👎 Nope

Apple intros 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros with display notches, M1 Pro, and M1 Max

Nearly a year after announcing the first, low-end M1 Macs last November, Apple has finally unveiled its higher-end Macs. New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will include the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, faster successors that build upon the foundation of the original M1, as well as more ports, and a slight redesign. This marks the most significant change to the MacBook Pro since the Touch Bar was introduced back in 2016.

These things are to fucking expensive for a non-pro user. The 14” starts at $1999 and the 16” starts at $2499. Sorry Apple, these things are not in my wheelhouse. I’m happy with my current technology stack. iPhone 11 and iPad Air with Magic Keyboard. That’s all I need.

Viticci slams non-professional reviewers

Mere Civilian: The value of a non-reviewer’s perspective

Sometimes, I hear something and I find the need to consider what my thoughts are on a particular subject. This is one of those times.

In the first seven minutes of the episode 242 of the AppStories Podcast. Federico said:

“You wouldn’t want to read/or watch a review by someone who is not a professional reviewer. It wouldn’t be enjoyable.”

​[…]

However, I strongly disagree with the first sentence. I frequently seek reviews written by people who are not professional reviewers.

If you’re wondering who Federico is he is Federico Viticci – Founder and Editor-in-chief of MacStories. He is also co-host of the AppStories podcast with John Voorhees.

I’m not a regular listener of AppStories but this week I was interested in hearing what Federico and John had to say about the new iPad Mini.

Like Mere Civilian when I heard Federico say “You wouldn’t want to read/or watch a review by someone who is not a professional reviewer. It wouldn’t be enjoyable.” I was shocked. Who and the hell does he think he’s speaking for? Obviously, not me and a few others.

Lee Peterson: I’m not a “professional” but my opinion is valid too

I don’t normally post this sort of thing but I feel so strongly on this one I had to get it out of my head.

I don’t listen to App Stories but I do listen to Connected and generally read MacStories but right now I feel really let down. I’ll let you listen to the podcast in question but like I say as a fellow blogger trying to make my way through this online world it’s a let down and shows a lot of hubris.

​Mike Rockwell: The Value of a Non-Reviewer’s Perspective

This was an incredibly bone-headed comment from Federico. I would rather read a review from someone that isn’t a professional reviewer. I don’t want a phone review from someone that does phone reviews for a living because their perspective is skewed.

My take is that Federico has gotten to big for his britches.

Where the hell is the Escape key on the iPad Magic Keyboard?

Change the behavior of the modifier keys on iPad

If, like me, you rarely use the caps lock key, you might be interested to learn that you can remap it on a hardware keyboard in iPadOS. I mapped mine to Escape.

How to Remap Modifier Keys on iPad When Using a Keyboard

  • Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPad‌
  • Select General -> Keyboard
  • Select Hardware Keyboard
  • Select Modifier Keys
  • Select the key that you’d like to modify …
  • Select the action that you’d like to perform when tapping the chosen key

That’s it.

iPadOS 15 multitasking and keyboard shortcuts

If you are a regular reader, then you are aware that I switched my entire workflow to my 11” iPad Air. It does everything I need to do from writing, handling email, texting, messaging, reading, watching videos and more. I still have my 2015 13” MacBook Pro because I use it to run Hazel rules, which is something that I can’t do on my iPad.

iPadOS 15 has made the iPad even better. The new multitasking features and Globe key keyboard shortcuts have made working on the iPad even more Mac like. It’s fucking wonderful!

If, like me, you use an iPad as your main computing device, check out Chris Lawley’s video for getting your arms around all the new features in iPadOS 15.

iPadOS 15 Walkthrough: EVERYTHING You Need To Know! – YouTube

🔗 Link Post: From TextExpander to Keyboard Maestro again

Another great Keyboard Maestro macro from Dr. Drang. I haven’t been using my MacBook Pro lately, but I definitely wanted to be sure that I have this macro in my toolbox in if I switch back from my iPad. It was straightforward to put together following Dr. Drang’s instructions included in the article.

Dr. Drang writing for And now all this:

After a good bit of thinking, I canceled my TextExpander subscription today. This is not the first time I’ve left TextExpander—I dropped it when Smile first adopted a subscription payment model about five years ago, and stayed away even when Smile listened to the complaints and lowered the subscription price.

[…]

So I’m back to using Keyboard Maestro as my snippet expansion tool. It works well, and I didn’t have to do too much work to switch over. In a rare display of forethought, I didn’t delete my snippet macros. I had merely disabled them when I started using TextExpander again—now I just had to re-enable them.

[…]

And I decided to tackle the one big advantage TextExpander had over Keyboard Maestro: the ability to make a new snippet quickly. By combining AppleScript with Keyboard Maestro itself, I now have a way to make a KM snippet out of what’s on the clipboard.

