The Lathe #5

The Lathe #5

I’ve decided that newsletters are great. They provide a built-in commenting system simply by letting recipients hit “Reply”. And there’s no need for anyone to log in or give up any real privacy by doing so. Using email for communication also promotes replies by people who actually want to discuss something with me rather than using it as a platform via the comment section, as happens on blogs. I like it. If you also like it, (or if you don’t), please don’t hesitate to hit reply and tell me why. I enjoy getting email.

A Remarkable Tablet

You’ll find a paper notebook near me most of the time. Writing on paper helps me think. It also helps me remember things better than does typing notes into an app on a computer. Because I’m a visual thinker, writing on paper helps me find things later. I tend to remember, spacially, where I write things; as in, “It’s in the lower-left corner toward the front.”

I thought Apple’s iPad and Pencil would be ideal for taking notes. They aren’t. The combination of iPad and Pencil is an amazing bit of technology, but using an iPad as a notebook sucks. Writing on an iPad feels like using a somewhat clumsy input device through glass into a computer. I tried the screen covers that are supposed to make writing on an iPad feel more like paper. They don’t. And worse, the rest of the iPad’s features (along with the entire internet) are always right there, lurking behind the glass, waiting to distract me.

The Remarkable tablet is billed as “the only tablet that feels like paper,” so I was of course intrigued. Skeptical, but curious. I wondered if it could really replace my paper notebooks even after the iPad failed.

Turns out that, yes, it can.

The short version is that I love the Remarkable 2 tablet. The rest of my notes on using the Remarkable got long enough that I thought the whole thing would work better as a blog post, so if you’re interested the entire post can be found here.

Digital note taking

My ongoing note-taking app dilemma has not subsided. I dipped (more like dove) back into Emacs for a couple of days, then backed out again. I love Emacs, but I don’t want to live in Emacs. It’s hard to explain.

On the other hand, I still prefer Roam, and I actually want to live there because it’s easy, powerful, available, and it pays dividends.

I tweaked my wiki a bit this week, and spent more time adding content beyond the usual “daily logs”. I figure if I’m going to record how or why I do things, there’s no harm in sharing it. This still causes conflict between whether I put something into TiddlyWiki vs Roam. Currently I’m putting daylog/minutiae into Roam and the stuff I’m learning and doing into the wiki. It’s evolving :).

Apps I’m digging

CleanShot X is the best screenshot utility I’ve found. I think I’ve tried them all, and CleanShot X does everything I need in a way that doesn’t frustrate me. It’s available via SetApp. Have I mentioned that SetApp is the most useful subscription I pay for? Well it is.

Zengobi’s Curio continues to amaze me. I’ve used it for years and I find it to be the most generally useful and beautiful tool for managing projects large and small. It’s great, and the developer is super nice and responsive. Very highly recommended.

Reading and Watching

Finished reading Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction by Gary Rogowski. In another life I would have liked to have been a woodworker. This book alternates between anecdotes about woodworking and hiking. I skimmed the hiking bits, but the woodworking stuff was fascinating.

Watched Mank. I liked it as a movie just fine. Oldman was terrific and the whole thing looked and felt as if it were made in the time it portrayed. I liked the deliberately low-fi sound and snappy dialog, but the black and white was so gorgeous and sumptuous.

Up next

Speaking of black and white, my love for black and white photography has culminated in the purchase of a Leica Q2 Monochrom. Holy shit! It should arrive Tuesday so expect me to go on and on about it for weeks to come.

My photography workflow has changed dramatically as well. More on this after it settles in a bit.

Photo of the week

Gail and Alice. (Leica SL2-S. APO-Summicron 35mm)

Until next time. Behave yourselves.