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Good Stuff

    🌱 My Watch Collection (Of Only Sub $100 Watches)

    And my wife’s way nicer collection

    Even though I like tech, and Apple gear, I don’t have smart watch. And the main reason I that I like (mostly mechanical) watches too much. But even though my dream watch is an old Explorer with faded Tritium, I only own very cheap, oddball watches. And I’ve greatly enjoyed finding bargains that still looks good and works well - several of them from Russia/USSR.1

    Casio A500WGA-9DF

    Every watch collection, no matter the budget, needs a digital Casio. And to me, this (and its silver sister) is, by far, the coolest.

    Raketa Copernicus

    This hand-wound beauty has some really unique hands, and a pleasing dial. And it comes in several (more or less original) dial and colour variations. As will become apparent, I really like smaller watches like this!

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    Similar Apps to Bear and Things 3

    I saw a simple question on Reddit today, and it sparked an answer.

    Any other apps similar to Bear and Things 3?

    Looking for similar apps to these two that perfectly balances minimalism, functionality, and UI/aesthetics.

    I interpreted this as not being about the specific functionalities, and the types of apps (note-taker and task-manager), but the way those apps feel. Because, if you haven’t used them, you really should. They are truly special pieces of software. I will write more about some of these apps later, but …

    Here’s my answer:

    Oooh, I like this question!

    I’m the kind of person who really values how a piece of software feels (in addition to looks and works.). But I 100% get that I might seem like an idiot for using pricier, and maybe less powerful, software, just because I think it’s nice, heh.

    I really like both Bear and Things, but I’ve gone for a workflow where I mostly use plaintext/.md files, which I then access from different apps. The files are located in the folder for NotePlan, which I use it because it has good task and calendar support, so it fills the function of both Bear and Things. And compared to Obsidian and Logseq, it’s closer to Bear in terms of nice-ness — though not quite at that level.

    Here are som apps I’d say are on that level, though:

    These are apps that (mostly) adhere to principles of Fast Software, the Best Software, and are filled with details you might not appreciate at first glance.

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    My shoes broke, so I did something radical

    … but it shouldn’t be!

    Sometimes, the best units of clothing are those you’ve had for a while. It’s been worn in, and seems to have moulded to your body. However, that makes it even sadder when it gets a hole or something — and I assume many of you have kept using an item way longer than you should. It’s just so damn comfortable, so you don’t care that your nipple is poking out of your sweatshirt, The People Eater style.

    Recently, I had this happen to a pair of shoes — and that’s when I did something that shouldn’t be as radical as it is.

    Blown out heel, tired leather, and worn down sole.

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    Two (Ultra-Cheap) DI Boxes From China

    One good, one terrible

    Recently, I bought a couple of very cheap guitar pedals from China (through AliExpress). I’m working on making some pedalboards for some young family members, and I want to see how cheap I can get it without it being terrible.

    My cousin plays the bass (like myself), so I would like to incorporate a DI box in his setup — so I ordered two different ones.

    This Rowin DI (€20),
    and this Dolamo DI (£16).

    And the difference was huge!

    Noble knobs were otherwise engaged when the photo was taken.

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    🌱 What Makes Telegram Great

    Chat apps: Part 2

    People, myself included, will endlessly discuss the features and details of their favourite apps for email, calendar, task management and note-taking. But “no one” talks about chat apps — even though many people probably use this type of app even more. I recently wrote about this here, and that I think it’s a bummer that chat apps mostly rely on one of two things: Military-grade security, and lazy lock-in.

    I, of course, get why it is like this: Network effects, and switching costs, are of course much higher with chat apps than other apps. A less reported on part of the EU’s Digital Market’s Act (DMA) is actually trying to do something about this, with the demand for chat interoperability! Matrix is also working on this.

    However, as someone who’s used plenty of chat apps, one really stands out, in terms of quality and features — and that’s Telegram. I also regularly use iMessage and Messenger (in addition to a bit of Signal and WhatsApp) — and those feel like such a let-down by comparison. This post is me giving concrete examples of why. 1

    Telegram does have a bunch of "social media features", like channels (one-to-many communication), huge groups (up to 200k), etc. - but I've never really used these. So I'm looking at it simply as a chat app, for individuals and smallish groups.

    This is not an endorsement of Telegram, nor the people behind it, though.

    (By the way, click here to skip the preamble.)

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    Things I've Enjoyed This Week (22)

    Here are some of the things I enjoyed this week. (I hope this can be a recurring thing!)

    I’m in the fortunate position of having watched very few films. So now I’m trying to go back and view a bunch of stuff I haven’t watched, but really should watch. My wife has seen way fewer films than even me, though — and she will join me for some of it!

    This week I’ve really liked Django Unchained, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (the best Indiana Jones movie in my opinion), Kong: Skull Island (the best I’ve seen in the Monsterverse) and Good Will Hunting.

    I also can’t recommend Caravan of Garbage on YouTube enough. Top-tier Australian movie banter! Like I mentioned in my Mad Max post, I like to watch the Caravan of Garbage episode after I’ve watched a movie (any movie).

