hjertnes.blog

Siri Improvements

18.01.2015 01:00

John Gruber:

My point here isn’t “Siri is better than Google Voice Search”, or even “Siri is as good as Google Voice Search”. Once you get past the superficial level, they’re different enough that it’s hard to make a blanket one-is-better-than-the-other comparison. I’d even agree that Google Voice Search is better at many complex queries, and, further, that “What’s the temperature?” is a very simple question.

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The Perfect Laptop

18.01.2015 01:00

Ben Brooks:

The first thing we have to realize is that there is no perfect laptop. What is perfect for one person won’t be for another. It all depends on your values (speed, size, battery, screen, etc).

I have read many boring, a few interesting and many boring posts about the 12″ Macbook Air runmor the last few weeks. I don’t agree with everything in this one, but I agree with the general point. There is no perfect laptop.

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Macbook Air rumors.

11.01.2015 01:00

There have been a lot of talk about the recent Macbook Air rumors lately. Both Jason Snell and John Gruber have written excellent posts about it.

The Macbook Air is my favorite Apple device. It delivers something magical. You get the best battery capasity possible. And you also get a very capable laptop, with all the same ports and power that you get in the more expensive retina models. The only difference I see between the two is the screen and power. There are a few tasks when you notice it. Photoshop, Lightroom, Logic and Xcode. But it’s enough for almost everyone.

The rumor presents soemthing new. I don’t think it is something that could replace the current Macbook Air line; and I really hope it doesn’t. It seems more like something between the iPad and 11″ Air. There should be a cheap and very capable entry level mac; the 13″ Macbook Air is that. You have everything from USB to a SD slot.

I don’t think this rumor will lead anywhere. And a keyboard case from Apple, with a full sized keybarod that made it feel more like a laptop would be a lot more interesting that this.

Some people really want a Macbook Air with a retina screen; I’m not one of them. The retina models are more expensive, and their focus is a fantastic screen and more power under the hood. While the Macbook Air have another set of priorities; good enough, price and battery.

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The 2014 Panic Report

08.01.2015 01:00

Panic is a great software company, and they have made some of my all time favorite iOS and OS X apps. This blog post is amazing. I think it’s great to see how open they are, and to see them highlight some of the problems with iOS vs OS X.

Check it out!

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The Lamy 2000; and some pen & paper history.

08.01.2015 01:00

The original idea behind this article was just to write a few words about the new pen, ink and notebooks I got a few days ago. But then I changed my mind after the first draft. I’m going to give some real context, and some history.

I have been a pen and paper user for as long as I can remember. Cheap notebooks was the thing when I was in school. But then I started working. And the thing I used for years, at work was just a pile of A4 printer sheets. They were available, easy to scan and flexible. This phase lasted for a long time.

My deep dive into notebooks started in 2012. I can’t remember exactly why. But I started writing more away from a computer, and I started to not bring my Macbook to meetings. This was the point where I started to use notebooks again. I didn’t use anything fancy, I knew there was different paper and that they looked nicer, but I didn’t know what that meant for me. Why would 1 spend ten times as much on the same thing.

The point where I got into better notebooks is kind of fuzzy. But I think there was some kind of Moleskine sale going on, where I just picked up a few of them, to see what the deal was. One regular sized and one pocked sized.

Before we move on. I know that a lot of notebook geeks aren’t a big fan of Moleskine. I think they are great. The paper isn’t the best, and they are a little bit expensive. But the great thing about the Moleskine brand is that I can find a decent notebook in more or less any book store.

I noticed right away that these notebooks were great. And I started to use them more and more. It didn’t take a long time before a pocked sized Moleskine replaced my iPhone as my tool for taking notes when I wasn’t in front of a desk.

Me and pens are simpler. I have never been a regular “Bic” user. I didn’t like them, they where uncomfortable to use, and didn’t last very long. So, I have always been the kind of person that used something a little bit nicer. A lot of Gel pens, like the Pilot G2..

Then I discovered a podcast called The Pen Addict. It is a great podcast, and you should start at the beginning, if you start listening to it.

This was the moment when I started to get aware of different pens, different paper and got a genuine interest in the subject. The first thing I bought after I started to listen to the podcast was a Retro 51. This is still one of my favorite pens. It is not very expensive around $20, it’s the best regular pen I have ever used and the build quality is fantastic.

I lost my first one, but I bought another one, and it is still a part of my regular pen tool set.

I’m not the kind of person that cares about having a collection. I just like to have good tools, that will last me a very long time. That’s the reason I use a Macbook Air, that’s the reason I use an iPhone, that’s the reason I have a expensive pair of Bose headphones and that’s the reason I buy nice pens.

The second thing I got into as a direct result of the podcast was some very cool notebooks called Field Notes. This is actually a funny story. I just ordered a couple of packs of them to test it. Because I was very critical. They lack two qualities, that I still love about the hardcover pocked sized notebooks from Moleskine. Durability and it is easier to write on them when you don’t have a flat surface available. The former is something I haven’t focused too much on. I love how worn down Field Notes looks. And it isn’t often they fall apart. The lack of a hardcover also makes it possible to have them in your back pocket.

But the lack of hardcover notebooks is still something I miss. It’s not a huge issue. But I think it is a great feature.

The thing that sold my right out of the gate with Field Notes is the paper quality and price. They are kind of cheap, and the paper is great. You can use everything from a Bic to a fountain pen.

My notebooks setup is more or less the same as when I discovered Field Notes. I always carry them in my backpocket for writing down tasks and small notes. And I use the regular black Moleskine to take notes in meeting and lectures. The newest addiction is the Leuchtturm 1917, I use them for my paper journal.

