Back to Blogging

I gave up blogging. Well, I thought I gave up blogging. What I gave up on I suppose is blogging via WordPress. For me, the inertia to post there was just too much to overcome. WordPress is that needy, high-maintenance person you don’t want to be involved with. It’s a great content management system but I needed a simple place to post things I feel are worth writing about and WordPress just isn’t that place.

It turns out neither is a static blogging tool like Hugo. The inertia to even get a site up and running is even worse than what I was facing with WordPress, let alone writing posts. I love the idea of those tools. I don’t love the commitment in time to getting something useful running. So I thought it was time to hang it all up. Then I found blot.im.

Level of difficulty to post to a blot website? Drop a text file into a Dropbox folder. Done. Post published. You could also set up a GitHub repository if that’s your thing but that’s not as easy as dropping a text file onto Dropbox. Like I said I want the pressure involved in posting to be as low as possible. This is about as easy as it gets. It’s Twitter-easy.

I had a few other requirements as well: being able to post code with syntax highlighting (check), being able to (eventually) make changes to the template (check), and lastly low cost ($4 a month, check). Oh, and to top it all off space is essentially unlimited. Yes as always it’s within reason but I just want to post photos and such and there really isn’t a limit if you don’t get stupid.

So we’ll see but so far I’m loving this thing and the simplicity. There is enough power there behind the scenes should I want to take advantage of it but if I just want to plunk down a text file to publish I’m covered.

Today on macstories.net they released their list of Best Apps of the Year and they awarded Best Mac App to the new code editor Nova from Panic. In his notes Alex Guyot calls out the preferences window in Nova and how nice it is compared to Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code. He notes how nice it is to have a graphical settings window compared to Sublime Text and VSC which require you to edit JSON settings files by hand:

On that note, just having a Preferences window is a minor victory — most other popular code editors these days don’t even bother to support such a simple macOS affordance as this. Sublime Text and Visual Studio Code, the two popular editors I’ve most recently coded with before Nova, both store settings as a series of JSON files which you can edit to change settings. I wish I was joking.

I can’t speak about Sublime Text (though I hear that one does require editing JSON files) but in Visual Studio Code that is not required. There is a settings tab that looks like this (here I’m searching for any settings that have the word “keys”):

Huh. This doesn’t look like JSON to me. Does it look like a Mac app? No, I have to admit it doesn’t but that isn’t something that really bothers me as I use Visual Studio Code because it’s cross-platform and that’s more important to me than a native preferences window. Just makes me curious the last time Alex actually used Visual Studio Code. I can’t recall a time literally in years where I’ve had to edit JSON settings by hand.

Tips on using Jump Desktop for Mac

Just a quick posting to share a few tips when using the Jump Desktop application for remote access to computers.

General

  • To use “privacy mode” to hide the screen VNC needs to be used. Does not work with Fluid.
  • Clicking the “Fix Screen Sharing” button in the Jump Desktop Connect settings will “unfix” a VNC connection that is properly set up to allow the lock screen to be used for privacy.
    • Clicking this button will leave Screen Sharing alone in the Sharing section of System Preferences but it will shut off Remote Management if it is turned on.

Fluid Mode

  • Can’t lock the screen
  • Display resolution matching (iPad app settings)
    • If Change Display Resolution setting is turned on Mac will be put in scaled display mode. Once the Jump session ends it might not switch out of the scaled display mode and usually the screen will look odd (Safari icon is the dead giveaway for this with the tick marks around the compass).

VNC Mode

  • In order to use the VNC server need to turn on:
    • VNC in Jump Desktop Connect settings
    • Screen Sharing in System Preferences->Sharing
  • In order to use Privacy Mode

    • Turn on Remote Management in System Preferences->Sharing
      • This will turn off/uncheck Screen Sharing which is fine because that is included in the Remote Management option.

Not only did Apple make up for their stupid mistake of initially taking Charlie Brown Christmas off of TV but they did one better by putting it on the only network with no commercials. Good job Apple.

Just a thought on task management

Sitting here about to shut stuff down for the night it just dawned on me that planning for stuff I need to do doesn’t just happen in a task manager. Yes the task manager is for planning but it’s the final destination for other planning work that needs to be done beforehand. Part of my problem is not exploring just what that part of my system is. It’s not capture and it’s not execution. Need to do some work I think.

Disabling SIP to delete “trouble” files in MacOS Catalina

I decided to check out the Safari Technology Preview but when I found out that the 1Password extension (no, not even the beta one) wouldn’t work there was little point in continuing as I rely on that for any passwords.

I uninstalled the Tech Preview via App Cleaner and Uninstaller and one folder couldn’t be removed. The folder name started with com.apple.SafariTechnologyPreview and I removed it manually via Finder which put it in the trash. When I tried to empty the trash it would complain that the folder was in use.

I tried rebooting in safe mode (hold down the Shift key while booting) to disable just about everything with no luck. The Mac was still complaining that the file was in use. I then tried the same experiment via booting into single user mode (hold down Command-S while booting) so I could perform the same thing as the root user. No luck there either as it gave more cryptic complaints.

This folder contained a file named SafariFamily that was the problem. I found this page where the person had the same problem and had a solution. I had to disable SIP (System Integrity Protection) via the Mac’s recovery mode. Recovery mode requires restarting the Mac and holding down Command-R while until the Apple logo appears.

Once in recovery mode I had to open up the Mac terminal app (via the menu) and run the command csrutil disable.

After that I restarted and that finally allowed me to delete the file. Then I had to reboot again into recovery mode again to turn SIP back on via csrutil enable. Another restart and I was back in business.

Disappointed with Google Drive and Dropbox in iOS

Disappointed with Google Drive and Dropbox in iOS

Just found out that neither the Google Drive or the Dropbox iOS applications fully support the Files API on iOS and thus I can’t set up folders in Google Drive or Dropbox in iA Writer. I had planned on moving all of my writing to Google Drive but that isn’t going to work with this situation.

Really bums me out when companies do this. It is fully possible via the API but they force users to their own applications. Boo!

The Washington Post is obnoxious

They really, really want me to hate their website. They don’t want ad blocking. OK I get that. I really wanted to read this article so I turned off the ad blocker (to make matters worse they refer to the Firefox tracking protection as an “ad blocker”) and this is what I get:

Here are some screenshots of the site as I scroll down through the article.


So obnoxious that I won’t visit the site again. You lost a potential reader WaPo.