That Mac Nerd

Posts - Page 5 of 13

Working on iPad Pro: The Beginning

  • 1 min read

[caption id=”attachment_2243” align=”aligncenter” width=”1920”]iPad_Pro_with_Keyboard Image Credit: Andrew Ohara[/caption]


It is no secret in the Apple tech community that people are dumping their MacBooks and working solely on the iPad. Federico Viticci writes solely on his iPad and has several guides on how to do great things with iPad.

I gave this a shot a couple times and while I enjoyed it, I always went back to my Mac to write or do other tasks 1.

I was recently doing the mundane task of laundry and decided to take my iPad Pro down to the laundry room to knock out some of my writing for my other blog. I started to work and then…

I was completely blown away by how awesome it was.

[video width=”1366” height=”1024” mp4=””][/video]

I edited a screencast, wrote the article, connected to my GitHub through a WebDAV connection in Transmit of iOS and Working Copy. I was flying. It made my work fun.


I love my Mac. And while I love writing on my iPad, I tend to gravitate towards my Mac for the automation.

I’ve cut a lot of that cruft out of the workflow by setting up a CDN with AWS S3 and CloudFront and adding a WordPress plugin to automatically offload the uploaded images into the appropriate S3 buckets and adding the custom CDN links to each asset. I don’t need to do that anymore, another bottleneck taken care of. And with Coda, Transmit, and Working Copy on iPad, getting code snippets for my other blog into Ulysses and up to WordPress is easier than ever.

There’s no excuse, really.

I am committed to working on iPad for writing for the next month. I want to do it and we’ll see how it goes.

  1. I am currently writing this on my Mac. 

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On the Virtues of Dark UIs

  • 1 min read


I never liked dark UIs.

I love white backgrounds; crisp white UIs were 1 anathema to my dark former Android soul.

All my iPhones and iPads have been silver with white faces. White is chic. You get the idea.

When I was programming in Coda 2 on my Mac when I just started doing it, the UI was white. I showed someone a screenshot of it and they joked, real programmers use dark editors.

I couldn’t fathom that. I tried it. I didn’t like it. Not at first. But I added a theme to my editor called Monokai and the color. The contrast of the colorful fonts and functions, methods, etc, on a dark background hooked me.

Dark Everything

As someone who sits in front of a computer for long periods during the day, I need something that will take the strain off my eyes 2.

Dark UIs are perfect for this. And as you can see, I have it pretty much everywhere.

[caption id=”attachment_2228” align=”aligncenter” width=”960”]atom_editor Atom[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_2229” align=”aligncenter” width=”960”]dash_docs Dash Docs[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_2230” align=”aligncenter” width=”960”]omnifocus OmniFocus Custom Theme[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_2231” align=”aligncenter” width=”960”]ulysses_text_editor Ulysses[/caption]


  1. I still love crisp white UIs. iOS is a boon to me in this way. 

  2. I squint. A lot. I attribute that to computer use and age. 

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Pick of the Month: Dylan Wireless Headphones

  • 3 min read


I am finally back to writing the Pick of the month.

This month, my pick is Dylan Quiet Speace Wireless Headphones.

Between A BeatBack Pro and a Hard Place

My daily driver for the past year was the Plantronics BeatBack PRO. They are really, really great headphones. They’re heavy and don’t fit my head right 1 but the controls are on the cups and are easy to use. Twist one way or the other to adjust volume or go to next/previous track. You can also take calls by pressing the left cup’s button. You can easily feel for the buttons which is definitely an improvement over most Bluetooth over-the-head headphones.

That said, I find myself using the Dylan set more.


[caption id=”attachment_2203” align=”alignnone” width=”4015”]Dylan-BeatBack-headphones From left to right: Plantronics BeatBack Pro, Dylan Quiet Speace S1[/caption]

As you can see, the Dylan’s have a metal band with a fantastic cushion. It fits my head better than any other headphones, wireless or wired 2.

The Plantronics BeatBack PRO is $155 while the Dylan Quiet Speace is $70. The difference in price and quality is most felt in the controls and the sound, though not in the way you’d think.

Controls Comparison

  • Plantronics BeatBack PRO: Excellent controls. This is probably why the headphones are so bulky and heavy. Easy to navigate without seeing them.
  • Dylan Quiet Speace S1: Controls are inset into the outside of the cups where there are notches for cosmetic purposes. It is hard to feel your way around to the controls without looking initially 3.

Winner: Plantronics BeatBack PRO


  • Plantronics BeatBack PRO: Heavy bass. Distortion when using an equalizer on your Mac like Boom 2 or Boom 3D. Sync issues with video are pretty bad.
  • Dylan Quiet Speace S1: Flat sound which works well with equalizers. You can hear mids and highs quite well though not very loud. No noticeable sync issues with video.

