27: Danger Inches Away


00:00:00   So I have to warn you that you are stepping into a podcast with a person who hasn't slept very much in five days

00:00:07   and has not prepared at all and is already at the worn thin edge of all of his nerves so

00:00:15   good luck to you with this one Myke.

00:00:16   [DING]

00:00:17   Alright so as we're recording, in case you hadn't already guessed, Grey is in an animation coma I think?

00:00:24   Koma would be sweet relief. It's all the activity that's the problem.

00:00:30   I'm trying to think of what the term would be, right? Because when you're in a coma you're kind of like stuck, right?

00:00:36   There's nothing you can do. You're kind of imprisoned within yourself, I guess, in a way.

00:00:41   And I'm trying to think like what the animation is doing to you. Is it like animation jail or something?

00:00:46   Like what how would we describe this? You're- I've basically given you sweet relief from animation for an hour or so.

00:00:54   The only reason I am talking to you right now is because I

00:00:58   physically need to take a break and so you are my quote break at the moment

00:01:06   But yes, what what's the proper analogy? Let's see. Let's try not to not try not to over blow it

00:01:12   Animations sweatshop maybe that's a good one. Yeah

00:01:16   Just to clarify in case there are any legal representatives

00:01:22   listening. It's only gray in this sweatshop, which is something we'll talk about later on actually,

00:01:26   but right now the sweatshop consists of only you. There are no other people

00:01:30   that you're forcing to do the work. It's just me. I am talking to you from

00:01:37   the room in which I have been sitting, looking at my watch now for four days straight of animation.

00:01:48   So yeah, I'm going a little crazy.

00:01:49   So basically, the video, the encryption video that you made,

00:01:54   which will be out by the time this show comes out,

00:01:57   this is what you're currently in the midst of creating.

00:02:00   Yes, that's correct. That's correct.

00:02:03   You say you've been there for four days straight. Like, what is that?

00:02:07   Like, are you sleeping in that room? How many hours are you sleeping?

00:02:11   Like, I'm just interested in understanding that this crunch, what is happening here?

00:02:15   So what happens here is this little routine that I've talked about before is that it's...

00:02:20   For various reasons I have always just found that the way that I work is just by doing all of the animation in one big go.

00:02:28   That this is just the way it works for me.

00:02:31   This is what sort of takes less time than trying to spread it out.

00:02:36   Although there are other reasons why I tend not to spread it out.

00:02:39   But what I have done is that I get up.

00:02:43   I'm getting up usually around 6 or so.

00:02:45   And I live by timers for the time that I'm animating.

00:02:54   So I have a little loop that I just repeat until I fall asleep.

00:02:58   And so the timers go 40 minutes, 7 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 minutes, repeat.

00:03:04   And so this is what I do.

00:03:06   So it's a 40 minute burst of work, a quick 7 minute break.

00:03:11   another 40 minutes of work, and then a longer 20 minute break where I'm trying to stand up and maybe get something to eat or take a walk around the block, or whatever it is.

00:03:21   And so I just repeat that until I go to sleep in the end.

00:03:26   So I have been tracking my time and it's just, yeah, it's a huge number of minutes that are poured into animation over the entirety of the day.

00:03:39   This is a horrible way to work.

00:03:42   [laughs]

00:03:44   But it's only for a short time, or at least what happens is

00:03:49   I always think, "Oh, this will just be two days."

00:03:53   But I have been realizing that, particularly with the last couple things I've been working on,

00:03:57   they've been slightly bigger, slightly more complicated projects than I originally anticipated.

00:04:02   And so while it's like, "Oh, I'll do this just for two days,"

00:04:05   This has now turned into like four days.

00:04:08   Probably it'll be finished up in five actual days

00:04:12   and then it will be done.

00:04:14   But yeah, I don't like it,

00:04:16   but this is how the sausage gets made.

00:04:19   - Right, but there's a problem here.

00:04:22   (laughing)

00:04:23   There is a significant problem,

00:04:25   which is clear to me and I'm sure to you,

00:04:28   that is manifesting itself

00:04:30   because of these crunch sprints that you do.

00:04:33   And that's RSI.

00:04:35   You tweeted a couple of weeks ago that you were really struggling with some RSI stuff,

00:04:41   and I know from conversations that we've had that it's been particularly bad recently.

00:04:48   So what is going on here with your RSI?

00:04:52   Is it any different to before?

00:04:54   And what are you doing about it?

00:04:56   Yeah, so RSI is the thing that we've touched upon before in this show, and different ways

00:05:02   is to try to manage it and to deal with it.

00:05:07   Because it's one of these problems like it's an ongoing thing.

00:05:11   Like if you start to get it, you're going to have to manage it over the long term.

00:05:15   Now, what happened to me recently, the thing that I tweeted about,

00:05:20   was when I was animating the previous video,

00:05:24   which was the Q&A video that I put up, I don't know, like two weeks ago now,

00:05:28   at the time that we were recording.

00:05:29   Because that video is just very long, and because I did have a bit of an advertising deadline that I needed to hit,

00:05:38   like, I was busy animating that thing as much as I possibly could.

00:05:44   And... I think, in no small part because of a thing that we might touch upon later as well,

00:05:51   like, I have been sitting at my computer much less than normal over the past many months,

00:05:57   like this is a thing that has really escalated.

00:05:59   And so now it's a funny situation that when I sit down at my computer,

00:06:03   it's a place where I don't normally sit.

00:06:07   And so I think my body is finding itself in this position of like,

00:06:10   "Oh, we don't do this a little bit every day."

00:06:13   It's now changed to a thing where it's like,

00:06:15   "We don't normally do this hardly ever."

00:06:17   And then suddenly we do this for several days in a row.

00:06:21   It's probably like a shock to your system now.

00:06:24   I think that's what it is, like I have been finding the last animation and this animation much more physically difficult to do than previous ones

00:06:34   and I really think it's a side effect of just not being at the computer very much at all.

00:06:39   So your pain is in the wrist, right?

00:06:42   So I have...

00:06:44   Welcome to the Old Men Complaining About Problems podcast!

00:06:47   You know, but it's not old, right?

00:06:49   I mean, I've had this problem and I'm butterspring chicken!

00:06:53   [Laughter]

00:06:56   You are, Myke. You are but a spring chicken.

00:07:01   [Laughter]

00:07:02   It affects the soul.

00:07:04   The thing is, I have two problems, neither of which are fun.

00:07:07   The one that I worry much more about is that my right hand in particular,

00:07:14   because this is the hand I'm using to do the vast majority of my animation,

00:07:18   that has just a kind of stereotypical RSI problem.

00:07:22   that after a while, no matter how much I'm switching between the pen tablet

00:07:26   and between a mouse and between a trackball, like eventually

00:07:30   my three primary fingers, like my index, middle, and thumb,

00:07:35   and the hand itself, like, can run into pain just using them.

00:07:39   See, the pain that I've had in the past

00:07:42   was completely localized to my wrist.

00:07:46   And it was like burning pain.

00:07:49   Like just not like not good stuff.

00:07:51   Yeah, it can be bad and this is this this plugs into why

00:07:57   Like I'm so intense about using the Apple pencil

00:08:02   like why one of the reasons why I like using that so much on my iPads is because

00:08:06   One of the ways that the pain can manifest itself is just in physically touching things

00:08:10   Like so if I'm touching things with the tips of my fingers

00:08:13   that can

00:08:15   Aggravate the RSI a little bit if it's particularly bad

00:08:17   So being able to indirectly touch something by like holding a pen and then tapping a touch target like that is that is way better

00:08:24   but the thing that really caught me out last time which was a

00:08:29   Little problem that I have had and that I have tried to manage but that suddenly became a really terrible problem was that

00:08:36   In on my right arm on my shoulder blade around there

00:08:42   I guess I have a kind of muscular problem that has developed. I think from sitting

00:08:47   in chairs for a long time basically.

00:08:50   But I got a big scare for the last video because I think I had been animating for something like

00:08:58   three days and then I woke up in the morning and like, "Hey, it's six o'clock, time to go to work."

00:09:04   And when I stood up, I just had this horrific pain kind of rip through my right shoulder blade.

00:09:12   And it was this muscular problem, and I just had to not do anything for the whole day.

00:09:17   Like I just lost a day of work because it's like, man, I am having a hard time

00:09:22   moving around my apartment, let alone like sitting at a desk and working all day.

00:09:28   So that was a thing like before it had been like, oh, I have a small muscular problem in my back that aggravates me sometimes.

00:09:34   And then it kind of exploded into the like, no, no, you're going to be lying down all day.

00:09:39   You're going to be doing nothing. Like I hope you enjoy finishing off this season of standalone complex

00:09:46   But like you can do nothing else all day. You can't work. You're not gonna be able to manipulate anything with your right arm. So

00:09:52   RSI, it's been it's been on my mind. It's been not great.

00:09:58   So the way that you've rehabilitated, but from this injury, is by like one week later

00:10:02   Getting back into the animation chair.

00:10:05   Okay, well first of all, it's like two and a half weeks later that I'm working on another video.

00:10:10   Oh, well that's okay then.

00:10:12   It's perfectly fine.

00:10:15   Please let me retract my statement.

00:10:17   But no, in between those two times, I have seen like a massage, like a physical therapist person here in London

00:10:25   who was extremely... I've been seeing her for maybe about a year to try to help deal with this one problem in my back and

00:10:33   She was clearly really annoyed with me last time when I showed up. She was like poking my back

00:10:39   And she's like, what did you do?

00:10:41   It's all hard back here. Like this is not this is not how arms are supposed to be. So you're also having back pains

00:10:47   Yeah, it's it's really this like muscular problem around my shoulder blade is what it is. Like that's that's that's what it is

00:10:54   And then I go to this person who?

00:10:58   Bends my arm around in funny ways and pokes and prods that make me feel like a chicken

00:11:02   Like you're never more aware of like the internal

00:11:04   Muscular and bone structure of your meat sack body than when someone else is like pushing it around and trying to break it

00:11:11   It's like oh god, it's so physically uncomfortable

00:11:13   Why do I have to be reminded that I am made of meat in this way?

