roadrunnertwice: Jane from Octopus Pie, mashing a button with a maniacal expression. (OctopusPie.Jane - PRESS)

I happened to be near an Apple gear store the other day, and decided to stop in and see what the deal is with those new laptops. I won't upgrade my computer for probably another two years, but I still like to keep my eye on what they're up to, and they went in some odd and controversial directions with last year's new Pros. So I wanted to get some hands-on time and see whether I minded the interface changes.

Well, 15m in a store doesn't hold a candle to a solid workday for shaking out new hardware, but I'm not really worried about the new Macs anymore:

  • I actually love that new keyboard. It's like they made a keyboard specifically for me — I've always preferred laptop keyboards, and this is probably the most laptoppy laptop keyboard ever made. It's got the minimum workable amount of vertical travel, combined with a really pleasing amount of feedback so you don't have to slap down on it. And somehow the keys are a lot wider while still using the same layout distances, and my fingers like that a lot. It's fast and comfortable, and I hope they make an external version of it.
  • I'm really into that trackpad too. Gotta turn the click force up to "firm," but then it's 👌🏼.
  • I don't know about that Touch Bar yet. I'm pretty much on-board with the idea, I've been wanting something like that for ages, but it'll take more time using it before I know whether they stuck the landing, and I expect there'll be some more improvements to it in the next few years. I kind of want it to be a second trackpad, with the clickiness and all.

So yeah, by the time upgrade year rolls around, the successors to these will hopefully be just what I'm looking for.

Also hopefully they'll be cheaper. :|

roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Overcompensating.WeedmasterP - Shitbox)

For the last six years or so, I’ve used this thing called MagicPrefs to add a middle click to my laptop trackpad and to the Apple "Magic Mouse."

(Why am I using a magic mouse? Well.

  • I mouse lefty because me and my wrist tendons Made A Deal, and ambi mice are weirdly rare. I guess all the lefties are mousing righty.
  • I hate tall contoured mice that make me arch my hand, WHY is this considered acceptable ergonomics??? The MM is the flattest mouse I've ever seen.
  • Horizontal scrolling rules.
  • Whole-hand left-clicking [as opposed to one-finger] rules.

I should probably just get an external trackpad, tho.)

But anyway, MagicPrefs is weird old abandonware, and I'm a li'l concerned about its future, so I’m turning it off for a few days to see if I can handle living without a middle click.

Results so far are mixed, by which I mean I feel like I'm going out of my mind.

roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Overcompensating.WeedmasterP - Shitbox)
So I use an RSS reader to keep up with comics, blogs, essays, music, and a certain amount of srs bsns. At some point over the last five years, all RSS readers got eaten by Google Reader, and those that remained all used Google Reader to sync across devices. Then Google killed off Reader at the start of this month and everything was thrown into disarray and all my shit (NetNewsWire across a couple computers and an iPad) stopped working. Booooo.

Now I get to play with a bunch of not-totally-satisfactory newcomers to try and find something I don't mind. Supposedly my formerly beloved NetNewsWire is going to have SOME unspecified syncing solution and new mobile apps at SOME unspecified time, but Black Pixel missed the July 1 bricking deadline. Which kind of blew the goodwill I was holding out for them, and as far as I'm concerned they're starting from square zero with me, since a bunch of other folk have things that actually work today. They could well win anyway, but NNW can't be my path of least resistance anymore.

Anyway, first up is Digg Reader, just because what? Digg? That's a thing again? And because it was free. I've used it for three days or so by now.

I really like the per-article experience in their iPad app; it's enjoyable to read with, and it's easy to move back and forth between the naked feed version and the full website version of a post. And at first, when everything was unread because my shit had been broken for days, the experience of moving between articles was pretty nice too, with that scroll-to-the-bottom-and-keep-scrolling control.

Alas, less so when you have a mix of read and unread stuff. There's no "next unread" control, so you have to go back to the list and search through the haystack when you start hitting repeats. The read and unread articles only differ by font weight in the list view, so there isn't a blue dot or anything I can scan for, and I can't distinguish font weights when scrolling at speed. The unread counts in the source list are kind of wonky and unreliable. And the keep-scrolling-to-next control, which I like when I'm reading a whole list, is kind of crap if you decide to move on without finishing the current article; too much scrolling for what should be one button-press.

