“Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate.” Unfortunately reminds me of this, from Trump: “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.”

→ 2016/08/30 8:57 am

Doing a bunch of Bootstrap and Rails work this week, went back to using Dash for quick reference. Helps to get documentation into another app and out of Safari tabs.

→ 2016/08/26 3:12 pm

Email archiving with Evernote

For a long time, I’ve struggled with having important email archived in one place. I’ve switched between several clients over the years, from Eudora and Mailsmith and even Cyberdog, in the very early Mac days, to more recently the fairly reliable Apple Mail. Yet I still occasionally lose old email when switching between machines and not handling the migration properly.

Last year I set out to fix this. While I didn’t do an exhaustive search of archiving options, the main solutions I considered were:

  • Switch to Gmail. There are plenty of native clients for Gmail, but I fundamentally don’t like the idea of an ad-supported email service. I’m very happy with Fastmail and want to continue using it.
  • Local archiving with EagleFiler. This gets the email archived in a central place outside whatever mail client I’m using, which is great. However, I’d like something that is focused on cloud search first.
  • Save to files on Dropbox. All of my notes are stored on Dropbox, so why not put an email archive there too? But Dropbox doesn’t seem well-suited to accessing and searching easily.
  • Save to Evernote. I’ve never actively used Evernote for notes. Using Evernote for email would keep the email separate from normal notes on Dropbox, and Evernote already has excellent support for forwarding email into their system. I’d be able to search the archive from my Mac, iPhone, or the web.

I’ve settled into a pretty basic workflow of using Evernote to save any email that looks moderately valuable. This is usually a handful of messages each day, not every email I receive or send. By picking and choosing what gets archived, I can ignore everything else, letting it sit in Mail’s archive indefinitely or deleting it.

Here’s an AppleScript I currently trigger in Mail for any selected message I want to archive. It’s set to command-shift-S via FastScripts. If I’m away from my Mac, or I want to preserve HTML and inline attachments, I can save an email by forwarding it to a special Evernote email address. (I also pay for Evernote Premium.)

Now that I’m about a year and thousands of archived messages into this setup, I’m declaring it a success. I plan to continue using Evernote in this way for years to come. Let’s just hope they’re on the right track with their own business.

Finally cancelled the cloud backup products I never used, and switched to Arq + Amazon Cloud Drive. This is how I do a remote backup of my Drobo. One day I’ll have a big enough MacBook drive where I can just have everything local and synced to Dropbox (still have a 2 TB plan there).

→ 2016/08/25 12:26 pm

Spurs at the Olympics

I’m watching Spain vs. France basketball right now, and later today is Argentina vs. the United States. No question the United States are the favorites for gold, but there are some really good teams, most with great NBA players.

From the double-overtime win by Argentina a few days ago, to Boris Diaw sipping an espresso in his room, I’ve been more engaged in following basketball at the Olympics than usual. And I love that so many Spurs players are everywhere.

Spain has Pau Gasol; Argentina has Manu Ginobili, who helped defeat the United States in 2004; Australia has Patty Mills; and France has Tony Parker. Gives me something to root for throughout the tournament.

Mac App Store developer survey

DevMate surveyed 679 Mac developers to put together a report on who is using the Mac App Store vs. selling direct, what concerns developers have, which tools they use, and more. On why developers leave the Mac App Store:

If you’re thinking giving away 30% of your hard-earned revenue is the deal-breaker, you’d be surprised. Revenue share is not the main reason developers flee. The main reason is the long and unclear App Review process, closely followed by revshare and the absence of trial versions.

While sandboxing does show up on the complaint list, it’s ranked low as a reason to not use the Mac App Store, even though it was why I pulled my app Clipstart from the Mac App Store 4 years ago. And not much has changed since I wrote about Sketch and other apps leaving the Mac App Store last year.

For anyone who has been following blog posts and conference talks about the Mac App Store, there won’t be many surprises in this new survey, but I found the details interesting. The survey appears to be a good snapshot of how the Mac community is feeling about selling software.

Dogs barking at 6am, so took the opportunity to wake up early and get a few hours of coding in before the day really started. Finally cracked a couple bugs that needed significant time in the Xcode debugger.

