Apple Music

Default iPhone Ring as a Ballad

The default ring for the iPhone used to change every year or two evolving through various iterations of the tunes: “Marimba”, “Opening”, and “Reflection”. In the video above composer and pianist Tony Ann reimagines “Opening” as a complete ballad.

(via Kottke)

family life


We went tent camping last weekend. Our friends Duane, Chelsea, and family were sleeping in their new (to them) trailer and our other friend Wren and her daughters slept in their car. Cold weather and a new air mattress that needed to be refilled once every two to three hours meant that our sleep was pretty disrupted. That morning Ian woke up crying… or more like whining. At the same time, Wren’s daughter Kate opened her car door which made a screeching noise exactly like the sound Ian was making. He stopped abruptly, yelled out angrily, “Stop copying me!” and looked around to see who was mocking him. I told him that was just the car door closing and Kate yelled out, “Sorry Ian.” Luckily he took it in stride and laughed along with all of us.

Later that morning we were talking about how we slept. Duane said, pointing to his trailer, you’ve got to get one of these, they’re great. I said sarcastically “Oh, were you not freezing cold all night?” referring to our own sleep in the tent. He said, “Actually, at one point it was almost too hot”.

I guess we still had fun because we’ve decided to do it again in a couple weeks.



I’ve been dabbling with Xcode since I got my first Macbook back in 2016. I’ve wanted to learn how to make an iPhone app and especially how to make one that uses SwiftUI, the user interface is growing in popularity and by all accounts is Apple’s recommended choice. Last month I started on this tutorial from Apple’s developer site and last week I finished it! The app is called Scrumdinger and it helps keep track of speaking turns and time limits during a meeting.

A screenshot of the Scrumdinger app.

One problem that needed to be sorted out happened within the section titled, “Creating a card view“. I ran into this warning:

Because I had followed the first section perfectly, I assumed I didn’t need to download their “starting project” because if that was the case, then how would I be able to make an app myself? Eventually I discovered I would need to add color assets to Xcode in order to avoid needing the “starting project” files.

Here is the a quick look at the manual process:

Then repeat for the remaining 15 colours or just download the “starting project”. I can see why the writers of the tutorial recommend skipping the tedious operation of adding each colour manually but it’s nice to know how to do it.

Apple finance

Apple Earnings Report Q3 2023

Jason Snell at Six Colors:

Apple announced its results for its fiscal third quarter on Thursday. As expected, it was a down quarter—though at a 1% drop over the year-ago quarter, it’s a better result than the previous quarter, which was down 3% year-over-year. The company reported $81.8B in revenue and $19.9B in profit.

The three key hardware categories were all down year-over-year: Mac was down 7%, iPad was down 20%, and the all-important iPhone was down 2%. Things were a little different in the two portions of Apple’s business that have shown indefatigable growth in recent years: Services revenue was up 8% and the Wearables, Home, and Accessories category was up 2%.

In a press release accompanying the results, Apple CFO Luca Maestri trumpeted that it has broken the billion paid subscriptions barrier.

Apple’s fiscal 2023 third-quarter results reveal a mixed picture for the tech giant. While the company reported a 1 percent year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue, reaching $81.8 billion, it managed to achieve a 5 percent increase in quarterly earnings per diluted share, reaching $1.26. These results indicate a certain level of resilience, particularly when compared to the previous quarter, which saw a more substantial decline.

A noteworthy highlight is Apple’s impressive performance in the Services segment, where it achieved an all-time revenue record during the June quarter. This growth was driven by surpassing the milestone of 1 billion paid subscriptions, demonstrating the company’s ability to retain and engage its customer base. Additionally, the robust sales of iPhone in emerging markets contributed to the positive performance.

Financially, the company generated substantial operating cash flow of $26 billion during the quarter, enabling it to return over $24 billion to shareholders. This reflects Apple’s ongoing dedication to rewarding its investors while continuing to invest in long-term growth plans.

Overall, Apple’s fiscal third-quarter results demonstrate a mix of challenges and successes, with notable growth in services and a strong cash flow position.


Comic Book History on a New YouTube Channel

I just discovered a relatively new YouTube channel about comic books that takes me back to my childhood. I particularly enjoyed this story of Rob Liefeld, and despite the clickbait title, “How this ‘terrible artist’ made MILLIONS”, it’s actually a great documentary on Comic Book history, and true, I remember thinking how weird some of his characters looked. I got my start collecting comics with the X-Force #1 mentioned in this video. I still have it wrapped in plastic sitting in my childhood bedroom.

Also, don’t miss the backstory behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I also used to collect the Archie Comics version of these heroes in a half shell. On the playground I remember hearing about the ultra-violent black and white versions of the comics that kids weren’t allowed to buy. I enjoyed hearing about the ending to that particular run of comics at the end of the video:

Rediscovering comic book history through this captivating YouTube channel has been a delightful journey down memory lane, and it looks like it’s gotten quite popular in its short life so far. I’m looking forward to Matt’s next release.


Microsoft Picks A new a Default

Microsoft announced they finally picked a new default font for Office:

For 15 years, our beloved Calibri was Microsoft’s default font and crown keeper of office communications, but as you know, our relationship has come to a natural end. We changed. The technology we use every day has changed. And so, our search of the perfect font for higher resolution screens began. The font needed to have sharpness, uniformity, and be great for display type. It was exciting at times, but also intimidating. How do you replace Calibri? How do you find that one true font that can take its place as the rightful default?

As we shared before, Microsoft commissioned five new fonts: Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite. It was our hope that one of them would be our next default font for Microsoft 365. All of them were added to the drop-down font picker. From there, as you got a chance to use them, we listened to your impassioned feedback and chose the one that resonated most which was Bierstadt. But as there was a change of guard so too the name. Bierstadt is now known as Aptos.

