December 09, 2016
I just posted an review of my new bag oer at my other site.
I just posted an review of my new bag oer at my other site.
The only big struggle I have with this computer is the new keyboards that Apple are going for.
I have a really hard time to communicate my feelings about it. It is a big change, and I think it might be for the better. But it will take some time to get used to it for many people.
My favourite thing about Apple laptops during the last 10 years have been that their keyboards have been so good that I never wanted an external keyboard. The strange thing is that this keyboard are still very close to that, except for the arrow keys and a few other minor details. But the key-travel is the thing many people including me are struggling with.
I thought it was unusable when I first got it. Seriously: I had to type my password 5 times before I got it the first couple of days. But now I type more or less as many typos as I did with my MacBook Air.
It does require a few days to a week to get used to it. And my impression is that I write much faster on this keyboard than anything else I have used.
Magsafe 1 & 2 have been <em>the</em> gold standard for as long as I have owned Apple laptops. And they became so, a year or two after I started lusting after a 12” PowerBook. I was a huge fan of the original design, less so the version 2, but I still think both of them were and is the best.
I think more or less everyone agree that having a cable that disconnects when you are close to dragging your computer into the ground is superior to not having it. No matter if you prefer having a USB-C port or not.
But there are still things about it that I like and don’t like. One thing that drive me nuts about the new Apple chargers is that I need to buy three different things to get what I am used to get when I buy an Apple Charger. I need to buy the brick, the USB-C cable and the extension cable. This is ridiculous. I had a full bag of various Apple boxes, only containing the different charger parts when I bought this computer. (I prefer to have three chargers, one in my computer bag, one at by desk at home and one at my desk at work).
There are actually some good things about it too. But I just wish Apple could have a box containing all of it. The employee at my local Apple Premium Reseller spent 10 minutes locating the different boxes for a simple charger.
My experience is that one thing break in every single charger after a couple of years, the plug that go into the computer. I really like how you can just replace that part when it breaks. This is cheaper and good for the environment.
The general USB-C concept is good. You use the same port for everything. Charging, storage, displays etc. But it will be a painful period until we find out how many ports we need to have on our machines and until accessories are updated to use USB-C ports. Remember the days in the late 90s when we had one USB-A port on most computers?
I went back and forth to this question like a million times between when Apple announced the new hardware until ordering one. My choice to go with the one with F-keys are as full of constraints as the machine itself. My need for a machine fast, and willingness to see where this touch bar thing goes was stronger than the more powerful machine with a touch bar.
This was the first custom order machine to be delivered to my local Apple Authorised Reseller, even though many people ordered custom machines with the touch bar before I ordered mine.
I love this machine. It feels much more dense and much smaller than my old MacBook Air. I have the same feeling I had when I went from the old pre-Retina 15” MacBook Pro. The battery is fantastic, it feels like a more powerful version of what I had. And I love the retina screen.
The USB-C stuff is okay. Charging with it isn’t a huge problem, but I’m going to miss the MagSafe. It is a major pain in the ass – right now. But I expect that it will make docking take off, like it never did before it.
I’m not sure what to say about the keyboard. My typos where flying like the racist, homophobic and misogynist profanities at a Trump rally But after ofter 24 hours and a few thousand words I feel okay about it. I can notice that I write faster on it. I might even like in a few week.
I miss the glowing Apple logo on the back. I’m not sure why, but it have been a part of Apple laptops for as long as I can remember. The design brings their lineup to something that feels and looks much more modern than it have been in a long time. The MacBook Pro and MacBook Airs have been due for a while. The design have been more or less the same since the first unibody release, and then some revisions since then. And they started to look really old when the MacBook came out.
I’ll write up a proper review as soon as I have used this machine for a while.
I have used Git for a very long time by now, I think I started using it in 2007 or 2008. And I have used it in teams since 2010. Git is very powerful, but it isn’t the easiest tool to use, unless you find the right tools. Something that bothered me with Git from the start was how hard it was to set up a server to manage Git repo’s. It is one of the things where it is much easier to just use a hosted solution like for example GitHub.
