Last night reminded me why I really prefer Mac. Trying to get the XPS13 laptop (model 9350 for those that are reading this that might have come here looking for clues) ready for sale and of course a factory reset can’t be straightforward. Dell has options for just this scenario but once I ran the factory reset the first time I wasn’t able to do it again because the recovery partitions, which were still on the drive, were no longer available because the boot loader was changed. Not sure why a recovery tool would do that but it must have because it ran once.
I needed to run it again however because instead of just shutting the machine off where the configuration of Windows starts I went thru the whole process. After a lot of messing around trying to get the bootloader configured again ( still have access to the settings on the image of the machine I made in Parallels) I finally just downloaded their cloud-based repair tool to redownload Windows and do a new install. That process ran overnight and I turned the machine off at the point I should have early last night. What remains to be seen today is are the recovery partitions available.
For those who might be interested the tools at boyans.net, especially Visual BCD Editor in my case, can be a life saver. If you ever dual-booted a Dell laptop with Windows and Ubuntu and want to get back to “normal” his other repair tool is excellent.
I spent a lot of time looking over DEVONthink 3 beta version yesterday after talking to a friend about it during a discussion we were having about replacements for Evernote.
I used DT 2 to store all of my paperless storage stuff for years and moved it out at one point when I felt like I needed access from everywhere. It lived in iCloud for a bit, Google Drive, OneDrive (currently). Easy access, easy sync, and easily searchable either via Spotlight on the Mac or the web interfaces for those systems. However it never felt right with my stuff just in the file system. So last night I moved some of the more sensitive documents back into DT3. I’ll move other stuff a bit at a time (sensitive stuff first) from OneDrive. It feels like coming home again after years of being away.
Also planning on giving it a shot with my Planning documentation that currently resides in Bear. Actually planning on giving it a shot with all of my documentation in Bear. I can create different databases for everything. For the stuff I need to be able to access from work (work notes and planning documentation) I’m hoping I can take advantage of the WebDAV storage I have with FastMail. Pretty sure I can get to that right now from work. Unfortunately iCloud is off limits from the corporate network.
They’ve added a lot of power in the new version of DEVONthink and updated the UI. It looks like it can do a lot more and they’ve fixed some of the gripes I’ve had with it over the years so looking forward to trying this out. Bear will always be there to go back to for my notes. OneDrive and the file system are still there for my paperless storage needs. What fun would life be without changing note storage apps once in awhile?
A headline on The Verge says: “How to keep spam from invading your Google Calendar”. Easy: don’t use Google Calendar.
As a bit of a follow-up on my previous article about using the Scosche Rhythm+ with iOS I wanted to do a quick write-up about using the Rhythm+ with my GPS/workout app of choice: Walkmeter by Abvio.
Walkmeter directly supports a list of devices that unfortunately doesn’t include the Rhythm+. This wasn’t an issue for me before because I was using the Rhythm+ via the Apple Watch (which is supported directly in Walkmeter). Now, since I’m not using the Apple Watch, I thought I was out of luck but there is a way to get it to work (and this method might work for other devices as well since it uses Apple Health as an intermediary). It turns out that you can use the Scosche Rhythm Connect app to connect to the Rhythm+ which starts saving data to Apple Health. Walkmeter will then read that data and populate it’s heart rate displays.
Here is how you get it to work…
Scosche Rhythm Connect
Launch the Scosche Rhythm Connect app on your phone.
We need to make sure that the Rhythm Connect app is connected to Apple Health so that data coming off of the Rhythm+ is saved to Health.
Tap on the “hamburger menu” in the upper left corner of the screen (highlighted in orange below).
Tap on “Configure Sharing”.
Connect to Apple Health if it’s not already connected. When you connect it will pop up a permissions screen asking what data to share to/from Rhythm Connect. In the screenshot below I’ve already connected to Apple Health.
Now go back to the main screen by tapping the hamburger menu and then tapping “Home”.
Now power on your Rhythm+ and it should show on upon the screen like this:
Tap on your device in the list and you should then see this (it might take a second or two for the heart rate to show up):
Now we need to head over to Walkmeter to finish the setup…
Launch Walkmeter then head over to Settings by first tapping “More” in the bottom menu then tap “Devices”.
On the Devices screen make sure that “iOS Paired Heart Rate Monitor” is enabled.
Now you’re ready to go. If you tap on “Stopwatch” in the bottom menu your heart rate should show up on the main Walkmeter screen (again it might take a bit because the app is reading data from iOS Health and not from the device directly).