00:11:16   And they do those things to you which makes it feel like your head's gonna blow up. Yeah, it's

00:11:21   Horrible. It's really horrible. I had I had this I had this one experience

00:11:27   where it's like hard to describe it. She's bending my arm, but I need to keep laying down flat.

00:11:33   But the way she's bending my arm, like the natural implication is to like sit up, right?

00:11:37   You want to kind of sit up and move with the motion, but like that's not what you're supposed to do.

00:11:40   And so she's like, "No, lay down flat."

00:11:43   And so she bends the arm and I kind of sit up and she just like bops me on the nose.

00:11:46   She's like, "Down! Like you have to go down, right?"

00:11:50   [laughter]

00:11:50   "Down, boy!"

00:11:53   But the thing was it was just like such a physically startling moment

00:11:57   She's a real no-nonsense person like I need to fix your broken dumb arm, right? And you're not helping me right now.

00:12:03   Stupid computer man

00:12:04   Exactly. Like what do you do all day? Like I sit all day, you know, yeah, it's not good for you. It's not good for you. So

00:12:11   Yeah, so I have been I have been seeking

00:12:14   professional help but I do I do think that

00:12:19   not working on my computer combined with the last couple projects being bigger and further apart like

00:12:26   this is this is becoming a problem that I I am I am needing to manage in a in a different way that I need to

00:12:35   work around to some extent in the future like I have a few ideas about that which we may get to but it's it's definitely a

00:12:42   It's a thing that I worry about now being an old man. I am both concerned and frustrated

00:12:49   at you in regards to this.

00:12:53   So I'm worried about you, but I'm also kind of annoyed at you, because you're putting

00:12:59   yourself in this situation via the weird ways that you work, when you could actually just

00:13:05   not do this.

00:13:08   Someone could do this for you.

00:13:11   And it's very interesting to me that we're in the Year of Less, but you're still doing

00:13:16   this.

00:13:17   Well, the Year of Less has many parts to it.

00:13:21   And I talked about the Year of

00:13:25   Less a while back, and

00:13:29   even in the beginning of the year, like, the animation was something that was

00:13:33   on my mind that falls into the theme of the Year of Less.

00:13:37   Right? And I sort of kind of did that with the Star Trek

00:13:41   video of having someone else generate all the artwork, although that was, as we discussed at the

00:13:45   the time of project that I discovered like, "Oh, actually this doesn't really save me the time that I thought animating."

00:13:50   It just sort of shifts the work around in a slightly different way.

00:13:54   There are a number of things that are connected to this year of less, and I feel like I have made

00:14:01   progress on a few of them so far, but the animation is on my mind, but it is definitely the thorniest, most

00:14:09   important and

00:14:11   biggest and hardest one to to work around but I think that the

00:14:16   my

00:14:18   recent RSI and health problems are like

00:14:20   Accelerating the importance of this in the list of things that I am attempting to do under the banner of the year of less

00:14:28   Are you precious about the animation? What do you mean by that?

00:14:33   So the Star Trek video is not a good

00:14:40   reason for why getting an animator is difficult.

00:14:43   Like the time and effort that it took to put that video together

00:14:46   I don't think equates to the reason that having somebody do animation for you is tricky because

00:14:53   the animation and the illustration style

00:14:56   was far more complex than what you usually do.

00:15:01   So I don't really think that it's like you can say

00:15:05   "Oh, look how much harder and longer this took,

00:15:09   and how much more expensive maybe it was to produce."

00:15:12   Because you would go in for something completely different.

00:15:16   Like, I love your animation style,

00:15:20   but it's not complicated for somebody to do.

00:15:25   And I think that you could find a skilled animator

00:15:30   who could replicate what you do quite easily.

00:15:33   You know, like, there isn't one person that draws The Simpsons.

00:15:36   You know, skilled animators are able to replicate a style.

00:15:41   And I don't think it would be very difficult or would take too much work to kind of mold somebody

00:15:49   into wanting to work the way that you do.

00:15:52   Like somebody could understand how to do the stuff that you do, I think, quite simply

00:15:56   and then it would be a case of you working with that person to establish systems

00:16:02   you would then be directing the videos. It's a new type of work which I

00:16:07   think is probably what's making you hesitant of it but I think in the long

00:16:11   run I don't think it would be incredibly difficult to do that. Let's use

00:16:16   a Kurzgesagt stat in a nutshell as an example. That is a way more

00:16:21   complicated animation style that would be I think more difficult to replicate

00:16:25   right? They have a visual style is as iconic as yours I think but it's

00:16:31   way more complex. Is that fair to say?

00:16:33   Oh yeah, oh yeah. If you look at any of the slides on one of their videos, the number

00:16:39   of elements is enormous.

00:16:41   God, so beautiful though, right?

00:16:42   Oh yeah, it's a great style. It's an absolutely great style.

00:16:45   And your style is equally great, but it's just simpler. So I think it would be easier

00:16:50   for somebody to pick it up. So I'm just feeling like one of the main reasons you haven't done

00:17:00   this yet because you don't enjoy it right like you don't enjoy this part I

00:17:04   don't is that fair to say you don't enjoy the animation oh yeah the

00:17:08   animation has always been the part that feels like a real slog to me like that's

00:17:12   that's not a that's not a secret so going along with what you're talking

00:17:17   about here like a couple of points first was first was doing the Star Trek video

00:17:23   made it much clearer to me this idea that like oh there might actually be two

00:17:28   separate roles here. There is asset and

00:17:32   artwork generation and that there is

00:17:35   animation. And as dumb as it sounds in my

00:17:38   mind because I am the person who does

00:17:40   everything, I didn't actually realize

00:17:42   that there are two distinct roles. Like,

00:17:45   "Oh, I can get someone who does artwork

00:17:49   and then there could be someone else who

00:17:51   does the animation. That these don't have

00:17:53   to be the same person." And in some ways

00:17:56   it's like that makes things much easier

00:17:58   to understand like, "Oh, I'm not looking for a magic person who does everything."

00:18:01   I could actually have two freelancers filling these two separate roles.

00:18:07   And then what is my role? Like maybe I am coordinating the actions of these two people.

00:18:12   I think we've fallen into the trap of calling animation everything.

00:18:18   Yes.

00:18:19   So like, it is illustration and the work in Final Cut.

00:18:23   They are two different things, but we think of them as the same thing.

00:18:27   Yeah, yeah. In my mind, I never separated those two things.

00:18:31   Never really occurred to me.

00:18:33   But of course, we talked about creativity ink a few episodes ago.

00:18:37   Well, there are people who work in digital animation and their only job is textures.

00:18:42   They don't do anything except just textures.

00:18:45   There's no one who's drawing the entirety of Sully in Monsters Inc.

00:18:53   Someone's just working on the fur, someone's just working on the eyes.

00:18:56   So these things are definitely broken down.

00:18:59   But in my mind from my own work, it was all just mixed together in this ball of like,

00:19:05   "Here's how a video gets made!"

00:19:07   And I do all of these things.

00:19:08   And what really didn't help clarifying that is

00:19:13   the process that I'm going through right now is that I am mixing these things.

00:19:20   Like, I generate some assets and artwork, and then I animate them and see how it looks,

00:19:25   and then I go back and generate new assets and artwork and add them to final--

00:19:28   like I keep going back and forth between my two programs, Inkscape to draw

00:19:32   and Final Cut to animate.

00:19:34   And so that further blurs things in my own mind.

00:19:38   And that's why I think like the Star Trek video was really quite a useful thing to do.

00:19:42   And to make it just much clearer like, okay,

00:19:45   I have a better sense of what I might actually be looking for

00:19:48   if and when I do need to bring on help.

00:19:51   Now, the second point that I wanted to bring up though, which is when you talk about being precious about the animation,

00:19:58   the one thing that I have always been aware of is like, when I'm writing the script, I have an idea of what I want on the screen at the time.

00:20:09   And I think that that really helps make the videos this consistent entity.

00:20:15   And then I'm also aware that when I'm working through actually animating it,

00:20:19   there's just a ton of stuff that I think to add while I am in the video creation process.

00:20:25   And this is part of the reason why it always ends up taking longer than I anticipate it's going to be,

00:20:29   because I'm putting something together and like,

00:20:31   "Oh, this would be a great little visual reference to put in this scene."

00:20:35   Or, "Oh, you know what? I want to do this this way."

00:20:37   And I keep wanting to add all of these things.

00:20:39   And I do think that a lot of the stuff that I come up with while I am in the process of animating adds to the final product.

00:20:49   Like things that it didn't occur to me to do until I'm just kind of playing around with art and animation and seeing how does this work together.

00:20:56   Ooh, what can I do with this?

00:20:58   But... but... one of the things that I'm thinking a lot about is how to get the entirety of

00:21:13   my job done without having to touch my computer.

00:21:18   And I keep coming to this idea of like, well, I may need to have videos take a much longer

00:21:25   time from start to finish because maybe there is a role for me as the constant director

00:21:34   and refiner of animation work that is happening.

00:21:38   And I think that it didn't quite occur to me that maybe lots of these things that I

00:21:46   come up with while I am animating, instead I can come up with while I am reviewing the

00:21:53   the work of what an illustrator or an animator is doing.

00:21:57   And just accepting the fact, like, you know what?

00:21:59   There's going to be a ton of going back and forth

00:22:01   between animators and illustrators with, like, let's add this.

00:22:07   Like, can we do this?

00:22:08   Can this thing go over here?

00:22:10   Maybe that's the way forward.

00:22:13   But it will mean that--

00:22:16   let's say it takes four weeks to do a script from start to finish.

00:22:21   I'm very used to this idea of like, "Oh, a script is done, and then within a week at most I have the video up, and isn't that great?"

00:22:27   I was like, "Well, you know what? Maybe what's really going to have to happen is that the production cycle is something more like eight weeks."

00:22:34   Right? That there's four weeks of writing, four weeks of back and forth with people working on the video.

00:22:40   But during that people working back and forth on the video, I can be writing the next video.

00:22:46   because that's the other thing that's just been on my mind is like I can't keep blasting a hole in my schedule

00:22:52   of like knocking out a week every once in a while where it's just total animation time.

00:22:58   Like and everything else in the world falls by the wayside.

00:23:01   So I know you've been bugging me about this, Myke, and I know that my body is certainly more than bugging me about it.

