Archive for January 3, 2024

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Devices That Are Not USB C in My Life

Mere Civilian:

First, I give my appreciation to the European Union for their efforts in nudging (we all know it was more than a nudge) Apple to support USB C. However, there are still devices in my life that I use daily that are not USB C. Strangely, as each year passes by, it becomes more annoying to live with non-USB C devices. I dislike wasting money so I will not buy something only to have USB C on it.

With that said, the following are my NON USB C devices (that I use regularly)[…]

The most annoying for me is the Kindle Oasis. I still use the first-generation model, and I probably would have upgraded by now except that the latest version still uses micro USB. Amazon hasn’t updated it since 2019 and really seems to have taken its eye off E Ink Kindle hardware.

Other legacy devices: Apple Aluminum Wired Keyboard, Magic Mouse, AirPods Pro, AirPods 3, Apple TV Remote, various battery packs, various family iPhones. This is somewhat ameliorated by the fact that some non-USB-C devices do support Qi charging.


Update (2024-01-05): See also: Adam Chandler.

3-in-1 Charging Stations

Fernando Silva:

I have been on the lookout for a 3-in-1 charging station for my Apple products that doesn’t break the bank. Don’t get me wrong – there are many options for 3-in-1 chargers, but it seems you have to spend upward of $100 or even $200 for a high-quality Apple 3-in-1 charger. But I think I finally found one that cuts that $100 price point in half while still keeping it high quality. Let’s check out the X23 Pro Charger.


In typical 3-in-1 charging station fashion, you get three different spots to charge the big three Apple devices: iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. The AirPods charging pad supports up to 2.5W of wireless charging, and you can technically charge anything, so if you have a secondary phone, you could charge it there! The Apple Watch charger supports 5W charging. Then, you have the MagSafe compatible charging stand for your iPhone. It technically supports up to 15W for non-iPhone devices and then charges your iPhone at 7.5W.

This charger stands out with its compatibility with iOS 17 StandBy mode and 5W Apple Watch fast charging.

I have not used the KUXIU X23 (Amazon), but I really like the KUXIU X55 (Amazon), which is currently $39.99. It has a smaller footprint than the X23 and folds up for travel. I think it’s far superior to the seemingly more popular UCOMX Nano (Amazon) and Anker 3-in-1 Cube (Amazon). The UCOMX lies flatter, but it’s larger, less sturdy, and when folded it can only charge two devices and can’t hold the iPhone vertically. The Anker is wider and more than three times the price. The main thing I don’t like about the X55 is that the cable attaches on the side rather than the back, so it gets in the way a bit more.

This is a tough product category to figure out because there are a zillion similar looking chargers on Amazon. Most of the less expensive ones have high ratings but some reviews saying that they either don’t work reliably (particularly for watch charging) or that they start off fine but don’t last very long. It’s not clear whether there’s any advantage, in either reliability or design, to the $100+ ones.


Update (2024-01-04): D. Griffin Jones:

I tested both the Kuxiu X55 and the Kuxiu X40, and the latter is so much better. It’s more expensive at $65 – 70, but the build quality is a vast improvement. It makes the X55 look like cheap plastic garbage in comparison. (And the cable comes out the back!)

The X40 (Amazon) is also a 7.5W phone charger vs. 5–15W for the X55.


What are the differences between X40 and X55?

1. Different main body materials and processes for the stands:
- X40 uses aluminum alloy as the main body, crafted through CNC technology, providing an excellent texture with a complex manufacturing process.
- X55 has a plastic main body produced through mold injection.

2. Weight and dimensions:
- X40 weighs 195g and has dimensions of 68mm*68mm*23.3mm (smaller and thinner).
- X55 weighs 135g and has dimensions of 68mm*68mm*30mm (lighter and more cost-effective).

3. X40 and X55 have the same functions and wireless charging capabilities, with identical packaging accessories.

There’s also an X55 Plus (Amazon) that looks like the X40, except it has white charging disks and a side USB-C port. It’s unclear to me why this is the most expensive one at $69.99.

Update (2024-05-07): See also: Adam Engst.

Gitea Cloud

Gitea (Hacker News):

With just a few clicks, you can easily deploy your own Gitea instance on Gitea Cloud. Our team will handle all the maintenance, including backups, upgrades, and more. This allows you to focus on business development without worrying about operational issues.


By using dedicated infrastructure, you don't have to worry about any noisy neighbors slowing you down.


Each plan comes with managed CI/CD runners so you can make sure your code is always running smoothly.

You have the flexibility to choose both the underlying cloud infrastructure provider and the region, ensuring the best option and location for your team.

Despite what the blog post says, it’s now open for registrations. It costs $19/user/month with unspecified discounts for small teams. You can still host the open-source version yourself, and for now they seem to be equivalent.


