hjertnes.blog

On Apple rumours.

19.11.2013 01:00

First of all: I only read rumour sites when I know that it is about time for Apple to release something. I don’t care that much about all of the crazy rumours. They are of zero interest to me. Do I care if Apple is going to announce an iPhone or new Macbook tomorrow? No, I don’t. I don’t need a new phone or laptop right now.

I don’t mind the rumour sites. What they are doing is great. That’s not my problem with them.

My issue with the whole rumour game is sloppy journalism. You need to find at least two different trusted sources before publishing it. If your site is called “Macrumors” – publish everything related to it. But, if your site is called BusinessInsider and you publish something like “Apple is about to launch pyramid shaped iPad” – don’t do it. And please add “Rumour:” in the beginning of the title; or something similar.

People may publish what ever they like; and I don’t have a problem with it. But, you need to be open and transparent in both the article and the title regarding what it really is.

Don’t make the reader think that some crazy hack of a rumour is a PR message from Apple, or a tip from a trusted source.

It is not nice to do the “link bait” kind of posts. And I will not – not ever click on any title that comes from a “link bait” style site, or click on any article with that kind of title. I don’t care who or what you are. I just don’t care.

Care about your craft. Do the right thing. You are nothing without your readers. Do you want to be the next business insider?

I hope not.

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The new iPads revisited.

15.11.2013 01:00

I have been listening to podcasts talking about the new iPad for a long time now. And I finally went to my local Apple Authorised Retailer on the way to the university this morning.

There is three things I want from a new iPad, if I’m going to get one: – It must be easier to thumb type – A faster and up to date iOS experience – Retina screen.

It would also be nice to have an iPad that I could stick in my coat pocket. This kind of excludes the iPad Air.

What I did when I was there was to play with the new iPhone’s, and the new iPad’s. I won’t get a new iPhone now, but I just wanted to see how it was.

The weight and typing experience is two of the key points when it comes to iPads for me. And that was the main thing I did. And I will get to that in a moment.

I never manage to stand there more than a few moments, when I test devices in stores. Because it’s not how I work. It is the wrong height for a standing desk. I wish they would have some kind of sofa or chair where you could sit and test the products.

The keyboards in both orientations on both devices was amazing. Seriously. Amazing. I was kind of set on getting the iPad mini 32GB with WiFi in January, but I am torn.

What I did when I was there was to write 300 words in both orientations on both devices.

I have kind of big hands, and it is possible for me to thumb type on the iPad 2; is it usable or comfortable? No!

The amazing thing is that this is pretty comfortable on the iPad Air, but not perfect. While this is perfect on the iPad mini, both versions of it.

This was not a big surprise, really – it wasn’t.

The thing that really surprised me, was how easy it was to “touch” type on the iPad mini when placed in a stand in landscape mode.

So, where does this leave me? I don’t know really.

There is no clear choice this time. Both of the iPads are very light. Both of the are good to type on. The Air is the best when it comes to type on in in landscape, while the Mini is without doubt the best to thumb type on. But, both of them are very good at both.

I think it will be the mini, but I don’t know. And I have to do some real testing when I can until I can afford to get one.

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Minimalism.

08.11.2013 01:00

The idea of minimalism have been the philospohy that have had the strongest impact on me, and my life.

Many people think about minimalism as a philospophy where you don’t own anything. And that is wrong – WRONG.

At least the way I look at things.

I’m a minimaist. But, I am also very pragmatic.

Let’s take a look on my aproach to minialism. Let’s first take a minimalistic look at everything you have. Your physical belongings, and digital stuff, like all of the apps your have installed on your Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Apps. I often browse through my applications and ask myself: Do I really use this? Do I actually need it?

Minimalism is not about having as few apps as possible. It is about having the apps your really use and need. I don’t need more than one podcasting app on my phone.

But, I need more than one writing app, for various reasons.

Physical items. When it comes to physical items I often do a “review” of all of the stuff I own, and ask myself the exact same questions. There is a major difference though. Any app installed on any of my devices is something I can re-download, if I ever need them again.

But. There is also a lot of stuff I own that I realize I used to use a lot – but don’t need anymore.

And, I usually just place them in a box, and review that box a few months later. I get rid of them if they have been in there from 3-6 months without needing using them.

