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Travel Tips

35 Things That Make Travel Suck Less

I resisted these for years, a) because they're expensive and b) because the recommended models tended to be bulky over-the-ear types (e.g. Bose QC-15s) which can get hot and suck if you wear a hat. This was dumb. If you travel a lot, I recommend you go out right now and get the Bose 20's. You have no idea how loud flights actually are until you wear a set of these. The noise-canceling is absurd, they charge over micro-USB and they're comfortable in-ear headphones. Seriously, they're magic. Unless you're an audiophile, in which case you're on your own and may God have mercy on your soul.

I keep looking at these on Amazon (I'd need the QC-20i model for iPhones). I don't travel enough to justify $299, but I keep being tempted.

Maybe for Christmas or something…

Girls and Coding

A Teenager Gets Grilled By Her Dad About Why She’s Not That Into Coding and Girls Who Code.

1Password Keyboard Shortcuts

1Password for Mac Tips: meet 1Password mini and its not-so-mini list of shortcuts

Cmd-O is nice.

Save Documents Locally by Default

Saving locally by default:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

Reason for this: Yosemite Uploads Unsaved Documents and Recent Addresses to iCloud

MapsConnect from Apple


Happy Birthday Wife

My wife only gets better with age.

Today, she's 37.

And I made sure she knew it. 😉

My Next Desktop May be an iMac

Assuming I can find the storage space I need1, it's being reviewed quite favorably.

Full review here.

  1. I have four 3-TB drives on my Mac Pro. Only two contain original content. One is the Time Machine backup, and the other is a cloned nightly bootable backup drive. At any rate, a simple Thunderbolt multi-drive dock may be all I need. And a Thunderbolt scanner, I guess, too, since I still have a Firewire scanner that works really well with VueScan. []

CVS, Apple Pay, and CurrentC

Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out Apple Pay


Retailers are banding together to:

  • Keep more money for themselves
  • Limit choices for consumers (you can still pay with your VISA, at no extra cost to the retailer, but you can't do it by waving your phone in front of a machine?)
  • Directly withdraw payments from your checking account
  • Decrease security for consumers (CC companies, and Apple, care about security. Retailers have proven they do not.)
  • Force QR Codes (seriously, QR Codes???) on people

Again, NOT supporting Apple Pay is dumb. They will not be able to say "we don't take VISA" any time soon, so they're literally limiting you to SWIPING your card instead of the more secure NFC way of one-time numbers and sharing/storing no personal information.

I hope Apple and Google simply don't allow these apps to be sold. Not that it's a necessary move.

Shame on you, MCX and Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite-Aid, Best Buy, 7-11, etc.

Yosemite’s Look and Feel

Thoughts on Yosemite's Look and Feel

In the meantime, though, I find Yosemite lacking in polish, full of awkward decisions and unresolved tensions. Safari, in particular, seems to have trouble balancing theory—the idea that the same software on iOS and OS X should share a structurally similar user interface—with execution—its symmetrical arrangement of interface elements is not all that symmetrical in practice, and its buttons seem improvised and lacking in care.

SMS Forwarding Rocks

Worth the price1 of Yosemite alone.


  1. Even if it was still $29 []

Aperture -> Lightroom Import Plugin

Aperture import plugin now available. Step-by-step directions are here.

The plugin of course does not import ANY modifications to the images. It just imports the raw images right across.

I'm waiting to see what Photos brings. Apple has supposedly said they'd support Yosemite at least, and Aperture launches and works on Yosemite right now, so I'm waiting.

I'm still pissed, but I'm waiting.

Apple Pay Available… Kinda

None of my four credit cards (three are debit, one of which is PayPal) support it yet.


Get on the ball, PNC.

Apple Pay: An in-depth look at what's behind the secure payment system

OS X Yosemite Annoyances

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review

  1. Safari Tabs - I preferred the old way. This "scrolling" view is stupid.
  2. Safari Page Titles - Who needs 'em? Oh wait, I do. A tab is simply too small a space for important information like the name of the page (or an image's dimensions, etc.).
  3. iTunes - Don't get me started. I prefer the much more "data-centric" over "pretty" view I could have in the old iTunes.
  4. Color scheme - I've gotten used to it, but at first it's not appealing.
  5. Change to "Grow" button - At least the option key allows me to have the old behavior…
  6. Finder still loses open windows - I can repeat this with 100% accuracy. If I have a minimized window and I log out and back in (or reboot), the window is "lost" when I un-minimize it. Killing the Finder restores the window, and I've deleted the saved state, the caches, and everything else I can think of. 100% reproducible, and has been since at least 10.9.0, maybe even 10.8.0.
  7. Time Machine goofed up - It showed, but didn't let me access, any of the old backups. So I deleted the entire volume and restarted a fresh Time Machine backup. Lame.
  8. Continuity? - Seriously, the fact that it doesn't work on my 2012 Mac Pro is a freaking joke.
  9. Slow Mail Inbox - Mail is incredibly, inconceivably slow, particularly to display my inbox. I can watch messages appear, dates change formats, and so on. Seriously, clicking my Inbox - with about 300 messages total in it - takes several seconds.
  10. iMessages - It's still stupid with Group messages. It's still far too easily for someone to reply to a group message thread but have it create a NEW group message thread on other computers/iPhones/etc.

Continuity Fail: 'Continuity Activation Tool' Enables Handoff on Older Macs - Mac Rumors, Yosemite’s Handoff feature may not be compatible with all Macs and dokterdok/Continuity-Activation-Tool · GitHub

Some good things: OS X Yosemite: Tips, Tricks, and Details

Gone Girl

Boring. Don't bother to see it if you've heard about the plot.

Seriously, not one interesting part.

And some seriously fucked up people. Who stays with that woman in the end? And why was the woman like that at all?

You can't relate to either of the main characters. Or even the sister.

The only person who makes any sense or is relatable at all is the police woman.

CrashPlan for Local Backups?

A comment here: Begemann's Backblaze Review

- I've replace Time Machine (which repeatedly failed and erased my history) with Crashplan for lokal backup as well as cloud backup. Very convenient. Even when I'm away from home the backup goes to my local backup at home. (And then there is the option to backup to friends on off site location, although I have not used it yet.)


I'm still a little annoyed that a developer for Code42 said that they would have a native (i.e. not Java) version of CrashPlan available for Mac OS X by the time Mavericks shipped, and yet here I am on Yosemite still running a barely updated version.

As much as John Gruber loves Backblaze, I'm quite happy having chosen CrashPlan given the many limitations of Backblaze.