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

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

  • ☑️ Twodos - Simple Todos: Interesting concept but definitely too basic for my needs.

  • 🌧️ Looks 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.

  • 🖥️ And another updated utility: Dock Exposé - MacOS window previews on the dock.

  • 🐬 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.

  • 🤔 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

  • 🛠️ 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.

  • 💻 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

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

  • 🎮 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.

  • 🎮 I wanted to check something on 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.

  • 📊 This graphical 2023 Report Card breakdown I found interesting in terms of the biggest Apple fanboys in the “community” 😜.

  • 🍿 Watched L’immensità (2022) with my wife. Neither of us liked the movie.

  1. 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. ↩︎