Rafael Masoni

Designer, developer, illustrator, aspiring singer, D&D aficionado.

#Life #Philosophy

I used to hate change. I felt hurt by it. I thought it ruined everything.

With time, however, I realized that change is not only necessary, but inevitable. Change is a fundamental part of life. Every single thing changes — all the time.

My past self took a stance against the very concept of change, but what it really meant was aversion against specific changes in things and people that I loved. I was satisfied and very used to them. I didn’t want them to be different.

It’s rarely easy, but if we are to enjoy life, we have to deal with eventual losses it brings us, and most importantly learn to respect change and try even harder to notice its beautiful impact on everything that exists.

#Tech #macOS

Since my last post, I've switched my everyday apps around a bit. Here's a list of the main changes, and also some apps that I use everyday and would like to recommend.

Keyboard Maestro

I retired Magnet as my window manager in favor of a more versatile tool that I already owned but never got to learn and use: Keyboard Maestro. If window management is all you need, go with Magnet. If you want a complete automation tool that also does window management, Keyboard Maestro might be perfect for you too.

→ Buy Keyboard Maestro ($36)


I've been using Alfred solely as an app launcher and contact searcher for many years because it's much faster than Spotlight. I've dabbled with some workflows, and many of them were very janky (I miss Spotlight's unit converter the most), but never went too far into Alfred's full suite of features. What a waste.

I'm glad that I finally realized I could replace two or more apps with Alfred. The first one was aText, that was one of my favorite little apps until I saw its new UI proposal — it's so atrocious it made me look for an alternative, and I found it in good old Alfred and its Snippets functionality. Granted, it's not entirely straight forward like aText as you have to resort to custom workflows for variables, but after I figured things out it does the same thing and more.

Another tool I also liked a lot but became redundant with Alfred was Maccy, the clipboard manager. Alfred has that built-in, and it works great. One less app.

→ Get Alfred for free (and purchase the Powerpack if you like it)


This one I found by accident on some random YouTube video. It's a menu bar app that basically helps you manage Bluetooth devices. My Anker headphones — or any Bluetooth headphones, to be honest — don't always work perfectly, and ToothFairy lets me reconnect them with a click instead of turning the device on and off or messing around in macOS' System Preferences. The definition of “quality of life”.

→ Buy ToothFairy ($5.99)


I own most Rogue Amoeba's apps and I love them. This is another one that I couldn't see the value for some time, but now it's shining on my menu bar as my default sound controller. It's great for checking and assigning input and output devices to different roles or apps, or boosting the volume of something specific.

→ Buy SoundSource ($39)


This is a neat little app that prevents your laptop screen from sleeping. Just like the discontinued Caffeine, it does what it says on the tin. Simple and free.

→ Get Amphetamine for free


This is not new, I've been using 1Password as my sole password manager for many years. It's the best on the market. Affordable, reliable, easy to use, and has great integrations with web browsers.

→ Sign up for 1Password ($2.99/month)


I took advantage of a great sale to finally grab this app, and now I can say that it is indeed better than Numi. I just wish it could live only in the menu bar and not the Dock, as it has a Spotlight-like prompt accessible via a keyboard shortcut.

→ Buy Soulver ($34.95)


I don't remember how I got to this app. Maybe it was a sale. The fact is its web page is gorgeous and definitely steered me into purchasing the pro version. So long, Sip and your weird pricing model — it was good while it lasted.

→ Get ColorSlurp for free (and upgrade if you like it)


After seeing so many issues being reported by Dropbox users, I was really afraid of losing my files or being falsely accused of storing shady stuff and get locked out of my account. Also, the way they would be able to tell that — false positives or not — is because there's no privacy at all, they can look into all your files and that's not ok.

Then I started a long journey after a worthy alternative. I needed cloud storage that would:

  1. Sync a local folder instead of creating a virtual disk (because Finder cannot perform searches in those)

  2. Respect my privacy, so have zero-knowledge encryption

  3. Be easy to use, with decent native apps (most failed here)

I was almost migrating to Sync.com — with its terrible apps and horrendous transfer speeds — when I stopped to seriously consider MEGA, despite all the controversies with its founder. I must say it's been a great, seamless and affordable experience so far — I only need around 250GB, so their cheapest ‘Pro Lite’ plan got me covered. I'm a happy, worry-free customer and I'd recommend it to anyone.

→ Get MEGA for free (and upgrade if you need more than 20GB with this affiliate link)


My endless search for a good work platform has finally ended.

