I’ve had my iPad Pro for 16 day now. While most of it is what I expected, there is one area where it’s been significantly lacking, frustrating me to no end.
I created my first linked list blog a few years back — it was in Polish and I ran it for a bit over seven years. I launched Infinite Diaries since, but I never got to answer one question which people have been asking me for years: How do I hack WordPress to create a ‘Linked List Blog’?
I hate ads. I don’t even have cable at home—we disconnected two or three years ago and have never looked back. We now rely on our Playstation 4 for Blu-ray movies and Apple TV for rentals. Since I don’t have access to regular TV channels, I don’t watch many advertisements, but I did dedicate four minutes yesterday to watch what is most probably the most touching ad ever created.
I wasn’t supposed to get an iPad Pro. When it came out I convinced myself that it was going to be too big and too cumbersome to use on a daily basis. I already have a “big Mac”, a Retina MacBook Pro, and an iPad Air 2. How stupid was I?
I don’t recall how I first heard of Lauren Juliff and her Never Ending Footsteps, but I started following her on Twitter and reading her blog about a year or so ago. I was curious about the travels of a young girl from the UK, who seems to have “disaster” painted on her forehead. I am not kidding—the stuff she gets into is truly fascinating. What’s more profound and inspiring however, is how she managed to overcome her anxiety, panic attacks and various fears1, left her safe home in England, and started travelling the world.
- Too many to list here. ↩
Christmas came early this year—yesterday was Tweetbot 4 for Twitter Launch Day. Despite all the hate surrounding the fact that it’s a paid upgrade, it was a pleasure just watching all the excitement of the new users—some loved it, others had a few technical issues, but overall all was well with the world from where I was sitting. More importantly however, Tapbots invited me to their beta program, which gave me the chance to use Tweetbot for the past month or so. This in turn allowed me to prepare my review ahead of time. My single most beloved app and the chance to publish my review on launch? A dream come true.
At one point in time, not so long ago, I had planned to start writing daily, but I couldn’t bring myself to focus on Infinite Diaries as much as I wanted to. Part of the reason behind this was that I was depressed after both my parents succumbed to cancer in March and April of this year, just 20 days apart. Actually that’s probably the main reason, with laziness being the other. Or lack of motivation perhaps. Nevertheless, I wasn’t doing what I had been planning to do for the past year. And then I went to Rome …
Both my parents lost their fight with cancer. My mom—I wrote about here already—died 118 days ago, my dad followed her 20 days later. I still think about them every single day, wishing they were still alive. Not a single hour goes by without them being in my thoughts.
I’m not alone in life, yet I often feel that I am. I’m have no clue why that is. I miss them terribly, and I would have given up anything and everything for them not to have suffered. I’m still depressed. Trying to sort out my feelings. My life. Get my thoughts in order. Nothing’s helping. That’s why I’ve been writing so little. I wonder when life will be easier.
It probably won’t.
Spend time with your loved ones. You’ll regret it later if you don’t. Trust me on this one.
Benjamin Mayo of 9to5Mac reports that Instacast has been discontinued due to the simple fact that its parent company Vemedio ran out of money. Since the specifics are unknown at this time, I can only assume the main problem was lack of profitability. I could probably write many words on the subject of business models and so forth, but that horse has been beaten to death in various places on the internet many times in these past few years. What I would prefer to focus on are two subjects that I have already mentioned here.
I love traveling. I love visiting new places. I was fortunate enough in my youth to spend a lot of time with my parents, visiting many wonderful places around the world. This isn’t as easy today. I now have a family, a job … My father once gave me a poster for my bedroom wall. It had a great photo of a bulldog on it with the following words:
I want all of the power and none of the responsibility.
I was probably about ten years old then, and I did not fully understand the message that it conveyed. Close to thirty years later, I do. Unfortunately.
I fell in love with the iPad immediately after getting one in 2010, soon after its debut but not soon enough for my liking. It was a bit limited for use in Poland until iOS 4 if I recall correctly—it didn’t support Polish at the time—but apart from that it was amazing. It's possibilities were only limited by the human mind and I couldn’t wait to see what the wonderful world of Apple’s developers could do once it got creative. It was so much smaller than a laptop, so much more usable when on the move. Yes, we had iPhones and other smartphones at the time, but this was something else. A 9.7” window into the internet, with you wherever you went. My mind was blown back then.
