Jack Baty

Recent content on Jack Baty

Housekeeping: Posting to Baty.blog

I thought I was serious this time, but I really do prefer posting using Blot to Hugo.

This means I’m once again writing primarily at https://www.baty.blog/ and https://rudimentarylathe.org/

RSS feed for the blog is https://www.baty.blog/feed.rss

See you there.

Tue, 22 Jan 2019 13:54:37 -0500

Now that I've deleted [Social Network]...

Talking about quitting things is sapping my energy.

There are of course valid reasons to stop using a service, platform, or company. I’ve deleted Facebook and LinkedIn and have stopped posting to Instagram and Twitter for many of these same reasons.

While I wouldn’t ask anyone to not tell people they’ve moved on from a social network1, I would like to see less about why they’ve quit and more about what they will do instead.

Most articles I’ve read about quitting are 90% rationale and 10% about what’s next. I’d prefer to see that reversed. Something like…

So, now that I’ve deleted Facebook…
[2,000 words about what I’m doing instead]

Make it about starting something rather than about quitting. I think that would be better.

  1. I’m guilty of this. Example A, Example B [return]

Sat, 19 Jan 2019 12:14:25 -0500

Attacking Jack Dorsey

I’m no fan of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. I don’t agree with how he’s handled the many serious issues plaguing Twitter, but my opinion of him doesn’t border on the hysterical. I think he’s a flawed person with an impossible job. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have the same reaction to the Huffington Post Interview as so many others did.

Bias is powerful, and when you’re predisposed to dislike someone, it’s easy to want to give a high five and say “Sick Burn, Ashley!” after reading the interview.

I was ready to do the same thing, but I didn’t see it. The interview feels like she’s waiting to yell “Neener neener, I got ya!” the whole time and that’s disappointing.

I like that she tried to get Jack to talk specifics, I just don’t like how she did it.

“Don’t @ me”

Sat, 19 Jan 2019 09:43:02 -0500

Fixing Easy Hugo

I’d been fighting with what I thought was a bug in easy-hugo, but when I stopped posting with Hugo I sort of forgot about it.

Now that I’m back I finally dug in and tried solving the problem.

The solution was simple but took me hours to find. I had put the following in my config.toml file…

newContentEditor = "vim"

Posting with Emacs/easy-hugo would obviously (in hindsight) not care for that. I removed the setting and I’m off and running with easy-hugo.

Here’s my config, fwiw…

;; Hugo config

;; This fixes an easy-hugo error when switching publish directories
;; when there are many
(setq max-specpdl-size 10000)
(setq max-lisp-eval-depth 10000)

(use-package easy-hugo
  :ensure t
  (setq easy-hugo-basedir "~/Dropbox/sites/blog/")
  (setq easy-hugo-url "https://www.baty.net")
  (setq easy-hugo-image-directory "img/2019")
  (setq easy-hugo-postdir "content/post/2019")
  (setq easy-hugo-previewtime "300")
  (setq easy-hugo-preview-url "http://localhost:1313/")
  (setq easy-hugo-bloglist
	;; blog2 setting
	'(((easy-hugo-basedir . "~/Desktop/quickstart/")
	(easy-hugo-url . "http://example2.com")
	(easy-hugo-sshdomain . "myblogdomain")))))

Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:20:50 -0500

Struggling with Lightroom CC

I’ve been trying to use Lightroom CC exclusively for managing and editing photos. The intention was to go all-in for a while and determine if I could live there.

I don’t think I can.

This is me just thinking out loud after a few weeks of giving Lightroom a fair shake.

Overall, Lightroom CC is fine. It’s missing some “power user” features from things like Lightroom Classic or Capture One Pro, but it’s easy to use, fairly powerful, and “nice”. I love being able to view and edit photos on any device at any time. That alone is what lead me to try this experiment. I like that it’s pared down and simple. I like that it now has Faces and “Sensei” for searches. The cloud has some magic features, certainly.

But the magic of the cloud is also the dealbreaker. I just can’t get past the thought of having all my photos managed and hosted by Adobe…basically forever. I don’t like that I can’t even look at my photos without using Lightroom. I don’t like that I can’t manage file names. I don’t like that there’s still no “trash” and if I were to fumble-finger a deletion I could lose photos permanently.

It feels unsafe for me to trust my library to Adobe’s cloud. I’ve got nothing against Adobe, and their software subscription plans are fair and a good value. Storage plans, on the other hand, could get steep, and that’s only going to get worse as my library grows.

I’m learning (or possibly confirming) that I’m lost without a “Reveal in Finder” option. I don’t like not having control over the underlying files.

