ramblings of joe

Blogging From Anywhere

The simpler it is to write and publish content to your website, the more likely it is that you will. I don’t make the rules, that’s just human nature.

Most of the time I write on my MacBook, but there’s no technical reason preventing me from publishing from my iPad or iPhone, it just requires some setup the first time.

Today I picked up the new 13” iPad Pro and the matching Magic Keyboard, so I figured it was a great time to publish a little article from the new mobile setup with my first impressions of the new hardware and the apps I use to write on the go.

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Make a website

Louie Mantia has been on a roll lately in his prolific advocacy for making things on the Internet. He wrote a post a couple months ago titled Make a Damn Website and he followed it up today with the very practical How to Make a Damn Website.

We overcomplicate what a website needs to be, and it gets in the way of actually making it. So take his (and now my) advice, and make a damn website.

Blogging is a bit like gardening

Sometimes I have thoughts along the lines of: “why am I blogging this if no one is reading it?” and on good mental days I’ll respond back1 with something to the effect of: “my writing is primarily for me, and if someone else sees it and appreciates it, that’s an added bonus of writing it down publicly.”

Today as I was contemplating a few different posts that are rolling around in my head, I had one of these thoughts pop into the foreground, stopping me in my tracks. As I was working through it, justifying the blogging process to myself once again, I decided that blogging is a bit like gardening2.

Tending to a garden is often a means to an end: you want to harvest the food you’re planting, or you want the plants and flowers to exist for the beauty they bring to the area. While those are valid reasons, gardening is also it’s own reward: you are carving out time and space to meditate and reflect, and over time it becomes a place that you made your own, the result of many different deliberate (and accidental) decisions.

If other people like the look of your garden, that’s great! However if you start ripping out plants that people don’t like, or adding in flowers that they said would look better, it would start to become a community garden, not your own. There’s nothing wrong with a community garden, and there’s nothing wrong with building consensus in a group, but there is also room in the world for your own space. Your own little corner of existence where you can pick, prune, and plant to your heart’s content.

That’s what blogging is to me. It’s a place where I can write my own thoughts, and revel in the process of editing, rewriting, and publishing my posts.

It’s my little garden on the Internet.

  1. Yes, I have conversations with myself, doesn’t everyone? ↩︎

  2. After I posted a link to this note on my Mastodon account, Kyle Hughes pointed out that I had stumbled upon the same terminology that many people have been using over the last few years, including this wonderful post by Maggie Appleton on her website. I have a lot more to think about now! ↩︎

Tomorrow's Ideas, Today's Tech

This is MKBHD’s third video about the Vision Pro, and I agree with pretty much every point he makes. I think he does a good job of pointing out how most of the decisions that went into this device come with real tradeoffs, but in practice it’s still a really cool start for Apple’s foray into AR/VR/“spatial” and the tech on it’s own is still impressive.

Personally, I am very interested to see what visionOS 2.0 brings, as the timeline of this device’s announcement and subsequent release lines up with what happened with iOS v1 → v2. My [educated] guess is that most of what is on visionOS right now is quite close to what was running on the media demo devices at WWDC last June, and that most of the core visionOS development time has been spent on 2.0, not on polishing 1.0.

I’m sure there’s been a ton of polish work, and I’m sure some of the various app teams at Apple have been spending time porting their apps to visionOS, but new feature work on the core OS has likely been slated for v2 for quite some time.

WWDC ‘24 could bring a lot of cool quality of life things that make this version of the hardware even better.

Negative reviews of the Vision Pro are boring

Can I vent for a second? The Apple Vision Pro reviews are out, and this is the part of the review cycle I forgot I hated so much…

Is this the first augmented reality goggle or platform? No, far from it. Is it a fundamentally different approach to AR compared to other headsets? Only partially (due to the eye tracking + finger controls).

But almost every single review is reviewing this headset by pointing out all of the shortcomings:

Those takes are all incredibly uninteresting to me and super easy to make. Just like when Apple laminated the glass on the iPhone and it seemed like you were directly touching the screen, or when we went to “Retina” density displays, or ProMotion brought smoother scrolling, or OLED for better battery life and color accuracy… this device is a first generation product offering, and it will get better.

I totally understand that most reviewers are trying to answer the same question from consumers: “is this thing worth $Y of my hard earned money?”, and I’m totally ok with the answer to that question being a flat “no”, but it’s just depressing to me that the AR platform space gets a huge push forward by Apple and almost every single person who gets their hands on it is falling over themselves to be a negative ned.