My mom passed away 70 hours ago. I still cannot comprehend that I will never see her again.
The first cancer attacked her body fourteen years ago and she fought it off after a few weeks of intensive radiotherapy. I’m not actually sure how long it took now, but it seemed an eternity to me back then. She also had the lymph nodes in her right arm removed as well as part of her breast. She spent the next few years taking various pills and had regular scans—all was well in the world. After ten years her doctor told her that the chances for her cancer returning were practically zero.
He was wrong.
I use a lot of various apps on both my iPhone and iPad. I paid for most of them, while some were free. Years ago! Yet I use them each and every day. David Smith’s Pedometer++ app [App Store] is but one example. Tweetbot [iPhone, iPad, Mac] is another—for iPhone, iPad and OS X. I don’t even recall when I bought the last two, but it was obviously some time ago (updates are in the works!). What alerted me recently was Panic’s 2014 report on the state of their apps.
I listened to the episode 110 of the Talk Show today, in which Merlin Mann talks movies with John Gruber. Towards the end they focussed on the subject of kids’ reactions to various scenes and how surprising some of the things that resonate with them are. I am a bit younger than both of the aforementioned gentlemen, hence I watched the same movies they did, just at an earlier age. I vividly remember only two of them until I was eight or so—the first was Star Wars, the other Gremlins.
Apple introduced Retina screens in the MacBook Pro a few years ago and I never took the plunge. I had no need for a 13” laptop at the time and bought a 11” MacBook Air1 a year later. What convinced me was its small size and long battery life, and I needed a mobile typewriter and access to Lightroom when traveling, to be able to offload my memory cards and perform a preliminary selection of the shots I took—this would later turn out to save me hours of work.
- Mid 2013 model. ↩
I’ve had a number of different Macs over the years, none of which have been able to fulfil my needs. Some have come close, while others are about as far as possible from my needs. A new one is on the horizon—will it be my unicorn?
Federico Viticci wrote a
post review as close to a book as you can get about Twitter clients. He really does get down into the specific details of each one. Since Twitter is one of my favourite ways to waste spend my time, I jumped in with gusto. A few paragraphs in, I noticed the following words, which tie in exactly with my own thoughts.
I’m a Twitter completionist. Because I’ve always used the service to discover interesting new apps and links, I’ve developed a habit of trying not to miss a single tweet that is shared or retweeted in my timeline, with the only exception for the weekends.
Particularly after launching better linked posts on the site and starting our MacStories Weekly newsletter with a dedicated Links section, discovering stuff on the Internet has become essential to my livelihood, and Twitter is the best (and most diverse) service for this. I know that I haven’t missed cool apps, links, and news thanks to my dedication to reading my entire timeline every day, and for this reason, in spite of strong evidence suggesting that Twitter doesn’t intend timelines to be consumed this way, I won’t change how I read Twitter.
This behavior makes timeline gaps and timeline sync one of the most prominent aspects I have to consider in a Twitter client. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and start reading my timeline from where I left it the night before; and, I want to know that I can close Twitter for a couple of hours in the afternoon without losing my place in a stream of tweets. More importantly, whenever a timeline gap occurs I need the ability to load tweets without making the timeline scroll and lose my position.
Unfortunately, the official Twitter app doesn’t support sync and leaves much to be desired for timeline gaps.
I read or skim my whole timeline, sometimes curating it as as I go up and up, on my way to Tweet Timeline Zero. I know of people who, upon seeing a few hundred tweets, prefer to scroll up and then go down the other way, just to catch up on the last hour or so. This is not something I am comfortable with, nor is it something that I can do with with a clear conscience. I did try to use the Twitter’s own app1 at one point, but the fact that the app would sometimes reload the whole timeline and scroll me all the way up killed it for me. In fact, Federico makes note of this…
In practice, the Twitter app results in several minutes I spend scrolling and trying to find the last tweet I saw when I closed the app. Every morning and whenever I leave the app for a couple of hours, Twitter either completely reloads the timeline (pushing me to top to see the latest tweets) or inserts a timeline gap that occasionally fails to load new tweets above my position.
