TIL that the number of a CR battery indicates its diameter and thickness. For example, CR2032 is 20 mm wide and 3.2 mm thick.

In the whole Pro discussion about the iPad, I always miss the decisive factor for me: There is no multi-user support. I’m not going to spend โ‚ฌ2000 on an ultra-modern device that only one person in the household can use, whereas a Macbook Air is available to the whole family for a very similar price.

What caught my attention in week twenty-one, 2024

In continuation of week 20, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 21. week of 2024:

Have a nice week! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Finished reading: Doom Guy by John Romero ๐Ÿ“š

What caught my attention in week twenty, 2024

In continuation of week 18, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 19. - 20. week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ I was cycling with my wife for a few days along the former East-West German border. The weather was fantastic, the inclines were not to be underestimated but manageable. A bit of a shame, but we tried to take it with humour: Once again, we had to realize that the concept of Deutsche Bahn has unfortunately totally failed. Train travel is an absolute disaster in our country, and that makes me very sad and angry at the FDP (the party that provides our transport minister). But that’s a topic for another time.

  • ๐Ÿ“ต During the bike tour, I decided to take a one or two-week break from social media. I deleted my Mastodon clients from my devices (I already don’t use Threads, Instagram, X, Facebook, etc.) and also avoided YouTube. I still read a few posts in my RSS reader, though. So, do I feel better now? I don’t think so, but it was good anyways, I think.1

What else was interesting to me?

  • ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ Hammerhead Karoo 3 In-Depth Review: Worth the Upgrade?: there’s a successor to my current bike computer. Since my two biggest criticisms, battery life and responsiveness, have obviously not been addressed, I am not in danger of wanting to spend the 500 โ‚ฌ (!) for it for now.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ โ€ŽRetroArch has been released for iOS and similar platforms. For those who aren’t totally into retro gaming, dedicated emulators like Delta, PPSPPP are probably the much more convenient way to enjoy some old games. Nevertheless, it’s wonderful to see that RetroArch now runs on the iPhone and especially on the AppleTV! (I use a dedicated Raspberry Pi with Batocera or my Analogue Pocket with its dock for the TV, though.)

  • ๐Ÿ“‘ โ€ŽPDF Squeezer is now also available for iOS.

  • ๐Ÿ’พ Carbon Copy Cloner has been released in version 7, and I took the opportunity to support the developer by purchasing the upgrade.

  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ If you have an old, currently unused iPad lying around (I’ve heard there are new ones ๐Ÿ˜‡), you might want to check out Synced Photo Frame by Re-Frame and repurpose it as a digital photo frame.

  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ Photo Tape - Connect Images: the app looks like a pretty neat way to simply merge images.

  • ๐Ÿ”– Plinky - Easily Save Links: there’s another bookmark manager. I just bought the lifetime license for Anybox and therefore my search (for now) is over.

  • โณ โ€ŽTime - Ring - the elegant and fun way to count down to your most anticipated events! For those interested who haven’t yet paid for Pinning, Up Ahead (which has resumed development), Countdowns, or one of the many other apps and are looking for a simple, free option.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I installed chiaki4deck on my Steam Deck and can now effortlessly do PS5 Remote Play. However, I fear that someone might empty half the PSN Store with my account, but certain risks have to be taken ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

  • ๐ŸŽฎ Due to the early access release of Hades II, the first one was very cheap, so I bought it for the Steam Deck and started playing it. Actually, I wanted to keep my hands off these rogue-like games, but it’s just too good.

  • ๐ŸŒž Have a great week!

  1. That was also the reason why there was no blog post from me last week. I assume almost no one noticed ;-) ↩︎

What caught my attention in week eighteen, 2024

In continuation of week 17, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 18. week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿš€ Carlo just released a beta of UI Actions. It follows his awesome Actions for Obsidian, but with this you can script macOS apps that lack native shortcut integration. Definitely an app to keep an eye on, as an addition or alternative to Keyboard Maestro.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ It seems like every week a handful of new retro handhelds hit the market. Whether interest will wane due to Delta, I don’t know, but for those like me who have long lost track of all the different devices, take a look at Handheld List.

