Devir Kahan asked me some questions about working from home, what apps I use, and more.
[The new Instapaper site](http://www.instapaper.com/) looks absolutely fantastic, and I very much enjoyed reading Grant’s behind-the-scenes perspective on redesign. This gives me high hopes for what they’ll be doing with the Instapaper apps.
[Jeff Atwood](http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2013/08/the-code-keyboard.html) collaborated with the guys at WASD Keyboards to design his ideal mechanical keyboard. It uses the Cherry MX Clear switches and has backlit keys.
Though the Clear switches are not “clicky” like the Blue switches are, they are still noisy by virtue of the fact it’s a mechanical keyboard switch. Even though they’re called “silent” like the Brown switches, they still make a whack noise when you’re typing on them ([see this YouTube video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3YUhR-u6Gk)).
Compared to the Brown and Blue switches, the Clears require slightly more pressure to actuate, and I guess some folks think they give a bit more of a tactile feel than the Brown switches. [This forum post on overclock.net](http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-guide#post_6009482) has some excellent movement illustrations and information about all the different Cherry MX switches.
Last year I spent an obsessively long amount of time [testing and reviewing mechanical keyboards](http://shawnblanc.net/2012/04/clicky-keyboards/). I spent time with an Apple Extended Keyboard II, a Das Keyboard, and a Matias Tactile Pro. Then I reviewed some tenkeyless keyboards: the Leopold and the Filco Ninja Majestouch-2. After all my testing, [the Ninja](http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0060J3X2C/ref=nosim&tag=shabla-20) is the keyboard I kept and still use today (typing this very sentence on it).
So, all this to say, though I haven’t used the CODE keyboard, I bet it’s awesome. (I wish my Filco Ninja had backlit keys.) And $150 for a well-built mechanical keyboard is about right. My only request, is that it’d be nice if it also came in a Mac-layout version as well, with the Command key, the OS X-specific modifiers on the top row, etc.
This comic illustration is just great. It’s illustrated by Gavin Aung Than and uses a quote from the graduation speech Bill Watterson gave at Kenyon College in 1990.
It sure hits home for me (no pun intended), considering I [quit](http://shawnblanc.net/2011/02/beginning/) my day job two-and-a-half years ago and now work at home for myself. One significant reason for my career change was so I could be more flexible and present as a dad.
> The reason I was so willing to think synchronization stopped with companies like Apple and Google was because the servers and back-end required to make that happen were so expensive that small developers simply could not roll their own sync services. I’m no longer convinced that is the case.
TOM Hanks likes to TYPE on typewriters:
> the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop. Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.
Speaking of coffee, I reviewed a handful of coffee timer/recipe apps a while back. Of the lot, I’m still using Brew Control.
P.S. Members of the site, don’t forget about the section of this site dedicated to [coffee methods](http://shawnblanc.net/members/coffeemethods/). It includes my favorite recipes, recommended gear, and several how-to videos for brewing with different coffee contraptions (Siphon, AeroPress, et al.).
Some absolutely incredible shots of California’s Rim Fire.
Marines-turned-coffee-aficionados, Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez, writing for *The Atlantic*:
> We’ve hung up our uniforms, we’re in the kitchen, and we’re making coffee. Great coffee. The kind that reminds you first thing in the morning of everything else you appreciate in life.
This is a fun and informative read (it’s adapted from their $5 iBook, *[Perfect Coffee at Home](https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/perfect-coffee-at-home/id659619049?mt=11&partnerId=30&siteID=jVL634u150Y)*). I think I’ll go make a fresh cup right now.
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If you’re planning to do some backyard grilling and/or smoking this upcoming weekend, we’ve got you covered. I wrote this Tools & Toys guide myself, giving my best recommendations for gas and charcoal grills, smokers, and all the ancillary tools you’ll need (like [this awesome instant-read thermometer](http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GE2XF8/ref=nosim&tag=toolsandtoys-20) that’s just $20).
Federico Viticci, in response to [my article from last Friday](http://shawnblanc.net/2013/08/feed-reading-today-and-tomorrow/) where I wrote some ideas about the future of “news aggregation”:
> My primary concern is that a feature such as the one envisioned by Shawn — which I’d love, by the way — would require a tremendous amount of scale, data, analysis, time, and, ultimately, resources, which I’m not sure an independently developed feed reader could ever have (or pull off properly).
He’s right. The companies I used as parallel real-life examples my “news aggregation” service were Pandora, Netflix, and Amazon. These are huge companies with vast resources and enormous user bases to aggregate and analyze their data.
Stephen Hackett gives a quick overview of all the new stuff we just might see this fall from Apple. Sheesh, there’s a lot. And I’m also holding my breath for new Thunderbolt displays.