There are three different Git repository hosting solutions I have used, and I think two of them are excellent.
<li> <a href="http://github.com">GitHub</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://bitbucket.org/product">BitBucket</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.codebasehq.com">CodebaseHQ</a> </li>
All of them do more or less the same thing. You get access to git repository with various limits and some nice add ons for x amounts of $ per month. It’s pretty straight forward.
The cheapest option is BitBucket, you can do what ever you want for as long as you want, up to five users, and then you you basically pay $10 a month for up to 10 users, $25 for up to 25 users and so on.
CodebaseHQ, their pricing is also pretty straight forward. The only difference between the plan is disk space and the number of action projects; except for the cheapest plan where you also have a user limit, starting at 9 punds.
GitHub is the more expensive option, kind of. If you want a personal account you can get that for $7 and there are no repository limits; I’m also pretty sure you can invite as many users that you want to your repositories. But it’s kind of a hassle if you have a large number of repositories, and need to add or remove people from them. They also have a Organization and a Enterprise plan. The former is $25 a month (includes five users) and $9 per additional user. And the latter is if you want or have to host your code yourself ($21 per user).
I have used all of them with teams, and both GitHub and CodebaseHQ are fantastic options. BitBucket on the other hand is a fucking nightmare. I can feel the billable hours disappear like sand between my fingers every single time I have to do anything with the BitBucket interface. What takes me under a minute with GitHub or Codebase takes 5-10 minutes with BitBucket. There are a million different things in the interface, and a combination of deprecated features and stuff you actually can use. And the other stuff they include, like HitChat and Jira is beyond bad. Jira is powerful, but then you need a dedicated Jira Guru that doesn’t have any other responsibilities and seriously – use Slack instead of HipChat. PivotalTracker is a million times better than Jira anyways.
A personal GitHub account can work if you have one repository and some people working with you on it, but the GitHub for Organizations are fantastic, it’s actually easy to manage, and easy to deal with from the team member perspective in the GitHub web interface.
Stay away from BitBucket, use GitHub if you can or use CodebaseHQ if you need to save some money.
Regular coffee and good coffee are two very different animals. You will notice the difference when you try it. Some people I know only like good coffee and some I know only like regular. To make really good coffee isn’t expensive, time consuming or difficult. You need a few things:
<li> A burr grinder </li> <li> Good, fresh beans </li> <li> A way to brew coffee </li> <li> A way to boil water </li>
You can get all of it for less than $200. The most expensive thing will be the grinder, and buying beans and filters are the only on going expense. The first thing you need to do is to figure out what kind of coffee you prefer. Some prefer espresso while others prefer pour over. I personally sometimes prefer pour over, while others times prefer espresso.
I recommend buying a good grinder like this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LW8122Y/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_w">one</a> or this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006MLQHRG/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_3_w">one</a> if you can afford spending an extra $100. Then you should get a V60 if you prefer pour over, or an Aeropress if you prefer Espresso style coffee; or just get both.
The V60 will give you really great regular coffee. It isn’t anything complicated about it, you put in the filter, grids and add water until you have filled your cut. The only skill required is the ratio between grinds and water, and how you pour the water.
The Aeropress is another animal. It is a penis-pump looking device that lets you make many different kinds of coffee. You can make everything from french press style to espresso style or pour over style coffee with it. It all depends on the recipe you are using. There is a good chance that you will find a Aeropress recipe that match your favourite coffee.
I have made hundreds of cups of coffee with my Aeropress, and it is still my favourite. Even though I mostly use my V60 these days. Mostly because the Aeropress requires much more precise time increments than my V60 does.
Some people go crazy, when they start to get into coffeee. I haven’t. The coffee I make for myself is more than good enough, and better than the coffee most coffee shops make. Start simple, and add new stuff as you need it. The most important thing is to have a good grinder, and to get good beans.
The current Macbook Air line, not the first one, is one of my absolute favourite line of laptops. Apple managed to combine power, quality and price unlike anything else. I would probably have upgraded to another one, if they had upgraded it. The Macbook Air was a strange machine because it was so powerful that it could be a cheap alternative to the more expensive Macbook Pro to many, including me; especially the i7 models.