For example, let’s say I’m writing a report about products made by Mxyzptlk Industries. To make a snippet for that name, I copy it to the clipboard and invoke my new Make Temporary Snippet from Clipboard macro. That brings up this window, where I can define the trigger (I chose “;mi”) and adjust the expansion if necessary. After clicking OK, I have a new snippet in my Snippet – Temporary group.

🔗 Link Post: Moderna starts human trials for an mRNA-based flu shot

Nicole Wetsman writing for The Verge:

Moderna says it hopes to eventually create combination vaccines that could protect people against flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory infections with one shot. “Our vision is to develop an mRNA combination vaccine so that people can get one shot each fall for high efficacy protection against the most problematic respiratory viruses,” Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said in a press release.

Moderna Press Release: Moderna Announces First Participant Dosed in Phase 1/2 Study of Its Quadrivalent Seasonal Flu mRNA Vaccine | Moderna, Inc.

I like the idea of getting one shot that includes the flu vaccine and a COVID booster.

NetNewsWire 6 vs Reeder 5 iCloud sync

I’ve been using the free version of Feedly for RSS syncing with Reeder ever since I started using RSS. Reeder 5 introduced a built-in RSS/Feeds service using iCloud to keep everything in sync between devices. For privacy reason, I decided to start using iCloud instead of Feedly.

Here’s a friction point that I have with Reeder. It has three options for syncing background refresh, manually, and on start. My preference is background refresh, but with that option, I get a lot of feed timeouts. So, I’ve been using sync on start, which works fine but is really slow.

Now that NetNewWire 6 has iCloud syncing I’ve been checking it out. What I found is that NetNewsWire’s iCloud background refresh works flawlessly and manual syncing is lightening fast compared to Reeder.

This isn’t final, but I think I’m going to stick with NetNewsWire.

🔗 Link Post: Getting over the post-pandemic fear of crowds

How to Get Over a Post-Pandemic Fear of Crowds

Imagine this: You’re out with your friends at a park or a beer garden when one of them suggests going into a bar. Two summers ago, that’d be no big deal, but after such a long time away from crowds during the pandemic, you might be a little nervous.

To be sure, the world is well on its way to opening all the way back up, and while plenty of people are advertising their joyous returns to crowded museums, restaurants, sporting events, and more, there are still a few people who are uneasy about getting back into the mix. Here are some tips for easing back into crowds post-lockdown.

I’ve been fully vaccinated since March 27th. That said, I’m still uneasy about going into crowded places like big box stores, restaurants etc. I imagine it’s going to take some time to get over this unease.

Apple isn’t backing down from its hybrid work model, according to internal note

Zoe Schiffer writing for The Verge:

Apple isn’t backing down from its hybrid work model that will require most employees to return to the office three days a week starting in early September. Fully remote positions will be extremely limited.

We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future,” said Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people, in a video recording viewed by The Verge. “If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person.”

[…]

In the wake of that announcement, Apple employees wrote a letter saying some employees had been forced to quit because of the policy, and asking Cook to change his stance. They asked that all teams be given the option to work remotely, noting “without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple.”

Now, Apple is essentially denying that request, saying any remote work decisions will be made “on a case-by-case basis with any new remote positions requiring executive approval.”

The position that Apple is taking on this is turning out to be controversial. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, here are a couple of interesting takes on the subject. A post written by John Gruber on Daring Fireball and a post written by Charlie Warzel on Galaxy Brain. Gruber sides with Apple and Warzel takes exception to that.

What will happen to PDFpen after the Nitro purchase?

PDFpen has been a part of my paperless workflow since I started it in 2017. Yesterday after reading about Nitro acquiring PDFpen on 9to5Mac I decided that it’s time to move on to a different app.

June 28, 2021 – Nitro to acquire PDFpen, expanding productivity to Mac, iPhone, and iPad users

Nitro Software Limited (ASX: NTO) (‘Nitro’ or the ‘Company’), a global document productivity software company driving digital transformation in organisations around the world, is pleased to announce the acquisition of PDFpen, a market-leading suite of PDF productivity applications for Mac, iPhone® and iPad®.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Nitro will acquire the PDFpen technology from US- based Smile, Inc. for $6 million in cash. The acquisition will be funded from the Company’s existing cash reserves.

According to the announcement, Nitro purchased the PDFpen technology (see the paragraph above). That brings up the question of what does that mean for the app? Does this mean Nitro will use the PDFpen technology to develop Nitro apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad and PDFpen will eventually disappear from the app landscape?

In light of this announcement and not being happy with PDFpen’s incredible confusing interface on the iPhone and iPad, I’m now using PDFViewer, which has a free version which is perfect for limited needs.