DEVONthink – Import Files and Folders

2018 08 20 devonthink import

There’s a lot to be said for using the Mac’s Finder for long-term, portable, stable storage of files. It’s always right there. Add Dropbox and everything is seamlessly synced across both of my Macs.

On the other hand, there’s DEVONthink, which is where I’ve kept important files and documents for a number of years.

Once in a while I get it in my head that I need to remain as OS-independent as possible. DEVONthink is Mac only, so I export everything into matching filesystem folders and swear that “All I really need from now on is the Finder and Spotlight!” It’s such a relief knowing that everything is in its place and not dependent upon expensive third party software.

Here’s what happens next.

I periodically scan all of my paperwork (bills, receipts, letters, etc.). This gets me a folder full of PDFs to deal with. I like things organized, so I drag them one at a time into the proper folder inside my “File Cabinet” folder. It’s a pain, and reminds me that DEVONthink has this magic way of suggesting a destination for each file, based on its contents. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough that I mostly just hit “Move To” for 95% of the new files and they are automatically put where they belong.

Then there’s searching. DEVONthink searches are faster and at least as accurate as Spotlight. The key is that the results are super easy to browse and preview and search terms are nicely highlighted for me. I can always find what I’m looking for more quickly using DEVONthink. Plus, it’s a more pleasant experience.

The iOS version of DEVONthink is darn nice and everything syncs quickly and (finally) reliably. The DEVONthink databases are exposed as folders in the iOS Files app, so it’s almost like having it both ways.

Let’s be honest, I’m a Mac user and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Seems a shame not to take advantage of a superior way of working.

So, I open my DEVONthink libraries, select File->Import->Files and Folders… and swear I’m never going to change my mind again.

My least favorite thing about Mastodon has always been the unnecessary and snide convention of using “birdsite” when referring to Twitter. I’m not a fan of this sort of winky insider nonsense.

Agenda Mac

2018 08 19 agenda logo

I’ve tried using Agenda for my notes several times and only recently has it “stuck”. Here’s why.

I am not trying to keep everything in it. Agenda doesn’t work for me as an “Everything Bucket” and that’s what I was trying to use it for. Instead, I’m using it only for time-based, project-related notes. Anything that involves specific dates or that could benefit from a nice, chronological history becomes a “project” in Agenda. Agenda’s deep calendar integration is super useful for planning and reviewing.

The “aha!” moment for me was when I realized that each project in Agenda becomes like a little blog for that project. I love blogs! Thinking of project notes this way is helpful, and has prompted me to take better and more consistent notes for work projects.

I’m looking forward to a couple of features that should make Agenda even more useful to me.

  1. The ability to archive projects somehow. I’m currently dumping them into an “Archive” category but that’s not ideal
  2. Inline files and images. I’m nervous that being able to drop files and images directly into notes will become a slippery slope toward the “Everything Bucket” problem, but it certainly can come in handy if used sparingly.

Emacs vs Vim vs None Of The Above

BBEdit for years. Then Vim for years. Then Emacs for years. In between I’ve used just about every editor there is. I love them all.

Emacs is everything anyone could ever want in an editor, and more. It’s the “more” part that gets you. At some point this weekend I realized I had spent nearly two hours trying to dial in Emacs window behavior and failed. Even if I had succeeded, it was still two hours I could have been doing something else.

Something else like play with NeoVim, maybe? 🙂

Oh for crying out loud. I had almost forgotten that I was actually using NeoVim instead of Vim but never completely finished getting things set up. Spent the morning working on it before realizing that I was doing the “just a few more tweaks and it’ll be perfect” thing again. I also wanted to see what the NeoVim GUI landscape was looking like these days so I tried Oni, and VimR and…

By about 10:00am this morning I had gotten so frustrated with myself that I gave up and decided to use neither Vim nor Emacs for a while. I need a break from myself.

I don’t edit code much, so what I really want is a place for writing and taking notes. If I keep everything in Markdown I can use any number of apps interchangeably. Right now it’s looking like some combination of iA Writer for writing, BBEdit for text/code editing, The Archive for research and miscellaneous notes, and Agenda for project notes.

Everything changes.

Roger Waters – Amused to Death

Sometimes I pour a dram of Scotch or two, put on Roger Waters’ “Amused To Death”, turn it up loud, and just listen to the entire thing with my eyes closed.

