Micro-blogging

I’m no stranger to micro-blogging. I used to have a Tumblr blog for many years, but fell out of love with that place eventually. Not for lack of stuff to share, by any means. No, Tumblr lost me because it is actually quite hard work to do long-form blogging on there, and if you start a post in Markdown and save it as a draft, it gets converted to HTML. Fun! (Not.)

(And then Tumblr got gobbled up by Yahoo, which in turn got gobbled up by Verizon and stitched together with the remnants of AOL to form Oath. Possibly a reference to what passed a lot of people’s lips when they heard that news.)

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The Right Tool For The Job

I’ve been gradually thinning out the number of applications I have on my Mac and iPad, and my Android phone.

Some apps are a given, because they come with the device.

Others are there because I regularly use them every day on at least one of my devices.

A few games, but preferably those that I can pick up and put down easily. I will play longer games occasionally, but only when I have spare time to do so.

If it came from an App Store, and I’m not using it, it’s uninstalled. I can quickly add it back if my needs change.

Fewer multi-tools. They are invariably heavy and ponderous, and that tends to outweigh (pun intended) their utility over time. Not even if It’s What Everyone Uses. (Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office.)

Learn the heck out of the tools that I do use. Practice, practice, practice until it’s instinctive.

(Related: learn how to make your device’s OS work for you, not the other way around.)

Clear the desktop / home screen. Spotlight or Start Menu search to open the app I need right now.

(Related: only auto-start the really necessary apps. And tell the others to cut down their nagging notifications!)


I will add that I’ve been both a digital hoarder and sucker for shiny new apps in the past. I’m getting better now.

One year to go—according to Microsoft’s current lifecycle plan—until Windows 7 ceases to be supported. Will it be that simple, or will 7 be the new XP, with end-users reluctant to move on to 10? The debacle over the botched 1809 update won’t have helped, I suspect.

Going through my Amazon wish lists and thinning them out. Do I really need that book I added on a whim several years ago? Also, choosing ebooks and MP3 over physical media wherever possible.

(Quick plug for CamelCamelCamel, daft name but great price-watcher service.)

RIP Anthony John Ralph, 1939–2018

We had the funeral service for my Dad today. Private family event, plain coffin, no religious ceremony, no flowers, no public announcement, as he’d requested.

Coffin was brought in to “Oh Didn’t He Ramble” performed by Jelly Roll Morton. Curtain closed to “Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye” by Spike Jones & His City Slickers. 🙂

Ashes will be returned to us in a few days. (Both my parents wanted a green burial, but that wasn’t a viable option, so cremation instead.)

Still have some legal and financial things to sort out, but it’s closure of sorts.

We went to one of Dad’s favourite restaurants afterwards and shared stories.

I was reminded today why I’m glad I stopped being a system administrator for Windows devices.

The UI may change, but when things go wrong the WTF is just the same.

Of course, Windows 10 itself could be considered a WTF. Which is a bit unfair, as both Windows 8 and Windows Vista were considerably worse in my experience.

For the record, my primary OS these days is macOS. (I also have a virtual machine running Windows 10 for a few apps I occasionally need.) And macOS does have some WTF of its own, fewer in number and different in kind but still occasionally frustrating.

I downloaded my Facebook data just now

There’s not a lot in there, but then that’s not a huge surprise considering:

  • My relatively low rate of posting.

  • No games or apps.

  • Only a few photos and videos.

  • Locked my profile the heck down.

I had a previous FB profile from 2007 until 2015, when I nuked it. I reluctantly came back in 2016 because I’d lost touch with a lot of people. But now I think it’s time to go and not come back, ever. Besides all the creepy and shady stuff that has come out in the last year or so, it’s the fact that I need an adblocker plus FB Purity just to make the site palatable enough to visit. (Desktop browser only, no mobile apps.)