What caught my attention in week nine, 2024

In continuation of week 8, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 9. week of 2024:

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Inspired by Jason’s awesome OfficeSpace.gif, we (re)watched Office Space (1999) as a family. We had a lot of fun.

  • ๐Ÿ˜† Cool: RSS IS DEAD LOL.

  • ๐Ÿ“š Bookmarked Calibre Sync. It seems like a great way to access your Calibre library on the go. I’m thinking about moving my library to my NAS and sharing it via WebDAV.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป A few years ago, I had this little Finder Service installed that let me change folder colors via the context menu. Somehow, it was not migrated to my new MacBook, and I had a hard time finding it on the web again: Manila.

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ This might come in handy at times: Mist - A Mac utility that automatically downloads macOS Firmwares / Installers.

  • ๐Ÿ”„ OnlySwitch for macOS was updated.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ If I had a PSP Go and shipping did not cost three times the price of the adapter, I would have bought this right away: Micro SD Memory Card Adapter for the PSP Go.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ There was a lot of buzz about the changes in the upcoming iOS version to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). One positive outcome might be this: MacPaw Announces Upcoming Beta Version of Setapp Mobile. Now, I’m just waiting for retro gaming emulators to be released for iOS on an alternate store.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ Right now, Emulation on iPhone is a mess. It’s easier to stream PS5 games to your phone or even Apple TV.

  • ๐Ÿค– But iOS is not the only complicated platform for emulation (frontends). As mentioned last week, ES-DE was released for Android. The programmer did not get permission to distribute it on the Google Play Store and therefore went to Amazon. They delisted it too, and he had to move to Patreon. Anyway, it’s a bit finicky to set up but runs very well on my Retroid Pocket 2S.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ On my Anbernic RG35XX, I stumbled upon VVVVVV. How could I have ignored this for so long?

  • ๐Ÿธ Came across Bubble Frog by Timbo Johnson. It’s a lovely little game for the Game Boy, and the developer seems very passionate about his project. You can download it for free on itch.io, and to support him, I backed it on Kickstarter.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ BTW, there is a new GBA emulator out there. So, if you collect ROMs and emulators as well, you can get this one: Hades: A Nintendo Game Boy Advance Emulator v1.0.0 released

  • ๐Ÿฐ Finished Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. This took me a while and was really, really hard at the end. Next, I finished Super Mario Land. This was the opposite; it only took a few hours. Right now, I am playing Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2.1

  • ๐Ÿ“š Even though I’m not 100% convinced that my purchase of a PocketBook Era was the right decision, I still like the idea of an e-ink reader/tablet. These look really great: BOOX Note Air3 C and Note Air3 Series. I’ve never heard of them before, and I wonder if they are more performant than normal e-readers.

  • ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ My wife and I went for our first bike ride (55 km) of the year outdoors. The weather was fantastic, and there was a hint of spring in the air. It was beautiful.

  1. I’ve decided to (re)play all the main Mario games in chronological order but don’t necessarily stick to the original platform. If there was a remake available for GB[AC]*, I bought the cartridge and play that version on my Analogue Pocket. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week eight, 2024

Continuing from week 07, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the eighth week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ Simple Scan โ€ข Quick Scanner was teased by Agile Tortoise. Curious to see if this will be a better solution than just opening the Files.app and initiating a scan from there. (Actually, I’ve never checked if those generated PDFs have automatic OCR.)

  • โ˜‘๏ธ โ€ŽTwodos - Simple Todos: Interesting concept but definitely too basic for my needs.

  • ๐ŸŒง๏ธ โ€ŽLooks Like Rain: Another weather app. It focuses on graphical bars showing the rain tendencies for the next couple of days. I like that because that’s the main reason for me to open a weather app.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ And another updated utility: Dock Exposรฉ - MacOS window previews on the dock.

  • ๐Ÿฌ Flipperzero - Portable Multi-tool Device for Geeks. I totally missed the hype about this device and am not that tech-savvy, but somehow I wish I was able to do something with it.

  • ๐Ÿค” I still don’t quite understand why I am still looking for alternatives to Anybox. The only thing that bothers me about the app is that the sync speed is a bit too sluggish for my taste. Everything else is great. Regardless, after I took a closer look at Link Cluster last week, this week there was an update for Linkeeper. The new version also looks quite promising but unfortunately does not support the import of bookmark collections as an .html file. And therefore, there is no easy way for me to migrate my bookmarks. I’ll keep both Apps in mind, though.1

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Stumbled upon Zint - a complete cross-platform open source barcode generating solution. For individual QR codes, I still use V2 of QR Factory, which is now available in Version 3. Zint is only available as a CLI on the Mac but I’ll keep it in mind in case I want to generate a lot of codes automatically someday.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป Mainly for work, I revisited various ChatGPT / LLM frontends and local LLMs. I had somehow completely lost track of the tools and their capabilities. In the process, I stumbled upon MindMac - Connect seamlessly, chat effortlessly with ChatGPT on macOS. It’s a (not very pretty) GUI for more or less all the AI services in the world. Together with OpenRouter, you can quickly and easily try out the major commercial APIs (OpenAI, Google Gemini, etc.), but also, for example, integrate a range of local LLMs (Mistral, Llama, Llava) with the help of ollama. Even uploading images is possible, and the integration of the Google Search API for queries that do not allow online searches. (If you only want to use Ollama with a GUI, there is also, for example, Ollamac - A macOS app for interacting with the Ollama models). In addition, MindMac also combines LM Studio and GPT4All under its interface. The developer is also extremely helpful. I like the app. Apart from that, at the end of the day (more or less in the truest sense of the word), I had to realize once again that ALL of these LLMs are still not capable of doing what I hope for them. Serious work on scientific texts is simply not possible with them. The models make too many mistakes and fail at seemingly simple tasks. I’ll take another look at this in six months. But it does scare me a bit that these tools are probably already being (supposedly) used productively in many related areas.2

  • ๐Ÿ’ก I’ve learned quite a bit from JDHeyburn’s How I use Obsidian to journal.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ As mentioned last week, I really enjoy EmulationStation on my Anbernic RG35XX H (for which a new release was just published) and Raspberry Pi. Actually, there was no reason, but this week I’ve installed ES-DE Frontend (EmulationStation Desktop Edition) on my MacBook. Next, I will try to get the Android version running on my Retroid Pocket 2S. According to Retro Game Corps, it might not be that hard. IMHO it’s just the best Retroarch / Emulation frontend and it’s fun tinkering around with it.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I wanted to check something on playstation.com this week and had to enter my password three or four times, provide a 2FA code, and solve a CAPTCHA. WTF!? That’s why I took the opportunity to switch my account to a Passkey. I am curious to see what hurdles Sony will now put in my way when using it.

  • ๐Ÿ“Š This graphical 2023 Report Card breakdown I found interesting in terms of the biggest Apple fanboys in the “community” ๐Ÿ˜œ.

  • ๐Ÿฟ Watched L’immensitร  (2022) with my wife. Neither of us liked the movie.

  1. Raindrop.io is still not an option for me, as I am uncomfortable with the developer’s proximity to Russia and especially the potential access to its servers by governments. ↩︎

  2. With NotesOllama - Use Ollama to talk to local LLMs in Apple Notes - you can also consult your Apple Notes via a local LLM; however, I don’t really use Apple Notes anymore. Just for ChatGPT I still really enjoy MacGPT and there are quit some Obsidian plugins I all don’t like. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week seven, 2024

Continuing from week 06, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the seventh week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ‘Œ So, I think I’ve read and seen enough about the Apple Vision Pro for now. I hope I’ll stay firm and wait at least for Gen 2 and not want to buy it as soon as the AVP is available in Germany. However, I still find this video noteworthy: What Reviewers Arenโ€™t Telling You About Apple Vision Pro.

  • ๐Ÿ˜ค Gruber’s polemics and European Union bashing are getting on my nerves. I’m going to remove him from my RSS reader and podcast player for a while. Maybe then my Watch won’t complain about an elevated pulse even though I’m not currently training. 1

  • ๐ŸŽถ Last week I mentioned algoriddim djay, which now also supports Apple Music, and this week I came across Mixxx in my Mastodon timeline for the first time. (Sorry, I can’t find where I saw it right now.) It doesn’t seem to support any streaming services, but it is open source and therefore free to try.

  • ๐ŸŽจ Well, as said I can’t make music and I can’t draw either, but I found this app interesting: astropad slate - Control your Mac using your iPad and Apple Pencil.

