Upcoming blog post on Numeric Citizen Blog: more than 2800 words 😳 to talk about how I tweaked and made macOS Big Sur a powerful and productivity friendly desktop experience for me with the use of more than 20 third-party utilities. 👨🏻‍💻

Well, if that was the case, this would add fuel to any anti-trust initiative. No?

iMessage Kept Off Android for iOS Lock-in initialcharge.net/2021/04/i…

Why I Love Taking Photos of Abandoned Places. world.hey.com/jf.m/why-…

I should read this every day. Thanks to @gr36.

> numericcitizen numericcitizen.io

The race is on. Can’t wait for the moment Notion’s APIs go live and Craft be updated to support them so it can suck all my data from Notion. #notionhq #craftdocs

This is a test with the most recent update to a little-know utility: Linky. I love it. 👍🏻

Substack vs Buttondown — Who’s Better? — My Observations - Numeric Citizen Blog numericcitizen.me/2021/03/2…

On iCloud Photo Library migration (#keyword)

In a surprising move, Apple starting today allows people to export their iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos. Why not provide a download to a local computer, outside the Photos app. I can see many use cases for doing so: backup purposes or simply to dump photos in a structure of directories for archiving purposes.

For those who likes newsletters, I’ve got one too! It’a about Apple, photography, privacy and climate change, in that order! https://numericcitizen.substack.com/p/2021-02

Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets

More shit like this and I guess Twitter will be my next one to quit.

The beginning of the end for me and Twitter?

Who remember Motorola 68000 Assembly? I do. (#apple #history #macintosh)

I dug out my ancient Inside Macintosh reference books from storage. Remember when Apple’s developer documentation came as paper books? Volumes I-III on the original Mac APIs, IV on Mac Plus, V on color Macs, and the truly massive volume VI on System 7. 📚

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

Inside Macintosh reference books

I did some 68000 assembly using my 512Ke Mac back in the days. Can’t remember what was the development environment, though. And I remember these Inside Apple Macintosh books so well. That was a lot of stuff to learn. Time flies.

What the hell is going on with Flickr? (#Flickr #photography)

This morning I got the most recent update to the venerable photo sharing service: Flickr. The only addition to this update, support for iOS 14 widgets. Finally! It’s quite a change from the usual “Bug fixes and improvements.”. Even if I’m no longer actively using Flickr, I was happy to see that widgets were finally supported. So, I frantically updated the apps to have a look at the possibilities. What a let down. Sure, all three sizes are supported, but we cannot change any widget settings! How about being able to set the source for pictures or even stats or anything! Nope. I call this pathetic.

No wonder why I left Flickr and services like Unsplash took over the world. Over the years and during its tumultuous history, Flickr was a series of promises left without real and deep actions to transform the platform. They brag about having two million groups. It takes just a few minutes to see that a vast majority of these groups are ghost towns. And don’t get me started with the general design of the app and the website.

A fix is coming (#apple #M1macmini #bluetooth)

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At long last, relief is in sight. My M1 Mac mini is not able to keep a stable Bluetooth connection with Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse. It’s very frustrating. While waiting for a permanent fix, I’m using a USB PC mouse, and I keep my Magic Keyboard connected via a USB-C to lightning cable connected on my LG Ultra Fine 4K monitor. What a messy experience for such a small performance wonder.

Mac sales booming but the best is yet to come (#apple #m1mac #applesilicon)

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Thanks to the small wonder, the M1 chip and the Apple silicon transition, Mac sales are booming. According to a recent IDC report, Mac sales are up by nearly 30% compared to the same period, a year ago. Apple’s market share increased globally by 1%, which is quite impressive for Apple.

My take: I have the feeling that we ain’t see nothing yet. As the work-from-home trend continues, with the rest of the MacBook Pro line still to transition to the M1 chip, a long-awaited redesiged iMac, 2021 could be a monster year for the Mac and Apple. And beyong 2021 and the pandemic? Ask Horace Dediu.

Programming, mathematics and brain activities (#research #computers #computerscience)

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What does it take to be a hood programmer? Or better yet, what does it take to like programming hence writing or reading algorithms? Math? Language? Arts? A combination? When I started in computer science at the University, my friends thought that I was good at maths. It wasn’t the case. Before deciding which field I would like to study, I was afraid of computer science, thinking myself that we had to be really good with mathematics. My experience shows that it is not the case. I’m average at maths but good at programming and in computer science in general. Is it surprising? According to this article, no. In fact, computer programming isn’t the same thing as doing maths from a brain activity perspective. It is more like something very demanding where a totally different part of the brain is solicited. Fascinating. It may (or may not) explain why you can be good in computer science but not as good in mathematics. Who knows.

By having a better understanding of what parts of the brain are solicited, we may find common ground with other disciplines. It is really hard to attract people in computer science and knowing what it takes from a brain perspective could help direct efforts of recruiting the right people who will like to read and write algorythms but are not good at maths!

Ten Reasons to love RSS feeds (#rss #openstandard)

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Alan Ralph, in a blog post, exposes ten reasons why he loves RSS feeds. I agree on all accounts. When I look closer, it all comes down to: control. Control is something we don’t have these days on social networks and social media. We live in a numeric world full of algorithmically-generated feeds and content. We lose control of our feeds. George Orwell was right.

RSS feed, a simple and open standard, is the key, within an RSS reader, of a more open and user-centered and mostly ads-free Internet. RSS feeds are important.