  • ๐Ÿฐ Following the humane AI pin disaster, the second AI gadget, rabbit R1, doesn’t fare much better: Rabbit R1: Barely Reviewable. But at least it’s orange, costs only a fraction of its sibbling, and looks totally cute on a shelf next to a playdate console. Speaking of which, in week 12 the crank handle of mine broke, I sent it in for repair, and now the replacement device has been waiting somewhere in America to be shipped for over 4 weeks ๐Ÿ˜ข. I’m curious to see if I will ever see my playdate again ๐Ÿคž.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฆ On Bento3D you can easily click together boxes for your 3D printer according to your needs and download the corresponding .stl files. I wish it were compatible with Gridfinity.

  • โŒจ๏ธ I am a long-time Typinator user and there are a bunch of other alternatives for text expansion, but someone1 mentioned Espanso. So, this might be worth checking out if you’re still on the hunt.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ As previously mentioned, I own a KeyCue license, which I don’t really utilize, but a nice feature is its ability to add your own shortcuts to menu entries. If you only want to use this feature and have so far not employed the cumbersome method of doing it via the Settings app, you might want to take a look at the free app CustomShortcuts โ€“ Customize menu keyboard shortcuts.

  • โŒš For months, the capacity display of my Apple Watch S7 stood at exactly 80%. Apple replaces the battery for free if it drops to 79% and you are paying for Apple Care. I was about to file a class-action lawsuit because I was sure the value would never drop to 79% ๐Ÿ˜‡. However, this week it finally happened and my watch was replaced. It’s great not to risk the watch refusing to work in the afternoon. I think this also means I can get by with my current model for another year and not be in a bind wanting a new one in the fall. What I found interesting was that despite a backup, not all settings were transferred to the new one. So, I had to search in vain in the Watch app on my phone and then in the settings directly on the watch for where to set that a simple swipe on the watch face switches to another. I couldn’t find it and had to consult the internet. I’ve had better experiences with Apple’s UI in the past I must say. A few other little things were also not set correctly. It’s as if an intern at Apple had quit, and now the latest settings are no longer included in the backup routine ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I had actually forbidden myself from buying games for other platforms if I already own them for one. Well, buying Hades for less than 9 EUR for the Steam Deck, even though I already have the PS5 version, was definitely the last exception ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Luckily, Nintendo stubbornly prevents me from logging into their eShop with my mobile phone (despite the disabled ad blocker and paused pi hole), so at least I’m not in danger of acquiring the Switch version as well.

  • ๐Ÿ“š I wish it wouldn’t cost 300 โ‚ฌ to have Reader running on an E-Ink Android device.

  • ๐Ÿ“– Anyone who has ever wanted to test how well they can type can do so by copying a book: Practice typing by retyping ENTIRE novels โ€” TypeLit.io.

  • ๐Ÿ’พ The small 88x31 icons in the website footer are enjoying great popularity again. BTW those by Andy are awesome. If you want to take a look at the originals from GeoCities, you’ll find them here: THE 88ร—31 ARCHIVE.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I don’t own a Nintendo 64 console, but I’ve already ordered an EVERDRIVE-64 X5 just in case ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Watched The Terminator with my sons. Also, I resubscribed to trakt.tv. I think the service is worth supporting.

  • ๐Ÿšด Finally got to ride my bike outside several times this week ๐Ÿฅฐ.

Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

  1. Sorry, I forgot who it was ๐Ÿ˜…. Update 2024-05-06: It was most probably Marcus↩︎

I am so grateful that some clever mind once invented the bicycle ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฅฐ

A cyclist is riding along a road, viewed from behind another cyclist's handlebars, displaying a cycling computer in clear weather.

What caught my attention in week seventeen, 2024

In continuation of week 16, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the seventeenth week of 2024:

Wishing you a beautiful week! โ˜€๏ธ

2024-04-29: Fix credentials for Time Machine Icons

  1. I’ve started with SteerMouse and so far have no complaints. ↩︎

  2. Sorry, I got this wrong on my initial post. Hopefully corrected now. ↩︎

CASIO fx-4800P

In the latest Clockwise episode Strap In and Forget My Email the question came up, what the oldest tech gadget was that is still being used. For me it’s an old CASIO fx-4800P calculator I got most probably 1990 ๐Ÿคฏ. I still use it several times a week, whenever I’m not in the mood for PCalc or Soulver on the Mac/iPhone.