Winner: Dylan Quiet Speace S1


  • Plantronics: Heavy and tend to fall of my head. Plastic inner headband not good for fros on big heads.
  • Dylan Quiet Speace: They have a metal band and fit my head so well I am surprised that they only cost $70. The cushion on the cups are amazing.

Winner: Dylan Quiet Speace


  • Plantronics: Good looking cans just very bulky.
  • Dylan Quiet Speace: Very good looking cans though the cups are small. The metal makes them look premium when they really are cheap.

WInner: Dylan Quiet Speace

Noise Cancellation

  • Plantronics: Great noise cancellation but they are open back headphones which means the sound leaks from the headphones. Not ideal if you are on a bus or train; you are liable to annoy your fellow commuters with your black metal.
  • Dylan Quiet Speace: Also great at noise cancellation. Maybe a bit better than the Plantronics. I am not sure if they are closed back headphones but it is hard to hear the music even when I have my headphones off and sound playing.

Winner: Slight edge to Dylan Quiet Speace

Dylan Quiet Speace S1 is My Daily Driver

The Dylan’s win out for now as far as what I’m wearing on a regular basis. As soon as I start a dev job I’ll probably buy a pair of AirPods, just to see what everyone is talking about.

  1. I have a lot of hair and a big head and the plastic band inside has cracked. They’re not cheap so I don’t expect this behavior. 

  2. This is probably not the fault of manufacturers. But still. 

  3. I had to take my headphones off a couple times when I first got them to see where the controls were. Unacceptable. 

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iOS 11 Public Beta: First Impressions

  • 3 min read

So I have played with the iOS 11 public beta, first on my iPad Pro and then the 2nd beta on my iPhone 1.

First, I should list out the new features.

iOS 11 Changes the Game for iPad Power Users

My wishlist for iOS 11 pretty much came true:

  • Drag and Drop
  • Native Screen recording 2
  • The Files app 3
  • Improved Photos(?)

The implementation of Drag and Drop is innovative yet muscle memory is proving to be a struggle for me. I am so used to the really, really poorly thought out app switcher for iOS 9/10 for multitasking that I am having a hard time trying to get another app in Slide Over. I usually exit the app I am in, open the app I want to multitask with, and then reopen the previous app, swipe up from the bottom to bring up the dock, and pick the app I opened before that one in the Recents part of the dock and drag it to the side. This works and is the way to do so if the app you want isn’t on your dock. There is another way, though.

You can bring up Spotlight search and drag an app from there, though I haven’t been able to figure that out currently. 4

Some drag and drop examples:

[fvplayer src=”” splash=”” width=”2732” height=”2048”]

Three apps, one screen

[fvplayer src=”” splash=”” width=”2732” height=”2048”]

Drag and drop for multitasking

[fvplayer src=”” splash=”” width=”1334” height=”750”]

Batch icon rearranging

Native Screen Recording on iOS

I didn’t think I’d see the day, but here it is. I have recorded a few screencasts using my iPad Pro when I first installed public beta one but unfortunately the video was horribly distorted. That was fixed in beta 2.

Here is a little short of me using Federico Viticci’s Prizmo Go Workflow for capturing text from books in Marvin as book notes I can store in DEVONthink to Go.

[fvplayer src=”” splash=”” width=”2732” height=”2048”]

The Files App

The Files app is a nice addition to iOS on the iPad and iPhone. When third-party apps start taking advantage of it, that’s when it will really shine.

Most of the document providers I use have utilized the Files API. I am still waiting on Working Copy’s 5 full integration with the Files app so it integrates with Textastic 6 better.

You can access any of your document providers in Files app with ease.

[fvplayer src=”” splash=”” width=”2732” height=”2048”]

You also have access to files on your iPad but not at a system level.

Improved Photos(?)

Photos for iOS just cannot find what I want. I haven’t tried it since the beta but on iOS 10 it just didn’t cut it.

I downloaded Google Photos and wow the difference in search was very, very noticeable.

I use Photos as a database/sync client between my Apple devices. Having separate libraries is a plus. I just recently separated a bunch of photos that were clogging up my iCloud Photo Library into separate libraries using Power Photos and haven’t looked back.


My iPhone is super buggy right now. It is a 6s and I am stuck with it for a while so I am hoping iOS 11 doesn’t hinder it too bad.

For iPad, this is the best thing to happen to the iPad since Retina screens.

  1. I don’t advise putting even the second beta on it. Buggy as hell. 

  2. On iPhone and iPad both. 

  3. This is the closest we will get to the filesystem on iOS, at least for now. 

  4. Annnnnd just after I wrote that I realized I can bring it up from pretty much any app. Yeah… 

  5. A powerful Git client for iOS 

  6. My preferred text editor for iOS because Coda by Panic doesn’t integrate with much on iOS. 

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