As regular readers know, the role I assume here and aim to fill is that of a Curator. My stated goal of this site is to find interesting items that fall under the stated topic area and gather them together along with some commentary that will hopefully provide interest, context, and cause you, the reader, to investigate further.
While I think I am doing a fine enough job of this for the site, I am horrible about it when it comes to aggregating all of my online projects into one central place where people can find it all. While I am certainly thinking about a way to execute such a place on a more permanent basis, I thought I would take some time out here to post all the places you can find my work:
patrickrhone.com – My personal site where I write essays on just about anything that captures my interest as well as personal topics. The latest post, certainly of interest in this context, is titled Why I Curate.
The Random Post – Where I curate the things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else.
Minimal Mac – Minimalist computing as it relates to the Mac universe and the general topic of what is “enough” when it comes to technology as a whole.
Practical Opacity – Exploring the idea of “enough” as it relates to social media, email, and online interactions and distractions.
Duchess Beatrix – Where I “ghost write” a blog for my daughter, The Duchess of Heckofalot (go read it and it will all make sense).
A Better Freelancer – I coauthor and cocurate this site along with Aaron Mahnke. A place that helps freelancers such as myself become, well, better. If you are a freelancer or even thinking of becoming a “business of one” like me, check it out.
So, there you have the bulk of the places you can find me. Hope this helps. Especially those I have received feedback on doing this very thing.
Note: I will likely cross post this at the other locations as well so do not be put off by visiting and seeing this duplicated.
Those who have been following along here for a while know how much a love Hazel. This magic little pref pane can watch any folder you tell it to and automatically organize your files according to rules you create. For instance, I have it watching my desktop and any file that is on there for more than two days, and has not been modified in the last 3 hours, gets moved to a “Working” folder I have. It can also do other magic little things like auto empty the trash on a schedule and delete all the associated files for an application if you move it to the trash. It like creating smart rules for organizing and cleaning up you mess.
I have only scratched the surface for what it can do though and recently, two things came across my radar that will be of interest to those that use it as well as those that should.
Hazel on MPU 25 – First off is episode 25 of the Mac Power Users podcast that was all about how to get ninja deep with Hazel. Insightful and full of tips and tricks with many step by step instructions. The episode page also includes some handy links.
Quick Tips: 3 Uses for Hazel – The Apple Blog share three quick and useful ways to use Hazel including cleaning up your downloads, creating a zip/unzip folder, and auto launching torrents.
If nothing else these links will give you an idea of some idea of the powerful things that can be done.
Yesterday, I posted a link to a site called Messy Desks, as part of my usual “Not what we believe in.” meme. While it is certainly true I am not a fan of clutter, this particular link and post was all a part of an elaborate practical joke on my good friend Pat Dryburgh who curates SimpleDesks. See, his roommate, John, sent me an email a few days ago that, in part, said:
One of the things that I have been bugging him about to no end is his site:simpledesks.tumblr.com. I keep bugging him about his fascination with clean looking desks… I ask him why he calls it desk p0rn, and ask him if he would ever date a girl that didn’t have a clean minimalist desk… etc, etc ;) all in fun.
Any who… I have decided to take things to the next level by making my own site… which I have called: messydesks.tumblr.com. I have basically copied his exact layout, and wording, but put in my name and pictures of messy desks. I honestly laugh every time I see the two sites side by side.
So, that was how it began. John put it together, asked me to link to it, knowing that Pat would see it. Worked like a charm. Everyone had a good laugh.
One of the lessons I have learned, especially in curating this site, is to not take any of this stuff too seriously. This was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
The first quarter of my life was spent in a world where there was no such thing as a “personal computer”. The idea of someone having a computer in their home was as futuristic when I was, say, eight years old as a jet pack or rocket car. By the time I was in my teen years, they were as much of a reality, at least for the folks I knew who could afford one, as a toaster. The generation just after mine, has never lived in a word where personal computers were a not common possession of almost everyone they knew. I’ve been thinking recently about the probability that my two year old daughter may hear about something called a “keyboard” or a “mouse” and stare at me just a blankly as today’s college grads would when you mention running programs off of a cassette recorder (“What’s that?”) from a computer you hooked up to the antenna jack (“What’s that?”) on a TV.
When I see Beatrix pick up my iPad and, after some very brief instruction, launch the Photo app, gleefully squeal “Pinch!” and “Swipe!” as she does just that to navigate the interface, I can’t help but think that this is all she will ever need to know about how one interacts with the computer for the foreseeable future. I can’t help but think that one day, we will be down in the basement, and she will see some old system we should have disposed of long ago, and it will have these strange things attached to them, things we never imagined doing without, and she’ll ask “Daddy, what’s that?”.
I want to start off by saying that all credit for the tip goes to Andy Ihnatko and last weeks episode of MacBreak Weekly. On that episode, for his pick of the week, he mentioned that he picked up a pair of rubber stoppers at his local hardware store as the perfect portable solution for holding his iPad at a comfortable angle on a desk.
Today, I ran out and got some and, boy, I’ll be darned if they are not the most perfect thing ever for typing on the onscreen keyboard. The angle is just right for not only typing but viewing in this sort of situation as well. The total cost: $3.44 with tax. These will go in my bag and travel everywhere my iPad does. No need now for an expensive case that does the same.