Thoughts on The Surface Duo

Microsoft released all the information for the upcoming Surface Duo and let people pre-order it.

  • What? No. I’m not buying it. You probably shouldn’t buy it either. Microsoft tends to soar around the third version if they really want to do a thing and never if they don’t.

  • Yes, I owned five Windows Phones. Why are you asking? What are you, a cop?

  • The name is bad. Was Courier so hard? Why is every phone name bad now?1

  • US $1400 is the price of an expensive small computer with two screens. It’s still a new category and they call cost at least this for now. This is probably the best one so far but it’s a very young category.

  • I have no idea if it’s useful as a device by itself. But I do think some of its ideas are very good.

  • The pen! It uses the Surface Slim Pen, which is a good computer pen. This thing might be the OneNote machine of my dreams.

  • The Xbox controller!2 This thing will run Xbox Games Pass games over the internet. This is Microsoft’s plan to leapfrog both the PS5 and the Switch in one shot. It’s crazy but it might work?

  • I’d really like a pen like that for my iPhone please.

  • You can launch two apps and once, sure, but you can also pair” two apps so they’ll both launch at the same time. This is one of those features I’d like on Windows proper.

  • Typing on one screen while the app you’re using is on the other is also cool. This is sort of how tablet mode already works. I wonder how modular the keyboard is.

  • Further keybord question: I’ve got two apps up and running. I want to type in one. Where’s the keyboard pop up? Vertically on one screen? Can you only type with the Duo in your hands like a Nintendo DS?

  • I still have no idea how a human being is supposed to hold it. I guess that’s why the bezels are big. For your dumb human thumbs.

  • Drag and dropping stuff from one screen to another, that’s the whole concept of Courier. It’s the main use case, right? It’s the real reason you want two screens. Why else would you, really?

  • So, let’s say you’re a Microsoft 365 and Xbox Games subscriber. Is this the best device you could get for living like this? Maybe. It’s neat.

  • Like many things Microsoft though, I kind of wish this thing existed ten years ago. It feels like a product form an era that maybe doesn’t exist anymore? Imagine where the Courier would be now if they’d just iterated on it from 2010?

  • Ew, Android.

  1. iPhone 11 Pro Max ain’t much better, ladies.

  2. The pen is $100+ and the controller is $100+. So there’s that too.

tech microsoft windows phone

Here’s something I wish InDesign would let me do.

I spend a lot of my day in the find/replace panel. I can replace text, GREP, styles, and object. But I can’t do anything with tables. I can mess with the text in a table, but cells, cell styles, etc? Nope.

Help me out guys.



Merlin Mann:

What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. And the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks — empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.

Don’t get me wrong. Gumming the edges of popular culture and occasionally rolling the results into a wicked spitball has a noble tradition that includes the best work of of Voltaire, Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and a handful of people I count as good friends and brilliant editors. There’s nothing wrong with fucking shit up every single day. But you have to bring some art to it. Not just typing.

Every year or so, I stumble back upon this little blog post and it always seems to be talking about exactly what I was just doing ten minutes ago.


Bike lane separators flattened by cars less than two weeks after installation in Toronto


It’s been less than two weeks since the city installed protective barriers shaped like ocean waves along the temporary Bloor Street bike lane, and it seems the separators have already been damaged and flattened in numerous spots thanks to Toronto motorists.

I just rode these. It was really nice. I really hope nobody was hurt.


Can We Admit Some Things Are Better Now?

Miles Klee:

There’s a guilt attached to this, of course: People are struggling, unemployed, behind on bills and in some cases sick or dying. How dare I appreciate the benefits of such a catastrophe? Are we allowed to talk about the upside if not everyone is experiencing it?

Boy do I feel that. I feel like I’m in a pod around the planet. Of course, I’m not. And I should maybe spend a little bit more time on earth.

But things will go back to normal” eventually. It’d be nice to take some of what we learned.


July 2020 in photos


Good Movies, July 2020

Logbook movies

Last Month on KSawyerPaul.Blog, June 30-July 27, 2020

Logbook my stuff

Microblog Thoughts, June 24-July 26 2020

  • Fran’s Not Here has 213 subscribers. I hope they’re all cats.
  • That feeling when you read and listened to people who were abusing others for years. Yes, of course, you stop listening. You block. You take them out of the rotation. You course correct. You fill those spots with a broader range of voices. You try to listen a little better.

  • I’m not seeing as many backpack reviews

  • I’ll buy the SwitchU in three years and be like yeah finally time alone
  • It’s pretty Canadian to say Look, on Canada Day, think about people maybe you hurt without realizing, and also help out, and don’t think highly of yourself or your country, because you and it stink but hey, we’re all gonna try harder.” And then only kinda mean it.

  • So, I tried @NotionHQ . Seems dope. I think I’d use Notion if eight years of my life wasn’t in OneNote. I’m too ingrained.

  • Having said that, OneNote, if you could launch in the same place I left you just once ever, that’d be nice.
  • Reading the @Monocle24 paper supplement and catching up on #njpw. I’m a weirdo.
  • There’s a car alarm going on outside, and my fire alarm is doing tests throughout the day.
  • Alexa when will it be cold again

  • I joined @Pinboard in December 2010 and it was the best decision. Happy 11th, you wonderful simple backbone-of-my-internet buddy.
  • I think I’m done with this hell site, he says, making new lists and refollowing the same 600 strangers.
  • I’m out of my depth with stove shopping. What do people look for? Who are the trusted reviewers in this area? What stove does @siracusa have?
  • I listen to podcasts why isn’t there a @Casper stove that comes in a small box that puffs out when I open it
  • Give me a Twitter app where I get to see like 8 tweets then charge for more.
  • Friendly reminder you can just watch Nakamura vs Tanahashi just anytime you want.
  • Moved back to Tweetbot from the official app. It’s such a breath of fresh adult air.
  • Spent the morning updating LinkedIn and Behance for freelance work. How does spending two hours on those platforms drain four days worth of energy?

Logbook my stuff

Fran’s Not Here 49 - Sad Johnny Cash Remix

The Log Driver’s Waltz just isn’t the hit I thought it was or whatever

podcasts fransnothere