Why I Think Apple’s Fine is Fine

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Today, Apple got hit with a €1.84 billion fine — for anticompetitive behaviour in the music streaming market.

I’ve seen people saying this doesn’t make sense, as Spotify has a larger market share than Apple Music — but that’s not what the complaint is about. The thing is, that Apple has used their size, ecosystem and general market position to give Apple Music a larger market share than they would’ve gotten if they had to compete fairly. Apple is about 80 times the size of Spotify. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same ratio as a rhino compared to a golden retriever. 1

The dog might have the Rhino beat on «amount of fur», but that doesn’t make it «more powerful».

Here are some of the smaller things Apple are doing:

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A Good Way to Get Home Row Mods on a Mac

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(If you already know about Home Row Mods, click here to go straight to my quick method for getting it on your Mac - even on the .internal laptop keyboard)

As part of my ergonomics voyage, I’ve been working on getting home row mods on my keyboard. This excellent guide provides tons of info on this, but the short version is this:

To contort your hands less when using modifiers (like shift and control), the letter keys on your home row serves double duty: They’re the letters if you tap them, but modifiers if you hold them.

Letter keys A, S, D and F, with icons for modifier keys on them.

The home row letters on the right side is usually used as well, mirrored from the left. Image from the guide.

Image of the ZSA Voyager split keyboard.

Many users of this completely gets rid of the regular modifier keys. But it can be benefitial as a compliment to those as well, by reducing the amount you use them.

Tapping vs holding

But what’s constitutes a tap and what constitutes a hold? That’s the central question here…

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Why do so many apps have weird margins?

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There are tons of services, apps and clients for text based social media. But why are almost all of them wrong about timeline margins?

Out of touch Skinner-meme, with the text: «Am I wrong about timeline margins?» «No, it’s most apps who are wrong!»

To show what I’m talking about, here’s Threads as an example:

Screenshot of Threads. Point explained below.

I get that you want to start the text quite close to the username, and that avatars are taller than usernames on some services. But I still think that left-margin is a sin! It wastes space, and makes the entire screen lopsided.

I went through many apps checking - and many of the apps are good and well-designed in general! Many of them are Mastodon clients, because that service has a fantastic 3rd party ecosystem. Also, they’re all iOS apps, because that’s what I have. Would be interested to hear about the situation on Android!

OK, here are some more offenders:

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Today’s Keyboard Maintenance

Today, I finished the first step of my Ergonomics Voyage: Making some modifications to my keyboard.

Key layout

The most important change, was activating home row mods. So I’ve made it so tapping

a s d f works as normal — but if I hold them, they act as

Ctrl Opt Shift Cmd .

And then I’ve mirrored it on the other side, to j k l ø .

Failed at software

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🌱 How I Manage Windows

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Rafael Conde, posted on Mastodon today:

We’re sharing how we use the Desktop and how we size/position windows on our Macs on our work Slack and it’s absolute madness.

And, then followed it up with a poll:

Time to fess up, how do you primarily use windows “on your” Mac? Bonus points if you reply with a screenshot 📸
⋅ Wherever the appear, I don’t know
⋅ Centered (think Apple marketing shot)
⋅ Fullscreen (as big as you can make them)
⋅ Tiled (in a grid, like taking up half the screen)

I, as many others, have strong feelings about this. And I’d love for this to become the next «Default apps»! So I’ll start.

I’m a big tiler.

I switch between my MacBooks 14 inch screen, and my Studio Display’s 27-inch screen. But no matter which I’m on, I move my apps around quite a lot, and almost always in

  • quarters,
  • halves,
  • and wholes (not fullscreen mode).

Here are some examples:

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🌱 My Tech Setup

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I’ll make separate posts for my software and bass guitar setups, but here’s my current tech hardware setup.

My screen, screen light, microphone, numpad, keyboard, trackpad, wrist rests, Airpods and iPad. I have a monitor stand (but the screen is not on it).

The overview. Details incoming!

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🌱 The Ethics and Principles Behind My Blog

These are my goals: Be a pleasent place for people visiting, that respects their privacy. Be a good citizen of (a lose definition of) the indie/small web. Even though my impact is small, I can still try to make it positive. This page (and the actions taken based on it), is under constant evaluation. It’s meant as a living post. 🌱 So feel free to contact me with feedback on this - especially if I fail to meet my goals.

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My Ergonomics Voyage: Part 1

Prologue, and the first steps

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I’ve been a nerd my entire 34-year-long life. So naturally, much of it has been spent in front of computers using keyboards, and I’ve never experienced any discomfort related to this.1

I don’t know if it’s due to my age, or just the fact that I’ve worked even more than usual on keyboards, but lately, I’ve started to notice discomfort. Especially in my left hand, but a bit in my right as well. Luckily, there’s nothing anywhere else, and it’s not that bad. But I want to take action to try to stay ahead of it.

A bit about my current situation

The last couple of years, I’ve been working mostly in my small home office, which was OK, but not great. Just a couple of weeks ago, I finally got my own (external) office, so the situation has improved. However, I’ve been stupid, and also worked quite a bit on my laptop on our kitchen table lately.

Here’s my current office setup:

Apple Studio Display with height adjustable stand. iPad next to the screen. Electric standing desk. Trackpad, keyboard and numpad, with wrist rest ahead of it.

Not visible in the photo, is my Herman Miller Aeron chair, foot rest, and standing pad.

Good things about my setup

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Pedal tuners and product design

Firstly, sorry about caring a bit too much about guitar tuners. You see, as a side gig, I help people with their pedalboards (especially people using multiple guitars on stage), and I often recommend that they get a new tuner. But no tuners are exactly like I want!

While this post is mostly hard core nerd out on pedal tuners, there are also some comments on product design in general. Let’s go!

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Guide to card sleeves

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Card protectors, or sleeves, are perhaps the most common accessory for games. There are two main reasons for sleeving your games:

  1. To protect the cards (kinda says so on the tin)
  2. To increase the sense of quality, much like component upgrades

The protection part is especially important if the cards are of high value and/or gets shuffled a lot. Both are true with most collectable card games (CCGs), like Magic The Gathering – and this is why the sizes used for these games has the best selection. Shuffling with sleeved cards feels a lot better than unsleeved, so that affects both point 1 and 2. You can also get them with matte finish, to reduce glare.

Here’s a guide to how you should proceed if you want to sleeve:

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