This is a bit more cumbersome than having direct support in the application but it works. Walkmeter is a tinkerer’s dream, it’s ridiculous how much data it shows and how configurable it is. I have not found anything like it on the App Store.
This post is about the older model of the Scosche armband HR monitor but this very well might apply to the newer Rhythm 24 monitor that took its place.
Up until recently I’ve been using the Scosche as a replacement for my Apple Watch (Series 3) HR monitor during workouts. It has better accuracy and updates at a much faster rate (once per second) than the Apple Watch. I’ve always paired it directly to the watch and have only used it with the Apple Watch workouts. But lately I have not been wanting to wear the Apple Watch and have been experimenting with other applications on my iPhone to see how that all works together.
The one piece of advice I have is to ignore what is written in the manual and don’t pair the Rhythm+ with the iPhone via Settings->Bluetooth. That step is completely unnecessary and seems to cause problems when trying to get the Rhythm to work with other applications. I experimented with multiple applications (Scosche’s own Rhythm Sync, Polar Beat, and FITIV Pulse) since each has their own pairing setup.
If I paired the Rhythm+ with the iPhone first, the pairing in each of the apps generally would not work properly. Sometimes it would pair, sometimes not. If I forgot the Rhythm+ in the iOS Bluetooth settings then paired the device individually with each app it worked flawlessly when I switched between applications. I’m not sure why Scosche specifically calls out pairing with the iPhone first in their directions but it certainly isn’t necessary and causes problems using the device.
I use Backblaze B2 as one of my offsite backup destinations. I have my photo collection there as well as a bunch of other archival stuff. As part of my Setapp subscription I found CloudMounter as one of the apps included. In short CloudMounter will take your OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. accounts and make them look like drives in Windows Explorer/Mac Finder. This is useful for many reasons but I use similar software (ExpanDrive) for the same thing.
Unfortunately CloudMounter doesn’t take into account that B2 charges not only for storage but calls to their API. Those calls are split into billing tiers. So today I noticed (via Little Snitch) that CloudMounter was constantly sending and receiving from the B2 bucket I had set up. I have caps set up on the API calls and eventually I got an email today that my caps had been reached. Thanks CloudMounter! Needless to say that software is no longer on my Mac.
See that long screenshot off to the left there? That’s the full preset filter list (thanks Tailor!) for the VSCO camera app on iOS.
I’m a total camera app junkie. I have tons of them and generally buy most in-app purchases in them (think I have all of the films/lenses/flashes they’ve offered in Hipstamatic since it appeared on the app store). But at some point there is just too much to choose from. So while I love VSCO and all of the options available I’m starting to think they’ve got too much there.
To combat that I generally stick to the VSCO X-only film emulations (like Fuji Velvia 50). I simply don’t see any way to keep straight which preset to use for a given photo with all of those options. To be fair VSCO has created a “for this photo” option in the preset list that uses machine learning to suggest a group of presets that might be good for a given photo but honestly I’ve never found those suggestions useful.
Hipstamatic is even worse because it splits the filters into films, lenses, and flashes. Their business model is selling these (boy do I miss the old days of the freebies they’d release) and once a month, on the first Friday of the month, they release a new film/lens combo. Lately these have mostly been goofy, nearly useless options or just rehashes of old stuff. I stopped buying them for the most part and catch up during the holiday sales period when they deeply discount the Retropaks.
All that being said, after years and years of use my go-to lens in Hipstamatic is Jane. It is a never-fail choice when processing photos in Hipstamatic. If you’re a Hipstamatic user and haven’t looked at Hipstography do yourself a favor and check it out. The site really isn’t being updated anymore but there are a ton of good combos you can download and use in Hipstamatic.
I kept running into a problem after completely wiping my Mac and reinstalling software: I could not get Visual Studio Code to push or pull to repositories in my GitLab account. It turned out the solution was pretty easy.
Visual Studio Code uses the system git. In my case that git client was installed via Homebrew1. After installing git I neglected to generate an ssh key. More importantly, I neglected to generate the default ssh public/private keypair (files are called id_rsa.pub/id_rsa). Without any other setup this is the public/private keypair that git will use for ssh operations against a remote server.
So the key was generated with:
ssh-keygen -o -t rsa
using the defaults when prompted and not assigning a password.
I then added this key to GitLab by first doing:
pbcopy < ./id_rsa.pub
at the command line (which copies the text in the file to the system clipboard) then pasting it into the proper spot on GitLab.