My weekend homescreen needs some work, but I use the feature to show and hide entire screens far more than I thought I would. I have a work, weekend, evening and blogging screen currently.


Hey, It’s Not All Bad

I wrote a short post about some of my impressions of the Hey email service after a few months of use. While the post was relatively well received I felt like I may have been unduly negative about Hey, and wanted to add a little more detail to perhaps balance the discussion somewhat.

One of the risks with my concerted efforts to post more, with less planning, is that I tend to start a post with a clear goal of what I’m trying to put across, which ultimately gets watered down, or plain forgotten, as I ramble on. This post, so far, is the perfect example …

Back to the point, there are a handful of features that I think Hey really get right. Despite my reservations or negativity put across in the last post I am currently using Hey, to give it more of a go, because of some very key reasons, which I’ll highlight here.


Does anyone know if it’s possible to set / change the url / slug of a post either before or after posting them?


Finding Podcasts That Spark Joy

TitleCard

So many of the larger tech podcasts I listen to no longer ‘spark joy’ so I’m going to have a full clear out and start fresh I think.

I don’t remember the last time I heard a bit of information I care about on a podcast first, it’s generally regurgitation of facts I’ve already read about, or opinions that are repeated by the same small group across a multitude of places. You can usually guess exactly what (often negative) opinion these people will have without even hearing it.

Some more relaxing, and fun, podcasts I enjoy include:

  • FilmSack - FilmSack was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to. I’ve listened to every single episode since. The premise of the show is to find some generally bad / iconic / cult films to watch as a community and the hosts just talk about it. It’s a simple premise, but it’s fun, funny, and downright joy inducing.
  • Triforce - Lewis, Sips, and PyrionFlax from The YogsCast talking about nothing in particular. A relaxing and funny ride.
  • The Late Night Alternative With Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle - This is currently a daily Twitch show, having recently moved over from traditional radio. Great hosts with conversations ranging from the inane to mental health and drug addiction. A really unique take on the late night chat idea.
  • Simon’s Peculiar Portions - Just give it a listen.
  • Core - Another Frogpants show, this time focused on videos games across a wide spectrum.
  • PAL KEYS - I’ve been a Pal Keys / Daryl Baxter fan for some time now. Daryl always gets some fantastic guests from the world, and surrounding ecosystem of video games for a good chat. I’m yet to hear a bad show, or discover a bad guest.
  • Mea Culpa with Michael Cohen - While this is clearly a bit of a cash in on Michael Cohen’s part, it’s also a fascinating listen into some of the insanity within Trump’s inner circle. It’s only two episodes in and I’m already pretty hooked.

While I’ll still be dipping in and out of more tech focused podcasts, I think there’s a need to step back a bit and focus on content that’s adding more to my life than frustration and negativity. The tech podcasting market is a busy, some may say saturated, market and so many of them feel like shows are being put out just because they have to. A lot of the passion has gone and it’s a simple business transaction. I can understand that. We all have to live and have bills to pay, but with limits time in the day, especially while I’m not having to commute about 5 hours a day, shows like that don’t have a place in my queue. Hopefully I can find more, smaller, shows and creators to start investing my time and ad clicks on beyond the list above.


I’d love a Sunlit iOS widget. Just one to display a few recent photos or something. Any chances @cheesemaker ?


This is such a good song … music.apple.com


A Console War Like No Other

Consoles Image courtesy of Tom’s Guide

A few days ago, the PlayStation team took to YouTube to share a tear down video of the new PlayStation 5. This struck me as a bit odd but, after wathcing it, I can see why they did it now.

The PlayStation 5 was touted as having expandable storage, and an ability to position the device either vertically or hoizontally. This video not only shows you a, quite fascinating, look inside the hardware, but it details just how you would go about expanding the storage. The relevant part of the video can be seen below:

Yep, that’s right, the folks at Sony are showing customers how to crack their brand new PS5’s open and to expand the storage. A screwdriver’s even required to enable the ability to lay the PS5 on its side.

In true console wars fashion, the Xbox community were quick to troll their competition:

Every product designer must, at some point, experience a conflict between form and function. Love it or loathe it, PS5 is certainly a pretty unique design. Because of this, however, they’re expecting users to bust open their consoles to expand the storage. The Xbox, on the other hand, features a pretty dull looking monolithic tower design, however this affords it an ability to change it’s orientation simply and storage can be increased by just slotting in a new storage card. On the face of it, the two companies have taken the opposite approach to each other when it comes to design. Sony opted for form, Microsoft function.


I’ve found myself getting a touch obsessed with competative multiplayer games on PC, so I’m making a concerted effort to limit my playtime of them. I’ve been enjoying some single player experiences like AC: Odyssey, Titanfall 2 and Rogue Legacy 2. I fancy a juicy RPG also, so I’m downloading FFXV from GamePass also.


Hey Google

HeyLogo

I’ve had quite an off and on relationship with Hey since I signed up for it just prior to its public release. It’s inarguably an interesting take on email, and email management. It’s well designed, is being iterated on fairly well and it’s pretty fun to use.

On the other hand, your emails are tied to a single service / app1, features I’m not very interested in are going to be a big focus for a while (Hey for Work) and, for me at least, I ended up managing my email more not less. There are a few reasons why this was the case. First of all, I’ve been nervous that I’ve been missing something coming into one of the three areas, so I ended up checking the Imbox, Feed and Paper Trail on every visit. Further more, if you use the service as you’re guided to, by leaving your email to flow, you will soon have an app filled with utter junk. This is all part of the design ethos, and I understand it, but over time valid emails in a search, for example, will be diluted by the tut you’ve left festering in the bowels of your Hey mailboxes.


