Productivity

    Switching from FileMaker to Numbers for Invoicing

    I began using FileMaker around 2001. I developed a handful of databases for clients but in recent years I've just been using it for my invoicing system and for personal projects. This past fall it occurred to me that it might be time to move on. I was thinking in terms of future updates, cost, simplicity and easier access to data from multiple devices. So I started looking around at possible small database apps as well as the possibility of using Apple's Numbers app.

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    Keychron K2

    My favorite keyboard in recent memory has been the Logitech K811. I bought it reconditioned from Amazon seven years ago. It’s no longer manufactured and mine is beginning to fail. It no longer pairs reliably and at least one key has stopped working. I’ve got at least one other similar Logitech keyboard that can be used but I often have issues with it and the iPad Pro. I’m not sure why.

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    Review: Logitech Combo Touch for the 12.9” iPad Pro

    At the the core of my love for the iPad are the many possibilities that come along with a touchscreen tablet. I particularly enjoy the variety of keyboards and stands that make for the modular computing experience that seem to define this form factor. Whenever the subject of external keyboards and cases come up, it’s common for people on the internet to ask, why not just get a laptop? The simple and best answer is that I can’t remove the screen from a laptop.

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    Experiments with Markdown Editors, Saving Content and Obsidian

    Background This post began as a post over at this thread at the Mac Power Users Forum. I started with Obsidian a couple months back but a funny thing happened. Because I do most of my computing on the iPad and there was at that time no Obsidian mobile app (it‘s in beta now), I started with my trusted iA Writer for the back-end editing of files but it does nothing with Wiki links.

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    Still here!

    So, it’s been awhile. Almost a full year since my last post here. But really, that’s just the way it goes. Interesting, looking at my last two posts from Late March and April 2020 explains why I’ve not posted here in a year which is to say that not much has changed that was really worth posting about. There are plenty of websites in the world sharing the details of Apple related news.

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    iPad and a Magic Trackpad 2

    Last week marked the 10 year anniversary of the release of iPad and I shared a few thoughts. In it I mentioned the recently released iPadOS 13.4 update which added cursor support. At the time I posted I’d been trying it with a Bluetooth mouse and found it fairly helpful though lacking in a few things, namely the swiping gestures that are so integral to using an iPad as a tablet.

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    Busy on two wheels!

    Way back in December I wrote a nice (and predictable) 10 year of iPad thing. Never quite got it finished. From this point on this post is not in the least bit about the iPad or Apple or computer tech. You see, dear reader, back in December I also purchased an e-bike. My first bike in 20 years! I was expecting to use it to ride a couple miles a day to visit with my folks who live nearby.

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    Frictionless Posting

    I’m in search of a better posting process for my two Word Press blogs. Really, it’s not that difficult. I usually post from iA Writer, sometimes the Micro.blog app, sometimes from Apple Notes and lastly, sometimes via the built in Share Sheet in iOS. Again, not really difficult. Just more taps than I’d like. Apparently I am extremely lazy.

    A few thoughts on Apple News and RSS apps

    I’ve been using RSS apps since the early(ish) days of it’s existence. I think it was 2002 or 2003 that it became a habit for me. I’ve had at least one RSS app on my Mac and then iPad ever since. For years that app was NetNewsWire. I’d occasionally try others but that was the gold standard. As I recall there was a time when it became a bit stagnate and then was sold.

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    Improved Blog Posting from the Notes App with Shortcuts

    This past October I posted about blogging from the Notes app In that example I was just sending my post straight to the WordPress Share Sheet which works fine too. I generally use iA Writer for blogging but it’s also nice to be able to post from Notes. That said, I’d also like to have a copy of all my posts as text files. Enter Shortcuts! I’ve made a shortcut that will post to WordPress but also makes a text file that I can save into the appropriate blog folder in my iA Writer documents.

