hjertnes.blog

A shout out for 1Password

14.04.2014 02:00

This is the situation, Heartbleed is the latest in security issues. It’s a bug in OpenSSL, the library most security related technologies use these days. Everything from sites running over SSL, to VPN and regular file encryption.

I’m not too scared, I’m not.

Here is the reason.

I use 1Password.

I store most of the sites I have visited since 2011, in 1Password. And I can just create a smart folder, and start changing every single password in there when I need to.

It’s not that I’m not scared that people will steal my passwords and break in. The thing is that I know that my passwords are unique, and that it’s not a huge hassle to change them.

So, if you haven’t purchased 1Password yet – do it – today.

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Understanding yourself

14.04.2014 02:00

I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons for me writing is to understand myself.

You have an idea. And then you try to explain it.

What you have is something that is kind of clear in your own head, but won’t make any sense for anyone else.

This is what writing is all about.

Writing is about explaining that idea – telling the story – in a way that someone else would understand.

But, writing is also something different. It is also about understanding yourself, and what you are thinking.

Sometimes I write to tell the world what I am thinking. And other times the process of telling the world, is also my preffered method to figure out what I think and what I mean.

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Happy

10.04.2014 02:00

The idea for this post came from a major annoyance of mine. We all have heard it: “you should just quit your job, and make your hobby your job, and you’ll be happy”.

I don’t agree.

The more I think about what makes me happy, the more I think it is something a bit more complex than just doing what you love.

I have done a lot of changes with my life since August last year, and this text is a reflection on how they have made me happier.

Balance. You need to have a balance between your private and work life that you are happy about. I’m talking about “work life” as in paid work. Some people like to work a stupid amount, while others like to work less. You need to figure out what you like, and live within those boundaries.

Arrangement. Some people like to have one job, while others like to have more than one, or even many. I prefer to have more than one job, you need to figure out what’s the right thing for you.

What. One of the most important things in life is to figure out what you want to work with. I used to think software development was the thing I should work with. I have done it, and still do it. It’s not like I hate it, but I don’t think it is something I will do forever. You need to check if the thing you are doing right now, is the best thing for you.

Develop yourself. I’m self critical of nature. And I’m also a strong believer in the essence in the “Outliers” message. You can learn anything.

I learnt how to do both general software development and web development, during my teens. It was hard work. But I learnt it by talking to other people that was learning, and by doing.

I never card much about or for writing during High School. But I got more interested in it when a few years ago. What I did was to follow the old advice by doing it a lot. I wrote at least 500 words every single day, until I got good at it.

This year, I have done something different. It’s not the exact same process, but similar. I have never been that good at taking the initiative, and talking to people I don’t know. But I took up a job as a street fundraiser this year.

You learn by doing, and by your mistakes. Embrace and learn from them.

Hobbies. I think they are the single most important thing any person are doing. I have a few of them. I love taking pictures, writing on this (and other) sites. I love talking to intelligent people. And I love hiking.

I usually think about my paid gigs as a way for me to do, and develop my hobbies.

What makes someone happy? What makes me happy is to be able to do a lot of different things. I work one day a week for free in a student pub. I use the rest of my time doing fundraising, studying, software development. Or politics, photography and writing.

Find your balance, and don’t be afraid to change the parts of your life that are making your miserable.

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Rundown on why I use Textmate

09.04.2014 02:00

Okay, there are three major developer minded text editors for the Mac these days. Well there are more, but there are three major ones. They are Textmate, BBEdit and Sublime Text.

I started using Textmate when I got my first Mac. Textmate itself was one of the reasons I wanted to buy “one of those weird Apple computers”.

BBEdit is a great editor, but it’s not for me. I have tried it countless times. I kind of wish it was something that I could use. It’s one of the best supported Mac Apps in the world, and that is something that I like. But there are a few things like auto-pairing that I can’t live with out, and also auto-save.

I know you can get both of those with some third party hacks. But they are so important to me, that I need to have them built in.

Sublime Text is another great option. I used it for a long time. And I think it is the best text editor for OS X. I used it for a whole year, and I own a license to both version one and two. The package management system, the speed of the development and all the crazy thing you can do with it is amazing.

But there is two things about it, that makes it impossible for me to use it. First of all, TextMate feels much more at home as a hard core Mac user. And the multiple cursor thing is amazing, but I prefer using “old-school search and replace” .

I use Textmate version two, not because it’s the best tool out there. But because it’s the one that feels like home. Everything I need is there, in the way I expect them to be. But I’m also scared that the Open Source development of it will stop, and that the community leave it unsupported and dead. It would be hard for me to replace it with anything else.

But, I’m going to continue to test both Sublime Text and BBEdit, to see if they can be what I need in the future.

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It’s fake

08.04.2014 02:00

This will be a short piece about a subject that have been driving me nuts, while I was writing another essay. It might come out within a few weeks.

