My thoughts on Ulysses moving to a subscription model

Ulysses, my favorite writing tool moved to a subscription model last week. When I first read the news I was stunned.

I purchased and started using Ulysses in August of 2016. I purchased both the Mac and iOs apps. That was a hefty $60 bucks out of my wallet. Now a year later I’m faced with an annual subscription.

Not Happy!

At first, I wasn’t sure what I would do. Dr. Drang’s blog post talking through subscription based apps, in particular, with regard to Ulysses, helped me make a decision.

Another disruption in the Apple universe today, as the text editor Ulysses went from being a regular paid app to a subscription app/service.

I don’t have a dog in this particular hunt. I don’t use Ulysses and didn’t plan to even before the pricing change. If I were a Ulysses user, I’d do my best to figure out what it’s worth to me—including the direct and (especially) indirect costs of switching to a new text editor—and try to make a rational decision based on the world as it exists now, not the world as it existed yesterday or the world as I wish it to be.

If I were interested in Ulysses but hadn’t yet given it a try, I might see the subscription service as a positive. Ulysses used to cost $45 for the Mac and $25 for iOS. Now I could give both versions a good, solid two-month trial for $10. If they don’t fit my way of working, I walk away $60 ahead and knowing exactly why I shouldn’t continue the subscription.

After reading Dr. Drang’s post here’s what I’ve decided to do. I downloaded the new app for my Mac and iPhone. As a previous user, I have 8 free months which I’m going to use up before committing to the subscription model. In the mean time, I’m going to try Byword and see if I can get along with it in place of Ulysses. My writing is simple. I write blog posts and publish to WordPress.com and Medium. If using Byword works I won’t need the Ulysses subscription.

TunnelBear completes industry’s first public security audit

TunnelBear has been my VPN service of choice for just over a year. I was excited to read that TunnelBear has undergone a public security audit by Germany-based penetration testing company Cure53. This gives confidence I’ve chosen the right VPN provider and that TunnelBear isn’t scraping and selling my browsing data.

TunnelBear Blog, 07 August 2017

Consumers and experts alike have good reason to question the security claims of the VPN industry. Over the last few years, many less reputable VPN companies have abused users’ trust by selling their bandwidth, their browsing data, offering poor security or even embedding malware.

Being within the industry, it’s been hard to watch. We knew TunnelBear was doing the right things. We were diligent about security. We deeply respected our users’ privacy. While we can’t restore trust in the industry, we realized we could go further in demonstrating to our customers why they can, and should, have trust in TunnelBear.​

Today, we’d like to announce TunnelBear has completed the Consumer VPN industry’s first 3rd party, public security audit. Our auditor, Cure53, has published their findings on their website and we’re content with the results.

However, the recent crisis of trust in the VPN industry showed us we needed to break the silence and share Cure53’s findings publicly. Today we’re sharing a complete public audit which contains both the results from last year and the results from the current audit.

You can read the full report on Cure53’s website.

Web Finds August 6, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

This edition of Web Finds features a selection of copy and paste clipboard managers. My favorite is Copied which I’ve written about here.

Paste
Paste is a smart cloud clipboard history and snippets manager for Mac. It keeps everything you’ve ever copied and lets you use your clipboard history whenever you need it from all your Macs. Paste recognizes and stores text, images, links, files and any other type of content and generates informative previews for easy browsing.

Copy’em Paste
Copy’em Paste for Mac is a simple-yet-powerful clipboard tool for dramatically speeding up your daily copy-and-paste workflow. It automatically keeps your copied text, images, links, screenshots, etc., and lets you recall/paste them anytime, right at your fingertips. Use it to copy items consecutively and then paste them (without the usual, back-and-forward copy/paste round trips), store favorite clippings permanently, take screenshots without clogging up your desktop, collect data for research, expedite pasting of clippings, transform pasted text, organize clippings into lists, and so on.

CloudClip
CloudClip syncs your clipboard between your Mac and your iOS devices. It’s the easiest way to transfer phone numbers, websites, addresses, and more.

Previous Web Finds are here

How to view your calendar while creating an event or reminder in Fantastical

I’ve been using Fantastical for a long time. Occasionally when creating a new event or reminder I need to reference my calendar. This involved saving the event or reminder > checking my calendar > getting the info I needed > and then reopening the event or reminder.

I often wondered if there might be an easier way to do this and there is.

I ran across this trick the other day while scanning through The Sweet Setup Quick Tip archive. Here’s how you do it. When you are in the new event or reminder window, tap and drag down the title in the red bar. This will minimize it to the bottom of the screen. To get back to the event, tap on the event window in the bottom center. You can actually have multiple event drafts at the same time. Double tapping the minimized events will launch them in a window where you can tap on the one you want to work with.

Web Finds for July 24, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

GoodNotes
GoodNotes for iOS lets you take beautiful handwritten notes and annotate PDF documents. The handwritten notes are searchable and are created using a pioneering vector ink engine. Thanks to iCloud sync, your documents in GoodNotes will synchronize between your iPad and iPhone automatically.

Pastebot
If copy & paste is a part of your workflow, Pastebot for Mac is an indispensable tool to improve your productivity. Quickly recall clippings that you have copied before and apply powerful text filters to format before pasting. You can even queue up multiple copies to paste in sequence. Pastebot is always running and only a keyboard shortcut away to command copy & paste.

