Finally a thick-client email program that seems to have stuck. So far I am really liking Airmail.
For years I’ve flipped between various Mac fat clients and the GMail web interface. The web interface keeps winning:
- Outstanding search
- Great keyboard shortcuts (go Vi!)
- Very good use of screen real estate
But the killer is the reliance on a rock-solid Internet connection, and GMail’s own slowdowns. Even though there is an offline mode, it is such a downgrade it’s not worth using. So if you need to use offline you’re in bad shape; same if you’re on a slow or lossy connection, or if GMail is having a bad day. Sadly, that’s pretty often these days.
Airmail is cheap ($1.99 in the App Store) and super featureful. It coexists well with GMail’s paradigm (archive vs. delete, threading includes sent items, drafts). Great configuration options. Visually pleasing. Robust.
There are really only three places where it has fallen short for me:
- I miss GMail’s tabs. Those are still the best way to filter mail, and I was impressed with how well that feature worked and quickly became natural.
- Search. Airmail’s isn’t bad, but nothing is as good at this as Google’s own.
- Gmail (with Chrome) has a great feature where you can drop in a picture and it is resized to look good. Lacking that I now have to manually resize my giant retina-display screenshots.
So-long to Sparrow and Mail.app and Mailplane. Or until someone does really nails self-hosting.
I liked this week’s episode of This American Life. The idea is there are seven topics that you should avoid in conversation because they are always boring. I like this list!
Here is the transcript. I repeat the list here.
- How you slept.
- Your period.
- Health. Of course if it’s something serious, then that’s conversation worthy, but normal sniffles, aches, and pains? No good.
- Your dreams. Not big aspirations, this is literally what you dreamt last night
- Diet. What you can and can’t eat.
- Route. How you got here, what way you’re going to get home.
I will endeavor to not waste all of your time droning on about any of these topics.
This year we had a sizable number of trick-or-treaters at our house in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park. The 303 we saw was down from our high last year, but abou the same as the year before that.
So here are the totals:
The rate at peak was comparable to last year.
I don’t have an explanation why we are down a bit. The weather was beautiful, indeed a little better than last year since rain started at 8:30 last year. Maybe the forecast rain coming last year got people out earlier who might have missed altogether?
It was outstanding having my friend Amy LaMeyer helping out. She operated the clicker that was new this year, and so kept me company, which was a ton of fun.
As always, the Google Spreadsheet with the graphs and raw data is publicly available here. Check it out!
Today in a box I came across my old K&R. Probably the most valuable book I’ve owned. My copy has been heavily used.
But the unexpected, fun thing was finding an old label on the back cover.
There is a lot in there.
- January 1994. I had just graduated college, driven cross country with my friend Shig, and started my first post-college job. I would have been in that job four months or so and realized that I should just stop borrowing someone else’s copy (probably Larry Claman‘s) and buy my own.
- Purchased at Quantum Books, a great technical bookstore in the shadow of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s no longer there. The bar that is there now (Meadhall) is a nice place, and I’m a big fan of beer, but it’s not the same.
- According to an inflation calculator, $35 in 1994 is $55 today. That’s expensive for a little book, especially to the twenty-two year old me.
- Note the email address: [email protected] This was back when mom and pop dialup ISP’s where what we all used, people and businesses alike. This particular one, Software Tool & Die, was my private email address at the time too. (Aside: they claim to be the first public dialup ISP, and I have no reason to doubt them)
It was fun being reminded of all this stuff. So the lesson of the story: it’s still worth buying books, and when you do, don’t remove the labels.