The web interface is just like Google Reader, but again, it doesn't let you filter down to just unread articles, so you have to manually search for 'em if there's a mix.

All that's awkward enough that I don't think I'll stick with it. What should I try next?
roadrunnertwice: DTWOF's Lois in drag. Dialogue: "Dude, just rub a little Castrol 30 weight into it. Works for me." (DTWOF.Lois - Castrol)
I got annoyed at something earlier today and decided to fix it, and FastScripts was once again the first tool I reached for, so I decided to finally shell out for it.

For the curious: I got sick of downloading PDFs I only intend to read once and then having them clog up the downloads folder, and I wanted a command to trash the file right from the PDF reader. (Preview isn't scriptable, of course, but you should be using Skim anyway.)

tell application "Skim"

set current_file to file of document of window 1

tell window 1 to close

tell application "Finder" to delete current_file

end tell

roadrunnertwice: Highway sign indicating nearby spam and grey water disposal area. (BadGods - Spam tank)
Whoa hey, looks like Apple just released a new EVERYTHING. I'm kind of just waiting on all of it, though, which mostly comes down to making sure I don't miss a crypto window on upgrading my hacked iPhone -- that shit gets silly fast, by the way, remind me to tell you about it someday -- and trying to decide on a spreadsheet to replace the direly agèd copy of Excel that came with my old iBook.

Spreadsheet dorks: Numbers or the new Excel? I actually quite liked Excel '07 for Windows, and thought Numbers '09 felt kind of flimsy by comparison, but I'm still on the fence a bit, because it's $150 vs. a combined $30 for both Mac and iOS. Plus, I don't reeeeeally need that awesome bolt-on regex substitution function anymore, since it was mostly a workaround for being stranded on computers without proper text editors or language runtimes.
roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Overcompensating.WeedmasterP - Shitbox)
So I was just thinking that I missed being able to automatically post the current music to LJ, back when I was using Xjournal. And that got me thinking about whether I could rig something up to just type the current track into the web form for me, right? Answer: Hell yes, I can! It is Applescript, and is predictably barbaric. Check it out:

Paste current iTunes track.scpt:

Some barbaric Applescript )

(I was originally going to just use the keystroke function to actually TYPE the text, instead of blowing away the clipboard, but this turns out to result in comedy for tracks with any non-ASCII characters.)

And then when I was about to post about how cool this was, I ran smack into how annoying it is to turn formatted RTF-ey text into a useful HTML fragment. So I wrote a script to do THAT for me, too. This one requires an external tool called "premailer," so you'll have to install that with gem.

This one SHOULD work with styled text copied from Word, TextEdit, or basically anywhere, but I haven't tested it very thoroughly yet.

Convert RTF clipboard to HTML fragment.scpt:

More barbaric Applescript )

