macOS

    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 €2000 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, 2024

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

    • 🚴‍♂️ 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.

    • 📵 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?

    • 🚴‍♂️ 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 € (!) for it for now.

    • 🎮 ‎RetroArch 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.)

    • 📑 ‎PDF Squeezer is now also available for iOS.

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

    • 🖼️ If you have an old, currently unused iPad lying around (I’ve heard there are new ones 😇), you might want to check out Synced Photo Frame by Re-Frame and repurpose it as a digital photo frame.

    • 🖼️ Photo Tape - Connect Images: the app looks like a pretty neat way to simply merge images.

    • 🔖 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.

    • ‎Time - 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.

    • 🎮 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 😬

    • 🎮 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.

    • 🌞 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:

    • 🚀 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.

    • 🕹️ 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.

    • 🐰 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 😢. I’m curious to see if I will ever see my playdate again 🤞.

    • 📦 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.

    • ⌨️ 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.

    • 🖱️ 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 – Customize menu keyboard shortcuts.

    • ⌚ 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% 😇. 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 🤷‍♂️.

    • 🎮 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 🤦‍♂️. 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.

    • 📚 I wish it wouldn’t cost 300 € to have Reader running on an E-Ink Android device.

    • 📖 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 — TypeLit.io.

    • 💾 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 88×31 ARCHIVE.

    • 🎮 I don’t own a Nintendo 64 console, but I’ve already ordered an EVERDRIVE-64 X5 just in case 🤷‍♂️.

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

    • 🚴 Finally got to ride my bike outside several times this week 🥰.

    Have a great week! 🙋‍♂️


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

    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! ☀️


    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. ↩︎

    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:

    • 🎮 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 …

    • 🕹️ 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 aren’t new; here’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.

    • 🧠 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 ‎Enchanted LLM. This app offers a free and slick interface to interact with Ollama’s LLMs.

    • 💻 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.

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

    • 🦉 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?

    • 💻 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.

    • 💻 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.

    • 🛠️ 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.

    • ⏺️ The Stream Deck Neo was announced and looks really compelling to me.

    • 📺 Continued watching Palm Royale - still not sure about this TV series.

    • 🎥 Watch Riders of Justice - enjoyed that one.

    • 🕹️ 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! 🙋‍♂️


    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:

    • 🎮 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.

    • 🛠️ Jarod Blundy released another great shortcut: Simple MB Image Uploader.

    • 🏎️ 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 🤯.

    • 📱 At first, I was skeptical, but Simple Scan • 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.

    • 💻 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, ‎iBar-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.

    • 🛑 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.

    • 🖥️ 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.

    • 📁 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, ‎Folderizer might be worth a try, too. So far, I was occasionally using the Setapp version of Image2icon but might give the former a shot.

    • 🎮 I fell in love with ‎Gamery - 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.

    • 🗓️ 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.

    • 📸 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?

    • 🌐 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.

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

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

    • 📺 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. 🐣

    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:

    • 😴 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.

    • 🛠️ 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.

    • 🔄 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.

    • 🎉 Robb announced that his Podcast Ruminate joined MacStories. Congrats!

    • 🤔 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.

    • 🧩 Table of contents — for Safari on the App Store: A funny little plugin that does exactly what it promises.

    • ❤️ 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.

    • 🐶 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 😅.

    • 🎮 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.

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

    • 🎸 I was at an IDLES concert 🤘.

    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 🤷‍♂️. ↩︎

    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:

    • 👀 Adam is once again working on something new: Neato.

    • 🏦 IndieAppSales 2024 was going on last week and I bought some new apps.

    • 📱 Just like for iA Presenter, there is now also an iOS version of ‎Deckset. I had hoped that it might do without a subscription, but far from it.

    • 🖥️ Nitro for macOS might be something to keep an eye on.

    • 📆 Currently, I also have no use for this, but I can imagine that might change: ‎Rules Shortcuts based on Event.

    • 💎 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.

    • 🎵 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.

    • 🎮 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.

    • 🕹️ For the Playdate, I stumbled upon Quandino and bought Mars After Midnight.

    • 📺 I did not know now that Retro Gaming on the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a thing.

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

    • 🚀 Nice idea and cool implementation, for which, however, I have no necessity: ‎iPulse - Monitor Your Device.

    • 😓 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 🤷‍♂️.) 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.

