the cord on cable a long time ago, and we’re still coming out on top compared to the cost of a cable subscription, but we aren’t getting all of the channels but we never watched all the channels.
That isn’t including the puny bit of patronage I am able pay to my favorite Internet acquaintances, particularly Marco Arment and Brett Terpstra. Shout out to 5by5 as well. They’re great!
Years ago I got hooked on automation for fun and productivity, and expanding snippets of text on my Mac made me feel like a wizard.
In those early years, I waffled between Typinator and TypeIt4Me before the introduction of the iPhone. I moved to TextExpander sometime around 2010 when it began syncing with my then-new iPhone. I used it exclusively until Tuesday, April 5, when Smile Software announced the transition to a subscription plan.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. —Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
The idea of a subscription model doesn’t bother me. The software is awesome and remains the only snippet expander that is widely supported by iOS app developers. Why write off more than five years of building habits and muscle memory?
The exorbitant cost.
I think I got into the game with my first purchase of Textpander 3 circa 2010 for $19.95 (after taking advantage of a $15 discount). Continuing to invest in the system, I later upgraded to version 4 for $19.95 followed by an upgrade to the last version for another $20. These purchases for my Mac were coupled with versions 3 and 4 on iOS for $4.99 each.
If you’re keeping up, that’s a total investment just a hair short of $70 to license the software for roughly five years, or about $14 a year.
Under the new subscription model, the cost is easy to project for the next five years. The charge over five years for new users paying monthly will be $297. “Loyal” users get a break for 12 months. Here is a full breakdown of subscription costs over a five-year period.
|New Annual||New Monthly||Upgrade Annual||Upgrade Monthly|
Smile Software isn’t breaking any new ground with its move to a subscription model. Adobe and Microsoft also made the move, but the return on investment simply doesn’t compare.
If my memory hasn’t faded too much, major version releases of Adobe’s Master Collection arrived about every three years with an upgrade cost of $1,800. The company now charges $50/month to access the entire stable of pro editing software with regular updates, or $1,800 every three years.
Microsoft’s Office Suite used to be in the neighborhood of $400 with deep discounts for students to $150. Now, those apps are available to regular users of Office 365 for $6.99/month, or $419.40 every five years. This includes services such as free tech support, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and web versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook in addition to the full desktop apps.
The cost to subscribe software from Adobe and Microsoft is comparable to the prior cost to buy boxed versions off the shelf. Based on my personal experience, the cost to subscribe to TextExpander will increase from an average of $14/year to $42.77/year, a 205.5 percent annual increase.
There are other concerns beyond price.
Smile seems proud to drop sync services with Dropbox and iCloud to host its new Meteor app on the Galaxy cloud service. No more free to cheap, widely available, mature services available. Just the new textexpander.com. They seem to be taking Steve Jobs 2007 “very sweet solution” for developers to heart.
This was a case where history proves that Jobs wasn’t always right. Smile’s mandatory replacement locks users into a service that is arguably less secure. After fallout from the company’s initial announcement and press release, Smile Software issued a clarification the next day explaining upgrade options and the company’s intention “to support it on El Capitan and the next major upgrade of OS X.”
After turning off snippet expansion in TextExpander, I am adding snippets to Keyboard Maestro as needed. Keyboard Maestro is life-changing software I already owned that easily handles snippet expansion and so much more.
What Else Can Keyboard Maestro Do? Pretty much anything you can imagine including launch applications, click the mouse, palettes, execute scripts, insert text, manipulate windows, record macros, built in flow control, use text tokens, menus and buttons, open, file actions, clipboard history, control itunesnotifications, notifications, and perform image actions.
I lose syncing with iOS this way, but will just enter my oft-used snippets into the the Text Replacement features built into iOS. You can find these options on your iPhone under Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Snippets entered here will sync with your other Apple devices, but lack form entry and support for multiple lines or paragraphs of text.
A few other options include Typinator (by ergonis) and TypeIt4Me (by Ettore Software, App Store affilitiate link) along with aText (by Tran Ky Nam Software), the cheapest alternative for a sawbuck. Ettore also offers TypeIt4Me Touch (App Store affiliate link) that syncs with iOS using iCloud.
Long Story Short…
It’s too late to keep this long story short. If you scrolled to the end, here’s the nut of it. TextExpander has priced itself out of my business and I’m using Keyboard Maestro instead.
Doing laundry from start to finish can quiet a troubled mind if you set your mind to it.
I'm talking about being mindful here—completely in the task—and it works with any simple task. The methodical nature of doing laundry, washing dishes, or sweeping the floor can help quiet mental gremlins and find focus again. Change the way you think about these tasks; convert them from mindless to mindful.
Laundry provides several different ways to relax and focus completely on the task.
- Sorting laundry: darks, whites, lights, and other stuff
- The drone of the washer and dryer
- The smell of clean laundry
- Folding warm clothes
Focused folding is a ritual. When I studied aikido as a young man, my sensei taught me to fold my hakama in our dojo after practice. He referred to the careful folding process as the "Japanese press" because it would look perfect when unfolded to wear next time.
One of life's simplest pleasures is outfitting your bed with clean sheets. That luxurious feeling surprises me every time, a great way to end a day after meditating with eight loads of laundry.
I have had this “Trippy spinning optical illusion” (found at the always interesting kottke.org open in a browser window since I found it on Feb. 1, 2016.
Somehow, this woman seems to be spinning both clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously. This is worse than the spinning ballerina. Anyone know who did this? Randomly found it on Facebook and couldn’t trace the source back…
The most mind-blowing of this type of animation I have seen to date. Kudos to the designer!
A post title I never imagined writing until today, but definitely for content worth remembering somewhere.
My wife and I swapped iPads.
She had an iPad 2. I had an iPad mini. Same hardware, different sizes. I didn’t use the mini much because it was too small to enjoy some of the work (and play) I enjoy. She used the larger iPad constantly, but found it hard to tote around. Now, she has the portability that helps her and I have the larger size that I craved.
We should have done it a long time ago.
iCloud backup and restore
Swapping was a cinch.
We both manually initiated a backup to iCloud before we erased and deleted the contents of each iPad. This reset them to act as if they were brand new. “Hello. Welcome to iPad.” All that remained was logging into our respective iCloud accounts, plugging in the devices, and waiting for everything to download.
The exchange took about two hours to complete, though they were only rendered unusable for about 15 minutes during the delete and reset. The experience was nearly flawless. Now, she can easily carry the iPad mini in her purse and I can happily write in Ulysses for iPad.
Last month I made some bold claims about my output on this site. Oh well! Life goes on. I remain optimistic that both of my readers will have soon have more to read here than extended apologies for nothing being here to read.
Let’s just say this time of year is super busy in my line of work.
Building a list of topics. In the meantime, enjoy our surprise guest writer. Kermit the Frog! Yaaaaaaaaaaayayayayay!
Standing in line at the deli waiting to get deep-fried chicken tenders for lunch thinking why not publish a blog now? It’s not like it’s the 1990s and I have to be tethered to a desk to publish something online.
Today is my wife’s birthday. I keep thinking she will catch up with me, but she never does. Don’t worry about the chicken fingers. Plan to cook her something special for supper tonight.