Some of it will be sold, given away – while others end up in the trash.

Buying new stuff is the important, and a bit harder part of minimalism. It is a important step to avvoid having to do a lot of reviewing of the stuff you already own.

I don’t really buy that much physical stuff, I have never been that into it. But, I do buy a lot of apps and content. At least when I have the money for it.

Being on a very tight student budget solves many of these issues. I can’t really buy anything I want anymore.

My current process is to put everything I want in a Omnifocus project. I does not matter if it is a app, a book, audiobook or some physical item I need.

I let them lay there until I have some disposable income, and look long and hard at the items in there. Get rid of anything that I don’t need or want anymore. And decide which of them that will give me the most pleasure or that will solve the biggest problems for me.

The reason i really love minimalism is that it gives me the freedom to don’t focus on stuff. I can be creative and use as much as possible of my time on what matters to me. Like writing, shooting pictures, reading, meditating and enjoying life.

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How I use my Mac.

05.11.2013 01:00

Lex Friedman just had a very interesting article in Macworld. Talking to various experts(whatever that means), and how they are using their computers. I really enjoy reading about how other people are using their computers, and to learn how to do, what I do better.

I thought I could run through how I use my mac. And the mac I am talking about is a 13″ Macbook Air, the 2013 model, 1.7 Ghz CPU and 8GB of ram. Battery and “enough” power to do most tasks is the most important factors for me, since I am around campus and various other places all day. And the newest Macbook Air’s have all the battery power I need during the day. In other words: I don’t need to carry a powerbrick.

My Desktop, look like this:

There is usually no files on the desktop. Well, that’s not true. I sometimes place files there, while in the hurry. And end up being there becuase I have not seen my desktop in a few weeks.

The Dock is one of the components on OS X that I want to disable. I know why some people us it, but I don’t. I use Alfred to launch apps, find files, browse the file system and a lot of other stuff. My dock is hidden, at the bottom and as small as possible. And the only Apps visible there, is the apps I currently have open.

MenuBar is either the worlds most useful thing, or that area overfilled with icons that you do not need, use, or know what is. I sometimes use Bartender, if there are a lot of apps in the menubar that I want to get rid off, but I only have it installed when I have to. My general rule is that all the apps in my MenuBar have to be something that I use regulary and that the icon itself serves a purpose.

I will hide any MenuBar icon, if I never use the icon itself for anything. My current menubar icons

The funny thing about listing out all of this, is that I see a few things that I want to hide. So this is how my Menubar looks, after doing some Settings and Bartender magic.

There is three times of MenuBar icons, in my humble opinion, the ones you want to see all the time, the ones you want to use sometimes and the ones you just want to hide. Bartender solves this problem.

Spaces, Mission Control, Full-screen. Apple fixed a lot of the issues regarding Full screen in the recent Sea Lion release of OS X(I know it’s called Mavericks, but I think Sea Lion is funnier). I use Full screen, spaces and Misson Control all the time – when I remember that it is there. I cam to OS X during the Panther, but I first started as a full time OS X user during Tiger.

That was before full screen, spaces and all of that. In other words: I often forget that it is there.

Apps, no not every single App is use, but more how I manage them, and the windows. I try to always just keep the apps I am using right now running. I’m weird. But, the reason is very simple: less window clutter, and less tuff to cmd+tab through.

There is not much of a system when it comes to what I am using in full screen, and how I arrange windows. But, I ususally either but it in full screen mode, or use Moom to make the window streach all over the screen.

Wallpaper. Some people like to have something fancy as their wallpaper, and some people(like me), just picks a color or the default image and leave it. There is a very simple reason for this: I never see it. There is usually some writing app, some productivity software or a web browser covering it anyway. Why would I pick a picture that I will see for a few minutes during a week when I quit all the apps or need to reboot?

There is a few tricks that I use, like a good launcher(Alfred), Moom to to resize windows and Bartender to hide clutter. But, all the rest is just using the built in tools and minimalism regarding what apps I need to have open.

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Doubt.

04.11.2013 01:00

This is hard. I want to quit.

These are all too regular thoughts when I am working with stuff that either takes longer than usual or something that I’m just not that used to work with. Like this insane writing project, I am doing on this site.