  • ๐Ÿ”— In week 5 I briefly looked into Link Cluster but due to its lacking ability to copy links in Markdown format it was no real alternative to Anybox for me. I sent Link Cluster’s developer a feature request and this week version 2.1 was released. Among many other new features, you can now copy MD links but unfortunately there is still no share sheet extension for adding links on iOS. So, still on my watch list but no real alternative to Anybox.

  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ Clop - Image, video, PDF and clipboard optimiser Copy large, paste small, send fast: There’s plenty of software for shrinking, for single images, for batch processes or even as a plugin for Obsidian. Clop monitors the clipboard or directories and optimises images and videos. It’s also available on Setapp. I will definitely take a look at it.

  • ๐Ÿ“ธ I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t offer a way in Photos.app to compare several photos from a series and specifically select the best one. I even briefly subscribed to Lightroom because it offers a brilliant X|Y comparison function. But since I didn’t really need most of the other functions, the subscription costs were of course not justifiable. I bought Photos Workbench, but I didn’t really get along with the app - I have no idea why ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ. For iOS, there is now Photoscope - Storage Cleaner, which I will take a closer look at, but of course it won’t be able to replace a macOS app.

  • ๐Ÿ“ Reor - AI note-taking app that runs models locally: Looks interesting, especially in combination with lots of MD files you already store e.g. in Obsidian, but I don’t get the difference between all those LLM available. I have to dig a little bit deeper into this, I guess. I just tried it with TheBloke/DiscoLM_German_7b_v1-GGUF and a sample collection of 5,300 text files and the results were very, very disappointing. Can’t recommend it yet.

  • ๐Ÿค– Speaking of AI. Google’s Gemini is now supposed to understand books in a fraction of a second and Open AI’s Sora can now create videos. I can’t keep up. Today, I asked Perplexity to extract the first 25 hits from a Tier List from a website and the LLM absolutely refused to maintain the correct order. But why start small when you can make chairs float โ€ฆ

  • ๐Ÿ—‚๏ธ After reading Robb’s Three Months of The Johnny Decimal System I decided to preorder Johnny’s Workshop. I’ve been using the basic concept 2 of the Johnny.Decimal System for many years (I would claim ten, but I don’t know how long it’s been around actually), but especially in a work context I eventually hit my limits with the system and am curious if I can apply it even better if I engage with it more intensively.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I spent way too much time with Batocara.linux this week. I installed it on a Raspberry Pi and a derivative of it on the Anbernic RG35XX H. Wow, I’m very impressed with what’s possible with it. It looks so stunning ๐Ÿฅฐ.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Continued watching For All Mankind S04.

  • ๐Ÿ˜Š My mood was better than last week but not perfect. I hope yours is and have a nice week ahead!

Update 2024-02-20

  • Added reason why I don’t yet use Link Cluster as my bookmark manager of choice.
  • Added disappointment about Reor.

  1. Speaking of training, since the beginning of the year I’ve been doing workouts six to seven days a week (sometimes only for 15 min), of which I ride 5 - 6 times on the trainer (30 - 60 min). It’s actually way too strenuous for me, but my FTP at the end of the week attested me a significant jump ๐ŸŽ‰ . Now I just need to muster the strength to lose 10 kg. But phew, one thing at a time. ↩︎

  2. Meanwhile, my file storage in Obsidian has also partially merged with the PARA system and is threatening to collapse into chaos. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week six, 2024

Continuing from week 05, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the sixth week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ Last week, I failed to configure my Mac as a WIFI Access Point with NordVPN. This week, I tried to do it with a Raspberry Pi 4. Since I no longer have a monitor with an HDMI input, I connected the Raspi using a micro-HDMI to HDMI adapter, HDMI cable, HDMI Capture Card with a USB-A connection, and a USB-A to USB-C hub to my iPad ๐Ÿคฏ What a mess but it worked with HDMI Monitor - Orion perfectly fine. I then tried to set up an AP with the help of RaspAP and install NordVPN on the Raspi. No matter what I tried, my devices just don’t want to connect to the Raspberry Pi’s WLAN, although my iPhone briefly did in hotspot mode and everything seems to work in principle. Well, failed again ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿ˜ข.

  • ๐Ÿ’ฟ I upgraded my PS5’s disk space. It now has an additional 2 TB internal SSD. It took me less than 2 minutes; what an alternative universe it would be if it were the same on a Mac.

  • ๐Ÿ’ก Adam had a cool idea again: Neatnik Notes ยท URL as a sentence.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ I enjoyed reading Hiro’s first impressions of his ๏ฃฟ Vision Pro and was wondering about the future.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ So far, I use Pupdate to update my Analogue Pocket. Looked briefly into pocket-sync: A GUI tool for doing stuff with the Analogue Pocket, but I think I will stick to Pupdate.

  • ๐Ÿ˜ข I lost all my Save Files for my Analogue Pocket, mainly Super Marios Bros. games. I cried a little bit and now have to start all over with Super Mario Advance 4.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ It’s somehow cool that there is still a lot of great stuff released for the Game Boy, like From Below Pocket by Matt Hughson (NES Dev) or Repugnant Bounty by Repugnant Bounty.

  • ๐ŸŽต I really enjoy using Longplay on the iPhone. There is now also Longplay for Mac (Early Access), but I’m not sure if it’s worth $25+ to me at the moment.

  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ I stumbled upon another Obsidian plugin: obsidian-tracker - A plugin tracks occurrences and numbers in your notes. You can really dive deep into it if you want.

  • ๐ŸŽถ Unfortunately, I lack any major DJ skills, but still had a lot of fun at parties in the past with algoriddim djay; that was back when people weren’t streaming 100% of their music and still owned stuff. Unfortunately it was not possible with Apple Music. Years after its launch, that finally changed: algoriddim djay - Now with Apple Music Integration.

  • โšก This Portable Wireless Charger for Apple Watch looks interesting. My S7 only has 80% of its initial capacity and this might be handy.

  • ๐Ÿšด I first watched the making of, Riding the hardest Ski Race track on a bicycle (with Spikes), and then the actual video Fabio Wibmer - THE STREIF. Infinitely insane and great to see the immense preparations needed to capture such an extraordinary performance on film.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Watched The Big Sick together with my wife and The Marvels with the whole family. Enjoyed the first one, and the latter wasn’t that bad either. It was quite amusing.

  • ๐Ÿ˜” My mood has been extremely bad this week. I’m sure everything will be better next week. I hope you have a great week too!

Apple Vision Pro - a glimpse of the future?

After reading and watching selected reports about the Apple Vision Pro, the consensus seems to be that the experience is absolutely unique. Although, it seems to be just the beginning of something really big to come due to its many existing shortcomings (weight, battery life, bulkiness, price etc.). Therefore, the device is more of a vision what Spatial Computing could be like in the future. Wouldn’t it be great if, in a few years, we could wear cheaper and especially much lighter and smaller glasses that discreetly answer all our questions anywhere or project a cinema screen in front of our faces, even though we’re sitting on a bench on the Times Square? Similar to how the iPhone initially had a number of shortcomings (price, EDGE, no copy and paste, no app store, no video recording, poor camera, etc.) that have now been almost completely eliminated, the next few years will also provide a far better Spatial Computing experience.

However, I wonder whether this will really be the case with the Apple Vision Pro, or whether we will only see improved versions of the current hardware in the foreseeable future, but no radical shift or further development that the reviewers / YouTubers are dreaming of.1 Will it really be possible to project non-transparent objects into our eyes without completely shielding them from ambient light? But as long as this is not the case, we will have to continue walking around2 with far too large, bulky, ski goggles tailored exactly to the wearer’s face, and no, this is definitely not the future I want to experience.