As ever, just paste these into Applescript Editor, save them in ~/Library/scripts, and run them with FastScripts.
roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Overcompensating.WeedmasterP - Shitbox)
Oh hey, what the fuck, Tweetie 2 I mean Twitter for Mac finally came out? That was unexpected. Well, if there's one thing I love, it's being kind of a bitch about Twitter clients, so let's ride:
  • It's got support for lists! I think it's the first Twitter app for Mac that does the list thing and yet doesn't seem misguided and broken on a totally fundamental level. (Nambu's probably the closest behind, but I really can't stand it.)
    • Unfortunately, it doesn't expose them flatly the way Twitterrific for iPad does, so you have to drill down every time to get to them. Bogus.
  • Not down with this slide-and-stack UI nonsense they've got going on. Honestly, what the hell is supposed to be happening in this metaphor? That this stack keeps getting taller and taller every time I change views makes me nervous, like I'm going to have to clean it all up someday when the pile tips over and gets all over the foyer. I am only 30% joking, here.
    • On the other hand, I thought the Twitter for iPad UI was godawful at first, but they improved it pretty dramatically in the minor updates. Maybe they'll make it more spatially coherent in a month or three.
  • I've gotten used to Itsy's inline images, which make TfM's popups seem rather outdated in comparison.
  • Ha—when I unplugged my monitor, the window stayed taller than my MacBook's screen; now it won't auto-shrink, and there's no way to grab the resize control. Enjoy the land beyond the bottom of the screen, little window! Go where no man has gone before!
  • Hmm, the keyboard shortcuts seem pretty rich. That's nice.
  • It's still got the ability to do multiple tweet windows, which was always nice to have when I needed it. Does any other app else do that, or is that still Tweetie-only?
  • But DO NOT WANT tweet windows that hover over the top of everything. Eew. I understand the problem they were trying to solve, but I disapprove. I'd prefer that they come to the fore whenever any Twitter window was active but act like normal windows the rest of the time.
  • It's still tough to tell whether the main window is active, but that's less annoying than it was when it looked like it should dim the way normal Leopard/Snow Leopard windows do.
  • Feels pretty fast!
  • I can't remember: Was there ever any actual apology for that debacle where MacHeist and Atebits sold vaporware sneak peeks of Tweetie 2 and basically never delivered? *checks* Hahaha—looks like there's this, and also that, for whatever those're worth.
Anyway, all told I'd say it's a pretty decent app. I'm using it for now. Still hoping Twitterrific for Mac ends up living up to the promise of the iPad version. (Man, come to think of it, that update's been pending for even longer than Tweetie 2, hasn't it?)
roadrunnertwice: Dialogue: "Craigslist is killing mothra." (CatAndGirl.Cat - Web 2.0)

It has officially been months since I've wasted everyone's time talking about computer bullshit up in here, so let's geek out for a second.

  • Git is the shit and I'm basically in love with it. That's pretty much all there is to say about that.
  • I'm out of love with Simplenote, alas. It was the first iPad writing app that made sense to me, but it started corrupting my text (while I was watching, even!), which is pretty much the one thing I just can't forgive in an app. After I lost a sentence in one of my Turkey diaries and couldn't remember what it'd been, I ditched Simplenote for good, got a Dropbox account, and started using PlainText instead. It's better in some ways (it plays very well with Garbage Book and FMP, for instance) and worse in a few (no search), but since it hasn't thrown away part of my brain as of yet, it currently wins by default.
    • By the way, Dropbox is the shit and I'm basically in love with it. Yes, I am late to the fucking party; what of it.
  • The developer of PlainText also has a to-do list app called TaskPaper, and after extensive consideration I have decided that—evidence of an unfortunate addiction to InterCaps aside—it rocks. The deal is that I've tried working with task managing apps before, and I apparently can't handle any of their interfaces; if it's more complicated than a piece of paper or a text editor buffer, it gets in my way and I eventually just stop using it. (Bonus Kill It W/ Fire points for any app that has a concept of calendar-tied due dates.) Which, fine: I've always just fallen back to using paper or a text editor buffer, and they're perfectly respectable tools.

    As far as I'm concerned, the following are the only problems with using paper and text for to-do lists:

    • They're hard to maintain. Eventually, a to-do list is going to get clogged up with finished tasks, and the only cure is to spend way too long on either re-writing it or deleting the dross.
    • They're not very introspectable. You can do a single-aspect hierarchy pretty easily, but it's a lot more annoying to, say, make an ad-hoc sub-view of tasks you've picked to do today or which have to happen when you're at home.
    • Also, and this is basically less important than anything but it gets on my nerves anyway? "Crossing out" an item in plaintext is kind of fiddly and abstract. Like, how do you even do that? Put an "x" in front of the line? Turn the - bullet into a +? Guh.

    TaskPaper solves all of those without actually making the interface any more complicated than paper or a text buffer, so it wins. I used up its 30-day trial and thought it wasn't really all that special, and then I proceded to get incredibly annoyed at its absence on an almost daily basis, so I ponied up. If you like to-do lists, you should give it a try too.

  • I think my favorite thing about that rubberized iPad folio Apple makes is how schmutzy and gross it gets. No, seriously, I mean it. It signals that its contents are for use and/or abuse, and for someone with a mild fear of Owning Nice Things, that's more useful than it sounds. Also, the unique patterns of filth make it easier to tell otherwise-identical iPads apart.
  • So in Vim, the D key generally indicates destruction, right? dd = delete the current line; D = delete to end of line? Except that ctrl-d means scroll down half a page. This is my Vim face: -_-
roadrunnertwice: A roadrunner *actually running on a road.* (Roadrunner - Going faster miles an hour)
I learned how to talk to Growl today! Hello, Growl.