00:23:09   So it's like something has to change and I'll just say I took a big...

00:23:14   I took a big walk around a particular area in London that I like and I was just trying to think about

00:23:21   "Okay, how is it sensible to try to go about maybe bringing on some help?"

00:23:26   And I've come up with an idea that I think will work about how to try to get this process started.

00:23:32   So there's something on my mind which might come out soon about like how can I try to make this snowball get started rolling downhill.

00:23:42   Good. Because if you don't fix it, there are no more videos.

00:23:49   Yeah, well that's the other thing, right? It's like, okay, I've had two videos in a row now

00:23:55   where the production has been physically difficult, and I don't anticipate that that is going to

00:24:01   change. And so, yeah, if I don't change something, I could just wake up one morning where it's like,

00:24:06   "Oh no, now you have a permanent health problem."

00:24:07   And it's too late because you didn't put anything in place.

00:24:10   Yeah, that's exactly it. So I feel like, well, I am trying to get this in motion before it's a real emergency.

00:24:20   This is... people are always like, "Oh boy, wouldn't it be amazing to be self-employed?"

00:24:26   And it's like, well, it depends a lot on your personality, if it would be amazing to be self-employed.

00:24:31   And one of the scariest things about being self-employed is exactly this kind of moment of like,

00:24:39   "You know what? You could wake up one morning and it's just all over."

00:24:42   Right?

00:24:43   "You could wake up one morning and you just have a physical problem and you can't do this thing anymore."

00:24:48   Or like, "The business world changes out from underneath you."

00:24:50   Like, you're always standing on this precarious cliff and you're like,

00:24:54   "Wow! This view is magnificent!"

00:24:56   But like, there's danger inches away.

00:24:58   That's kind of what it's like to be self-employed and this is

00:25:02   This is me quite recently coming up against one of these little moments of like man

00:25:07   You got to be real careful here because it could be in a could be in a really bad situation

00:25:12   If I don't if I don't pay attention, so hashtag year of Les me

00:25:17   There are gonna be people that will now want to be your animator. Yeah, maybe I'm gonna get a bunch of CVS

00:25:24   Then basically which I'll look forward to receiving

00:25:27   Thanks.

00:25:28   [Laughter]

00:25:29   It's now time to break the bodies of younger humans.

00:25:34   That's effectively what we're gonna do now.

00:25:36   I'm gonna stop breaking my body and break other people's.

00:25:39   Well, actually, it's an interesting thing because I'm... when you mention that, because

00:25:44   I've been talking to some people who get animation work done.

00:25:48   Like, I've been kind of behind the scenes sending out feelers about like, "How do you

00:25:52   work?

00:25:53   How do you work?

00:25:54   Like, how do all of these things go?"

00:25:55   One of the things I just realized is like, man,

00:25:58   when people would give me estimates about how many seconds per day of animation

00:26:03   their teams produce or like what you can expect from people producing animation.

00:26:08   All of these numbers, I realized like, holy God, I am doing

00:26:14   what is regarded as an insane amount of animation work per day.

00:26:19   So you're actually working at the level of a team

00:26:24   because of the insane hours that you put yourself in.

00:26:28   Yeah, that's basically what I realized is like, oh, okay,

00:26:31   I am doing somewhere between two to four times more animation work

00:26:37   than anybody expects out of an animation employee per day.

00:26:42   I was like, okay, this is an interesting thing here.

00:26:46   Like, it was interesting to consistently get numbers across the board that were like,

00:26:51   These are insane, unsustainable levels of animation production.

00:26:55   So it's like, okay, right, that's part of why I was thinking about how I know the animation is gonna have to take longer,

00:27:02   because I cannot possibly expect that anybody is going to be doing the same amount of work that I am doing.

00:27:09   Like, I would be the world's worst boss if I was like, okay, I expect you to get up at six,

00:27:15   and you're gonna go to bed between 10 and 11, and you're gonna animate the entire time.

00:27:20   Like, and you're gonna do that for four or five days in a row. That would just be monstrous. Like it's just it's wildly

00:27:26   wildly

00:27:28   undoable and so that's why it's like well other people

00:27:31   Can work more sustainably and other people won't also have the problem that I have like well, I don't sit at this chair

00:27:37   Except all of a sudden for huge amounts of time. So

00:27:41   So I do not think that it is breaking the bodies of younger people

00:27:45   I think it is asking other people to like work in a sustainable way that I am obviously

00:27:51   not mentally capable of working at. I'm very pleased that you're being shown proof now

00:28:00   of why the way that you do this stuff shouldn't continue. This makes me feel happy.

00:28:07   Because I'm worried about you. I know.

00:28:11   In the same way that when I was exhibiting RSI problems, you were going crazy at me.

00:28:16   Yeah, I was going crazy at you, but it's also because you, Myke, you're a business owner.

00:28:19   So are you, though.

00:28:21   Yeah, but it's just me, right? It's like it's all mixed together when it's just me, right? Like,

00:28:27   it's one person. I can't sit down and read the e-myth revisited and write out a whole

00:28:31   org chart for my company because there's only one person, even though I totally can and I

00:28:35   totally should. I bet you really have.

00:28:37   No, I totally have. Yeah, that's true.

00:28:41   I put pictures of myself everywhere.

00:28:43   I did.

00:28:45   So yeah, it's just one of these cases, like being a self-employed person,

00:28:52   it all gets muddled up together.

00:28:54   And this is a moment that is causing me to be much more clear about separating things out.

00:29:01   And as long-time listeners of the show will know, like,

00:29:04   "Well, it's not really any surprise that I'm here now."

00:29:08   Because it's like, well, there's a reason I wanted to talk about E-Myth revisited recently,

00:29:12   and there's a reason that this is the year of last. Like this is a thing that has been on my

00:29:14   mind for a while, and I'm making motions towards making it more of a... of a real thing.

00:29:19   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by PDFPen Pro from Smile. You may have heard me say before

00:29:28   that PDFPen is the Swiss army knife for using and working with PDFs. Well, PDFPen Pro is the knife

00:29:37   with so many tools that you can barely fit it in your pocket.

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00:29:48   like adding signatures, editing text and images, performing OCR on scanned documents,

00:29:53   and even exporting those PDFs into Microsoft Word format, which is something I do a lot.

00:29:57   I get contracts in Word, I put them into PDF Pen, I'm able to sign them and add whatever I need,

00:30:04   export them back out to Word and send them back to the company that I'm working with.

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00:30:46   PDF Pen Pro requires OS X Yosemite or later and works perfectly on El Capitan.

00:30:53   Thank you so much to Smile for their continued support of this show and Relay FM.

00:30:58   I've been drinking a lot of coffee today. Yeah, I had I had an unusual amount of

00:31:05   coffee today. Oh yeah? Why for you? I went to the barber's today. Oh for your beard

00:31:11   straightening? And my haircut, yeah. So I'm all I'm all pristine but I got a coffee

00:31:16   before I went in and then a coffee when I left. And we're talking like the strong

00:31:22   hipster coffee, right? So I'm on a real high right now.

00:31:27   I love that that's your strong coffee. That's what I do before 6.30 in the morning.

00:31:33   You go to prep. That's nothing. No, no, this morning it's all homegrown filter

00:31:40   coffee today. For the past several days, actually.

00:31:43   Homegrown from Amsterdam. Yeah. I would totally love to see a blood toxicology

00:31:48   report of my caffeine levels right now. It's all good man. Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it.

00:31:54   Oh I'm not worried. I know you're not I'm just saying like I wouldn't. It's just interest like

00:31:58   it's it's entertaining. Sometimes when I drink coffee I have the feeling like I could run the

00:32:05   world like I could just completely rule the world and everything would be fine. Do you ever get that

00:32:09   feeling like I'm just like I could do anything right now like I'm unstoppable? No. I think it's

00:32:17   That's because you drink more coffee than me.

00:32:20   So that's why you don't get the rule of the world feeling that I sometimes get.

00:32:25   I don't get megalomaniacal.

00:32:35   I don't get that when I drink coffee.

00:32:37   Just feel good.

00:32:38   That's good to know.

00:32:40   Oh great.

00:32:42   I did a thing.

00:32:43   I did a real thing last week.

00:32:46   I bought an iPad.

00:32:48   Bought another one.

00:32:50   And it's all your fault really.

00:32:52   Yeah, I know it's my fault.

00:32:54   I know it's my fault.

00:32:56   It's my fault for being so reasonable about why multiple iPads, multiple iPads pros are

00:33:05   a thing that's totally useful.

00:33:08   I recorded with you on Friday.

00:33:11   I went to the Apple store on Tuesday.

00:33:14   because I was busy on Monday.

00:33:16   (laughing)

00:33:19   And I bought a gold iPad Pro 9.7.

00:33:23   And I wanna give my personal reasoning for this.

00:33:27   So I'm very much on board of a lot of the stuff

00:33:29   that you were talking about last time,

00:33:32   about setting up devices for different kind of mindsets

00:33:36   and different ways of working.

00:33:38   And I am completely on board with the multiple screens

00:33:42   as like pieces of paper idea.

00:33:44   Like, I'm sold on that completely.

00:33:47   But the thing that kind of tipped me over the edge

00:33:50   when thinking about multiple iPads,

00:33:52   is thinking about how over the last few years,

00:33:55   I have used and how it's been completely acceptable

00:33:59   for people to do this, to have multiple Macs.

00:34:04   I have had a laptop and a desktop for years,

00:34:07   because I use them in different ways,

00:34:09   I'm operating them in different ways,

00:34:11   I'm doing different things with them.

00:34:14   And I figured, well, why wouldn't I have multiple iPads

00:34:17   for that same reason?

00:34:19   Especially when in the iPad Pro line,

00:34:22   those two devices, on the face of it, seem similar,

00:34:26   but when you actually use them,

00:34:28   you realize they're very different devices.

00:34:31   - Oh, wow.

00:34:32   - Because of how iOS operates on those devices.

00:34:36   The 12.9 inch iPad Pro gives a far superior

00:34:42   multitasking view.

00:34:43   So it really does to me feel like a computer

00:34:47   I use for different things.

00:34:48   So my current kind of arrangement is the 9.7 inch iPad Pro

00:34:53   is being used for the consumption of things.

