Now that I have Jekyll in place, I had to come up with a way to upload images to the server. Sometimes I still can’t wrap my head around how capable Shortcuts is. This workflow shortcut uses TinyJPG to compress, then Transmit to upload compressed images to the server.

Here’s a video about this process:

  1. I run the image through the CropSize app which optimizes it’s size and removes metadata.
  2. After this, I share the image to Shortcuts which compresses the image using TinyJPG, generates a unique name using MD5 on Unix epoch, then uploads the file to the server.
  3. At the and of this shortcut, I get a URL to the image, which I can paste into iA Writer (which I’m testing at the moment).

I switched over from WordPress to Jekyll.

It’s so much more portable and easier to work with (although I lost comments, but whatever…). I don’t have trackers or stats, I don’t even have JavaScript anymore.

How to Build a Low-tech Website?

Instead, we chose to apply an obsolete image compression technique called “dithering”. The number of colours in an image, combined with its file format and resolution, contributes to the size of an image. Thus, instead of using full-colour high-resolution images, we chose to convert all images to black and white, with four levels of grey in-between.

This is awesome. I really like the design and I just started to think, maybe I should build something similar for this blog.

I'm turning off crossposting my blog to Twitter via Micro.blog. It was a drag when I posted something here since I had to think about all the “others” who can't pull out their heads from a social network's ass. I don't want to think about that anymore.

Twitter is its own thing, it's weird when I post something on my blog, but I have to check reactions separately on a closed social network. At least I get a webmention from Micro.blog, but nothing from Twitter. Fuck that, my content is here and not over there. If my stats get lower, because of that, well fuck that too… I don't have stats turned on anyway.

The Web 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you how the web, one of our most important invention works in 2018.

I’ve wanted to read an article on Forbes… looks simple right? Well, no. It’s 2018, so when I use these so-called “news sites” I have to go through an IQ test first to access content.

  1. I’ve opened this article and received nothing. As an experienced user I know it must be because of my content blocker is activated in Safari. Forbes is full of so much shit that you just get an empty page with a content blocker turned on since it can’t process the level of shitness (is there a word like that?).
  2. I’ve long-tapped on the refresh button and tapped on “Reload without Content Blockers”. Because I’m an EU citizen I required to know how my ass being tracked. So, I’ve got one of these new fancy GDPR chooser thingies, where I have to set the level of ass tracking. I’ve chosen just required cookies. I’ve tapped Submit.
  3. Now I have this. It looks like a nice gift wrapped in paper. Maybe this is a package of those cookies that I always accept but never receive…

So let’s see where I am currently. I’ve learned that my content blocker and Forbes doesn’t like each other. My ass is being tracked, but just on the required level. I have a nice gift of cookies (maybe… I haven’t opened that thing, it can a bomb too, you know).

But I still can’t reach that fucking article about… ehm… what was it about?

Drafts just got a new version with WordPress integration, so I’m testing that. This feature finally clears out short status updates like this from my Ulysses library.

Web Design Museum

The museum exhibits over 900 carefully selected and sorted web sites that show web design trends between the years 1995 and 2005.

I’ve spent like an hour just clicking around. So many great examples of interesting ideas, annoying stuff, dead technologies (yes, Flash), and just memories. The web seemed so innocent back then.

Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use social media

Go ahead, read the whole article, but first I have to highlight this trend which is especially interesting:

Whereas 66% of this demographic agreed with the statement “social media is important to me” in 2016, only 57% make this claim in 2018. As young people increasingly reject social media, older generations increasingly embrace it: among the 45-plus age bracket, the proportion who value social media has increased from 23% to 28% in the past year, according to Ampere’s data.

I’ve seen this happening in my immediate environment as well in the last couple of years. Older people are getting on Facebook more and more, while younger ones are getting off. What’s more interesting is that older ones are started to behave a bit different: they’re seemingly more gossipy, as they’re following their friends’ everyday life more closely. Also, it’s sad to see how quickly some of them got hooked on stupid crap like fake news, politics, hoaxes and joined these type of groups.

I assume there is whole new world opened for some of them, but it seems like they have no idea about the negative privacy and mental implications of using social media (yet).

Meanwhile, I know people from the other side as well, those who refuse to use it. But their primary reason for skipping it is not valuing privacy, but time wasted mindless scrolling on Facebook.

Do not expect new Macs on September 12th, I’m sure it’s an iPhone only event.

Rumors also point to the introduction of new iPad Pros with smaller bezels, no home button, and Face ID, a revised Apple Watch with a larger display, and perhaps a new Mac mini and MacBook Air replacement.

Affinity Publisher free beta

I really like what Serif does lately. I made the switch from Sketch to Designer after they released it for iPad and it quickly became one of my favorite tools (next to Blink). Now there is a completely new Mac app as well for desktop publishing.

It’s very comforting to know that there are great alternatives to the behemoths that Adobe ships.

Day One 3 is out and I’m not going to use it anymore. Yesterday I exported all my stuff and deleted my account. Usually I’m fine paying for subscriptions, but in this case, I’m afraid of lock-in. There is precious stuff in my database and I don’t want to keep it on their servers.