Blog Like No One’s Watching

Post (Photo by Thought Catalogue)

Despite barely posting to my blog for months, I’m still weirdly precious about what I post there. I always feel like I should only post longer form posts or something that I’ve over thought.

People like @ljpuk and @mattbirchler produce excellent content, every single day, and clearly feel comfortable just going with the flow and posting about what’s on their minds. This isn’t to say their pieces aren’t well thought out, they clearly are, but I also like the fluid nature of their blogging style. Mixing up themes, format and in Matt’s case even medium.

My little blog isn’t going to get popular, and frankly I wouldn’t want the pressure of it being so. Because of this, it’s completely unnecessary for me to be so protective of the kind of content I share here. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this in the past, but I’m once again going to make a concerted effort to just post. I’m not going to over think it, I’m not going to convince myself no one is interested in reading it. This may well be the case, but I’m going to blog about everything and anything that interests me. If anyone ends up coming along for the ride, then all the better.

I’ll blog like no one’s watching, because chances are they won’t be. And that’s just fine.


I think I may have finally hit peak gaming for a while. Most of my evenings for the last few months have been taken up vedging out playing games on the PC I bought. I may be coming out the other side, so hopefully I can get more time for some other fun things, like blogging. It’s important, now more than ever, to have distractions and to enjoy things that relax you, so I don’t regret letting the blog rest for a while.


Micro.blog really needs a dark mode on the web. I think I just melted my eyes opening at night on Chrome.


I’m very much looking forward to Hey widgets. That is all.


Dear American friends … I can see the debates last night trending today, with everyone saying it was an embarrassment and terrible etc. Is that purely because of Trump being a scum bag? Or was it bad on Biden’s side too? Just trying to understand the context …


Looks like there are some very interesting updates and improvements with Micro.blog 2.0. I’m looking forward to having more of a dig around. The ‘Highlights’ features look particularly interesting.


Does anyone know how I can add a ‘More’ button to my posts at all? All I have is a ‘permalink’ button at the bottom of posts, which doesn’t make it very clear there’s more to see of a post (cc @manton )


There’s A Homescreen For That

Ever since we were first introduced to iOS 14 back in June, I was excited about the prospect of Widgets in iOS. Since even the early days of the beta I’ve been struggling to get a setup I like with them, however, and that was before so many excellent third party widgets were released.

My main issue hasn’t been that I don’t like the widgets, or that there aren’t enough of them, it’s simply an issue of trying to include too much at once. I’ve disliked the iOS homescreen for some years now, so I’ve embraced the new flexibility this affords, but perhaps to a fault. Much as I tend to do with the Apple Watch, I’ve tried to populate my homescreen with widgets (or Complications with regards to the Watch) that cover every situation.

With the Apple Watch, I now have the ability to create some Shortcuts which can automatically switch my face, and in turn the connected Complications at different times of the day. This has lead to a Bed / nighttime face, a Work face, and an Evening & Weekend face.


The Dent Podcast is back ... sort of?

A few months ago, in the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown, I built a gaming PC. This went surprisingly well and didn’t explode the first time I turned it on, which quite frankly was more than I could have hoped for given my lack of talent with these types of things.

The issue with this, however, is that it’s presence in my home office has completely killed any free time I have in the evenings and I now spend most of this time streaming badly. My blog has taken a serious hit, and my podcast has gone the way of the Dodo.

I want to blog more, but the lure of pure unadulterated relaxation playing some games badly has been too great. That’s why, today, I thought I’d try a little experiment. I’ve always found streaming anything difficult because I just didn’t know what to say for an hour or so. With no one watching, I had no chat to talk to either. When I lamented this fact on Twitter a few people suggested just talking about the things I used to do on my short podcast. I dismissed it at the time, but thought I’d now give it a try. So, to that end, meet version 0.1 of The Dent Podcast / VODcast:

As you can see, and hear from listening to it, this is most definitely a 0.1 release. The audio is poor, coming from my headset only, among other issues, but I thought I’d get it out there and see if there’s even any interest in something like this. So, please, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have. I’m under no illusion, however this will be few peoples cup of tea, but it’s a fun experiment to play around with.

This episode sees me chat about my thoughts on the upcoming Apple non-iPhone event tomorrow, 15th September.


I adjusted my blog recently so it only shows part of the blog post, with the thing, but there’s no button that says ‘see more’ or what we, only a permalink button. Does anyone know how I can make it clearer there’s more post to see at all?


Will We See A Surprise Next Week?

We’re now just a few days away from Apple’s traditional September event, but unlike many years before it, it sounds like we won’t see the release of the latest iPhone. Instead we’ll likely see a new iPad or two, along with the latest Apple Watch iteration, but is that it? I have an out there predication that we may be introduced to something that’s been an open secret for some time, namely Apple Glass.


Destiny 2 on a 7 year old laptop isn’t bad going.


Uh oh


Sleepy Moon Bear


August 2020 Photoblogging Challenge Day: 18 Today’s theme: Grid A grid of metal and glass windows on The Shard in London, taken on my commute a few years ago. 📷 #mbaug


August 2020 Photoblogging Challenge Day: 17 Today’s theme: Cuddly I’m a day behind on the challenge (oops) but what else could I post for ‘cuddly’? 📷 #mbaug