Twelve for 2018

Okay, so I’m a bit late to the party, but: rather than try to create a bunch of resolutions, I’ve decided that I’d prefer to take on twelve projects this year. Why twelve? Well, largely because it breaks down to one project per month (not that I intend these to be month-long projects, it just works out that way). In no particular order of importance, they are: Learn a new language: My wife and I have been talking about doing this together.

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Hello, 2018

The last thing I wrote here was a retrospective on 2016, written one year and one day ago. That’s… quite a while ago. You’d think I’d have written more, given how much happened this year. Off the top of my head: I changed jobs, and am now working with the thoughtful geniuses at Fog Creek. I got pretty serious about personal fitness, making great progress, right up until… …I severed a tendon in my left pinky, which left me in a splint for most of the summer after surgery to reattach it (occupational and physical therapy are still ongoing, six months later) we lost our wonderful fluffy companion of 15 years Aside from the fitness bit, none of these were events that I expected or planned for.

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Twenty-sixteen, reviewed

At the beginning of the year, I wrote down some goals for 2016. The year has come and gone, so it’s not a bad idea to have a bit of a look at how things went. Review 1. Post something here every Friday I did pretty well at this for a while, up until late August. But as the year wore on it felt more and more that I was writing just for the sake of checking off a repeating to-do item, rather than writing a goal in and of itself.

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One decision

As I write this, I’m sitting at a Starbucks in a mall, two days before Christmas. I’m sipping a large black coffee distractedly, watching folks noodle on by, caught up in whatever last few errands they may need to run before hosting or visiting friends and family for the holidays. The mall’s background music is calm, barely-audible, and shoppers don’t seem particularly stressed out, or rushed, or frustrated. It’s possible that I’m projecting my mood on this scene, too.

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On criticism

I see a lot of digital ink spilled on how some particular thing is broken taking a quality nose-dive stupid irrelevant &cet. And it’s good to be critical. With a bit of healthy skepticism, we avoid the reality-distortion fields that turn rational-minded folks into zealots. Nothing is so perfect that it can’t be improved, and I get that this is the place that a lot of these thinkpieces come from.

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Thoughts on Per

I haven’t posted here in a little while, thus breaking the streak that I was intending to maintain. I don’t feel too bad about this, because I’ve been working on other stuff in the meanwhile, but it’s nice to be writing again. Specifically, in light of the coming App Store purge, I’ve been working on a big update to Per. While I’m not especially concerned that Per, in its current form, is at risk of being culled, it has been a long time since it was updated.

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iPhone Unplugged

It’s widely expected that the next iPhone will be announced tomorrow during the scheduled Apple Event. For months now, the rumour mill has been telling us that the most controversial change Apply is making to its flagship product is the removal of the headphone jack. At this point, it seems like a certainty. The headphone jack in its current form has existed for decades, but Apple is notorious for advancing physical I/O past its status quo: witness the current MacBook with its single USB-C port, and recall the Lightning and 30-pin connectors on iOS devices, the adoption of Thunderbolt on current Macs, the even introduction of USB on the original iMac.

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Split iPhone

I noticed this earlier in the year, but my iPhone is coming apart at the seams near the volume buttons. At first, I figured I’d managed to bend the phone, but upon closer inspection, both the back of the case and the screen are bulging outward—which is not the failure mode you’d expect for a bent phone. The gap at the seam is nearly 2mm, such that light from the screen leaks, but it’s nowhere near as bad as I’ve seen doing an image search.

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Light writing

Literally writing with light, or photography, as it’s more commonly known. I used to think that I loved photography. I think I still do, I just… never really do it anymore. At one point I had a whole mess of expensive camera gear, with the fancy full-frame digital SLR and red-ring’d lenses. And the fast primes—oh, I loved those. Studio strobes? Yup. Speedlights? Several. Fifty pounds of camera gear that stayed home because, I convinced myself, I couldn’t be arsed to carry fifty pounds of camera gear around with me.

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Swift, UnitTemperature, And Humidex

Last week, I wrote about weather apps that use the Dark Sky forecast API for weather data lacking the Canadian humidex. Those that do tend to be riddled with ads and all kinds of content that, well, I don’t care about. And naturally, I started thinking about how I use weather apps. All I really want from my is a couple of things: Current conditions, including humidex/ windchill values; Forecast conditions with highs and lows for today and tomorrow, again including humidex and windchill; Probability of precipitation for the next hour, with alerts of impending rain.

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