Categories
Computers

iPad versus MacBook Pro

May people ask the question … iPad Pro or MacBook Pro. I decided to really think about this question and see, what is it that I do with each device.

Initially I thought of each device as being its own ‘thing’. I did these things on my iPad Pro and those things on my MacBook Pro. But when I really sat down and thought about it, it turns out that there are things I do exclusively on my iPad Pro, and other things that I do exclusively on my MacBook Pro … but there are also many things that I do on both.

iPad Pro

There are apps which only run on iOS. Drafts is a perfect example. It’s my note taking app of choice. Using my iPhone in conjunction with my iPad makes Drafts one of the most powerful apps I use in the iOS ecosystem.

During meetings I can quickly jot down things that I need to know using my iPhone and no one notices or cares. Later, I can use my iPad Pro to process these notes and make sure that everything gets taken care of.

I can also use Drafts as a powerful automation tool to get ideas into OmniFocus (my To Do App of Choice) easily and without any fuss.

I also use my iPad Pro to process the expenses my family incurs. We use Siri Shortcuts to take a picture of a receipt which is then saved in a folder in Dropbox.

I monitor these images and match them up against expenses (or income) in Mint and categorize the expenses.

This workflow helps to keep me (and my family) in the know about how (and more importantly where) we’re spending our money.

Mint is available as a web page, and I’ve tried to use macOS and this workflow, but it simply didn’t work for me.

Using OmniFocus on the iPad is a dream. I am easily able to process my inbox, perform my weekly review and quickly add new items to do inbox. The ability to drag and drop with with either Apple Pencil or my finger makes it so easy to move tasks around.

The other (obvious) use case for my iPad Pro over my MacBook Pro is media consumption. Everyone says you can’t get real work done on an iPad and they point to how easy it is to consume media on the iPad, but I think that shows the opposite.

When you’re ready to take a break from doing real work, the best media consumption device is the one you have with you 😀

MacBook Pro

When I really thought about what I use my MacBook Pro for I was … surprised. Quite honestly, it’s used mostly to write code (in Python) using my favorite editor (PyCharm) but other than that … I don’t do much on it that I can’t do on my iPad.

When I record podcast (OK, really, just that one and just that one time) I use my MBP, and if I have a ton of stuff I need to clean up in OmniFocus then I’m over at the MacBook, but really, it’s doesn’t do anything I can’t do on the iPad Pro.

Maybe I don’t do real work in the macOS ecosystem?

What I do on both MacBook Pro and iPad Pro

Honestly, they both do a great job of getting me to where I want to go on the internet. Some people think that mobile safari isn’t up to it’s macOS counterpart (and they’re right) but for my (non-coding) needs, it doesn’t really matter to me. They both work really well for me.

I also tend to use OmniFocus on both when I want to mark things as done, add new items, or make bulk edits (OF3 on iOS finally made this one a possibility).

I also use the terminal to access servers via ssh on both platforms. The great thing about the command line is that it’s mostly the same where ever you’re coming from.

Terminus on iOS is a a great terminal app and I can just as easily navigate the server there as I can using the terminal app in macOS.

I’m also just as likely to plan my family’s budget on iOS as I am macOS. It just kind of depends which device is easier to get to, not what I’m planning on doing. Excel on both platforms works really well for me (I work in a Windows environment professionally so Excel is what I use and know for that kind of thing).

Finally, writing. I use Ulysses on both macOS and iOS and really, I love them both. Each app has parity with the other so I never feel like I’m losing something when I write on my MacBook Pro (or on my iPad Pro). Sometimes, it’s hard to really tell which platform I’m on because they do such a good job (for me) to make them basically the same.

All in all, I don’t think it’s a question of which to choose, iPad Pro or MacBook Pro, iOS or macOS … it’s a matter of what device is closest to me right now? What device will bring me the most joy to use, right now? What device do I want to use right now?

iOS or macOS? iPad Pro or MacBook Pro? These aren’t the right questions to be asking. It should be … what device do I want to use right now? And don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Categories
PyCharm Python

Moving my Pycharm Directory or How I spent my Saturday after jacking up my PyCharm environment

Every once in a while I get a wild hair and decide that I need to ‘clean up’ my directories. This never ends well and I almost always mess up something, but I still do it.

