What if you could build an entire, production-ready app not in weeks or months — but in minutes?

In order to build the many experiments for my research on the future of personal computing, and the subsequent demos for these Lab Notes, I needed a way to build much faster…


Managing many user requests at once with Mail Pilot is an entire system in itself. This essay breaks down the organization and process I use to hande and make use of a high volume of requests.

Email is a very personal thing. Everyone has their own unique list of “must-have”…


For the last three years, I’ve been working on a totally new Mail Pilot. More than that, it’s a totally new way to do email.

Today, I want to share the first look at what I’ve been cooking up:

This new Mail Pilot represents a dramatic shift in every…


Since launching 1997.chat this past week to bring some connection and nostalgia to the socially isolated, nearly 2,000 buddies have signed up, Nylon Magazine published a thing, and now, a Mac app has appeared.

The Mac app brings even more of the classic IM experience. You get notification sounds all the time, a bouncing icon dock when you receive messages, and an easier way to manage all your chat windows.

👉 Download it from 1997.chat

If you want to set your background to the classic “Bliss” from Windows XP, here it is:


Last week, with many headed into social isolation, a thought occurred to me: AIM should come back. After a few more thoughts occurred to me, outlined below, I went ahead and built it.

👉 Want to jump right into it? Head to 1997.chat on your desktop to get your screen…


The world I thought I lived in forever changed in the few years of my pre-teens, just as it did for every kid I knew or went to school with, and I suspect, many in my generation.

We all have an affinity for our favorite grocery chains — for me…


That’s all steam, not clouds — rising near the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

Stephen King’s wife once took his latest story out of the trash and forced him to finish it. That story was Carrie.

Stewart Butterfield wanted to return his investors’ money when his game wasn’t gaining traction. …


The newly released SwiftUI allows you to write your interface declaratively. And with the new data flow mechanisms, you can write your data flow declaratively as well — and everything will update as you would expect it to, automatically. The concepts are powerful, but they can be a little confusing.


You come up with a brilliant idea, you obsess over it, you Google some info, and on your screen lies your idea, being done by someone else, for the last two years. You’re all too familiar with that sinking feeling in your stomach that follows. …


Just as I was getting close to recording a video on Mail Pilot Discovery Edition’s new keyboard shortcuts, I noticed something horrifying.

They were a little… sluggish.

The Problem

When you’re scrolling around the Mail Pilot Discovery Edition interface, with all of its rendered email previews, the interface is buttery smooth despite…

Alexander Obenauer

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