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Forerunners of the iPhone by Allister Jenks

A colleague recently related a story to me which reminded me of the devices I had in my life which could be considered forerunners to the iPhone. I don’t mean in the sense of a phone – after all, that is one of the least used functions of my iPhone – but rather as a device for holding information that I can carry around with me.

Certainly some of my mobile phones fulfilled this role to an extent, but the devices I will recount now were dedicated to the task of capturing, storing, and divulging information on the go. You might think your smartphone took its cues from the world of hand written data, as iOS 6 and earlier tried to portray with skeuomorphic design, but in fact their forbears had already made this leap.

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NC #641 Automation Madness, Podfeet iMessage Stickers, Security Bits

Allister Jenks has created new and improved Podfeet stickers for iMessage. I’ll tell you how obsessed I’ve become with automation from AppleScript to Workflow to Keyboard Maestro. Then Bart is back with Security Bits where he’ll regale us with news and things to watch out for, and tell us whether we’re at the end of times because of recent research into DNA and computer code.

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I Want to Automate ALL the Things

The CMD-D Conference infected me with the desire to automate everything. I’m pretty sure that was their evil plan all along. In this article I’m going to talk about one quick thing I did in AppleScript in the finder, then tell what I hope is an interesting story of discovery in AppleScript for Photos, then I’ll talk about what I want to do in the future on iOS in Workflow and Keyboard Maestro on the Mac. I’m telling you, I’ve descended into madness!
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NC #640 Nightshift and Invert Colors, CMD-D Conference, Split Screen on iPad for Books

In this week’s show I start by playing you a VERY silly recording from Joe Dugandzic of Then I’ll read you a rant by Chris Eschweiler about Night Shift and Invert Colors and I’ll give him some good news. After that I’ll regale you with tales of adventure about the CMD-D Conference hosted by Sal Soghoian. It was a blast and I can’t wait to do more automation. Then I’ll play you a question from Knightwise of about how to use both a mind mapping app and his book reading app in split screen.

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Split Screen for Books on iPad Pro for Knightwise

Knightwise workingOur old friend Knightwise is back with an interesting problem to be solved.

He reads his books electronically in the Kindle app in ePub format, and he likes to highlight as he reads. He uses these highlights in creation of talks he gives to other entrepreneurs. He outlines his talks using a Mind Mapping program called X-Mind from

He was hoping to get an iPad Pro and use split screen to view the book on one side and the mind map on the other side. The problem he found though was that he couldn’t use the Kindle app in split screen and wonders whether iOS 11 would fix the problem.

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NightShift and Invert Colors – Rant + Solution

A while back on the show, I was talking to someone about Nightshift and how much I dislike it. It might have been Bart but I’ve had this argument with so many people I lose track. Anyway, Chris Eschweiler wrote in letting me know that I’m not alone. He gave me permission to read his commentary on the subject out loud:

Personally, I find removing the letter “F” from “Nightshift” is more accurate. I can’t stand the muddy, baby’s-first-diaper quality that the feature brings to the iPhone. I so want to grab Jony Ive by the collar and remind him that not everyone is looking for stylish, trendy, kitschy interfaces…some of us just want something that works well for *us*.

The closest thing the iPhone has to adding functionality in low light situations is the ability to invert the screen. The only problem is, it inverts the colors of everything…including icons and images.

Why would ANYONE want to invert images, Apple? Unless you’re in some underground command center trying to tease detail from a poor photo of a tire track from a suspect’s car, inverting images is…well, it’s dumb. Why doesn’t Apple modify this feature to be more useful? Light text on black background is a so much easier to read in low light. If we are truly going to embrace the “go paperless” mantra that computers were supposed to usher in, then why do we start with the paper analog and assume the background of everything we do must be white?

Thanks for letting me rant.

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CMD-D | Masters of Automation with Sal Soghoian

Sal Soghoian Allison
Sal Soghoian

This week Steve and I attended, and I spoke at the CMD-D Conference, created by Sal Soghoian. Sal was responsible for all Automation at Apple for many years. His team managed AppleScript, Automaton, and Terminal. Pretty much all the coolest stuff at Apple.

I have to tell you I was pretty intimidated about speaking at this conference. I’ll get into that a little bit more in a bit but I want to tell you about the conference and then about my presentation. You know, better story telling that way. Continue reading “CMD-D | Masters of Automation with Sal Soghoian”

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CCATP #498 – Patrick Beja on French Tech

Patrick beja portrait 400px copyThis week’s guest is Patrick Beja, host of The Phileas Club, Le Rendévous Tech, and Pixel, all fine podcasts over at We talk about how France is marketing their technology worldwide, what the government is doing to encourage tech companies to bring business to France, and how education folds into the equation. We might also get a bit off topic discussing French food and sewing, but as are all conversations with Patrick, it’s a delightful show. You can find Patrick on Twitter @NotPatrick.

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A few links to things we discussed:

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NC #639 Two Catastrophic Apple Problems Challenge Me, Security Bits

This is a bit of a different show – it’s primarily the four part story of my saga dealing with two catastrophic failures with Apple in a single week. It’s quite a tech story with a lot to interesting angles. After that Bart joins us with Security Bits.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers

This post is Part 4 (the grand finale) of a 4-part saga. To read Part 1, please enjoy: AppleCare Needs a Frequent Flyer Program.

Icloud failed blur shadowIt’s time for the final post about my MacBook Pro and iCloud woes from this week, because after four full days, both are finally working! The path there was fascinating.

To recap, my 2016 MacBook Pro went into Apple repair because it wouldn’t charge, and my 2013 MacBook Pro, which was restored from a backup of the 2016, couldn’t access any Apple cloud services. My little friend Erica from Executive Relations had escalated my repair, while my little friend Senior Advisor Specialist Joe was helping me crack the code on iCloud with engineering.

The good news is that my 2016 MacBook Pro was returned to my hot little hands on Wednesday afternoon, day 3 since it had been shipped, day 5 since it had died. Continue reading “When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers”

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