How NOT to Add Multitasking to iOS

Thank God multitasking isn’t like this on any Apple device. This is pathetic hackary that destroys the design, workflow, and user-friendliness all in the name of “control.” It’s horrible.

If iPads worked like notebook computers, then there wouldn’t be iPads. 


A Quick Review of Squarespace 6

I’ve used Squarespace 5 for a few months now. If you don’t know what Squarespace is, it’s an excellent alternative to WordPress for blog sites and the like. Well, Squarespace 5 is a great alternative, but Squarespace 6, which was released last week, might not be ready for the big leagues.

I accepted Ss’s generous offer to open a free Ss 6 site with my other account on Ss 5. If you were a member of Ss before 6 was released you are entitled to start a new Ss 6 site for free. I appreciate Squarespace giving this to their loyal user base. And I’m glad I didn’t pay for my Ss 6 site. It’s nowhere near as good as my Ss 5 site is to me.

If you thought Ss 5 was limiting, like many web developers have, think again. 6 makes 5 look nerdy and advanced. 6 is so straight-forward and minimal that there isn’t one widget you can add to a site out-of-the-box without knowing some code. And it’s not just widgets that are missing.

The template themes are new and aesthetically appealing. You can customize them to a good extent. The editor offers a new and relaxing writing experience. Even so, most of the tools with Ss 5 by way of the admin structure and style modes are gone. In Ss 6, you have less than half the customizable parameters; even the WYSIWYG editor is missing various formatting controls. Honestly, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of little ways Ss 6 disappoints.

The most noticeable of the missing features for Ss 6 is support. Ss 5 has some of the best articles, video tutorials, and forums I’ve come by. Ss 6 is so new, however, that the developers haven’t managed much in the way of a support section. When I turned to the support for Ss 6 I found it helpful, but not able to solve most of my issues.

Though I have no official word from the developers, I suspect Ss 6 is stifling because it’s very new and a complete re-do of the Ss tools. In due time, hopefully the developers of Squarespace 6 will manage to include a great number of the Ss 5 features that are sorely missed. I have good faith in them because Ss 5 has been so rewarding and exemplary. If they don’t intend to make Ss 6 as capable as Ss 5 then they have lost their minds, which I highly doubt.

And even though I had higher hopes for Ss 6 out of the box, I think I will use this free site for a new project I have in the works that doesn’t require much in the way of site features. 

Create Tags in Evernote – Not Because You Need Them, But In Case…

Michael Hyatt:

It is tempting to tag every note with a several tags. However, I broke myself of that habit once I realized that Evernote indexes every word in every note. So if you have a great quote on “purpose,” for example, you don’t need to tag the note with “purpose,” so long as the word appears in the note. This only adds more clutter. The key is to remember that less is more.

I don’t see a need for the tags in my workflow, but I use them to of caution. I add a few to each note in the event at a later date I want them. It’s easier to add them as the notes are created than to add them years down the road when you have a need for them.

I commend Michael for utilizing Evernote as effectively as he has. His articles pertaining to Evernote are note half bad. 

Setting Goals and Good Intentions

I’ve often wondered about this. I had a hunch.

Christian Jarrett:

Fishbach and Choi think that staying focused on our goals detracts from the inherent pleasures of the activities we need to pursue to achieve those goals. Consistent with this, they found that the students at the gym who stayed focused on their goals tended to say afterwards that the exercise felt more of an effort, as compared with the students who were focused on the experience itself.

Staying focused on our goals detracts from the inherent pleasures of the activities we need to pursue to achieve those goals.

If this is reminding you of the classic distinction in the psychological literature between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, you’re spot on. This is the finding that external rewards can backfire. Offer a child treats for making pretty drawings and whereas they used to scribble away for the sheer joy of it, now they’ll only put pen to paper for that candy you promised. The difference here is that Fishbach and Choi believe that our intrinsic motivation can be imperilled even without the offer of rewards from a third party. By focusing on the ultimate goals of an activity, we risk destroying our intrinsic motivation all by ourselves.

We might think the objectives we set before ourselves are good ones to have, but because they are a part of a lifestyle we’ve not yet experienced, it is discouraging to work at reaching those goals because the harder we try to reach them the harder it may be to imagine reaching the objectives.

Not to mention that our goals are often overreaching. We get caught up looking for perfection rather than contentment and happiness. 

Microsoft Debates the “Post-PC” Era

John Gruber:

John GruberApple’s post-PC vision isn’t about input devices — mice, keyboards, pens, whatever. It’s about exposed complexity. Tim Carmody argues in a follow-up at The Verge that Apple’s “post-PC” and Microsoft’s “PC-plus” aren’t that far apart. I think that remains to be seen. With the iPad, Apple has eliminated large amounts of complexity. With Windows 8, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft has eliminated complexity, or merely hidden it behind a Metro veneer.

I think the Steve Jobs quote Microsoft should be focused upon far predates this post-PC stuff. Go back to 1997:

“We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose,” Jobs said. “We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. If others are going to help us, that’s great. Because we need all the help we can get. […] The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over.”

Swap “Apple” and “Microsoft” and that’s the advice Microsoft needs today.


Recruitment Video Presentations for Apple Headquarters and Apple Stores

I visited Apple headquarters in September last year. The spirit of the staff in this video is consistent with the personnel all over Apple’s large campus. Apple has not shared this inside story before, so it’s a new look at life, as much as work, at Apple HQ.

I’ve noticed some things Apple has done this year would seem uncharacteristic of an Apple led by Steve. I believe some people might think this video is insincere, or that Apple would not produce such a promotional video if Steve were still around. The truth, however, is that Steve was leading Apple when they produced another video similar to the one above back in 2010:

As a independent filmmaker, I enjoyed watching these two videos from a technical standpoint. I see where even the videographers responsible for these videos have made noticeable improvements in the   years in their craft. Of course, these videos are addressing two separate worlds of Apple. Headquarters for Apple is nothing like an Apple Store work environment.

But some might think these videos are misleading. I know Apple fans and PC fans that can be hyper judgmental. One friend of mine is working on the team that is developing Internet Explorer. You can only imagine what sort of criticism he hears.

I believe it’s fair to believe the testimonies in these videos are true. If we have been cause to doubt such infomercials, it’s not from Apple. We have reason to doubt the honesty of videos like these when it becomes public Microsoft and other tech titans stage their videos from time to time. Apple, at its core, isn’t like the others. I really believe that. Does this mean Apple has all like-minded “perfect” people working for them? No. What it does mean is that Apple’s standards are insanely great, and these people interviewed represent the best and brightness — the role models.