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

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

    • 🪙 Last but not least, go and check out the One a Month Club and become a member of all those great blogs listed there 😎

    Have a nice week! 🙋‍♂️


    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 six, 2024

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

    • 🤦‍♂️ 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 🤯 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 🤷‍♂️ 😢.

    • 💿 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.

    • 💡 Adam had a cool idea again: Neatnik Notes · URL as a sentence.

    • 📱 I enjoyed reading Hiro’s first impressions of his  Vision Pro and was wondering about the future.

    • 🕹️ 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.

    • 😢 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.

    • 🎮 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.

    • 🎵 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.

    • 📈 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.

    • 🎶 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.

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

    • 🚴 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.

    • 🎥 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.

    • 😔 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!

    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:

    • 🦠 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.

    • 🤷‍♂️ 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.

    • ✏️ 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.

    • 🎙 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.

    • 🖥️ 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.

    • 🖥️ 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.

    • 👨‍💻 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.

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

    • 🕹 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.

    • 🕹 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!

    • 👰 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.

    • 👱 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.)

    • 🔑 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”.

    • 📺 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 € a month for a Youtube Prime Family subscription, which is actually way too expensive for my taste.

    • 📺 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. ↩︎

    What caught my attention in week fourty-seven, 2023

    Adam told me to stay on the path, so I’m trying to motivate myself to get back into the habit of writing down what has interested me throughout the week. So, here comes week 47.

    • 🎮 I finished playing Horizon Forbidden West. It was my first computer game in years, and probably the first AAA title in decades that I actually watched the end credits for. Usually, I start playing and then eventually stop. (Why should it be any different with video games than with other areas of my life?) I invested over 100 hours into Forbidden West, and whether or not that was a waste of time is for each person to decide, but I had a lot of fun. Over the past two weeks, I used the Playstation Portal. This accessory for the PS5 is essentially just a (pretty good, but unfortunately not OLED) screen with a built-in, very good controller - nothing more and nothing less. It allows me to play on the couch in the living room while my wife watches one of her shows. (My wife doesn’t like me playing games on the TV in the living room when she’s present.) The Portal suffers from the same weaknesses as Playstation’s Remote Play itself: even with very good Wi-Fi coverage and the PS5 connected to the router with a cable (and properly configured), there are regular artifacts, slow downs, and sometimes even stuttering. I really hope that Sony gives its Remote Play implementation a little bit more attention and love now that they sell a dedicated device for this feature. But ultimately, I’m quite satisfied, and the hardware is really well-made. (The lack of Bluetooth support doesn’t bother me at all; I wouldn’t want to constantly pair BT headphones anyway, and I actually have some very good headphones with a headphone jack that are happy to have found a new use.)

    • 👾 Recently, my Powkiddy RGB30 also arrived. The handheld device was highly praised by a bunch of youtubers and the 1:1 screen is really great for GB, GBA, and GBC games. I also really like JELOS. HOWEVER, the hardware quality and customer service of this device and this company are extremely poor. The device arrived defective, with a stuck shoulder button. I had to contact Powkiddy multiple times to get a response. They casually suggested that I could try opening it up. Opening up a device that is only a few days old, still under warranty, with a spatula and screwdriver is not exactly what I had in mind. I actually managed to open the case and free the button without causing major damage to the device. Shortly after, another shoulder button got stuck, and then the first one again. And if that wasn’t enough, the card slot eject mechanism also broke. All within one week. I really don’t feel like having to dismantle the device every two days just to play a game for a few minutes. Powkiddy mentioned that I could send the device back to China at my own expense and then get a refund - yeah, right. Never ever again! 😡

    • 👾 Speaking of retro gaming, while setting up the RGB30, I stumbled upon the pico-8 Fantasy Console and was immediately impressed. I wasn’t aware of the extent of this community. There are so many nice games, and almost all of them are free. You can play them on macOS, a variety of other operating systems, and even on retro handhelds. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s also the TIC-80. Oh boy!

    • 🖥️ During the Black Week, or whatever this discount rally is called, I made my way through the impressive list of over 400 apps for macOS and iOS in the Indie App Sales 2023. Fortunately, I already own the ones that interest me most and “only” bought three additional small apps this year:

    • Nevertheless, it’s an impressive list that also includes many Mastodon developer accounts that I didn’t know about before. Definitely worth looking into.

