I am thrilled that the Red Sox have made it to the World Series. I am a little dismayed, however, that I’m too tired late at night to watch the end of these slow-moving playoff games. (I guess I’m old now.)

An update on the new Chromebook

I just finished setting up my daughter’s new Chromebook. I bought her an Asus C302C. It’s a nice machine—66% of a MacBook Air for 50% of the cost, plus a touchscreen and 180º hinge for tablet mode.

I was happy to find out that setup was a snap, which I should have expected. Luckily for me, Chrome OS still resembles the windowed version I left behind years ago, so it is familiar enough for me to deal with when I need to.

I did have to figure out how to enable the hilariously named “Australian scrolling” feature on the touchpad, though. I guess the name “natural scroll direction” was taken. As a Mac user, I was surprised that it was not the default. I can’t even remember what my Windows machines default to, though. Maybe natural scrolling is mainly an Apple thing.

Now that Drafts has a preview for the Mac, I wonder if it is time for me to try to migrate from Ulysses to Drafts for all my writing. I love both apps, and even use Ulysses to store all my writing now, but don’t really want to pay for both subscriptions every year. I probably write more in Drafts than Ulysses day-to-day, anyway.

I just got a new Apple Watch Series 4. I’m still getting used to the larger screen and I am a little disappointed that some complications are not compatible with the new Infograph watch faces. I’m hoping third party apps work better than they did on Series 0 & Series 1.

A new Chromebook

I just ordered a new Chromebook for my daughter, based on Wirecutter’s recommendation. It was a lot more expensive than I thought Chromebooks sold for, but I bought a decently-speced one for the battery life, screen, and RAM.

I’m not sure what to expect when I have to set it up. I am not even sure what a Chromebook is anymore, now that ChromeOS runs Android apps. I was an owner/user of the original Cr-48 (the prototype Chromebook from Google). I loved CromeOS when it was just a browser, but Google started to loose me when they adding windowing. Now that the Play Store is available, it just feels like another Windows-type platform. I would prefer the “just a browser” version I had before. Perhaps I will soon learn, once the Chromebook arrives, that it still can be run that way. I have been away from it for too long at this point to know.

Without really planning to, I realized that, over time, I have reduced the number of podcasts I subscribe to by about 60%, and have slowed the playback speed from 1.2x or 1.1x to 1.0x (with smart speed enabled). I will retcon this observation into my overall plan to reduce information overload.

DuckDuckGo is actually pretty great

Switching my default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo this week has been painless. Search results are great (I’m missing nothing by not using Google), and I like it a lot better than Bing. It feels a lot like Google used to, back when Google was focused on searching—you know—the web, rather than Google’s own interpretation of the web. You can also customize its look and feel, and even hide its own ads, which is crazy. So far, I’m very happy.

Is the Aeneid a Celebration of Empire—or a Critique?

I found Daniel Mendelsohn article in The New Yorker about The Aeneid to be engaging and fascinating.

What is the Aeneid about? It is about a tiny band of outcasts, the survivors of a terrible persecution. It is about how these survivors—clinging to a divine assurance that an unknown and faraway land will become their new home—arduously cross the seas, determined to refashion themselves as a new people, a nation of victors rather than victims. It is about how, when they finally get there, they find their new homeland inhabited by locals who have no intention of making way for them. It is about how this geopolitical tragedy generates new wars, wars that will, in turn, trigger further conflicts: bella horrida bella. It is about how such conflicts leave those involved in them morally unrecognizable, even to themselves. This is a story that both the Old and the New Worlds know too well; and Virgil was the first to tell it.

I disagree with the last sentence of the quote I pulled. The story the author describes is also the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament, which predates Virgil, though I’m not sure if Virgil could have known the stories. I’m sure the author intended us to think of that connection, though, based on how he wrote the passage. Consider me a little puzzled by this, but grateful to have read the article.

Wow, what a finish to the ALDS! I feared that the Red Sox were going to lose it due to Kimbrel’s 9th inning struggles. I enjoy late game excitement, but not when the team I root for suddenly implodes.

Perfect Passwords

I still use GRC Perfect Passwords all the time to create new, randomly generated passwords–mostly because LastPass does not do a good job interacting with various website login forms. (I understand that is a challenge, especially when people like me run content blockers.) If anything, LastPass seems to work worse for me that it did a couple years ago.

I am excited about the Red Sox’s prospects in the ALDS. If only runs could carry over to the next game. 😀

Apple's New Proprietary Software Locks Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros

I used to be concerned about things like this, but now I accept it as part of the cost of doing business with Apple and on Apple platforms.

“For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair,” the document reads. MacRumors reported the new policy earlier today.

I have built my own computers, run Linux (as well as Windows or Mac) as my primary operating system, run Android version based on AOSP, and have reached a point where I will gladly pay a single vendor for a more secure and consistent hardware and software experience. Admittedly, if Apple were a terrible company to do business with, I might not feel this way.

I am on the iOS 12 beta on my iPad Pro, quite by accident (I forgot to disable the beta profile after iOS 12 was officially released). Disconnecting my Apple iPad SD card adapter will crash Photos and the entire OS about 50% of the time. 😥 Be warned!

The orchard called these shiny yellow apples “Yellow Ribbon”, which is either a variety name they made up, or something that Google has not yet encountered. I think they are really Golden Delicious.

I don’t know why—and is surely isn’t healthy for me—but I’m trying to figure out a better way to code settings screens on iOS. I find it incredibly tedious to do, whether using storyboards or pure Swift code. Of course, I have created nothing of value over two nights. 🙄