    How It Feels to Get an AI Email From a Friend, is a beautifully written post, and a great read. By Neven Mrgan who works for the excellent Panic.

    I also really liked the post Consumption-to-Creation Ratio by Manuel Moreale! Made me want to keep up. 💪🏻 (But in a good and chill way.)

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    🌱 My Search Engine Is Perhaps My Favourite Tech Service

    There’s a lot of talk about Google Search these days — and how AI is affecting the search quality. Parts of the algorithm even leaked recently, showing that they’ve actively lied to the public. And the general discussions surrounding whether Google is getting worse, has been going on for way longer. But I’ve sidestepped this whole thing…

    A while ago, in my quest to use less stuff from the largest tech companies (and due to privacy concerns), I used DuckDuckGo for over a year. But while I liked the design, I found myself having to type !g, and go to Google, to find what I was looking for.

    Then I tried Neeva (RIP). And I liked that I didn’t have to scroll past ads, but the Norwegian results were terrible.

    However, for the last two years, I’ve used Kagi Search — and ever since, it’s been one of my absolute favourite tech products. And yesterday they published a blog post called What is next for Kagi?, which I liked, and that spurred this post.** 

    I like being the customer

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    An Introduction to Mad Max

    I recently saw a film poster to Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga - so I thought I’d might watch Mad Max: Fury Road again. I think I remembered it being pretty good - but after rewatching it, I thought: “Uhm, I think this is the best film I’ve ever seen??"

    So I’ve spent some time the last two weeks getting into the Mad Max Franchise. I’ve always known about it, but never really had a relationship to it. But now I’m a fan!

    This post is a part of a sort-of series I'm calling "Noob teaching noobs". So I absolutely don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to Mad Max, or films in general!

    I’m not going into why Fury Road is so amazing here. Instead I’m going to give some pointers on how to get into the series.

    Worth your time

    There are many famous franchises out there - but most of them take a little lifetime to get into. There’s so much Star Wars/Trek, Game of Thrones or Marvel stuff out there. But Mad Max is much more manageable, and the high notes are so great, that it’s absolutely worth your time.

    You can absolutely just watch Fury Road, without doing anything else before it. If you’re going that route, you can read this little footnote for a tiny bit of background. 👉🏻 1

    I watched Fury Road blind, and then went back to the three old ones - but it could also be fun to simply watch them in chronological order!

    Mini reviews of the first three

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    Things I Enjoyed This Week (20)

    Here are some of the things I enjoyed this week. (I hope this can be a recurring thing!)

    This moving Reddit thread

    Married men: What, if anything, are you unable or unwilling to share fully openly and honestly about yourself with your spouse?

    Some threads are funny, others sad. In general it’s all wholesome, though, with a bunch of dudes being supportive and open with their emotions. Two things men could do more of. 1

    The new Dua Lipa Album

    Just a rock solid pop album. Good stuff!

    The first Razorlight album

    This is such a solid indie pop album, that I had totally forgotten.

    This 2 hour long video game video

    “The 100 Games That Taught Me Game Design” by Game Maker’s Toolkit is both enlightening and entertaining!

    Mad Max

    I think I might want to see Furiosa in the cinema - so I rewatched Mad Max: Fury Road. And I think I’ll go as far as saying it’s my favourite movie. I mean, how can you make a better action movie!? I’m not a movie buff, though - so if you have movie tips you think I’ll like if I love this, please come with them!

    I’ve also watched, and liked, the first two in the series. The hype for the second one is very warranted! Its influence on everything post-apocalyptic can’t be overstated - and I was very impressed over what they managed to do with the available budget and technology.

    Read More's Amazing New Reply Feature

    Both, and the Fediverse at large, sometimes feel like they’re just a few puzzle pieces away from being really great. And recently, added one of those pieces!

    Because, you could already follow my blog, via the username, on things like Mastodon. And if you saw one of my posts on your timeline, you could comment on it directly. However, it was a bit difficult to comment on it from the website here. But look at this beautiful piece as the bottom of my posts now:

    And when you click through one of the links, you get sent back to the post and can add your comment.

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    🌱 Why I Use Fastmail

    Lenke til norsk versjon

    A couple of months ago, I “recruited” a friend to use the e-mail service Fastmail. And today, in a group chat, I “bragged” about me getting paid a sweet 50 cent (like it’s my birthday) for this! 1 🙌🏻

    One of my friends, obviously very impressed by my business acumen, asked “Well, what’s your pitch for Fastmail?” — and this post is my answer to him! And if I’m lucky, I’ll get a whole dollar next month. 🙏🏻

    The Fastmail logo.

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    🌱 Why Smart Bulbs > Smart Switches

    I really like my smart light setup — and later I will write a guide on how I set it up. (I promise!) But in this post, I want to explain why I think smart light sources are a better option than smart switches (with regular light sources).

    (Click here to go to the TL;DR!)

    Some notes on costs

    Smart lights ain’t cheap. And while I will argue that I don’t think going for smart switches is that much cheaper than smart light sources — my main focus is on what gives the best smart light experience. And then it’s up to each person to evaluate what feels “worth it”, or even possible, to them and their budgets.

