A-Players: Week of December 13th

Hello again all,

Before I start into the small summary of my week I give before this round of links, I just wanted to apologize briefly for the absence of other kinds of posts on my blog as of late. Like many other people, the combination of all life's responsibilities seems to fall most heavily around the holiday season, and I haven't been able to write as much as I've wished to. I'm hoping you understand, and I'm hoping these coming weeks will allow me some much needed time to recharge and get back into creating what I love - writing and photography for you fine folks.

Now into the week. First, something you might not know about me is that I sing in a high school choir - the Tenor part, to be precise. I've been singing for a little over a year now, and this weekend our group gets to take part in one of the most fun things we do as a choir all year; sing in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's holiday program. We've already performed two shows on Friday evening, and as I sit writing this we're waiting to get ready for yet another performance tonight (Saturday night). It's one of my favorite things I've gotten to do in recent years, and so while it's a busy weekend it's simultaneously a tremendous amount of fun.

Here's a photo of us on stage - I'm up there somewhere! 

Here's a photo of us on stage - I'm up there somewhere! 

Besides that and ending off school this week, something on nearly everyone's mind had to be the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere on Thursday. I went to see the new movie that night, and while I'm in no way ready to discuss that film in-depth (give me another screening or two for that) I will say that it's made me feel like a kid again in that I cannot get this movie - and how happy it made me - out of my head. It's a fun feeling, and if you're on the fence about seeing the film I personally would recommend you do 😁🚀

With that as an update, I hope you all have terrific holidays for yourself and loved ones alike.

Enjoy this week's links, and I'll talk to you all later.


  • How I work on an iPad Pro — Medium - Short and sweet, this piece at the beginning of the week from Jon Wheatley - head of product at the excellent Need - was a fun look into how yet another person has jumped into getting their work done on the iPad Pro. I've been working for nearly a year now to figure out how I best work on an iPad, and with so many people now also giving iOS and the iPad a fair shot at their workloads it's awesome how much new content and how many new voices are coming to the fold. You'll probably see a lot of links like this one over the coming weeks and months - the more people getting things done on an iPad, the better.

  • Back to 1.0: Interview with Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro and iMovie developer Randy Ubillos - This is a really great interview that came out this week with Randy Ubillos - who has been an influential developer in the digital-video-editing field for around 20 years now. He's worked for Adobe, Macromedia, and now Apple, and the stories in this piece live up to that pedigree. I loved reading through Randy's journey, which also happens to feature a couple good Steve Jobs tidbits. There are never too many of those. Easily one of my favorite reads this week, we need more retro-reporting like this.

  • The best professional-grade iPhone calculator - The Sweet Setup - In a first for the pseudonymous writer, Dr Drang put together the Sweet Setup's roundup for the best professional calculator apps on iOS. As a writer, photographer, and barista I have little need for the kinds of intensive mathematics that Drang's number one pick - PCalc - is capable of - but I still enjoyed reading through the take that only an engineer could provide on the matter. Sometimes Dr Drang's writing is a bit ahem shall we say over my head, but here on The Sweet Setup he did a great job showcasing the specifics of the varied calculators available. It was interesting and well written, which makes for a good read in my book.

  • Travelling Indonesia With an iPhone 6S — Pixel Envy - Part travel-log, part iPhone review, I intensely enjoyed this next piece which comes to us from Nick Heer's website; Pixel Envy. This might not be the most technical or timely review of this year's iPhone 6s, but if I had to choose what to read I'd pick something unique like Nick's piece every time. His review focuses quite a bit on the 6s's improved camera capabilities while still hitting all the major points that one would be interested in whilst reading a smartphone review. It's awesome to see what various people are doing out there in the world with these tiny devices, and Nick's piece is certainly one of the better reviews I've read of the 6s this fall.

  • Fujifilm X100T- A Camera Review - Erin Brooks - After Ben Brooks revisited the x100t last month, I found myself feeling grateful for my own x100s. This little camera packs a serious punch and has enabled me to create even better photography over the past year - growing along the way. After reading Erin Brook's review of the x100t, I'm left feeling much the same way. Erin and my workflow's are similar - she shoots with either her Fujifilm or her iPhone before editing on whatever iOS device is handy - and seeing the kinds of things she puts out with that setup is even cooler and relatable for me. Beautiful shots, a nice writeup, and another great piece from Erin.

  • Star Wars: The Force Accounted - This fun infographic from Bloomberg was exactly the kind of thing I was looking to read leading up to this week's Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere. I avoided trailers, discussions, and think pieces about the new movie like the plague - and so this piece looking at all the ways the force is used in Star Wars I-VI was more my speed. Still a fun thing to look at this Saturday - whether you've seen the new movie yet or not.


Cheers all, 🎄

~Mike