00:34:57   So Twitter, reading, taking very basic notes on stuff

00:35:02   for shows, watching videos and things like that

00:35:04   while I'm around the house or in the morning

00:35:06   or in the evening.

00:35:08   And then the larger iPad Pro, the 12.9,

00:35:11   that's where the work's getting done.

00:35:13   That's where I'm filling out spreadsheets.

00:35:14   That's where I'm doing invoices.

00:35:17   That's where I'm communicating with multiple people

00:35:20   and coordinating stuff and doing my email

00:35:23   and writing scripts for ads.

00:35:26   That's all happening there.

00:35:27   And I love it.

00:35:29   It's one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

00:35:32   I am so happy.

00:35:33   People think I'm crazy.

00:35:34   I'm trying so hard to convince people.

00:35:37   Basically every show I produce right now

00:35:39   is me trying to talk about why I think this is fantastic.

00:35:44   - Oh, Myke, I know.

00:35:46   I know, because since I have been animating,

00:35:50   I've been listening to a lot of podcasts,

00:35:52   and I feel like you are my little Thomas Henry Huxley

00:35:56   going out into the world,

00:35:58   bulldogging this idea about multiple iPads Pro.

00:36:02   Like, I've been hearing you, like,

00:36:04   singing the sweet gospel on every show

00:36:06   that you record about this.

00:36:09   Because you know what it is, funny to me, is nobody says that you're being crazy, they

00:36:12   just call me crazy.

00:36:14   Because people are just like, "Gray does what Gray does."

00:36:17   We can't understand him, he just goes and does his thing.

00:36:21   The thing that's really funny about this to me is we had the conversation of "I am using

00:36:29   three iPads."

00:36:30   The framing of that was, "There has been an iPad consolidation for me."

00:36:35   Like going to three is like a smaller number than I used to have when we first talked about iPads a while back, right?

00:36:42   I'm totally aware that that it does seem this funny kind of like who knows what that guy is doing thing

00:36:50   We're like, but you Myke you are relatable and therefore you seem more crazy somehow in the minds of others. I think it's yeah

00:36:56   Yeah, you know what? That's probably it. Like I'm more of the everyman right, you know, like I'm a man of the people

00:37:03   And now it's like I'm turning into Cyborg, right, as I'm moving more towards Robot

00:37:10   Grey.

00:37:11   You know, like I'm in that transition period.

00:37:14   But there have also been people that have been tweeting at us who have gone this way

00:37:21   too and can understand the superiority of having multiple iPads.

00:37:27   B: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

00:37:30   One of the things, we sort of lost it for the show notes, so I apologize to whoever

00:37:33   this was, but someone sent us a while back on Twitter this picture of their daughter

00:37:39   doing her homework.

00:37:40   And it was this girl on her bed just like surrounded by iPads, right, as she's working

00:37:45   on a whole bunch of stuff, like she had her phone and a couple of iPads on the bed.

00:37:48   And it's like, yes, this is obviously a great way to work in certain circumstances when

00:37:54   you're doing stuff.

00:37:55   It is just clearly so nice to be able to do that.

00:38:00   - One of the things that I'm finding interesting

00:38:03   is the management of the devices.

00:38:05   That's something that I'm really trying

00:38:07   to wrap my head around, because I'm not doing this

00:38:09   in the same way that you are.

00:38:11   I'm setting the devices up differently,

00:38:13   but not purposely differently.

00:38:14   I'm not locking them down in the way that you do.

00:38:17   You only have certain apps and certain devices.

00:38:21   I'm pretty much replicating them,

00:38:23   But trying to work out what the best way is to manage that

00:38:26   is an interesting dilemma that I'm going through.

00:38:30   But I really love it.

00:38:32   It's just superb.

00:38:35   - Yeah, if you're trying to keep two iPads

00:38:37   in perfect sync with each other,

00:38:39   you need to go to some higher level solution,

00:38:42   like the various Apple device management solutions.

00:38:45   That's just what you need to do.

00:38:47   Whereas if you're using the gray method,

00:38:50   the clearly superior method,

00:38:52   which is limiting iPads for a purpose, then you don't have any of these problems.

00:38:56   These are opposite philosophies. I want a device

00:39:00   for a particular purpose, and it is set up explicitly for that purpose.

00:39:04   And then that negates an enormous number of the managing

00:39:08   devices trying to keep them all in sync, headaches and problems

00:39:12   that can occur. But I think it's the better path.

00:39:16   You shouldn't have all the same apps on all the same devices.

00:39:20   It's not exactly the same, but it's pretty much the same.

00:39:24   And I just need to see how it's gonna go for me over time.

00:39:28   Because I like being able to,

00:39:29   like if I'm using the small iPad

00:39:31   and I need to do something in a certain app,

00:39:34   I like that I can just grab it and do it.

00:39:36   I'm not really as far down that route as you are.

00:39:40   I mean, I think what you can tell, dear listener,

00:39:44   over the course of this show,

00:39:45   is I'm slowly transitioning or being brainwashed.

00:39:50   to work like you, so who knows what's gonna happen

00:39:53   - Is that? No, no. - in a few months time.

00:39:55   There's no brainwashing. You yourself said it last time.

00:39:57   The things I'm doing, they might sound ridiculous,

00:40:01   but if I have a chance to explain them, they're actually quite reasonable.

00:40:04   That's what makes it so frustrating.

00:40:05   Yeah.

00:40:06   Is that everything seems like just... madness,

00:40:10   but then you break it down and I seem to be able to understand it.

00:40:14   Yeah, I'm a very reasonable. I'm a very reasonable guy.

00:40:17   There was something that I wanted to put in the show notes

00:40:19   because it made me laugh so much. And there was a guy called Cody on Twitter created a

00:40:24   breaking news image of the two of us.

00:40:27   I just thought it's so... I just want to put this in here because it so perfectly encapsulates

00:40:34   me and you.

00:40:36   Yeah, this was an excellent piece of Cortex-related artwork by Cody Williams and I just absolutely

00:40:45   love it. I love it because of the coloring. So what they did was they took the version

00:40:53   of me from the Star Trek animated one. The ultimate gray. Right. Ultimate gray? Okay.

00:40:59   Ultimate gray. Alright. And then they took, you posted this like power puffed version

00:41:06   of yourself on the internet and they combined the two of these so like you looking like

00:41:11   a Powerpuff Girl with a pink star and all of these colors are on the projection screen

00:41:18   that I normally use when I'm talking about stuff. But everything in my universe is just

00:41:22   gray, right? There's no color at all. And even just the way that things look like, of

00:41:28   course my animated version of myself has no mouth or anything, but like you have these

00:41:32   huge eyes and like big smile and it just... The contrast of these two images I think is

00:41:38   hilarious like this is this is a great great piece of show artwork and the news

00:41:42   headline it's like a breaking news thing like you're the news anchor and this is

00:41:46   breaking news bearded man buys two iPad pros doubles productivity yeah perfect

00:41:51   it's so good it's just so good ten out of ten that's that's the award for that

00:41:56   one it's really good I also noticed whilst we're on iPad productivity that

00:42:02   you posted a little blog post kind of going into detail a little bit more on

00:42:07   on the precariously created Transformer workstation.

00:42:12   - Oh, oh yeah, so I forget the timeline of like,

00:42:15   when have I posted things?

00:42:17   I have no idea, but yeah, I guess this came up

00:42:18   after the last show, but yeah.

00:42:20   - I'm looking at these pictures and those tables,

00:42:23   like one of the legs isn't like completely,

00:42:25   oh, it's just so dangerous looking to me.

00:42:27   (laughing)

00:42:29   Like just that front left leg on the top table

00:42:32   is not like completely on the table that it's resting on.

00:42:36   I know what you think you're seeing, but they're way more stable in person than they look.

00:42:41   Those legs have a weird sheath that goes around the outside of them, so it makes them look more off-center than they actually are.

00:42:48   Trust me, the contact point is entirely on the table.

00:42:52   So don't worry about my crazy double table standing desk thing there.

00:42:56   It's working just fine, it doesn't move an inch when I actually use it.

00:42:59   But yes, for listeners of Cortex, I did put a very brief article up on my website where I was just detailing a little bit the details of how I set up what I'm thinking of as my writing monastery here, where it's the place that I just go to write.

00:43:15   write and it was just a couple of things about how you can actually hook up a mechanical

00:43:21   keyboard to an iPad which I wasn't 100% sure if I could get that to work because I was

00:43:28   using some older Apple technology this like lightning camera adapter thing like oh man

00:43:32   this has a USB port maybe I can plug my keyboard into this and plug it into the iPad and it

00:43:37   It totally works.

00:43:38   And I have to say, this has got to be like my favorite way of writing ever is having

00:43:48   the iPad as the screen and especially the big pro, like that gigantic screen, and then

00:43:56   having a mechanical keyboard connected to it.

00:43:58   It is just writing bliss.

00:44:02   I totally, totally love this setup.

00:44:06   It is just fantastic.

00:44:07   It's absolutely fantastic.

00:44:08   Whilst we're talking about things that make me feel uncomfortable, the stand that you're

00:44:15   using, the fact that it doesn't really grip the iPad properly, I don't like that.

00:44:22   It's terrifying me.

00:44:24   It's fine.

00:44:25   It grips it mostly.

00:44:26   Mostly.

00:44:27   Mostly fine.

00:44:28   The thing only costs $1000.

00:44:30   Mostly gripping it whilst sitting atop two tables is no problem.

00:44:36   I couldn't find any better iPad stands at the time.

00:44:39   And it's fine.

00:44:40   I think it's more secure than it looks.

00:44:42   - Yeah, I've been looking for stands

00:44:43   and it doesn't really seem to be much

00:44:46   in the way of like being able to hold something up

00:44:48   in front of your face.

00:44:50   - Yeah, because that's the key thing.

00:44:51   Like I want that to be vertical and at eye level.

00:44:54   Like that's what I'm looking for

00:44:55   and that's what I've accomplished with this setup.

00:44:58   But it is glorious.

00:45:00   It's glorious mic, mechanical typing on an iPad Pro.

00:45:03   It's living the dream.

00:45:04   That's what it is.

00:45:06   - There's something in this image that I've noticed

00:45:09   and there are two docks in this image.

