Who Killed the Encyclopedia? is the latest topic on Tedium. Remember Encyclopedias? They were mostly on their way out when I was a kid, but I fondly remember Encarta ‘95 (it came with our Windows 95 family computer). It even had a wacky adventure-game-like thing (called MindMaze) where you answered trivia questions to progress.

As a side note, I recently discovered Tedium and I’m loving it so far. Very interesting deep dives into topics that on the surface don’t seem very interesting. Like the other day’s issue on lint — that issue’s sponsor, Space on Earth III, by the way, led me to discover ambient music and how great it is to listen to while programming.

Plain Text Notes System

Back in February of 2016, I wrote about my plain text notes setup and why I decided on the simple medium over dedicated apps and services that offer more robust features.

Seeing as to how that article is one of the more popular posts on my blog, I thought I’d publish an update on my plain text notes system. Long story short: I tried another app but ultimately came back to plain text. There’s just nothing more reliable and flexible.

If you aren’t currently putting digital notes to use, you really are missing out. I encourage you to give this plain text notes system a try because it’s easy to set up, doesn’t require pricey subscriptions, and will definitely stand the test of time.

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Better StatCounter Code

Recently, I switched to StatCounter for my web stats. I briefly used Piwik, which seemed great until I realized all visits were being logged as a “Direct Entry” and there seemed to be nothing that could be done to fix the problem (I checked mod_cloudflare, etc. to no avail). StatCounter has everything I need and is accurate.

However, looking at the JavaScript code StatCounter provides to be included on my website, it could definitely use a few tweaks. Here’s what the original code looks like:

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I tweaked my theme to be more minimal, and moved the search bar over to the archive page. Overall it feels a lot leaner, and is much cleaner. This is an evolution of the previous design, not a complete re-do.

I just re-designed this website recently, and while I liked it, after a few days of use the new design was feeling a little clunky and the there really was no need for such a heavy header bar when there was already a sidebar. Some changes were in order.

I also added a new responsive menu that shows up on narrower screens (such as phones).

Extending BBEdit with AppleScript

In my previous article where I speculated on when Bare Bones will release BBEdit 12, towards the end of the article I made a statement comparing BBEdit to my other most-used text editor, Sublime Text:

Whenever I switch to Sublime Text, I miss the “look and feel” of BBEdit (which is important, I think, for someone who spends most of their time with a text editor), but when I’m in BBEdit I miss Sublime Text’s editing capabilities.

What I forgot to mention is that BBEdit can be extended to sort of mold it into the text editor you want it to be (to a certain extent, of course). I just haven’t explored that aspect of it just yet—until now, that is.

And when I mentioned missing Sublime’s “editing capabilities”, I’m not talking about some crazy text wizardry that BBEdit happens to not support. I’m talking about some pretty basic things by modern text editing standards:

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jonbeebe.net has a JSON feed now. Despite Hugo not supporting the brand new spec out of the box, it wasn’t very difficult to implement. I much prefer this over the bloated, XML-based RSS spec.

5K Versions of Every Default macOS Wallpaper, by Stephen Hackett.

I was looking for something like this a few months ago but couldn’t find anything. Nice to know that high resolution versions of the old wallpapers now exist.

Setapp Is Really Good

Yesterday, I came across this article on TidBITS: Setapp At 5 Months: 10,000 Users and Better App Discovery.

I remember when Setapp launched, and for some reason, it didn’t really interest me at the time. But this time, social proof got the best of me and I decided to check it out. On their website, I saw that it’s about $10 a month (not bad), with a free trial (nice), and that they had CleanMyMac 3 on their list of software.

I’ve been meaning to purchase CleanMyMac ($40), but I hadn’t got around to it yet. I’ve had the same early-2015 MacBook Pro for a while now, and I knew there was a bunch of crap lingering in the system that needs to be cleaned out. After seeing a couple other interesting apps on their list, I decided I really needed to give the trial a shot. At $10 a month, it seemed like a really great deal.

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Preload Styles and Scripts to Improve Load Times

In a world of heavy websites that take up way too much bandwidth, there has never been a more important time to make sure your website loads as quickly as possible (it also affects SEO and conversion rates). One way to improve your website’s load time is to preload stylesheets and scripts that you don’t absolutely need right away, so that the browser can focus on displaying content to the user as quickly as possible.

If you have a largely content-driven, HTML website, this should be pretty easy. However, if you’re running a single-page web app, it may be a little trickier to know what you can preload and what you’ll need right away—it all depends on the project. Either way, the way to do it will be the same and that’s what I’ll be going over.

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When Will Bare Bones Release a 64-bit BBEdit?

At WWDC 2017, Apple announced that macOS High Sierra (10.13) will be the last macOS to support 32-bit apps “without compromises” (whatever that means). Anyway, for all intents and purposes, it seems that any serious app needs to be 64-bit by the time 10.14 (or 11?) is released in the fall of 2018.

I think it’s safe to say that BBEdit qualifies as a serious application. It’s also just about the last piece of 32-bit software I still use on my Mac.

According to the Bare Bones OS Compatibility page:

32-bit compatibility: Since Apple has explicitly stated that macOS High Sierra will run 32-bit applications, there is no immediate compatibility concern. We do plan to release a 64-bit version of BBEdit, which we expect to have ready well before OS support becomes an issue.

Since Bare Bones is probably one of the most consistent software companies in existence, we can take a look at history to make an educated guess as to when this 64-bit version of BBEdit will be released. Everything that follows is just a fun thought exercise and pure speculation on my part.

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