The Icon-Dragging Edition Sunday, March 27, 2022

Always Show Window Proxy Icons, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

What Apple got right back in 1998 with Mac OS 8.5, as John Gruber noted, is that document proxy icons aren’t just a visual aid—they’re almost fully functional representations of the file. Similarly, Finder proxy icons stand in perfectly for the folders they represent, offering a handy target for operations. In classic Mac OS, proxy icons also indicated the document’s modification state. (BBEdit continues to work this way, showing proxy icons regardless of the macOS setting and dimming them when there are unsaved changes.) Form and function, all rolled up into a space-saving icon.


QuietMeet Is A Neat New App That Pauses Your Music During Video Calls, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

QuietMeet is a new app for macOS that will automatically pause your music when you join a web-based video call. It'll then automatically resume playback when the meeting ends, too.

Controller For HomeKit Adds Support For Widgets, NFC Tags, And Enhances Smart Folder Support, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

With version 5.12, the app adds HomeKit widgets and support for NFC tags, enhances smart folder support, and improves overall macOS performance.


You're Backing Up For The Wrong Disaster, by Alex Yumashev, JitBit

We subconsciously focus on "movie-like" threats, like some evil hacker bringing down a server from his dark basement. Or hijacking and then deleting important data by using some secret NSA/CIA backdoor in the operating system. Or an earthquake destroying your datacenter.

While in real life it's probably something much more prosaic: untested code, a tired sysadmin, a user deleting their own files, a developer commiting code to the wrong branch, an angry ex-employee deleting stuff after being let go...


Honey, I Decapitated The MacBook, by Umar Shakir, The Verge

People had a lot of questions when I pulled out my M1 MacBook Air at a party over the weekend: “What is that?” “What happened to your laptop?” “Is that the new Mac?” This was to be expected, as there certainly was something different about mine. See, my MacBook Air doesn’t have a screen — and I made it that way.

Don’t worry — it’s not broken. All I did was take apart my laptop without, you know, re-attaching the display. It has now been simplified into just its bottom half: an aluminum slab with an embedded keyboard and trackpad. I’m calling it a “slabtop” now. And I kind of like it.

I Just Watched A Controversial Starbucks Idea In Action. It Put Me Off Coffee, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

Has the pandemic in some way exacerbated the unpleasantness of customers so much that many retail employees just don't want to see them, much less talk to them?

Or is technology naturally driving people apart?

Bottom of the Page

After two years, the mandatory wearing of masks here in Singapore will be relaxed this coming Tuesday: Masks will be optional when outdoors. Of course, given that masks are still mandated indoors, I suspect many, including me, will continue to wear masks, as it seems to be too troublesome to keep putting on and taking off.

Like many countries in the west, and unlike some countries in East Asia, Singapore never really has the habit of wearing masks before these strange times. Personally, I don't see this no-masks habit in 'normal' times changing anytime soon. But -- not keeping any hopes up -- we shall see soon.

What else am I looking forward this week? I'm starting a new audiobook, The Cartographers, that may or may not require me to consult some maps in the accompanying PDF document. And I am also looking forward to new episodes of two Apple TV+ shows: Severance and Pachinko. I'm sure Michael Schur will have something wise to say, but these are my current wonderful distractions from the other things in the world.

Oh, speaking of wise, I've just finished reading The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni, and many thoughts are now swirling in my head waiting to be digested.

I hope you will have a good week too.


Thanks for reading.