00:45:12   What looks like a phone dock and a watch dock on that table.

00:45:17   Which makes me wonder, I make an assumption

00:45:21   that when you write, you take your watch off and your phone

00:45:23   and you put them there so they don't distract you.

00:45:25   - Part of this is that I like to have the ability

00:45:28   to charge whatever, wherever I am.

00:45:30   So I just want to have it, like I never want

00:45:32   to have the inconvenience of not being able

00:45:34   charge something. There's two things that are happening here. One of which is that I

00:45:43   do sleep with the Apple Watch and so my Apple Watch gets charged a little bit in the evening

00:45:52   and a little bit in the morning. But sometimes, like depending on how long it's been charging

00:45:58   in the evening or in the morning, the Apple Watch charge can be a little low. And so I

00:46:02   I wanted an Apple Watch charger in this office space because what I was running into sometimes is like,

00:46:08   "Okay, if my Apple Watch charge is slightly low, and then it is also a day where I'm going to the gym

00:46:15   and I'm using the explicit gym tracking, exercise tracking stuff in the Apple Watch, which drains the battery a lot."

00:46:21   Like, I was occasionally not getting through a full day with the Apple Watch, which was kind of annoying.

00:46:26   So I have a little charger here so that if the battery happens to be low, I can just pop it on

00:46:33   while I do a bit of writing and then it's totally fine for the rest of the day. So I don't actually

00:46:38   take the Apple Watch off entirely for distraction purposes. Like I'm not a crazy person, right? Like

00:46:44   we all have our limits, right? So I just do it if it needs to be charged. That's the only thing.

00:46:52   The phone, however, my gigantic iPhone 6 Plus, yes, I do take it out of my pocket and I put it on the charger there

00:47:01   because I don't... when I'm pacing back and forth, somehow the bigness of it is more physically noticeable in my pocket

00:47:09   like when I'm taking three steps forward, like turning around and walking three steps back

00:47:12   I don't know, something about it then just really does bother me, so I do put the phone on that dock while I'm pacing back and forth

00:47:18   So that's what those things are there for

00:47:20   So you wrote a little bit about your Peculiar setup and I wrote a little bit about mine.

00:47:25   Oh yeah?

00:47:26   I basically on my blog I just detailed out the modifications that I've made to the Apple Pencil.

00:47:34   Ooh.

00:47:35   Because people mention this to me quite a bit or they ask me questions.

00:47:40   So the main modifications that I've made is adding a pen clip to stop the pencil from rolling.

00:47:46   I've added a pen loop to my iPad so I have somewhere to put the pencil at all times,

00:47:52   so it's always attached to my iPad.

00:47:54   And then of course the Apple Pencil Skin by dbrand.

00:47:58   So I just wanted to kind of put the links to those in a specific place where people

00:48:03   could find them or I could send them and also talk about why I do the things that I do with

00:48:08   some of my devices.

00:48:09   And a lot of it is about customization for me.

00:48:13   And I truly love something like love a product or love some device or something.

00:48:17   I have always found that I customize it to make it feel more like my own, which is why

00:48:21   I put stickers on the devices that I love.

00:48:25   Because for me, it's like I'm making this mine, which is why the skin is on the pencil.

00:48:31   Like it does add additional grip, but I'm like, no, this is more fun.

00:48:34   This feels more like it's part of my personality than just this white stick.

00:48:40   So that's why that's there.

00:48:41   You know, I think the other things, especially the pen loop, the pen loop is easily the best thing that I've done here because

00:48:48   my pencil is always attached to my iPad and

00:48:51   I love that. Why don't you keep it in your pocket? No, because that doesn't make any sense. What about when I'm at home?

00:48:58   I have a pocket, if it's my pocket at home, it doesn't work. It's just always attached to the iPad.

00:49:03   What do you mean it doesn't work? I don't even understand what you're saying.

00:49:05   What? Do you walk around the home, your home in your pajamas with an Apple pencil in your pocket?

00:49:10   The Apple pencil I feel like it is always either in my hand or in my pocket

00:49:15   But but like your pajamas if I'm like sitting on the couch in my pajamas and the Apple pencil is in my hand

00:49:20   I'm probably on the iPad right now

00:49:21   See look my thing is I don't want to ever have to remember to pick this thing up

00:49:27   It's like if I pick up my iPad my pencil is with it. Hmm

00:49:31   It's not something else. I have to remember to pack

00:49:34   It's I never lose it

00:49:36   I know a lot of people that lose them or misplace them.

00:49:39   This never happens because when I'm not using it, it's in that pen loop which is attached

00:49:43   to my iPad.

00:49:44   B: Yeah, again, for listeners who are just hearing this, Myke has this like velcro-y

00:49:49   sticker thing that's on the side of his iPad that has a little loop that he can stick the

00:49:54   pencil through.

00:49:55   S; Yeah, a little elastic loop.

00:49:56   B; I'm not sold on this.

00:49:57   It looks like it would make the iPad rock on a surface maybe.

00:50:00   S; It's possible, but I don't ever have the back of the iPad just touching a surface because

00:50:06   because I have the smart keyboard on it all the time.

00:50:08   So if the iPad's laying flat, the smart keyboard is on it

00:50:11   and it doesn't rock when the smart keyboard's on it.

00:50:13   - Maybe, maybe.

00:50:15   - It works for me.

00:50:16   I think it is a good addition for people.

00:50:19   I definitely think a clip as well is good.

00:50:22   - Yeah, I'm much more sold on your, the clip.

00:50:25   Like I keep thinking about, I need to order a couple

00:50:27   of those and try to attach them to a pencil

00:50:30   and see how it works.

00:50:31   Because again, it's in my pockets, right?

00:50:33   So I would like to put the clip on the edge of my pocket,

00:50:37   right when I have it in my pants, but.

00:50:39   - Yeah, this is a tricky thing.

00:50:41   So like I say in the post,

00:50:43   the clip I don't necessarily recommend

00:50:46   for heavy duty clipping onto things

00:50:48   because the clip will slide off

00:50:50   unless you try and tighten it.

00:50:53   So using a pair of pliers

00:50:55   to kind of shrink the space of the thing

00:50:57   and then kind of force it onto the pencil and it will work.

00:51:01   But I don't recommend that.

00:51:03   I mainly used a clip just to stop the thing rolling.

00:51:07   Unless you glued it on.

00:51:09   - I could glue it on.

00:51:10   I could live with that.

00:51:11   - That would be the other thing that I would say.

00:51:12   You could glue it on there

00:51:13   and then you'd be good to rock and roll.

00:51:15   - Yeah, I could live with that.

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00:53:28   When we had lunch the other day, you mentioned to me that you wanted four iPads.

00:53:33   Okay, no, we were just...

00:53:36   No, you said this and then I said, "I'm putting it in the document," and I poured out my phone

00:53:41   and I opened Quip and I added it into our document. Because you said four.

00:53:47   Okay.

00:53:48   You know, you've been saying on this show that you've consolidated, but now you're expanding again.

00:53:52   Okay, so let's just briefly, briefly, we're looping back here to using multiple iPads.

00:53:58   Uh-huh.

00:53:58   And I will say that when we first talked, I had just barely been using the two iPads Pro.

00:54:07   And the iPad Mini.

00:54:09   Yeah, and the iPad Mini, which is functioning as a Kindle.

00:54:12   I still say that barely counts. I just mention it because people will get angry if you don't.

00:54:17   But so one of the things that I was originally thinking, and we discussed last episode, was when I'm working out,

00:54:27   "Okay, what is every device for?"

00:54:29   And I have to say, now having done this for a while longer than at the time when we spoke,

00:54:36   I am absolutely, totally loving the completely pared down phone.

00:54:42   that the phone, I'm just constantly stripping

00:54:45   as much off of there as I possibly can,

00:54:47   and I can tell that, yes, this is the correct decision.

00:54:50   Like, I really do like this.

00:54:51   I'm much happier about this.

00:54:53   As much as I cannot have the phone do,

00:54:56   I want that to be the case.

00:54:58   And so moving activities to the iPads instead.

00:55:03   And so my Baby Pro is acting in this dual role

00:55:10   It is both the iPad that if I'm just sitting on the couch and watching TV late at night that I'll relax with like I'll play a game on it.

00:55:17   You know, I mentioned last time Xcom with the pencil is super fun on the Baby Pro.

00:55:21   Like it's a great example of a game that just works better if you have a precision pointing device.

00:55:26   But I'm also using that

00:55:28   Pro as my notification center. So as much as possible I am funneling all

00:55:35   work notifications through that and this means

00:55:40   lots of instant messages, lots of Slack, VIP email notifications and thread notifications.

00:55:47   These are the kinds of things that I'm saying like,

00:55:49   "Which device in the house is going to be the device that displays notifications?"

00:55:52   It's this one.

00:55:54   And I have filtered it so that the device itself doesn't really beep or make any noises,

00:56:02   but I've set it up so that all of these things appear in Notification Center when I pull it down.

00:56:07   And so this is my way of trying to say like,

00:56:10   "Okay, I have this device that I can use to relax,

00:56:13   but that if I flip into a specific mode,

00:56:16   if I pull down Notification Center,

00:56:18   I can see all of the stuff that's there waiting for me."

00:56:22   And when we spoke and I made this remark about having four iPads,

00:56:28   I was originally thinking,

00:56:29   "Maybe I need to split this one into two."

00:56:32   That there's an administration work machine here,

00:56:34   here and there's also a personal device like is it better to have these separated?

00:56:39   And having worked with it so far like I'm not actually sure that it is. I think it has actually been

00:56:45   quite good for me to

00:56:49   be able to see like when people on work related stuff send me messages on

00:56:54   Slack even when I'm just sitting on the couch like I actually kind of like having these two devices be the same

00:57:01   thing. So I'm not actually like dying to go to run out and buy like yet another iPad Pro

00:57:08   I think it's actually been working out really well for me to have these these two things

00:57:13   be in a single device and I think people that I work with have

00:57:18   noticed and commented on that it like the turnaround times between sending me stuff and getting replies

00:57:23   Has definitely gone down like I have been more responsive to people with this setup

00:57:29   So I'm actually quite liking it so far, though I am using the Baby Pro in this somewhat hilarious way

00:57:38   in that I am using the Big Pro keyboard with the Baby Pro all the time, because

00:57:45   now that my Big Pro is mounted as a display in my writing monastery, it's like, "Oh, I have this keyboard that I don't need to use."