→ 2016/08/16 10:11 am

Amazing double-OT win by Argentina over Brazil. These close games — including USA’s 3-point win yesterday — have me hopeful for some great matchups later in the Olympics.

→ 2016/08/13 3:01 pm

With her

I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter. I was in 2008, I was earlier this year, and absolutely I am now, as Donald Trump seems intent with each daily blunder to prove he’s the worst candidate the Republicans have fielded in quite some time.

Having said that, even leaving the politics aside, I think the new podcast “With her” from the Hillary campaign is fantastic. It’s exactly what a podcast should be: well-produced, yet informal, with just enough of a look behind the scenes to feel personal. You can subscribe in Overcast or iTunes.

Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid

I’ve written about IPFS before, but Solid (from Tim Berners-Lee himself, among other MIT folks) is another new proposal for a more distributed web. I wasn’t familiar with it until reading this article at Digital Trends, which first makes the case for independent content vs. the big centralized platforms:

Now a handful of companies own vast swaths of web activity – Facebook for social networking, Google for searching, eBay for auctions – and quite literally own the data their users have provided and generated. This gives these companies unprecedented power over us, and gives them such a competitive advantage that it’s pretty silly to think you’re going to start up a business that’s going to beat them at their own game.

The article continues with the types of data you might share in a Solid application:

For example, you might keep your personal information in one or several pods: the sort of data about yourself that you put into your Facebook profile; a list of your friends, family, and colleagues; your banking information; maps of where you’ve traveled; some health information. That way if someone built a new social networking application—perhaps to compete head-on with Facebook, or, more likely, to offer specialized services to people with shared interests—you could join by giving it permission to access the appropriate information in your pod.

One of the showcase applications is called Client-Integrated Micro-Blogging Architecture, surely named mostly for its pronounceable acronym. From the CIMBA project site:

CIMBA is a privacy-friendly, decentralized microblogging application that runs in your browser. It is built using the latest HTML5 technologies and Web standards. With CIMBA, people get a microblogging app that behaves like Twitter, built entirely out of parts they can control.

Solid and CIMBA are built on the Linked Data Platform, which in turn is based off of RDF. I’m admittedly biased against RDF, because it often brings with it an immediate sense of over-engineering — too abstracted, solving too many problems at once. I’m glad to see this activity around a distributed web, and I’ll be following Solid, but I also continue to believe that the simple microformats and APIs from the IndieWebCamp are the best place to start.

AUS/USA basketball game at the Olympics right now shaping up to be a good one. Australia up 5 points at the half. 3-pointers: Patty Mills 4-4, Carmelo 5-7.

→ 2016/08/10 5:56 pm

Trump’s “2nd amendment people” comment seems like it could blow up much more than previous off-script blunders. Reading the text of his speech in context, and listening to it, multiple times… It’s clear what he meant. Terrible.

→ 2016/08/10 9:09 am

Posted Core Intuition 244. Daniel and I talk this week about Twitter verification, content filtering on social networks, and a 10-year challenge to become a successful indie developer.

→ 2016/08/04 5:24 pm

Finished some server consolidation that cut about $100 off my hosting bill compared to a couple months ago. Next up: cancel cloud backup services I don’t actually use.

→ 2016/08/03 11:33 am

Proving Marco’s 10-year plan

Erik Person wants to prove Marco Arment’s claim that indie success just requires working hard for 10 years:

Proving whether he is right or wrong is pretty hard to do. Maybe it’s all hard work. Maybe it’s pure luck. Hell, maybe it only takes five years of hard work, and Marco just kind of sucks at it. Either way, I’m going to try to prove it. And not by convincing you with some incredibly efficacious essay. Rather, I’m going to start my 10 years of hard work today.

In a follow-up post, 6 months later:

In the past six months, I’ve managed to change quite a few things. The biggest change was leaving my job at the end of May. After several months of trying to work on projects in the evenings and weekends, I decided it was necessary to go full-time on the projects if I wanted to see any real progress.

I’ve subscribed to Erik’s blog and look forward to following his progress. I hope he blogs more often about how it’s going. If you look at Marco’s blog even 5 years ago, he was usually blogging every day. (By the way, “blog more often” is my advice to nearly everyone, including myself.)