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WWDC 2016 : Carplay getting smarter?

I haven't ranted for a while, so here's something: my biggest gripe about Apple Carplay!

I basically need two things when I drive:

  • directions
  • and controls for what I am listening to.

But Carplay refuses to let these 2 essential things share the screen.

To add insult to injury, Carplay makes switching from one to the other especially hard!

For example, when on the "Now Playing" screen, I have an icon to go to Navigation: (so far, so good)

WWDC 2016 : Carplay getting smarter?
Now Playing... (an AudioBook)

But now, when on the Navigation screen, all I have is a completely useless compass in the place where you'd expect an icon to switch back to "Now Playing":

WWDC 2016 : Carplay getting smarter?
Navigation Screen

In case you wonder why I can't just use the car controls to skip to next and previous song, it is because I am not listening to songs! I am listening to Podcasts and Audiobooks. And for those, the controls you need the most are:

  • "I didn't get that, rewind by 15 seconds"
  • "yada yada yada, skip forward 15 seconds" (also useful for boring commercials)

Now, after years of no change to this, I have a tiny tiny hope that the next version will finally solve this. Look at this screen from the WWDC Keynote:

WWDC 2016 : Carplay getting smarter?
WWDC 2016

The compass is gone! Yay! But did they replace it with a "Now Playing" icon when something is playing??

Markdown Notes App with Outline

Markdown Notes App with Outline

If you search on the Mac App Store, you will find dozens of Markdown note taking apps with a markdown pane on the left and a preview / reading pane on the right.

Many of them also feature a sidebar on the left where you can "conveniently" browse your files. Yay!

Yet, none, and I really mean none of them, offers an option to see an outline of your document in the sidebar!!


I have notes that are 30 pages long. They are living documents, with a structure. They make full use of 4 or 5 levels of headings. And scrolling up and down to find the relevant part just isn't practical. Having an outline would allow to click and quickly scroll to the relevant part of the document.

I so wish someone would implement this.

Do one thing today!

Do one thing today!

Ok, this is one of the most powerful productivity tips ever: decide on the one thing you are going to do today, and make that decision quickly after waking up!

More specifically, try to think of the 3 to 5 things that annoy you the most / that you have been putting off / that seem difficult to start. There is generally a high correlation between the aforementioned attributes and the importance of the task!

Once this is done, pick one, and only one of these and decide that you will do it today. This will focus your mind on that single task and you will actually find both the energy and clarity of mind needed to get that task started. And as always, once you take the first step, the next one will light up... Only the first 5 minutes are really really tough! (Downright psychological torture in some cases... but the rewards after the first 5 minutes will be enormous too...)

Git Tower "Device not configured" - Fix!

Every now and then my Git Tower will stop working "out of the blue" with a message saying something like "Device not configured".

I found out it actually doesn't really happen out of the blue. Rather, it happens every time I upgrade Xcode... or when I upgrade Mac OS X altogether.

The real problem is git doesn't want to work any more as long as you haven't accepted the new Xcode user license.

To fix this, simply open a terminal and type sudo git. Then follow the instructions and accept the Xcode license.

Then restart Tower and everything should be fine again.

OS X 10.10.3 Survival Guide

OS X 10.10.3 Survival Guide
Switching between RAW and JPEG

After a lot of doubt and long consideration of alternatives such as Adobe Lightroom, I finally switched from Aperture to the new Photos app in Mac OS X 10.10.3 – and to the iCloud Photo library too.

Unfortunately, the Apple’s official page didn’t answer all my questions. Neither did Google. So I started experimenting a little… Here’s a quick overview of my pain points and how I overcame them.

Library Import/Migration

Easier than expected

Good news: it’s non-destructive and it doesn’t require double the disk space! When you import your iPhoto or Aperture library, creates hard links to the images files already on your disk. That means that both apps have a handle on the same file. So although you’ll have 2 libraries, you won’t use twice the disk space. (You will use a little though for anything that is specific to Photos).

Also, if you delete a hard linked file on one side, it’s still there on the other. So if you decide you don’t like Photos and delete your Photos library, the Aperture or iPhoto library stays unharmed. Similarly, if you decide you don’t need your iPhoto or Aperture library any more, you can delete it without worry. Your Photos library will have all the files it needs.

Note: If you have multiple Libraries, Photos will let you choose which one to import. If you have only one, it will import it automatically (again, it’s a non-destructive process). Now, in case you actually don’t want to migrate your single iPhoto/Aperture library when you launch Photos for the first time, hold down the Alt or Option key during launch. This way, will let you create a new Library. This is useful if you he secondary Macs with junky libraries you want to replace with a clean iCloud synced version…

Migration Caveats

  1. The importing and hard linking is more like “forking", NOT like “this stays in sync forever". Any edits you make to your Photos or to your Aperture/iPhoto library after the import will NOT be reflected on the other side.
  2. Aperture allows you to merge libraries. does not. So you should merge anything you will want in your Photos library *before* the import.
  3. If you had your originals in an external folder in Aperture, you can still import fine and everything will work as expected. BUT, if you later want to switch to iCloud Photo Library (and you should) you will be required to consolidate your originals into your Library. At that point there will be no more hard-linking any more and consolidating will double the disk space used by originals (as long as you still use your old Aperture library). Thus, you might want to consider consolidating all your originals into your Aperture Library before you migrate, especially if you’re tight on disk space.


I imported an Aperture Library of 31.000 Photos and 200 GB in size. It took about 10 minutes to process on a 2014 Mac Pro.

Everything imported cleanly and as expected except for one slideshow. It is a slideshow I initially made in iPhoto, then imported into Aperture and modified in Aperture, which created a copy of it. The original iPhoto one ended up broken (it referenced wrong photos) while the Aperture version imported fine. This is probably an edge case. It didn’t really bother me.

The important thing is that all my originals and all my edits imported fine, with all the albums and keywords preserved.

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