Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

The Framework Laptop ➝

It’s about the size of a 13-inch MacBook Pro and is designed to be user-serviceable and upgradeable. It can be bought as a kit or as a fully assembled machine. This might be the most intriguing non-Apple laptop I’ve ever seen.

And the most interesting feature is the modules that can be slotted in to customize your ports. It has room for four and you can choose any combination of USB-C, USB-A, Micro-SD, DisplayPort, HDMI, or additional storage. I’d be curious to see what the most commonly ordered combination is — if I was ordering one, I’d probably get two USB-C, a USB-A, and an HDMI.

I sure would love to have one of these to tinker around with.

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Why Google Abandoned Its Bottom Toolbar-Focused Chrome Redesign ➝

There’s a lot you can do to improve the user interface of mobile web browsers, but I’m not convinced that sticking everything into a toolbar at the bottom of the screen and hiding crucial features is the right way to go.

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Support Initial Charge ➝

As a bit of an experiment, I’ve setup a page with information about supporting Initial Charge. So if you enjoy or appreciate anything on the site — whether it be the curated links, the published articles, or the projects shared — I only ask that you support the site by giving back with value for value.

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How Do I Know if the Grass Is Greener? ➝

Chris Hannah:

But when I really think about how much I feel locked-in, I think back to my younger self, and my feelings towards technology back then. I liked the look of Apple products, but I mainly liked having endless control of my computer, I tinkered a lot, I broke things a lot, and I actually learned quite a bit along the way.

In general I preferred to be an opinionated user, rather than having an opinionated computer telling me what I could do.

Chris is thinking of giving Android a try and I’m going to be installing Pop!_OS on an old MacBook Air to see if it has room in my workflow.

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Shoddy App Store Review ➝

Craig Grannell, on Apple’s decision to pull iDOS 2 from the App Store:

This also points to shoddy App Store review. It’s not like iDOS 2 snuck through. It’s been back on the store with this exact same functionality for a while now, and received several updates. I’d hoped this was a sign Apple was changing its tone on retro gaming and emulation, but feared it was not. And Apple’s seeming distaste for emulated classic games feels further cemented by it not approving entirely legal retro-gaming streaming service Antstream Arcade for the App Store.

So what now? If you like emulators and want them on your phone: Android. Sure, there are workarounds on iOS, but they’re more hassle than they’re worth.

We will always complain about shoddy App Store review and boneheaded policies regarding third-party apps as long as Apple continue down this path. What they’re aiming toward is unattainable. It’s not possible to create a perfectly curated platform where developers, users, and Apple are all happy. One or two of those groups will always feel like their needs aren’t being met.

The only solution is to allow third-party developers to release their apps outside of the App Store and give users a way to install them.

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How to Install Linux ➝

A conveniently timed video from Linus Tech Tips going over the process of installing Pop!_OS. It’s very PC-oriented, but much of the process is still relevant if you’re installing on Mac hardware.

I installed Pop!_OS on my 2008 iMac yesterday to tinker around with and I’m pretty impressed — desktop Linux has come a long way in the past decade. Many distributions have built-in app stores that make application management a breeze — something that was still a bit of a mess the last time I toyed around with Linux.

I should be getting a second-hand MacBook Air sometime in the next few weeks and I’m leaning toward installing Pop!_OS on it. I’ll still use iPhone and iPad as my primary devices, but I’m thinking Linux will be more than capable of handling the tasks I still lean on a traditional operating system for.

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DuckDuckGo Announces Cross Platform Alternative to Apple’s Hide My Email ➝

This sounds like a neat idea. You select an email address that you can give out to others or use when signing up for services online. When the email address receives a message, DuckDuckGo removes trackers from the email and forwards it to your normal email address.

It does leave me wondering how long it will be before they offer a true email service, though, with custom domain support and all. It would be cool to get these features from DuckDuckGo while still being able to use my own email address with my domain.

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A Look at Big Widgets and Focused Home Screens in iPadOS 15 ➝

Josh Ginter, writing for The Sweet Setup:

Though we had a glimpse of the “larger” widgets with iOS 14’s News widget (sort of), the larger horizontal widgets in iPadOS 15 mostly came out of left field. iPadOS 15 widgets are even larger than the vertical News widget in iOS 14, taking up three columns in the app spring board and displaying content in bold new ways. Apple touted these extra large widgets as being great for media apps like Music, TV, and Photos, where the media inside the app can shine brightly.

But it doesn’t take long to see the value in these extra large widgets for the Calendar app and the Files app as well. More space means more room to spread out, more room for good design, and more room for quickly glancing at information.

I use widgets on my devices, but Home Screen widgets never stuck for me on iPhone. I’m kind of hoping they feel more at home for me on the iPad. If only because my entire iPad Home Screen setup has felt stale since Apple introduced changes to multitasking in iOS 12.

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