Mellel
Mellel for Mac is a sophisticated, time-tested, word processor, designed for writing long and complicated documents, books, manuscripts, dissertations, and more.

Forklift 3
ForkLift 3 for Mac is the most advanced dual pane file manager and file transfer client for macOS.

Previous Web Finds are here.

Can iPad replace my laptop?

Brett Terpstra recommended this article in Web Excursions for July 14, 2017.

An in-depth look at the current state of the question “Can iPad really replace my laptop?”

This is an excellent article that will help you decide whether an iPad or MacBook is better for you.

Can iPad replace my laptop? by Joshua Carpentier

In this post, we’ll have a look at the biggest changes to iPad with iOS 11, when an iPad is most suitable as a laptop replacement, and when a laptop is still the best choice. We’ll even look at a THIRD OPTION you’re probably not aware of that gives you the best of both worlds. But let’s start with taking a look at what you should think about (but aren’t) before making any purchase.

What to consider before buying a new computer

When looking for a new computer, many (I’d even argue, most) people claim they “need a laptop”—usually because that’s what they’ve always had. And so they naturally think that’s what they still need because they haven’t done these two things:

  1. Assess what they actually do on a computer
  1. Learn about the changes in technology since they last made a laptop purchase

I’ve always felt that an iPad couldn’t replace my laptop. I’m even more convinced after reading this article.

Productivity tools like Alfred and Keyboard Maestro are a major part of my daily workflow. These tools have no iOS counterpart. I use both many many times everyday and I’m not willing to work without them.

I prefer to do most of my writing on my iMac instead of 13″ MacBook Pro Retina because of the extra screen space. I’ll often have Ulysses, Marked, nvALT, DEVONthink, and Safari open at the same time. Safari may have up to 10 or 15 tabs open as well. I can’t imagine doing this on iPad.

After reading the article you’ll have a better idea on whether an iPad can replace your laptop.

1Password responds about local vaults

This is a follow-up to my article July 12, 2017. Dave Teara, in an agilebits blog post, has clarified that for now local vaults will continue to be supported.

blog.agilebits.com · by Dave Teare · July 13, 2017:

Many Mac users worry that the same fate awaits 1Password 6 for Mac, and that we will remove support for local vaults and force them to pay again.

This isn’t going to happen. First, it would be evil to take away something you’ve already paid for. And evil doesn’t make for a Happy 1Password Customer, which is the cornerstone for a Happy 1Password Maker. It’s simply not who we are.

For those who purchased 1Password 6 for Mac already, you’re perfectly fine the way you are and can continue rocking 1Password the way you have been. There’s no requirement to change anything as we will not be removing features or forcing you to subscribe. In fact we’re still selling licenses of 1Password 6 for Mac for those that really need them (you can find them today on the setup screen under More Options).

And you need not worry about 1Password 7 for Mac, either, as it will continue to support standalone vaults just like version 6 does today.

We know that not everyone is ready to make the jump yet, and as such, we will continue to support customers who are managing their own standalone vaults. 1Password 6 and even 1Password 7 will continue to support standalone vaults.

There’s a message in Dave’s closing statement:

But 1Password memberships are indeed awesome and are the best way to use 1Password, and as such, I am going to continue to nudge you over when ever I can.

1Password takes it on the chin over subscriptions and cloud vaults

There was a lot of buzz over the weekend about the future of 1Password when it emerged that the service’s new subscription-based model will push users to adopt a cloud-based password storage system over locally stored password vaults.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writing at Motherboard:

In the last few years, 1Password has become a favorite for hackers and security researchers who often recommend it above all other alternatives… Last weekend, though, several security researchers tweeted that 1Password was moving away from allowing people to pay for a one-time license and have local password vaults, in favor of its cloud-based alternative that requires a monthly subscription.

I moved from LastPass to 1Password in Oct 2015. Why? The main reason was local vault versus having my vault on the web.

I have to say. I wouldn’t be happy if I were being forced to move to a 1Password cloud subscription plan. If I were, I’d be pissed off enough to move back to LastPass. At this point, I’m not. From reading the forums and comments by Dave Teare we tech savvy users, who want control over our vault, will be able to continue using our local vault version of 1Password for the foreseeable future.

For new users, it’s going to be difficult to buy a license for the local vault version. I searched the 1Password website and saw no option to buy the standalone version. From reading the forums It sounds like the only way to do this is to write to 1Password and request it.

Cyberscoop:

Yet even with the statements provided to the public, the messaging has been mixed at best. On the product’s support forums, customers are regularly complaining that it’s become a huge challenge to buy and use the local vault version of 1Password while employees say such a request is now “complicated” and that they “want all new customers to use 1Password.com subscriptions as it is simpler to use by default.”

Dave Teare says, March 1, 2017 at 9:01 pm:

You asked “why not?” have both 1Password memberships and standalone licenses at the same time. Certainly you’re right that I don’t want to do anything to piss off our long time customers. And that’s exactly why we’re rolling out 1Password memberships exactly the way we are. You can purchase a standalone license today just like you could last week.

In defense of 1Password, I would agree that the cloud subscription model is far easier for the average non-techie user to setup and use.