What caught my attention in week sixteen, 2024

In continuation of week 15, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the sixteenth week of 2024:

  • ๐ŸŽฎ This week was an exciting one for retro gaming on iOS. After some initial debacle with a ripoff GB emulator, which was pulled after a few days by Apple, another one, Bimmy, was pulled by its developer just a day after it was approved. But then the well-known Delta emulator developed by Riley Testut, which was previously only available via the AltStore was released worldwide in the App Store, except for Europe. Here you can get it exclusively via the AltStore PAL, an alternate iOS Appstore.1 Its developer wrote a little about the availability of Delta and the AltStore PAL in general. Installing the AltStore and downloading Delta went as smoothly as Apple currently allows, and the app is just great. Very nicely designed, customizable through skins and comprehensive. However, I see myself rather less playing GB[AC]* games on my iPhone, as they bring more fun on the Analogue Pocket or one of my other devices with a built-in gamepad. However, the situation is similar to photography, you know, the best camera is the one you have with you …

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ If you’ve now gotten a taste for it and also want to play some of your legally acquired Roms on your Mac but don’t want to install an all-in-one solution like RetroArch or even ES-DE right away, you can also pick up some tips on stand-alone emulators here: Emulators arenโ€™t new; hereโ€™s the great ones on the Mac. More emulators are also apparently in the starting blocks, and I also downloaded a C64 emulator, but I haven’t looked at it yet and therefore don’t know if this a valid recommendation.

  • ๐Ÿง  This week, MetaAI unveiled its new Llama 3 models, which can be easily downloaded to the Mac using Ollama with commands such as ollama pull llama3:8b or ollama pull llama3:70b. If you prefer not to use the command line to interact with the LLM or any of the GUIs mentioned in Week 8, you might consider exploring โ€ŽEnchanted LLM. This app offers a free and slick interface to interact with Ollama’s LLMs.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป I mainly use Rectangle Pro for window management on macOS, which also offers the possibility to throw windows into predefined areas via mouse gestures (Window Throw), but if you are looking for an alternative, you might want to check out the free Loop.

  • ๐Ÿค– This is so f*%king incredible: Farewell to HD Atlas. But of course that can still be topped: All New Atlas ๐Ÿคฏ.

  • ๐Ÿฆ‰ As already mentioned on my little Site Project, DropScout for iOS / iPad is out of beta and available for free: DropScout tracks your Amazon products and alerts you when prices drop! Also mentioned there, since version 3.11, Soulver once again includes an iOS version that can be unlocked with a one-time purchase. After years of incompatibility, you can finally exchange files between macOS and iOS again. Did I mention before, that I love Soulver?

  • ๐Ÿ’ป Lou blogged about apps that Open at Login on his Mac, and two apps were new to me. As Mission Control Plus - Put the “control” back in Mission Control - is included in my Setapp subscription, I started evaluating it. The app does mainly two things, it adds an X-button to Mission Control’s windows and several keybard shortcuts managing them. The other one was Backup Status - View the status of Time Machine right from your desktop or Notification Center. Bookmarked but not tried myself yet.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป On A Better Computer, I stumbled across 10 useful Mac apps you may not have heard of and found Cleft quite interesting. However, it absolutely did not want to work for me and instead of transcribing my spoken text, it bombarded me with error messages and just deleted everything. Well, I might look at it again in version 1.1 or maybe 2.x.

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Whether I spend a lot of time troubleshooting to get something running that I would like to accomplish depends strongly on the platform I’m doing it on and my expectations of the project/product.2 With Apple products or other commercial services, my tolerance for having to spend a lot of time to make something work as it should is quite low, for example. This was also one of the reasons why I switched from Windows to macOS about 20 years ago. I just didn’t feel like dealing with the fiddling anymore. With Linux projects, it’s different for me. I almost expect it to be difficult, and it’s fine with me because in general it’s open source and I heavily benefit from the hard work from others. So, I spent countless hours trying to set up a WLAN access point on a Raspi that is connected to my network via LAN and brings the connected devices into the network via VPN. (My regular router can’t do this, and I have one or two devices that I’d like to connect to the network via VPN, but I can’t install a client on them.) I ultimately failed and gave up a few weeks ago. Last week, I stumbled across the BerylAX GL-MT3000 and it took me no more than 5 minutes to get it up and running with NordVPN. This really blew me away.