On the original iPhone, back in 2007 (#apple #iPhone #blackberry)

Steve Jobs with original iPhone

Thirteen years already. Gosh, time flies. Steve Jobs announces the iPhone. One of his best presentation. I remember it so well. At that time, I was a huge user (and fan) of the Blackberry. After using a RIM two-way pager for a while, I upgraded to Blackberry with a bigger screen with a monochrome display. But, with the iPhone, I knew, deep within me, this would be a real game-changer. My feelings were the same as with the launch of the Macintosh. What I didn’t know, though, was how profound and long-lasting the iPhone-effect would be on the rest of the tech world. We still feel its effect these days. I had to wait until the iPhone 3GS, in 2009, to get my hands on one for my personal use. I was still using a Blackberry for the office. Yep, I had two smartphones with me all the time.

How to turn me off big time (#signin #services #facebooklogin)

Signin with Facebook

What’s out for 2021? These “Connect with Facebook” screen. Please, stop doing that. It’s 2021. If a service, in order to create a new account, offers a “Connect with Facebook”, it is a no go for me, no mather if alternatives are provided. Facebook is like cancer. Period.

Unsplash is growing fast — and I like it even more! (@unsplash #photography)

Cleanshot  Safari app  2021 01 08 at 12 06 48

Unsplash started the year 2021 with a bang; they are introducing a visual search feature. How cool is that! Use cases for this feature are aplenty. Imagine you come across a great picture on Unsplash and would like to see if there are any more variants of it. Here comes the new visual search feature. Here is another one that could be a game-changer. Suppose you happen to find a picture online that is tied by a very restrictive license. Copy this image URL and paste it in the visual search of Unsplash to see if there are any similar pictures. Voilà! As the Unsplash library doubles every year, the probability of finding an alternative image increases. Lastly, the visual search feature helps you determine if a specific image on the way comes from Unsplash. It is useful to find the creator of the image when no credits are given.

Next week - back to a "normal" day job (#blogging #writing #personalnews)

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Next week marks the end of a three-week vacation. I’m lucky. Three weeks where I forgot about my work and became a full-time blogger, writer, content creator. Time flies. There is a need for normality, I guess, and this means returning to work.

Expect a less frequent publishing schedule. Don’t worry; I won’t go very far, thanks to our new confinement and curfew starting this very Saturday. Oh well.

About My Friday Notes on @Medium (#writing #blogging #medium)

Siora photography kY6HbkiauSc unsplashToday, I decided to remove my Friday Notes stories from Medium paywall. In other words, you can read them without paying a penny to Medium. They can be found here, in my Numeric Citizen Tidbits Newsletter. Please, if you like ‘em, give ‘em some hands claps! Thanks.

Use case for multi-user support on iPad (#apple #ipadOS #iPad)

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In his predictions for iPad in 2021, iPadInsight puts multi-user support on top of its list for iPadOS 15 without mentionning a real use case beyond the obvious. Let me explain.

Do we ask multi-user support on iPad because it is something we take for granted on “traditional” computers? Or is because there is a real use case for that feature, beyond the classroom or the conference room? Does the multi-user support solve the problem of your friend borrowing your iPad while keeping him or her from seeing your stuff?

Enabling multi-user support on the iPad has profound implications. How would the instant-on, instant-use experience be impacted by having multi-user enabled? Is the security enclave capable of holding more than one user FaceID? How iCloud Drive data be handled if users both have their data in icloud, the same way as on macOS? What about apps collections being different from one user to the other, how the iPad homescreen change upon logoff-logon? How fast? What kind of pressure does this feature put on the iPad system memory? Would this feature enabled on the Pro line only?

For me, the iPad is a personal device, just like the iPhone. Apple likes it this way, for their bottom line. That’s my guess.

Another wild Microsoft rumour about Outlook (#microsoft #rumours #outlook #office365)

Microsoft converts Outlook website into a progressive web app

Here is another wild one: Microsoft is reportedly working on making Outlook a progressive web application for all platforms. Progressive web application isn’t new and Microsoft already makes a version of Outlook in this format. What is new is that it would replace all native versions of the Outlook client: no more are native versions of Outlook for Windows or the Mac.

I’m not sure if this is good or bad news. I’m always wary about cross-platform tech. There is always something lost in translation. The other question that comes to my mind, why is Microsoft moving way from native applications in its ecosystem?

Yet, not all is lost, a good side effect of this move would be to reduce memory consumption on the client. As use can see in this tweet, the native version of Outlook can use large chunk of your computer memory.

The port-less iPhone is coming (#apple #iPhone #rumours)

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With patents like this, we can see clearly into Apple’s vision for the future of the iPhone. Apple is committed to remove the Lightning port from its iPhone line. I don’t expect them to go through USB-C. This is Apple. By adding more ways to charge without contacts, Apple removes the friction points off the user experience in a world of port-less iPhone.

About this rumoured big Windows visual overhaul (#microsoft #windows)

Newwindows10startmenu png

If only Microsoft could finish the job started with Windows 7. Windows 10 user interface is a bunch of previously used visual elements that Microsoft doesn’t care to clean up. For example, consider the computer settings area. On the surface, the iconography speaks the recent visual langague defined by Microsoft. But, as you try to go deeper to change a less frequently used setting, you’re back to a pre-Windows 10 era. I don’t believe Microsoft will do this “major” refresh as recently reported by Windows Central, not in a way they refused to do in the last ten years, anyway.

As a side note, colour me Apple fanboy if you want, but many pundits will grumble when Apple is actually refreshing the user interface like they did with macOS Big Sur (or iOS 7, remember?). At least, it is either consistently clean or consistently ugly, depending of your aestheticism tastes. You won’t as easily find a macOS Yosemite visual asset in macOS Big Sur or even macOS Catalina. Inconsistencies do exist in macOS but they are usually limited to very specific visual tweaks (like to trafic lights placements).