I have a Day One to WordPress importer, which I created a couple of months ago, but I’m still not comfortable using it on a site that publicly available on the web regardless of having my Day One entries imported as private posts. What I’m going to do instead is set up an Ubuntu install in VMware, install WordPress on it, and run it locally. I’m not going to write there—I’ve consolidated all my text into Ulysses—but it’s a nice way to browse this archive sometimes. Maybe someday I’ll import everything into Ulysses as well, just have it at hand.

I’ve had separate RSS feeds before for statuses and posts. I’ve removed them and everything is collected under one feed now. Why did I do that?

  • It’s easier for me to post things since I don’t have to deal with categories and decide which feed get what.
  • I don’t post as many status updates as I expected, so no need to worry about filtering them out for specific groups.
  • My subscribers get everything. No skipped posts just because you subscribed to the wrong feed.
  • If you use a decent RSS service, you can filter stuff for yourself.

Aqua Screenshot Library

This is a truly awesome resource and collection of history from Stephen Hackett. He went through all macOS (or Mac OS X, or OS X) releases and made a library of screenshots about the system.

From his introduction post:

These images came from the OS, running on actual hardware; I didn’t use virtual machines at any point. I ran up to 10.2 on an original Power Mac G4, while a Mirror Drive Doors G4 took care of 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5. I used a 2010 Mac mini for Snow Leopard and Lion, then a couple different 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros to round out the rest.

Check it out if you interested in Macs and UI design in general.

I’ve installed Mastodon yesterday, although I’ve said that I’ll try to skip it. It is an interesting concept and has almost everything that can make it successful for a group of people. I just don’t want to invest my time in another social service.

It seemed like a cool idea for a couple of hours, then I was back in reality: I was using Twitter and Mastodon simultaneously. That’s a warning sign. I don’t want to use multiple social networks. I like to keep things simple and social networking doesn’t deserve that much attention.

I deleted my instance and I’m back to using Twitter as my only social network. I don’t like it, but there are more people on Twitter who write about things which interests me. Maybe Twitter is the first and the last social network I’ll ever use.

Checkout an iOS app’s release notes quickly with Opener and 3D Touch

I have a couple of apps installed on my iPhone/iPad and some of my favorites are updated constantly. I care about those tools, so I like to read their release notes to see what new features are added. My problem is that is these release notes usually get lost in the annoying river of “Bugfixes and updates”, “We constantly update…” crap and long novels that Medium does on the Updates tab. Luckily there’s a way to quickly check out an app’s release notes in the App Store with a combination of Opener and 3D Touch.

  1. Install Opener and add activate its action extension in the share sheet.
  2. 3D Touch on the app icon, and press “Share (App Name)”.
  3. Tap Opener and choose “View App (in the App Store)”.

Opener will load the app’s App Store page where you can check out its release notes.

Here it is in action:

I was thinking about installing an instance of Mastodon for myself, but I resisted for now. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Mastodon is decentralized, which means my own install should be able to communicate with other ones. This eliminates the hurry of getting my username on one of the popular instances—which is mastodon.social and mastodon.cc at the moment.

I’m just waiting for now. Twitter still operates and I’m trying using it from Feedbin which has a really nice Twitter integration. This way my Twitter feeds are getting mixed with other existing RSS sources. One less app to maintain. Maybe I can even subscribe this way to users on Mastodon so I can follow them, at least in read-only mode.

Regarding signing up for Mastodon: I don’t want to maintain another app for status updates and conversations just because it’s getting popular. I still have friends on Twitter, but maybe this signals something way more important. Maybe one day I’ll simply stop using social media altogether (for social media I mean Twitter, I don’t have anything else other than that).

For writing and status updates I’m keeping my blog, and I’m sure I’ll getting way less formal here which means I’ll post more status updates here or quick stuff like this.

A Commonplace (book/blog)

Of course, the natural extension of this new notebook was to start sharing some extracts online, specifically on micro.blog. It reminded me of the charm of early blogging. When it wasn’t so serious, when you didn’t need a specific goal or career from it and mistakes were useful and a sign of growth. You didn’t (and don’t) have to present yourself as an expert in something you just started out in.

Good riddance, Twitter

Thomas Fuchs deleted his Twitter account after the latest API deprecation:

I’ve deleted my account. I will miss the friends I made, but I will not miss the abuse. There’s a line that was crossed recently with Alex Jones and with removing support for various API functions, a move designed to deliberately target power-users and early adopters who prefer 3rd-party clients over the Twitter apps and their force-fed crap.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Social media can be fun. With friendly people, and with no engagement pressure, and no algorithms force-feeding you content designed to make you feel bad.

Well, I’ll try this first instead of messing around with Mastodon.

The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You

When you surround yourself with moments of solitude and stillness, you become intimately familiar with your environment in a way that forced stimulation doesn’t allow. The world becomes richer, the layers start to peel back, and you see things for what they really are, in all their wholeness, in all their contradictions, and in all their unfamiliarity.

It’s weird, but I’ve just subscribed for Headspace to have a way to practice the routine of sitting in silence.