  1. I mean, the iPhone and the Apple Watch have definitely improved a lot over the years, but fundamentally neither of these two devices has evolved from the first version into a new dimension. ↩︎

  2. I actually mean exactly that - walking around. I can already see the great potential of the Vision Pro when you’re more or less in one place (couch, workplace), but I wonder whether the vision of “everyone wearing one of these devices everywhere and at all times” can actually be realized with this concept. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week five, 2024

Continuing from week 04, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the fifth week of 2024:

  • ๐ŸŽฎ This week I had to repeatedly curb my nearly uncontrollable urge to buy gadgets I don’t need - so far quite successfully. I did not order the Ayaneo Next LITE nor pledged the Ayaneo Flip - World 1st Dual-Screen Windows Handheld on Indiegogo. I definitely do not need more gaming handhelds at the moment, even though I don’t own one that supports Windows games yet. My backlog is already long enough, I don’t need another platform with even more games that I will never play. 1

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ One of the games therein is Celeste for the Switch or Playstation. It seems to be an absolute classic and I only know the version for the pico-8, where it all started. It’s really hard and so far I can’t even get past the third (or fourth?) screen. Regardless, there is now a version as a homage to the N64 area: Celeste 64: Fragments of the Mountain by Maddy Makes Games, Heidy Motta, Noel, saint11. Unfortunately not yet for the Mac, but in the comments you could already read that it is technically quite possible and probably will come.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Speaking of gaming on the Mac: This week Death Stranding Director’s Cut was released. I hadn’t dealt with the game so far, I don’t know either the original version for the PS4 or the Director’s Cut for the PS5. Unlike Resident Evil 4, which recently appeared for Apple’s devices, this was an opportunity to get an AAA game for macOS at a reasonable price that I hadn’t played before. And wow, I am absolutely impressed by the graphics on my MacBook Pro M2 so far. Holy shit, I mean, wow. So far I was not considering a Mac being able to do such a thing. Whether the actual game will appeal to me, I still have to find out, but as a tech demo it has definitely already picked me up. To be able to play it better, I bought a Pro 2 Controller from 8BitDo. At first I despaired of their product portfolio, 2 and then I realized that I could have used an old PS4 controller. Well, what can you do. I guess, now I am not only somehow collecting retro handhelds, but also game controllers …

  • โฑ๏ธ The release of Death Stranding was well timed, as I finished the story of Diablo IV after about 56 hours of playtime this week. I can note for myself that I always take about twice as long for a game as indicated on HowLongToBeat ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ. My Rogue is now level 49 and I will definitely tackle the end game again, at least until I reach level 50 with her. I enjoyed the game, but Diablo IV did not 100% convince me. At first it overwhelmed me with its complexity and its own language for all the facets of the game. The whole system seems unnecessarily complicated to me and later the gameplay became quiet repetitive. And all this in-game loot box up sell shit really got on my nerves. I mean, you buy a full price game and then you’re constantly being thrown pointless IAPs for up to 150 โ‚ฌ in your face. Seriously?! Anyway, in the next few weeks I think I will focus again on Super Marios Bros. 3 (GBA) on my Analogue Pocket and look maybe at smaller indie titles on the console at most. Then I see if I enjoy Death Stranding. Maybe I’ll understand the trailer for part 2 better afterwards?

  • ๐ŸŽฎ BTW what definitely interests me more than a Windows handheld is the now possibly upcoming Switch 2 this year and I found the rumors that The PS Vita’s Successor Is Reportedly On The Way & Compatible With PS4/PS5 Titles interesting, too.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ I also did not give in to my impulse to pre-order a rabbit r1 - your pocket companion. I find the r1 very exciting as a concept study. I like the design, which comes from the same pen as the playdate. However, the r1 would not be delivered to Europe until the second half of the year anyways, and if the rumors are true, hopefully a usable AI will also be included in iOS 18 in the fall. Ultimately, of course, something like this belongs in the smartphone, and I therefore see the r1 at best as a cute gimmick, without a real future. But that’s not a reason not to have fun with a toy, is it?

  • ๐Ÿ’ป If I understood correctly, the r1 uses perplexity.ai, about which I have read a lot of good things lately. Therefore, I wanted to take a closer look at this service, but their Cloudflare configuration initially did not want to let me play along with Safari ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ. I don’t know what exactly Cloudflare didn’t like, the check also came with the Arc browser, but disappeared after some time. I’m not really convinced yet, but I definitely need to use the service more to form a final opinion.

  • ๐ŸŒ Speaking of Arc Browser, I suspect that โ€ŽArc Search also uses perplexity.ai, especially since it can be configured as the default search engine in Arc. I am still not 100% convinced by the browser, either. It all seems a bit strange and opaque to me (why do I need an account to surf the web?!) 3 and I find the browser itself quite sluggish and already a bit bloated. I also don’t know what to make of this Act II. Anyway, there were very enthusiastic reports about Arc Search, but the app hasn’t really picked me up yet by now. I will force myself to use it more often in the next few days in order to be able to form a better opinion.

  • ๐Ÿš€ I stumbled upon this post in my RSS Reader - The Iconfactory Looks To Launch PROJECT TAPESTRY via Kickstarter - and more or less backed the Early Bird Special immediately: With Project Tapestry, we’ll create a universal, chronological timeline for iOS for any data thatโ€™s publicly available on the Internet. Who doesn’t like the guys from The Iconfactory and after the whole Twitter debacle a year ago, I’m happy to support the developers. I’m curious to see if an app will ultimately come out that I find useful, and if not, at least I was able to follow the development and had access to some nice wallpapers for a year ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Not coincidentally, Silvio Rizzi announced his new app a few days later: A new app, completely rebuilt and rethought from the ground up. This probably wonโ€™t replace the current Reeder (not going away) for a lot of users. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to show Project Tapestry directly in his screenshot ๐Ÿ˜ˆ.

  • ๐Ÿงน This little app from Gui Rambo helps you clean your Mac’s keyboard and trackpad: CleanupBuddy.

  • ๐Ÿ“Ž As announced last week, I took a look at Link Cluster - Collect and manage links. In principle, I like the app, but it yet lacks the ability to copy links as Markdown links, and that alone is a reason for me to stick with Anybox for now. Therefore, I have not yet bought the full version and cannot assess how Link Cluster handles large bookmark collections. But I will definitely continue to follow the development of the app.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ I stumbled upon this at the beginning of the week on Waxy.org and am surprised that it is still online: ASCII Theater - stream free-text-based movies-in your-terminal.

  • I was very happy and honoured that Michael included my little site in his blogroll. I also enjoy reading his posts a lot, so its mutual. I also need to revise my own blogroll, I just have to find the time to do it.

  • ๐Ÿ“ต At the beginning of the year, I had resolved to give up certain things for a few months, each for a month. In January, I started with giving up alcohol and today I realized that it is already February. My problem now is that all the things I had thought of not doing for February, I have already done in the last three days ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Now what?! I think I just have to spend February without consuming alcohol as well and prepare better for March ๐Ÿคฃ On my list of ideas is also “A month without a smartphone” or “A month without an Apple Watch”. That seems too crazy to me right now, and maybe I’ll combine it into a “A month less gadgets” and give up my iPhone or my watch for “only” a week each, like Arne did with his phone.

  • ๐Ÿ˜‚ When I read this, I had to laugh a lot:4 Deutsche Bahn sucht Admin fรผr Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, which means “Deutsche Bahn is looking for an Admin for Windows 3.11 for Workgroups” and immediately thought of my photo which I took in one of our, oh so modern, ICE trains last November.

  • ๐Ÿ“š I stumbled upon this at Hey Dingus: Learn Morse Code. I would also like to learn something like this. But first, I should probably start refreshing the tying of various knots.

  • ๐Ÿช I printed a very large Oreo cookie. It weighs (not just a feeling) a good half kilogram, consists of six parts, has hardly any space inside but is absolutely awesome. In addition, I printed a HomePod Mini stand for ours in the kitchen. This way it might survive a disaster better. I also like this Apple Watch Stand and while I was at it, I also printed SNES Cartridge Holder (PAL) and the N64 Single Cartridge Display Stand for my Super Mario cartridges.

  • ๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ The next project for my AnkerMake M5 is to take a closer look at Gridfinity. It seems to me to be a nice system. Now I just need to figure out which base plates I can best use.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป This week I wanted to use a VPN connection with a device that is only WLAN capable. Since there is no way to set up a VPN service directly on the device, I thought it should be easy to make my Mac’s VPN connection available to other devices via WLAN Sharing. Well, far from it. Basically, it seems to be possible somehow, but unfortunately not with the help of NordVPN, my until now used VPN provider ๐Ÿ˜ข.

  • ๐Ÿ‘Œ In the Apple universe, of course, the launch of the Apple Vision Pro was the event of the week. The usual suspects have already written or published videos extensively about it. As a European, I will thankfully not be confronted with the question of whether it might be worth the money for me in the next couple months. Basically, I am of course extremely fascinated and would give a lot to be able to try it out. Especially the entertainment aspect appeals to me, because my better half only tolerates a tiny 32" TV in the living room, 5 and not only having a home cinema, but a whole iMAX cinema in my own four walls, of course appears extremely tempting. However, I am also not sure what would happen if I used a VisionPro at home in her presence, I at least only dared to use the PS VR 1 when she was out … ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

  • ๐Ÿ“ Last but not least, Obsidian now also offers servers outside the USA. I therefore moved my private Obsidian vault to a European server and immediately imagine that the synchronization is faster. Apart from that, I find it better anyway to know my data in a European data center.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Continued watching For All Mankind S4 with my wife. I enjoy this TV show but it definitely does not make you happy or confident.