  • โบ๏ธ The Stream Deck Neo was announced and looks really compelling to me.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Continued watching Palm Royale - still not sure about this TV series.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Watch Riders of Justice - enjoyed that one.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ Spent way too much money for discounted games on Steam and played a lot of Dead Cells. Really hard but I like it a lot.3

Have a nice week! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

  1. BTW I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s spontaneous change of direction regarding emulators was related to the AltStore PAL to take some wind out of the sails of the alternative app store, but maybe I’m going too far with that. Perhaps others can unravel this. ↩︎

  2. This paragraph was obviously inspired by a section of Clockwise↩︎

  3. BTW as of writing this, Dead Cells is no longer on sale on steam but for Nintendo Switch. So, if you own one, go and check it out. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week fifteen, 2024

In continuation of week 14, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 15. week of 2024:

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I was briefly excited when I read that the first GBA emulator had landed in the iOS App Store. Unfortunately, it was not a legitimate app, and it was subsequently removed (again too late and why at all approved?) from the store: Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations - MacRumors.

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Jarod Blundy released another great shortcut: Simple MB Image Uploader.

  • ๐ŸŽ๏ธ I’ve learned that in Mario Kart 8, you can choose from 703,560 driver, kart body, tires, and glider combinations, but you can still be more clever than others: Mario meets Pareto ๐Ÿคฏ.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ At first, I was skeptical, but Simple Scan โ€ข Quick Scanner gets updated regularly and has reached a stage where it is definitely much more useful than a simple one-step shortcut or going into the Files app and initiating the scan from within there.

  • ๐Ÿ’ป I am a long-time Bartender 5 user and don’t see a reason to switch. However, for those who don’t already have a Setapp subscription or don’t want to pay that much money for a “simple” utility app, โ€ŽiBar-Menubar icon control tool might be worth a look. However, you have to more or less blindly trust the developers, as their website will probably remain incomprehensible to many people.

  • ๐Ÿ›‘ If it also bothers you that every App Store link in Safari directly opens the store instead of just calling up the overview page, maybe this will help: StopTheMacAppStore - Mac app that stops Safari from automatically opening the App Store app.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ I used to have a version of iStat Menus (Setapp) running on every Mac, but nowadays I do without. However, there is also a number of alternatives, for example, the freshly updated Usage, which, for instance, also allows access to the status of the Mac from a mobile device, or the free Stats - macOS system monitor in your menu bar.

  • ๐Ÿ“ In week 9, I mentioned Manila, a free app that lets you change the color of a folder’s icon. There seems to be a similar paid upfront app called Foldery, that might be easier to set up and is regularly updated; bookmarked for the case that Manila stops working someday. If just a color is not enough, โ€ŽFolderizer might be worth a try, too. So far, I was occasionally using the Setapp version of Image2icon but might give the former a shot.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I fell in love with โ€ŽGamery - Game Tracker and switched to the app from GameTrack. Actually, I was looking for an app that runs both on iOS and macOS, but I am not very satisfied with the macOS version of GameTrack. The developer of Gamery has mentioned that he plans to enable the iPadOS version on macOS and is working on a native macOS version, too. That all sounds very good.

  • ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Sindre Sorhus makes so many great apps, and many of his programs are free. To support him, I bought the Mac App Store version of Dato even though it was available via Setapp, too. Anyways, if you’re looking for a free alternative, Itsycal for Mac or Calendrx might be worth a try.

  • ๐Ÿ“ธ I briefly looked into the new app from Aptonic, the developers of Dropzone (Setapp), called ScreenSnapAI - AI Powered Screenshot Manager. But that’s not for me. I will definitely stick with CleanShot X (Setapp) for the time being. By the way, did you know that pressing space to switch to window capture from capture area mode also works with CleanShot X and not only with the built-in macOS tool?