Then I got into fountain pens. It was a concern for me. Dry time is always a issue for me. I’m a left handed writer. I ordered two entry level fountain pens, just to see what it was like. It was a Pilot Metropolitan and a Lamy Safari. Two great pens, except for the grip bullshit on the Safari. And I fell in love with it.

I decided to get a nice fountain pen about a year ago. And it was a long process. I looked at a lot of different pens. But there was one very distinct pen that I went for. And that was the Lamy 2000.

The pen looks great. It doesn’t look like a conventional fountain pen, but it has a very distinct a minimalistic german design, that I love. And I knew that a Lamy pen would be a very safe bet. I loved the nig on the Lamy Safari.

Now, I just had to do three things. First I wanted to get some advice from Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict podcast and blog. Just to make sure I didn’t make a stupid decision, to find a ink and get the money. And I just have to thank Brad here. He has always been helpful and have always taken the time to answer my stupid questions. Thanks [@dowdyism]10!

The ink question was hard. I needed to find a black ink, I don’t like blue inks. And it had to be a black ink with a fast dry time. I ended on: Noodler’s Bernanke Black, after advice from Brad.

I finally have all the tools I need. My two pens look good and will probably outlast me. And I have all the notebooks I need. And they all work great together.

The funny thing about having a really nice pen and a really good notebook, is that I spend way more time journaling than I should. I just want to spend more time writing with my fancy pen. When I probably should write something for this site.

One final note. I have ordered from many sites over the years. Most of my pen and papers purchases are through JetPens. They are great. Great selection, good prices and fair prices on shipping to Norway. But I went to GouletPens to order my Lamy 2000. My experience dealing with them, was more or less like JetPens, until I got the package. Their packing was very impressive. I love it when they make sure it’s packed in a safe manner, while still making it very easy to unpack it. I will without doubt buy more stuff from them.

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My favorite stuff from 2014, Part 1

06.01.2015 01:00

Brett Terpstra:

It’s that time of year again. Well, I’m actually a little late, but it was an especially busy holiday season.

This is my annual list of the apps, both old and new, that I found the most useful over the past year (2014). There are some exclusions, and there are probably some I forgot, but it’s a pretty complete list. I’m including some of the hardware purchases I’ve loved this last year as well.

This is part one of two. Part two will focus on utilities and dev tools. This post includes backup and sync tools, music apps, games, reading and writing tools, and productivity apps.

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Podcasts for Your Brain

06.01.2015 01:00

Gabe of Macdrifter, writes a very interesting list of good podcasts. I have heard about some of them, but there was some new and interesting items. I write lists, and I don’t mind them, as long as they aren’t “clickbait”. A good and interesting list is good. They can be lazy or good; this one is very good.

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The best RSS reader for OS X

06.01.2015 01:00

The Sweet Setup:

Reeder is the best RSS client for Mac OS X users. It syncs with lots of third-party services, looks good, and makes it easy to share content with others.

I used to use Reeder 1, in my Google Reader days. Then I moved on to ReadKit, when I moved over to FeedWrangler. And I have been using it since then. My reasons for not buying Reeder 2 is simple: I don’t like the design, and ReadKit looks better; and the performance difference between Reeder and ReadKit isn’t a big deal for me.

A OS X version of Unread would be interesting.

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What it’s like to be way too popular for a day

06.01.2015 01:00

Marco:

Most of my posts go effectively nowhere, but occasionally, one will unexpectedly go really far — and this blew past everything I’ve ever done. When that happens, there’s no chance to revise, no room for error, and no way to stop it.

If there’s any flaw, it’s an unstoppable nightmare of embarrassment and guilt. Most people, myself included, aren’t accustomed to that level of scrutiny. Those who are usually have PR training, editors, and handlers to protect them from publishing flippant blog posts before they go to bed.

Instead of what was intended to be constructive criticism of the most influential company in my life, I handed the press more poorly written fuel to hamfistedly stab Apple with my name and reputation behind it. And my name will be on that forever.

Had I known that it would go as far as it did, I never would have written it.

I now need to write everything with the fear that any hastily written article might end up on TV, with the most extreme word in the article singled out with my name on it forever.

I’ll keep writing — I can’t stay away. But academically, it’s not worth the risk.

I feel bad for Marco, and I liked the original post. Most of what I write don’t go anywhere, and most of the stuff the bigger Apple sites write never go anywhere outside our little bubble. A lot of them agree with what he said in the original post.

People that read Apple related sites like Marco.org, DaringFireball and MacStories have a context. They understand where it’s coming from, and why. I don’t think mainstream media and everyone else have the same kind of content. I really hate it when you see a storm in a teacup just because someone don’t understand the context.

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Apple has lost the functional high ground

05.01.2015 01:00

Spot on from Marco:

Apple’s hardware today is amazing — it has never been better. But the software quality has taken such a nosedive in the last few years that I’m deeply concerned for its future. I’m typing this on a computer whose existence I didn’t even think would be possible yet, but it runs an OS riddled with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions. Just a few years ago, we would have relentlessly made fun of Windows users for these same bugs on their inferior OS, but we can’t talk anymore.

/ Apple has completely lost the functional high ground. “It just works” was never completely true, but I don’t think the list of qualifiers and asterisks has ever been longer. We now need to treat Apple’s OS and application releases with the same extreme skepticism and trepidation that conservative Windows IT departments employ.

I love using Apple products. And I don’t think I’ll go back, to Linux. And I would never go back to Windows. But I do have my concerns. The hardware is excellent. But the software quality have been on a steady decline since Snow Leopard. First OS X, and now iOS. I really hope they will get their act together.

  • They need more engineers.

  • They need to focus on smaller releases

  • They need to do less, better.

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