iPad WordPress blog tips and help

With my beloved 13″ MacBook Pro Retina (early-2015) aka THE last good MacBook Pro in the shop, I’ve had to get productive on the iPad Pro I recently picked up. Probably have a whole host of things I’ve learned on making the transition to iPad that are worth sharing but top of mind is getting wordpress blog posts working.

Mostly this is because the only app (so far) from my MacBook that doesn’t have an equivalent on the iPad is MarsEdit. MarsEdit is hands-down the best blog writing software ever made. ANd it doesn’t run on iPad.

So I’m using the iOS WordPress application. Not nearly as nice and getting it up and running was fraught with hoops I had to jump through.

First was updating all sorts of stuff on my Linode box because, well, I’ve been lazy and running all sorts of old versions of php. What was cool here was being able to use the Linode console in safari to upgrade Ubuntu. Truly living in a sci-fi like future when a table can do this:

Anyway, once the housekeeping updates were completed, I was still running into errors posting entries (especially attachments) to this site.

I believe some of the errors were tied to the fact that I have a self-hosted wordpress site but was logged into the iOS wordpress application using my “wordpress.com” account. So I logged out of the wordpress app and instead, I used the credentials from my self-hosted site.

But before I could do that I needed to resolve the “Couldn’t connect. XML-RPC is missing from server” error that I was getting. I don’t think I ever had to install an xml-specific package for earlier versions of PHP but now that I’m running 7.3 I had to run:

sudo apt-get install php-xml
sudo service apache2 restart

That allowed the wordpress iOS application to connect to my self-hosted site and upload images.

Heady times, for sure!

Still looking for a MarsEdit equivalent on iPad. Not hopeful. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to manage documents/writing on this thing. I like the built in Notes app for its syncing but interface wise it’s sort of lame and it means copy/pasting text into the wordpress app. Also lame.

Will update and the workflow process improves.

MacBook Pro Retina 13″ Early-2015 wifi problems

I think my airport card in my MacBook is dying. Making some notes here in case I find a software fix. Wifi problems seem very common with this model laptop especially post-Yosemite but my wifi issues have been very sporadic until now. Now, whenever my CPU spikes my wifi drops.
Stinks.

This, I think is the log:

AirPort: Link Down on en0. Reason 8 (Disassociated because station leaving).

This command seemed to help folks back in the Yosemite days:

sudo ifconfig awdl0 down

update: that did nothing. dropping off at Genius Bar. Fingers crossed it’s just an airport card replacement.

Another update: Genius Bar was less than helpful. Tech told me to login as a different user (which I did) to see if the problem still occurred (which it did) and suggested it would be too expense to replace the display where the antennas are located (which is not the problem). Going to drop my beloved MacBook Pro off at a local repair shop this week. Given that the trackpad stutters, the thunderbolt->Ethernet is wonky and occasionally the mouse locks up, I’m thinking it’s likely an I/O board issue. Fingers crossed.

Excellent article on a small city’s car-free transformation

Spain’s Happy Little Carless City

Pontevedra, once choked with cars, is a laboratory for how smaller cities can implement a few simple tricks to reduce driving dramatically.

Many great points here including:

  • free parking at perimeter of city

  • make streets for walking (get rid of sidewalks)

  • small, incremental steps

My hope is that one day Red Bank elects the kind of forward-thinking leaders capable of this kind of vision. We are a long way off from that.

Catalina Inbox not Syncing with Gmail

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Good to know I’m not the only one, but I don’t think the issue that I’m having is widespread which makes me nervous!

The gmail IMAP inbox on my Mac running catalina bears ZERO resemblance to the inbox I see on my iphone or in gmail thorugh the web browser. Frightening. And still AAPL is at an all time high. #freemarketfailure?

Catalina

Upgrading my MacBook Pro, the Catalina upgrade hung up on “Setting up computer…” but as I had already looked into that issue for a buddy of mine the other day, I know that’a a widespread problem so I just rebooted and it everything came up fine.

Was a bit of a bummer that Scrivener 2 didn’t make the cut for Catalina and as it’s a 32-bit app and I’m not paying to upgrade I went through and exported all of my Scrivener projects as text files before the upgrade. This, part of a larger plan to try to narrow down the number of buckets/apps I use for writing/notes/etc. So exporting ten or so projects was a bit tedious but I discovered that I have written A TON of stuff over the past six years or so. Way more than I thought I had. And that’s not counting journal writing which lives in Day One.

Other than the loss of Scrivener, I’m noting mostly positives since upgrading:

  • apps launch so much more quickly under Catalina.
  • sidecar doesn’t work with the last, best MacBook Pro Apple ever made. Not sure it would have changed my life, but would have been cool.
  • the Photos.app is really, really good at picking out your best photos. It’s uncanny. I wish there were some way to say “find all my lousy photos so I can just batch delete them.” But maybe that’ll come. For now, it’s great just to scroll through the days or months view and see what iPhoto thinks are my best photos.
  • Music app is better though since moving my library to the cloud with iTunes Match, I’m noticing some wonkiness with my album covers getting lost. Need to carve out some downtime to clean up my album covers in iTunes. It’ll make browsing what to listen to much more engaging.
  • iCloud account info under system preferences seems to be much better organized now, especially around Family Sharing type information.
  • everything else seems pretty smooth and snappy.

Fingers crossed on this Spotify update for iOS

I’ve been seeing references to the latest beta of Spotify on reddit where users report that Siri support now works with Spotify. This will be great if it works well!

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I have been loving my stereo homepods but am itching for better automation/shortcuts and Siri integration and have been using my iTunes library to play most of the music but it’ll be great to have access to my Spotify playlists.

Microsoft Outlook on Mac.

Been using this for work lately. Crashes pretty regularly which I could live with if it would only support emacs keybindings like Mail.app does (ctrl-a for start of line, ctrl-e for end of line). Very frustrating!

HomePod with iTunes Match

I’m running stereo HomePods in our living room. Boy what a difference a second HomePod makes!

Doesn’t sound as good as my beloved Vandersteens which got relocated during a recent furniture rearrangement and frankly the Homepods don’t make for great “active listening” because the imaging is way to fuzzy and nebulous but for just hanging out and getting things done, the sound of stereo HomePods is really excellent.

So naturally I wanted to have access to music to be able to yell at the HomePods and ask Siri “play the album Babylon by Bus.” But I am cheap and already subscribe to Spotify so didn’t want to have to subscribe to Apple Music on top of Spotify. So I dug around a bit and ended up springing for the $25/year iTunes Match service which allows me to take my 30k songs from my iTunes library and upload them to iCloud so they’re available on all my devices (iPhone and HomePods in this case).

It took a lot of BS and fiddling to get this solution to work but ultimately it did and now I can ask Siri to play anything that is in my music library without having to airplay it from my Mac or iPhone.

First I had the difficulty of just getting my 30k songs into the cloud. That took about 3 days and 3 attempts at telling iTunes to “update iCloud Music Library.” But after about 3 days all of the tracks had either “matched” or “uploaded” next them. I presume the latter is when iTunes Store doesn’t have access to the track.

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After that, I was able to see all of my music on my iPhone which was pretty cool (tons of live dead shows now!). But still the HomePods would say, “sorry I can’t find that” when I asked them to play something from my library. So I removed them from the “Home” app on my phone and then restarted them. At which point they now seem to be aware of all of the music in my library.

Very cool to be able to say “hey Siri, shuffle some Antonio Carlos Jobim” and have it just work.

Now to make some playlists!