The care and feeding of my system

It shouldn’t take so much time to keep my stuff running smoothly.

January 3, 2024 · 309 words

The Emergent Task Planner

Let’s try the paper-based Emergent Task Planner again

August 21, 2023 · 181 words

Renaming an item in DEVONthink to match the name of its parent group

When creating a new project folder (group) in DEVONthink, I often make use of Templates. Templates are just files in a folder somewhere that get copied into the DEVONthink database. For example, I have a project “starter” Tinderbox document named “Basic Project Template.tbx”. When inserting the template file into my DEVONthink project, it uses the same name as the original, which isn’t helpful. DEVONthink is very scriptable, so I wrote an AppleScript to rename the selected document the same as the enclosing group/folder....

June 12, 2023 · 304 words

Coming to my senses about Mimestream

I woke up from my trance and bailed on my disjointed bricolage of Fastmail->Gmail->Mimestream. Cobbling various pieces together just so I can use a single mail client on my Mac seemed…shortsighted. Mimestream is nice, but not that nice, you know? So I’m back in MailMate and/or Mu4e. Oh, and sometimes Apple Mail. But I’m thinking about switching back to notmuch from Mu4e. Now that I say it, I’m not sure this is any better :)....

June 11, 2023 · 85 words

Overthinking Email

I don’t get many emails these days. Nor do I send many. And yet, I spend an inordinate amount of time futzing with how I get and sent emails. I’m doing that thing again where I overthink my email process. The only hard requirement I have with email is that it uses my own domain name. Hence, Email is still the key to many things, so allowing someone like Google to control that key is a no-go for me....

June 8, 2023 · 427 words

Blogging options

For the few of you who’ve been following along, you’ll have noticed that I’ve changed blogging engines several times recently, even more frequently than my usual pace. The most recent moves happened over just a few weeks. I went from WordPress to Blot to Hugo and back to WordPress. I wrote this about moving away from WordPress only two months ago: Mostly, I switched because I don’t enjoy using WordPress. WordPress is powerful and easy and everywhere, but the editor is unpleasant and everything just feels heavy and overwrought....

June 7, 2023 · 407 words

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Journal blog post format changes. Mimestream for email. Arq backup problems. Tweaking the PaperMod theme.

May 30, 2023 · 432 words

Bike Outliner

The other day I wrote this: Knowledge should reside in the notes, not in the software used to manage the notes. I’m feeling like software has been hindering me more than helping me. I spend too much of my time building overly complex workflows in Emacs or Tinderbox or Obsidian or whatever. These crazy workflows often introduce dependencies and push the actual knowledge up into the process/software. This seems like a bad idea....

May 22, 2023 · 213 words

Prepending creation date to selected files using AppleScript (macOS)

I try to name all of my files using the file’s creation date as a prefix. For example: 20230504-MyNewFile.txt If I forget, it’s a pain to rename them, so I created a short AppleScript to do it for me. -- Prepend Creation Date to selected files -- Install Location: ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Finder -- Last Modified: 2023-05-04 tell application "Finder" set selectedItems to selection as list -- Loop through each selected item repeat with selectedItem in selectedItems set creationDate to creation date of selectedItem set fileName to name of selectedItem -- Prepend the creation date to the file name set newName to my stringFromDate(creationDate) & "-" & fileName -- Rename the file with the new name set name of selectedItem to newName end repeat end tell on stringFromDate(_date) -- yyyymmddhhmmss set _string to "" set _string to _string & my stringFromNumber(_date's year, 4) set _string to _string & my stringFromNumber(_date's month as integer, 2) set _string to _string & my stringFromNumber(_date's day, 2) return _string end stringFromDate on stringFromNumber(_number, _digitsToPad) return text -_digitsToPad through -1 of ("0000" & _number) end stringFromNumber I put the script into a Finder-specific folder, so it’s made easily available when Finder is the frontmost app: ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Finder....

May 4, 2023 · 229 words

Adding weather info to DEVONthink's daily journals

Since I use DEVONthink Pro (DTP) to index and store my notes and documents, I sometimes revisit the idea of using it to create notes. DTP includes a variety of built-in scripts for creating new content. These are mostly written in AppleScript. I was interested in the “Daily Journal” template. By default, running the Daily Journal template would create a new Markdown document containing a random quote and a list of the 4 latest headlines from the New York Times website....