00:57:51   "Oh, right, but the smart connector, it works on both of these devices."

00:57:55   And like, I totally love using the giant keyboard with the Baby Pro.

00:57:59   So like sitting on the couch and using that keyboard with the Baby Pro, it's super stable,

00:58:07   it's really easy to type on, it's very light.

00:58:10   Like I'm really quite enjoying this as a little workstation, even though it looks quite dorky

00:58:15   to actually use it that way.

00:58:17   Yeah, I'm one of the lucky few that was able to get one of the little keyboards.

00:58:21   Yeah, I have to say, whoever is on the iPad Pro keyboard design team, like those people

00:58:29   deserve the biggest A+ ever.

00:58:33   Because I think they have such incredible design constraints

00:58:36   and they have pulled off an amazingly usable keyboard

00:58:40   given what they have to work with.

00:58:42   And when I first ordered my Baby Pro,

00:58:44   I didn't even bother getting the keyboard cover

00:58:47   because I thought,

00:58:47   I've never used a constrained little keyboard

00:58:50   that was usable at all.

00:58:52   But I did want to just try it out in the Apple store,

00:58:54   like just out of interest to see how did it work.

00:58:56   I was amazed, like,

00:58:57   "Oh, I can type on this thing better than I've ever been able to type on any tiny keyboard."

00:59:02   - Yeah. - And what I did in the Apple store was,

00:59:05   I was like, "Okay, let me see how this works."

00:59:07   I took the tiny keyboard off and physically held it over one of the larger keyboards.

00:59:14   And then it was like, "Ah, okay, I can see what you've done here, Apple."

00:59:17   You have just barely, barely squidged together the typing keys,

00:59:24   like the minimum amount that you possibly could by sacrificing all of the

00:59:29   Side keys like the tab and the shift and the carriage return all this stuff. They're all super tiny those ones

00:59:35   Yeah, they are really tiny

00:59:37   But the end result is like oh, this is actually a surprisingly impressive

00:59:42   Little keyboard. So I maybe I'll use that in the future. Maybe I won't I don't know

00:59:49   But either way like A+ double thumbs up work Apple

00:59:54   Fotable keyboard team like you've done an amazing job with these things

00:59:57   I had a little bit of a tweet storm the other day about like my vision of the iPad future

01:00:03   and I went to I went to find an image of you know, like a

01:00:07   Star Trek captain somewhere using a bunch of iPads. So I found this image of Picard using

01:00:13   Having like a whole big pile of iPads on his desk again

01:00:17   so that it immediately reads to the audience, and I'm like, "That's a man who's getting a lot of work done!"

01:00:20   Because there's iPads everywhere!

01:00:22   But what I didn't realize until I went to find that image is that they're called PADs in Star Trek.

01:00:27   Like, I never knew there was a name for those things. It's like P-A-D-D.

01:00:32   And I forget, you know, it's personal something digital device.

01:00:35   I was like, "Oh, okay, well, I'm even more sold now, right?

01:00:38   Like, how close could this possibly be? It's like Star Trek, always predicting the future.

01:00:42   They're even called PADs. Captains use a whole bunch of them. This is just the way it's going."

01:00:46   Ready for trucks?

01:00:48   You wanna talk about trucks, Myke?

01:00:50   Yeah, I feel like we should have spoken about trucks weeks ago.

01:00:54   We should have spoken about trucks weeks ago.

01:00:56   But we've been so busy.

01:00:58   We have been so busy.

01:01:00   And poor you, talking to me today.

01:01:04   I may be only mentally capable of talking about trucks at this point.

01:01:08   [laughs]

01:01:10   So American Truck Simulator came out.

01:01:12   [laughs]

01:01:14   Boy did it. Boy did it.

01:01:18   And it's so good. So good. I've played it a bunch. I haven't been playing it recently

01:01:25   because I haven't had the situations. I tend to play it when I'm editing something or I'm

01:01:30   just sitting at the computer for a long period of time and I haven't really had that stuff

01:01:34   recently, just due to a bunch of travel things. But I hooked up a PlayStation controller to

01:01:40   to my Mac and it's perfect for me.

01:01:44   'Cause that was my problem when I was trying

01:01:45   to play Euro Truck, is I just couldn't enjoy it

01:01:48   with the keyboard.

01:01:49   And being a console peasant as I am,

01:01:54   I decided to try out the PlayStation controller

01:02:00   and all I need to do is just plug it in

01:02:01   with the mini USB into my Mac, you can use Bluetooth too

01:02:04   but it works better 'cause then it doesn't accidentally

01:02:06   turn on my PlayStation and I'm able to just drive

01:02:09   everything around. I customized a bunch of buttons so it does all the things that I need.

01:02:14   And I am driving back and forth from Las Vegas, man, and I am just having the very best time.

01:02:22   Just the very best time.

01:02:23   Yeah, we've been overdue on a little bit of video game talk on this show. I know people

01:02:28   might find it weird that on a podcast which largely focuses on our working world that

01:02:34   we also tack on video game talk at the end.

01:02:37   But I really do feel that, for me,

01:02:40   the video games are a part of the cycle of work.

01:02:44   And so I forget when American Truck Simulator came out

01:02:47   exactly, but it was just slightly

01:02:49   before my last push of videos.

01:02:53   I think it was the Star Trek one.

01:02:54   I can't remember.

01:02:55   No, I think it was America Pox.

01:02:57   Oh, yeah, of course.

01:02:58   Of course, that's right.

01:02:59   It was America Pox Part 2.

01:03:00   That's what it was, of course.

01:03:02   I was like, something in my brain thought like it's not going to work because it was some huge thing I was working on

01:03:06   So yeah, it was America pox

01:03:08   but I totally view this as part of like the working

01:03:13   the cycle and

01:03:16   after getting a video up and after having that big push to get it up and and the kind of relief of

01:03:23   Having something up especially for a producer like me who like with the videos. There's not a huge number of them

01:03:29   It's not like podcasts that come out all the time so there's less of fanfare with them.

01:03:32   The videos are just these big stressful huge events in my working calendar and so

01:03:39   I always just deeply feel the need to decompress after one of those and

01:03:45   the harder work has been

01:03:48   the more I feel this need to decompress and yeah that America pox video. I remember when that was out

01:03:56   I was just so mentally exhausted that America Truck Simulator was like a gift from heaven

01:04:04   to me at that point.

01:04:07   I just played it, I think for two days straight, and I did an unusual thing which is normally if I'll play a game like that

01:04:15   I'll be listening to something like an audiobook or podcast or whatever like they just go together so well

01:04:19   But I wasn't even mentally capable of doing that. I was just playing it just

01:04:25   Silence right just the engine noise. I was just sitting there. That's how I actually tend to play the game

01:04:31   I don't know how you do that. Normally that's crazy. I like listening to the sounds of the cars and yeah

01:04:36   It is nice. Yeah, this is not my normal experience, but I just did that for two days because it's like

01:04:42   It it is almost meditative

01:04:46   It is one of the very few ways in which like I can just kind of calm my brain

01:04:49   And don't think about work and just do this thing

01:04:52   That is quite possibly the best way to describe this game when I play

01:04:56   American Truck Simulator I am in like another world

01:05:00   Mm-hmm, like because I don't think I've played a less a less high-stakes game than this

01:05:06   Oh, I know. I know there are no stakes in American Truck Simulator. Like if you crash into someone it's fine

01:05:12   Yeah, like nobody dies. No cars explode like, you know, you might just lose $100 like just things that ever it's like this fine

01:05:20   You could just just side like just side swipe something. No problem. Yeah, it's fine

01:05:25   Which is you know you get a ticket, but if you know if you have a couple of employees working for you, whatever

01:05:31   It doesn't matter. They'll they'll pay off the ticket very shortly. You don't have to worry about it

01:05:34   See that's like pro level stuff

01:05:36   You know the way that I'm playing currently is probably a way that nobody plays this game

01:05:40   I'm driving until I own enough money to buy my own truck, but like outright no loans

01:05:46   I'm just gonna keep doing keep taking these ten thousand dollar jobs or whatever until I've raised a couple hundred thousand dollars

01:05:53   And then I'm gonna buy my very own truck and then I'm just gonna drive it around

01:05:57   Yeah

01:05:58   So, you know I at least have to have some kind of stake because I'll take out a half million dollar loan and buy everything

01:06:04   That I possibly can and then you have to work towards paying off the loan

01:06:07   Yes, you know, so that's putting stress into the game, right? I just wanna

01:06:12   Get in the truck and drive it.

01:06:14   Even then, the way the game is set up, it's almost impossible not to be okay.

01:06:19   You're gonna be fine even if you've taken out a $500,000 loan.

01:06:23   If you keep playing, you're gonna pay off that loan.

01:06:27   You can't not pay off that loan.

01:06:29   But this totally goes back to this idea of this meditative state.

01:06:35   You're just doing a thing, you're playing this game.

01:06:39   it requires attention. You have to be focused on it. If you don't focus on it, you will drive off the road almost immediately.

01:06:47   But the attention that it requires is so narrow and so limited in scope. There's just something about it which is clearing to the mind.

01:06:58   One of the great things about the American version is there's just lots of highway driving.

01:07:03   That's what makes it so much more pleasurable to me, is that there are massive stretches

01:07:10   of the trips where it's just straight roads.

01:07:13   Yeah, it's so nice.

01:07:15   I particularly think like, you know, when I used to do the road trips across America,

01:07:19   you do have this little bit of stress of driving in the city, but then you get on the highway

01:07:23   and you look at the GPS and it says something like "six hours until your next left hand

01:07:28   turn".

01:07:29   Okay, so I'm just straight for the next six hours.

01:07:33   Beautiful, that's just what I wanna see.

01:07:35   No intersections, nothing to worry about.

01:07:37   It is absolutely fantastic.

01:07:41   It is really like the therapy that I need

01:07:45   after a big work push.

01:07:47   And you can be sure that when this next video of mine

01:07:49   goes up, I am going to be playing American Truck Simulator

01:07:52   for a little while to just clear the mind.

