A real grab bag today.
Lockdown and the economy
There was so much I wanted to say here but I just don’t have the energy to get the words right. So I’ll just say this.
Kiwis worrying about the economy, please take note of the following gem from a learned person I’ve met.
I remember when watchOS whatever launched and introduced Theatre Mode. I’ve used it in (picture) theatres and it’s great. You turn it on in the Watch Control Centre and it stops the screen from lighting up when you raise your wrist (or make a similar action).
It made total sense to me that wearing my watch at night would be another great time to use Theatre Mode, to avoid blinding myself or my wife any time I rolled over with my arm outside the covers. I can tell you it works great. Most of the time.
From time to time I would notice my watch had lit up. Eventually I realised this was happening sometimes when I was bringing my arm out from under the covers. I figured perhaps there was something about the high thread count cotton sheets that was making the watch think it was being touched.
After this happened many times, I noticed that it did indeed seem to happen only when the watch was dragged across the surface of the sheet. Then a few nights ago it dawned on me what the problem was.
There’s also another aspect to Theatre Mode. You can slowly turn the Digital Crown up to slowly light up the screen. This is useful for taking a peek at the time in the theatre without going to full searchlight brightness. As I was dragging my arm out from under the sheet, it was rolling the Digital Crown. Mimic this action and you will soon see that it rolls the crown up, thus lighting the screen.
It occurred to me this behaviour might be configurable, so I checked. Sure enough, in the Settings app on the watch go to General > Wake Screen > Wake Screen on Crown Up. Turn off that switch and the problem is solved. My watch now stays dark until I deliberately touch the screen.
I write all of these Echoes posts in an app called Ulysses. Ulysses uses Markdown. I’m not a huge fan of Markdown, but I get by. Especially with the help of the Ulysses tools that work more like a rich text editor. Generally I will stick to headings, emphasis, maybe the odd list, and links and images. Yes, Ulysses allows me to easily insert images.
I think images are a bridge too far for Markdown, but it is convenient to drag them into Ulysses as I write for a large project I am currently undertaking. Better yet, Ulysses can export the images along with the text in what it calls a Text Bundle.
The trouble I then have is how to move all this content into Affinity Publisher. The short answer is “the hard way.” I’m working on a process to convert the Markdown inside Publisher and I’m making great strides on that thanks to very powerful find and replace functionality. But those images just make a mockery of the whole concept of “human readable” writing.
The worst part of this is looking at the Affinity forums for discussion around Markdown support, and finding that the biggest hurdle is apparently that Markdown is not a canonical standard.
I’ll continue down this path because I really enjoy Ulysses as a writing environment, but between Markdown being what it is, and Affinity Publisher having no automation, it’s harder than it should be.
I’ll publish my conversion workflow when I have it nailed down.
That concludes this edition of Echoes. The comments are open, but will be moderated for civility. Alternatively you can hit me up on Twitter, where I go by @zkarj.