In 2013 I wrote an open letter to Twitter, which included the following:
What is important to me is reading my timeline. My whole timeline. I follow some two hundred sources. A bit too many perhaps, but I carefully curate my list to allow me to quickly read that which satisfies my interests in chronological order, as events unfold. The only reason I am still doing this is because of developers like Tapbots, Iconfactory and all the other great Twitter clients out there.
2015 is almost upon us and Twitter is still lacking, especially for “completionists”, as Ticci put it. I cannot fathom how Federico can use Twitter’s app despite his strong motivation to read his whole timeline—I’m still on Tweetbot and when it finally dies, so will most probably my love for Twitter. In the meantime, I’m still waiting for Tweetbot 3 for iPad…
- I believe this was when I was playing around with Android a bit. ↩
Tweetbot and I have been having an affair since its inception. From iPhone, to iPad and Mac, I simply cannot fathom using another app for my daily Twitter fix. And I’ve tried. A lot of them. Most of them? Probably not, but near everything available for iOS and OS X. And none of them come close.
I didn’t believe Apple would show the watch until they actually did. I thought it would be more of a fitness focussed device, like a Nike FuelBand. I did consider the former, but believed Apple would choose a different path. I did not think they would try to go after the high-end watch market though.
I’ve spent the last few years, ever since getting my first iPhone in 2008, enjoying two things that Apple’s pocket computer provided: easy one-handed use and decent battery life. Those two things were always on the top of my list of favourites and became even more prominent since getting the first iPad. I’d use the bigger screen at home, where two-handed use isn’t an issue, and the iPhone on the run.
My problem with Twitter’s journey forward started with the limits placed on the people who first help create the whole thing — the developers. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if their own apps were sterling, offered timeline synchronisation and set the trends for everyone else. Realistically, both Twitter for iOS and Android, as well as the Mac version, are appalling. There are many, many better apps out there and my personal favourite is and most probably always will be Tweetbot (for iPhone, iPad and OS X). I am certain that a time will come when Twitter will cut off third-party developers and that will be the day when I most probably leave the service, never to return. I wrote an open letter to Twitter last year, detailing my gripes with them — obviously they don’t care much for my point of view.
After yesterday’s shitstorm on Twitter, I was curious as to how things would evolve. To my surprise, John Atwood responded to Gruber in a post, apologised for the confusion and renamed the project to Common Markdown.
All seemed well with the world until hilarity ensued – please do take the time to watch this fantastically funny video of Hitler talking about Markdown.
Every day, whether I’m reading, writing or washing my teeth, I think about things I’m not supposed to. Things that, in theory at least, distract me. I can’t help it though, because whatever I’m doing, I’m on the hunt for new ideas and inspirations. They’re all around us. You can find them in your friend’s remodelled apartment and on the box of a new brand of cereal. They’re hiding in that curve of the car that you just sped by. On a website. In an article. Everywhere. I know what I’m saying sounds stupid, but all it takes is opening your eyes and seeing. Not looking …
I’m sure many of you have flown in an aeroplane before, as have millions of people around the world. My wife and I are in transit as I write this in fact. We’re hopping on and off at airports, trying to get back home, seeing the same two strange phenomena over and over again. The first occurs a few minutes after touching down, while the second needs a half hour more or so. I’m sure you’ve all seen this happen and perhaps you even do this yourselves – perhaps you’ll be able to enlighten me as to why it happens.
I’ve been a user and fan since 2009. An early adopter and one of the pioneers of this medium (pun not intended) in my country. My usage has of course evolved, as have my follow lists. Being an editor at two magazines has put me in a privileged position and allowed me to accumulate a healthy number of followers. Fantastic followers, I might add. I’ve watched Twitter evolve, cheered it on, quickly embraced Tweetie when it first came out and loved every minute of it. A lot has changed since then however. First came the iPhone, followed by the iPad. I also got myself a Nexus recently. That amounts to four different devices on which I follow my timeline, reading every single tweet on a daily basis. And you know what the funny thing is? I barely use the official clients and almost never visit Twitter’s web interface.