  • ๐ŸŒ The one and only master of the indie web, Robb, released EchoFeed. You have most probably already heard of his service to pipe an RSS feed to open web endpoints, like Mastodon or Micro.blog, etc. Love it.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฒ Did you know that you can change the iOS wheel picker to a number pad by just clicking on it? I did not!

  • ๐ŸŒ Marcus reminded me that it is a very good idea to support OpenStreetMap. I am now an associated member.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ Watched the Pilot of Palm Royale with my wife. Not yet sure what it will turn into.

What caught my attention in week fourteen, 2024

The week before Easter was once again very quiet in terms of new software and tech-related stuff. This was probably also because there was a lot to do at work before we went on our Easter vacation. For a few years now, we have been traveling more or less regularly during the Easter holidays together with my wife’s family. She has three siblings, all of whom have partners and children, and our dog joins us as well. This year we went to Belgium, the weather was quite rainy and gray, but that’s okay. We were 15 people and, of course, it was very bustling but also very nice. There was a lot of hiking, eating, reading, playing, and laughing. Especially for the younger ones, who let it show more, the fact that there was almost no functioning internet in the area and in the vacation apartment was quite noticeable. Wi-Fi and mobile networks were unusable. It took several minutes just to retrieve a single email. Social media, game streaming, YouTube, etc. were completely unthinkable. Digital detox par excellence. Actually, it did quite good and that was the reason there was also no post here on the blog last week. ๐Ÿฃ

Therefore, in brief and in continuation of week 12, here are very few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 13th and 14th week of 2024:

Have a pleasant week ahead!

  1. I thought I’d start with a Stephen King novel since his books always captivated me in the past; however, I was not so convinced by Holly; the book is quite repetitive and long-winded. ↩︎

What caught my attention in week twelve, 2024

In continuation of week 11, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 12th week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ˜ด Actually, this week was a very quiet week in terms of tech-related stuff. It was probably because I was very busy at work and in the evenings, I preferred to relax with a game of Balatro1 instead of surfing the net a lot.

  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ This week, many things just broke. It started with dishes, not just once, followed by a PS5 controller that wouldn’t turn on anymore and got dangerously hot while charging and started to smell. Then, the power supply of the old MacBook simply quit working, a 256 GB USB stick made my Mac crash reproducibly as soon as I tried to access it, the crank handle of my Playdate just broke without any external force2, our eCargo bike suddenly refused to go any further (Error E010), the coffee machine at work gave up the ghost, and my knee is broken. Well, it’s been messed up for 30 years, it just hurts more this week than usual. I think that’s a good sign for next week. It can only get better.

  • ๐Ÿ”„ The developer of Anybox has released a new app: Event countdown & up - Pinning app. I was a long-time user of Countdowns before I switched to Up Ahead because the latter was much more fun to use. However, there has been no update for over ten months, and I’m somewhat reluctant to pay a subscription price for that. I’ll take a look at Pinning, although there is no macOS version yet and it also has a subscription model behind it. Otherwise, I should dig out Countdowns again. It works wonderfully, it just doesn’t look nice at all.

  • ๐ŸŽ‰ Robb announced that his Podcast Ruminate joined MacStories. Congrats!

  • ๐Ÿค” I was curious and also signed up for Scribbles. I definitely don’t need another way to blog, but I kind of like the projects by Vincent.

  • ๐Ÿงฉ Table of contents โ€” for Safari on the Appย Store: A funny little plugin that does exactly what it promises.

  • โค๏ธ I was absolutely impressed that I sent a feature request to the developer of Default Folder X and he replied on the same day that he had implemented the feature and it will be included in the next release.

  • ๐Ÿถ Besides, I was pleased that you can now use Siri in German without saying “Hey.” This solves our biggest mistake in dog training. We chose “Hey” as a stop signal (“no”) for our dog, and therefore we could only ask the Homepods to do things via voice very limitedly, otherwise, we would completely confuse our dog every time ๐Ÿ˜….