I've used Basecamp Classic on and off with many small projects for as long as I can remember, and the only thing that prevented me from adopting version 3 for my company was the very prohibitive monthly subscription — a flat $99, which corresponds to almost R$600 since 2018. I sent them a couple e-mails asking for regional pricing or a discount, but had no luck, so we went with Trello and Discord.

Then they recently changed their pricing to $15/user/month with one year for free, and they only bill you for employees, not clients, guests or contractors. I couldn't let this pass, so now we're proud Basecamp users and it's been great.

→ Try Basecamp for free

Reminders + Clock

I probably used all of the top to-do list apps in the past decade, and I think I'll finally settle on the stock Reminders app from Apple, that seems to be finally usable after they completely destroyed it in recent updates.

Deep down, I wish The Hit List wasn't abandoned, that Wunderlist hadn't been killed by Microsoft, that Things had a sharing feature, that TickTick wasn't so shady and didn't have so many useless features, and that Todoist had a truly native app and actual recurring tasks, but none of this matters as Apple Reminders rises from the ashes to be good enough for what I need.

Also, Clock is now a thing on macOS. It's also just good enough so I don't need other alarm/timer apps.

Nord VPN

I switched to Nord from Express VPN a while ago, as the latter was giving me more headaches than I was willing to go through. Nord also has its hiccups, but for me it's been much more stable, faster and reliable.

They have these crazy perpetual sales, and one day I decided to get a 2-year plan with a coupon code from Critical Role. It's good. Works most of the time.

→ Sign up for Nord VPN (affiliate link)

#Tech #Business

Remember when Instagram was a nice little app that let you take pictures and apply retro-style filters to share with friends? For a while, even after being acquired by Facebook in 2012, it was not much more than that. Then they had to turn it into a monstrous money-printing machine.

Today’s Instagram has single photos, carousels, ephemeral videos (Stories), livestreams, multiple content types with Reels and IGTV, and even an in-app messenger (that curiously is not Facebook Messenger).

Many other apps followed a similar path of feature creep, corrupting their original vision and complying with this corporate “fear of missing out” — in this case, “fear of failing to offer feature-parity with the big ones, upsetting our shareholders and going bankrupt”.

I feel the industry is in a downward spiral, setting its bar lower with each software release. This is sad in and of itself, but gets worse when it discourages and pressures small developers. Will there ever be another Tweetie or Sparrow that doesn’t get swallowed by big corp?

#Tech #macOS

I’ve recently stumbled upon a bunch of apps that take me back to the golden days of macOS development with names such as Tweetie, Sparrow, and many others. I highly recommend every single one of them.


This app brings OCR to macOS in the most straight forward way. The clever default shortcut ⇧⌘2 brings out a selection tool that perfectly mimics that of macOS’ built-in screenshot functionality. Once selected, the characteristic shutter sound lets you know that whatever was inside the box has been copied to your clipboard as text.

It currently only supports English, but the very friendly developer told me in an e-mail that more languages should be coming in the future, along with new exciting features.

→ Buy TextSniper ($7)


This one has been around for some time, and I regret not buying it earlier. Numi is a very dynamic calculator that has the power to interpret natural language.

You can use variables, headings, labels, and sentences like “12.5% of what is 50,000” (for those Dragon’s Den binge-watching sessions). All of this can be organized in ‘calculations’ that are like pages with separate totals — I use them to break apart different projects or themes.

For Alfred users that miss the excellent Spotlight conversions, Numi also has a workflow that works very decently.

Numi’s most direct competitor is probably Soulver. I’m not sure how they compare exactly, but I have the impression that Numi is a simpler — and much more affordable — counterpart. In the end, I just wish it had something like folders and better documentation (maybe in the form of autocompletion).

→ Buy Numi ($19.99)


If you sometimes need to quickly share gifs of your screen, Gifox is a worthy solution. There are free alternatives, like Giphy’s native app, but if you want a more native, local and streamlined experience, Gifox is the answer.

It also suggests a very familiar shortcut (⇧⌘6, or ⇧⌘7 on MacBooks with Touch Bar) akin to the built-in screenshot feature for area selection, but you can also set shortcuts for window selection and many other features.

You can set the recording’s frame rate, speed, repeat count, and many other settings to achieve your ideal quality to size ratio.

If you want to store your recordings in the cloud, there are options for sharing with Dropbox, Google Drive and Imgur.

→ Buy Gifox ($14.99)


You can’t appreciate text expanding until you try it, and aText is the most lightweight, feature-rich, simple to use and affordable option out there.