Context here is that I'm trying to abandon ship on Quicksilver on account of its oldness, staleness, and general decrepitude, but since I used it for such a weird variety of stuff, I'm having to get a little creative on how to replace it. In this case, I'd rigged QS to throw a Growl alert describing the currently playing track in iTunes whenever I whacked a certain hotkey, and since I wasn't interested in running a whole extra app just for that, I figured I could probably roll my own thingamabob and trigger it with FastScripts.

I figured right! And here's the goods: )

For reasons that are somewhat complicated, you'll have to paste that into AppleScript Editor and save it, then uncomment that one line, run the script a single time, and close the file without saving. After that, it'll work just fine, and you can set the display options for the alert in Growl's preference pane; the name of the application will be "iTunes Track Alert."

(Yes, I could have just left that line uncommented and skipped that extra step, but that seemed to make it run slower when I was testing it, and it really does only have to happen once.)

Incidentally, my hacked-up-in-an-afternoon-bullshit-AppleScript replacement for this feature turns out to be better than Quicksilver's version, because it shows the artwork even when it's not embedded in the file and can display the track's rating. Take that!
roadrunnertwice: Dee perpetrates some Mess. (LittleDee.Dee - Hail Eris!)

I've been dicking around with all kinds of computer shit lately! It is way exciting, you don't even know. Well, you're about to know, I mean. You know.

Item one! I'm learning Perl! High time, I know, especially considering my living situation. Basically, I have a hard time learning a large system without a project, so my tactic was to let an (if we're being honest here) totally trivial and absurd potential project take up enough of my mental space that I would basically be forced to learn it. I am getting very close to wanting to share the result, because it basically works now, but it's got a silly dependency chain, it's hella slow, and there are one or two known bugs. I'm pretty sure I can fix all of these! So you'll see it eventually, and it'll make your life better, because it's the shit. Even if it is trivial and absurd.

Item two! If you have an iPad, stop what you're doing and immediately download Simplenote. After it's all set up and you've made an account, download Notational Velocity (assuming you use a Mac), set it up to sync with Simplenote, and change the storage schema to plain text files. The effect is AMAZING; basically, it's a single pile of notes that's always effortlessly in sync on all relevant devices.

It's basically obvious what to do from there, but I did have one trick I wanted to share, which is that if you want a shortcut to open a note in a different text editor from its representation in NV, you can highlight the note title with cmd-L, grab the text with a OS X Service, and use Applescript to turn that into a real file path and open it. Like this, more or less:

on process(inputText)
    set notefilename to ((path to application support folder from user domain) ¬
as string) & "Notational Data:" & inputText & ".txt"
    tell application "BBEdit"
        open notefilename
        activate
    end tell
end process

To be used with ThisService, natch. I think there'll be a more elegant way to do this in the next version of NV, but this works.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
When I tried Chrome on Mac for the first time, it failed hard when I tried to read my Dreamwidth subscriptions, and since messing with that is just an absolute no-go, I gave up. BSing with Kip tonight got me antsy, though, and I started trying to figure out what was up. I think I finally tracked down the straight dope, albeit in a confused and forum-y form: It looks as though using any sort of professional font manager basically makes Chrome go apeshit. (Sometimes.)

I use (a slightly older version of) Linotype's FontExplorer X; not so much because I'm some big-shot graphic whossit, but because it's actually less confusing than Apple's Font Book for most things. FEX stores added fonts in its own Application Support folder and redirects font requests there in a way I don't entirely understand, and apparently Chrome doesn't understand it either, because whenever it's asked to use a font that exists but isn't stored in /Library/Fonts or ~/Library/Fonts, it'll go all AAAAAAAAA on you. Conversely, if you don't ever visit pages that ask for fonts under external management (or your manager just stores its shit in one of the usual font locations), I think it never complains. Just sucks for me that I went with Candara for my reading page.

