hjertnes.blog

Future

25.12.2014 01:00

I started to thing about this a few days ago. Where do we go from here? We have powerful computers everywhere. We have good looking hardware and software. And most of it is pretty easy to use. My mother that haven’t used a old school computer ever. Can help my grandparents wih their iPad. She have become a pretty damn good iPhone and iPad user. Without much help.

Where do we go from here?

I think most of it is in linguistic analysis and artificial intelligence. We have apps like fantastical that can figure out what I mean with “lunch at noon tomorrow with Bob at the diner”. And apps like Soulver let me do a lot of complicated math with plain English. This is the area where I think the future is. Both as audio and text.

To pick the meaning out of language is the place where I think the future of great software is.

Well. I really don’t know. But this seems like the most logical place, right now. It might chang

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My Favorite iOS Apps 2014.

25.12.2014 01:00

The year is almost over. And I thought I should compile a list of the apps I really love. iOS is the platform where I find the apps that I love. There are many great OS X apps, but I never feel the same kind of affliction for them.

  • DayOne is my all time favorite app. I don’t think there is anything out there that have given me a similar joy. Or that I have spent more time in. I journal every day. And I do it in DayOne.

  • 1Password is the app that gives me peace of mine. And keeps everything together for me. I store everything important there. There is nothing even close to 1Password. It was one of the apps that got me to buy an iPhone; similar to that Textmate got me to buy an Mac.

  • Fantastical is the only calendar app that makes sense to me. It’s simple to add events and it gives me a simple and easy to read overview. It’s the calendar app for people that don’t use or like calendar apps.

  • Drafts is like FieldNotes. I use it to write down stuff, because it’s simple, fast and easy. Then I move it to somewhere more appropriate, when I have time.

  • Editorial have become my go to writing app. I even prefer using it over my Mac, when I need to write something, and time isn’t an issue. I love writing on my iPad and iPhone. And editorial makes it easy to write, and easy to publish. It wouldn’t be possible without it.

  • Overcast is the podcasting app I always wanted. It have the simplicity of Instacast, the beauty of Castro and the power of Downcast. It is the only podcast app I have been happy wih.

  • Pedometer ++ is my step counter. It is the kind of app that do one thing. Keep track and visualize how much I move. It’s great.

  • Unread. There have been many great rss clients over the years. But all of them have been more or less like NetNewsWire or Reeder. Unread was the first one that felt new and different. It makes it simple to get through the feeds, in a way where I don’t send everything to Instapaper. A great app.

  • Instapaper was the first iOS app I paid for. It does one thing way better than any other read it later app, and that is to read. There are many others, with a lot of fancy crap. I don’t care about it. Instapaper is made for reading first. And the others doesn’t.

  • Left to spend is my budget app of choice. Well it isn’t strictly a budget app. I don’t care that much about what I spent money on. I just want to keep track and limit how much I spend. Left to spend is made for that.

  • Threes is the first of two amazing games I have found for iOS this year. It’s addictive and fun. I spend too much time playing it. It’s a fun game you can play any time. Either before going to bed, or when you have a break.

  • Soulver is my go to calculator. I love writing, and Soulver combines writing and math. Spreadsheets and most calculator apps never clicked with me. But solver does.

  • Monument Valley is my last app, and the most impressive game I have ever played. I haven’t met a single person that don’t like it. The game play, look and feel is equal to none. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s never long enough.

Here is the list of all my current favorites. It was meant as a list of 4-5 apps, but ended up with a lot more. Enjoy.

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Najowrimo

24.12.2014 01:00

About NaJoWriMo for January 2015 | National Journal Writing Month:

Whether you keep a traditional pen and paper journal, or a digital journal, the purpose of the National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) is for using the power of journaling to enhance and document your life.

Many studies have shown that journal writing can be therapeutic for your personal health, a creative outlet of self-expression, and way to document your life as you live it.

