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Manton Reece

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Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-10 00:10

We were playing with Rubik’s Cube this weekend. Here’s my book from the 1980s… Black and white for the inside pages so not the best resource to learn from in 2020.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-08 15:47

On the latest Core Intuition: open-sourcing Sunlit 3.0 and more. Also, just for members, we’ve released a new episode of Extra Intuition!


Old spy movies 📺

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 19:34

A couple months ago, we watched The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and then became kind of obsessed with finding other old spy movies. Next we watched a series with Michael Caine, and then moved on to James Bond, and so on, filling in a bunch of movies we’ve never seen over the course of a month.

Here’s the complete list, with a short note about each one or each series. First the standalone movies:

  • The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965): John le Carré. We didn’t rewatch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but it’s another great one.
  • North by Northwest (1959): Alfred Hitchcock. Now I understand all the praise this movie gets.
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975): With Robert Redford, I feel like this could almost be a prelude to Sneakers. One of my favorites from our month of watching spy movies.
  • The Third Man (1949): Not a spy movie, but written by someone with espionage in their Wikipedia bio. We discovered it while looking for other films.

Then three movies with Michael Caine, based on books by Len Deighton:

  • The Ipcress File (1965)
  • Funeral in Berlin (1966)
  • Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

This series started great, and I would’ve loved to see more movies with Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer character, but by the 3rd movie the plot has gone completely off the rails. The author Deighton had an interesting career.

Sean Connery as James Bond. I hadn’t really seen most of these, and never in order before:

  • Dr. No (1962)
  • From Russia with Love (1963)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

We alternated between old Bond and the new movies with Daniel Craig:

  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • Skyfall (2012)
  • Spectre (2015)

Just for fun, we rewatched all the Austin Powers movies too:

  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

I think I’m now officially burned out on spy movies for a while.


JSON Feed version 1.1 and updated blog

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 16:47

Today we’re officially announcing version 1.1 of JSON Feed:

We’ve updated the spec to version 1.1. It’s a minor update to JSON Feed, clarifying a few things in the spec and adding a couple new fields such as authors and language.

The jsonfeed.org site has also recently switched over to be hosted on Micro.blog. The design and previous URLs are all preserved or redirected. I created a simple Micro.blog theme to adapt the old site.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-07 15:19

Thank you for all the congrats and replies to that 5 years post. One of my favorite things about blogging is marking those milestones, and then being able to look back later. I wasn’t even sure it had been 5 years until I searched my own blog. 🙂


5 years later

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 20:12

This week 5 years ago, I was winding down the last few days at my regular job. It was a great job working with great people, but I knew I had to move on to be able to create Micro.blog. In a blog post on my last day at the job, I wrote about starting over and the hope for what would come next.

The years since have been both amazing and difficult. Only recently, a few years after launching Micro.blog, does it feel like things are really starting to click. Micro.blog has improved significantly and the community keeps growing. For all the things we still want to do, we’ve also done quite a lot already that I’m very proud of.

Thanks everyone who reads this blog or participates on Micro.blog. The next 5 years are going to be fun.


M.b books wrap-up

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 01:16

I’ve been experimenting with a few different features around books on Micro.blog. The goal is to make it easier to blog about a book you’re reading, or to discover other books from fellow microbloggers. Some of these features are now tied together in a more cohesive way, so I’d like to summarize what we have.

There are 2 new buttons on the Discover → 📚 page:

  • Book Covers shows a grid view of covers for books that people on Micro.blog are blogging about. Each cover links to the individual microblog post. Any microblog post that links to Micro.blog’s book detail page (micro.blog/books/isbn-here) will automatically be included in the grid view.
  • Book Search lets you look up a book by an ISBN-13 number, or search for a book by its title or author. This uses a combination of Open Library and ISBNdb. I added ISBNdb to have another source of metadata and it really helps fill in some gaps.

Micro.blog also continues to work great with indiebookclub. Micro.blog will format your microblog post and link the book if you’ve included the ISBN, so it will show up in the 📚 page as well as the new covers grid view.