Apparently this has to do with the way Chrome sandboxes itself to kingdom come, because messages like this get spat to the console:
1/10/10 Jan 10, 9:39PM sandboxd[27057] Google Chrome He(27058) deny file-read-data /Users/nick/Library/Application Support/FontExplorer X/Font Library/C/Candara/Candara.ttf

Now, I think Chrome's aggressive approach to sandboxing and self-distrust is actually fucking badass, and it's one of the things that's most exciting about the program; between that and separate processes for every tab, they leapfrogged over every existing browser in terms of dealing with the modern web, and everyone else is struggling to catch up. But they've got to fix this shit fast, because barfing mojibake whenever it's used on a machine owned by a graphic designer is maybe not the best way to gain whuffie. (And even though I don't technically need FEX, I'm certainly not going to learn how to use stupid Font Book just to try out a new web browser.)

Epilogue

Dec. 20th, 2009 03:36 pm
roadrunnertwice: Rodney the Second Grade T-Ball Jockey displays helpful infographics. (BF.Rodney - Ass increases w/ T-ball^2)

I played with Scrivener during November, and had decidedly mixed feelings about it. So I decided I should give the other main IDEs-for-prose a shot! My feelings about them were decidedly un-mixed.


Ulysses 2.0: I tried the first version back in '06 or so and loathed it, but my tastes have changed, and I figured its focus on markup-based* formatting might appeal more to me than Scrivener's NSTextView WYSIWYG. Yeah, no. God no. This program runs so counter to the way my brain works that I actually have a hard time imagining the existence of people who find it useful.** It has all the failings of an integrated writing environment, but it consciously rejects all of the benefits. I absolutely remember why I threw it aside last time and just went with BBEdit and a folder fulla text files.

StoryMill: Also no dice; even reading through the tutorial file made my head kind of spin. The dealkiller here was how much fidgeting and toggling and administrative nonsense you have to go through to do anything. Are you typing in the "Notes," or the "Text," or the "Chapter?" It's all the same text field, and you have to constantly fiddle with these controls at the top to make sure you're in the right place, which, NO, I have better things to do with my attention. (Also! It failed at importing some UTF8 text files and spat mojibake throughout. WTF? This is 2009, yo, I should not need to babysit charset conversion.)


In the meantime, it turned out that Scrivener'd made a good enough case for its utility during the trial period that I did, in fact, miss it. I have issues with it, but it's... actually a pretty good implementation of something that will make part of what I do a whole lot easier. And it fits with my current write-in-bits-on-the-train thing really really well. So, I bought it.


* Just for the record, what bugs me most about WYSIWYG composition is modal emphasis with no indicator. As in, you're looking at the screen and there is a blinking cursor: when you type something, is it going to be bold or italic? WHO KNOWS. Drives me bats. (Brief props: MS Word slants the cursor when you're in itals, which is cool. Everyone should do that, and make it blocky when you're in bold. That would solve the problem perfectly. But I seem to be the only person who's infuriated by the current situation, so whatever. Grumph.)

** Obviously they're around, and I am glad they enjoy it. Space aliens deserve good software too!

roadrunnertwice: Crow perched on a trail signpost. (Crow on signposts)
Man, I have been trying to love Scrivener, and just have not found the trick yet. I like the idea of it, I think. I mean, an IDE for prose! Down with file management! What a great idea! But I've been using the extended NaNoWriMo trial edition, and its theoretical charms continue to outweigh its day-to-day appeal.

For one thing, it's WYSIWYG, which I've been kind of down on ever since I discovered HTML; doing formatting inline tends to bite me on the ass later. (Which is to say, I understand why people used to get all het up about WordPerfect's "reveal codes" thingummy and everyone else's lack thereof.) The export functionality is pretty impressive, but still requires a bunch of cleanup before it's ready to hit the web. Also, it seems like there're too many fidgety places to enter text? Which of these am I supposed to treat like I'll ever read them again, and which are write-only?

Well, anyway: I actually really like the texture on the corkboard. And how easy it is to split and re-arrange files. (Like Fission for prose!) And the way it'll do what can only be called a "build." And that it has some metadata about each snippet. (Not sure whether it needs THAT much, but.) Basically, I think I like the idea of editing with it, but that part isn't quite where I want it to be yet, and I can't stand composing in it.