I have the choice. I could continue with it, and get everything to a level where everything is a a little easier, or I could do the same as one billion other people are doing. Write simple blog posts a few times a day.

But, I don’t want that. I want to do something different. And I have been working on that for about a month now. Maybe a little longer. I think it will be great, if I give it some time.

It is not easy to do something different these days. Most people do the easy stuff. I don’t think what Shawn Blanc, John Gruber or The Loop is doing is easy. All of them have been doing this for a very long time. They are all doing something different, from each other, and the rest of the internet.

There is at least 1000 terrible and boring link list blogs for every good one. And you have to be a really awesome writer to be able to make it in that space today.

You have to do something different. You have to do something heard.

If you want to be something. Someone that just isn’t a part of all the blogs and sites out there that just is in the pile of all of the other unknown sites and blogs.

I’m pretty sure every single person out there, that is creating something has doubt. I know that both Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann have been talking about this on Back To Work.

Stick to it, and get it out there.

(#blog)

Should I buy a new iPad

29.10.2013 01:00

I don’t think any of the new iPad models was much of a surprise for anyone that have been following Apple for a while. I think the only surprise was that they renamed the iPad.

Most intelligent people expected the iPad mini to get a retina screen, and they also expected the big-iPad to get the design of iPad mini.

It is no surprise that I still use iPhone 4S and iPad2. And I don’t think I will buy a new iPhone before I either can’t update to the most recent version of iOS, or that I break it.

But. The iPad is different. I have not decided if I should buy a new iPad or not, this year. My main problem with the full sized iPad is that it is too close to the size, weight and batter capacity. The 12 hour battery life on my 2012 Macbook Air, is more or less everything I need, most days. But, I also carry my iPad most days. The reason for this is to have something to write on, if I need to do something when my Macbook Air is dead.

Since my iPad will continue to work as a pdf-reader, writing device and preferred place to do my OmniFocus weekly review – I don’t think I will buy any new full sized iPad in a while.

This leaves the iPad mini.

The reason I consider the iPad mini, is that it would be nice to have a small, iOS device with recent hardware that I can fit in my jacket. And this device is also something I can fit in a stand and use a full sized keyboard with. Like for example: – Origami WorkstationApple Wireless Keyboard

Don’t get me wrong, the full sized iPad is great for writing. It is a great device to write on, if you place it in some kind of stand. But, I don’t think the full sized iPad is that great to write on, while holding it.

And my experience with the current iPad mini is that it is an iPad, with a weight and size that reminds more of the iPhone; which makes it great to thumb type on, while still having the great power of the iPad-platform.

In other words. I will probably buy an iPad mini, in the coming months.

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Quiet.

23.10.2013 02:00

I know things have been very quiet, here for a while now. This is not because I am taking a break, or have left this site or anything like that. The reason is that I am working on something new. On this site.

When I “started from scratch” with the blog on this site, some time back I had the idea to start working on content in a different way. I did not want to just write blog posts that most people won’t see a few days after it’s been published. I wanted to write good pieces about all the apps I use, and in some cases all the ways I am using them. I want long content that I can link together in interesting way.

I also want to extend this to workflows, productivity topics, podcasts and all kinds of stuff I have learnt, and am learning today; as a geek, developer, writer, photographer and productivity nut.

There is already some content here and there is more to come. This project will require a lot more time before it is something I could call “off the ground”. But, I am working on it, and I am trying to push out new content as soon as the stuff I have in Scrivener is good enough.

The other side off this project, is that I am going to work hard on keep as much as possible as up to date as possible after completing everything. So, that you know that my content about Markdown, Byword or nvAlt always will a good source.

Anyway. I will continue to write on the blog part of this site as well, but I will mainly use it to inform about new content, updates etc. And there will also be a newsletter soon. You can sign up for it here.

I hope you enjoy it!

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1Password 4 for OS X – a few days later.

06.10.2013 02:00

I wrote about 1Password 4, before the weekend, and thought I might want to revisit it after spending some real time with the application. And not just the 20 minutes, right before I wrote the piece.

There is two features in this release I really love: the audit section, and the menubar version of the application.

