Weeknote, Sunday 8th January 2023

This was the first week back at work since the middle of December, so it was a bit of a shock to the system. Good to see everyone I work with, though.

The good news was that my MacBook Pro was brought back from the dead by our local independent Apple dealer. It had been dead for several months after a failed update to Ventura (thanks largely to our poxy broadband), which led to a strange “cryptographic error” happening every time it tried to update anything. I assume this was down to the disk encryption going wonky, but I decided to nuke the whole thing from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure) and reinstall Monterey, then make a fresh attempt to update.

Of course, that update failed too. So I tried wiping the whole disk and promptly lost the ability to see it, even via Target Disk Mode. Once I had tried using Apple Configurator to fix it — the last option available — and that had failed, it was time to bring in the experts. And a day later, I had a working, upgraded, very blank MacBook Pro.

It’s been good to get back to using a Mac laptop after quite a while when I didn’t really have one (my old MacBook Air is also in need of a wipe and install), using Mac-native tools like Ulysses rather than cross-platform ones. And the Pro has a 16in screen, which feels much less cramped than the 14in one on my ThinkPad. Even though it’s the last generation of Intel Macs, it’s still an excellent machine with a few years of life left in it.


This has been a bit of a frustrating writing week. I reached an impasse with the Alice and God story, which I started before Christmas because I had done a rough outline of the plot but reached the point where I needed to flesh it out a bit more – and I was trying to write my way through it instead. That doesn’t really work for me: I either need to know nothing about what’s going on (in which case I discover it through writing) or have a reasonably solid idea of what a scene is supposed to do in the plot (in which case I can give it some direction). So back to the plotting board!

And because I love tinkering around with tools, I will start using Ulysses again rather than Scrivener. Don’t get me wrong — Scrivener is an excellent application for putting together anything long-form — but I think it’s a bit fussy, and I like the idea of having all my writing in one place. At the moment, it’s split between Ulysses and Obsidian (blog posts and short-form) and Scrivener (long-form), and it’s not quite gelling for me.

Reading and watching

Also, a quiet week for reading: I restocked the unread books stack with a few items.


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