Computer

Inspire Continued

After some further experimentation and use, I’ve a few more comments on Inspire Writer. I have been initially impressed with the Windows Ulysses clone. My initial review was written in it and was written using the 10 day free trial period. I purchased the software after using it for a day on the Windows Store - so I’ve been using the Microsoft Store version. There is a stand alone version available as well, though I would hope that there is feature parity between the two.

Markdown Journaling

I’ve been journaling now for years. I started off using Day One for iOS and macOS. However, after this updated to the second version and moved to a subscription model, I decided that I didn’t want to pay for it, and moved. Since then, I’ve been using Zim Wiki for my journaling. This has generally served me well, and ran nicely on Windows and Linux1. It worked and the output was portable and under my control, as each page is a text file and displays images inline.

New Synology

With the lockdown and working from home more often, I decided that my Synology (DS 116) was due for an upgrade. I wanted to retire one of my Raspberry Pi’s that was running my Pi Hole server and I wanted to have a play with some of the features on the higher end Synology’s - such as virtual machines and Docker, as well as make use of the BTRFS file system, so that meant getting one of the Intel Atom powered Synology devices.

File Juggler

One of the programs on macOS that I felt was missing on Windows was an alternative for Hazel. I spent ages looking around for an alternative, and the best I could find for a while was DropIt! The only issue with this is that DropIt is a bit more of a manual process in comparison to Hazel, as you have to drag and drop files into the program for them to be sorted1.

OxiPNG and Pngout

One thing that had stuck with me from reading Coding Horror, is that you can increase the speed of your website with free bandwidth. In fairness, it’s not free bandwidth, it’s reducing the file size of the files that you’re hosting, so it’s faster to download. The Zopfli article above is the more recent one - the first was regarding pngout (article). Both pngout and zopfli can reduce the size of files - specifically in this case, PNG files.

Windows PowerToys

Microsoft are making use of their purchase of Github to host the source for their ongoing work in to Powertoys. PowerToys is a collection of applications that perform a range of different tasks that users may need to undertake regularly. There’s an Image Resizer that hooks in to the right click menu, there’s fancy zones, which expands upon Windows snap, by adding zones to snap to. However, the big draw for me is PowerToys Run.

Auf Wiedersehen Dropbox

So, a few years back, I almost moved away from Dropbox. In fact, I generally got away without using Dropbox at all, which worked out nicely. However, I went back and for a while, I’ve also had Dropbox lurking away on my system. That is until today where I fell foul of the three device limit. On the free, basic tier, Dropbox only permits three devices to be used. This hadn’t effected me, as for the past year and a bit, I had my personal account linked to my Pro, office account.

Apple Watch Background

Apple Watch Faces I’ve been playing around with some Apple Watch faces recently - normally I would use a Modular Infographic face or at least one with a number of complications. However, I saw this one which I thought was a bit of fun. As I’m going through a Star Wars phase again at the minute, I thought this was a good one. I found the original artist here where you can download the image yourself.

Issues With MacOS

Lately I’ve been running in to issues with macOS that I can’t seem to resolve and it’s beginning to annoy me no end. Startup I’d been running in to startup issues for a week or so - the Mac would boot up and I would see the Apple logo on screen with the loading bar. However, the screen would then go blank and I would only see the mouse cursor if I wriggled it.

PhotoSync, Photos and iCloud

I’ve been a fan of PhotoSync for a while now - I purchased the iOS version in May 2018, so I’ve been using it for 2 years. I’ve also purchased the Android version and it’s one of the key apps I’ve used regularly. Prior to finding it, I’d been using Dropbox to save a copy of my photos off my phone. This worked well, and the only reason I changed to PhotoSync was that I could choose different locations to send data (i.