Introducing: Aphasia Speech Assistant

June 16, 2020

This article is available in English and German. Introducing: Aphasia Speech Assistant In December 2013, my Dad suffered a series of strokes and a brain haemorrhage. After a months-long recovery period, my family was introduced to our new reality: Aphasia. If, like me in 2014, you have no idea what that means, this is how Wikipedia summarises the condition in a couple of sentences: Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. ... Read more

Running small businesses on iOS

August 6, 2019

As I have mentioned on previous workflow posts, I run two small businesses, a freelance business through which I offer Python development services and a start-up,, which is a project management platform that specifically targets the fashion industry. Managing my time, invoicing as well as bookkeeping and taxes can be a time sink especially if you do not have specialist employees or partners to fall back on. I do work with an accountant who deals with my taxes, but all other admin is part of my daily workload. Efficiency is crucial in this regard as the amount of time I spend on admin obviously comes off the time I can sell to my clients or make progress on our product. In this post, I will explain how I integrate different services for banking, bookkeeping, time management and how all of this is glued together with Shortcuts on iOS. ... Read more

Fluent interfaces in Python

July 2, 2019

One of the lesser known techniques when designing APIs in Python is the concept of the fluent interface. Fluent interfaces help the user of your API to work with an object and it’s methods in a more concise manner and can therefore make your API simpler and more desirable to use. ... Read more

Accessing my home server with Secure ShellFish (Beta)

June 6, 2019

Ever since setting up my Mac mini home server as a companion to my existing Synology NAS, I have been looking to streamline my workflow for accessing the data on my NAS when working on iOS. My goal was to make file access as straight forward and secure as possible: security in this context means not exposing any services to the public internet and to incorporate strong authentication protocols. Ease of use requires the workflow to include modern iOS features such as drag and drop and support for the iOS Files app. When I heard about Secure ShellFish, a new app by Working Copy developer Anders Borum, which is currently in Beta, I had to become part of the TestFlight to see whether it could simplify my workflow. (Spoiler alert: It did.) ... Read more

Automating Hugo blog post creation using Shortcuts

May 27, 2019

One of the true advantages of using the static site generator Hugo on macOS is the hugo new command which creates a new Markdown file that has all the relevant metadata fields pre-created so that you only have to add a little bit of information and you’re ready to start writing a new blog post. Today, I ventured to replicate this functionality with Siri Shortcuts, so here’s how that went. ... Read more

A mere-mortal's guide to security and privacy online – Part 5: Instant messaging

May 24, 2019

I‘m often being asked two questions when it comes to instant messaging (IM): „Why are you not on Facebook Messenger?“ and „Why are you not on WhatsApp?“ My usual answer is that I will never join a messaging service or social network that is owned in-part or fully by Facebook because their commercial incentives are 180 degrees opposed to what is good for me as their potential user. Usually, I will earn a „take off your tin-foil hat“ kind of stare and we move on, but rarely people will ask what to use instead and why, this post is for these people. So in the second part of my series about online privacy, I will have a look at instant messengers, how to choose them wisely and why „It’s what my friends use.“ should not be the only deciding factor in a privacy-conscious choice. ... Read more

A mere-mortal's guide to security and privacy online – Part 4: Advertising and tracking blockers

May 22, 2019

Every computer user is familiar with the following scenario: you are planning to make a purchase of, say, an electric toothbrush or a similar consumer good. Because there are hundreds of options from different manufacturers you go on to do some research on various websites and finally search Amazon for the option with the best price. So far so good. However, when you go to check the news on the Guardian, the New York Times or a similar publication, all advertising spots are full of electric toothbrushes. Coincidence? Far from it! In this article I’ll describe how tracking works and how you can protect yourself from the most egregious methods of social and advertising networks. ... Read more

Moving workflows from macOS to iOS

March 19, 2019

At the beginning of 2019 I embarked on a little experiment. I had been an avid and happy user of Mac OS X (now macOS) since the early 2000s when I bought my first white plastic iBook and made the switch from Windows. Inspired by the articles of Federico Viticci on Macstories, I set out to explore how much of my entrenched Mac-based workflows for photography, development, business and writing this blog could be converted to iOS on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. ... Read more

A mere-mortal's guide to security and privacy online – Part 3: Encrypted file transfers

February 19, 2019

Now that we have discussed securing access to vital online services in parts 1 and 2 of this series, I will turn to another common activity that does not have a straight forward security and privacy story: file transfers. Most of us need to send files that contain confidential information. These could be invoice scans that we need to send to our accountant, property or legal documents that we exchange with our lawyer or market research and sales data that we would like to share with our business partners. But how can you ensure the confidentiality of these important documents in transit and how can we minimise the risk of them being stolen whilst stored on a third party service’s servers? Let’s dive in. ... Read more

© 2018-2020 Florian Einfalt