It is still a perfectly fine machine after three and a half years, except for that the battery is dead. And I can still do 90% of what I do without any hassle, except that it starts to feel a little bit sluggish when I’m working on projects where I need to run backends that require Windows, Xcode or importing a lot of images to Lightroom. And 256GB SSD have become a little bit too small for me. I can get around it by the Dropbox selective sync.
My personal impression is that the modern SSD based systems made my Apple since 2011 hold up much better than their spinning hard drive counterparts. I remember my 2009 Macbook Pro felt much slower after a couple of years than this machine feels after close to four years. I just hope that the Retina Macbook Pro I’ll be ordering in a few weeks will hold up as well.
I always have two rules when I order a laptop, max out the ram and go one step above what you <em>need</em> to ensure longevity.
My current Mac and work device is a 2013 Macbook Air, it have been with me through a lot, but I need to replace it as soon as humanly possible. The battery is dead and it starts to feel a little “funky” after over three and half years of service. I can still use it for everything I need to, but it isn’t as fast as it used to or should be, and sometimes when I push my luck, the cpu overheats.
I started to look for a replacement 10 months ago. Then I concluded that I would get a new one when my current machine died or when Apple released new Macbooks; whichever came first. Then I hoped for a refresh in March or April, or at WWDC at the latest. Instead we got them a few weeks ago.
The machines are very interesting, and I think they are the future. Sometimes we go through easy transitions like when we lost the DVD Drive or harder ones like when we lost the Floppy drive. This is obviosuly one of the harder ones. I personally had a lot of philosophial and practical problems when we lost the Firefire 400 and Firewire 800 port; I still miss that little bastard.
I’m ordering a 13” Macbook Pro with 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of ram as soon as I can make it happen.
This line of Macbooks are frustrating for a number of reasons, and none of it has to do with the ports. For me it comes down to the lack of Magsafe, I get why, but I still wish Apple had made it work in some way.
The available configurations of the new Macbook Pro’s are a little bit weird. One one side you have the new one(with touch bar), that is expensive, but still kind of okay. And then you have the cheaper model without the touch bar that feels very expensive when you look at what you get. The Macbook Pro without the Escape key is very limited, the processor is much slower and you only get two USB-C ports. Now, I think it could become an interesting product in the future if the price goes down.
I think it will be a rough period in front of us, until the world catches up to the USB-C future that Apple has decided to go down. I’m going to miss the SD slot, and I’m going to miss the Magsafe. But I’m also a little bit dissapointed. I really hoped for 32 GB of Ram(I know that the notebook chipsets aren’t there yet) and cheaper SSD storage.
This could be viewed as a remake of the technology focused site I had in various forms from 2009 until early this year when I deleted it, and that site was an extension of the many different blogs and sites I had since I started doing web development in my early teens.
I had two reasons for deleting it:
<li> I had painted myself into a corner where I neither enjoyed what it was or writing for it. </li> <li> My main focus at the time was my <a href="http://inksmudge.net">Pen & Paper Blog</a> </li>
Then I started to feel the need for writing technology again. I think it started about six months ago, and now I think the time is right again. My original plan was to do it on medium, and having it be something I only did when I felt like it. But I posted one thing, and then I removed it 12 hours later because it didn’t feel right.
I looked at various places to start a blog, but I decided to go for a simple staticky generated web page, powered by a simple Swift Console Application I wrote yesterday. It is very bare bones at the moment, and I plan to work on it and maybe open source it at some point.
I’m not sure how often or how much I’ll write. But it will at least be some.
Patrick Rhone have been publishing lists of the book he have completed during the last calendar year for a while now. And I always think: fuck, I want to do that, every single time. This year I actually did it.
Below is the list. I have grouped them by author simply because I read a lot.
Stephen King is one of my absolute favourite authors. He is one of the authors where I just pick up something random that I haven’t read before when browsing my local book store or Audible.
And I often re-read or re-listen his books, when I don’t have anything else to read or listen to.
