43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

The Merlin Show

Video: John Roderick on String Art Owls, Copper Pipe, and Bono's Boss

Hotrod, with cape and flag

[jump to video]

Long story (not very) short? One night in 2003--after killing it in front of audience of about 30 lucky people in Oakland--The Long Winters needed a place to crash, and my wife and I were happy to oblige. 

So, they drove their Big Stinky Blue Van over the bridge, slept on our floor, and by breakfast the next morning, it'd become clear to me that I'd provided lodging to a man who was not only very likely a member of my karass--he was also one of the smartest bullshit artists I'd ever met. 

Almost eight years later, although I don't see him nearly as much as I'd like, I still count the guy as one of my best pals ever.

That's John Roderick.

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The Merlin Show: John Roderick, Jesse Thorn, true HD, plus a cool new Flash player

The Merlin Show

Over on my video podcast, The Merlin Show, we recently wrapped up our epic 4-part interview with John Roderick from The Long Winters (n.b.: part 3 is my favorite episode of the show so far). And, just yesterday, we posted the first in a six (6) part visit with America's Radio Sweetheart, Jesse Thorn, who's the host of the nationally syndicated public radio program (and, arguably, the best podcast [iTunes] in America), The Sound of Young America. (And now I can't stop saying "webmobisode" -- damn you, Jesse Thorn).

I hope you'll stop by if you haven't visited with us in a while. Plus -- thanks to the generous nerd skillz of our friends over at Blip.tv -- you can now watch each and every episode of The Merlin Show from the comfort of this handy dandy Flash viewer. (Note that you can jump to any episode by clicking on "GUIDE"). And, yes, please do feel free to "SHARE" this far and wide.

And, finally, please consider subscribing to The Merlin Show in iTunes or via the podcatcher of your choice. As of our latest episode, the Apple TV version of the feed goes out at full-on HD 720p (thanks, HV-20s!).

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TMS: John Roderick, Chris Wetherell, and John Vanderslice

The last week or so of The Merlin Show has featured three fun interviews with independent musicians -- talking about Macs, handling email, and figuring out how to get paid. Stop by for visits with John Roderick, Chris Wetherell, and John Vanderslice (or view the videos right here, after the jump...)

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TMS: The Mountain Goats' Peter Hughes

011: Interview: Peter Hughes | The Merlin Show

In today's episode, Merlin talks with Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats about the logistics of wired touring, keeping a tour diary on LiveJournal, and why The Mountain Goats don't have a MySpace page.

More links and info in show notes.

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Vox Pop: Want HD video from iTunes and Apple TV?

Since the new TV can handle video up to HD's 720p resolution, there's been a lot of speculation about whether the iTunes store will eventually start selling HD content, such as TV shows and movies. You can bet that the desire for that quality of presentation is theoretically out there (at least it is for this HD TV owner). The problem, as many folks have discussed at length, is that the file size for HD movies, in particular, may be prohibitively large for the garden-variety home broadband user.

As Greg Keene notes, "With simple math, we can extrapolate that a 2-hour movie would be about 3.9 GB." That's not only a substantially lengthy download for, say, a residential DSL subscriber, it also represents the investment of over 10% of the available space on the Apple TV's drive (as well as, it should be noted, an equivalent chunk of space back on your Mac or PC's disk).

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Robert Daeley on configuring for QS proxies

Enabling Quicksilver proxies and application menus | Celsius1414

Robert Daeley has posted an excellent appendix to yesterday's screencast on Quicksilver proxies.

Because, like most Quicksilver power users, I run the app in full-bore, bleeding-edge mode with all the plug-ins installed, I tend to leave out some of the rubber-chicken-waving that new users need to go through to make advanced features work properly. Robert picks up the slack nicely with this swell tutorial. Many thanks!

Merlin Mann’s new episode of the Merlin Show posted yesterday teaches very powerful Quicksilver-Fu, enabling you to access the menu items of any application, as well as introducing the concept of proxies. These techniques belie the mistaken impression that Quicksilver is “merely” a program launcher — it is an application master. ;)

What isn’t clear in the ‘cast is the settings, downloads, and brand of incense you need to burn in order to make all of that happen. I’m pretty sure the below covers everything, but let me know if I missed something.

Read all of Robert's article.

The Merlin Show: Quicksilver proxies for application menus

008: HOWTO: Quicksilver: Application Menus | The Merlin Show

Many of the most diehard Quicksilver fans don't know "proxy objects" even exist. Proxies are a sexy way to build actions and triggers around abstract QS items such as "Current Application," "Finder Selection," "Album Now Playing," and even meta-stuff like "Last Command" and "Quicksilver Selection."

By making a trigger to "Show Menu Items" in the "Current Application," you can get Quicksilver-based access to almost any pull-down menu in a given OS X app. In today's demo, I show you how to bring this fast access to any of the bajillion drop-down menu items in Macromates' Textmate.

If you enjoy The Merlin Show, please consider subscribing for free via iTunes or Democracy, or just point the "podcatacher" of your choice at http://feeds.themerlinshow.com/TheMerlinShow.

The War of Art, and JoCo on becoming a "true person"

007: Interview: Jonathan Coulton, Part 2 | The Merlin Show

I first heard about The War of Art from David Allen during our GTD podcast series last year. I finally picked up a copy a couple months back and read it in an evening. Like a lot of self-help books, it's longer than it needs to be (and it's not actually very long to begin with), but it does make some great points about what its author calls "resistance."

Resistance can be thought of as anything that pulls us away from doing the work we know is most important to us. It takes many forms (including procrastination, fear, distraction, and negative self-talk), but the effect is often similar: we find or permit all kinds of barriers to keep us from becoming the person we want to be, or from completing the thing we really want to make. Whether that's being a published author, a composer, a playwright, or a painter, our impulse to create constantly battles an impulse to do something else, or to do nothing -- to not upset our weirdly comfy stasis.

This book came up twice in my recent interview with Jonathan Coulton; both in part one and today's recently released part two. Jonathan strikes me as someone who has, so far, succeeded at talking down the resistance he'd faced, and now he's doing what he's great at, and, in his words, he's working hard to become the kind of "true person" that he wants to be for his daughter.

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TMS: Screencast on Quicksilver's "Comma Trick"

006: HOWTO: Quicksilver: The Comma Trick | The Merlin Show

For Quicksilver fans, today's episode of The Merlin Show includes a short screencast on how to do the (still-surprisingly-little-known) Comma Trick.

(Hint: As a Mac OS X screen demo, this is an episode you may prefer to watch at high-resolution)

(Sharp-eyed? How can you tell this wasn't the first take? :-) )




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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