    I also think the experience is way better if you get the consistency of having (more or less) every light in your home be smart — so keep that in mind as well. I’m not arguing against those who say “Yeah, I only wanted these four lights to be smart, and then it was cheaper to go for a couple of smart switches”. What I am arguing against is those who say going for smart switches is better than smart light sources — and hopefully giving some valuable insights to those who haven’t decided yet.

    Why smart lights at all, though?

    Images from Philips.

    To me, there are three main reasons (in no particular order):

    1. In my apartment, I have some light switches that are in idiotically placed. I also have several lights I wish had more than one switch. So the fact that I can easily place switches wherever I want, by just sticking a little button to the wall (or whatever), is very nice. And so is the fact that it’s trivial to have one switch control several lights, or have several switches controlling one light.
    2. I want nothing to only be controllable by my phone. But I do think it’s nice that I can use it to control my lights — even when I’m not home. I also like that I can create automations, like turning off the lights when I leave.
    3. I really, really like to vary the colour temperature of my lights throughout the day.

    The two approaches to smart lights

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    🌱 Some Quick Mastodon Client Reviews

    One of my favourite things about Mastodon, is that, as opposed to most other social networks, the service is completely open for other developers to make their own clients. And this has lead to a remarkable ecosystem of third-party options.

    Now the official ones, are pretty mediocre (especially the web app, IMO) — but I like this prioritisation. They could’ve sacrificed precious dev time to make their own clients great — but this would have to come at the expense of improving the core service. And the only thing we would gain, is “another great way to use Mastodon”.

    “How good are the default apps?” is a far less important question than “How good are the best apps for Mastodon?”. Also, what’s a good app isn’t the same for everyone — so why on earth should there only be one client (like Instagram, Facebook and, now, X)?

    If you’re new (or old) to Mastodon — don’t be afraid to test different clients! They can be used in complete parallel — so you could just download a bunch on your phone, and log into each of them with your username. And then you could just “main” one of them for a couple of days (turning on notifications on that one, for instance), and then move to another one.

    But let’s get to the main point: Some quick reviews of some of my favourite clients!

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    A Very Good All-Round Game Controller, With One Major Flaw (for Me)

    A quick review of the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller

    The controller in question, in black and in its charging cradle. It’s standing in front of my Nintendo Switch, and next to an Apple TV with an Anbernic RG35XX on top.

    I mostly play boring strategy 🖇️ games that are just as good to play with a trackpad as anything else.

    But every so often, I’ll play something that’s best played with a controller. That’s usually on my Switch, where I’ve used the joy-cons with a charging grip — but that’s never been great. Also, my joy-cons have started to drift…

    So I wanted to buy a single controller that could fit all my use-cases, and my choice fell on the 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller 🖇️. And it’s a great controller, with many smart features. But did you know that a controller can support 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth, Switch, PC, Steam Deck, Android, iOS and iPadOS, but not support macOS?? Well, I didn’t.

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    Me: «Siri, define charisma


    (I’m specifically pointing to the first video. Giving the playlist because they’re all great, and to show that when asked to give his favourites, he starts with himself. 😎 Love it!)

    The Prettiest Voice Since Allison Krauss

    Lenke til norsk versjon

    I’m testing Tidal these days, and wanted to test the audio quality vs. Spotify. I happened to stumble upon a new track by an artist I like during testing, so that was the first track I tested. 1 And holy føck if this isn’t one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard:

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    I Just Want a Nice Browser!

    Two sad browser stories

    I’ve followed the Spicy Takes™️ surrounding the Arc Browser recently, that started in the Ruminate podcast and went on to the MacStories Weekly Issue 408.

    And I agree with most of what John Voorhees is saying, and also Matt Birchler, who said: «The Browser Company feels gross to me right now».

    Much of it is about ethics and AI. In general I agree with them, but this subject won’t be the focus of this post. (I’ve written more about AI here and here.)

    Instead I’ll tell my browser story, and explain why both Arc and Firefox makes me sad.

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    A Couple of Chill, Mostly New, Indie Games

    I love small, chill indie games.

    • They’re cheap, and the money goes to small developers who needs the support.
    • Many have short gameplay loops, that make them easy to fit into my schedule.
    • And many of the ones I like have non-realtime gameplay,
    • and that, coupled with low hardware demands, makes them well suited for playing on my laptop.

    My MacBook isn’t a slouch - but it’s no gaming rig. So I love that I don’t have to worry about performance with these games - and those who don’t have native Mac ports, run perfectly fine through Parallells.

    Realtime, but still chilltime

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    I liked this blog post, by The Jolly Teapot! 👇🏻

    On Quality Software

    «A happy snob» is very much how I’d categorise my own taste in software. 👌🏻

    Lovely package in the mail today: I brought three of their garments back to Northern Playground, as they had gotten some holes. Today I got them back, after getting a free repair - including two caramels. 👌🏻

    Green package with a note that says what I say in the caption. There’s also two caramels.

    «Thanks for rapairing. Together, let’s stop making piles of garbage. Come back when the garment is worn out, and we’ll recycle it.»

    Black wool longs with two neat repairs in the croch.

    They also repaired two T-shirts!
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