This experiment may be drawing to a close. I may have to crawl back and beg Capture One Pro to take me back.

Wiki note

Mon, 14 Jan 2019 20:46:31 -0500

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land cover

After meaning to read Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land for years I made the mistake of actually doing it. I tried, but couldn’t make it more than about half-way before giving up.

Does this mean I lose my sci-fi fan club membership?

Sun, 13 Jan 2019 16:42:38 -0500

Doom Emacs

Well this was a terrible idea.

I learned a lot, but, with apologies to Emacs purists, there’s just no way using Emacs keybindings makes sense for me as long as Evil-mode is available. I’m hardwired for modal, Vim-like editing, and can imagine no benefit that would make it worth the necessary rewiring needed in order to switch.

But, I don’t want to go all the way back to Spacemacs so I’m once again giving Doom-emacs a shot.

Doom feels lighter, faster, and easier to configure and customize so I’m running with it.

Sun, 13 Jan 2019 15:34:41 -0500

Burning down the other blogs

Match with

Jean MacDonald invited me to be on the Micro Monday podcast recently. It was fun. We talked about blogging, of course, and at one point I said something like “My goal in life is to have only one blog”. We both got a chuckle out of that, because we both knew I’m practically riddled with blogs.

Not anymore.

Today, I burned down my WordPress blog at jack.baty.net and my Blot.im blog at baty.blog. Normally, I leave things where they are and just stop posting to them. This time, however, I moved the content to baty.net, set up domain redirects, and deleted them. This means I’m no longer tempated to post elsewhere, nor do I have to think about “which blog should this go on?”. Radical.

This leaves me with…

How long will this last? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Update 2019.01.26: Not long, apparently. I missed using Blot so much that I’ve reverted to posting to baty.blog.

Sun, 13 Jan 2019 13:41:51 -0500

...or maybe at rudimentarylathe.org

Long, repeating story short, I’m also busy at rudimentarylathe.org.

I’m nothing if not inconsistent.

Sat, 12 Jan 2019 10:03:16 -0400

Mastering Emacs (from scratch)

Here we go (again)

I recently had an epiphany about Emacs key bindings…

The most compelling reason I’ve found yet for switching to the “normal” Emacs keybindings is that many of the same bindings work everywhere on a Mac. This just occurred to me and now I have to decide if I want to lose weeks of my life to making the switch.

So now I’m re-reading Mastering Emacs with the goal of building everything from scratch and learning the “Emacs Way” of doing things.

My entry into Emacs was via Spacemacs and evil-mode so I have many old habits to break.

I guess I’ll be losing those weeks after all.

Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000

Changing my default date format

For years I’ve written dates using the One True Date Format, YYYY-MM-DD, but that may be about to change.

I’m thinking of changing it to YYYY.MM.DD.

I tend to prefix everything with a date and the dotted notation results in a narrower date (when using proportional fonts) and makes it easiest to scan. “2019.01.09” looks like a single text object, while “2019-01-09” looks like three things, hyphenated. It’s hard to explain, but given its space-saving and list-scanning properties, I’m going to try the dotted notation for a while.

Wed, 09 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000

The 2018 Emoji Report – Rands in Repose


Lastly, and most importantly, yes, I’m an adult, and I can use my words. But each emoji I use is an email not sent.

It took me a while to get on board with emoji, but I’ve grown to not only love them, but to practically rely on them

Tue, 08 Jan 2019 01:59:01 +0000

The notebook situation so far in 2019

Hobonichi Techo and Moleskine Sketchbook

My notebook configuration looks nothing like I planned it just a week ago. I had intended to keep things just like last year but nope.

I bought a couple new Leuchtturm Bullet Journals and prepped the first of them for the coming year. I was thinking that, as adorable as it is, I’d leave the Hobonichi Techo out of rotation.

What’s actually happening is that I’ve ended up with an A4 Moleskine Sketchbook and I’m using the little Techo instead of the Leuchtturm.

I know, right? It caught me by surprise too.

The Moleskine Sketchbook as a journal

I bought a little 4×6 photo printer and have been having a ball with it. The big Moleskine gives me room to glue a photo or two to a page and still write stuff around it. I’m really liking this.

The Techo is so wonderful I just couldn’t leave it on the sidelines, so I put the Bullet Journal aside instead. I’m still working out how to make the Techo “Bullet Journal-esque” but for now I’m just pretending it’s a normal Bullet Journal with a built in calendar. It’s working fine so far.

Of course I still carry a Field Notes notebook in the fabulous Bellroy cover, and I don’t expect that to ever change.

Let’s see where things are in a couple of months.