If anyone here uses it, I'd love to hear what you dig about it.
roadrunnertwice: Yehuda biking in the rain. (YehudaMoon.Yehuda - Rain)

HERE IS THE UPDATE.

  • I went with my parents and brother to see Ian Anderson last night! And it was amazing. I can't really name Jethro Tull as my favorite band or anything, but they've kind of always been there as a constant presence in my life, and it was truly wonderful to finally see someone I... well, basically grew up with.
  • I went alone to go see The Mountain Goats on Wednesday night (again, I'm trying to get back into my old live music groove). Totally bitchin' show, and my first time to the Wonder Ballroom. (Which is in walking distance of my apartment, as it turns out!) I also ended up running into Steve and Sara after the show, which was lovely.
  • Work is work. It's taking up a lot of my energy, and I've been thinking various thoughts about how to wall it off a little better.
  • I upgraded my OS, finally. (After hearing a couple of horror stories, I decided to wait until 10.6.2 dropped before braving it. Worked like a charm.) My favorite Snow Leopard feature so far:

    keyboard layout switcher panel

    'Nuff said. It's basically the same damn thing, but I do like what they did with Exposé and a couple other things.

  • When I'm not working or sleeping or eating or writing or learning Cocoa or reading the internet, I've been playing Final Fantasy XII. Yes, I am behind the times. I'm not very far in it, but I'm liking it a LOT. Also, I realize the battle system was meant as a way to integrate developments from the Massively Multiplayer side of the RPG family tree into the divergent JRPG branch, but honestly, what the experience of it reminds me most of is Secret of Mana. And hurray for that.
  • You guys are reading Homestuck, right? You had better be reading Homestuck.

Help?

Aug. 22nd, 2009 03:39 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Akira - Unsteady Romantic)
Hi, everyone. I need to borrow an Intel Mac; I think (though I'm not positive) that any variety will work.

Short version is that I destroyed my MacBook. It's my fault twice or three times over (details eventually, once the *headdesk* subsides), and I feel pretty crappy about it all. Near as I can tell at this moment, it's totalled, in that I could get a refurb machine for barely more than the repairs would cost. Even if that turns out to be mistaken (and Schwern or someone he knows may well be able to help, who knows), it's going to take lots of time and/or money to fix it, and wouldn't you know it, I'm a little short on both just now.

However, my data is fine. Better than fine: I have a days-old bootable clone of my hard disk, and can use it to run a ghost of my computer on (I think) any Intel Mac.

And so yeah, hat in hand time. If any of my Portland friends has an Intel Mac they can spare for a while, I am in desperate temporary need. This wouldn't entail making any changes to your HD (and in fact, will probably work fine even if the machine doesn't have one). I just need my computer (or its ghost) back for a few weeks while I deal with the recent implosion of the REST of my life. I'll be your dipping sauce bitch!
Annotated Pilgrim: Dipping Sauce Bitch
(from Scott Pilgrim vol. 3, I think)


Yours,
N
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (DTWOF - Mischief Brewin')

Bikeshop accomplished! I overhauled my headset! Even better, duder and I solved a mystery. Since I've had Brigadelle, her headset has had an irritating tendency to loosen itself over time. At first, I was like what the fuck; after I'd adjusted it once or twice, I started chalking it up to me not reefing down hard enough on the locknut. Then, after the pros at Olybikes tightened it down (it was in for something else and they were like "whoa"), it came loose AGAIN, after which I once again didn't know what the hell was going on. But today... Today, I learned the shocking truth.

Cut for the interesting but not actually particularly shocking truth. )

Dep't of Disseminating Vital Information: To tell whether your headset is de-adjusted, you basically raise the front of your bike by the handlebars and drop it back down on the wheel, and if it clanks instead of thudding, consider getting it looked at. Alternately, you can lift the front end of the bike, keep the bars straight, and pull/push the wheel+fork forward and back, and if it rocks and clanks, trouble. It's generally not a life-threatening issue, but the longer you ride on a maladjusted component, the more likely you are to need expensive repairs down the line.

(Supposedly you're supposed to get your headset overhauled once a year, but I'm pretty sure this one hadn't been dismantled since at least 2006.)


