Mac Power Users 475: Something Smells Funny

I am not responsible for what happened to that car.

1 Like

We’re halfway to 25 years of using an incomplete bed and this episode has motivated me to change that.

Same here @MacSparky I find way too much functionality the Apple Watch brings to me. Anyone can pair down their notifications. I find the watch makes me less anxious, I’m connected to important things but the distractions

Every Monday morning (Central European time) I have a pretty long commute to work and listening to the most recent MPU epsisode has developed into a very nice ritual to start the week friendly and geeky. :blush:

I always enjoy the feedback episodes because they address some issues inevitably left out in the content shows. Also after a couple of episodes my initial impression has been confirmed that @MacSparky and @ismh make a great team.


I realized in the edit that I didn’t quite hit the nail on the head with this. It’s not that the watch is a big distraction, even though I could probably turn off a few notifications, I have very few passing to the Watch. It’s more the feeling that I’m always available to everyone via iMessage and Slack. Putting my phone down doesn’t untether me if I’m wearing the Watch. If the Watch is on my dresser, and I sit my phone down, unless it rings, I’m “offline,” and I find that feeling refreshing right now.

1 Like

Re: using a Zoom for podcast recording, you can connect a Zoom H5 for pass through recording to a Mac via USB, so you don’t have to use a headphone jack to make it work. That’s how I used to do it until I upgraded to a mixer. Although, the new Rodecaster Pro is very interesting as an all-in-one recording solution.

1 Like

This is exactly why I got rid of mine a year ago. The only thing really getting through to my watch were texts and notifications (neither of which I really get many of), but I still found myself anxious and subconsciously anticipating that thing to tap my wrist at any moment. The only thing that would help is taking it off.

1 Like

I’ve got the H6. You can’t record to it’s SD card and pass via USB, which was my problem.

Biggest reasons I keep wearing my Watch:

  • Audio playback controls
  • Just Press Record audio recording
  • Timers
  • Offline music & podcast listening
  • Being able to spend less time w/ phone in hand
1 Like

Didn’t listen. Which notes app did David switch or switch back to this time?

1 Like

I have my Slack setup customized pretty heavily. My tools:

  • Not signing into the same set of Slacks on desktop/IPad and on the phone.
  • Setting notification preferences that apply to all places signed in (muting channels, etc.)
  • Checking “use different settings for my mobile devices” for accounts where I want to receive desktop notifications and changing mobile to either nothing or DMs/direct mentions only.

The end result is no mobile notifications for most Slack accounts, and direct mentions only for a couple. If I get a notification that doesn’t feel necessary more than a couple times from a Slack, I tweak the settings again.

I like the Watch because it keeps my phone silent. I have messaging notifications tightened down so I only get a few a day. I use it frequently for timers. I use the audio controls, although I have found they’re unreliable. I like being able to check weather at a glance. My wife and I message each other many times a day.

Indeed, my only frustration with the Watch is I wish I could do more with it. I have a Series 2 Watch. Siri and third-party apps are sufficiently unreliable as to be useless. I understand the Series 4 is much more reliable for those things; it really is a wrist computer. I’ve decided the next time Apple upgrades the product, so will I. (I haven’t heard any rumors of an upgrade in the pipeline, which means I think we can expect it in late 2019 or 2020 at the earliest. That’s fine, I’m a patient man. And I’ve already given Apple enough of my money over the past year or so – new MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad. Thinking of getting an Apple Pencil too.)

I respect the desire to be not on call but if I don’t want to talk to people I just don’t talk to them. Whether I’m wearing the Watch or carrying my phone makes no difference for that. Perhaps my age works in my favor here – I was nearly 40 before I got my first mobile phone; the default state for most of my life was that if people wanted to find you, you had to be face-to-face, or near one of your two default landlines (home and work).

As for note-taking: Like @ismh I’ve gone back to Evernote. Fired it up and cleaned it out on Friday. We’ll see how that goes. I’m making EN my primary note-taking and temporary-document-storage app, as it was before last year. We’ll see how that goes.

1 Like

Darn you can give up discussions on the top ten apps to replace it. If i were still teaching and collecting research and ideas and… I’d still be using the premium version.

I feel like I frequently have “tech fatigue”. Tech is pretty much constant in my life. Kind of like the ads they put in the trays at the airport - cover every square inch to get your eyeballs.

I have and should probably read Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, but I’m on my iPad.


Wait for it . . . . . Apple Notes

1 Like

I don’t have tech fatigue as much as I have “news/gossip/politics/negativity” fatigue being constantly blasted through this little glass slab of a computer I carry around in my pocket.


I’ll heartily endorse the idea of using a Mac mini rather than a NAS.

I do think there’s a middle ground between RAID and just an external drive backed up to some sort of cloud backup. On my Mac mini server I’m running pairs of external drives. One is the working drive while the other is a backup. Carbon Copy Cloner clones the working drive to the backup every night. That means if a drive dies I have local copies (in addition to cloud storage) I’ll never loose more than one day’s worth of data, but I don’t have the overhead and cost of a RAID system. I think this is a good compromise for data on the server, which usually doesn’t change much on a daily basis). Data that changes often is generally on the internal drive of my iMac and gets backed up to Time Machine on an hourly basis.

1 Like

Really enjoyed this episode.

@ismh, I appreciate the Apple Watch discussion! Definitely liked hearing where you are at on it. I would spend money immediately if Apple ever came out with a fitness-focused device that is much slimmer. One of the things I struggle with with regard to the Apple Watch is that I want to wear my mechanical watches. But I also LOVE the workout functionality and Activity tracking/competition.

But I don’t want to wear two watches. So a watch on my left wrist and an activity monitor bracelet on my right would be fantastic. There are times because of my work that I can’t have electronic devices on me, so it would be nice to not be without a watch in those situations like I am when I have my Apple Watch with me on a given day.

Somehow I doubt Apple will get into that market. I think they’d rather sell the Apple Watch, but maybe I’m wrong. They clearly are emphasizing health and activity much more with each Watch interaction, so we will see! But until then, I’m like you — I often wear the Watch only for my workouts.

I think I had that same reaction when I got the first AW, but I think (at least for me) the Watch hits that right balance point of being as useful as I want it to be with scalable notification parameters and apps.

The primary use for me is seeing important notifications coming in at the turn of the wrist. If it’s something important, I can fish out my iPhone. If not, I can turn my attention back to whatever I am working on.