    • 🖥️ I also noticed the Apps campaign: 10 applications for you and your Mac. It really only lists great apps. And even though I use Moom, I’ve bought a single Mac license of Lasso and both play quite nicely together.

    • ⌨️ Launchbar, the launcher I’ve been using on macOS for almost 10 years, recently had noticeable delays when launching. It was impressive how my muscle memory was trained to expect to be able to perform actions immediately after pressing cmd+space. It was so bad, I took a look at Alfred and Raycast again, but thanks to the nightly build Version 6.18.5 nightly (6247), everything is back to how I’m used to it 😅

    • 😍 Oh, and definitely not to be left unmentioned is this insanely awesome App Defaults movement that Robb unintentionally kicked off and wonderfully shows off.

    • 👖 Furthermore, I enjoyed “the walkthrough explaining the inner workings of the ship that made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs”, saved ASCIIFlow in my bookmarks, and pants whose pockets may not be worn out by the phone after a few months.

    Indie App Sales 2023

    It feels like every day for weeks now is a special day and everything is and will be discounted. Oh, wouldn’t life be nice if things were just generally cheaper and my inbox was spared the flood of advertising? Anyway …

    There’s another Indie App Sale this year and there are now over 400 (!) programs listed for macOS and iOS. Fortunately, I already own the ones that interest me most and bought three additional apps this year:

    Nevertheless, it’s an impressive list that also includes many Mastodon developer accounts that I didn’t know about before. Definitely worth looking into.

    I also noticed the Apps campaign: 10 applications for you and your Mac. It really only lists great apps. And even though I use Moom, I’ve been dancing around Lasso for a long time, maybe I’ll buy it this time?

    App Defaults

    Shamelessly stolen from Robb  and inspired by Hemispheric Views 097 - Duel of the Defaults! here are all the apps I use in the various categories as written by Andrew:

    • Mail Client: Mail.app
    • Mail Server: iCloud with custom domain and posteo.net
    • Notes: Obsidian and some stuff left in Notes
    • To-Do: Reminders (and Things at work)
    • iPhone Photo Shooting: iOS Camera
    • Photo Management: Photos
    • Calendar: Calendar
    • Cloud file storage: iCloud Drive
    • RSS: Reeder
    • Contacts: Contacts
    • Browser: Safari
    • Chat: iMessage, Threema, WhatsApp
    • BookmarksAnybox
    • Read It Later: Readwise Reader
    • Word Processing: Pages (MS Word at work)
    • Spreadsheets: Numbers (MS Excel at work)
    • Presentations: Keynote
    • Shopping Lists: Pons
    • Meal Planning: Mela
    • Budgeting & Personal Finance: YNAB
    • News: Mastodon, tagesschau.de
    • Music: Apple Music
    • Podcasts: Overcast
    • Password Management: 1Password

    MS Office Reset

    TIL that you can easily uninstall your entire MS Office package under #macOS with Office Reset (https://office-reset.com/), then download only the app(s) you need from the Mac Appstore and use your existing Office 365 subscription. I always thought you had to purchase a new one somehow via Apple IAP. Cool, now I’m rid of all that garbage MS AutoUpdater.

    Here are a few things that caught my attention in week 35: week.esamecar.net/35

    Teaser: iOS and macOS stuff

    #weeknotes

    [Old gas station in Bonn, Germany, no longer operated as such.

    How to use kagi search within Launchbar

    There is a kagi help document for Alfred and another one for Search Templates in Launchbar I used as a reference. It’s really easy to set up:

    1. In your Browser
      1. go to kagi.com / Settings / Account
      2. copy your Session Link
    2. Invoke Launchbar
      1. select Menu bar / Index / Show Index
      2. in Launchbar index go to Web / My Search Templates 1 -> add a new one
      3. paste your Session Link into the Template URL field
      4. append &q=%s
    3. done

    1. on my system it’s in German, but you’ll figure it out ↩︎

    Indie Dev Sales

    So, the Indie Dev Sales for #macOS and #iOS apps is currently running. Here is what I

    bought

    already have

    consider

    • Personal Best – Workouts - wrote about my initial thoughts here; it’s not exactly what I was looking for but seems like a real bargain right now
    • Reading Time - still tempted to buy this, but it only works with page numbers and Readwise Reader does not provide them

    considered

    What apps are your favourites?

    What I was interested in during the fourth week of 2023 (teaser: podcasts, iOS, macOS playdate)

    I still felt sickly, so I refrained from cycling. Hope that I get the curve then next week.

