Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn



Kirkville Gets a Fresh New face


If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice a new look on Kirkville. I’d gotten tired of my previous theme, and I felt there was too much stuff on the site, and even more under the hood. The new theme that you see is smaller, faster, leaner, and didn’t require a lot of work to get […]


The Lance Armstrong Swindle


I’ve been an avid fan of the Tour de France for many years, especially since it used to pass right in front of my house in the French Alps every few years. As Lance Armstrong won his seven titles, I was amazed by his panache and his tactics; cycling races of that kind are both […]


Tour de Front Row


If you count the number of people who watch the Tour de France in person, the race is the most popular sporting event in the world. The playing field encompasses the roads of France, and three-quarters of French people have seen the Tour go by at least once. From open roads to steep, sinuous climbs, […]

Jack Kerouac on Writing


Food for thought for all writers. Not all of them apply to all styles of writing. If you like Kerouac, it’s worth thinking about these while reading through the “original scroll” edition of On the Road. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE 1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr […]

Gadget Notes: rOtring 800 Mechanical Pencil


I’ve always been a fan of pencils, both wooden and mechanical. I don’t write a lot by hand, but I do like to have nice writing instruments. So I went looking for a new mechanical pencil, and took a chance on the rOtring 800 (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), their almost-top-of-the-line tool. (There is an 800+, which […]

Tweet to Add Items to Your Amazon Shopping Cart with #AmazonCart Hashtag


Amazon has introduced a new feature called #AmazonCart. You can now reply to any tweet that features a link to an Amazon.com product, add the #AmazonCart hashtag, and Amazon will add that item to your shopping cart. (You’ll have to link your Twitter account to your Amazon profile for this to work.) It’s an interesting […]

Twitter Mistakes that Companies Make or How to Lose Twitter Followers


I use Twitter regularly, for a number of reasons. It keeps me in touch with friends and colleagues; this is especially useful for me as a freelancer, since I don’t have a water-cooler (or, if I did, I’d have a lot of one-sided conversations with my cat). But I also use Twitter to share my […]

The Problem with Newsstand


Jason Snell recently wrote, over at Macworld, why Newsstand needs to go away. Jason focused mostly on the illogical nature of Newsstand: is it an app? Is it a folder? Is it two things in one? But there are much more serious problems with Newsstand. I have subscriptions to a half-dozen magazines through Newsstand, and […]

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