Audit. What the audit section is doing for you, is to tell you all of the password you should change. I really love this. Like I wrote in my previous post; you could do it with smart folders. But, I think a lot more people is going to use this. Because, its right there. It takes you one click to see all your weak passwords. Or three clicks to get an overview of passwords that have not been changed in everything from six months to over three years.

You also have a dupicate section. This will display every account where you use the same password as somewhere else. This might not look that big. But, trust me – it is. It was a major pain in the ass to do this with version three. You had to configure every different password you used as a “standard” as a smart folder.

Menubar. I did not expect to use this one that much. But, I was wrong. Most of the times when I start 1Password, it is to just copy some password to somewhere outside the browser. And its amazing to be able to do this from the menubar.

Its one of these productivity hacks, where three clicks becomes one.

And still, 1Password 4 is a solid upgrade, and everyone should upgrade as soon as they can afford to.

Sent from my iPad

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1Password 4 for OS X.

04.10.2013 02:00

1Password is one of the most used apps across both my iOS and OS X devices. I never log into anything without going into 1Password on my iPhone and iPad; and rarely without using either browser plugins or the app on OS X.

This is one of the apps that I think should be included on any Mac or iOS device. This statement may be bold and I understand if you are sceptic regarding password management apps. To put it like this, 1Password is the only password management app that I have been able to stick with.

Design

They have refreshed the design of their apps in this release, to match up with the same refresh they did with the iOS update a few months back. And it was about time they did this, both the OS X and iOS versions looked dated prior to their 4.0 releases.

I don’t think there is anything controversial in this release. Everyone who used the old version will recognize it; and like always: all new users will love both the app and the design.

1Password mini / Menubar item.

I have a yes, or no reliationship to menubar items. I think they are better than having apps in the dock that you need to have running all the time. And they are amazing for stuff you need to access quick; like dropbox, twitter clients etc. And this is a great new feature from 1Password.

Audit section

This is the feature I have been craving in 1Password since I started using it in 2010(or 2011, I dont remember exactly when). This is just brilliant. It have a few key, and very important features: – List of all passwords that are not unique in your 1Password database. – Passwords that have not been changed in 3+ years, 1-3 years and 12-6 months. – Weak passwords

This alone would get me to upgrade. I can in just a few clicks right out of the box get a great overview of all the passwords I should change.

iCloud vs Dropbox

I have not tested the iCloud sync, and I’m not sure if I am going to do it. There is one very good reason for this.

There have been a few situations where I’ve had some real issues with iCloud document storage. The result was that none of the applications was able to upload or download anything from iCloud. And every time this happened I had to go through a few levels of Apple support to get it sorted out.

This could in theory happen in Dropbox. But, dropbox is a much more open system. And I have a script that makes a copy from Dropbox to my local machine, every day. This means that I still have the data if Dropbox locks me out.

There is probably a way to do this in iCloud, but I dont want to do anything regarding my passwords and other important information in a unsupported way. 1Password might have a export option. Anyway, this is a part of my “dont store anything extermly important in iCloud”.

I recomend people to use Dropbox, if you need sync; and remember to have routines for making copies of it to a local location if you do sync.

Check out 1Password herehere. You will find a trial versionn for the mac version there. They also have a windows version and an android reader app.

Sent from my iPad

(#blog)

Editorial is awesome

02.10.2013 02:00

Yesterday was the day where I finally went and started to play around wth Editorial. I find it hard to describe it, but it’s one amazing piece of software. I would not call it MarsEdit for iPad. But, I would rather call it the first programmable text editor for iOS. And maybe the first one that get these things right; and yes, I would love to have it on my Mac.

The thing I really love about editorial compared to both MarsEdit and TextMate is that it does not have build in support for anything, other than dropbox syncing, a browser, and some basic markdown tools, and some other basic stuff. But what you have is a very easy to use framework for build workflows, that can do more or less anything, that you would like a editor like Editorial to do.

One of the things I really love about this thing is how easy it was for me to set it up to email new posts to this Squarespace 6 blog, only in a few clicks No copy and paste; just two clicks!

If you use squarespace, and want to do the same thing, check out this workflow. The only thing you have to do is to find your squarespace blog email address and paste it into the workflow. You can see how to enable and find your squarespace email address here.

I think Editorial is the first product where things is way batter on iOS than anything you can find for OS X.

And check out Viticci’s book about editorial.

Sent from my iPad

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