A-Players: Week of November 8th

Oy, what a week.

Between yesterday's tragic events in Paris, the iPad Pro launch, and a couple of projects I got to finish off this week, it's been a roller-coaster of some of my favorite and least favorite things about the world.

First off, much like my friend Álvaro did I'll steer you to better news outlets than me to read about the terrible attacks on Paris yesterday - specifically here, here, and here. I don't know that I can write anything eloquent enough to really sum up how awful what happened was, but my heart and thoughts have truly been with the Parisians today. Please try and do some of the same over the coming days, and maybe think about donating to some of the causes that can help.

In the rest of the week's news, the iPad Pro came out this week both online and in stores. I went and checked one out in order to give some first impressions of it, but there have been a bevy of great pieces of writing about Apple's newest device. The iPhones have been good, and the Apple TV may be a little rough around the edges, but I think the iPad Pro will prove to be Apple's most controversial new product this fall - no competition. I enjoyed getting to pore over so many great writer's takes on the device - and you'll find one or two of such pieces linked below.

In my own life, this was the first week in several where I truly felt creative and productive - and they're feelings I'm very glad to have reincorporated back into my life. I got to publish a couple small pieces here on the blog, and finished up work on several pieces that you'll see go up on the Tools & Toys site throughout next week. They're what I think is some of my best work ever, and I hope you guys will enjoy them once their live.

Finally, I thank you guys again for reading along with me - and I hope you all have terrific weeks. Think of France in your time as well.


  • How Apple TV Turned Me Into a Game Developer — Medium - A great writeup from new-game-dev Alexander Repty on the process he went through to take his game Cosmos from idea to launch. While Alexander was a developer beforehand, stories like this one are encouraging to "civvies" like me - and help me keep hope alive that one day I'll get to make an app of my own. Either way, I liked Alex's piece - and whether or not you're deep into development I think it's a cool read just for the insight into indie development work.

  • The Isar Rucksack Review — Tools and Toys - Making his Tools and Toys debut, Thomas Wong wowed me with his review of the Côte&Ciel Isar Rucksack. Côte&Ciel is a French bag brand that I've had an eye on for a year or two now - their designs are always ultra modern and minimal while still managing to offer utilitarian functionality. Thomas reviewed the Isar well with some gorgeous photography and good explanation of the bag's "duffel+zippered pocket" layout. I'm (thankfully 😉 ) not in the market for a new bag, but I'm glad that theres another solid review of the Isar out there now. Between this and Andrew Kim's piece on the opinionated pack, I'd say it looks like a pretty good option.

  • Living with a 12” Screen — The Brooks Review - Someone ought to give Ben Brooks a medal for the amount of content he's putting out this month. Ben took on a NaNoWriMo-blog challenge to reach 50,000 words of work typed for his site during the month of November, and from what I can see he's doing quite well. New articles pop up on The Brooks Review almost every day, and I've loved getting to read every one of them so far - including this piece of his discussing why he prefers a 12" screen at the end of his day. Much like Ben I've tried a large-screen setup before, and eventually made my way back down to a compact form factor with my iPad Air 2. There's something to be said for only having one or maybe two things on-screen at once. Ben says it quite well here, and I fully agree.

  • iPad Pro Review: A New Canvas – MacStories - With this week being iPad Pro week, there was one man whose opinion I was looking forward to the most. Thankfully, Federico Viticci was one of the lucky few who got their hands on an iPad Pro early, and was able to use it in the runup to this week's launch. I love Federico's writing style - he spares no detail of how a piece of software or gadgetry fits into his life - and it's at it's best here in this piece. I don't know that an iPad Pro is the cards anytime soon for me, but I loved reading Federico's take on it - and I'm happy for him that he got this opportunity in the first place. Cheers 'Ticci!

  • iPad Pro Teardown - iFixit - I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it just doesn't feel like a real Apple Product launch without an iFixit teardown. Their piece this week showcasing the iPad Pro was exactly what I would've expected from them - great - I loved looking inside the giant sized version of Cupertino's tablet. I do hope we figure out more about what's going on with that new Pencil-enabled screen in the future, but for now this is the best teardown one could expect - and it's good stuff to be sure.

  • A Day In And Around Vienna - Ignant.de - For the final link this week Ignant.de brings us a beautiful (and slightly NSFW) piece showcasing a gorgeous day spent inside the city of Vienna and outside of it at a gorgeous camping area. I love the combination of city-scape and nature shown here. There wasn't much time to peruse photo essays this week, but when I did read through one like this I found myself appreciating it very much. I hope you all will too.


Cheers,

Mike