Notes on macOS Sonoma

Unlike , I upgraded to Sonoma’s “point zero” release–and did that because it felt like a Snow Leopard-style clean-up release rather than a bunch of ground-breaking (and app-breaking) “improvements”. And so far, nothing (unforeseen) is broken, which actually kind of sums it up nicely.

I’ve already written a little note about the deprecation of e-mail plugins and how that , so I won’t belabor that point. I will say, however, that I’m a bit annoyed that the “move to mailbox” suggestion feature was retained in Sonoma but apparently lost for some absurd reason.

Other than that, brew still works fine, none of apps I use daily broke (although I did have to upgrade to Bartender 5), and life has carried on without major disturbances.

I’d say the changes I noticed were indeed very minor, and so far are evenly split between a mix of niggling annoyances and intriguing quality of life improvements:

  • There still aren’t any sort of useful keyboard shortcuts for . I have stuck to it, but am still frustrated by how hard it can be sometimes to bring together all the windows you need for a given task.
  • Widgets are… interesting, but I’m somewhat annoyed that it took us a decade and a half to recover from (remember that?), and that I can’t easily make my own widgets. I put a couple up in a far corner of one of my monitors and found them aesthetically pleasing, but time will tell if they’re actually useful.
  • The changes to Reminders are… interesting. Especially since it now has a Kanban-like column layout, which all of a sudden makes it 400% more useful–until you switch to iOS and realize there is no way (even on an iPad) to have an identical column view (you get vertical dividers, which is meh). Also, forcing Others to be the right-most column without the ability to rename it feels very counter-intuitive.
  • The ability to link notes is also intriguing, but since I am now so I can actually have my notes in a filesystem (and access them from Linux), I haven’t explored that yet. I might if Apple had a better track record at online services, but I’ve been doing the same in for ages now, so it feels like another catch-up feature.
  • Finally, I really dig the new Safari “dock app” feature, because had been broken for me for a while and I was a pretty heavy user. The only issue I have with it is that I can’t use Safari plugins in those apps (like an ad blocker). I haven’t set up browsing profiles yet, but I use them in and , so it’s just a matter of time. But, again, catch-up rather than groundbreaking.

I think this means I am very happy with Sonoma so far. After all these years, I’ve found that the best OS upgrades tend to be the boring ones…

Update: I just realized that the new camera reactions work unbidden inside Remote Desktop sessions, which is cute, but that they apparently cannot be turned off in Preferences, which is stupefyingly dumb (I had to open FaceTime to do that), because Remote Desktop does not make the Video menu appear in the menu bar.

Notes for September 2023

This is sort of a catch-up, since although I have decided to I am still writing them, and there are a few things worth… well, noting.


TIL - Filing Mail in Sonoma with Keyboard Shortcuts 

Here I was pining over of my favorite plugin (MsgFiler) after having upgraded to Sonoma when I come across this blog post on their site that points out that you can actually do a similar (but far less polished thing) by invoking the Help menu with Command-Shift-/ and typing the target folder name.

It’s pretty snappy since it’s baked in to the OS, but since I have multiple activity name/2023 folders (over 20 years of them) it’s not as slick as MsgFiler to do partial matches or typeahead find (plus it causes the application menu to bounce around all over the place).

But it works, and that’s what matters.

A Distraction-Free, Minimalist Writing Device

Coming back from Summer break, I started musing about what I could do regarding preserving some of the ascetic minimalism I applied to my computing activities during that season, since I found it quite enjoyable to use .


Some Thoughts on iOS/iPadOS 17 and WatchOS 10

By now most people have read MacStories’ extensive review, so here are a few things that have come to mind over the past few days running the new releases on my devices (most of which are at the very bottom of the supported hardware range).


Upgrading the KP3S Pro (V1) to Klipper

It’s been since I ordered the , and a slight twinge of shame finally got me to pull the trigger, upgrade it to and install the probe that I ordered with it over .


My iPad Productivity and Travel Kit, 2023 Edition

Weeks ago, I watched yet another discussion about unfold even as Summer break began. At the time there was too much going on for me to write about it, but after a couple of weeks of vacation I have a few thoughts to share.


Summer Break Blues

With summer break being nearly over, it’s now pretty obvious that it is not nearly enough time for even half the stuff I wanted to do. As an European I do enjoy my twenty-plus days of paid vacation, but this year I sorely needed to splurge. I did manage to have some fun…



I can't say this is terribly exciting, but let's give it a whirl.

Revisiting Hy in 2023

And so it came to pass that, almost nine years since I started playing with Hylang (which eventually ) and seven to eight years after I decided to into “vanilla” 3 and later , it struck my fancy to take the old Hy codebase and refactor it to use “modern” Hy.


Encrypting your home directory in Fedora 38

Even though most Linux distributions have adopted LUKS and full-disk encryption, I still like (and need) to encrypt home directories separately, for a number of reasons:


Summer Minimalism

As the haziness of mid-summer starts to fade away, I am starting to worry a bit more about my interminable personal backlog and getting back to some unfinished projects.


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