Crashing Clockwise #541: ‘Peripherereral Free’

In which I turn one of my favorite podcasts into blogging fodder each week.

The tech podcast where we’d like you to be our valentine.”


Dan Moren: How many peripherals do you usually have connected to your computer?

Well, let’s take a look! I’ve got my monitor, a 3-in-1 cable that usually connects my mechanical keyboard (but that often gets used to charge things or connect the occasional other gadget), an external SSD for Time Machine backups, a webcam, and an old HyperDrive hub dock thing that is also a Qi charger (it’s kinda flakey, but gets the job done for how little I use it and was a cool Kickstarter project at the time). Wirelessly, I’ve got a Magic Mouse, a Magic Trackpad, and a HomePod mini stereo pair that I’ve routed music and stuff to play through from my Mac mini.

So, eight. Eight peripherals.

(Links for items can be found on my gear page.)


Lex Friedman: What is your tech setup when watching TV or movies — meaning what do you watch it on, and what are you doing while you watch?

If we’re talking specifically about TV or movies, the vast majority of my watching happens on our main television. It’s an LG 55-inch C9 4K OLED from a few years ago which looks great and sounds great through our Sonos Beam/One surround setup with it. I typically watch shows with my wife while eating dinner, and I don’t do a whole bunch of TV time otherwise. That’s beginning to change now with my Vision Pro, which I bought partially to have another nice large screen to watch stuff on while my wife plays games on the TV.

Sometimes I watch things on an iPad, but that’s usually just YouTube.

As for what I’m doing while I watch TV or movies — well, usually nothing else! I’m easily distracted by the TV, which is good since when I make time to watch something, I want to catch all of it. If I’m not super into the show, maybe I’ll poke around on my phone, but that’s not very often. Unless, of course, it’s to figure out where I’ve seen that actor before using Callsheet.


Mikah Sargent: Which do you prefer, voice dictation or hand typing as input for messaging?

I think of my text conversations as private, so I rarely feel comfortable dictating a message out loud around other people. So 98% of my messages are typed by hand (or thumb). But I will say that I’ve made a conscious effort to try dictation more often because I know it’s gotten better and can be much faster in some contexts. Audio messages are another thing I’d like to try more.

Oh, and I suppose I dictate fairly often to messages with CarPlay, so there’s that.


Kathy Campbell: Have you worn an Apple Vision Pro out in public, or have you seen them?

Nope, and nope. The closest I’ve come is bringing it to work and wearing it during my lunch hour, which I spend alone most days. And even then I felt so self-conscious that it was hard to enjoy the experience. I think it’s going to be a home computer for now, and perhaps a travel one where I’m only around strangers and don’t care what they think.


Bonus Topic: Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?

The only thing that springs to mind is the typical dinner date with my wife. This year I even managed to call in a reservation nearly four weeks(!) in advance. I guess you could call our usual discussion about how we feel our relationship is doing, where it’s been, and where it’s going as traditional as well.

I saw a video somewhere of an older couple hanging out in a convenience store together looking through all the greeting cards in stock, choosing the best one, giving” to their partner, and then putting them back without purchasing anything. That seems kind of fun, and might suggest it to my wife for next year.


Overtime Topic: Where do you want to take the human out of the equation, like driverless cars?

I’m going to have to go with house cleaning, but the real kind, not just a Roomba. I’m super uncomfortable with the idea of inviting someone into my home to clean up my messes for me, but I’d be very happy with a dexterous and capable robot that could get the job done.


My Question for Readers: Is there any particular creator online that you’ve recently started supporting that you want to share with the world?

I’ll give a shoutout to Matt Birchler of who spun up a membership (More Birchtree) to his website. Matt has the sort of site I aspire to, with regular posts about a wide range of interests. Sure, he’s got his hot takes, but it’s more common for Matt to share a measured, well-reasoned perspective about what’s going on in the technosphere, and to do so with kindness and empathy.

That, the longevity of his blog, how much value I’ve gotten out of reading his writing, and the accompanying high-quality (and quick) YouTube videos all made me happy to shell out a few bucks per month to help him keep things going and show my support for the effort he puts into his site.

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