I am on vacation with my family, enjoying simpler things like walking outside.

I was amazed this week to learn that my Game Boy Advance, which is nearly 18 years old still holds a charge and works perfectly. (The screen sure is dim, though, but maybe it always was.) My Sony PSP, which is nowhere near as old, is completely dead.

Apparently, iPhone 12 price leaks are suggesting expensive prices in line with what we have today for the iPhone 11. My phone of choice would cost about $1,200, and I’m not sure it’s worth it. Wait till October when I buy it with cash. 😂

I am astounded by the sheer number of keyboard shortcuts I have memorized, and how I can keep them straight across applications and devices.

The best tech thing I did all week was to create a PowerShell script that opens the most recently created file in a particular folder, and then map that script execution to a keyboard shortcut via AutoHotKey. I’m using it to quickly launch the reports I am generating for work.

My work computer is generating data extracts in Excel via a PowerShell script, and I’m afraid to use it for anything else right now!

I’m working really, really hard this week. (Sigh.) I’m hoping for a chance to take a breath later this week.

🎵 Orville Peck has a really cool voice.

I just noticed that the analog clock widget in the latest iPadOS beta does not display the correct time. (It is half an hour slow for me, on New York City time.) But the sweep of the second hand is beautiful. 🙄

Two of my independently hosted WordPress sites were down for several days last week due, I presume, to DDOS attacks or something. I’m grateful that I’m not on the hook to makes sure my Micro.blog hosted site stays online. 😀

🎧 My speakers and headphones sound so clear and exciting again now that I’ve got my equipment stack up and running again! 977C4ADF-963E-4B97-B266-997339257268.jpg

My favorite piece of Schiit came back to me in the mail today. Now that my Magni 3 Heresy is repaired, it is as good as new. C9E53635-247A-4998-908F-CC56149E6F2F.jpg

I spent some time today preparing for my family’s vacation—about a week ahead of time. Unfortunately, I expect to work a bit while I’m on vacation, which is disappointing. To make things easier, I scrounged up and tested a setup with some B-level home-office equipment (my old monitor, keyboard, and trackball). Bringing that stuff with me will make whatever work I end up doing much easier.

Hmm…I don’t mind them myself, but I think the swears on Taylor Swift’s new album might be too much to expose my 8-year-old daughter—our family’s resident Taylor Swift fan— to. I don’t mind the f-bombs in “Hamilton,” but the meaning there is different.

The Fn key on iPadOS 14 Developer Beta 2

I noticed something strange on the latest iPadOS developer beta. The Fn key on my Apple Magic Keyboard (the old Bluetooth one, not the expensive new iPadPro peripheral) now has two new functions that kind of conflict with each other.

First, Fn-Backspace finally works as “forward delete” as it always has on the Mac. (That not being supported on iOS has long been a source of occasional frustration for me.)

Second, Fn, by itself, calls up the emoji picker, which used to be only called by Control-Command-Space.

Unfortunately, using Fn-Backspace calls up the emoji picker, which means I have to dismiss it (via Esc) if I want to forward delete. That does not save a keystroke, and makes “forward delete” not worth it.

My daughter is going to freak out when I tell her that a surprise Taylor Swift album dropped today. It’s getting rave reviews.

Someone needs to inform The New York Times that black text on a white background, even in dark mode, is not a “brand identity”—it’s just rude at this point.

John Gruber’s Return and Enter Are Two Different Keys has got me thinking about all sorts of uses in my computing life for Fn+Return (aka Enter) key commands.

Work this week and next are shaping up to be an absolutely epic grind for me. After today I expect to be working overtime late at night. Hopefully I will find a groove each day and settle into it.

NextDNS

I decided to retire my pi-hole install yesterday, in large part to reduce the pain points I was having administering it. (It is no fun when you don’t have network connectivity, sometimes, because the pi-hole server isn’t accepting connections for no reason in particular.) I signed up for NextDNS instead, and so far I’m really happy with it. It blocks malware; it blocks adult content; it blocks ads. Unlike the pi-hole, it can be used away from my home network, too. I have set up different profiles for everyone in my family, and switched everyone’s devices to use it today. The funny thing is, my wife hasn’t noticed yet that ads are being blocked on her phone or computer. I think that’s a good thing—it means that content filtering hasn’t broken anything for her yet.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

I finally got my work laptop connected to a Thunderbolt dock that charges it, drives my peripherals, and drives my 4K monitor. It was not as easy as it should have been to set up, though. It does not help that my laptop has a USB-C + charging port, and a Thunderbolt 3 report (that also charges, though that wasn’t clear at first). I was not sure why I could not charge my laptop through the dock, until I noticed the distinction between USB-C and Thunderbolt, and I was not sure why my Thunderbolt-to-DisplayPort cable would not work from a USB-C port in the dock. Having the same ports/connectors does not make USB and Thunderbolt easier to deal with: it makes it harder.

🎵 I am really enjoying the new album by “The Chicks”. That band wasn’t on my radar for a long, long time until the recent news that they changed their name.

Cable management in my office is kind of a nightmare. I am now having crazy thoughts of buying really long cables, so that I can put my computers far away from my desktop peripherals, or, maybe, putting my work computer underneath my desk somehow. I probably need different office furniture, but it would take a wrecking crew to get rid of what I have now.

Podcast Mentorship

Myke Hurley’s Podcast Mentorship program is a really good idea:

TL;DR: I want to mentor people who are under-represented in the tech-focussed podcast world. If you are starting out and need some help, please read on.

The mentees that Myke selected appear to be promising new voices who can enrich the tech podcasting space.

I hope that other seasoned podcasters will join Myke as mentors in the future.

I rewatched the first episode of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” last night to gauge how approve would be for me to watch with my 8-year-old daughter. Considering she doesn’t know what “war” is (lucky her), it might be a bit hard for her to get into. I think it is worthwhile, though, because the series is rich and complex while still being fun enough for kids.