  • ๐ŸŽฎ I’ve finished Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GB) on my Analogue Pocket and started playing Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA). The next real Mario game will be Super Mario 64. I’ve been thinking a bit about how and on which system I want to play it. I’ve decided to buy the Nintendo 64 bluetooth controller and try it on the Switch via Nintendo Switch Online Plus.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ We watched The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (again) with our sons. What a damn good movie.

  • ๐ŸŽธ I was at an IDLES concert ๐Ÿค˜.

Have a wonderfull week ahead!

  1. Somehow I really like the game, although I’m not really into card games otherwise. I’m still failing at the first deck of cards, at the latest at ante 8/8, but what the heck ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ. ↩︎

  2. Thanks to my 3D printer, I was able to print a temporary replacement↩︎

What caught my attention in week eleven, 2024

In continuation of week 10, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 11. week of 2024:

  • ๐Ÿ‘€ Adam is once again working on something new: Neato.

  • ๐Ÿฆ IndieAppSales 2024 was going on last week and I bought some new apps.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฑ Just like for iA Presenter, there is now also an iOS version of โ€ŽDeckset. I had hoped that it might do without a subscription, but far from it.

  • ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Nitro for macOS might be something to keep an eye on.

  • ๐Ÿ“† Currently, I also have no use for this, but I can imagine that might change: โ€ŽRules Shortcuts based on Event.

  • ๐Ÿ’Ž Here I found a few Homebrew gems: Hidden FREE Mac Apps!. Especially interesting I found mailsy, speedtest-cli, ata, wifi-password, mas, and yt-dlp.

  • ๐ŸŽต There are media control apps for macOS now like sand by the sea, but this one is free and looks quite nice: Tuneful - Control your music with ease.

  • ๐ŸŽฎ Summerhouse (Steam) looks cozy, and thanks to Daniel I stumbled upon Balatro. In addition there were (are?) significant discounts on VVVVVV and Celeste on Steam . I especially suck at the latter on the pico-8 but I adore its aesthetic and am excited to play it on my MacBook.

  • ๐Ÿ•น๏ธ For the Playdate, I stumbled upon Quandino and bought Mars After Midnight.

  • ๐Ÿ“บ I did not know now that Retro Gaming on the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a thing.

  • ๐ŸŽฅ Wikiflix: an interface to browse, search, and view movies published as public domain at Wikimedia Commons, the Internet Archive, or YouTube.

  • ๐Ÿš€ Nice idea and cool implementation, for which, however, I have no necessity: โ€ŽiPulse - Monitor Your Device.

  • ๐Ÿ˜“ Habib wrote about Overwhelming Tech Fatigue. I too have been feeling an increasing kind of dissatisfaction with technical devices in general lately. I am becoming more intolerant regarding shortcomings, especially of the system’s software. I yearn for things to simply function and find myself increasingly reluctant to invest significant time in troubleshooting things that have been implemented with minimal effort and, as a result, are prone to errors. (Although I still like trying out new software and starting new projects ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ.) I suspect that this actually has to do with age. In the past, I passionately tinkered with (Windows) PCs but eventually had no more desire to spend more time making things work than using them.1 I then switched to Apple because its OS and software was (seemingly) much more thoughtful, functional, stable, and beautiful. This love is massively being lost in recent months, and since there seem to be no real alternatives, turning away from the enthusiasm for technology itself would be the next logical step - even though I don’t actively pursue that of course.

  • โœจ There seem to be only two opinions about Asteroid City, and I belong to the fraction that had a lot of fun watching it.

  • ๐ŸŽ‰ Celebrated my birthday, had a lot of good food and nice people around me.

  • ๐Ÿช™ Last but not least, go and check out the One a Month Club and become a member of all those great blogs listed there ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Have a nice week! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

  1. Although that also seems to be a pattern in my life: as soon as something works (reasonably) or I master it (reasonably), I (unfortunately) often lose the interest in it. ↩︎

IndieAppSales 2024

Indie App Sales! is running from 12. to 13. March 2024

Here are some Apps I’ve looked into so far:

Update 2024-03-12T13:00: add Everlog and SharePal; update note for Bridges
Update 2024-03-12T21:35: add Text Workflow

What caught my attention in week ten, 2024

Continuing from week 09, here are a few thoughts and things that caught my attention in the 10th week of 2024:

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!