An Interview with Manton Reece

From Twitter alternatives, open web, blogging, to bags and iPads.

(The following interview took place over Slack DMs on 5/22/17. Light editing for clarity and spelling was done, mostly on my side.)

Ben: Manton, thanks for taking the time today to chat. Before we get going, could you give me a little bio on who you are — for those two readers who aren’t aware of you just yet?

Manton: Sure, I’m a long-time Mac developer — from the 1990s when Apple was doomed — but these days I mostly do iOS and web development. A couple years ago I quit my regular job to work on my indie software company Riverfold Software full time, where I’ve shipped a few Mac and iOS apps, as well as web services like the Tweet Marker API. My latest project is Micro.blog.

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  • The Arcido Faroe

    Wait, this one is within reach of everyone’s budget and it’s really quite good.

    Editor’s note: Arcido provided me with this bag at no charge the purposes of this review.

    Some time ago I was contact by Arcido, I have reviewed a travel bag of theirs previously and left it with rather mixed feelings. A good bag? Yes. A great bag? Not for most people. I don’t have that bag anymore, but my recollection of it is threefold: it was heavy, it was large, and the material was awesome.

    I remember wishing it was lighter, and it was smaller. So Arcido reached out to me and asked me to check out their new bag, the Faroe. They told me they listened to what people were saying, and created this bag with much of that feedback in mind.

    Continue reading: The Arcido Faroe

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 5/22/17

    Let’s talk about task management apps, and the awesomeness of Things 3.

    This week I want to talk about task management apps — something I used to cover in depth at the outset of this site, but which has only been of passing interest to me of late. What is spurring this is Things 3 (iPad, iPhone, Mac), which is made by a company I loathe, but I mostly certainly bought and am using.1 I can’t and won’t speak to the long term impacts of this tool, as it simply has not been enough time — but there is one thing we can talk about: design.

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    1. It’s a complicated relationship. 

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  • iOS 11: iPad Wishes and Oh God Please No, Not That

    Taking a look at the bigger points in the iOS 11 concept video from MacStories.

    I’ve been mulling over Federico’s excellently well made iOS 11 concept video, and I wanted to reflect on some thoughts from a few of his larger ideas.

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  • A Fresh New Look

    A few notes on my new design, look at that archive page for sure.

    Yesterday afternoon, I pushed live a new theme for the site which I had been working on for the past few months. Most of the design elements were realized over the course of just a week or so, but I always sit with a new design for a few months as a way of trying it on. What I want to know is simple: after a few months, which one do I like looking at better?

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  • Home Network Tips

    Just you know, in case you need a project.

    I have two things I want to share with you about home networking — and for this I mean WiFi, because I don’t know who wastes their time running Ethernet anymore.

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  • From Shared to Personal to…

    Amazon and Microsoft seem to be making a play towards shared computing, again…

    Two things have come out recently, and both are very much related. The first is the Amazon Echo Show — which is a mini desktop computer thing with a camera meant to be kept somewhere convenient, but clearly not well seen since it is ugly. However, the idea is that this is a shared internet appliance as with the other Echo devices — you use it to aid you throughout the day without having to touch a device. So think like cooking recipes, or older people wanting a central video phone — which never works out well for companies.

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  • Back to the Apple Watch for a Week

    The Apple Watch sometimes creates more noise and rarely clarifies the signal.

    As I mentioned in my iPad Productivity Report, I attended a conference for a couple days recently, and I think I finally figured out the Apple Watch as part of that conference. But first, some much needed context:

    I have not worn my Apple Watch since some time in early November. However, a few of my coworkers were talking about how much they love their watches, and it spurred me to pull it back out and give it a go for a week. It took most of the first day updating it, but then we were off to the races.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 5/15/16

    The social stigma of using an iPad out in the wild.

    This past week I spent a couple days at a conference, nothing out of the ordinary, except for whatever reason I started to inventory the devices people were using and trying to pick up on how they were using their devices. (This is also usually the part when I start to tweetstorm about force quitting apps.)