On Writing. One of my aboslute favourite “writing” books, and I try to re-read or re-listen to this one once a year. A fantastic read, even for non writer, the autobigoraphical part of the book is fantastic.
It. I first got the audiobook early this year, then I got the paperback when I was in England in May. It is one fantastic book. This is one of the books that would make a fantastic move, if given the proper budget and number of movies / hours.
The Stand. A very long, but strongly enough it doesn’t feel very long. I think this book is the best example of what a brilliant story teller Stephen King is. You have many many different story lines that merges into two different ones before they collide at the end. I can’t recommend this book enough. Another Stephen King book that would make a brilliant movie.
Needful things. I enjoyed this book, but it isn’t the best Stephen King book I have read, but still better than most books.
11-22-63. I usually don’t enjoy time travel stuff. But this book is one of the few that “works”.
Mr. Mercedes. Brilliant book, I think this is the best book he has written since Doctor Sleep. The only thing I did in between listening to this one was to sleep and buying beer.
Revival. Another one of the Stephen King books that isn’t the best, but still very high entertainment value. The weird thing about Stephen King is that some of his books are brilliant, while others are just okay; the just okay books are still so much better than most books.
A good marriage. There are probably a million versions of this story; wife kills husband and tries to get away with it. The story itself isn’t much, but the twist on it is brilliant.
Bukowski is one of my aboslutley favourite writers. I have all of his novels, plus some other stuff on Audible. And they are one of the books I just re-listen to when I don’t have anything better to do.
Ham on Rye
Hot water music
South of No North
Friedrich Nietzsche have been and continue to be one of my favourite philosophers. The reason his writings always click with me is because it provokes independent though and not some complete system that one should follow.
Geneology of morals.
Why I am so wise.
Will to Power.
One of the better attempts at writing a easy to understand History of Philosophy. The thing I like about Kenny is that he divides it into a Historical overview and a topical one. It makes it a little bit longer, but much easier to navigate.
Ancient Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 1
Medieval Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 2
The Rise of Modern Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 3
Philosophy in the Modern World: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 4
I spent most of the summer listening to the audiobook version of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I thought the TV series was good, but the books are brilliant.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
I took a course on Ludwig Wittgenstein last semester. And had to suffer through his two main works, plus On Certainty. It is the hardest course I have taken, and it is some of the, if not the, hardest stuff I have ever read.
The results from taking it are pretty good. And I think I’m at least a little bit smarter after taking it.
Philosophical Investigations ## Patrick Rhone Patrick is my favourite “web” writer, and a fantastic human being. I have been following his various sites for many years, since either 2010 or 2011; I don’t remember. His books are excellent, and you should check them out. I re-read them more or less once a year. My favourite is Keeping it Straight.
Some thoughts about writing
This could help .
__Keeping it Straight.
This section contains all the books I where I either read one, or just a few books by the author.
__Wittgenstein, William Child. __ This was the main syllabus book in the Wittgenstein course I took this semester. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it, but it made Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy possible to navigate in a reasonable amount of time. And was necessary for me to get a basic understanding of his Philosophy and to write a good term paper.
_ An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield _. I’m a huge fan of Hadfield ever since I saw his Bowie cover, recorded at the International Space Station; which got me interested in space exploration again. I listened to the audiobook version, and it was fantastic.
_ Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov. _ I have been struggeling with both the audio, Norwegian translation and the English version of this book for many years. In fact, it was the first book I bought on Audible. I finally completed it. It is a great book, but it requires something.
Victoria, Knut Hamsun. I got the pocket version of this book from Ingri for Christmas. And I spent a afternoon re-reading it. I already had it in my old Collective Work of Knut Hamsun, and haven’t read it in years. The books are so heavy and old. This is the great thing about pocket books. The entry is so much lower. I love this book for the writing and the classic tragedy structure of the book. Every Norwegian out there should read it, and anyone else should find a English translation.