Taligent’s Guide to Designing Programs

David Goldsmith (1994, PDF, via Hacker News):

If you browse the computer section of any technical bookstore, you’ll find many good books offering advice on how to do object-oriented design—books dealing both with general design principles and with design principles specific to C++. Why then does the industry need another book, one targeted not only to a specific language (C++), but to a specific system?

My experience has been that object-oriented design is best learned from using it to actually build systems. The style guidelines and design rules in Taligent’s Guide to Designing Programs come from years of that kind of experience, building large object-oriented C++ systems in the Taligent@ environment. If you plan to develop for Taligent environments, this book will provide you with an understanding of the philosophy underlying Taligent’s designs, and the way in which to fit your own work into Taligent’s environments. If your interest is simply in object-oriented design and C++, then my hope is that this book will benefit you by showing the experiences of one company.

This book grew from an internal style guide I wrote, which Taligent uses to develop its products, to train engineers, and to orient Taligent early developers to the Taligent system. These guidelines, like most, are based partly on empirical heuristics, and partly on principles. Although the focus has always been specifically on the writing of Taligent software, much of what we have learned is applicable riot only to Taligent, but to any C++ system.

Goldsmith worked at Taligent after leading the MacApp framework. Taligent the operating system was a failure, and Erich Ringewald left Pink to design BeOS, but many of the pieces of Taligent live on:

Fairly quickly, the management of IBM and Taligent came to a realization: Java was missing international support. But Taligent had great international technology, talented engineers--including Dr. Mark Davis, president of the Unicode Consortium--and a location about 100 meters from Sun’s JavaSoft division in Cupertino, California. Thus, a partnership was born: IBM arranged for Taligent’s Text and International group to contribute international classes to Sun’s Java Development Kit, making Java powerful enough for real-world business applications.

For JDK 1.1, Taligent provided the new java.text package, plus a number of new classes in java.util. This included Format and all its subclasses for formatting dates, times, numbers and messages; Collator, for language-sensitive string sorting; and BreakIterator, for determining line, word, and sentence boundaries in Unicode text. In java.util, Taligent contributed parts of ResourceBundle, as well as the Calendar and TimeZone classes (which provide flexible, international-friendly date and time support). In addition, IBM contributed a large collection of locale data from their National Language Technical Center in Toronto.

This was then ported to C++ and became the ICU project.

Sketch Returns to the Mac App Store

Sindre Sorhus (Hacker News):

Seems like Sketch is back on the App Store, after leaving it in 2015.

They seem be using the original SKU, because the Mac App Store shows it as 4+ years old, but it currently has only 7 ratings with an average of 3 stars. Reviews complain that even though the Mac App Store page lists In-App Purchases for monthly and yearly subscriptions, these are not actually available in the app. You have to subscribe from the Web site. I guess external purchases are allowed because of guideline 3.1.3(b) about multi-platform services, but that says “provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app.” The Omni Group supports external purchases, too, but Omni does support IAP.

Nima Sakhtemani

Buyers Beware! There’s no In-App Purchase

It’s sad to see Sketch using dark patterns forcing users into buying the monthly subscription by only using their website.


In-App Purchase not available

App Store product page suggests In-App purchase is supported, however it does not seem possible within the App itself. A trial is offered after account creation. However after it expires the App just shows an error that you don’t have access. No subscription prompt is given. Only leading to the website that offers it’s own subscription page. There really isn’t any other screen besides the login prompt which requires an existing subscription.


In order to offer Sketch on the Mac App Store, we need to follow Apple’s App Store Guidelines. This means the Mac App Store version of Sketch has some limitations, such as:

  1. Plugins and Assistants. You won’t be able to extend Sketch’s functionality through third-party plugins or tools to help streamline design workflows.
  2. Importing .fig files. The Mac App Store version of Sketch can’t open .fig files, so you won’t be able to directly import Figma files into Sketch.
  3. sketchtool. Because there are restrictions in place that prevent adding extra binaries to apps on the Mac App Store, we can’t provide sketchtool in the Mac App Store version. This is the tool we use from the command line to automate different tasks. Tools like Zeplin or Abstract need this tool to check Sketch documents and make previews.

You can still download it directly, and the Mac-only version is still available for a fixed price (now $120) including 1 year of updates.


Update (2024-01-03): Co-founder Pieter Omvlee tells me that they “are in fact accepting IAP subscriptions, but there does seem to be some kind of issue for some users, which we’re investigating.” As of today, the IAPs are working, but there may have been an App Store glitch back in November. Unfortunately, as a result of the new SKU, the two reviews mentioning the glitch are the only reviews in the App Store. I don’t think the reviews or ratings accurately represent that this is a longstanding quality app.