  1. Buying computer games is also a kind of addiction for me↩︎

  2. I find it very confusing and difficult to find out which controller fits with which device how. Especially since some are listed as not compatible with the Mac, but can pretend to be a Switch controller, which macOS usually recognizes without problems. ↩︎

  3. Is that still the case? ๐Ÿค” ↩︎

  4. Actually, it’s much too sad, but by now I have come to terms with the fact that I live in a country where a lot, a lot is broken and only a few people believe we are at the forefront of anything or really good at it. ↩︎

  5. But I was allowed to buy a projector and a portable screen for shared movie nights. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week four, 2024

Continuing from week 03, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the fourth week of 2024:

  • ๐ŸŒ I didn’t quite understand the commotion about the DMA this week. Gruber proved himself to be a true patriot once again, and I still don’t understand where exactly the doomsday mood is coming from. Whether Apple has chosen an appropriate strategy, I don’t know either, see also Apple ruins its big week.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ My Anbernic RG35XX H arrived. Now I can sell my RG353PS and send the RGB30 (more or less electronic waste right from the start) to recycling. So far, one is more or less reliant on the stock firmware, which isn’t very nice. But there are a number of very young Custom Firmware Projects and also a cleaned-up stock version. To not lose track of all the associated SD cards, I printed a series of these Micro-SD Label Sticks.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ I was surprised to learn how easy it is to get The Full AMIGA Experience on Analogue Pocket. Until now, I was also unaware that you can convert save states created with an emulator to and from the Pocket / MISTER: Save File Converter.

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ I am actually very satisfied with Anybox. Only sometimes I wish that the sync speed would be much faster. I recently archived 20,000 (!) old bookmarks and kept “only” the last 2k, which only helped to a limited extent in getting the bookmarks stored on the iPhone displayed faster on the Mac. Over the last few years, I’ve tried more or less all the alternatives, except for Link Cluster. Its developer Daniel Witt is not an unknown1, the app was an up-front one-time purchase, and so far I have been hesitant to pay the money without knowing that the app does better than Anybox. That changed this week. A big update to Version 2.0 has been released and you can now (very limited) test it first, which I will definitely do over the next week: Link Cluster - Collect and manage links.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฐ I checked out NetNewsWire for macOS again. I will stick with Reeder for the time being.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป I changed my window manager again. The app Moom, which has been used on my macOS for decades, has now been replaced by Rectangle Pro. Ryan Hanson is another indie developer who releases just great utilities, and that’s why I bought the Pro version right away. Alternatively, you can also use the free Rectangle first. In fact, I can hardly imagine my life without Superkey (alternatively Hyperkey) anymore.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ No week without a new app from Sindre: Doodle Draw.

  • ๐Ÿ  I hung a very inexpensive Amazon Kindle Fire tablet on the refrigerator a year or two ago and display in a Full Kiosk Browser Magic Mirror2, which runs on a Raspberry Pi. I programmed a series of small Python scripts that show me the energy consumption and our weekly changing family tasks, in addition to standard functions like family calendar, weather, date, time, etc. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of what I taught myself with Python last year, and for some reason, Magic Mirror can no longer be updated without everything breaking afterwards. I’m afraid that if the shaky construct falls apart completely soon, I’ll have to hang an old iPad on the wall and perhaps use a solution like the recently updated Wallflower for HomeKit or just understand more about IT, Linux, Python, NPM, and Node ;-)

  • ๐Ÿ† The Obsidian 2023 Gems of the year winners have been announced. It’s a pity that Actions for Obsidian didn’t win. While looking at the entries, I stumbled upon Data Visualization in Obsidian with Obsidian Charts. There’s simply nothing you can’t do with Obsidian, albeit much more complicatedly than with other programs better suited for the task. I love that! ๐Ÿคฃ

  • ๐Ÿ”‹ If I ever think I need a big battery pack on the go, I might buy this one: Shargeek 170: Unbeatable Power.

  • โฐ The idea of a location-based alarm clock for train rides or similar is great. But I believe I wouldn’t have the confidence to rely on this solution: WakeMeHere - A Location Alarm with Brain.

  • ๐Ÿ“š I have been diligently reading Holly - for my standards. However, I am disappointed with the PocketBook Era. I had hoped that e-book readers would have evolved somehow over the past ten years. But at least the Era is insanely sluggish, and marking text is an outrage. Well, at least most of the time the text is displayed…

  • ๐ŸŽฌ Watched The Teachersโ€™ Lounge (2023); I know exactly why I work at the university and not at a school.

  • ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ Have a great week!

  1. For example, I am a big fan of PDF Squeezer 4 and regularly use Remote Wake Up↩︎

What caught my attention in week three, 2024

In continuation of week 02, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the third week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ Almost 2 years after Anker introduced its V6 Color Engine for the M5 3D printer, it cancelled it. You can either get a $600 discount for an as yet unannounced product, or they will refund the paid money. I’ve opted for a $330 refund. Although it’s a pity, I think it was the right decision for Anker to pull the plug on this product. My M5 already has problems with just one filament; getting the printer to work reliably with 6 print heads was probably indeed an unsolvable task.

  • ๐Ÿ“š I had resolved to read more books this year. I have finished one so far, although I probably started it over ten months ago and have only now finally completed it. Instead of reading one of the countless hardcover books owned by my wife, I wanted to start with Holly as an eBook. But on the iPhone, despite Focus Modes etc., I get distracted far too easily, so I bought a PocketBook Era (with a 20% discount). With it, I will definitely manage to outwit myself ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

  • โฐ Robb linked to this inspiring Clock: A Novel Way To Tell Time.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป As teased last week, ScreenFloat 2.0 was released. A ton of new features and even a free upgrade.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ In addition to all those great windows managers like Moom, Rectangle, Lasso, you name it, there is another (free) little utility: SwiftShift - Sweet window management for macOS.

  • ๐Ÿ“† โ€ŽReminderCal - Reminders to Cal looks interesting: View Apple Reminders natively in Apple Calendar.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ And this might be a (better?) alternative to Playstation Remote: โ€ŽMirrorPlay - Remote Streaming.

  • ๐Ÿง  Marcus mentioned llamafile - bringing LLMs to the people, and to your own computer. A nice way to produce alt text for images locally.

  • ๐Ÿ” This was mentioned on HeyDingus: Topviews Analysis: there you can see the most popular pages on Wikipedia per specified timeframe.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Continued watching For All Mankind together with my wife and Slow Horses.

  • ๐ŸŒ This week was a rather slow one regarding new software I was looking into but in RL it was much more intense.

    • โ„๏ธ Besides cancelled and new hardware and a couple of new apps, we had a few real winter days this week with temperatures down to -10 ยฐC. Since this is quite unusual here, everyone was totally overwhelmed. There were storm warnings up to warnings of life-threatening conditions, people were advised to avoid driving, schools were closed, and public transportation was severely limited for two days. But the landscape was really beautiful, and the rounds with the dog were slippery but dreamy.

    • โœŠ Moreover, in the last few weeks, there has finally been an outcry in Germany against the increasing number of Nazis in society and political parties. There were nationwide demonstrations with millions of people on the streets. Even in our small town, between 13,000 and 15,000 were demonstrating on the weekend. The march had already returned to the starting point, and yet not everyone had even started walking. It was absolutely impressive to see so many people absolutely peacefully demonstrating in freezing cold for human rights in the city center. Our two sons were also there, which made me somehow proud.

Finished reading: Die subtile Kunst des DaraufscheiรŸens by Mark Manson ๐Ÿ“š

What caught my attention in week two, 2024

In continuation of week 01, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the second week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ After my Covid infection in early December, followed by exhaustion, I started with a training program. It includes (indoor) cycling, strength training, and yoga sessions. It’s exhausting, but it also feels good to finally be able to challenge my body a little again.

  • ๐Ÿ“š Additionally, I wanted to read more, watch movies more regularly, meditate daily if possible, and do other nice little things more frequently. Therefore, I have started to enter these things as events in my calendar so that I don’t lose sight of them.1 The first week has already gone quite well.