I had previously decided I liked Tenorite best. There are some odd things about this unveiling though, unfortunately I don’t have the answers. Why did it take them this long to make these fonts the default? It’s also odd that they chose Aptos (née Bierstadt) based on customer feedback. It’s also weird that there is a lack of examples of these typefaces at normal sizes in any of the marketing material which, in the context of Office documents, the real importance lies in their appearance at document text sizes, even though they’ve primarily been showcased at larger display sizes.

bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: “In all fairness, I think I might have enjoyed this film if I was nine years old.” — James Berardinelli, Reelviews

The Out-Laws: “The Out-Laws, a diversion at most, is streaming purgatory incarnate. It isn’t a movie to be devoured in one viewing, nor necessarily finished at all.” — Michael Frank, The Spool

65: “65 should only be recommended after one has run out of films to watch, which might not be for many years.” — Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

The Tutor: “I can’t decide if it’s so bad it’s good or if it’s just plain old bad.” — Christy Lemire, FilmWeek

The Flood: “Slagle and co. take the material so seriously — and not in a way that results in appealing camp — that there is barely any fun to be had here, period, regardless of the number of brewchachos consumed during its mercifully brief runtime.” — Steven Warner, In Review Online

Fast X: “Out of gas. Spinning its tires. Stuck in the ditch. Slid too far off the road. Grinding its gears. Crashed and burning with one wheel spinning. Insert your automobile cliche here.” — John Serba, Decider


Sarah Ellen (Ella) Kinsman

My great-grandmother was Sarah Ellen Kinsman (AKA Ella Milner). Growing up, I didn’t know much about her except that her father Marshall Kinsman died in a logging accident and her mother remarried Joseph Young, Brigham Young’s older brother. Even my dad was too young to know my Great Grandma Milner — she died a year before he was born. I also remember hearing that Ella’s mother was born on the day of the Hauns Mill Massacre but I could never keep track of which relative these stories were about. Really the only thing I remember from my childhood about my great-grandmother was just that we would often visit her gravesite on our trips to Raymond, AB, so learning more about her has been really interesting.

I’m sharing her story for posterity as part of my collection of family posts. If you find this information useful please send me a note, I’d love to hear from you.

SARAH ELLEN KINSMAN, daughter of Marshall Corridon Kinsman and Sarah Jane Snow, was born 19 May 1857, at Provo, Utah. She died 25 May 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 86. She married Benjamin Franklin Milner on 9 June 1886, at Logan, Cache, Utah in the Logan Temple.

Sarah Kinsmen (AKA Ella Milner) — colour added by Jeff Milner 2023 in Photoshop


Taipan! is an old Apple II game that I used to play as a kid.

Taipan is a classic strategy game that was originally released for the Apple II computer in 1982. It was developed by Art Canfil and published by Avalon Hill. The game is set in the 19th-century Far East and allows players to become wealthy merchants by trading goods and engaging in naval battles.

In Taipan, players start with a small amount of money and a ship, and their goal is to build a successful trading empire. They can purchase goods at various ports and then sell them at other ports for a profit. The game includes a dynamic economic system, with prices fluctuating based on supply and demand. Additionally, players must manage their ship’s crew, deal with pirate attacks, and navigate through storms and other hazards.

Taipan gained popularity for its engaging gameplay and strategic depth. It was known for its detailed graphics, considering the limitations of the Apple II’s hardware, and its challenging gameplay. The game’s success led to ports and adaptations for other platforms, such as the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS.

Although it’s been several decades since its release, Taipan remains a beloved classic among retro gaming enthusiasts and is often remembered as one of the standout titles for the Apple II computer.

I’m delighted to have discovered a webpage hosting a javascript port of the original game. Some of the delays were annoying me so I made my own copy and shortened them. Eventually I might get around to adding the ability to repay the money lender more and take advantage of the 100% interest bug.

I also discovered where one can find the most statistically likely cheapest and most expensive places to buy and sell a given commodity with these arrays:

var BP=[['Opium',11,16,15,14,12,10,13],
['General Cargo',10,11,12,13,14,15,16]];

Each cargo type is represented by an inner array, where the first element is the name of the cargo, and the subsequent elements represent the pricing coefficients for the ports.

The ports are indexed from 1 to 7, with the pricing coefficients following this order. So, for example, the pricing coefficients for Opium correspond to the ports in the following order: Port 1 Hong Kong – 11, Port 2 Shanghai – 16, Port 3 Nagasaki – 15, Port 4 Saigon – 14, Port 5 Manila – 12, Port 6 Singapore – 10, and Port 7 Batavia – 13.

These coefficients play a role in determining the prices you’ll encounter when trading in each port. They’re used as multipliers or modifiers to the base price of a cargo type. The higher the coefficient for a specific port, the more likely the prices for that cargo type will be high in that port. Conversely, lower coefficients create prices for that cargo type that are relatively lower.

By utilizing these coefficients, it makes it easier to strategically plan trading routes and make decisions based on which ports are likely to offer the best returns for buying and selling different types of cargo.


Backmasking in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I don’t personally call it backmasking when it’s just reversed audio that sounds like gibberish forward but with a backward message when reversed, nevertheless Slashfilm has an article about the title cards at the end of each episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which have a new secret message for each season.

The production company logos that air at the end of TV shows offer creators a chance to put their own creative spin on things one last time before their time slot is up, and comedy shows tend to make it fun. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” not only had fun with their production company logo, but they’ve also changed the audio that plays each season. There’s just one major twist on things: they backmask all of the audio!

They’ve got the text of the reversed audio for all 16 seasons.