Tags and categories

An upside to moving platforms, is now I have a system with independent ideas of tags and categories.

I’m thinking that this could be a useful means of separating more specific searchables from broader topics. Something that as time and variety have gone on, I’ve tended to avoid with everything crammed under Blogger’s idea of labels.

Alternatively it could just be a pain in the arse.

In setting up the new time machine drive, it somehow figures that I ended up plugging in a 10 Gbit/s drive into a 0.480 Mbit/s port, thankfully the only one on that dock 😅

To say that the dogs’ expressions were sad and concerned when I went out the door, would be a fair statement.

To say that the dogs’ were angry when I came home with two dozen donuts, would be an understatement.

Mischief managed….

Thus far, as Gateway Station has continued to evolve, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Anker 555 hub needs to die. I posted an earlier entry on it’s troubles with Rimuru, and the process of elimination from the NT side of my setup.

Now that Shion the MacBook Air is at the center point, and Stark is officially retired to /dev/closet, the issues of course continue.

What I’m finding is that the hub works great with macOS when connected to Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4.0 controller. Except when you use the Power Delivery port, in which case it doesn’t do jack shit. But otherwise seems to function provided I leave the USB-PD port clear and power Shion directly.

Now part of this may owe to the fact that I’m now using one of Anker’s new GaNPrime chargers to drive everything. A downside of Anker’s new fancy chargers is they expect intelligent negotiation of power that sometimes causes issues, Anker chargers being heavily marked for compatibility, aside the point ^_^. To eliminate the possibility that my nearest Apple C-to-C cable might not be rated for enough power draw to charge a laptop rather than an iPad, I also opted to try the same configuration using one of Anker’s 100W rated PD cables with the exact same result.

Thus, I am reminded that the hub cost about as much as retrofitting Rimuru from my USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbit/s card to a Titan Ridge based Thunderbolt 4 card, which also has a pair of USB-C connections. For now, I think a Thunderbolt dock will be replacing the Anker hub. The question will be whether or not my one cable swap approach remains, using the dock in place of the hub, or move everything through the dock and dare to suffer whatever the state of Thunderbolt drivers are for Windows 11….

 A second experiment: 44 grams of coffee (about 6 spoons of beans) to 800 ml of coffee for 4 minutes. A nice bold coffee, but without that kite flying value of the previous stump water experiment.

There’s plenty of reasons why I prefer Alexa to Siri and Google Assistant as far as digital voice things go.

One of those reasons is that when I address Alexa, the closest device tends to be the one that responds. Makes sense for something that has to listen for a key word.
Now, by contrast there is Siri. I can raise my watch to my face and address Siri with some request. But instead of processing this, my phone or tablet across room takes over and of course can’t here a damned thing that I’m saying. I’ve experienced this with my phone and tablet enough to know a work around for that is to put your phone screen down as a STFU indicator, because obviously the device the user is interacting with isn’t the one the user obviously wants to use by default.
Or, you know, just do the sane thing, Apple. It’s not rocket science.

Looking around for a markdown editer, because sometimes even I like something snazzier than vi^1, I came across an interesting blog post: On Apps and Coffee – iA.

iA Writer is an application that I had glossed over when I first got my iPad and filed away as a “Remember for later”. Imagine my surprise, that it actually supports other platforms. But anyhow, moving on.

I think the author makes an interesting point that apps are not coffee but coffee machines. Much the way that to the old world, computers are office tools not just a way to warm up a cold candy bar out of the office vending machine.

In general, as a consumer: I tend to avoid subscriptionware as a rule of thumb. I’m spending enough money on things like video streaming services that I don’t often accept this for software. Or should we say, if your quaint (or even truly awesome sauce) app costs $30/month (or even 40¢ a month) then I’m probably going to keep on scrolling. You’ve got to be something I use excessively or offer some major value, not just fill a personal niche.

Unlike most consumers however, I tend to be quite willing to pay for good software. As a programmer, I understand the effort that goes into making great software more than most users. Further when I encounter good software that solves my problems, I can see the value metric—how much time is this saving me versus developing my own solution? Yeah. That’s a thing. In my experience, people are either willing to pay for a good product or they weren’t going to give you jack shit no matter how much effort it takes to pirate it.

People often forget that the one who produced the product also has to eat, not just slurp a coffee. One of the reasons why I’ve never opted to sell my software, is the profitability is keyed to unit sales. How many apps do you need to sell to buy a coffee? Yeah. Subscriptions are an easier sell when you’re renting access to something. Cloud storage and media libraries make easier sells than say, an address book or a mail client. I’ve seen a few modern models, based on progressive unlock: a few dollars for features here, a few dollars for features there, if you actually want the nice to haves or support the developer. The one I think that makes the most sense to me, as a consumer, is a model like Working Copy. Full cost of the app to unlock the pro features, and future features for up to a year. After which an upgrade cost is pertinent.

I kind of love iA’s analogy hat apps aren’t like coffee but like coffee makers. Whether you buy the $25 coffee maker at Walmart or the $25,000 imported espresso machine, you’re going to periodically have to deal with the costs of service. For a coffee maker this is an expense like coffee beans and k-cups. For software, this is the cost of someone maintaining the software and periodically developing new features. You know what? Never underestimate the cost of maintainence unless you’re willing to coax a 20-year old computer into powering up just so you can run some piece of software that hasn’t been updated in forever. Whether you’re acquiring software from an indy developer, helping maintain it yourself as a open source contributor, or you’re licensing it from an enterprise with more money than your entire family combined, it’s not free to deal with maintaining software over a long term.

Be it our mental models or our monetary worlds, I’m not really sure a good solution exists. But apps definitely aren’t coffee: apps are the coffee makers. Also remember, coffee makers eventually need replacement and that may look like a trip to Amazon or Walmart some bleary eyed morning😂



  1. Actually, the ease of previewing is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed using VS Code the past couple years. But I still need the vim plugin 😃