Also, I gave in and bought myself a fancy-pants Apple chiclet keyboard. Bit of a splurge, but I'm already way more comfortable at this desk, and it's just going to make reading and writing a shit-ton easier. It's a tool of my damn trade; I figure it's worth it. (Plus, it looks like they're popular enough to actually hold their value well, so a: getting one used won't save you any real money, and b: if times get tight, I can sell it for 70-80% of its new price.)

I got a wired one, because I still have a functional wired Mighty Mouse to use with it, and I went with the big version with the numerical pad. My theory is that Apple dropped the 10-key pad from the new pack-in keyboards because these side-by-side keyboards are a kind of hacky design, and are really only suited for right-handed people who mouse with their left hands. —Which is to say, me.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Ryoga is lost.)

Things are happening and stuff! Constantly! Zzzzoooommm.

So yeah, dump post. )

And that is what's up.

roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (BF - Vast and solemn spaces)

I'm testing out one of those new Mac builds of Chromium (via), and it is actually kind of awesome! Feels sleek.


Lately I haven't been posting as often as I otherwise might have, because it turns out that I'm actually kind of reliant on having a native-app LJ client. And they all suck right now.

Xjournal used to be awesome, but it doesn't work with Dreamwidth and is stagnant these days anyway. iJournal always kinda sucked, and now it hasn't been touched for three years. MarsEdit technically works, but its DW and LJ support is... lacking. asLJ is too new to trust, Deepest Sender kind of defeats the purpose of using a client in the first place, and nothing supports the DW crossposter. So I have to post via a web form, which shouldn't slow me down as much as it does, but it does, so.


I AM MOVING HOUSE. Gonna go live with Schwern in inner Northeast! It'll be rad. I have not even started packing yet. Expect me to become increasingly bugfuck insane until the 6th or so.

The place I'm moving into is a 2nd-floor apartment in a brick building that kind of reminds me of my digs in Minneapolis. Not anything close to identical, but familiar enough to immediately feel like home.


That is a rather large spider in the bathroom, isn't it? I have granted her Not My Problem status, on the condition that she gets off the counter within the next half hour.


Writing continues to be difficult. DON' WANNA TALK 'BOUT IT.


It's one of those nights where The Replacements are once again everything I could ever want from pop music.


So yeah, this is my new job. I likes it lots. Folks is cool. Things:

  • The yarn world is far larger and stranger than I imagined.
  • Indigo is awesome. No, seriously, it's the weirdest shit. Reacts on oxygen contact! Changes color as you watch!
  • We get free coffee. My caffeine tolerance has shot through the roof.
  • The shop runs on this app called POS·IM, which apparently has a 20-year lineage and is One Hairy-Ass Beast. It's got a majorly schizoid personality. On the one hand, it's been polished for 20 years to suit the needs of small-to-midsize retail outfits, and in general, the developers have thought of everything you will need to do with the thing. On the other hand, the interface seems to be held together with baling wire and fun-tak, the search capabilities are about the least sophisticated I've ever seen, and none of the features seem able to decide whether they're made for database-savvy power users or the technically-disinclined. The manual is written in at least two, probably more like three different voices, which switch off without discernible pattern and use distinctly different sets of vocabulary. It perversely re-invents every available wheel. It makes it frustratingly fidgety and tedious to make any large-scale changes to the inventory, and frighteningly easy to wreck vast havoc.
    • I am absolutely confident in my ability to bend it to my will. JUST YOU WAIT.
  • No, I don't know how to knit yet. Gimme another week or two.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
I just remembered that I still have a (useless-to-me) retail copy of Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.0) sitting around. May as well get it out of here; anyone need an upgrade? Works on PPC and Intel Macs. Not installed on any extant computers (not that this matters with OS X). Comes with shiny-pants box, etc.

$50; email nick dot fagerlund on gmail or leave a (screened) comment.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Hail Eris!!@1)
One of my favorite apps just leveled up! Ladies and gentlemen, VoodooPad 4! VoodooPad is the shit—everyone I've ever showed it to has gone "oooooooooh." You may or may not have a use for it, but as your attorney, I recommend that you take the "lite" version for a spin and see where you end up.

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roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Nick Eff

May 2017

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If you pass the rabid child, say "hammer down" for me.

The Fell Types are digitally reproduced by Igino Marini.

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