Welcome to Issue 004

Welcome to the 4th issue of my newsletter! It's great to have you.

If you're interested in the first three, here are the links:

Here are the photos I took in San Francisco over the weekend, which I was trying to start editing when I shattered the screen of my iPad Pro...

Worth it? (No.)

The inaugural session of the Shortcuts User Group

For starters, if you live in the Bay Area and are available tomorrow, Thursday February 21st at 7:30pm, you should come to 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco and join me for the first Shortcuts User Group meetup.

I have given you almost no notice, have an excessive ticketing system, and do not have an agenda for the night. 

But I just want to meet people and talk about Shortcuts!

If you would go but don't live in the area, there is a ticket option that you can "buy" to let me know that there's more interest out there. If there are enough in certain cities, I may just visit – I have zero obligations besides my bills, so the sky is the limit.

If you do live in the area, I'd love to see you there. Or, at another one – what days of the week or times work best for you? I will move it around so everyone can join.

I'll do some simple documenting of the event and share my thoughts afterwards, but there's not some exclusive presentation you're missing out on – just going to be a group of nerds poking around on their phones.

See you there!

Links I've been thinking about:
  • In a recent Supercomputer I mentioned the difference between DO-CONFIRM and READ-DO checklists – here is the post where I found the info, it's worth considering for your checklists.
  • 9to5Mac posted a video on their prediction that the rumored Pro display from Apple will be an Ultrawide. I've been hoping the same thing since I came across this NYMag piece in November.
  • I totally agree with this thread about Liz Lemon being a weird character in 30 Rock. Somehow I had missed the show during its run but had always seen Tumblr memes, and when I actually dove into the show I was confused on how Liz's character was only who she was through self-description in dialogue and not what was actually going on.
  • In an interview with the guy who mixed Cardi B's album, he confessed that he "just turns the knobs until it sounds good." And while that may be mostly speaking to going with your feeling over a scientific approach, it also speaks to how you really learn new tools – fiddle with it bit by bit until you learn more, because often unrelated spaces might spawn new ideas in others.

Guides I'm using:

  • I'm taking apart my Mac mini and putting in my girlfriend's old hard drive and RAM. Once I do this iFixit guide, this thing will have a new life alongside my new Luna Display.
  • “Mixed automation” from Federico Viticci has stuck with me – his starter guide to mixed automation with iOS and macOS is a must-read – I've been experimenting with his techniques since I do most of my production work on iOS but use my Macs as staging grounds for the data.
  • I have to put on new treads for my Boosted Board after mine tore apart mid-ride a few weeks ago. For some reason, they only explain the steps in a video, which is infuriating – now to take my own advice and write up every video I make!
  • Jason Snell has inspired us all with his guide to podcasting from iOS on Six Colors – or more likely just scared his cohost. At first I thought our addition of video would be a wrench it in, but hey we both have iPhones to film from...
  • John Vorhees took some fantastic photos of the USB-C Hub for iPad (I may have ordered one too because of these), but his Instagram had a good look at what top-down style shots take to produce. I have a setup in my office closet that's been in-progress for a while too – a permanent/semi-permanent space helps a TON.

Blog posts on Siri Shortcuts from others:

P.S. If you have shortcuts you've built or curate lists of them from others, I'd be happy to link to you. Please put it on your website and send me the URL!

My content from the week:

We started up Season 2 of Supercomputer

Alongside our newly-launched Patreon for the show, we're focusing a bit each week on more specific topics, and working into a monthly cycle for types of shows. 

This first one was a detail episode on how we use our Home Screens, but we'll do a newsy-type episode, a more philosophical one, and even have guests soon!

Each episode is available as a podcast or from our YouTube channel – if you missed it, here's a shortcut I built that lets you jump from the audio into the video if you're on Overcast user.

I really enjoy doing this show with Alex and having fun with "a constant experiment of... whatever this is" – we're blown away from the generous support so far.

That being said, we would always welcome more.

Are there any subjects you might want to see me cover in future newsletters?

I've been seeing lots of cool AR and VR stuff over time, I have a series of Shortcuts articles and videos coming, and two client projects in the works.

Plus, next week I'll be in LA to go to Disneyland (and hopefully making another video or two).

Coming soon, though: "Understanding how Shortcuts app really works" (working title).

See you next week – or tomorrow?

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