January 17, 2021
Or maybe it’s about drawing (semi-arbitrary) physical boundaries in digital spaces: I need ways to differentiate between the digital equivalent of talking to someone in the street vs. at a restaurant vs. in my house, and drawing the line between diff apps lends a bit of physicality to those relationships
Nadia Eghbal, 2020–12–09
This is exactly the way I use messaging apps.
January 9, 2021
Following along with all my blogs
I created a combined RSS feed for all my blogs.
TL;DR is just subsribe to this…
Longer version here
January 9, 2021
What might I use Craft for?
Kevin asks, “I’m curious to know what kind of stuff you are tinkering with in Craft Editor?”. Good question, but I don’t have a great answer yet.
The short version is, not much.
Craft is a new-ish notetaking app for the Mac and iOS. It’s quite pretty and rather fancy. I of course try every new app for notes, so I have been playing with Craft for a couple of weeks.
Craft immediately reminded me of Notion.so, but I don’t like using Notion, so I dismissed it at first. After tinkering a bit, I grew to see it as a simpler, faster tool than Notion. It seemed to include the useful bits without all the hoo-ha of Notion.
So how might I use it? Well it’s certainly not going to be a replacement for Roam Research.
Roam has transformed the way I keep records and take notes. None of its competitors have tempted me away for any length of time.
I remain all-in with Roam for my daily notes.
Then, there’s Emacs.
For a few years I used Emacs for everything. Too many things, if I’m honest. Today I’m down to using it for notes on certain projects and for document creation. I’d like to move away from Emacs eventually.
I love LaTeX and Org-mode, but man, what a pain it all is to get right. I tweak and I tweak and I tweak. Personally, I love the way LaTeX renders and typesets documents. The people I share those documents with are less enthusiastic. I get, “Can’t you just send me a Google Doc?” a lot. No, I can’t send you a Google Doc. I don’t like Google or its Docs, so Craft could be a good option for the document creation tasks I now use Emacs for.
Craft makes it easy to create and share good-looking and easy-to-use documents, so to answer Kevin’s question, I’m considering Craft for creating documents I intend to share. I don’t know yet if that will be worth paying for, but it’s where I’m headed.
(I also posted this as a Craft document, but I’ve copied it here in case I delete my account.)
January 9, 2021
Bi-directional linking between anything using Hook
A few apps have offered some form of bi-directional linking, but it was Roam Research that made it famous. I’ve been using Roam for more than a year and it has transformed the way I take notes. It’s the way Roam does bi-directional linking that has me hooked.
Roam is great at connecting nodes within Roam, but the missing, er, link, for me has been the connections between files and other apps. For example, I’m not using Roam for my todo list, but I don’t like using my todo list for notes, either. If only there was a way to link all these things together somehow.
Enter Hook — Find without searching
Hook is basically a tool that lets me connect things that are related to each other on my Mac. I can connect an email in MailMate with a task in Things or a Github issue or a note in DEVONthink or a blog post or…you get the idea. I can even connect my notes in Roam with stuff in nearly any app or file.
What’s really helpful is that when I link something to something else, the link goes both ways. That means that if I’m viewing a file in the Finder I can, for example, link to the web page from which it was downloaded.
Another feature I’m experimenting with is “Hook to New”. This reminds me of using Org-noter in Emacs, but lets me annotate everything and without having to use Emacs.
I’ve been using Hook to New as a way to annotate files and web pages. For example, while reading a web page I trigger Hook (Command-Shift-Space) and hit Command-N. This creates a new Markdown document, opens it in BBEdit, and creates a Hook link from Safari to the note and from the note back to the page in Safari. The difference between this and putting a link and notes in Roam is that I can jump to the notes directly from the web page, while I’m reading it. And back again.
Previous attempts to integrate Hook into my workflow have failed. This time, however, I’ve learned from Roam the value of backlinks, which gives the whole concept a better chance of sticking.
January 8, 2021
Time Traveler, by Waltzer
Bought my first new vinyl in like a year. This is “Time Traveler” by Waltzer.
January 8, 2021
Can you believe it?
No way, right? No way I’m here.
July 30, 2020
Cheating with digital
Photographs should not be significantly altered in post. It’s cheating. This is how I feel. I suppose if you consider yourself a “digital illustrator” rather than photographer, then sure, but otherwise, it’s cheating.
And oh my how easy it is to cheat these days. Here’s an example. I took the following photo yesterday during a walk at the beach with my daughter.
