I read Christopher Paolini’s “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.” I enjoyed this book, but I would say it was a 200-page book compressed into … well over 800 pages. 📚

I read Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Memory, the 3rd installment in the Children of Time series. If you’re confused for 4/5 of the book, wait for it. If you’re into writers that imagine other-than-human sentience and explore the meaning of self, there’s no better author. 📚

Good interview with Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker on this episode of Decoder. I hope it inspires more people to try Mozilla products and I wish more companies had nonprofit business models. 💻

“Our shareholder is not looking for maximum financial return; it’s looking for maximum public benefit.”

I read Stephen King’s Fairy Tale. Not a great novel, but enjoyable enough. It’s a meta creation that plays with tropes. 📚

Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, from the Maryland overlook. I hiked a 6.6 mile loop today, which included a stop to take this photo. It was relatively crowded on this cold and windy day, so I imagine this is a trail to avoid in the warmer months! What a nice view. 📷

Cider is an excellent Apple Music client on Linux. 💻

Arrow Keys (for Keyboards Without Arrow Keys)

Do mechanical keyboards really need arrow keys?

Interesting idea showcased in this article from The Verge: an upcoming Angry Miao mechanical keyboard that adds a capacitive touchpad to use for arrow movement or other functions.

I use an ErgoDox EZ split keyboard that has no arrow keys. I find that placing the arrow keys on another layer works fine with practice. However, I still prefer to have arrow keys visible and easy to access. My preferred solution is to use a tiny SIXKEYBOARD placed to the left of my keyboard. The primary downside: this adds another cable to manage.

The First Digital Nation

A sobering read: The First Digital Nation by Lilian Bernhardt.

The island country of Tuvalu moves towards the virtual world as climate change threatens its physical territory.

According to Kausea Natano, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Pacific Island nations contribute less than 0.03% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

This is from The Long Now Foundation: “a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking.” It’s a small detail, but note how they reference the year.

I’ve been following this foundation since I learned about it in 2011. It’s interesting to look back at my old blog post, in which I cite IBM’s Watson, in light of where we are today with AI. Also timely to read this article about Tuvalu in light of the recent adjustment of the Doomsday Clock.

I also recommend The Long Now’s excellent podcast.

Whatever happened to “No Man’s Sky” coming to the Mac by the end of 2022? I’m not a huge gamer, but I do quite like this game and want to see what’s it like on my Mac Studio. I say I’m not a huge gamer, but I did just buy a Steam Deck … more thoughts on that later. 🎮

Turkey Point light station, Maryland. This is one small inlet of the Chesapeake, gives a sense of just how large this bay is: largest estuary in the U.S. 📷

lighthouse with Chesapeake Bay in background on sunny January day

On the Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking

The Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking debuted at the end of 2021, but I just learned of it today. I’ll post the entire thing here, as the manifesto requires: “This declaration may be freely copied in any form, but only in its entirety, including this notice.”

We recognize that an immense amount of useful information is available digitally, and that tremendous value can be gained by connecting this information. Connected knowledge enables people to create great products, solve important problems and improve themselves.

We also recognize that humans work best in psychological flow. Switching contexts, even to search for information, interferes with flow while consuming precious mental capacity, brain energy and time. Activating an aptly-placed link to information is easier and faster than searching for the information — and more protective of flow.

We affirm that the ability to copy a link to a resource is as important for cognitive productivity as the ability to copy other types of information. This applies to all persistent digital information.

We invite software developers to do their part, by

  1. ensuring their users can conveniently obtain a link to the currently open or selected resource via a user interface; and
  1. providing an application programming interface (API) to obtain or construct a link to that resource (i.e., to get its address and name). To help people benefit from the information they process with software, we advocate ubiquitous support for linking of information resources. This would help realize the potential of hypermedia that was envisioned by information technology pioneers such as Ted Nelson and Douglas Englebart.

A good goal and, fortunately for me, most of the apps I use are link-friendly.

