Focusing on software tutorials, coding tips, macOS/iOS automation, and productivity tools.

A few days ago, on a forum post, I saw mention of a podcast series called “Taming the Terminal.”

It turns out this is yet another example of why the open internet is awesome.

With the help of ChatGPT, I have been feeling more confident about writing code and working in the Terminal, so I figured I would check out this podcast to learn more about it.

What I’m Learning

I am only a few episodes in and am learning a lot!

For the first time, I have some amount of understanding about what the Terminal app is and what it does. In the past, I have just copied and pasted commands that I found online. Now, I can at least decipher some of those commands I have used in the past.

The podcast has also given me a new way to look at some of the invisible things that the OS does behind the scenes that I have never really thought about before, like organizing files and maintaining permissions for those files. I now understand why repairing disk permissions is a thing!

Why the Open Web is Cool

It turns out that this series is from 2013!

If this was a Twitter thread or Facebook post, it would have long been “lost” to history or at least more difficult to access. However, since this is a website and podcast, it is so much more resilient, searchable, and shareable for anyone on the internet to find and learn from. Even a decade later!

I look forward to eventually working through all 40 episodes, but I wanted to take a second to share my appreciation here.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about how you use the Terminal to improve your computing experience; let me know in the comments!

Illustration of a human head in profile against a light background, exploding with a vibrant, abstract array of shapes and objects. Colorful lines, swirls, clouds, and various symbols, like music notes, a pencil, and a light bulb, suggest a burst of creativity or brainstorming. The style is whimsical and highly detailed, using a blue, red, and yellow palette.

One of my first YouTube videos and first automations that included Drafts was about getting tasks into my task manager, which at the time was OmniFocus.

Over the years, this process has evolved to include JavaScript and Things 3; I’m happy to share the most recent version here today.

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Screenshot of a user interface for automation setup, with options to trigger actions at a specified time or by script. The focus is on an AppleScript code snippet, partially redacted, which interacts with the "Things3" application. It includes logic to handle tasks, involving tokens and URLs for updates, with conditions based on task properties such as whether a tag's name is "evening" or if a task is a project. The script is designed to automate task management based on time of day.

One of the most common issues I see fellow Things users complain about on the Things Sub-Reddit is the frustrating experience with repeating tasks and the evening section of the Today view.

I always forget that this is an issue for people because I automated a solution long ago. Let me show you how.

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Screenshot of a script editor with a partially visible AppleScript code titled "Add Tags Based on Family Members". The code includes commands to set variables for family members, iterate through areas and to-dos, and conditionally add tags to items based on the presence of family member names within the item titles. The user interface shows the script editing window with options to run, stop, and share the script, and there is a description field below the code that is empty.

I shared a post on Mastodon about using ChatGPT to create small scripts to deal with the various friction points in my digital life. I put together a short post sharing the script I use to maintain my tags in Things.

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This image is an illustration depicting a young man working on a laptop at a desk. The setting appears to be a cozy home office with a bookshelf, plants, and a window allowing natural light. The perspective is as if looking into a room through an open window, creating a sense of depth. The color palette is warm with earth tones, and the style is clean and modern with a graphic quality.

I have been an avid Mac and iOS automator for a little more than five years. It has, and continues to be, a positive influence on my personal and professional life, as well as a fun hobby.

However, it can be a tricky world to navigate for novices. Coincidently, I got interested in automation just as The Automators podcast was getting started, so it felt like I was being shepherded by the hosts. If you have the time and inclination, I encourage you to check it out from episode one.

In lieu of that, here is an overview of the Mac automation technology I use every day. There are plenty of other valid combinations and tools out there, but this set of tech is irreplaceable for me.

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