Ok, I lied, the photo I actually took was this one…
Pretty similar, right? Except that my photo had no birds in it, and the sky was dull and boring, as far as skies go.
It took me about 4 clicks in the latest version of Luminar to replace the sky with something slightly more dramatic and to add a few birds, just for the hell of it. The result is the “same” photo but just jazzed up a little, right?
No, it’s not. It’s cheating and it’s not what happened. My goal when taking photographs is to record things I’m interested in or to show how I see things. I realize not everyone feels this way, but cheating like I did here ruins the photo for me. Yes, if I were scrolling through Instagram I’m sure I’d prefer the altered version, but it’s not how I want to do things.
It’s so tempting, though! If it only takes a few clicks to go from decent to Wow!, why wouldn’t I? I’d like to make the slippery slope argument here. I mean, just look at how awesome this sunset photo is!
But, you know, some hard-working photographer somewhere is spending days getting to beautiful places and waiting long hours for just the right moment. Then, finally, the light and sky and everything comes together for the shot. By cheaply and easily altering my images, I diminish the work done by those who are out doing it for real. It feels wrong. It feels like cheating and I want no part of it.
July 27, 2020
Re-retiring the old iPhone SE
I’ve only had it out again for a few weeks, but I’ve already put my beloved iPhone SE back in the drawer. As much as I love its size, shape, and Touch ID, the little SE doesn’t fit as well into my life as well as the X. Its battery only gives me about a half-day of use. It doesn’t fit in my car holder. It’s a lot slower, and the camera is much worse. I could probably take care of most of these if I tried hard enough, but I’d just be swimming upstream.
Apple isn’t going to make another small phone like the SE. I’m better off moving on. It’s disappointing, but fine. It’s just a phone.
July 26, 2020
The MyHeritage Photo Enhancer
I ran one of my favorite found negatives through the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and I have to admit it’s pretty impressive.
Before and after
The photos are enhanced using this specialized technology and are not manually retouched in any way. The technology infers what the original faces may have looked like by bringing blurry low-resolution or low-quality photos into clear focus.
The process focuses on faces in the photos and leaves the rest alone. It’s worked amazingly well on the handful of images I’ve tested. I want this for all of my very old negative and photo scans. Unfortunately, it requires a subscription to MyHeritage, in which I’m not interested.
The technology behind all this is licensed, so it must be available elsewhere. If you know where I might find it, drop me a line.
July 21, 2020
Cameras I’m using and cameras I want
Here are the cameras I use regularly enough to claim that they are “being used”, in order of most-to-least used.
- Ricoh GRIII
- Leica Q
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji X-T3
- Leica M6
- Fuji Instax SQ6
- Leica M3
- Hasselblad 500C/M
Obviously, this list is way too long for anyone claiming to be a serious hobby photographer: “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer, blah, blah…”. On the other hand, it’s a fine list for someone—me, for example—who enjoys photography but really likes cameras.
The past few months have seen me shoot very little film, but I must admit that the Leica M film bodies are so wonderful to hold that I pick them up and shoot a frame or two of whatever just for the tactile pleasure of it. They really are more to me than just cameras. They feel astonishing and could be the most beautiful man-made objects I’ve every used.
And yet, I mostly grab the little GRIII. I’m kind of in a digital mood lately.
What if I could have that Leica M feeling, but with digital? Good question! That’s what I’ve been wondering! :). So right now the camera I want is a Leica M10. Or specifically, the M10-P. I don’t want the new M10-R because, well, there’s no used market yet and who needs 40 megapixels? I don’t.
I can’t stop thinking about it. I already have the 35mm Summicron ASPH which is my favorite small-format lens of all time. Wouldn’t that be a wicked combination? I had an M8 years ago and that camera sucked. Chunky, slow, terrible in low light, and needed a filter so the blacks didn’t go all magenta on me. From what I can tell, the M10 is finally there. It’s a true M camera, but digital.
On the other hand, there’s the Leica SL2. In-body IS, wicked-good construction, world’s greatest EVF, damn good video (the M10 doesn’t even have video), and the option of using fantastic auto-focus lenses or my M lenses with an adapter. It’s a huge beast, but I kind of want one.
Then there’s Linhof 4x5 Master Technika. Of course I wouldn’t get a new one, at that price. I still enjoy making 4x5 portraits, but my 1950s Crown Graphic is beat to shit and doesn’t really “spark joy”, as they say. I think the Linhof would.
I can only have one of the above, and probably shouldn’t have any, but I’ve found myself trolling eBay and the other usual outlets. I can’t wait to see what I do.