From Adam Engst of Tidbits:

Keep in mind, this is a manifesto, not a technology, standard, spec, or product. The Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking is meant to encourage developers to add linking capabilities to their apps such that every distinct information resource within the app can be accessed via a link. And it encourages users who want to reap the cognitive benefits to request such support from the developers of the apps they use.

I read the first two books in the Monk and Robot series by Becky Chambers. These short books are not my typical fare, but I enjoyed. Themes are kindness, hope, the Important Stuff about being human. And there is a nice robot. It’s a meditative kind of series. Refreshing. 📚

  1. Hokusai’s “Great Wave” is quite different depending on how you read. Looking at a Hokusai picture (via @soonleenz@wandering.shop) 📖

  2. An amazing infographic (created by @leahdriel@fediscience.org): A classification table of mother sauces and their common derivates 🍳

I read Babel, by R.F. Kuang. Choose the audiobook: it’s uniquely suited to the medium. This story is alternative history with magic, but it’s not escapist fantasy. It’s also not easy or comfortable to read (no spoilers), but these are often traits of an excellent book. 📚

As a devotee of RSS, the rise of newsletters continues to mystify me. But I’ve adapted. Today, there are some newsletters I enjoy, but I’ve never liked inbox delivery. So this is the best thing I learned about this week: kill-the-newsletter.com 📖

Well this is new to me and I love it: Music for Programming 🎶

I upgraded to Fedora 37 and like it. I intend to write a longer post to explain why I run this in a VM on a Mac Studio. But perhaps the root of it is that it just makes me happy. That said, there’s more backstory to share that’s about the joy of reviving old laptops — a minor obsession that began with Puppy Linux in 2007.

(Sign me up) When a woodworker buys a forest

In 2023, you will be able to attend woodworking classes in Japan while gazing upon a forest at the edge of Mt. Fuji. Not only is Tak Yoshino currently building a school where he bought a forest; he is building the school out of said forest. Mt. Fuji Wood Culture Society will indeed be open to the international community.

FMail2 for Fastmail

If you use Fastmail and wish they offered a Mac app, check out FMail2, a labor of love from a developer in France. It’s free (but buy him a coffee to show your appreciation).

Email provider Fastmail has native iOS and Android clients. But nothing for macOS. The web interface used by Fastmail is excellent. The big thing missing, is that the web interface cannot behave like a native mail application. It can, for example, not handle email links. When you click on such a link it is the macOS Mail application that opens. That is not what we want.

Remember Letterpress? I began a match in March that is still underway. We have yet to use 3 letters on the board (Z,M,K). We are avoiding these tiles at all cost. I don’t know why. It was an unspoken, organic decision. We just hit 401 words. This match may not end. 🕹️

This evening, I am perusing Take Control of Untangling Connections by Glenn Fleishman. A good reference book to understand the evolution of USB and Thunderbolt. 📚

Tiny Tenkara for Tiny Streams

I deployed my Tiny Tenkara rod (4’ 11”) on a small mountain stream in Pennsylvania today. Worked great on brookies, until I unexpectedly caught a big brown. I lost that fight in seconds.

After that, I switched to my (much) longer and stronger Dragontail Mutant Tenkara rod in a bout of optimism… and then caught only trees and bushes. For those who Tenkara, just want to share that such a tiny rod exists — it’s the only rod that works in many tight spaces and folds up small enough to keep in a pocket.

Tiny tenkara rod in hand, with stream in background

Affinity V2 universal license (no subscription) for $99 is looking pretty good to me, especially considering I bought V1 Affinity Photo in 2016 and Designer in 2015.

I experimented with night shots using my iPhone 13 Mini while at Savage River. I took a shot as the near-full moon rose over the mountains on a cloudy night. This is a shot at 9 PM with a 10-second exposure, handheld. It was very dark, so I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised.

While I was fishing at Savage River, I came across a giant chicken of the woods. I took about three pounds home to eat, which wasn’t even half.