In Praise of My MacBook Pro

When the pandemic started and I realized I’d be working from home I ordered a new MacBook Pro. I needed something that would run Adobe Creative Cloud really well, especially Adobe Premiere. So I got the 16″ late 2019 model I’m on right now. I spent more on a computer than I ever had. Maxed it out in every way possible. It is a bad-ass machine. I love it.

The speakers on this laptop continue to blow me away. I forget how good the built-in speakers sound until I have to use the speakers on a lesser computer, like the ones at work or my trusty Chromebook. Man, these speakers just great. Just killer.

I have of course been back “in the office” for over a year now. In the “new” position I took during the pandemic and that I still have I’m very involved in audio and video editing, and they got me a really nice Dell laptop with Adobe Creative Cloud, but honestly there’s still a lot that is easier on my MacBook. It’s just superior.

Using Mastodon Social Media

Here are a few quick notes to help some friends understand Mastodon as a replacement for Twitter.

  • You know how you can get text messages on your phone from people who have different kinds of phones and use different cellular providers? That’s how Mastodon works. People run lots of Mastodon servers. Some are big, some are small, but they all speak the same language. You can sign up on one server and still follow and interact with people on other servers.
  • Finding the server you want to start on may be the most difficult part right now. I found one related to roleplaying games. There are hundreds of them, but only a few show up on the Mastodon Social website.
  • If the server you are on decides to shut down, you can easily transfer your whole Mastodon account and everything to another server. It it built into the system.
  • Different servers have different rules. No one person owns all the servers. No one can buy Mastodon.
  • The web interface for Mastodon looks a lot like Tweet Deck if you switch it to the “advanced” version. You can set up columns for the post that happen locally on that server, for the people you follow, for a list of people your follow or a list based on topic. You can follow the entire universe (Fediverse) of Mastodon tweets if you want (I don’t). This allows you to curate your feed.
  • There is no algorithm in Mastodon deciding what you should see.
  • There are no suggestions of stupid shit.
  • If someone you follow boosts (retweets) stuff you don’t want to see, you can set it so that you don’t see boosts from that person.

The mobile app does not allow as much customization, but it is still better than Twitter for most of the reasons above.

Here’s a screenshot of my Mastodon page (below). I’m using it mostly to follow people in the tabletop RPG world. Those on my home server show up in the Local Timeline. Those I follow on other servers are all in a list of “Gamers Elsewhere” I created, and show up in that column. You can change the order of the columns, turn them off, etc.

 

Sagan

Two days ago (November 9) was Carl Sagan’s birthday.

I didn’t forget it, but  I got really busy and didn’t manage to do my usual post. So happy birthday and rest in peace to one of the greatest humans.

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Carl – Pale Blue Dot

Ofrenda 2022

Every year my wife creates an ofrenda in the days leading up to Dia de los Muertos. This is a tradition and day I was totally unaware of until we got married three decades ago. If you want your life enriched, marrying into a new culture is a good way to do it. Not the only way, but a good way.

I really love this tradition. I enjoy having a time to remember those who have gone before and celebrate them. I would like to be remembered when I’m gone.

Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, 2022