I’m giving Obsidian a go this week synced over iCloud. Is this the plugin my MicroBlog friends are using?

    I’ve started using the Kagi summarize page plugin for Firefox. I’ve noticed I can use it to get summaries of paywalled articles, which is super handy.

    The 2024 Journal Plan

    I’m planning my 2024 Journal plan. I’m always trying to fine tune and tweak the process to be most effective and easier for me to continue to be consistent.

    I have bought a new Bullet Journal every year for the past few years and always end up back to using my Lochby. I like the modularity it provides, and I don’t have a book for a year, I have a smaller booklet till it runs out of space. I then simply label the date range and pull it out and replace with a new.

    Furthermore, I am planning to run four booklets at a time this year. The first is the Calendar and tasks book. This will be general bullet journal style, and its title gives away its purpose. I don’t know if one booklet will last the year or if it will be split into another, I’m interested to see how that turns out.

    Next is Notes, this is just to have a place to scribble stuff if I’m on the phone or in a meeting. Pretty simple and won’t really be organized, just for immediate chicken scratch.

    Then there is the journal insert which will be where the true journaling and writing will happen every day. I expect to fill a few with them a year if I can stay consistent.

    And finally is my List booklet which is for exactly that. The books I’ve read through the year, a list of movies or shows I’ve watched, and anything else of the sort.

    And finally, I plan on carrying a field notes size pocket notebook for tasks on the go and when I don’t have the full journal with me. I have to thank CodeMacLife for the idea.

    We’ll see if I stick with this through the whole year. What I end up doing the past years is a month or so of consistency then a lull, then back at it. I would really like to be consistent throughout the whole year. I am thinking carrying the pocket notebook will really help.

    Today’s question, for Mac Users.

    So, if you were to buy a mac, and you mainly write and do personal things (email, photo edits, documents), and possibly fiddle with app development, but nothing serious. What model would you buy MacBook Air or Pro? Also do you think M2, M3, M3Pro, or Max matters?

    I’m switching back to Android. I used I message with my kids since they don’t need a phone # for it. But now I will not have one. Can someone recommend a chat app I can use with my kids that is secure and doesn’t require them to have a phone #?

    11/12/23 UPDATE

    Well, that didn’t last long. Back on an iPhone, so I can chat easily with my children and still not give them a phone number.

    End of 2023 Default Apps Bandwagon!

    After seeing this on Kev Quirks blog, I thought I would do the same. According to him, all the “cool kids” are doing it. I think my list is pretty solid right now, minus I’m toying with trying some other streaming services for music. If I think of anything else I’ll add it.

    📨 Mail Service and client: Fastmail
    📝 Notes: Standard Notes
    ✅ To-Do: Apple Reminders 📆 Calendar: iCloud and Fastmail 🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts: iCloud and Fastmail 📖 RSS Service and Client: Newsblur
    ☁️ Cloud storage: pCloud and iCloud 🌅 Photo library: Ente and iPhoto 🌐 Web Browser: Firefox (everywhere)
    💬 Chat: iMessage, Element, Discord
    🔖 Bookmarks: Firefox
    📜 Office Apps: Libreoffice and WPS Office(for pdf)
    🛒 Shopping Lists: Reminders.
    🎵 Music: Apple Music(on phones) or Cider(on desktop)
    🎤 Podcasts: Pocket Casts 🔐 Password Management: 1Password 🤦‍♂️ Social Media: MicroBlog 🌤️ Weather: Google
    🔎 Search: Kagi
    🧮 Code Editor: VSCode
    💰 Shopping: Privacy.com
    🗞️ News: Google News
    ✍️ Blog: MicroBlog

    As always feel free to comment or write me using the link below. Cheers!

    Apple's new Macbooks are awesome, and this is why I won't get one.

    These days, I think no one can deny how great Apple’s hardware is. The M' series MacBooks are amazing, powerful and crazy battery life. Buying one seems like a no-brainer for sure. But then, I don’t think I will be getting one.

    I’ve tried to convince myself I need one, I may even actually need one. It makes complete sense buying one. But there are so many things that go against my beliefs built into those machines.

    I’m a right to repair advocate and believe if I pay anything, but especially more than a couple grand for a laptop, I should be able to do what the hell I want with it. This is absolutely not the case with Apple. They are locked down, glued and soldered together, so they are near impossible to fix or upgrade on your own.