    • 🍿 Watched Raymond & Ray (2022) - ★★★★☆ and enjoyed it.
    • 🎙️ Listend to a bunch of different Podcasts:
    • 🎙️ This was my first episode of Launched. It was a rather intimate podcast. And both the developers of the Darknoise app and Sofa seem to be very nice people. After what they said about software subscriptions, I’m afraid that sooner or later all apps will have to switch to the subscription model. I personally don’t like that, but if there’s no other way for indie developers, you probably have to think about what you’re willing to spend per year and then keep an eye on your subscriptions, e.g. with Bobby, and limit them accordingly.
    • 🛋️ Speaking of Sofa. I really like the app, but I think I’ll try to stay away from software and services where it’s not possible to get your data out again with open standards, an API or at least an RSS feed.
    • 🫰 Speaking of subscriptions, after all this back and forth, I cancelled my Strava subscription. I’ll see if I can enjoy cycling without all their pro features.
    • 🚴‍♂️ Speaking of (I know, I know …) cycling, once again I have felt annoyed, no, threatened by SUV drivers. I really don’t know where all this is going. Fittingly, the post about the size of cars.
    • 🐘 I had a look at Tusker, a new iOS Mastodon client. It’s still fun to see all these many ideas for Mastodon clients. There hasn’t been so much dynamism in the scene for a long time. Even though IceCube gets a lot of praise, I keep coming back to Ivory, which was finally released in the App Store this week. You can only have missed it, though, if you’ve been living under a rock. Even though I find the development speed of IceCube absolutely remarkable and the app is certainly one of the most impressive in terms of features, I am still bothered by the many small bugs and especially the bad scrolling performance. (I think SwiftUI might be the one to blame here.) Ivory, on the other hand, is really fast and performant. The great thing is that you can change at any time.
    • 🕹️ I’ve played the two new playdate games that were released for me this week: Flipper Lifter and Echoic Memory. I am really bad at audio and don’t know if I enjoy Echoic Memory and I haven’t found any access to Flipper Lifter yet. In general, with some playdate games, I sometimes feel like I don’t really understand the mechanics of the game, and just do anything that will somehow get me to the goal. I sometimes wish the games would introduce you a little more and not leave you completely out in the cold.
    • 🕹️ In the end, everything was overshadowed by the fact that my playdate probably has a faulty battery. I have, surprisingly unexpectedly, received an answer from Cabel, but unfortunately not yet from support. They seem to be quite overwhelmed by support requests right now.
    • 📱 On iOS, I looked at Countdown to Anything! but I think I’ll stick with Countdowns.
    • 📱 This screenshot of Jason’s homescreen inspired me to tinker a little bit with Widgy. I also bought Opener, don’t know why 😇
    • 💻 On the Mac, I’ve been looking at the new Arc browser, which is kind of hyped right now. I really don’t know why though. I have a bit of a suspicion that it might just be the invite system. To me, the browser seems extremely sluggish. My password management and Apple Pay don’t work, which is probably not the browser’s fault. It’s too early to judge, but so far I always go back to Safari after a short time.
    • 💻 It came to my mind, that you can use Markdown links of hooked items together with One Thing, an App that I really enjoy. It gives you one click menu bar item to the one file you are just working on.
    • 💻 I had a look at HiDock, for Mac and Lasso - Window Manager for macOS.
    • 💻 Thanks to Matthew I became aware of Menubar X (Setapp). This works pretty well together with DeepL / DeepL Write and elk.zone.
    • ✅ I’ve moved all my todo item for work from OmniFocus to Apple’s Reminders app. I want to see if I can separate them enough thanks to smart lists and tags. The only thing I miss so far is the ability to filter by focus modes, like it is possible with Calendars, etc. Only Apple knows why this is not possible yet, I guess.
    • ❤️ Thanks to Faisal Misle, I now also know that you can publish to the omg.lol weblog via github. I have no idea about all these things, but thanks to the many great tutorials, even I managed to do it. Speaking of omg.lol and how clueless I am about all this internet stuff, I managed to change my status.log via the API, again thanks to the awesome docs. I control this with a Shortcuts shortcut and can trigger it from my Stream Deck and Keyboard Maestro. You can do so many funny things with this 🥰

    🙋‍♂️

    PS: I’ve also posted my thoughts on the first, second and third weeks.

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