Vision Pro has its work cut out for it

I’m as excited for using Vision Pro as a remote display for my Mac as anybody, but the fact that neither of my brand new, clean install Macs can initiate screen sharing reliably doesn’t bode well that it’ll somehow work better in a VR headset.

Love too set up a new iPhone

I love the iOS Photos widget

Every time I unlock my phone I'm greeted with an oddball memory. If you don't have the Photos widget on your first homescreen, you really should.

Your PS5 analog sticks are melting!

Years ago, I unpacked an old PS3 and was disgusted to realize that the controllers’ analog sticks had all melted into gooey, sticky black blobs. I wondered if they’d gotten too hot at some point, somehow, but it turns out that the low-grade rubber and oil Sony used just inevitably denatures over time. I figured they’d have fixed this in later generations, but it turns out they haven’t! Both my PS5 controllers are now completely unusable after sitting idle for six months.

Entropy always wins… neat!

Not Delivered (loljk)

Neat when a messaging app incorporates a payment system. What could go wrong.

Your new Mac comes with an Accessory Kit

If you've been ordering Macs online since 2004 like I have, the lineage of technical and marketing decisions behind what's going on in Apple's store makes this make sense.

Back in the day, Macs actually came with a handful of necessary accessories.My G4 iBook came with a handful of things, I think. I know I had to install the Airport Express card under the keyboard myself, for some reason.

But the Mac Studio's "Accessory Kit" is literally a power cable. That might be a little generous.

Your Microsoft Memories on This Day

It’s true, that was a pretty special moment.

iCloud is still syncing with iCloud

Setting up a new M2 Ultra Mac Studio (review: it is nice) has revealed a whole new crop of WTFs in the onboarding process (Setup Assistant no longer encourages enabling FileVault? What?) and offboarding process (this screen has been sitting here for hours as I wait to wipe my previous Mac).

Super neat experience so far.

UPDATE: two more neat screenshots. Free of charge.

I’ve trained GitHub Copilot on my salty comments

After fighting to learn Sorbet in order to release a type-safe version of Mocktail, it seems that my energy has rubbed off on my AI copilot a bit.

Apple’s LiveText is incredible

I mean, just look at this screenshot. I can confidently take a photo of a friend’s hand-written note, search for one Japanese word that I knew was written on it to find it, then select the text and paste it into a translation app, maps, etc.

Coin lockers

In Japan, it's customary to use a coin locker at a train station to store your bags, so that you can spend time visiting a place without lugging all your stuff everywhere.

Unfortunately, this coin locker only takes five ¥100 coins (I've been spoiled by newer ones in Tokyo and Osaka that take IC cards like Suica) and I only had a single ¥100 coin on me.

So I went to a 7-Eleven to change a ¥1000 bill to coins and the attendant told me that they can no longer break change. So then I bought a bottle of tea in cash, but because these days you pay with cash using an automatic machine mounted in front of the register, it gave me back one ¥500 coin and three ¥100 coins. So I still only had four ¥100 coins when I needed five to use the locker.

So then I turned around and bought a donut with the ¥500 coin in order to break change again and this time I received three more ¥100 coins.

All so that I could pay ¥500 to use a coin locker… always an adventure!

A convenient truth

Lots of good convenience store discoveries this week!

  • A pizza sandwich filled with wieners and taco meat.
  • Bread-flavored gummies.
  • Fried and seasoned chicken skin, closely resembling the bottom of a KFC bucket
  • A canned whiskey that comes pre-mixed with water.
  • Individually-packaged cups of orange jelly housed in a larger cup
  • Sparkling water that's been fortified with… a lot of fiber?
  • Tangerine-flavored gummies designed to look like little popsicles
  • Frozen chocolate banana chunks made with otherwise-wasted bananas

So much innovation!

Kanazawa's all right

Had a great half day in Kanazawa, even though it wound up being a bit of a speed run. Omicho fish market and Kenrokuen garden are both popular tourist spots, but I found the local restaurants and bars to be really exceptional, both in service and food quality. If you like fresh fish, you really must visit someday!

Golden Week Rush

I'll never understand cultures that synchronize everyone's vacation time. Similar to August throughout Europe, most Japanese folks get Golden Week off in May. The upshot is that everywhere is crowded, hotels are expensive, and there's nothing to do because everything's closed.

The first 5 restaurants I'd picked out in Shinbashi were all closed. Presumably, because their Tabelog rankings were high enough to justify the lost revenue. Alas.

Ten Trips

Since my study abroad in 2005, this marks the tenth time I've visited Japan. It's amazing how much technology has changed the experience of international travel. The convenience is undeniable, but it feels like I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the challenge of having to figure out how to survive with no Internet access.