Linked List Archive

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

‘I’m on Cloud Nine’ ➝

Marco Arment on the newly announced 16-inch MacBook Pro’s scissor switch keyboard:

Look at this glorious keyboard! An Esc key! Inverted-T arrow keys! A millimeter of key travel! Enough spacing between the keys for our fingers to accurately orient themselves! And keystrokes will probably work, 100% of the time, for years! […]

The new keyboard is very similar to the recent desktop Magic Keyboard, and I expect it to have a wide appeal, just as the Magic Keyboard does. It has slightly less travel and spacing, but the overall feeling is very similar — and it’s nothing at all like the butterfly keyboard.

I absolutely love it — not because it’s the most amazing keyboard in the world, but because it’s completely forgettable in the best possible way. It just feels normal again.

I love my 2018 MacBook Air in every way, it’s one of my favorite Macs I’ve ever owned. Except for the keyboard, which is absolutely atrocious. I’ve had the machine for about a year and have been struggling with duplicate keypresses and missed keypresses for almost that entire time.

But this new keyboard truly seems like it will fix all of the issues with reliability while also reintroducing all of the design decisions that we’ve been clamoring for. I just hope Apple very quickly adds this new keyboard to the rest of their notebook lineup.

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The Best Meditation App ➝

I absolutely agree with Mike Schmitz here, Headspace is the best meditation app. I started out with mindfulness using Oak about a year ago. It was free and got me in the door, but Headspace offers a much better experience with a ton of different courses to choose from.

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Ten Years of Web Publishing ➝

Álvaro Serrano, writing about his time attempting to make his site a full-time gig:

Those were probably the most creatively fulfilling years of my life, and I’m quite proud to say that, for a little while, I was out there blogging with the best of them. However, the reason I’m so glad I took that leap of faith has little to do with the work itself. It’s all about the people I got to meet along the way.

You see, if I hadn’t sent that email to Shawn I probably never would have become friends with Josh, and never would have even met Marius. Candid never would have existed and, by extension, none of us would have met Thomas. These are three of the most important people in the world to me, and even now, years later, I talk to them every single day. They’ve become part of my family, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Initial Charge turned ten years old this year as well — back in March. I didn’t celebrate the anniversary as much as I probably should have. The reality is that doing anything for ten years is an accomplishment. Especially something like this, a hobby that’s all too easy to fall away from.

Like Álvaro, I’ve had so many positive things come from independent publishing — having the opportunity to write for The Sweet Setup, getting a job at Automattic, but most importantly I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some friends along the way.

I don’t speak with them as often as Álvaro does with his and I should probably make a conscious effort to change that. But I value the friendship that we have more than just about anything else that I’ve received from Initial Charge. And hopefully those friendships will outlast anything that any of us create for the web.

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Switching Registrars ➝

Joe Buhlig, on moving from Hover to Namecheap:

Honestly, I’m just complaining that I am paying more for less. And after a year of working through this, I have decided to move everything over to Namecheap.

Namecheap offers free email forwarding, has lower prices, gives me true 301 redirects, and seems to be more intentional with domain privacy. Which means it fits the bill for all my complaints

I have my domains split between a Hover and Media Temple. At one point, all of my domains were on Media Temple — that’s where I host my site and it made sense at the time to just keep everything together. Since then I’ve purchased a few domains from Hover, but I’ve been thinking of moving all of my domains to one place again.

I was considering moving them to Hover because I like their web design and service. But I manage my domains so infrequently that it might actually be better for me to choose a registrar based on price. Namecheap was on my shortlist and after reading Joe’s piece, I think I might go with them.

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OWC miniStack ➝

I bought a couple of these OWC miniStacks that I’m using to upgrade our Mac Mini home server. The drive I had been using with Plex was running low on available space and I figured I’d get something that looked slick alongside the Mini. I wish they had an updated version that was in the Mac Mini’s new space gray color. I would have bought that instead so that when I eventually get a new Mac Mini, it would match. But I guess the silver enclosure will have to do.

I’ve only setup one of the miniStacks so far — paired with a 4TB Seagate drive. I’m slowly transferring everything over as I type this, deleting and organizing along the way. I haven’t bought a drive for the second enclosure quite yet, but I’m likely getting an 8TB drive that will be used as a Time Machine target for the Mac Mini and my work laptop.

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tvOS 13.3 Adds Option to Display Up Next Queue in TV App’s Top Shelf Extension ➝

Benjamin Mayo, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Apple redesigned the Apple TV home screen with tvOS 13 allowing for full screen panoramic previews in the Top Shelf area. However, at the same time, it also changed the content of the Top Shelf for the TV app from the user’s personal Up Next queue to ‘What to Watch’, a selection of top television shows and movies chosen by Apple (essentially, a form of advertising).

This naturally caused a lot of complaints from users. Apple appears to have listened. In tvOS 13.3 beta, there is now an option in Settings to change it back.

It’s amazing to me that tvOS 13 shipped without the option to revert the TV app’s top shelf extension behavior. I went the trouble of transitioning away from the TV app because of this — to WatchAid. If I was annoyed enough to move away from the app entirely, I couldn’t have been the only one irritated.

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iOS 13.2.2 Released ➝

The release fixes the background app issues that was plaguing users on previous versions — where the system was aggressively quitting background apps. I hadn’t really noticed this issue myself, though. Maybe I was just lucky. But 13.2.2 hasn’t fixed the problems I was having using my shortcut for publishing to Initial Charge or the scrolling issues I had in Apollo. Hopefully those will improve in subsequent software updates.

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Twitter Needs Third-Party Clients ➝

Craig Hockenberry, referencing Ryan Christoffel’s recent piece on Twitterrific’s introduction of multi-window support and Twitter adding keyboard navigation to their app:

This review that covers a both a third-party and first-party Twitter app shows how important the former is.

Third parties are always first with platform features like multi-window on iPad. And we’ve had keyboard support for several years.

Third-party clients are the reason we have retweets, replies, mentions, blocking/muting, and more. Almost all of Twitter’s best features were first introduced and supported by developers outside of Twitter. The service would really benefit from a reintroduction of the APIs that allowed those apps to stand on equal footing with Twitter’s own client.

As a bit of an aside, I’m going to be giving Twitterrific another shot.

(Via Michael Tsai.)

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