    I think the most absurd of the bunch I observed was a blogger using a 13″ MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and a small point and shoot camera. From what I could tell the main apps being used were: Chrome for WordPress, Slack, and Photos. The workflow was simple: take some notes in a WordPress draft, chat in Slack, and take photos of the presenter with the camera, transfer those images to the Mac and upload to WordPress for an eventual blog post.

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  • Death Wish Coffee

    An efficient means of delivery an absurd amount of caffeine. Oh, and it’s organic.

    Yes, this is a post about coffee, which is among the most annoying of topics on generally tech focused blogs. But, let now assure you that I am not a pretentious coffee drinker, I use a Keurig and I fucking love it — so yeah.

    Anyways, a coworker posted a link to this Buzzfeed video of their staff drinking “Death Wish Coffee”, it’s great. I quipped that it looked great, and if it comes in K-Cups, I’d get it to try. And of course seconds later my coworkers delivered, because of course it comes in K-cups.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 5/8/17

    Diving into photo link sharing on iOS.

    This week, I want to talk about images for the internet — when you have an iPad Pro and nothing else. Specifically, I want to dive into how I prep images for blog posts, and how I share a link to an image on services which don’t support native image embedding.

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  • Tim Cook’s CEO Status

    I mean, people sometimes.

    Common argument: Tim Cook should be replaced as CEO, because something something negative about innovation at Apple, or not understanding products. If you ask them who should be CEO, there’s never an answer.

    When I called for Steve Ballmer to be ousted from Microsoft, I did so by showing a series of charts reflecting the stock value of the company — the metric by which CEOs are judged (rightly or wrongly). With Ballmer it was basically maintaining a steady and boring course.

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  • Streamlining my Day to Day Wardrobe

    How obsessing over traveling light has now spread to everyday and it’s awesome.

    When I wrote my series of articles on the gear I use to travel light, I ended it with an even stronger affinity towards the gear I use when I travel. In almost every case this clothing was better than the clothing I wear on a normal day.

    Let’s just take the most basic of all wardrobe items: jeans. For many of you reading this post, jeans are probably right up there with with a t-shirt as a core thing you wear almost everyday (if not everyday), and something you also feel exceedingly comfortable in.

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 5/1/17

    Exploring better typography on iPad.

    Today I want to talk about typography — or more specifically how to get better typography on your iPad. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for people who care about typography, but want to use iOS, is that it is not very clear how, or if, you can get the typefaces you love on to the iPad. Clever apps like Ulysses, allow you to send it any font file and the app will make it a part of the fonts you can choose from — it’s handy if all you care about is seeing your favorite writing typeface in the world’s best writing app.

    But what about if you want to do some print design, or even use the corporate typefaces in Pages and such?

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  • The XTS Titanium Pocket Pen + Stylus

    A step up from the space pens many like to carry on them.

    A while back I snagged the XTS Titanium Pocket Pen from Big Idea Design as a potential replacement for the Fisher Bullet Space Pen I normally travel with. The appeal to me was that it looks about the same, is about the same size, but uses a much better Pilot G2 insert instead of the space pen insert (I really don’t love those). It also looks non-stupid, which is how I more or less describe the bullet look.

    Continue reading: The XTS Titanium Pocket Pen + Stylus

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  • iPad Productivity Report — 4/24/17

    It turns out I have a new issue with 12.9″ only life, and also I have some things to say about iOS automation in general.

    As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I have been experimenting with the idea of using only one of my iPad Pros1 instead of both interchangeably.2 Of course for me that is settling on the larger 12.9″ iPad Pro and the tradeoffs which come with that device.

    Over this test period I’ve found that I use only the 12.9″ iPad Pro about 90% of the time. There are simply still times when a smaller iPad is very useful — with book reading being the primary reason I prefer the smaller iPad Pro. Aside from that, the vast majority of my usage has been on the larger iPad Pro, and I peg it at 90% (knowing that is being overly generous to the smaller iPad Pro).

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    1. hashtag firstworld problems 

    2. Hashtag jfc 

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