Back to the blog

I got heavily into a writing project and stuff and just abandoned this site for a while. I’m going to try unabandoning it for the next while.

The focus for the next while will be on that writing project, some guitar and gear modding/maintenance/repair projects. There will probably inevitably also be some of the usual tech/web crap tossed in. And of course, the short and pithy insights that you have been ignoring for decades.

I will attempt to be useful, amusing, or weather permitting, both.

I’m not shy, so I asked for the digits

Good interview and article on Hackaday about Adobe’s latest foot-shootin’ spree/licensing disagreement with Pantone.

Because I am windswept and interesting, I haven’t used Pshop in about 20 years. As a result, I didn’t realise how very…Adobe-like Adobe was being about this EG not just displaying Pantone colours as black, but also REMOVING Pantone information from your existing PSD files when you save them.

Anyway, If you are still being used by Adobe software, you might try the Freetone plugin, which provides you with a palette of colours with code names very, very similar to Pantone codenames. The plugin is free to almost anyone who does not work for Adobe.

Not my actual notes

IOS Notes are blank

On my iPad or iPhone, I will often switch to the Notes app and find that my existing notes all appear to be blank. I can see the list of notes on the left pane of the Notes app, but the right pane, where the text is supposed to appear, is blank.

This is a great excuse to freak out, so I will put my solution right here, in case you came here all freaked out.

The short solution that works for me

If there is a “Done” button at the top of your open note, tap that. Then force close the Notes App, then re-open it.

So far, this has always worked. When I re-open Notes, all my notes are there, the text is visible, and everything behaves as it should.

It looks like this is yet another problem in how stuff is displayed on the screen in IOS, and doesn’t affect the actual content of the notes themselves. In other words, it seems that this problem just prevents you from seeing the text, but the text is all there, and is saved whether you can see it or not.

I’ve looked for solutions/ways to prevent this from happening, and there just doesn’t seem to be any other advice that works better than closing and opening the app. Yup, I just said that about an app that does basic editing of text files in 2022.

There may be more than one cause for this, (apart from “Apple does not feel like fixing it yet”), which means that this solution might not work for you, and other solutions might.

I think this has only happened to me after the device has gone to sleep, but I am not absolutely sure of that. I’m not going to test it, because it doesn’t matter–“Never let your device sleep” is about as dumb a solution as buying your mom a new phone so her texts are a particular color.

Here are the two most plausible theories I found about this, which may or may not work for you.

It might be related to dark/light screen modes.

Turning off the “Automatic” setting under “Display and Brightness” –> “Appearance” might stop this from happening.

I had this problem even with “automatic” turned off, but it looks like this may have worked for some people. Doesn’t hurt to try it.

It might be because you are saving notes somewhere other than on the device or iCloud.

I keep a lot of my stuff–including notes–on a server I own, in a domain I own. Unfortunately, like a lot of stuff, Notes just might not be compatible with the Internet.

If you are the same kind of wild renegade who does things outside of iCloud, you could try copy/pasting all your stuff into notes you store in iCloud and see if that fixes this problem.

And then pour one out for the Internet we’ll never have.

Notes is probably the most useful app in the entire Apple universe. It’s the Apple application I use most, in no small part because its basic functionality allows me to work around problems that other applications create. I dream of a future in which Apple manages to solve the hard problem of transferring plain text files between devices using existing technology without screwing something up.