_ Think, Simon Blackburn. _ I got this book when I was in England, and it is a fantastic introduction to Philosophy. It is always a sign when someone like me, who has read tens of thosands of pages of Philosphy, and is more or less done with a Bachelors in it enjoys it. It isn’t hard to understand and it was a very easy read.
_ Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman. _ A great book, but I thought it was a little bit too “long winded” for my taste. But I would still recommend anyone to read it.
Hva er filosofi?, Lars Fr. H. Svendsen. One of the academic publishers here in Norway have this amazing series of books called Hva er / What is, where they take some subject and tell a professor or something to write a small book about it. Most of them are good, but this one is excellent. I gave it to my girlfriend for christmas. It’s a great simplified introduction to philosophy. It also includes one of the bests critics of modern academic philosophy have ever read.
Mening?. John. Hellesnes . There isn’t often I see a philosophy book placed like this one in a book store. They are usually hidden, while this one was one of the few they were trying to promote, that day. I enjoyed part of it. It’s a book, in Norwegian, about religion criticism in Friedrich Nietzsche, and the Norwegian poet and writer: Arne Gaborg. I really enjoyed the Friedrich Nietzsche parts of the book. And the rest was pretty good. The reason I liked this is because of my relationship with Friedrich Nietzsche, I enjoy his philosophy, and I love to read others interpretations and criticism of it, because that again helps me develop my own.
On bullshit, Harry G. Frankfurt. A philosophical essay. I saw it in a book shop, while killing time before I was going to a job interview. It was one of the books I had to buy, just because the title was so funny. The book itself is entertaining for philosophers, and people with a interest in philosophy. By the way: I love philosophy essays like this, a theoretical approach to something silly.
Classical Philosophy, Peter Adamson. I had to read this, as a part of my philosophy degree, it’s based on the podcast “History of Philosophy without any gaps”; which is a interesting idea by itself. This is the best history of philosophy book I have read. The chapters are short, and straight to the point, and it’s very easy to read. I look forward to reading more, as the books come out.
The Logic Book, Bergmann/Moor/Nelson. This was the syllabus book in a 1-order logic course I had to take. This book is terrible. It uses too much space, and they don’t have a summary section.
Life lessons from Nietzche, John Armstrong. Interesting, but not much new in this one. It was still $15 bucks well spent, and a few hours of entertainment.
Er vi venner igjen?, Pål Angelskår. A very long collection with essays, I would be very generous if I said I liked five of them.
_ Blink, Malcolm Gladwell. _ A fantastic book about the thinking without thinking.
_ Talk like TED, Caroline Gallo. _ Not the worlds best book. But this book provides a unique view into the presentational style of some excellent speakers.
_ In dust of this planet: horror of philosophy, Eugene Thacker. _ The title is much more interesting than the content.
Industrial / Organisational Psychology, Aamodt. I read this book as a part of my job, when I was a Step-in Team Leader for a Greenpeace fundraising project, but it soon became the reason I’m never going to take any Psychology course ever.
Stoner, John Williams. A weird, fascinating and tragic story; but still a fantastic book.
The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle. I liked this one better than all the other books by Aristotle that I have read; mostly because it is much easier to read. This might be the most influential piece of ethics ever written.
A Theory of Justice, John Rawls. The book is brilliant, without doubt. I’m not sure if I prefer Rawls or Nozick. This brilliant book is a pain in the neck to get through. John Rawls isn’t a man of few words, and my feeling when I had to have a lecture about this book is: with a few more rounds of editing this book could have been at least half the size.
Phaedrus, Plato; translation by former Professor Emeritus R. Hackforth, Some translations are just a translation, and some are a translation plus something else. This is without doubt a translation of the latter category. The additions added by Hackforth makes it much easier to get through it the first time. And then you know what to look for when you start diving into the text. Not unlike what Kaufmann have done with his Nietzsche translations.
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader, by Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli. This books is in no way perfect, but it was way better than the Isacson book.
I’m more or less happy with the number of books I have read this year. I stopped counting at 50. And I’m over 1 book per week, which is good. My plan for 2016 is to continue to read as much as possible. I only hope to change one thing, and that is to read more consistently. My plan is to read something more or less every single day.