01:07:57   So thank you to this company who made the game.

01:08:02   I am anxiously awaiting the release of additional states.

01:08:08   I just think, let's get more of this map in place

01:08:12   as fast as possible.

01:08:14   I really want to do a cross-country.

01:08:16   Oh, yeah, of course.

01:08:17   Everybody wants to do a cross-country.

01:08:19   Everybody wants to do a cross-country.

01:08:20   To talk about the actual game for a second, though,

01:08:24   the only thing that does slightly worry me about the game

01:08:27   is that I do find that the scale of the map is a little small.

01:08:32   The scale is so wrong.

01:08:35   Some of the trips are so quick.

01:08:37   I would prefer the scale to be a bit more...

01:08:41   I expect what they're doing is making the highways massively shorter.

01:08:45   As someone who's driven up and down California and has driven cross-country, the scale of

01:08:51   this stuff feels too short.

01:08:54   And the thing that concerns me slightly, just thinking forward to the future, is when you

01:08:59   look at the geography of America, the West Coast is relatively spread out, and the East

01:09:07   Coast is pretty compact.

01:09:09   I understand that if you're building a simulation of driving across America, scale is fundamentally

01:09:14   a difficult thing for you to deal with, because in the middle of America you have these just

01:09:19   tremendously long stretches of absolutely nothing.

01:09:23   It would be kind of stupid to build it to scale.

01:09:26   Like to actual scale.

01:09:27   I don't think that would be fun.

01:09:30   Well here's what I'm concerned about, right?

01:09:32   And here's what I'm thinking is, if you take this scale at which they have built California

01:09:38   and then you just shift it over towards the East Coast, it's going to have to be something

01:09:43   like "oh driving from New York to Boston is going to take a minute".

01:09:47   Everything is just way too close on this scale.

01:09:49   So what I wonder is like as the map gets expanded, are they going to be pulling like relativity

01:09:55   tricks here where they stretch and squish together different areas?

01:10:01   Because the cities feel pretty good, right?

01:10:04   Like driving through Vegas, it's like, okay, the scale of this part feels better than the

01:10:09   scale between Vegas and LA.

01:10:12   So I feel like the scale is fluid anyway.

01:10:15   I did see some postings on some of the forums that they're definitely screwing with time

01:10:19   and scale when you go into a city boundary.

01:10:22   And that is definitely occurring.

01:10:25   The speed at which you drive through Las Vegas,

01:10:28   it's like you're near a black hole or something, everything has slowed down.

01:10:31   And then when you leave Las Vegas, the scale speeds up again.

01:10:35   So yeah, they're definitely doing that a little bit.

01:10:38   I don't know, I almost feel like,

01:10:40   "Oh, if they do that for the big scale, for the macro scale,

01:10:43   it just feels like cheating somehow."

01:10:46   I feel like the experience of driving across a cornfield and feeling like,

01:10:53   "Dear God, is this cornfield ever going to end, or am I just going to spend the rest of my life

01:11:00   driving through this cornfield?" I think that is a valuable experience. I think that is part of the

01:11:05   feeling of driving across America. It's just like, "God, are the middle states just barren?" Sorry,

01:11:11   everybody who lives in the middle states, but it's totally true. And so I'm just worried that they're

01:11:16   they're going to compress that a little bit too much and

01:11:18   then end up making a cross-country journey feel just weird and feel

01:11:25   messed up in terms of scale and take away a little bit the feeling of accomplishment like I have driven across the country and

01:11:32   in this manner, so I don't I don't know what they're going to do. I'm very curious to see how this progresses

01:11:37   I know as we are recording currently they have California and Nevada are the parts of the map that are available

01:11:45   Arizona is coming next and it's going to be New Mexico and Texas after that.

01:11:50   So I think by then we'll have some sense of how much are they screwing with the scale if they do so at all because

01:11:56   Texas is pretty big.

01:11:59   Texas will be fun. I think Texas will be fun.

01:12:02   Yeah, I wish they were going to the Pacific Northwest first,

01:12:04   but the way that they are expanding makes total sense.

01:12:07   Like if they're trying to just increase the number of states,

01:12:09   you want to do states that are more similar instead of having to map out like radically different

01:12:14   geography, right? That's... like I'm a bit disappointed that they're going around that scoop, but that's fine.

01:12:21   Like I understand that's what they want to do when they want to get long drives in as fast as possible, but...

01:12:26   Ultimately, I don't know if they have plans to do it, but I really hope that they include Canada as well.

01:12:31   I would just... I would totally love to do a drive from like New York to San Francisco to Dead Horse, Alaska.

01:12:37   Like that would just be the greatest thing ever.

01:12:41   I don't know if they're going to do it, but boy, that would be like, shut up and take

01:12:45   my money if you want to put Canada in there as well.

01:12:49   Name your price company that makes American Truck Simulator.

01:12:52   I will pay it.

01:12:54   I would be surprised if they didn't, because I feel like they're in a very unique position

01:13:02   where this is a game that will just keep expanding and they can just keep charging for the game.

01:13:07   the expansions because they're like natural expansions that people will want because they

01:13:13   know what they want. They know what they're going to get. Like people will want to drive

01:13:17   their own states, right? Yeah. Yeah. I think it's a very interesting model and I hope that

01:13:23   it works out that way because I want all of it and I'm sure many people do. So I will

01:13:29   buy every expansion because I want all of the US in this game. Oh yeah. Yeah. Um, I

01:13:36   I am going to be a paying customer for years on this.

01:13:41   Like I said, this just feels like a little therapy session,

01:13:44   a little bit of downtime meditation time in a way that no other game is.

01:13:50   So it's funny to think that, you know, whatever it was, a year and a half ago,

01:13:54   I was totally laughing at the idea that truck simulator games were even a thing,

01:13:59   and now I'm like, "I am the number one fan,

01:14:02   like waving a foam finger with a little cap on like honking my virtual horn. This is the best!

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01:15:48   I've expressed on our show a desire that I have for me and you to drive this game together

01:15:54   at some point.

01:15:56   The European Truck Simulator had a multiplayer mod.

01:15:58   I imagine that it's coming for America Truck if it hasn't already.

01:16:02   You have expressed desire to not do this.

01:16:05   No, I have no interest in doing this.

01:16:06   But what you did do was take a drive with hundreds of other people behind my back.

01:16:13   And you Twitch streamed.

01:16:14   Okay, it's not it's not behind your back.

01:16:17   It's just a thing that I did.

01:16:18   announced it on Twitter. I don't think that counts as behind your back.

01:16:21   It is, you didn't tell me. I didn't know it happened.

01:16:23   I don't understand your emotional feelings towards this.

01:16:27   Well you wouldn't, would you?

01:16:29   No, I wouldn't.

01:16:30   No you wouldn't.

01:16:31   It's a totally different thing. It's a totally different thing to do a Twitch stream.

01:16:35   So you did this one time, right?

01:16:37   And set up a YouTube channel and you went CGP play, which is very funny.

01:16:43   And you streamed a two-hour video.

01:16:48   If you haven't done it since, did you enjoy the Twitch streaming?

01:16:51   Are you ever going to do it again?

01:16:53   Okay, so a little bit of a backstory here.

01:16:55   As we mentioned the Year of Less earlier,

01:17:00   one of the things that we haven't really talked about on the show

01:17:04   that I have been super successful with under the theme of the Year of Less

01:17:08   not thinking about or working on side projects that would require constant attention.

01:17:14   This is a thing that used to take up a bunch of my time and has taken up none of my time since January.

01:17:19   Like I have this very clear set of rules in my mind now about what kind of projects make sense for me to work on

01:17:25   and what kind of projects make no sense for me to work on.

01:17:28   And one of the things that makes no sense for me to work on is a side project that I killed,

01:17:35   which was I had been thinking forever about doing some kind of video game related YouTube channel.

01:17:41   I went so far as I have a bunch of scripts that were written that were reviews of video games,

01:17:46   like I had this whole thing that I was kind of working on.

01:17:50   And CGP Play was this YouTube channel I had set up a long time ago as like the placeholder for this eventual project.

01:17:58   It was that channel that was one of the things that kind of led to some of these initial thoughts about like,

01:18:03   "What are you doing, man? Even if this is successful, great.

01:18:06   Now you just have a whole bunch more work for yourself for this other thing."

01:18:09   I did upload it to this CGPplay channel simply because I thought,

01:18:13   "Oh, okay, well, I've killed this project. I'm never actually going to do anything seriously on it."

01:18:18   But I happen to have set up for myself this little place that works for video game-related stuff

01:18:25   if I ever want to put it up. So that's why it's there.

01:18:28   That is a tiny peek into like an abandoned side project that will never be, but sort of incidentally saw the light of day because of this.

01:18:38   What's that sound? Oh, that's a bunch of Reddit comments. I can hear them. I can hear the Reddit comments just coming in.

01:18:45   They're flooding in. "Hey, Gray! Please do a YouTube video game channel." I can hear them. They're very loud.

01:18:53   I don't think there's gonna be any comments about that.

01:18:55   You don't think that?

01:18:56   No, there's not gonna be a single comment about it.

01:18:58   No? Okay.

01:18:59   Demands for video game channel.

01:19:00   Nope. It's not going to be.

01:19:03   Listen to me, listeners.

01:19:04   There's not going to be a single comment about it.

01:19:05   It's going to be tumbleweeds.

01:19:07   Mm hmm.

01:19:08   But so I did this I did this Twitch stream,

01:19:11   partly because it was one of these things that like it just it just kind of

01:19:14   struck me.

01:19:15   I was in the mood to try to do something just a little bit different.

01:19:19   And it was one of these things as well, like.

01:19:22   As you get older in life, I think it's important and valuable to.

01:19:28   not just dismiss or cut off experiences of what the young kids do these days.

01:19:34   And so video game streaming is this thing that has always seemed kind of ridiculous to me.

01:19:38   I sort of get it, but I just sort of don't.

01:19:41   And so I wanted to do with Twitch stream entirely just because.

01:19:45   First of all, can I just set this up? Can I get this working?

01:19:49   And let me experience the subjective nature of what it is to do a Twitch stream.

01:19:53   And the answer was, at least for the first one, it was so hilarious that there are sections on that video where you don't hear anything

01:20:03   because what's happening on my end is I am laughing so hard that it's silent laughter where there's tears streaming down my face.

