September 12, 2015

Images in the RSS article list

A feature of RSS readers on the Mac is the treatment of images in the article list. I was a heavy user of NetNewsWire 3 for years an did not care to have images in the article list. Some, more modern readers, such as Reeder and ReadKit, do not attempt to present more than text in the article list. However, several readers are presenting images and the reading experience is better, in my opinion, since there are some feeds I follow that are image-rich (Leibel, etc). I looked at the options in the App Store and did some web searching and what follows is a round-up as of today.

Leaf

Images presented as round or square. Light or dark mode, syncs with several services, share to Pocket, Readability, Instapaper, Twitter, others. $8. I just redownloaded this in the App Store recently and was surprised at the quality development. Key commands appear reasonable. Looks nice - I will be trying it more in the future.
Leaf

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August 12, 2015

Maps.me

I’ve experimented with Maps.me recently while traveling. It ended up being my most valuable travel app.

The app does not use wifi or cellular for location information but rather GPS satellites directly. This was important as I was in some fairly remote areas with deep canyons. Despite this I was able to determine location readily.

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June 22, 2015

Media center update

I have been rolling with an Elgato media setup for a few years now. However, things got flakey this Winter and Spring and I had to do some diagnosing.

Original setup

I aquired an Elgato EyeTV 250 Plus around 4-5 years ago and it has performed well. Originally the price point was $150 but I see they are now more rare and pricier. The setup has consisted of an antenna, the EyeTV 250 Plus, our Mac Mini, and an external LaCie drive for recordings. I did a DIY antenna similar to this but with a backstop covered in aluminum foil. It worked well and gave us more than enough TV considering our schedules and family needs. Included was a signal booster within 7-10 feet of the antenna in the attic with a 25Db boost and and FM trap. I also used Comskipper for quite some time (for commercial skipping in real-time until it became broken under recent versions of OSX), as well as PyeTV while it was still possible.

Trouble

We began to have failed recordings that were misfires (recording nothing), or recordings of poor quality. I considered the following failure points:

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May 21, 2015

Repackaging of ideas

I find the repackaging of concepts and methods on the web to be interesting. Specifically I mean the repackaging of ideas in the productivity sphere. [1]

There are two instances which are of concern:

  • Repackaging past/common methods into lists to drive traffic and increase revenue on a site. Often these are Top Ten lists.
  • Repackaging past/common methods into a new method, creating a nice website about it, giving the repurposed method a name, and then possibly ending up talking about it on podcasts as if the originator of the idea (and without crediting those that came before and originated the various parts of the new method).

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May 9, 2015

Still love plain text; Omnifocus still tempts

TPOF

Still love plain text

I’ve been using Taskpaper files for productivity for a few years now. Like many others, I love the simplicity, portability and flexibility of the format. Custom searching is a killer feature. I can apply GTD, have multiple contexts per task, quickly add metadata to tasks via Textexpander , use multiple apps as I see fit. I mainly use Taskmator and Editorial on iOS.

Omnifocus tempts

Omnifocus presents a powerful, albeit, expensive collection of features across Mac and iOS. Many users appreciate the more complex feature set which includes Perspectives, Forecast, and scripting. I have appreciated the emailing of tasks to the Inbox in the past. The like the design of Omnifocus much more now. Omni is a classy design house and I do respect them.

Deal-breakers

The lack of multiple contexts per task, the lack of inclusion of deferred items in the Forecast counts, and the high tap counts eventually drive me from Omnifocus.

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