Tag Archives: Apple

Tricks for getting more hours from a MacBook Pro battery

My job often requires me to work for many hours at an unplugged laptop. I’ve picked up a few tricks for making the battery last longer. None of these are particularly brilliant, but they’re very helpful:

  • Turn off WiFi. That’s a big battery suck right there. In practice, I end up turning it on again briefly if I need to check something, then turning it right off again.
  • Likewise, dim the screen as far as I can still read it. That’s one or two ticks up from completely dark.
  • When I’m not typing, I shut the screen off manually. I close the lid if I think it’s going to be a while, and for short periods I have a hot corner set up to shut off the screen when I move the mouse to the bottom right corner.
  • Use Activity Monitor to find which apps are using the most energy and shut them down. For me, that’s Google Chrome and Microsoft Teams.

By taking these four measures, I was able to get about nine hours’ usage out of my MacBook Pro on Monday.

Do you have any tricks for getting more out of a laptop battery? I’m told shutting off Bluetooth helps, but in practice I haven’t found it to matter much. And I’m also told that Chromebooks can easily get 10+ hours of battery life without having to do any tricks at all.

Daring Fireball: Steve Jobs and Apple’s Last Previous Earnings Warning

As always, I love John Gruber’s analysis. “Jobs’s arrogance got him into trouble at times, but at other times it was his saving grace” — namely, when he had to deliver bad news to the market. Cook’s “genuine and inherent humility holds Apple back on days like today. Apple needed less ‘I’m sorry, let me explain’ and more ‘Fuck you, this is bullshit, let me explain’.” daringfireball.net…

Apple News on the Mac has potential but it’s not ready for prime time

Apple shouldn’t have released it. Or if they did release it, they should have made it very clear just now preliminary it is.

It doesn’t look or act like other Mac apps. This is a puzzling problem because one of the chief Mac selling points has always been the uniform behavior and appearance of its apps, from Apple and third parties.

Apple News for Mac doesn’t let you easily open news articles in the browser. I bet 99% of the people who use it don’t even know you can do that.

And worst of all it’s very noisy with alerts. I’m getting alerts for celebrity gossip, fa’ pete’s sake. If Jimmy Kimmel has done or said something, I don’t need to know it right away. I don’t need to know it at all. But Apple seems to think it is so important that it needs to interrupt what I am doing to let me know it happened.

After playing with Apple News for a couple of months, I’m back to Google News as my first source of news.

Making OmniFocus work more like the Things app because reasons

I’ve been on OmniFocus for three months now and so of course I am feeling the compulsion to switch task managers. It’s a curse with me. I keep thinking the next one will solve my productivity problems. For a couple of years I’ve switched back and forth between OmniFocus and Things.

All this switching back and forth is a complete waste of time.

This time around, rather than switch, I’m trying to identify what it is about Things that attracts me. There are two elements I can think of:

One problem is addressed here: Things makes it easy for me to quickly search to see whether I’ve already added a task, before I’ve added a new one. That’s also do-able in OmniFocus, but it requires a modicum of keyboard shortcut fanciness.

The second thing I find appealing about Things is that it’s organized around the idea of a a “big long undifferentiated list of things that you need to get done.” Things makes it very easy to look at your inbox, decide whether you need to do something right away, decide “no I do not,” and move that task to your “Anytime” list. If you decide you need to get to an item soon, but not immediately, you can easily add a star to it. I’m working on figuring out a way to replicate that functionality in OmniFocus. Even with Version 3, OmniFocus still wants you to think in terms of projects, and that’s just not how my mind works. For 90% of what I need to do, I just think in terms of “here are the things I need to do.”

It may have been a mistake for me to switch from Things to OmniFocus in August, but that’s done and I am trying to resist the impulse to switch back. The compulsion is strong though – surely if I just switch this ONE LAST TIME I will have found the perfect task manager and my life will be completely organized!

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones ‘cos you’re oddly ethical [Andrew Orlowski/The Register]

Apple has trouble selling new phones because its old phones are too good. Unlike Android phones, which become obsolete rapidly, iPhones just keep on keeping on.

The main reason I chose to upgrade this year is because I got tired of lugging around a big-ass iPhone 7 Plus. If I’d gone instead for the iPhone 7 two years ago, i’d still be using it.

I still see many people using phones that appear to be the iPhone 6. That’s a four-year-old phone.


Bruce Schneier is skeptical of the Bloomberg supply-chain attack on Apple and Amazon servers, among others. He said if it was true, we’d have seen a photo of the chip by now.

That raises a good thumb rule for judging the veracity of any explosive investigative report. Particularly high-profile sexual harassment charges, like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. Corroborating reports start to come out after the initial expose.

macOS Sierra review: Mixing iOS with OS X to make a better Mac

Roman Loyola, MacWorld

I’m going to hold off on upgrading for a good long time. I’m not seeing anything here that’s compelling.

Siri is the marquee feature. I use Siri when it’s impractical for me to type, which is never when I’m at my Mac.

Well, I can’t type when I’m eating, and I do often eat at my Mac. But I don’t think Siri will be helpful there. When I’m eating my mouth is often full of food, so it’s impractical to type OR speak!