NaJoWriMo is based on the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. NaJoWriMo is useful for new and veteran journal writers. This month-long challenge is great for those who want to get started with journal writing, but have been putting it off for various reasons. It’s also useful for frequent and veteran journal writers looking to use NaJoWriMo for improving their journal writing or focusing on a particular journal writing project.

I found this via Patrick Rhone’s The Cramped1. I have joined in on NANOWRIMO once. It was a great experience to write something long, in a short time. I will without doubt join in on this. I might even get involved with the project at some point. Writer or not – you should try to join in on this.

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  • A brilliant site, by a brilliant writer, about using analog tools. ↩

    Intentions for next year.

    23.12.2014 01:00

    The year is almost over. And I thought it was a good idea to list up a few intentions for next year. Some of them are things I have done in the past, and some of them are things I plan to do the next year. The purpose for the list is to give you some inspiration for next year.

    • Photography. You might have a DSLR or another nice camera lying around, or you could just use your iPhone. Try to get better at taking pictures. There are many ways you can improve your photography skills. Everything from different settings on your camera, to getting better at composition, to how you edit your images. But the most important thing is to shoot as much as possible. Try to take a few pictures every day. My goal is to always cringe when I see pictures I took a year ago. Try to always beat the previous you.

    • Journaling is one of my favorite hobbies. I try to journal every single day. And I think I can count the days I haven’t journaled in the last year, on one hand. First of all get DayOne. It’s a great app for iPhone, iPad and OS X. I use it all the time. There are many different things you can do with it. This is what I do:

      • I write a short text every day. It can be two lines, or 500 words. I write down what’s one my mind. It’s a great way to go back to see what you were doing or thinking about at any given moment.

      • Take a picture of yourself. I have done thins for a very long time. It’s both strange and weird to see how your looks change over time.

      • Weekly / Monthly re-cap. This isn’t something I do that often. But there are times when I feel the need to close down a period. And that is the times where I just write something long.

      • Pictures. One of the great things about Day One is that you can add pictures. My workflow for managing pictures I take with my phone is to upload everything to Dropbox, then delete it from my camera roll. And then I go through them all and add the important ones to DayOne.

    • Writing. If you want to, then you should. Starting a blog isn’t hard. Start a Squarespace site. And start writing. Don’t think about quality in the beginning. Just start to write. And give yourself some slack, and some constraints. I would recommend writing one blog post every week and take it from there.

    • Learning. This is one of my main intentions for 2015; I plan to watch a Lynda.com coerce every week, this year. There are many small things I want to learn. And I think doing it with the Lynda format is a good start. There are probably many things you with you could do, or was better at. Lynda is a good place to start.

    • Reading. I read a lot. Both on the Internet and the university. My goal for this year is to read for at least 30 minutes every single day. The only requirement is that it isn’t related to my studies.

    • Walking. My plan last year, and this year is to get more exercise. I plan to take a walk somewhere, as close to every day as possible this year. One of my best life hack when it comes to getting into habits, like journaling, photography, writing or exercise, is to start at the minimum. That means that I figure out the smallest thing I can do, and start from there.

    These are some of the intentions I have done, or plan to do. I think they are a good source of inspiration. Check them out, and good luck next year.

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    Todoist review

    19.12.2014 01:00

    Redesign

    18.12.2014 01:00

    My old design have finally been put to sleep, where it belongs. I was never happy about it. The old one was just ment to do one thing, work until I had the time to implement something better. And it’s finally here.

    The process was simple. I started sketching down some ideas last month. And then I moved on to writing a few words about what I wanted.

    This design is different from what I have done in the past. I spent a long time figuring out what I wanted. But I also wanted to try something different.

    I wanted something that did as much as possible, with as little as possible. The result is a design that just rely on a basic structure and type.

    This is what I have done

    1. I restructured the post style, to make it work better with linked post. And I implemented symbols to show that something is a linked post(the arrow) and a true permalink symbol ∞.

    2. Then I moved the menu to where I prefer it to be.

    3. My next step was to make sure the basic structure, and that everything I needed, and nothing more, was in the template.

    4. I set up the margins, to make sure things looked right. This was one of the major issues with my old design. It was too hard to see if something was a blog-post title, or just a header in the post itself.

    5. My last step, and the largest one was to set the type. I wanted both the structure and the text to look just right. And I think I have it.

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    The real App Store problem

    12.12.2014 01:00

    There have been a lot of unfortunate events with the iOS AppStore review team since iOS 8 came out. Some people blame the review Team, while others blame the lack of communication between them and the marketing(editor picks). I think both of them are wrong.

    Apple shouldn’t do what they have been doing. Which is: make it hard to make cool stuff with their new API’s. And they shouldn’t just make exception for developers that are big enough to get media to back them. The thing Apple should do is ot make the guidlines better.

    Let me explain what I mean with better. Should be clearer. And it should be more like a consitution. This is what both the developers and the reviewers have to work form. Both have to follow them. If Apple want to have a App Store with bleeding edge software, that are pushing the limits of the platform, then they have to do things in a different way.

    1. Don’t pull apps that have been accepted to the store, unless you have a very good reason for doing so.

    2. If you see something you don’t like, that dosen’t break the guidlines – update them. And make the developer change it in the next update.

    3. Make sure the guidelines provide the right constraints. Avvoid the bad stuff, and foster the great apps we have seen in the past.

    Developers need the security to know that they you don’t remove something they worked on for a year, after a few days. Think like this: you need to live with it, in 910 situations, until the next update, if you accept it into the store.

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    Relay.fm

    01.12.2014 01:00

    Relay.fm have been running for a while now, and I thought it was about time to write about their shows, and why you should listen to them.

    • Analog(ue). Was a brand new show at Relay.fm. This is one of my favorite new shows this year. Myke Hurley and Casey Liss, from ATP talk about all the “touchy feely” things. It’s a great show.

    • BONANZA!. This is new show on Relay. It’s hosted by Myke Hurley and Matt Alexander. This show picks up, where Bionic left off. The only word that could describe it weird. The good kind.

    • Clockwize used to be a IDG show, and was brought over to Relay when Jason Snell left Macworld. It’s a short show, with two regular and two guest hosts. A great concept. And a great show.

    • Connected started as the 512 podcasts, and was renamed The Prompt when 70Decibels moved to 5by5, and Federico Viticci from MacStories joined the show. It’s one of my favorite tech shows.

    • Inquisitive is the next incarnation of Myke’s interview show. It started out as The Brow Show, then CMD+Space. This is without doubt one of the best interview shows out there.

    • The Pen Addict is the show for everyone that likes stuff like pen and paper. Brad Dowdy of PenAddict.com is the Gruber of pen and paper. You should check it out, if you have any interest in pen and paper; or if you want to get into it.

    • Upgrade was another new show right after the network launched. Jason Snell and Myke Hurley talk about tech. My only thought when it launched was – finally. Jason Snell is a brilliant writer. And this have become one of my favorite shows.

    • Virtual. I’m not really into gaming. But you should check out Virtual if you are. I listen to it now and then. Frederico and Myke talk about gaming.

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    My backup post.

    28.11.2014 01:00

    I have written about backups many times before. But I still know a lot of people that never do backups. And I think I know why. Every time I have written about backups I end up with a huge list of things people should do. I have also read a lot of similar posts.

    This is the post where I tackle everything, and divide everything into different stages.

    The first stages will go through the bare minimum that I believe that everyone need to have. It won’t cost much, and it’s a bare minimum setup. Then I’ll move on to what I think is a very good and adequate backup solution. Before I finish the series with my advice on a little bit more crazy backup solution.

    The first step

    The first step into the world of backup should be something simple, something easy; something that just gets you started.

    I’m just going to explain how important backups are, before we move on. Most people that really care about backups have experienced major data-loss at some point. And you should be smarter than us, and do something about it right now. You hard drive will fail at some point; or your operating system might fail so badly that you need to re-install it; your file system could also fail; but the most annoying thing is when somebody steal your device, or something like a fire breaks it.

    OS X

    I think moving into some kind of online backup is the first step. It don’t require much money or knowledge. There are many alternatives, but I think Backblaze is the best option. I have used it for many years, and it just works. You get unlimited backups for $5 a month, per computer. They are one of the few providers that actually mean unlimited: you can backup all your data, no storage limits. And everything is uploaded as fast as your connection allows.

    It’s also easy to restore backups on Backblaze. You can restore single files or folders in their web-interface, or order a USB drive with your complete backup if you need it all.

    iOS

    We don’t have the same options when it comes to iOS, there are more or less one option. And that is the built-in backup solution. USE IT. You can backup 5GB for free. Enable it on your iPad and iPhone; and make sure everything is safe.

    But I don’t have anything.

    I know a lot of people that claim they have “everything” in some kind of cloud syncing solution. Trust me, there are always something that wasn’t synced. Or isn’t where you expected it to be. A solid backup isn’t expensive, and it might save your bacon at some point.

    A good backup strategy

    OS X

    The next logical step is go have a solid local backup. This dosn’t require much money. Just get a external drive. I always go for a drive that is at least twice the size of my system. So, I use a 1TB drive to backup a 256GB SSD.

    Just plug it in, format it; and configure Time Machine; and wait for it to complete. And Time Machine will back up your system every hour or something as long as the drive is plugged in.

    This makes it very easy to restore single files, or moving to a new computer. I have used it when I’m upgrading to a new model, or when computers have failed on me. You just plug in the device, start the new computer and tell the installer that you are restoring from Time Machine. And wait for a few hours; depeding on how much data you have.

    iOS

    There are not much you can do with iOS. But I always connect my iPhone and iPad to my mac and make a manual backup with iTunes once a month.

    iCloud should be enough. But it’s such a time saver to have a local copy. Always do it before updating or restoring your phone.

    Going crazy

    You should have a pretty decent backup strategy by now. But there is no such thing as “too many backups”. I have three backups, plus a lot of stuff that is kept in Dropbox and Evernote. I have one copy of everything in Backblaze, I have a Time Machine backup. And I clone my system to another drive with SuperDuper. I mainly do this to have a bootable backups. To have something to work from, if my drive fails.

    I also used to have a cloned copy of every single external drive containing something else than backups, back in the day.

    Most people have less backups than me, and a some people have more. My personal opinion is that you are pretty secure if you have an online backup, plus a Time Machine backup and a cloned copy.

    Different people, different needs.

    Remember, any good backup solution should be automatic. Make sure you don’t have to do anything to back up.

    Some people use two cloud backups, plus Dropbox, plus many cloned copies and Time Machine. I think that’s a little bit over the top. Just make sure to have a system that are secure enough. So you don’t have to worry about losing data.

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    Picture workflow

    28.11.2014 01:00

    What to do with the pictures I shoot with my iPhone was a big issue for me, for a very long time.

    I didn’t want to mix them up with my DSLR pictures. They serve a different purpose. They are more like a memory, than the pictures you make prints from.

    And I didn’t want to leave them on my camera roll.

    My current workflow is the following, I upload everything to Dropbox with the app; I remove the pictures from my phone. And then, I go through all of them and add the good or important ones to Day One.

    The Dropbox upload is something I do a few times a week, while the clearing out my camera roll is something I do about once a month. It’s difficult to answer how often I add the pictures to Day One, I do it when there are a a few hundred pictures.

    Then I just delete everything in the camera upload folder.

    The reason I ended up with Day One, is because it’s my journal. It’s the place I add everything personal and important. It’s also the app I read and browse in, when I don’t have anything better to do.

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