  • ๐Ÿค– Jarod Blundy released an excellent Shortcut on HeyDingus. It automatically generates an image description using OpenAIโ€™s GPT4. And if this was not enough, he released Micro.blog Multimedia Uploader - upload any file to Micro.blog and format it for your blog post. ๐Ÿคฉ

  • ๐Ÿ”— Carlo pointed to Phanpy’s excellent Mastodon thread viewer.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป I really enjoy all the Apps from Apptorium. Lots of great stuff available, mainly for macOS. They came up with a new app: Cursor Teleporter - Teleport your cursor across your displays. In my lectures, I often struggle with moving and finding the cursor on the projector behind me; this app helps a lot to avoid that.

  • ๐Ÿ“ Obsidian collected projects for its Gems of the Year 2023, and now the voting on their Discord has begun. Lots of interesting plugins. I already use some of them, but most were new to me. I voted for Carlos' Actions for Obsidian, among others, and installed Image Converter: Convert and compress images from one format to another by drag’n’dropping or pasting files into the note. I’ve been looking for a plugin like this for a long time and created something similar myself with the help of Shortcuts and Retrobatch. But, this plugin is much more convenient and powerful. I also really like the linter plugin - an Obsidian plugin that formats and styles your notes with a focus on configurability and extensibility.

  • ๐Ÿ”– Furthermore, I have bookmarked the following plugins to possibly come back to them at the right time: canvas candy, dataloom, day planner, easy bake, folder notes, full calendar, git, kanban, khoj, meta bind, modal form, latex suite, obsidian to ical, quickadd, smart connections, and time ruler.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ It was mentioned on the last episode of Hemispheric Views, โ€ŽIdle Iktah - Idle Iktah is an incremental iOS game set in a fictionalized Pacific Northwest where you start from nothing and create your own path to success. It looks very strange. I downloaded it but have not started playing yet.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ I believe this one-dimensional Pac Man game that you can play in your browser was mentioned on DF2: Paku Paku.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Max Handelman, the developer of GameButler, released โ€ŽMinerva for Trakt - the movie and TV show app that youโ€™ve been looking for. Yet another Trakt client. It has a similar, quite cool, aesthetic as GameButler (I would call it very functional) and no subscription model (just a small one-time payment). I still stick to TV Forecast though, the only thing missing for me is the ability to sort my own watchlist by various criteria. (Which seems to be possible with Minerva.)

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Eternalstorms is another developer whose software I really like. I was a long-time user of Screenfloat before I replaced it with the corresponding function of CleanShot X (also on Setapp). But I am still excited about Version 2, which will be released next week.

  • ๐Ÿ“ Barebones released version 15 of BBEdit. I instantly upgraded before even reading the release notes. Its main new feature is ChatGPT worksheet support. Matt made a video about it, if you’re interested.

  • ๐ŸŽจ Hiro posted these Teenage Engineering iPhone Wallpapers in his weeknotes. I am not into sequencer stuff at all (unfortunately, I am completely talentless when it comes to music) but they look awesome, nevertheless.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Started watching Slow Horses S3, For All Mankind S4 and watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi. What a great documentary!

  1. I had previously tried to write these things down as normal lists or tasks in Obsidian and other apps. But I didn’t like that. Even specialized apps like RoutineFlow were not the right tool for me. The calendar does the trick for now. ↩︎

  2. Yes, I was right :-) ↩︎

What caught my attention in week one, 2024

In continuation of week 52, 2023, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the first week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿค” I read some blog posts about One Month Without and I always find it interesting to see what people are willing to give up for a month. I did this spontaneously in the first half of 2023, giving up alcohol, caffeine (not entirely true, I did drink green tea a few times, but completely abstained from coffee, cola, etc.), sweets, and snacks. Giving up coffee was definitely the hardest. I have not yet decided if and for how long I will repeat it this year, but I have declared January to be alcohol-free.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ Clicks for iPhone - a REAL KEYBOARD for your iPhone: tempting, and I still hate typing on my iPhone (sometimes I get the impression that Apple wants to annoy me on purpose, always choosing keys nearby and never those that lead to sensible words; the new LLM for autocorrect is also not yet available in German). But I wouldn’t want to keep taking my phone out of the case (which I use most of the time), putting it into this keyboard and back into the case again.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Sindre did it again and released a little utility for the Mac: Second Clock - Show a second clock for a different time zone in your menu bar.

  • ๐ŸŽจ A DALLยทE playground for the Mac: I had not tried DALL-E before because I always assumed that you needed an OpenAI-plus subscription for it. For this app, you only need an API key.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ Didier posted about vAmiga - a user-friendly Amiga 500, 1000, 2000 emulator for macOS. I have not tried it myself yet, but it looks great.

  • ๐Ÿ“ท Gruber had a problem with unknown files in his Photo Library, and Caleb Hailey helped him.

  • ๐Ÿ“š Otรกvio posted a link to Standard Ebooks - a volunteer-driven project that produces new editions of public domain ebooks that are lovingly formatted, open source, free of U.S. copyright restrictions, and free of cost. Oh well, if only I read more books …

  • ๐Ÿ’พ Speaking of Otรกvio. He is the author of Micro.publish, an Obsidian plugin that lets you publish directly to micro.blog. Love it. I ran across a bug trying to publish my last weeknote and he was so kind to fix right it away ๐Ÿคฉ. (Otรกvio even wrote a blog post about it.)

  • ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Marcus posted a link to All German words (German wordlist) - who knows what it might be useful for in the future; bookmarked.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ Remakes I knew about, but I only just learned that there are also Demakes: Demake of Portal for the Nintendo 64

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ Downloaded Crunchyroll Presents: Hime’s Quest for my Analogue Pocket - Go back to 1999 and help Crunchyroll-Hime protect New Crunchy City from Y2K! By the way, my Analogue Pocket Dock has arrived, which I should have ordered directly. ๐Ÿฅฐ

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I don’t even want to know how much time this boy has spent playing Tetris on the NES to achieve this: 13-Year-Old Becomes First to Beat NES Tetris. I also wonder why a 13-year-old spends his free time in front of an NES and not playing Fortnite or Minecraft ๐Ÿคฃ. And how crazy are these different playing techniques?

  • ๐Ÿญ I thought this would never happen: Welcome to the public domain, Mickey Mouse - Steamboat Willie finally slips out of copyright.1 As a result, you can now watch Steamboat Willie via Playorama on your Playdate, if you want to.

  • ๐Ÿค” While reviewing my subscriptions, I had already considered canceling kagi. This made it easier for me, although I am aware that probably every search engine at least tolerates unethical practices indirectly or even practices them directly to some extent. My hope is that if service providers realize that such non-technical aspects are also relevant to customers, they will hopefully take them more into account in future decisions.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Finished Season 2 of The Bear and Loki - loved both.

  • ๐Ÿคฏ Watched Oppenheimer (2023) - and I wanted to be more optimistic in 2024!

  1. with many restrictions, of course ↩︎

What caught my attention in week fifty-two, 2023

In addition to week 50, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in week 51 and 52, 2023:

  • ๐Ÿ–ผ Many new iPhone wallpapers made the rounds: Gameboy style, iPod style. On Reddit, there are some simpler versions available for free (Original, iPod Mini), and moreover, Basic Apple Guy has recently released some very nice ones, Aurora Gradient and Ugly Christmas Sweater Wallpapers (Mac Edition), and just published his Rewind 2023: Wallpapers.

  • ๐Ÿ“ Blake released a web app for omg.lol: write.omg.lol - A simple notepad in your browser backed by omg.lol’s Pastebin feature.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Found this on baty.net: So you got Setappโ€ฆ make the most of it: A Terminal script, “which will tell you what apps you have that also have a Setapp version”. This way you can “contribute part of the monthly subscription fee youโ€™re already paying to the developers of the apps you love”.

  • โœ๏ธ Canion posted about another nice-looking plain text/markdown note-taking app I had never heard of before: Notebooks. I now use Obsidian with its Dataview plugin and Actions for Obsidian so intensively that I can’t imagine switching, but in principle, native macOS/iOS apps of this kind are extremely welcome.

  • ๐ŸŽต Installed Tuneful - a native macOS menu bar playback control app for Spotify and Apple Music.

  • ๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ Sindre Sorhus has released just another new app: Memo Widget - Sticky notes on your Home Screen, Lock Screen, and desktop.

  • ๐ŸŽ‰ KeyJerk Reactions lets you bind the new macOS' Video reactions via a nice UI or a script.

  • ๐Ÿ”— Bookmarked SharePal - Lightning speed sharing. Add. Organize. Share. I don’t have a specific use case for this app yet, but should it come to that, I now have an idea of how I could make the task easier.

