602: Was that a Rabbit Hole?

Lots of fun topics this week. @MacSparky any chance your law practice PKM talk will be available online, or repurposed in some way? I’m not able to go (not even a lawyer!) but I really like specific examples of this kind of thing, such as the specific system you laid out for client tasks on the Omni Show.


Hrm… @MacSparky said that the Touch ID button on the new Magic Keyboard from Apple is supposed to lock your computer if you push it.

I hadn’t heard about that feature, I just tried that and it does nothing for me with my M1 Mac mini.

In fact, I even ran Key Codes and Keyboard Maestro and neither of them even recognizes that a button has been pushed.

Is this working for others?

I’m running the latest Big Sur release (macOS version 11.5.2 / 20G95).

In this episode there was a user question about floating quotes on the screen.
You mentioned the user was already using Stickies. I didn’t hear you mention that Stickies itself has a feature to float a note on top of all windows. She could tick that option for her quote stickies and they will appear above all the other windows on her system.

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@MacSparky I, for one, would love a blogpost on how to setup number pad shortcuts with better touch tool like you were talking about. I have a number pad on my keyboard and rarely use the added keys. This is exactly what I’d like to do learn how to do with them! Thanks.

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Works fine for me on my M1 Air, using the built in keyboard or external one. I don’t think I applied any settings for this, but I can’t be sure.

Could it be a silly oversight, and only works on the notebooks at the moment as they have the button by default?

Anyway, it’s quicker than my old method, which was a Keyboard Maestro action linked to HYPER+Q. I’d set that up to give me a conflict palette with options to eject all mounted disks, lock the computer, or sleep.

Pushing it on my 2018 intel MacBook Pro locks the screen.

Sorry, to clarify… I know it works on the internal / built-in keyboard with Touch ID.

However, it does not work for my with the M1 Mac mini…

Correction: It does not work reliably for me with the M1 Mac mini. I just tried it with the USB cable connected and disconnected, and it works occasionally but definitely not reliably.

I wonder if I got a flaky one.

For those who have the new external Touch ID keyboards and Keyboard Maestro - what happens if you press create a test macro with “This Hot Key” and try to use the Touch ID button. Does Keyboard Maestro see it as a keypress?

I’ll be covering a bunch of this in my Apple Mail Webinar next week.

Strange. I’m using it with an M1 Mac mini and it’s rock solid.

I’m starting to suspect that I have a malfunctioning one. I’ll be calling Apple Support later.

Thanks for the info.

It locks, reliably :wink:

@ismh Did you seek out the beta Mimestream app you described because Mailplane has announced an end to its app? (Mailplane said Google is blocking the type of technology it uses.)

I want an app to consolidate my Gmail accounts, so I found Stephen’s description of Mimestream interesting. When I looked into Mimestream, I saw that it requires macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. My machine is too old to run Catalina.

That’s what reminded me of an older recommendation by @jsnell for Mailplane. Jason spoke highly of it.

Any suggestions among the group — including @imsh, @macsparky or @jsnell — for a Mac app to consolidate Gmail, other than Mimestream or Mailplane?

The only other app that I know of is Kiwi for Gmail which used to be a standalone/non-subscription app, but now looks very ‘enterprise-y’ (and I think is subscription only).

It seems remarkably similar to Mailplane, yet the developers have told me that they have talked with Google and do not foresee any problems with their app continuing, despite Mailplane’s demise.

I like Mimestream well enough, I’m just slightly hesitant because they are taking so long to commit to anything related to pricing.

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Thanks, tjluoma. I used Kiwi for a while a couple of years ago. It was such a memory and CPU hog that I could only use it for a short time, then quit the app. Leaving it open, to monitor email coming in, just ran the fans all the time. That was unacceptable. I’ll download the latest version, in hope that its many updates have calmed it down since I tried last.

To add some general Windows Remote Desktop experience: Unless you‘re doing stuff where a lot of actual images need to be streamed from the Remote Desktop Server to your PC (—> this setup is not ideal for streaming Youtube, as David explained), you do not need a super high performance internet connection for a good user experience.

Since the amount of information required to paint the UI locally on your client is rather minimal, using the VM can still feel snappy.

I used a VM via RDP once on an okay-ish 4G connection because we needed some more processing power to process a large Excel model - worked fine.

So if you are in need of such a solution, don‘t be discouraged by your 20 Mbit connection - just try it out.

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I haven’t used Mailplane in years; I’ve been keeping an eye on Mimestream for a while.

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I still like Mailplane and was saddened by the discontinuation news. It still works, but I think Mimestream is good enough now and I’ve switched to using it full time at work in the last few months for my primary account. There are a couple of bugs but the developer has been responsive to them or apologetic if bugginess in the Gmail API is the limitation.

For the other accounts I check at work, I’m still waiting on Mimestream to support multiple accounts without pooling inboxes. Ideally it’ll support cmd+number shortcuts to switch inboxes like Mailplane does.

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From 2017 through 2020 I worked two different jobs where even though I was issued a Windows laptop I would be doing work on our clients network which required me to have a VDI to be able to work. Citrix was mostly what these jobs used but there may have been another program. While I do have decent internet, unfortunately the infastructure near me is older and has some reliability issues where I experience minor internet outage blips. Generally this isn’t an issue but because VDIs require a constant connection these minor blips would make me lose connection and have to spin it all up.

My question for Macsparky is with their testing of M365, did you ever experience a minor outage like this, curious how it was handled?

It turns out I had bought Kiwi for Gmail on the Mac App Store when I used it for a while several years ago. I looked it up on the Mac App Store. All I had to do was download it again, at no further charge. I see that Kiwi for Gmail is now $29.99 on the Mac App Store for new buyers. I think that is more than I paid for it, but it is much better than the subscription prices and narrow tiers if subscribing directly from the Kiwi website: $34.99 per year for as many as six Gmail accounts or $58.99 per year for as many as nine Gmail accounts. An exception: The Kiwi website offers a free, “Basic” tier that allows the use of a single Gmail account. In short, other than the basic tier, the Mac App Store’s lower, pay-once price is better in almost all cases. I plan to post another update, once I set up Kiwi and spend some time with it.