April 29, 2023 · 246 words

I can't be trusted with powerful software

It’s happening again. My love of powerful, complex software has overrun my ability to avoid tinkering. For example, I’ve spent several hours this week working on my Org-mode agenda display. Configuring org-super-agenda is tons of fun. It can make one’s Agenda absolutely sing and dance, which is not ideal for me because I’ve spent way too much time trying to teach it to sing and dance. I could have finished all of the tasks on my todo list in the time I’ve spent getting them to display just right....

April 27, 2023 · 261 words

My read-later service is made of paper

I’ve tried so many “read-later” services that I can’t remember half of them. They’re all basically the same: visit a website, click a button, and the article is saved to a list somewhere with all the other articles I’ve saved. Some newer services get fancy with recommendations, UI improvements, social integration, etc. but they all just gather a list of articles that I almost never end up reading. But, you know, just in case, right?...

March 30, 2023 · 231 words

The Spark File

Ten years ago, Steven Johnson wrote The Spark File, in which he describes his process for keeping track of hunches, ideas, etc. in a single text file. I, of course, thought this was a great idea and immediately started keeping my own spark file. It began in 2012 and I was reasonably consistent with it until 2016. After that, there was a lull, but it picked up again for a short time in 2021, after which I sort of forgot about it....

March 11, 2023 · 196 words

The iPad as a diversion

I’m tired of computers. I spent hours today rummaging around my notes and trying to figure out if I should write some new thing in Emacs or Obsidian or Tinderbox or what? It’s confusing and frustrating, and I need a break. I’m typing this on my iPad Pro using the Magic Keyboard. I won’t lie, the iPad is too limiting for me under nearly all circumstances. But that’s exactly why I need it right now....

February 9, 2023 · 164 words

Back to scanning film with a real scanner

I tried, I really did. The Wise Old Internet guided me into changing my film scanning process from a dedicated flatbed scanner to using a mirrorless digital camera setup. I did everything right. I bought good equipment and the right software. I hated it. To scan using my flatbed, I load the negatives, hit “Prescan”, confirm that things look ok and press “Scan”. I go do something else for a while and come back to a folder full of JPGs....

December 30, 2022 · 349 words

Tagging deleted messages in Notmuch

I use Notmuch in Emacs for managing my email. It’s fast, powerful, and (once used to it) easy to use. There are a few oddities I’ve learned to work around. The first is with deleting messages. The manual for Notmuch states: Notmuch does not support, nor ever will, the deleting of messages Notmuch manual I’m ok with this, since Notmuch provides a way to essentially bury deleted messages using tags. I don’t necessarily need to actually delete the message file....

September 21, 2022 · 304 words

C-x C-c

I rage-quit Emacs this morning. By that, I don’t mean that I hit C-x C-c really hard, although I did do that. I mean I stopped using Emacs. ...

June 29, 2022 · 283 words

The West Wing (Show) Productivity System

The last time I rewatched “The West Wing” I was once again impressed by how good people were at their jobs. How productive everyone was. I wondered how I could be that productive. ...

April 12, 2022 · 292 words

Workflow: Capture One and Apple Photos

I’ve gone through many photographic workflows. Each time, I’m certain that I’ve figured out what works best for me. Finally! Then a few months later I switch back or come up with something new. I wish I would stop doing this, but I probably never will. So, I have a new workflow ???? There is a part of me that really wants to let Adobe deal with everything. Wouldn’t it be great if I didn’t have to organize, store, back up, or otherwise manage tens of thousands of image files?...

February 17, 2022 · 386 words

Too bad about the PrimeFilm XAs Scanner

Scanning 35mm film with a flatbed scanner isn’t great, so I bought a PrimeFilm XAs scanner to see if that would help. It didn’t. The XAs creates large, sharp scans…when it works. I was excited by the prospect of scanning an entire roll of 35mm film in one go. Just feed the film into one end and it comes out the other, leaving behind up to 36 5000dpi scans. Unfortunately, it hasn’t turned out that way....

December 14, 2021 · 246 words