Notes from 2015

I wish I could decide <2016-01-15 Fri>

I've been cleaning up my computer's desktop this morning and have dropped into an almost catatonic state of indecision. I don't know where to put files. There are too many choices. Finder, DEVONthink, Curio, TheBrain? All of them make sense for one context or another, but WHICH? It's going to make me crazy.

This site now has an RSS feed, sort of <2016-01-13 Wed>

This site doesn't have an RSS feed, sadly, as I don't know how to make one using Emacs publishing features. Some day.

In the meantime @sanspoint pointed me to Page2RSS. Page2RSS will monitor a page and update an RSS feed whenever it detects changes. I've set it up here and the feed URL looks like this: If it works I should see an update after publishing this note.

Better for me than Gnus: mu4e <2015-12-25 Fri>

I don't understand Gnus at all, but still want to read my email in Emacs. mu4e is working great. Mu4e is quite similar to Mutt, so it was immediately familiar. In the process I discovered mbsync and am finding it to be much faster and more consistent than Offlineimap. So far so good on the email front.

Back to the Extended Keyboard II <2015-12-21 Mon>

I don't think I'll ever get used to the new thin Apple keyboards. I'd rather suffer with an inconveniently-placed Control key than with squishy flat key

Trying to go all-in Emacs: Magit for Git and Gnus for email <2015-12-12 Sat>

I have it configured, but IMAP is a bit slow. Not sure I want to mess with the whole fetchmail/dovecot thing.

Update Nope! What was I thinking?

Apple Magic Keyboard and Trackpad <2015-12-10 Thu>

I prefer big, clicky keyboards. I never got on well with the little chic-let-key keyboards Apple has been selling. I have been using the beloved Apple Extended Keyboard II and it's still my favorite keyboard. I like it even better than those from Das or Matias.

Unfortunately, the old Apple keyboards have been acting a little flaky. This morning I switched them out for the new Apple Magic Keyboard and Trackpads. Just a little, but I'm fussy about keyboards so it was enough to get me thinking. The idea is that I'd like consistency across devices. Plus, the deeper I get into Emacs the more important it becomes to map the Caps Lock key to Control (which I can't do with the old Apple keyboard). It's weird, but I should get used to it eventually.

Org Mode and Spacemacs and Pandoc <2015-12-09 Wed>

I just ran into the pandoc layer for Spacemacs. This is awesome because I can use the same LaTeX templates I've used for years with Markdown (and BBEdit) but with Org Mode. Setting Pandoc variables is the key. I should write something up about all this.

And speaking of shifting sands… <2015-12-05 Sat>

Of course I completely refurbished my Org Mode system today. Added capture templates, some useful scripts, etc. Moved files around. This negates the changes I made last week to take into account my continued usage of TheBrain. Not sure how that's going to work now. Sigh. See A System of Shifting Sands

I am surprisingly fond of Basecamp 3 <2015-12-05 Sat>

I've not been a fan of Basecamp for a long time. It always seemed like a place for clients to post things and we'd have a quick discussion and then I could never find it again. There were other areas like Files and Emails but they always seemed far away somehow. The WYSIWYG editor was horrible. Basecamp 3 feels different. Better in almost every way. Maybe it was the way Campfire was rolled in. Maybe it's that they made the other features like Files feel like first-class citizens.

It could be just that it's new and shiny, but I'm enjoying the new Basecamp. It feels like a good place for project stakeholders to hang out.

A System of Shifting Sands <2015-12-05 Sat>

It would be funny if it didn’t waste so much of my time and money. I’m talking about my “system”. You know, the collection of duct tape and paper clips that I use to run the work and play of my life. It’s a mess. A changing, never-quite-right mess.

No Power <2015-12-03 Thu>

I'm so tired of constantly have to manage the power to and on my devices.

I love the iPad Pro (so far) <2015-12-02 Wed>

I've only had the iPad Pro for two days. I don't yet have the keyboard or Pencil. So far, I love it. It feels like the first actual iPad (and makes the others feel like nothing more than big iPhones). More as I get used to things and the novelty wears off, but so far so good.

Enabled FileVault on the MacBook Air <2015-11-30 Mon>

Not sure what took me so long to enable it. I hope nothing goes sideways.

Wrote a post about publishing this site with Org Mode <2015-11-29 Sun>

No longer using Fargo to publish these notes <2015-11-28 Sat>

I really like Fargo as both an outliner and a simple static blog generator. Problems with Fargo are not why I've switched to using Org Mode to publish this site. I've started using Org Mode because it's where I do much of my other writing already. This is part of a larger effort to reduce the number of tools I need.

Of course using Org Mode isn't ideal. There are no permalinks, archives, etc. It's just text files that get converted to HTML directly. That makes for a less than ideal experience for both reader and publisher. This site is meant primarily as a way for me to keep notes and have access to them everywhere, so this should work for now.

This is an excuse to use Org Mode for even more stuff <2015-11-28 Sat>

I wanted something simple (e.g. not Wordpress). I wanted something self-hosted (e.g. not Tumblr or Medium).

Learning to publish a site using Org Mode <2015-11-27 Fri>

I've put off learning how to use the Org Mode publishing system, but that seemed ideal for my purposes here so I bit the bullet and figured (most of) it out.

Some notes

Still can't get the UP link to work right. For some reason I can't set the links using the normal in-file directives but rather must set them in org-publish-project-alist which is not what I want.

Author: Jack Baty
Last update : 2016-02-10 Wed 13:09