Don’t be put off by its out of fashion website and barebones user interface — you’ll barely interact with it as aText stays out of your way, and it’s actually pretty simple and powerful.

I use this app every day in a variety of contexts: work-related e-mails and tasks, special symbols, kaomoji, and other cumbersome to type strings of text. I keep different categories organized in folders and give these folders a custom prefix that applies to all their snippets.

Everybody boasts the pioneering app TextExpander, but it seems to have grown into a more enterprise-focused solution, and has recently switched to a subscription-based model that doesn’t feel right to me. You could buy aText 10 times over with one year of TextExpander, and I don’t see how that is justifiable when comparing the two feature-wise.

→ Buy aText ($4.99)


Every Mac user must know this app already, but I think it’s worth mentioning it for the few that are unaware.

Window management in macOS isn’t the greatest, and Magnet offers simple solutions for that. With this app, you can dock windows to all sides and corners of the screen, make them maximized, centered, or move them between displays with configurable keyboard shortcuts or by dragging them to hot corners.

It’s a must-have if you want more and faster control of your windows. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it directly from the developer and must go through the Mac App Store.

→ Buy Magnet ($2.99)


This donation-supported open source app very efficiently shrinks image sizes. Just drop a bunch of images in and wait for them to take less space.

Original images are thrown in the Trash, and the resulting optimized ones are left with the same name in their place. Lossless compression is turned on by default, and there are many settings that allow you to best personalize how your images are minified.

→ Get ImageOptim for free


Did you know that you’re leaving a lot of junk behind when you uninstall apps by just dragging them to the Trash? Configuration files, cache and other stuff stay scattered through your file system when it should not.

With AppCleaner you just drag the app into it instead, check all the boxes, and hit Remove. And unlike its competitors, it’s free (accepts donations) and supports many versions of macOS.

→ Get AppCleaner for free


Just as the developer’s description says, Maccy is a clipboard manager that keeps your copy history at hand.

You never know when you might accidentally overwrite copied content or when an unexpected crash might make you lose the stuff you were keeping in your clipboard. This app gives you peace of mind and quick access to everything you copy, giving you settings to filter out sensitive apps (like password managers) and more.

Maccy is lightweight, open-source and free, but I highly recommend supporting the developer with a donation.

→ Get Maccy for free

Bonus app: Horo

I added this one as a bonus because I haven’t used it as much — and I should —, but it feels solid enough to be in this list.

Horo is a minimalistic time tracker that sits in your menu bar. With one click (or key combination), you’re prompted to enter the time and go. Quick and simple, and it understands natural language.

The developer offers other neat little apps like Rocket and Vanilla. All three offer a Pro version with more features.

→ Get Horo for free

#Life #Japan #PTBR

Em Abril de 2015, realizei um sonho de infância: viajar para o Japão. Vou falar sobre algumas diferenças em relação ao Brasil que teriam ajudado se soubesse delas antes de ir.

Foto da área comercial com temática tradicional do Aeroporto Internacional de Haneda

Foto por Rafael Masoni


O metrô do Japão funciona muito bem, mas pode assustar quem está acostumado com o de São Paulo. No entanto, uma vez que você entende a dinâmica, viajar entre as estações se torna algo natural e te possibilita ir pra quase qualquer lugar do país.

Foto do map de estações do metrô

Foto por MiNe (sfmine79)

Valor da tarifa

No Japão, o valor do bilhete de metrô varia de acordo com a distância que você for percorrer. Cada estação possui um mapa de todas as estações atendidas, normalmente acima das máquinas que vendem o bilhete. Você deve encontrar a estação de destino nesse mapa para descobrir o preço. Então, na máquina, você escolhe o valor da tarifa e a quantidade de pessoas para pagar e receber os bilhetes. Para adiantar o processo, também é possível colocar o dinheiro antes de selecionar a passagem.

Ajuste de tarifa

Foto de uma máquina de ajuste de tarifa

Não se preocupe se errar o valor do seu bilhete. Toda estação possui uma máquina de Fare Adjustment (ajuste de tarifa). Basta inserir seu bilhete pra receber o que pagou a mais ou completar o que pagou a menos.

Não esqueça o bilhete

Lembre de pegar o bilhete que é devolvido furado logo após ser inserido na catraca. Você precisará usá-lo para sair da estação de destino.

Escada rolante

Ao contrário daqui, deve-se andar do lado direito e ficar parado do lado esquerdo nas escadas rolantes.