  • ๐ŸŒ This one looks interesting: โ€ŽGlobetrotter - “a location-based travel photos app, providing a fast and fun way to share your travel highlights with your friends and family”. Now I just need to get around more, which is not so easy for a household that doesn’t own a car and for some reason doesn’t fly.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ Additional apps for iOS, many of which with a free lifetime license thanks to the Indie App Santa promotion: Cheatsheet, Joy, Keybot, Mindr, Peaks, Photo Route, Pretty Progress, and Replica. It remains to be seen which of these I will actually use on a regular basis.1

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ I installed โ€Žfinity on my iPhone and enjoyed playing it now and then during some trips over the Christmas holidays.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ Finished Super Mario Advance (Super Mario Bros. 2 port for GBA) on my Analogue Pocket.

  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Started playing Diablo 4. I absolutely do not understand yet what one has to do here and especially when and why, but I enjoy it so far ;-)

  • ๐Ÿ•น I checked out โ€ŽResident Evil 4 on my M2 MacBook Pro and was pleasantly surprised at how well and smoothly it plays. I imagine I see clear differences to the PS5 version I already own, but if I didn’t, it could have been a good purchase for the Mac as well. (I’m not sure if it’s such a clever idea to sell games that have been available for established gaming consoles for years to “real” gamers, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Apple.)

  • ๐Ÿค– Funko Box- So many of them almost everywhere. Awesome; did not let Microsoft Designer create my own, though.

  • ๐Ÿ’ฟ I’ve signed up to Album Of The Day and enjoy the daily recommendations so far.

  • ๐ŸŽ™ I’ve deleted Overcast and moved to Apple Podcasts.app. Just added only a few shows back in. I’ll try to listen to less Podcasts at 1,0 x speed and more music.

  • ๐Ÿ“– I read the countless annual reviews and outlooks2 with great interest and was pleased about the (perceived) renaissance of blogging. Of course, a large part of this was due to Rob’s App Defaults overview page, which now offers > 300 individual blogs as RSS feeds for simple import into your own feed reader.

  • ๐Ÿฅฐ Speaking of it, my Hemispheric Views Defaults Laptop Sticker arrived.

  • ๐Ÿฟ Watched Barbie (2023) with the family. Was fun!

  • ๐Ÿ™ Thank you for reading my Weeknotes in 2023! I didn’t quite manage to consistently follow through on the resolution I made at the beginning of the year to write down a few things each week, was briefly on the verge of giving up entirely, and still find it a bit odd, but I had a lot of fun with it. I registered with omg.lol at the beginning of 2023, moved my then only a few weeks old Mastodon account to social.lol, and became a member of micro.blog. I am very happy to have discovered this part of the net. I have actually gotten to know several people who have become dear to me, even though I do not know them personally. Thank you for that! It actually made the year 2023 better, although otherwise, it wasn’t really a year I look back on with much joy. So, I wish everyone a Happy New Year, stay healthy, and see you soon. Looking forward to it!

  1. Keybot is definitely pretty high up on the list. ↩︎

  2. way too many to list them here, sorry ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ ↩︎

I remember times when BMW used to build relatively “reasonable looking” cars.

Front of a BMW iX

What caught my attention in week fifty, 2023

Due to my Covid infection, I was only able to publish my Weeknotes for week 49 quite late, so here are just a few more thoughts and things that caught my attention in week 50, 2023:

  • ๐Ÿ’ถ I published my State of App and Services Subscriptions 2023 and read similar posts from other people with great interest.

  • ๐ŸŽ™ Canion tried MurmurType on Setapp - Transcribe your speech and I plan to take a closer look at the app soon as well.

  • ๐Ÿค– LM Studio - Discover, download, and run local LLMs: It feels like the AI hype has significantly flattened, but of course, chatbots are here to stay. The possibility of running them locally on your computer is naturally tempting. Bookmarked.

  • ๐Ÿงต Awesome thread initiated by Dave with lots of Indie Mac and iOS Apps. I’ve bookmarked Bartleby, DoMarks, Cheatsheet, Bridges, MeterStats, Ride Stats, Walk Routes, and some others to evaluate them when I get the chance.

  • I love Hyperkey and therefore started evaluating Superkey. I am not sure yet if I will use its added functionality but it would be a way to support Ryan’s work nevertheless.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ Finished Stray on PS5 and now I’m looking for a non-open-world game to tackle next. Any ideas?

  • ๐Ÿ–จ I finally managed to upgrade my Anker Make M5 to the All Metal Hotend; of course, I had two screws left over in the end and had to take everything apart again. But now it’s up an running again. ๐Ÿ˜…

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Started watching Loki S2 and continued watching The Bear S2.

Those were the days …

Vintage Handspring Visor and Sony Cliรฉ models.

State of App and Services Subscriptions 2023

I use a variety of different apps and services on iOS and macOS. Most of them are based on subscription models, and even though I try to make sure that each program doesn’t cost more than 5 โ‚ฌ / month, a not insignificant monthly amount1 quickly adds up.

Here is a table of all the apps and services I’m currently subscribed to:2

App or Service Cost / Month Type State
1Password 5.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Anybox 1.21 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Arq 3.22 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Chronicling 0.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
DayOne 2.21 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Drafts 1.71 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Epic Weather Ride 0.71 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
FDDB 2.00 โ‚ฌ 1/2y ๐Ÿ”ด
HealthFit 0.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
iConnectHue 1.67 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
ifttt 1.39 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Ivory 2.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Kagi 4.63 โ‚ฌ m ๐ŸŸก
Mastodon 1.79 โ‚ฌ m ๐ŸŸข
Mercury Weather 1.67 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Micro.blog 4.63 โ‚ฌ m ๐ŸŸข
Mindnode 1.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
MS Office 365 8.25 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Neptunes 0.17 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
NordVPN 3.80 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Obsidian Sync 4.45 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Overcast Premium 0.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Personal Best 0.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Play 1.92 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Photomator 2.92 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Readwise 3.71 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Setapp 5.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Sรถka 0.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Timery 0.87 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
trakt.tv 2.32 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Training Today 1.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
TV Forecast 0.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Up Ahead 1.00 โ‚ฌ y ๐Ÿ”ด
Waterllama 0.58 โ‚ฌ
YNAB 8.19 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Zenitizer 1.83 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Apple One Premium 31.95 โ‚ฌ m ๐ŸŸข
Disney+ 7.50 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸข
Nintendo Switch Online 2.92 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
PlayStationPlus 5.00 โ‚ฌ y ๐ŸŸก
Wahoo Systm 13.75 โ‚ฌ m ๐ŸŸข
Total: 141.64 โ‚ฌ

In total, they cost well over 140 โ‚ฌ a month, which is 1700 โ‚ฌ3 a year! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Time to go through all the apps one by one and consider whether I really need them and whether they are still worth their money to me.4

