hjertnes.blog

First impressions of the 2016 MacBook Pro 13” With F-keys.

26.11.2016 01:00

```text 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. ```

```text 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. ```

```text 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. ```

```text 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. ```

```text 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. ```

```text 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. ```

```text I’ll write up a proper review as soon as I have used this machine for a while. ```

Git hosting

19.11.2016 01:00

```text 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. ```

```text There are three different Git repository hosting solutions I have used, and I think two of them are excellent. ```

```text
  • GitHub
  • BitBucket
  • CodebaseHQ
  • ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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). ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text Stay away from BitBucket, use GitHub if you can or use CodebaseHQ if you need to save some money. ```

    Good coffee

    13.11.2016 01:00

    ```text 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: ```

    ```text
  • A burr grinder
  • Good, fresh beans
  • A way to brew coffee
  • A way to boil water
  • ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text I recommend buying a good grinder like this one or this one 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    Review of my old 2013 Macbook Air

    10.11.2016 01:00

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text I always have two rules when I order a laptop, max out the ram and go one step above what you need to ensure longevity. ```

    Hello World

    08.11.2016 01:00

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text I had two reasons for deleting it: ```

    ```text
  • I had painted myself into a corner where I neither enjoyed what it was or writing for it.
  • My main focus at the time was my Pen & Paper Blog
  • ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text I’m not sure how often or how much I’ll write. But it will at least be some. ```

    Macbook 2016

    08.11.2016 01:00

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text I’m ordering a 13” Macbook Pro with 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of ram as soon as I can make it happen. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    ```text 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. ```

    What is convenient isn’t always better.

    21.09.2016 02:00

    ```text I bought an Apple Watch last week. This isn’t really about it, but the charging system Apple went for is a very good example for what I am trying to say. ```

    ```text The inductive charging system on the Apple watch is very convenient, you just place the watch on top of it and leave it. You don’t have to plug anything in, you just leave it on top of the charger. But it isn’t that great. My main problem with it is that it’s too easy for something to bump it off, and then you have a watch that is 50% charged in the morning instead of 100%. ```

    ```text You can say the same thing for a classic Bic Crystal. It is a very convenient pen, and it is pretty damn good for what it is, even though I don’t like it. It works every time, and it is cheap. You could buy a large box of them and leave a few in your bag, on your desk, in your jacket etc. But it isn’t better. You could get a much better pen, for example a Lamy 2000, but that is less convenient, even though the experience of writing with it is worse. ```

    ```text Convenience and the best thing is always up against each other, and you need to find the perfect balance. They work after two completely different set of premises. You want to go as close as possible to “best” when it is something that is important to you, and you want to go as close to convenient as possible when you want it to be as easy as possible. ```

    Why I don’t organise my notebooks.

    16.09.2016 02:00

    ```text I’m not that into organising “stuff” into folders or compartments. I don’t do it more than I have to digitally or analogue. The reason I never do it is that what I am going to look for when I need it is almost always different from what I would have categorised it as. My approach is instead to organise things based on what it is. All my plain text notes are in the same place, all my pictures are in the same place; all my Field Notes are in on place and all my larger notebooks in another. ```

    ```text I use search to find my stuff on my computer, and I almost always find it. The way I do it with my notebook is that I write when I started using a notebook, and when I completed it on the first page. Then I write a date on the top of each “text” or “list” or whatever. Then I write “(posted)”, “(transcribed)” and so on on the bottom of each text if I have done so. ```

    ```text It isn’t perfect, and it can be cumbersome to find stuff sometimes. But it gives me just enough context to find what I am looking for. ```

    ```text And I can look through all of my notebooks many more times before I even get close to the time it would have taken to set up and maintain a good system for categorising all of my used notebooks. ```

    End of an era, and when I discovered the benefits of handwriting.

    14.09.2016 02:00

    ```text I went to my university’s bookstore yesterday, and bought, what will hopefully be the last batch of books for subjects I am taking. I’ll probably still drop by every now and then to pick up some books. ```

    ```text My plan is to be done with my degree in a few months. ```

    ```text It was when I started at the university that I started to see the real benefits of taking notes by hand. I noticed that I didn’t really remember that much of the seminars and lectures when I took notes on my Macbook, while I remembered a lot more when I used pen and paper. ```

    ```text There have been done a lot of research on the subject, and I’m not going to get into that. But my observation after reviewing some of the notes I have taking both in digital form and analogue form, and my observation is that my digital note is more or less a direct transcription of both the slides and what was said. While my analogue counterparts include was less information. ```

    ```text My impression of my own process is that how I pay attention is the key part here. When I take notes digitally I just passively listen and just write down every single piece of information. While I really have to focus and pay attention to pick up the important information and formulations when I write by hand, because I can’t write down every single thing. ```

    ```text My reason for using pen and paper before I started at the university was because I preferred it, now I use it because it often is the better tool for the job, in most situations, but not all. I still think that a laptop is better if you want a very accurate transcript of the meeting. ```

    We need handwriting.

    08.09.2016 02:00

    ```text Articles like this always drive me nuts. We still use hand writing a lot in our daily lives, even though it doesn’t have the same role as it used to have. ```

    ```text The author uses one of the most ignorant and idiotic arguments I have seen in a very long time: ```

    ```text

    But as a left-hander with terrible handwriting who watched my son struggle to master cursive — he had to stay inside during recess for much of third grade because he wrote his j’s backward — that is a loss I can weather. And history is replete with similar losses; consider how rarely people now carve words in stone, dip pens into ink or swipe platens of typewriters. There will be no loss to our children’s intelligence. The cultural values we project onto handwriting will alter as we do, as they have for the past 6,000 years.

    ```

    ```text School isn’t just about learning useful skills. It is also about learning a wide skill set, so that you can figure out what you want to do later in life. But the most important thing is that many things in life are hard. You still have to do them, and it is good for you. ```

    ```text You still need handwriting. Many subjects you are going to take require you to do a handwritten exam, not because we are old fashioned, but because subjects like Math, Physics or Logic require very sophisticated software and a lot of training before you are able to do the same thing that you can do with a simple piece of paper and a ruler. ```

    ```text There are also many things in your daily life where you are expected to write by hand, for example when you have to fill out some forms. Or in a meeting when you are brainstorming on large piece of paper or a whiteboard. Or in a meeting with a designer when you are trying to figure out how something should look. ```

    ```text You can probably do the same thing on a computer, and we do, but it is often faster, easier and better to do it on paper. ```

    ```text Now. Cursive. My cursive hand writing is horrible, and I hated it when I had to learn it. But it is still a very useful skill. I can read cursive because of it, even though I can’t write it myself. We have spent many hundred years, and billions of dollars to learn how to understand dead languages that we lost the direct ties to. We will cut the ties to most of the primary sources available to historians if we stop teaching cursive. That is bad. The long term problem is that we could loose the ability to read them at all. The short term problem is for everyone that need in their field or study or other work related task. Instead of using a little bit of time learning it, while learning is easier, they have to learn it much later. This means more training or education for various research positions and probably regular jobs as well before they can do their job. ```