Os shinkansen, usados para atravessar longas distâncias, possuem uma dinâmica um pouco diferente de pagamento — são bem mais caros e normalmente o pagamento é feito em etapas. O funcionamento também pode variar um pouco de acordo com a companhia e o trajeto, então sugiro se informar pela Internet com antecedência ou consultar uma atendente no balcão de informações para turistas das grandes estações.


Pouquíssimos locais aceitam cartão de crédito — quase tudo é pago com dinheiro. Moedas são extremamente comuns e um bom costume é pagar o valor exato das compras, com o dinheiro trocado. Como as notas e moedas são bem diferentes umas das outras, não demora pra se acostumar.

Normalmente, máquinas não aceitam moedas de 5 e 1 — gaste-as em lojas.


Compre uma carteira Japonesa para guardar suas notas de Yen abertas, e uma moedeira para os muitos trocos que você vai movimentar.


Foto de uma bandeja para recolher dinheiro

Foto por Diana Schnuth

Toda loja tem uma pequena bandeja na frente do caixa, e ela serve pra você colocar o dinheiro do pagamento. O atendente vai pegar o dinheiro da bandeja, te falar o quanto custou, o quanto você deu, o quanto vai te dar de troco, e contar o dinheiro na sua frente. Todas as vezes.


Apesar de ter sofrido um declínio nos últimos anos devido a políticas públicas e outras iniciativas, o número de fumantes no Japão ainda é bastante alto (cerca de 20% da população).

Foto de uma placa anti-tabagismo com ilustrações e texto em japonês e inglês

Foto por Walter Disney


Quase todo restaurante possui uma área para fumantes, e isso normalmente é suficiente para não incomodar quem não fuma, mas alguns não fazem um bom isolamento e o cheiro acaba escapando.


Você não precisa dominar o idioma local para passar um tempo no Japão, pois até mesmo em cidades menores, quase toda sinalização e máquinas possuem uma versão em Inglês. É um tanto raro encontrar, mas em cidades como Nagoya e outras que possuem muitos imigrantes Brasileiros, também existe a versão em Português.

Essas são apenas algumas dicas sobre coisas que percebi durante as semanas que passei por esse país incrível. Espero que essas informações sejam úteis para sua próxima viagem!


This rant isn’t directed at anyone in particular, as its very existence is only due to the fact that I have faced this situation more than one would ever want.

Here’s the typical story:

  1. You have a startup and you need a freelancer to get some things done — a landing page, a mobile app, tests for your API, copy for your new homepage etc.

  2. You search for people on various sites and filter through a bunch that you deem apt to do the job, and contact them (often with urgency).

  3. A few of these promptly answer you and you engage in a conversation about the project and what they can actually do for you.

Maybe one will have a preliminary version or presentation of the work in a couple hours or the next day. Either way, this is my piece of advice: get the fuck back to them.

We see articles ever so often about how designers, developers, writers and other creatives should never let their clients waiting or unanswered. I’m certain this rule should also extend to bosses and contractors.

Screenshot of a busy colorful calendar

Above: Your startup CEO calendar. A couple more purples and we get a nice chain combo!

I know that running a company isn’t easy and that your calendar looks like widescreen Tetris, but you have to realize that these professionals should also be included in your schedule.

Don’t leave people unanswered. They shouldn’t be left wondering if the e-mail has reached you or not. Need more time? Tell them when you’ll be able to have a position on the subject. Keep them informed. Do not assume business is a unilateral relation where only the person getting paid has obligations. You’re giving them money, but they’re giving you value.

#Tech #CSS

The confusion over nesting elements set in em has been over for a couple years now, so what else is there to worry about this magnificent unit we all learned to love?

Screenshot of zoomed in red text with poor antialiasing that reads “half pixels”

Today I faced this problem while switching from SVG images to an icon font in an upcoming layout revision for Clicksign.

First, I thought it could be something related to the font or box size, but had no success in figuring it out until I started commenting out the CSS of elements surrounding the icon. I noticed that padding and margin had something to do with it.


This little forgotten feature in Chrome’s Developer Tools helped me confirm my suspicions:

Screenshot of the layout inspector in Google Chrome

It turned out that 1.8em was generating a 7.920px padding that nudged the icon to a half pixel. Olá Brother’s amazing Sip app also helped me with its quick zoom feature.

Screenshot of Sip’s zoom tool focusing on a badly antialiased icon

Wrapping up

Be extra careful using em units when you have pixel-perfect demanding assets like icon fonts and other small glyphs. You can either fall back to px or fine-tune your em numbers to achieve round values.