  • ๐ŸŸข 1Password: Until last week, my standard password manager. I am currently considering whether it could potentially be replaced by Apple’s Keychain; however, I am not fully there yet.
  • ๐ŸŸข Anybox: My current bookmark manager of choice; I could possibly live with the free version of Raindrop.io; but even though the developer probably no longer lives in Russia, the proximity is somehow still too uncomfortable for me.
  • ๐ŸŸข Arq: I use Arq since 2016 together with the countless TB of free OneDrive storage space available to me as part of the MS Office subscription; I couldn’t sleep peacefully without offsite backup.
  • ๐ŸŸข Chronicling: I use it a lot lately, especially to fill my Daily Journal in Obsidian via Shortcuts.app; I really don’t want to miss it.
  • ๐ŸŸก DayOne: Since I moved my Daily Journal to Obsidian in the middle of the year, I don’t really use it anymore. But I still let it be filled (automatically). My first entries go back to the year 2008, although I can’t figure out when it was actually published. Would feel strange without it.
  • ๐ŸŸข Drafts: I used the app extensively in the past, then didn’t understand it for a long time, and currently, I can’t imagine life without it again.
  • ๐ŸŸข Epic Weather Ride: An indispensable weather tool for planning bike tours.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด FDDB: I regularly fail to track my calories consistently and thus control my weight. Most of the year an unused app because it is too exhausting to constantly weigh your food. I should cancel and only resubscribe when I really (for a month or two) want to use it.
  • ๐ŸŸข HealthFit: One of the few ways to get .fit files from the Hammerhead Karoo 2 into Apple Health and much more. Subscription is even voluntary and IMHO extremely well invested.
  • ๐ŸŸก iConnectHue: An alternative way to program and control Philips Hue lamps. In the past, the things I wanted to implement could only be set up properly through it. However, I should take a look during the brighter time of the year to see if most of it can now also be done via the native app.
  • ๐ŸŸก ifttt: Oh, I actually only use it to import various things into Day One automatically. I don’t really need it but I love automating things ๐Ÿค”.
  • ๐ŸŸข Ivory: There are a number of alternative Mastodon clients like Mona etc. that do not rely on a subscription; also, the development speed is not very high at the moment. On the other hand, I’ve gotten very used to these very polished apps for iOS and macOS.
  • ๐ŸŸก Kagi: A really good Google alternative. But ultimately “only” for the conscience. It’s not that I achieve anything with Kagi that wouldn’t be possible with google.com or duckduckgo.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Up Ahead: Incredible nice-looking app, but I feel like it hasn’t been updated for almost a year now. (How nice it would be if you could simply add entries from the calendar.) It’s hard, but
  • ๐ŸŸข Mastodon: Completely voluntary and actually too small an amount.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Mercury Weather: I really like it, it has even won big at the MacStories Selects, but since I rarely travel to other places/countries and the Weather app is also getting better…
  • ๐ŸŸข Micro.blog : What can I say …
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Mindnode: Used to be one of my most used apps; it is now also available via Setapp and I only have the subscription because of the iOS version; however, I use the latter very rarely ATM.
  • ๐ŸŸก MS Office 365: In the meantime, my sons through school as well as my wife and I through work theoretically have free access to Office at home, however, I paid for several years in advance a long time ago and now the subscription just runs. I use the storage space intensively with Arq (see above); I should check at some point whether it can be realized more cheaply.
  • ๐ŸŸข Neptunes: Costs almost nothing and I use it daily on the Mac.
  • ๐ŸŸข NordVPN: Everyone should have a VPN service, right?
  • ๐ŸŸข Obsidian Sync: Without Obsidian, my computer life would be meaningless right now. There would be alternatives to synchronize the content between platforms, but the Sync subscription is a good way to support Obsidian in its entirety.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Overcast Premium: I never understood the UI concept of Overcast. However, it has Shortcuts support and I have automated a few things with it. Are they really necessary? No.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Personal Best: Nice, but the UI is still a bit too confusing for me and the actual benefit may be too small.
  • ๐ŸŸก Play: I’ll take a look at it again in a year. Right now, I really enjoy the channels feature introduced in 2.0.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Photomator: Great app, but I don’t use it often enough.
  • ๐ŸŸก Reader Readwise: The price is at the upper limit of pain for me but only thanks to an educational discount. I use the app very extensively; if it were more expensive, I would switch to Omnivore.
  • ๐ŸŸข Setapp: Worth the money thanks to the Edu discount.
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Sรถka: I like it. I travel too little to really take advantage of it. Maybe I’ll subscribe for a month or so before the next vacation?
  • ๐ŸŸก Timery: I use it professionally, but I pay for it privately because it helps me keep a little better track.
  • ๐ŸŸก trakt.tv: Actually, I watch too few series to justify a VIP account. But in this way, things can be automated very nicely and transferred to Day One via IFTT, etc. Oh …
  • ๐Ÿ”ด Training Today: After the app once attested to me the best fitness despite fever and malaise, I believe it is just an (expensive) random number generator.
  • ๐ŸŸข TV Forecast: I love this app.
  • Waterllama: I have now bought a Live Time license.
  • ๐ŸŸข YNAB: Without YNAB, we would be heavily in debt, I would have even more pointless stuff, and my wife would have left me with the kids and dog.
  • ๐ŸŸก Zenitizer: The subscription reminds me that I damn well need to work on overcoming my inner laziness more regularly.
  • ๐ŸŸข Apple One Premium: As a family, we need a large iCloud storage tier just for the photos. In addition, we use Apple Music and Apple TV+. In total, still more expensive than Premium. It’s a pity, really.
  • ๐ŸŸข Disney+: Marvel, Star Wars, etc. - we can’t do without it.
  • ๐ŸŸก Nintendo Switch Online: Necessary just for my son’s ZELDA backup, although ๐Ÿ˜ˆ …
  • ๐ŸŸก PlayStationPlus: If I could understand what exactly happens to my 300 previously “acquired” games through it if I were to cancel it, it might even be conceivable to do so ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ.
  • ๐ŸŸข wahoo X: The Zwift UI has too negative an impact on my blood pressure; I have therefore been looking for a long time for an alternative to indoor cycling that just works reliably. The Sufferfest / wahoo SYSTM does this. My way of exercising in the winter months.

Well, there are a few programs / services that I have now canceled as a result. I still have to think about the other ๐ŸŸก apps. It would probably be wise to cancel them as well and after the subscription expires, see if I can bear their loss and if not, just resubscribe.

But basically, nice things cost money and all these services and apps make my day easier or enrich my life. At least now I know where I stand at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜€

P.S. I totally forgot to include omg.lol, my e-mail provider, and Hemispheric Views' One Prime Plus, but those are all no-brainers for me. ๐Ÿ˜…

P.P.S: This list only covers tech related stuff. Charity and other related expenses are not listed here.

Update 2023-12-14: If you’re interested in other people’s subscriptions, you can have a look here: Robb, Canion, Kev, and Numeric Citizen.

Update 2023-12-17: And here is a post by pratik.

Update 2023-12-18: Posts from Otรกvio, Maique, and Zachary.

  1. All subscriptions have been converted to Euros and annual subscriptions divided by 12. Some are family subscriptions, some are subscriptions with an education discount. ↩︎

  2. Sorry Canion, not in $ / week this time ๐Ÿ˜‡. m: monthly; y: yearly; ๐ŸŸข: keep subscription; ๐ŸŸก: think about subscription; ๐Ÿ”ด: cancel subscription ↩︎

  3. $ 1.834 ↩︎

  4. If anyone reading here happens to have anything to do with any of the apps mentioned, please don’t misunderstand: They are all awesome apps, otherwise I would never have subscribed to them before! ๐Ÿ˜„ ↩︎

What caught my attention in week fourty-nine, 2023

In continuation of week 48, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in week 49, 2023:

  • ๐Ÿฆ  Yes, I had already feared it, and unfortunately, it happened: My wife’s Covid-19 infection did not pass me by. Therefore, my weeknote is regrettably appearing a little too late “this week.”

  • ๐Ÿ”ซ You may not necessarily like the content, but technically, the trailer for GTA VI definitely blew me away.

  • โœ๏ธ Another PDF editor that I will look at in my long search for an alternative to Preview1 is PDFgear - PDF Tasks Made Easy.2

  • ๐ŸชŸ Gruber released An AppleScript for Safari to move all tabs in the frontmost window, from the current tab to the rightmost (last) tab, to a new window: Split Tabs to New Window.scpt. But even better is the tip from Jack Wellborn, that you can easily drag and drop multiple tabs into a new window.

  • ๐Ÿ“ I have been doing most of my (transformative) text work with BBEdit for decades. I really wouldnโ€™t know what to do with my life without Multi-File Search and Regex, but sometimes I also like to use TextBuddy or Text Workflow. Another nice app that does something similar is by Chris Hannah and now apparently even free for iOS and macOS: Text Case.

  • ๐Ÿ“ While I’m on the topic of text editors. CotEditor now also has a Quick Action Bar - if only the programs could agree on a uniform shortcut!

  • ๐Ÿ•น For the 30th anniversary of Doom, I bought it again and immediately installed it on my MacBook and Miyoo mini plus. In keeping with this, John Romero released SIGIL II. Speaking of Miyoo mini plus - there is now a native pico-8 wrapper, too ๐Ÿฅณ.

  • ๐Ÿ‘พ I started playing Super Mario Advance (GBA) on my Analogue Pocket. I noticed that I definitely never played Super Mario Bros. 2 before. (I could have sworn that I had at least tried all the major releases.) You can tell that the second part is a reskin and somehow it doesn’t really fit into the series. I also find it absurdly difficult already in the third / fourth world. Let’s see how far I will get in the game.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or due to the recently released firmware updates, but lately my Playstation Portal has been running absolutely smoothly ๐Ÿฅฐ

  • ๐Ÿงต Unfortunately, I now have to crawl out of my European library again, because soon the fun begins here too! (However, I will continue to ignore Threads, just like Facebook and Instagram, for the time being.)

  • โ†”๏ธ In terms of features, it’s not yet an alternative to Kaleidoscope, but it’s affordable: Text Differ - Meet Text Differ, a native macOS app that shows beautiful differences between 2 texts.

  • ๐ŸŽ™ Lately, I was a little annoyed by the ever-same content in my overflowing podcast subscription list. I think I will actually export all my subscribed podcasts, delete Overcast, and in Apple Podcasts, subscribe to Ruminate and Hemispheric Views, and then consider whether and which other two of the usual suspects I choose. Also, I followed Robb’s advice and turned off Smart Speed and reset the playback speed to 1.0.