“Perfect Sense, Part 1”

And the Germans kill the Jews
And the Jews kill the Arabs
And the Arabs kill the hostages
And that is the news
And is it any wonder
That the monkey's confused
He said Mama Mama
The President's a fool
Why do I have to keep reading
These technical manuals
And the joint chiefs of staff
And the brokers on Wall Street said
Don't make us laugh
You're a smart kid
Time is linear
Memory's a stranger
History's for fools
Man is a tool in the hands
Of the great God Almighty
And they gave him command
Of a nuclear submarine
Sent him back in search of
The Garden of Eden

“The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range”

You opened your suitcase
Behind the old workings
To show off the magnum
You deafened the canyon
A comfort a friend
Only upstaged in the end
By the Uzi machine gun
Does the recoil remind you
Remind you of sex

Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
Old timer who you gonna kill next

I looked over Jordan and what did I see
Saw a U.S. Marine in a pile of debris
I swam in your pools
And lay under your palm trees
I looked in the eyes of the Indian
Who lay on the Federal Building steps
And through the range finder over the hill
I saw the frontline boys popping their pills
Sick of the mess they find
On their desert stage
And the bravery of being out of range
Yeah the question is vexe

Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
Old timer who you gonna kill next

“Watching TV”

She wore a white bandanna that said
Freedom now
She thought the Great Wall of China
Would come tumbling down
She was a student
Her father was an engineer
Won't you shed a tear
For my yellow rose
My yellow rose
In her bloodstained clothes
Her grandpa fought old Chiang Kai-shek
That no-good, low-down dirty rat
Who used to order his troops
To fire on the women and children
Imagine that; imagine that
And in the spring of '48
Mao Tse-tung got quite irate
And he kicked that old dictator Chiang
Out of the state of China
Chiang Kai-shek came down in Formosa
And they armed the island of Quemoy
And the shells were flying across the China Sea
And they turned Formosa into a shoe factory
Called Taiwan

And she is different from Cro-Magnon man
She's different from Anne Boleyn
She is different from the Rosenbergs
And from the unknown Jew
She's different from the unknown Nicaraguan
Half superstar, half victim
She's a picture star, conceptually new
And she is different from the Dodo
And from the Kankabono
She's different from the Aztec
And from the Cherokee
She's everybody's sister
She's symbolic of our failure
She's the one in fifty million
Who can help us to be free
Because she died on TV

“What God Wants, Part 1”

What God wants God gets
God wants borders
God wants crack
God wants rainfall
God wants wetbacks
What God wants God gets
God wants voodoo
God wants shrines
God wants law
God wants organised crime
God wants crusade
God wants jihad
God wants good
God wants bad
What God Wants God gets
God help us all

Fifty-Six Questions for Young MC Upon Hearing “Bust a Move” for the First Time in Twenty-Two Years – McSweeney’s

20. In regard to the vignette where one of us fellas goes to a movie alone, sees a yellow-clad woman seated in the same row, and the yellow-clad woman says “come sit next to me you fine fellow” and then a move is prescribed to be busted, what should I take for the headache accrued from trying to absorb your weirdo nonsense word pile?

21. Seeing as the move busted at the theater is not a dance move, as was the case earlier, but rather making out (…?), how are we to know what sort of move is to be busted in any given scenario and perhaps you should purchase a thesaurus?

22. Is your chorus saying that if I want something, I can get that thing by move-busting?

Source: Fifty-Six Questions for Young MC Upon Hearing “Bust a Move” for the First Time in Twenty-Two Years – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Taking down content created by and for conspiracy theorists could only be pulled off by a well-organized and funded cadre of liberal pedophiles. (At least that’s what I’m hearing).

BASIC Engine

The BASIC Engine is a very low-cost single-board home computer with advanced 2D color graphics and sound capabilities, roughly comparable to late-1980s or early-1990s computers and video game consoles. It can be built at home without special skills or tools and using readily available components for under 10 Euros in parts, or mass-produced for even less.

Source: BASIC Engine

What I’m supposed to be doing today is packing more boxes. What I’ll probably do today is sit here and overthink everything that happens on my computer.

My Oldest Postage Stamp

2018 07 15 Stamps

I found my stamp collection today. I had written it off as lost for at least ten years, so I’m very happy about this.

The oldest stamp I have in my book is a 10 cent Thomas Jefferson from 1873. This makes me want to start collecting again.

The Red Trailer Mystery

Red Trailer Mystery

The first real book I ever read was “Trixie Belden and the Red Trailer Mystery”. I read it, I think in one sitting, while camped out under my grandmother’s kitchen table. My original copy is, sadly, long gone. I’m feeling nostalgic this week, so I picked up a replacement copy of the book from eBay. I can’t wait to read it again.