We’re not trying to reinvent all of Goodreads here, but I’m pretty happy with the way these book features are falling into place. If you like to read (or wish you read more often!) I hope this makes Micro.blog more useful for you.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 15:43

Another experimental books feature: on the web, click Discover → Books → Book Covers. It’s not a complete list yet, and some covers are missing, but hopefully a nice start to more ways of browsing books people are blogging about.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-05 04:52

Fixed an issue with saving blog posts to the Wayback Machine, after the Internet Archive changed their API. If you don’t have this enabled, it’s just a checkbox in Micro.blog under Posts → Design. More details in my blog post from last year.


Bringing back GitHub archiving

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-04 19:01

Micro.blog used to have a feature that would mirror the HTML and photos for your blog to GitHub, so that you’d always have an extra copy as a backup outside of Micro.blog. The initial version of this feature had some limitations that forced me to disable it over a year ago. I always hoped to bring it back in another form, and today I rolled out the replacement.

The new version of GitHub archiving has a few changes:

  • It uses a new structure based on the Blog Archive Format. It is a single HTML file (with Microformats), a JSON Feed (with both HTML and original Markdown), and all your uploads, like photos, videos, and podcast episodes.
  • It now has more limited access to your GitHub account for better security. It only works with your own public repositories. If you previously used this feature, I’ve cleared any access that Micro.blog used to have.
  • It is designed as an archive, not a live mirror, so it only sends changes to GitHub about once a week. You can enable it and then forget its there, and I can keep supporting it because it uses fewer server resources.

I’ve updated the help page to describe the new feature. It’s available under Posts → Design.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-01 23:17

From the hammock, looking up.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-01 22:32

Posted episode 429 of Core Intuition. We talk about the MarsEdit 4.4 release, plans for Black Ink, and more.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-01 02:49

Spurs were great tonight in a must-win game against the Kings. Still an extremely narrow path to the playoffs, but so nice to have basketball back. 🏀


Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-01 00:05

The photo challenge for August is a go! In Micro.blog on the web, the top of Discover now shows the current prompt word and a link to the list so far.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 18:52

Just in time for the upcoming August photo challenge, the latest Sunlit beta is now available in TestFlight. This is the first beta to properly support the iPad, with many improvements.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 20:10

It’s cool that anyone can add a book to Open Library, with basic metadata and book cover. I added The Venice Chronicles, which I read years ago on the web, and just ordered a used print copy.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 18:30

Very excited for Pixar’s Luca next year, directed by Enrico Casarosa. Love his short film La Luna, and going back further, his earlier watercolor comics and sketch crawls.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 15:11

“While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society.” — John Lewis


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-30 00:07

Over the last few weeks, we rewatched all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. Some episodes are still hard to watch, but there are some that might even be better the 2nd time. Unlike so many popular shows that drag on, the series ends when it needs to. Deserves all the awards it got. 📺


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 19:26

The next photo challenge is just a few days away. See @macgenie’s post here for how to submit ideas (and get Micro.blog stickers).


Book search experiment

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-29 16:13

One of the minor hassles that has held me back from blogging about books I’m reading is finding the ISBN and cover art. To improve this workflow, I’m testing out a new book search feature on Micro.blog.

Type in the title of a book, and Micro.blog will search Open Library. It is not as complete as Amazon or Goodreads, so I hope to expand this in the future with more data sources. You can add author or ISBN to the search too.

Book search screenshot

Micro.blog will also show thumbnail images for any book covers that are found for the various editions. You can click on one of the book covers to select it, leading to this page:

Book details screenshot

From there, use the Micro.blog or indiebookclub buttons to start a new microblog post with the title, author, and ISBN filled in:

New post screenshot


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 21:02

Currently reading: The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin 📚


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 20:58

I’m going to start using indiebookclub more often to post book reading progress. Might help me actually finish some books, and think about other tools we could build to make sharing easier.


Web posting Markdown, initial text

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 19:35

I’ve made a few minor improvements to the web posting form for Micro.blog. The “Preview” button now supports Markdown tables and footnotes, so that it more closely matches the Markdown rendering on your published blog.

The new post URL also now accepts an optional text parameter to pre-populate the text form. For example, to start a new post on the web with the word “Hello”:

micro.blog/post?text=Hello

This is similar to the URL schemes used in the native iOS and macOS apps. It’s useful for creating bookmarklets or sharing from other apps.


Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-28 13:53

MarsEdit 4.4 is now available with major improvements for Micro.blog. Server drafts, editing posts and pages, and downloading your full post history even if you have thousands of microblog posts.