01:20:12   Laughter circuits broken! Like error, error, right? It was just too funny.

01:20:17   because you can't see it on the screen, but like people make jokes and the whole

01:20:22   Just the whole situation seemed absurd like at one point

01:20:26   I don't know there were like 300 people watching and it turned out like I was the number one live streaming American truck simulator player

01:20:32   But like I didn't I didn't set it up right so the video didn't have any title. It was just like untitled stream and all like

01:20:39   It just done everything wrong and the whole thing was just ridiculous, but

01:20:44   The thing I love about the internet is like people make really funny jokes when they're in semi-anonymous situations

01:20:49   like that's just the way humans work and so people were

01:20:53   talking to me over text and I was kind of talking back and the whole thing seemed absurd and I

01:20:57   Cannot really talk when I'm playing video games

01:21:02   And so if you watch the stream you will see like the truck is swerving all over the place like you're horrific

01:21:08   It's the worst driving I have ever seen. Yeah, like you're just going down a highway

01:21:14   Just snaking the thing. It's horrible.

01:21:18   Yeah, yeah. As someone pointed out, there's a point in the middle where what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to like, eat my lunch while I'm driving.

01:21:26   And there's a point at which I have to take my hands off the controller to open up this protein bar that I was eating.

01:21:32   Tons of people point out like the driving all of a sudden becomes way better when I just take my hands off a wheel.

01:21:38   And when I'm actively trying to drive the truck.

01:21:41   It's just because I can't talk and play the game at the same time.

01:21:44   Like these seem to be mutually exclusive areas of my brain.

01:21:46   Let's double check something.

01:21:48   You set off the wheel.

01:21:49   You haven't got a wheel, have you?

01:21:50   No, I don't have a real wheel.

01:21:51   Okay.

01:21:52   I know you wanted one, so I wanted to do something on that.

01:21:55   I want a wheel, I want a VR headset, I want a motion simulated machine.

01:22:01   I want all of these things.

01:22:02   You want a VR headset?

01:22:04   This is something I was interested in finding out from you if you were interested in VR

01:22:09   and it sounds like you are great.

01:22:11   I don't know. I don't know. Myke, maybe. Maybe.

01:22:13   That's going to... We'll come back to that.

01:22:15   Yeah, we'll revisit that.

01:22:17   VR is going to be a thing later this year, guys.

01:22:19   You can wait for that.

01:22:20   Oh man, I'm so excited about the PSVR.

01:22:22   Because I don't have a desire to buy a multiple thousand dollar Windows PC

01:22:29   to use an Oculus, I'm afraid.

01:22:30   You'll keep it eventually, I'm sure.

01:22:33   Maybe.

01:22:36   But yeah, so it was a thing I did and it was fun.

01:22:39   And so I played American Truck Simulator with a bunch of people.

01:22:43   But that is fundamentally different from just doing some kind of multiplayer game with you.

01:22:47   Yeah, of course it is.

01:22:48   - Yep. - It's just totally wrong.

01:22:50   - Yeah, no. - It doesn't feel right.

01:22:51   It's not what I want out of my video gaming experience at all.

01:22:54   Is Myke right there next to me, making me feel uncomfortable with his presence.

01:22:59   Somebody's sitting in the truck with you, being a different truck.

01:23:02   I just want to drive on a highway by myself into the sunset.

01:23:08   That's what I want to do.

01:23:10   Before we wrap up today.

01:23:11   Yeah.

01:23:12   OmniFocus.

01:23:14   We should revisit something with OmniFocus.

01:23:16   OK, yeah, we do have to mention this.

01:23:19   We can't not, right?

01:23:21   Otherwise, there will be so many tweets

01:23:23   that I just don't want to deal with.

01:23:24   Yeah.

01:23:26   So after the show went out, Ken Case,

01:23:29   who is the CEO of the Omni Group who make OmniFocus,

01:23:32   issued a public statement basically saying that,

01:23:37   based on our show, they are working on something that they think will make you and Cortex systems

01:23:43   very happy.

01:23:45   And then subsequently over the next couple of days, what they have announced is a kind

01:23:52   of scripting that is being done in OmniFocus, like a template that they're putting into

01:23:58   place which you will execute in an external application which will allow you to create

01:24:04   project templates inside of OmniFocus and they're taking advantage of a bunch of features

01:24:10   inside of iOS that people use like callback URLs and stuff and I'll put a link to a kind

01:24:16   of a post written by Kane Case on the OmniFocus kind of forum about this.

01:24:21   This is a little bit over my head what's going on here.

01:24:26   Yeah there's two things that are occurring here, there's two separate things here, it's

01:24:30   It's a little bit complicated, but what you said there is they have a URL scheme that

01:24:36   they have built.

01:24:38   URL schemes are how automation was first done on iOS back in, I don't know, iOS 7 or 8 days?

01:24:44   I don't remember when this got started.

01:24:46   It's around then.

01:24:47   That was where it really started to kick off.

01:24:49   Basically, they are a way for apps to talk to each other.

01:24:54   And so what OmniFocus has made available is this URL scheme.

01:24:57   And what this means is that other apps can now talk to OmniFocus in more specific ways

01:25:05   than what we were discussing last time about just being able to add something to the inbox.

01:25:11   So they built a URL scheme that contains data for start dates, defer dates, and a bunch

01:25:17   of other pieces of information that can be included here.

01:25:22   So this is in beta for them, meaning that other applications can then start to develop

01:25:28   their own things to work with this.

01:25:30   And presumably, fingers crossed, hopefully Workflow will be one of the apps that will

01:25:35   do something like this.

01:25:36   So just like as we were discussing last time, Workflow has this plugin for To Do that allows

01:25:42   you to write scripts and to automate a bunch of stuff so that Workflow can talk to To Do.

01:25:48   that is something that will be coming at some point in workflow for OmniFocus, that they

01:25:52   can build in a way to talk to OmniFocus in a scripted, programmable manner.

01:25:59   I mean, that's what I want, because the way that they're doing it right now is basically

01:26:03   you're writing out the script by hand, and I can't really wrap my head around this really

01:26:09   easily.

01:26:10   But I can with workflow.

01:26:12   So what you're touching on there is that there is a second, totally unrelated thing that

01:26:17   is also happening at the same time, which is that OmniFocus is building in a direct

01:26:26   understanding of like task paper so that you can write out a project in task paper format

01:26:36   and have a program like editorial, which understands task paper, feed that into OmniFocus.

01:26:43   This is a separate thing, it requires a separate script to convert task paper into OmniFocus.

01:26:50   What is task paper?

01:26:51   I would say the one sentence description might be "Task paper is markdown for to-do lists."

01:26:57   It's a way to specify very basic to-do lists just using a few symbols.

01:27:03   So you have a text file and you would say something like "Encryption video project"

01:27:08   and then you put a colon and that's an indication like "This is a project" and then you do

01:27:12   return space hyphen and then you start typing out like task one and hyphen task two hyphen task three

01:27:19   kind of like a programming language for to-do lists yeah the very basicest most simplest one

01:27:26   ever like how markdown is a simplified version of html that's exactly it uh that that's what task

01:27:32   paper is now i have never used task paper because it's just way too simple for my needs if i was

01:27:39   I was gonna go text only task manager,

01:27:42   I would go for org mode.

01:27:44   Call out to all the Emacs people out there,

01:27:46   give me a high five.

01:27:47   - I have no idea what you're saying, like these words.

01:27:49   - Don't you worry your pretty little head about it, Myke.

01:27:52   - Okay.

01:27:52   - So I've never used task paper, but I've been aware of it.

01:27:57   And I think this is a really interesting thing

01:28:00   that Omni is doing, because it allows you

01:28:03   to have a text file that can be the representative

01:28:07   a project like this text file is the template for what I want to do. Now,

01:28:12   unfortunately,

01:28:14   because I am in the middle of this huge animation push, like I saw that this was available,

01:28:20   KenCase was nice enough to get me invited into the beta, which I

01:28:25   immediately accepted and I wanted to play around with a little bit. The only thing I was able to do was just

01:28:32   get it on my phone,

01:28:34   Confirm that I could run the example one that they did like he had a little three line

01:28:39   Example, so I just got that installed. I wanted to see like can I get this to work boom okay great it installs

01:28:46   I would love to play around with this more

01:28:50   This is this is exactly the kind of thing that I should be talking about in more detail on cortex

01:28:54   But because this has come in the middle of my huge animation push

01:28:57   I was able to give this like exactly 20 minutes of my attention on one of my breaks so unfortunately

01:29:03   I can't speak fully about it right now, but you can be sure that after the video is up,

01:29:10   after I Zen out my brain on American Truck Simulator, then I'm going to be giving this

01:29:15   a lot of my attention and seeing if it will suit my needs.

01:29:19   I think that's the right kind of way to look at it because it is in beta, it is real early,

01:29:25   people were putting it through its paces. I think if you tried to do it now,

01:29:29   your opinions would be very different to what they might be in a couple of weeks time,

01:29:32   some of the bugs are being ironed out.

01:29:34   Yeah, yeah, and I just very quickly tried like one modification and immediately ran into a problem

01:29:39   then I was like, you know what? I can't even start down this road of thinking about it all like just just you know

01:29:43   abort abort come back later come back later and

01:29:45   also as we have discussed slightly before I am

01:29:48   increasingly

01:29:52   more reluctant as a

01:29:54   person to be running super important parts of my life on on beta software

01:29:59   But I can definitely say like OmniGroup you

01:30:03   definitely have my attention with this and I can't wait to play around with it a bit more and

01:30:09   I'll let I'll let Cortex listeners know what the result is once I've been able to do that and

01:30:16   our campaign continues to march on as

01:30:19   We're pushing for more iPads in every home and more automation in every app

01:30:26   Oh, is that part of the Gray Hurley 2016 campaign?

01:30:29   Yeah, it's part of the manifesto.

01:30:31   It's part of the platform.

01:30:32   Yeah, so it's like campaign platform.

01:30:33   It's iPads in every home, automation in every app.

01:30:36   Great!

01:30:37   I love it.

01:30:38   Sold!

01:30:39   Gray Hurley 2016.