Tue, 08 Jan 2019 01:34:37 +0000

Said I'd like to know where, you got the Notion

I keep reading that people love Notion.so, and I don’t mean to rock the boat, but I don’t get it. I tried kicking it around a few times and almost nothing about it clicks for me. Notion strikes me as one of those things that tries to do everything but ends up doing nothing well.

I can’t imagine using it with a team and them being able to keep track of what’s used for what and why. I couldn’t even get a team to manage a few todo lists in Asana.

If enough people keep raving, I’m sure I’ll give Notion another go. But for now, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000

Steve Mays remixes my photo

Steve Mays had some fun remixing a recent photo of mine

Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000

The Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle

I’m far from being a coffee snob, but I am a sucker for beautiful, functional everyday objects, and I fell hard for the Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle.

Fellow Stagg EKG electric kettle

Counter space is precious, and I avoid things that need to be left out. The Stagg, though, is nice enough to justify the space. It sits there looking more like a sculpture than an appliance.

I love that it uses actual, physical, switches and knobs. I think we could all use more real knobs.

I also love the entire “pour-over” system from Fellow

Fellow “Pour-over” system

Coming from a Chemex and basic stove-top kettle, the Stagg has been quite an improvement. Water heats faster, with precision. Pouring is delicate and controllable. The filtering happens more quickly. I love the funnel, serving markings, and drip catcher. I make 2 cups, and the second cup stays hot in the double-walled glass carafe while I drink the first cup.

I like coffee, but I’ve never thought too much about it. Suddenly, I’ve started to care. The entire process of making a cup of coffee has become delightful, so I’m thinking about where I can go from here.

Sun, 06 Jan 2019 14:35:36 +0000

The gem Apple discontinued: the 11-inch MacBook Air – Riccardo Mori

Riccardo Mori:

After two weeks with the 11‐inch MacBook Air, one thing is crystal clear to me: this is the best version of ‘Thin & Light’ Apple has ever made.

I agree. The 11-inch MacBook Air is the best computer I’ve ever used.

Sat, 05 Jan 2019 21:58:32 +0000

TiddlyWiki is changing how I think about writing online

I remain infatuated with TiddlyWiki. There’s a certain genius in its design that has captured my imagination.

As an experiment, I started a new wiki and published it at rudimentarylathe.org. I’m easily distracted by shiny new things, so I spent a few days learning my way around TiddlyWiki by posting notes and miscellaneous snippets there.

What I’m finding is that TiddlyWiki is changing how I think about writing online. I don’t yet understand why, but I suspect it’s about being able to just throw things at it without feeling like I’m “publishing”. There’s no RSS feed. The only way anyone else might read what I write there is if I link to it on my “real” blog or if someone just stumbles upon it. It feels like a personal, but not private, space.

I think of each “tiddler” in my wiki is just a blob of text that is by default unrelated to everything else. I can link and tag them in order to define some semblance of structure, but it’s not necessary. There are “Recent” and “New” tabs but otherwise there’s not really a “timeline” of any sort. I’m currently putting recent entries on the main “Story” view but that’s probably just vestigial behavior from years of a reverse-chronological mindset. It’s very refreshing!

Any wiki could do most of this, but there’s something different the way TiddlyWiki goes about it. It feels different, in that it’s not page-based, but note-based. Or maybe thought-based. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m digging it.

So, what am I putting at rudimentarylathe.org? I’m not sure yet. So far it’s been…

I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Sat, 05 Jan 2019 13:52:49 +0000

I’ll be sticking with the HHKB

I thought I’d try a 60%, split layout keyboard, so I ordered an Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

TL;DR I’m not keeping it.

Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

The split layout isn’t for me. It feels like one more thing to adjust and I’m not sold on the ergonomic advantages. I’ve been using a Happy Hacking Keyboard for a while and I love it. I’m not even sure why I tried anything else. Probably because the UHK is so damn customizable. I tried customizing it every way I could think of but nothing felt right. Also, I’m sure that having to switch between UHK and HHKB layouts between work and home would drive me nuts.

And I just can’t get over how much I love the HHKB’s Topre switches.

So I bought a second HHKB and that settles it.

Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2

Tue, 01 Jan 2019 22:40:49 +0000

The Coen brothers about Netflix – LA Times

From Josh Rottenberg’s interview with the Coens, Los Angeles Times:

…the more fundamental thing is that [Netflix are] the people who are stepping up and spending money on movies that aren’t Marvel comic movies or big action franchise movies and that type of thing, which is pretty much the business of the studios now. We can’t argue with that.

Tue, 01 Jan 2019 17:35:01 +0000

Page created: Thu, May 09, 2019 - 09:05 PM GMT