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mashby

The personal blog of Michael Ashby

Author / Michael Ashby

You Are What You Love, Not What Loves You

Swiss-Miss has been on a roll recently and I seem to be echoing almost every post, but there have been some real gems, like this one. This video clip is from the movie Adaptation, which is one of my favorites. I love everything Charlie Kaufman writes and Spike Jonze is one of my favorite directors. […]

The words delete written in graffiti in East London

I Deleted My Facebook Account

I have been in a love-hate relationship with Facebook for a while now and as of almost two-weeks ago, I decided to delete my account. I took it a step further and instead of doing the default by suspending my account, I actually requested that my account be deleted.

Facebook has felt like a necessary evil in order to stay in touch with friends and family, but I found that my usage habits had changed as well and I didn’t like the result. I think, like most people, Facebook has become a welcome distraction during the day. Work/life/whatever sucks, so let’s see what other people are doing, that sort of thing.

After all the focus on how Facebook and bots contributed to the 2016 US presidential election and listening to podcast episodes like Sam Harris: What is Technology Doing to Us?, I became more aware of my habits and began questioning why I continued to use the service. Was it really to stay-in-touch, or was it more a Pavlovian response to stress?

Ultimately I think it was the latter, which is why I opted to delete my account.

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Good To Know

A reminder that it’s totally ok to be the friend who gets a little too excited. pic.twitter.com/UkaAyoF3fj — Ingrid Fetell Lee (@ingridfetell) January 11, 2017

Couleurs logo by Laurent Baumann

Colors Is Dead… Long Live Couleurs!

You know how you come across those little utilites that do one thing and do it well? These little gems that you find you can’t live without? Well, there was an app called Colors that was a must have for me and I’m thrilled to learn that it has a successor! happy dance

Colors was a color picker for Mac OS that was designed by Matt Patenaude. What made it unqique was that it lived outside of any graphics utility. It was a standalone app that allowed you to capture colors from anything you saw on the screen. Anyone who uses Photoshop, or Pixelmator is probably familar with the concept, but being able to grab a color from a web page, e-mail, etc., reduces a great deal of friction in your workflow. Continue Reading

Promo photo of the WiredIn Kickstarter campaign

Wired In

I don’t participate in a lot of Kickstarter campaigns, but when I saw the Wired In – Wireless Productivity Sign With Arduino & HomeKit I just couldn’t resist. 1) because I’ve always wanted an “On Air” sign and 2) it actually solves a problem.

So What Is It? The guys at

WiredIn have put together a project that allows you to turn on a sign to let your coworkers know when you’re focused and not to disturb you. Simple right, but do we really need a sign? In short — yes.
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Upgrading to Mavericks

Like most Mac users, I was very excited to upgrade to Apple’s latest version of their desktop operating system (OS), Mavericks and chose to immediately upgrade. Well, at least on my laptop. Making the move to the new OS on my production machine was not something that I took lightly, so I waited to see if there were any issues before making the move. After using it for over a month on my Macbook Air without issue, I decided to take the plunge and do a clean install today.

Since my blog has become a mental resource to remind me of things that have happened in my past, I figured I’d put together a walkthrough of the process I went through.

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Making Shoes

There’s an old adage that I often repeat because I find it to be so very, very true – at least when it comes to me.

“The cobbler’s children have no shoes

Since the bulk of my day is spent at the office working on the web, when I get home the last thing that I have energy for is taking on another web project. It’s not that it’s hard, mind you, it’s simply that I don’t have the mental bandwidth to fire up another process. It’s for this reason that I’ve been unable to get off my duff and re-do Holly’s web site.

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When Did I Get So Smart?

A friend of mine, Tim Davies, forwarded a link to me today asking me “When did you get a Ph.D?” I had get about 5-minutes into the video, but it was worth the wait when I saw the following. It’s always funny to me when I see someone with the same name as me. I’m […]

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