  • ๐Ÿ›‘ I have now forbidden 1Password on all my devices from wanting to fill anything anywhere and only use it as a (backup) vault. I have exported all my passwords from 1PW into the Apple Keychain3, and my life has become significantly less annoying. I’m going to look at this for a few weeks now and then consider whether I completely get rid of 1PW or keep it running alongside.

  • ๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ iOS 17.2 was released, and with it the Journal.app. I can’t do anything with the app itself, but DayOne is allowed to use the same API and can suggest the same things. That’s cool!4

  • โŒš watchOS 10.2 has brought back the ability to change Watch Faces by simple swiping. Thank you, Apple! I had to search for quite a while until I finally understood that this setting can only be made on the watch itself: Settings > Clock > Swipe to Switch Watch Face

  1. In the past, I have suffered significant data loss after annotating PDFs with Preview.app, and since then, I no longer trust the application. Thank you, Apple. ↩︎

  2. However, I have not yet really understood their monetization concept. ↩︎

  3. Of course, Safari crashed immediately during import; whoever is responsible for software quality at Apple, in my opinion, should be fired. ↩︎

  4. At the moment, I primarily keep my Daily Journal in Obsidian but transfer a copy of it to Day One via Shortcuts.app; I need to rethink my use of Day One separately. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week fourty-eight, 2023

In continuation to week 47, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in week 48, 2023:

  • ๐Ÿฆ  My wife was plagued at the beginning of the week with severe headaches and especially nausea. The Corona test was negative. However, on Friday it turned out that she did have Corona, for the first time (proven) since the beginning of the pandemic. She is now slowly getting better, but it has really knocked her down. Let’s hope the children remain spared, who have already had it several times, though. Now I am the last one in the house on whom the virus has not yet shown up on a rapid test. Let’s see how much longer.

  • ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ Somehow I can’t decide right now whether I should publish my weeknotes in full length on weblog.lol or micro.blog. So far, I have done it on weblog.lol and only created the shorter posts on micro.blog1. But there are so many nice tools like Micro Publish, MarsEdit, and iA Writer to publish directly on mb. I’ll just put the post on both platforms for now and think about how I will handle this in the future by next week.

  • โœ๏ธ Speaking of iA Writer, a really great editor that I use far too infrequently, was just released in Version 7. It has a very interesting approach regarding “citing”2 in Markdown files3. There is also a call to implement the syntax extension in Obsidian.

  • ๐ŸŽ™ And speaking of omg.lol. The last episode of Hemispheric Views was not as absurdly funny as the App Defaults episode, but Adam was a guest. I always find it very interesting to hear what he has to say and am looking forward to his 25 days of omg.lol.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ This week at Indie App Santa, MacWhisper, probably the best-known Whisper client, was available for free. With Hello Transcribe, there seems to be an alternative that I have not yet tried myself.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Also using LLM, but not for transcription, rather for translation, is Easydict: Easydict is a concise and easy-to-use translation dictionary macOS App that allows you to easily and elegantly look up words or translate text. It supports a bunch of different services.

  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป I started evaluating MediaMate: Fresh visuals for Volume, Brightness, and Now Playing. It has a nice Notch UI for now playing. Have not tested how it plays together with Notchmeister, though.

  • ๐Ÿ•น Started playing Stray. It is a welcome, quite peaceful change after the 100+ hours fighting as Aloy.

  • ๐Ÿ•น This week, I actually finished my first Mario game: Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (GBC). I played the cartridge on my Analogue Pocket and thanks to Save States, I have finally managed to see the end credit scene. With every other Mario, I gave up along the way at some point, even though I probably started them all.

  • ๐Ÿ•น There are not only seemingly 23,342 different retro handhelds, but at least 42 new ones are added every week. I had not heard of the Evercade EXP until now. You cannot play copies of your own ROMs or original cartridges here, but classics are reissued as cartridges for this system. Interesting concept, and there’s even Duke Nukem!

  • ๐Ÿ‘ฐ I found it interesting to read how much fuss was made about this one bride photo. But probably because we no longer know or can assess what is real at all. I always wonder how my children are supposed to learn which statements in the form of a photo, a video, or an audio recording they can still trust. But that might also be the reason why many people only dive into their own filter bubble and generally dismiss everything as fake news that is too complicated for them or contradicts their own ideas and blindly believe what they want to believe. This is probably actually the biggest challenge we as a society are facing right now, alongside the climate crisis of course.

  • ๐Ÿ‘ฑ Speaking of audio recordings, I couldn’t resist having my iPhone create my own voice. I dutifully read aloud 150 sentences in English. At the beginning, I thought it would never end, but it went quickly towards the end. My iPhone then calculated a lot overnight and the next day I was allowed to try it out. The voice definitely sounds like me. But for my taste, it is significantly too slow. I don’t know if this is generally the case or because I tried to speak as clearly as possible in a foreign language. How do people find it whose mother tongue is English? (I generally find it strange to hear my own voice, which of course makes the whole thing even more absurd.)

  • ๐Ÿ”‘ I really need to reconsider my password strategy. 1Password and Apple’s Keychain just don’t cooperate well anymore on my systems, especially when Passkeys are involved. Autofill with 1Password is frequently broken, and you can’t have both enabled. Perhaps I should designate my 1Password vault as the master (or as a backup?) and save duplicates in Keychain to use for autofill. I’m really unsure. I feels strange to have all my passwords in two separate “clouds”.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Even though the subscription price is personally a little too high for me, because I’m actually trying to reduce subscription costs, I signed up for the Play 2.0 trial. I really like the new channel features and together with Vinegar, it helps me get over paying 24 โ‚ฌ a month for a Youtube Prime Family subscription, which is actually way too expensive for my taste.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ I’m really looking forward to Slow Horses Season 3, but before that, I want to finish The Bear with my wife. Then there’s Loki S2 and the new season of For All Mankind S4 waiting. Advent will definitely not be boring.

  1. Micro.blog is a service for which I have a kind of love-hate relationship (although this is greatly exaggerated). I want to love the service, and Manton seems to be a really nice person; the community and idea are also great. However, I always feel like mb is so fragile that you only have to look at it sideways for it to fall apart. Something is always not working and it seems very oddly cobbled together. It’s supposed to be a simple service but often it ends up being totally complicated and confusing. I never know if I’m just too stupid to tick the right boxes, or if I’ve stumbled upon another bug again. ↩︎

  2. They call it “text from AI tools”, but it’s more ore less citation in the end. ↩︎

  3. I really do like their other Markdown based app iA Presenter. There are a couple of similar apps already, like Deckset and Hyperdeck, but iA’s implementation is awesome as usual. ↩︎

I just realized that I’m slowly getting old and tired. In the past, I knew at least a little bit about every (Apple) thing. Nowadays, I’ve lost track and have no desire to understand whether I can simply integrate Matter devices into my existing Homekit setup or if I need to make some fundamental changes and then everything implodes. I’d rather not touch anything and just let it continue as it is. And what is this RCS? Does it also run on mobile data or does the provider charge a fee for each message, like for an SMS? And if so, why does anyone believe that it could somehow be an alternative to WhatsApp? And these passkeys; is there really no way to copy them from Keychain to 1Password or vice versa? Do I have to think in advance about how and where to save them? Seriously? Then I’d rather stick with conventional passwords. Oh man ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Fun stuff with Obsidian and Dataview II - costs per week

You can do so much fun stuff with Obsidian and Dataview. I added notes for all of my electronic gear and based on properties for purchase date and price an inline dataview calculates the costs per week for each item, every time the note is opened ๐Ÿคฉ

This is the actual inline calculation for cost/week:

=round(number(replace(this.preis,",",".")) / number(durationformat(dur(date(now) - this.kaufdatum),"w")),2)


  • preis: price property; as I am located in GER I use a textfield with an entry like “42,99 โ‚ฌ”; therefore the replacement of “,” by “.” and conversion to a number
  • kaufdatum: purchase date property
Obsidian dataview with costs per week based on purchase date and price

Update 2023-12-05

Here is a slightly improved version of the inline field:

=replace(string(round(number(replace(this.preis,",",".")) / number(durationformat(dur(default(this.nutzung_bis, date(now)) - this.kaufdatum),"w")),2)),".",",")


  • nutzung_bis: a properties date field that marks the end of usage; the cost is calculated either until this date or if it is missing until today

and it changes the ENG decimal point back to the GER “,”