The Unsexy Bits


Today I received a newsletter by my friend James Victore. It was a short note on The Unsexy Bits and he is speaking about all the things that also belong to his career and which he does not really like/want to do in the first place, but has to, because … well … you have to do it.

I had to get back to work. I had to make the doughnuts. That is how I made a career. I had to get back to all the un sexy bits like keeping up with technology, maintaining a schedule and organizing my days, asking for more elbow room and more money, even following through on the clerical office work— all these are part of building a career.

Besides that he is speaking about his life as a designer, I see the same for me. There is my life at my events and other events, but there is also the life in my studio. Sitting on my chair, having to ask this speaker again, to get back to me, remind that partner to review the partnership document or to send me the money we agreed on. I need to send emails (a lot!), maintain my calendar and as well as James, I have to keep up with technology to not loose track.

But you know, it feels good to see and hear, that other people do have to do the same. Often times we tend to forget this, as we are blinded by the shiny world and work on Instagram, the motivating tweets about someones success and newly achieves job etc. Behind any of those great careers, especially of those who are in business for a long time, is hard work.

By the way: James has a great newsletter to subscribe to and a weekly podcast that is worth checking out …

On Simplicity

In 2014 already, Bastian Allgeier has written about Simplicity. A week ago, he has written about Simplicity again. And again it was one of those articles I kept nodding along.

We love to talk about simplicity. “Simple” is probably one of the most overused words in our industry. Not only in documentation.

This is absolutely right. And I like that he not only points his finger in the direction of others, but has a look at his own stuff as well, when he asks …

We face the same problems with Kirby. We try to keep it “simple” but is it really simple? What are the true obstacles for beginners. What are the pain points for our users when something breaks? How can we take care of such situations and make sure nobody gets stuck for hours? And what happens when you need to maintain a Kirby site in 5 or 10 years from now? Can we somehow help to make this easy? Is it even made to last that long? How can we avoid that our users are locked in? Etc.

Well, I wish more developers – and also designers – of website, tools and apps would think a bit more in this direction, a bit more in the long term. As in a way this way of short term thinking just reflects how we tend to think about anything else today as well … clothing, hardware, … right?

Read Bastian’s note on Simplicity …

I Am Going to Be at Scriptconf 2019 in Linz. And You?

OK … just planned everything for ScriptConf. Even though it would be more sensible not to go, as beyond tellerrand Berlin takes place just two weeks later, but hey … life is short ;)

Who else is going to be there?

This Is How to Deal With Technical Issues


I was watching Stevic’s Shitshow (it is the guitar player of Twelve Foot Ninja). He recently released an interview with Devin Townsend on his YouTube channel. One of the recommendations in the sidebar was this video. No matter if you like the music or not, this video is a damn great example on how to deal with things really going sideways and technical problems are keeping you from starting your show.

I am not particularly talking about the jokes or content of how he entertained the people, but I know of many people who simply would have left the stage and wait for the time when problems would be solved. So good of him to make fun of it and entertain the people in Barcelona.

⇾ Firefox Blocks Third-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptomining by Default

Firefox blocks third-party tracking cookies and cryptomining by default now.

⇾ Visit: Firefox Blocks Third-Party Tracking Cookies and Cryptomining by Default

Learning CSS by Reading Specs


As I am touring with Hui Jing next week at Mozilla’s Developer Roadshow, I thought this post of her fits quite well.

She has written a lovely blog post about why reading CSS specifications is immensely helpful to build a strong understanding of CSS.

Anyone of you attending one of the stops at next week’s Mozilla Developer Roadshow in Fürth/Nuremberg, Munich, Linz or Vienna is able to chat with her about this (and not just this obviously) and ask question.

Read the blog post here

Spotify Family Account Nightmare

A long time ago I set up our Spotify family account. I don’t remember, if it was difficult or what I really had to do, but I thought it was an easy to be done job. I though …

Today a friend was calling me and asked, if I could help him set up the account for his family. 4 people in the house and he thought, it makes sense to finally get an account where they would be able to download and listen to songs offline. Fair enough. I thought, I could help, as I did not remember any difficulties setting up mine. But I was proven wrong.

I was not able to simply set up the users by adding them to my main (admin?) account. I had to send them all an email invite! And then it was not too easy as they all already had free accounts. I might have been too stupid, but I haven’t found anything within their accounts, where I could enter the invite code for example. The invitation link also did not work easily and especially not on their phones.

But before I go into details, I was wondering about one two things:

  1. Why would someone make it so super complicated (and in the end not possible without connecting your account to Facebook or deleting your account to create a new one) to change your user’s name? This is nuts. Really! When they created their accounts, they did not give themselves good names and were given a cryptic one by Spotify. Now there is not bloody chance to change this!?
  2. The concept of the family account is, that all of the 6 possible people using the family account have to live under one address aka one house or apartment. Why the hell do I have to invite everybody via email then? Why can’t I simply add 5 more people to my family account with their names and – sure – their email address, but would have to get an invite code via email etc. This is totally stupid and makes no sense, when they have to be in the same household anyways?!

I really like using Spotify for many reasons, but these two things drove me crazy tonight.

Smashing Print #1: Ethics & Privacy

Image is a collage of 6 photos showing the new Smashing Print magazine in several angles

After a long time talking about the Smashing Print magazine, it is finally released. #1 circles all around ethics and privacy and you can read articles by Trine Falbe, Vitaly Friedman, Heather Burns, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Laura Kalbag, Stuart Langridge and Cennydd Bowles.

The introductory price is $17.95 instead of usually $24.95, but if you are a Smashing Member, you get a discount if you are Supporter ($3/month) or Member ($5/month) and a completely free printed magazine if you are a Smasher ($9/month). Worth thinking about it really. Especially if you see all the other benefits you have got, like huge discounts, if you want to attend the events, free ebooks and webinars and so forth.

The cover of the magazine was designed by the wonderful Veerle and she has written a little bit about the process of creating the cover design in her latest newsletter, which is worth the read (worth subscribing to the newsletter anyways!).

Well, that’s it, but I would sum it up with a few useful links related to the printed magazine #1:

Is There Anything Like a Sidebar Sync For MacOS Mojave?

Is there anything for MacOS (Mojave), which syncs the layout of my Finder sidebar (the favorites)? Thanks for help!

All Stranger Things Movie References Explained

If you like Stranger Things, you might like this YouTube video by Wired, where the Duffer brothers explain all the movie references included in the three existing seasons. (Spoilers possible)