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    Trip Cost Estimate Shortcut

    I don’t travel much but I’d recently pondered the idea of a road trip and wondered about the cost. In just a minute or two with the help of Apple Maps I had it figured out. But it occurred to me that this would be the perfect use case for a Shortcut so I put this together: Trip Cost Estimate It asks for you to choose from your Contacts for an address or to enter an address manually.

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    iPad Journal: Pages Update

    It’s been awhile since I’ve written about using Pages. Last time I wrote this: Pages is no substitute for something like Adobe’s InDesign but it works very well for brochures, small newsletters, posters and more. At the moment one of the features I miss most is the lack of linked text boxes which are often necessary for larger documents such as newsletters and annual reports. There are other limitations such as no text on path and no stroke for text, features I sometimes need for event posters and flyers.

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    iPad Journal: Multi-touch on the iPad 12.9"

    I’ve been using the larger iPad for nearly a month now and continue to consider it the best Apple device I’ve ever used. For casual browsing of the web via Safari, Reeder and Twitter it is essentially the same experience as with the iPad Air 2, just bigger. I probably use split screen more for that. But that’s not why I wanted the larger iPad. I wanted it for work and as a work device it is everything I hoped it would be.

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    iPad Journal: First Week with the 2017 iPad Pro

    [caption id=“attachment_447” align=“aligncenter” width=“2597”]Using Affinity Photo to design a promotional postcard[/caption] It’s been a week since the 12.9" 2017 iPad Pro arrived at my door. I can best summarize by saying that without any doubt, this is my favorite Apple device ever. I’m not surprised. I expected it would be. And I say that having used it on iOS 10 only. No beta for me. Actually, I should say that it’s not the iPad alone but the pairing of it with the Apple Smart Keyboard and Pencil.

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    A few links and thoughts on iPad after WWDC 2017

    Well, well, well. The 2017 WWDC has come and gone and much that iPad users hoped for has been announced. As far as I’m concerned Apple hit it out of the park. If the features announced work as well as they look then I will be very happy and more productive. While no operating system is ever really finished with iOS 11 we see the most significant complaints about the iPad being addressed.

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    iPad Journal: Affinity Photo for iPad!!

    [caption id=“attachment_426” align=“alignnone” width=“2048”]Affinity Photo on iPad[/caption] I’ve been using the Affinity apps, Photo and Designer, on my Mac for the past couple of years and thanks to them I’ve largely left Adobe behind. In fact, I only use Adobe for InDesign projects and for Illustrator’s trace functionality. It’s rare that I open up either Illustrator or Photoshop and I look forward to the day that I don’t need to have them installed.

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    iPad Journal: To-do or not to-do

    Last week the Apple nerdery got very excited with the release of Things 3. I took a look and realized that I’m not as interested in to-do apps as I used to be. Mostly I just do the things I need to do as they come my way. Making lists generally doesn’t help me. Perhaps it’s a limitation of my imagination or an indicator of a less active life. I’m just not so busy that I really need an app to keep track of tasks and projects.

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    iPad Journal: External Keyboards

    One interesting side-effect of using the iPad as a primary device is that I find myself accumulating keyboards. I consider it of great benefit that the iPad isn’t fixed to a keyboard. I can pick it up and use it all by itself which is largely the point of an iPad. For that reason I will not buy a case that requires the iPad be clipped into it in anyway that is not very easy to remove.

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    iPad Journal: Just a small thing: AirDrop

    I had a meeting/tutoring session with a client a couple days ago. She needed two things. A bit of work done to trace/vectorize a painting that she did which was to be put on t-shirts and other items as well as tutoring on how to go about doing that. She is retired but has a history in art, a mix of sculpting and some painting. But nothing digital. So, no experience with Adobe or any other.

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    iPad Journal: Setting up a new website

    I keep forgetting that the iPad is only meant for watching movies and reading websites! While I did use the Mac today to do a bit of revision on an annual report with InDesign most of my time was spent on the iPad: Set-up a new website for Revival Trade and Coffee Company. This entailed purchasing domain, configuring account, setting up files on server, creating and editing raw code on html and CSS files using Coda.

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