All I wanted to do was play some cards…

Over the weekend, I really wanted to play poker. That sounded like a great way to spend time and unwind. There used to be great poker games for the iPad, so I started there. When that failed, I tried for the desktop. Surely, poker games for the desktop are popular? Sadly not. It seems card games, word games, and “casual games” in general are now browser games. That’s not horrible, except they’re riddled with ads. I found a few sites with stand alone games, but AdGuard counted up like a video game with all their ads and trackers. I miss the days of single player games. Everything has turned into a “With Friends” variant. You don’t play, you “compete” against real players. It may sound silly, but I want to play the game of poker, not “gamble.” I don’t want to play against other people, or spend real money. Nor am I interested in being competitive. I want to enjoy […]

Offering up some kind words in Kind Words

When Kind Words showed up as a Steam recommendation, I thought it was a variant on Scrabble or Boggle. It’s not a word game, maybe not even a “game,” but a platform to share thoughts, feelings, and fears and say something nice and supportive to people you’ve never met. Kind Words is about saying kind words and hopefully make a small difference in someone’s life. Here’s the premise: Kind Words is a “game” where you anonymously “Write a Request.” You write down what you’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing in that moment, whether it’s positive or negative. You then put that message into a digital bottle and throw it out into the world. A kind, but equally anonymous stranger will reply back with some words of encouragement, a piece of advice, or simply an acknowledgment of what you’re going through. And maybe that’s all you need, to be heard and acknowledged. On the other side, you can “Read Requests.” For that, […]

Fun with Bash shell scripting

Now that I’ve got a couple skills in shell scripting, what have I been doing with my new found knowledge? In almost every case I’ve started by creating a UI in Keyboard Maestro, then I pass variables to the shell script and it does the work. In some cases that’s the value for the loop, in others, its multiple text field entries. I tell you what, using Keyboard Maestro and the Shell together is one of the reasons the Mac is so damn power and productive. So far I’ve worked: I find Keyboard Maestro and Bash a really good combination. I can make a UI with text fields, drop downs, or directory pickers, then pass that information to the shell script. I can use a UI from Keyboard Maestro to prompt for text to search through text files and finish the job before a Terminal prompt is even open. Keyboard Maestro generates a random number of passwords of whatever length […]

Using AI to Learn Bash shell scripting

January was a busy and interesting month. I spent a fair bit of time working with AI as my mentor/tutor to dig deeper into Bash shell scripting. I haven’t used AI for mentoring before and it was a pretty fun experience. Bash is incredibly powerful, and you can combine it with Keyboard Maestro to create some powerful applets. It’s easy to make a UI in Keyboard Maestro to populate values, then call a shell script to accomplish some really impressive tasks. To get the ball rolling, I started off asking for tutorials on different aspects of Bash scripting, such as “Can you give me a tutorial on Strings in Bash scripting.” That would produce a short lesson on Strings with a few examples. It gave me the basic usage, which was perfect. In those simple examples, it also provided some other topics I could look up. Then, I moved on to practical examples of where and how to use various […]

A quick look at notepad calculators, natural language calculators

They go by a couple of different names, but “notepad calculator” or “natural language calculator” will usually do the trick. These are editor style calculators that understand standard calculations like 2+2, but also “20% of $100.” You can also create and assign variables to perform more complex calculations, similar to a spreadsheet, except without the bulk and bloat of a spreadsheet. The standard example is, rate=$10, hours=40, rate*hours. Other uses include: These types of apps are great for little calculations, but are also great for formulas when you don’t need or want to work with a spreadsheet. Soulver might the first one to come to mind, and was my introduction to this kind of calculator. I used Soulver 2 to emulate several website calculations and drop them into Jira which is more readable than copying and pasting spreadsheet cells, plus formulas isn’t ideal. Along with Soulver there are apps like Numi, AYBO, and PiPad. Soulver has also upgraded to v3, […]