Why? I’m not sure, except that I forget that I’ll screw it up. 🤦‍♂️

Anyway, on a Saturday morning when I had nothing but time I decided that I’d move my PyCharm directory from /Users/ryan/PyCharm to /Users/ryan/Documents/PyCharm for no other reason than because.

I proceeded to use the command line to move the folder

mv /Users/ryan/PyCharm/ /Users/ryan/Documents/PyCharm/

Nothing too big, right. Just a simple file movement.

Not so much. I then tried to open a project in PyCharm and it promptly freaked out. Since I use virtual environments for my Python Project AND they tend to have paths that reference where they exist, suddenly ALL of my virtual environments were kind of just gone.

Whoops!

OK. No big deal. I just undid my move

mv /Users/ryan/Documents/PyCharm/ /Users/ryan/PyCharm

That should fix me up, right?

Well, mostly. I had to re-register the virtual environments and reinstall all of the packages in my projects (mostly not a big deal with PyCharm) but holy crap it was scary. I thought I had hosed my entire set of projects (not that I have anything that’s critical … but still).

Anyway, this is mostly a note to myself.

The next time you get a wild hair to move stuff around, just keep it where it is. There’s no reason for it (unless there is).

But seriously, ask yourself first, “If I don’t move this what will happen?” If the answer is anything less than “Something awful” go watch a baseball game, or go to the pool, or write some code. Don’t mess with your environment unless you really want to spend a couple of hours unmasking it up!

Categories
Technology

My Mac session with Apple

For Christmas I bought myself a 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Several bonuses were associated with the purchase:

  1. A $150 Apple Gift Card because I bought the MacBook Pro on Black Friday and Apple had a special going (w00t!)
  2. The Credit Card I use to make ALL of my purchases at Apple has a 3% cash back (in the form of iTunes cards)
  3. A free 30 minute online / phone session with an ‘Apple Specialist’

Now I didn’t know about item number 3 when I made the purchase, but was greeted with an email informing me of my great luck.

This is my fifth Mac1 and I don’t remember ever getting this kind of service before. So I figured, what the hell and decided to snooze the email until the day after Christmas to remind myself to sign up for the session.

When I entered the session I was asked to optionally provide some information about myself. I indicated that I had been using a Mac for several years and considered myself an intermediate user.

My Apple ‘Specialist’ was Jaime. She confirmed the optional notes that I entered and we were off to the races.

Now a lot of what she told me about Safari (blocking creepy tracking behavior, ability to mute sound from auto play videos, default site to display in reader view) I knew from the WWDC Keynote that I watched back in June, but I listened just in case I had missed something from that session (or the 10s / 100s of hours of podcasts I listened to about the Keynote).

One thing that I had heard about was the ability to pin tabs in Safari. I never really knew what that meant and figured it wasn’t anything that I needed.

I was wrong. Holy crap is pinning tabs in Safari a useful feature! I can keep all of my most used sites pinned and get to them really quickly and they get auto refreshed! Sweet!

The other super useful thing I found out about was the Split Screen feature that allows you to split apps on your screen (in a very iOS-y way!).

Finally, Jaime reviewed how to customize the touch bar! This one was super useful as I think there are 2 discoverability issues with it:

  1. The option to Customize Touch Bar is hidden in the View menu which isn’t somewhere I’d look for it
  2. To Customize the Touch Bar you drag down from the Main Screen onto the Touch Bar.

After the call I received a nice follow up email from Apple / Jaime

Now that you’re more familiar with your new Mac, here are some additional resources that can help you go further.

Apple Support
Find answers to common questions, watch video tutorials, download user guides, and share solutions with the Apple community. Visit Support

Today at Apple
Discover inspiring programs happening near you. Visit Today at Apple

Accessories
From the Apple accessories page, you can learn about all kinds of new and innovative products that work with iPhone, iPad, Mac and more. Visit Accessories

How to use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro – https://support.apple.com/en- us/HT207055

Use Mission Control on your Mac – https://support.apple.com/en- us/HT204100

Use two Mac apps side by side in Split View – https://support.apple.com/en- us/HT204948

Websites preferences – https://support.apple.com/ guide/safari/websites- preferences-ibrwe2159f50

I’m glad that I had the Mac session and I will encourage anyone that buys a Mac in the future to schedule one.

  1. They are in order of purchase: 2012 15-inch MacBook Pro, 2014 27-inch 5K iMac, 2015 MacBook, 2016 13-inch 2 Thunderbolt MacBook Pro; 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar