kinopyo blog


Coding, Web and Personal Development

Always There, Like A Mountain

Some people strike me as mountains, always there when you look upon, no matter how the environment changes.

image

Some of them are my close friends. Whenever I visit their blogs I know there're new contents waiting for me. Or I login to the game I've been AFK for such a long time, they're there inviting me to the party.

Some of them are connected on Internet, they don't know me but I've been following them for years. Michael Hyatt's "This Is Your Life" podcast is the central place for my mental nutrition and self improvement, Miyagawa's rebuild.fm for trending tech news and Japanese anime/books/culture, Sensus WoW Rogue whenever I want to catch up my World of Warcraft rogue skills, and Blizzard Entertainment for high quality games all these years.

I'm not here to promote any of those things, what I want to say is, it's not hard to start anything nowadays, and if you get lucky you may even grab some spotlights on the stage, but it's always hard to keep going, even for games!

In this fast paced noisy world, those "mountains" give me a sense of order, calm me down when everything is in chaos. It shows me a way where to find the spiritual connection and emotional support, just like same old friends. No matter if you're a blogger, a youtuber, a gamer, a writer or any content provider, as long as you keep the persistency and frequency, you create a reliability.

I don't want to be a sky - too unstable and unpredictable, suddenly shout out with rain and thunderstorm. I want to be a humble stone, that shares certain similarites to a mountain. Nothing lasts forever - sun, stars, diamonds, but I hope the next time you pick up the stone of me, it's still the same old stone, and gives you a sense of calm and safety.

July 27, 2016

Organize Your Apple Notes with Folders - Nesting and Ordering

In the last post I wrote about migrating from Evernote to Apple Notes, here I want to show you how to organize your notes with similar features of Evernote.

Here is a screenshot of my Apple Notes notebooks.

Apple Notes folders - ordering and nesting

Create Nesting Folders

In Evernote you can create a Stack Notebook, you can do it too with Apple Notes, but seems like it can only be done in Mac, not iPad/iPhone.

  1. Create a new folder(Cmd + Shift + N)
  2. Drag this folder to the parent folder

Apple Notes create nesting folders

Tip: Hit "Enter" key to rename the folder, it's easier than single click the folder and wait for one second.

Difference Between Evernote Notebooks Stack

In Evernote you can't move any notes into a Stack Notebook itself, it's like a pseudo folder. But in Apple Notes a parent(stack) notebook is just like normal notebooks that can hold any notes. You may find it handy.

Ordering Folders

By default folders are in alphabet order, you can not move around notebooks to change its order. A common practice here is to assign some index numbers to the notebooks, like a notebook with name "00 Important" shows higher than "10 ABC".

Note that the default folder "Notes" is fixed, you cannot rename it nor reorder it, it always sit under "All iCloud", so you can use it as the inbox of all your notes.

Inbox Zero?

Inbox Zero is a technique to keep the inbox empty -- or almost empty -- at all times, and in the context of notes taking, it means you set a "Inbox", all notes go to that folder first, then at the end of the day you move the notes to respective folders.

I've heard it long time ago, and I'm applying same technique to Google Inbox. But for notes taking it feels overwhelming, at least for me.

Right now I'm only putting certain notes -- blog ideas, inspirational quotes, receipts etc, that I know exactly where it belongs to, and have a good chance to review them later -- to folders, for others they just remain in the default "Notes" folder. I don't want to waste brain energy on each note thinking "hmm.. which folder should I put it", most of the time I can find it through search so that's enough for me.

I find myself with the nesting folders and good orders, I had no difficulties transfer from Evernote, and the overall experience with Apple Notes has been great.

July 09, 2016 Apple Notes, evernote

Migrate Evernote to Apple Notes 2016

Evernote recently changed their price plans, free account can only sync across 2 devices.

Evernote free account sync limitation

The change itself is okay, you can't blame the company trying to make some money and make better products for their core users, but after using it for 7 years, and all the "improvements" the company has made during the time, I realized it's not the right tool for me. I don't need presentation mode, nor chat, or any other collaboration/business features, I just want to take notes. I did upgrade to Pro user before but I found I was never using any of those features heh. This change of prices gives me a perfect chance to look for alternatives.

Apple Notes, on the other hand, is getting better and better. Some of the benefits are:

  • Free: No more Evernote "Upgrade" noise, nor limitation of sync devices. Yes it's limited to Apple devices, but if you're an Apple user then this is not a problem, plus you can access icloud.com for the web version too.
  • Clean UI and minimum features: In its core it's just a simple notes taking app, with right enough features to make it powerful. You can create folders to organize your notes, and even nesting them. There is no tag system but I can always find my notes with search.
  • Better integration with Apple products: probably just a personal preference, but when I browse websites or reading on iPad, I really love the split view to open Apple Notes, lightening fast and easy to use, and after dropping the notes I can easily get back.

Import Notes from Evernote to Apple Notes

  1. Cmd + A to select the notes you want to export to Apple Notes, click "File -> Export Notes..." and save as a .enex file.
    Export from Evernote

  2. Open Apple Notes, click "File -> Import Notes..." and choose the previous .enex file
    Import to Apple Notes

  3. Notes will be imported into a folder called "Imported Notes"

Further reading

Organize Your Apple Notes with Folders - Nesting and Ordering

Fun reading

Recently I tweeted about another article about this change.

This isn’t really about Evernote in particular. It’s about how we all use services today without really owning anything. Downloading an app and paying a subscription fee doesn’t entitle you to much, ultimately. Evernote, like so many apps we love, is really just granting you a license to use its service when you sign up for an account.

It raises a reasonable concern. The web and tech industry is changing rapidly, 10 years later which service can still be there, and what happens when it hit and end, or an action-required kind of change, what options do we have then? What do we really own?

July 09, 2016 Apple Notes, evernote

Check Alert Message with Poltergeist or Capybara Webkit

Use accept_alert to get the alert message.

  • Poltergeist ignores alerts/confirms by default(source)
  • Poltergeist has had support for Capybaras modal api since September 2015( source)

That means you can same syntax for Poltergeist or capybara-webkit.

expect(accept_alert).to eq("Javascript alert message")

# or with block syntax

# will fail if alert message doesn't match
accept_alert("Javascript alert message") do 
  # next expectation
end

The first one expect(accept_alert).to reads a bit weird, but that's the return value of accept_alert.

June 28, 2016 poltergeist, Testing, capybara

CSS: Highly Customizable Text Underline

If you're not happy with the default text-decoration: underline, want to tweak the thickness of the underline or vertical space between the text and the underline, then you may want to the background trick introduced in this post. Medium is also using this kind of technique.

// use background image to draw the underline
// this way we can tweak the vertical space between text and underline
a {
  text-decoration: none;

  background-image: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(0,0,0,0) 50%, rgba(0,0,0,.6) 50%);
  background-repeat: repeat-x;
  background-size: 2x 2x;
  background-position: 0 22px;
}

A quick demo of how it looks like:

text underline with background image demo

One caveat of this approach is, the position and thickness of the underline is depending on the font size. So if you're using a different font-size as I do in the demo, you may need to change the background-position to fit your design.

Also if you want to apply it to different part of your page which all have different font-size, you will need to figure out the exact size for each part.

In my blog I'm using SCSS variables to document this behavior.

$post-font-size: 20px;
$underline-size: 2px;

background-size: $underline-size $underline-size;
background-position: 0 ($post-font-size + $underline-size);
June 06, 2016 css