    Apple has a history of throttling hardware to push new purchases. This is also a big no, no.

    The OS is pretty much a copy of multiple Linux Desktops mashed together and then blended with iOS. I do give them credit for insane interoperability within their ecosystem, though, which of course comes from great control over said ecosystem.

    And finally, though they preach privacy and say they care; they very quickly succumbed to demands of the Chinese government allowing them backdoor access. Even Google didn’t do that, they decided to just not do business there.

    For all these reasons, even though I know there isn’t a laptop out there that compares in performance, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I will go with a company like Framework instead.

    I’m thinking of using Ente for my photo backup service and stopping them from going elsewhere. I like immach, but I’m not in self hosting mode yet.

    I’ve canceled DayOne. I think my Standard Notes, physical journal, and the future iOS should be plenty.

    My privacy tools

    I’ve been using some various apps and services for some time for privacy and security. I thought I would share some of them and what I use them for. Mind you, it may seem like a lot, but it is not really.

    • Proton - I use this service for my email, calendar, VPN, and passwords. They are based in Sweden and everything is end-to-end encrypted with zero knowledge storage(zero knowledge means even they can’t read your data). You can also create on the fly disposable email with their sister service SimpleLogin. They also have encrypted file storage, but I do not use it since it’s not cross-platform; the desktop app is only available on Windows for now.
    • Standard Notes - Again, zero knowledge end-to-end encrypted notes and to-do lists. They also even have a built-in blogging platform if you want to use it. This is the main place I write down important notes, thoughts, and so on.
    • MySudo - This service provides end-to-end encrypted identities. You can have an email, phone number, and credit card tied to an alias identity. For example, when we moved last, I used a MySudo phone number and email to search for a moving company. When you start searching for them, you are bombarded by movers calling trying to get your service. Once we selected a mover, and it was over, I deleted the alias, which ended all calls and emails immediately. Also, great for online shopping or Craigslist transactions.
    • Privacy.com - This is another debit card provider. You link it to one payment method, and then you can create cards to pay anything. No need to even use your real name or address. Anytime I buy anything online without a Privacy card. You can also set limits, or create one time use cards. It also allows what was purchased so the credit companies or your bank cant collect the data on your purchase history. For example, I have a card for Netflix, Disney, Apple TV, …etc. If I want to end a subscription, I just delete the card. I also set limits, My Netflix card can only be charges max $20 a month. So if anyone got that card number in a security breach, one, they can only use it at Netflix, two, they can’t ever spend more than $20 that month. Which of course if my monthly payment was paid, they would be rejected due to the limit being reached.
    • pCloud - pCloud is a file storage service like OneDrive, Google Drive, etc… by default not everything is encrypted, but you can add an end to end zero knowledge folder. The app is also cross-platform. So I can throw unimportant documents in pCloud and use its crypto folder to store receipts, taxes, and other sensitive info.
    • Signal - This is what I would like to be my main messaging client instead of Facebook, Text, WhatsApp, or others. The reason I say I would, is because it’s so hard to get people to use something that offers them privacy. I could tell most folks that all kinds of people could access your text messages, or the various privacy violations companies that Facebook (owners of WhatsApp) have made. People still won’t switch to something private. If your friend or family and actually read this, the hint is for you, please switch.
    • Kagi - Kagi is my replacement for Google or Bing search. It is a pay to use search engine, but has 0 tracking. You pay because they aren’t tracking and selling all your information to advertisers and throwing ads in front of your face. I have only been using it a short time, but it has quite a few nice features and I find the results better than Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

    Some of this may seem a little overboard to most folks, but it’s not really as complicated as it sounds. Whatever minor inconvenience there is, is more than worth the privacy I get in return. I still use social media and I understand the loss of privacy using such sites. But their tracking is a bit more limited since they all have their own email linked to them, if it’s a paid service it has its own card and a name that is made up on it. I’m no James Bond, and if a talented person puts forth the effort they can put the pieces together, but for average corporate abuse and spying done by many online services and sites it helps obscure my presence. If anyone has any questions or wants more info, I’m more than happy to answer, just click the reply by email button below.

    I forgot how nice writing with a fountain pen can be.