You might know someone like this, “if you do the same thing as I did, you’ll end up with the exact same result”. This is the most annoying and stupid logic out there.

What I’m pointing at here is the idea of “IKEA-systems”. Systems where you need to do the exact same thing. The exact same way as the designers and developers meant you should use them. And then they sell it as something that would change their life.

First of all, it will not be that way for most people. And then you have the idiots. The idiot1 you shared a office with one time. That installed Evernote. And don’t understand why everyone don’t use Evernote for everything in their life. Before he moved on to using OmniFocus, and some other “stuff-management-solution”.

The solution to most problems out there isn’t the IKEA, follow these instructions exactly as I tell you kind of solutions. It’s the LEGO solutions.

They are sometimes apps, and sometimes books. This is what GTD is. You need to understand the ideas and concepts, and then you need to develop and review your own implementation of that system.

There are no magic solution that solves anything out there. The only thing you will find out there are tools that makes easier to solve your problems, but you still have to do the job, yourself.

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  • I have been this idiot. But it didn’t take me long to understand that my process on using apps, services and tools move too fast for anyone to follow. So I just stopped talking about it. ↩ ↩

    Gifts

    03.04.2014 02:00

    Birthday and christmas presents is one of the things I always struggle with. I don’t give presents to many people, only the few I care about. I give my family albums, of the pictures I have taken during the last year.

    Albums are great. People remember them, they are not that expensive, and they mean a lot. Both for the receiver and the creator.

    I have also started doing something new.

    My book collection is huge. And I have read most of my books, at least once. I started doing something new. There are a small group of people I care enough about to give them real presents. There are of course a lot of other people are care about. But these are people that are kind of like me. They like books.

    What I have started doing is to write a few words to them in one of my favourite books, that I think they would and just give it to them.

    I love books, I love reading them, and I have started to love giving them away, to people I care about.

    You can always find a new copy, if you want to read it again.

    There is two exceptions to this rule. Books I have received from other people as a present. And books I have inherited. I can’t give them away.

    Find someone you love, find a book that you think that person would love as you love, and give it to them.

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    Length

    01.04.2014 02:00

    Myke Hurley had Merlin Mann as a guest on the latest episode of CMD+Space. And they touched on something that I care a lot about.

    That is the question: how long should it be? It works on both podcasts1 and any form of the written word.

    There is nothing I hate more than idea of having to write a certain number of words. It doesn’t matter if it is an article or essay – I hate it.

    I have written a lot since 2011; both school, work and for various web-sites. And my writing process when I can do whatever I want is simple:

    1. Assignment or idea

    2. Figuring out what I want to say

    3. Writing a draft

    4. Re-writing it until the text is something I’m proud of, that also end up saying something, that is both clear and interesting

    I get a lot of “Write 1500 words about X” assignments at the University. This alters my writing process. Out of need, not choice.

    1. Read the assignment

    2. Read about the subject

    3. Write the worlds worst first draft

    4. Look at the word count

    5. Write a longer, and less terrible draft from scratch

    6. Repeat until I’m at 1500 words

    7. Fix quotes.

    8. Re-write the worst parts.

    9. Fix qutoes and other formalities.

    My main problem with the idea of writing something that has to be X words is that I never know when it should end – until I’m there.

    You are telling a story, when you write or podcast. And you never know what the length is. Mine are usually around 3-600 words. But that is something that changes.

    The important is to write something that is good. The length doesn’t matter, as long as it’s the correct one for you, your audience and what you are writing right now. And you audience would probably prefer 10 000 good words over 500 terrbile; or 500 good ones over 10 000 terrbile ones.

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  • I have never recorded a podcast, but I have been listening to an insane amount of podcasts the last few years. ↩ ↩

    The Record – A great Podcast!

    29.03.2014 01:00

    The Record is a interview show, focusing on Apple developers.

    Brett Simmons have teamed up with Chris Parrish for the podcast The Record. It is my absolute favourite “new” podcast for the time being.

    Most podcasters these days record them over Skype, Google Hangouts or something similar. The Record is one of the few podcasts out there where they record it in the same room.

    I think the dynamic and the whole feel of a podcast is different if it’s done in person, compared to doing it over Skype. Both of them can be great.

    Anyway. You should check out The Record. Especially if you are a developer that care about Apple history and love great podcasts.

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    Design

    28.03.2014 01:00

    Designing websites is hard. The Squarespace days was simple. I picked a template, modified them until they was more or less what I wanted, and then I moved on.

    I never went far enough with the platform to develop anything from scratch.

    WordPress, and most other platforms[0] requires more. There are a few options – Pay a designer to do it for you – Start from scratch – Buy a good commercial template – Find one of the hundreds of thousands of terrible free ones – Find one of the few good free templates.

    Now you need to decide if you want to change it or not1. I have a template that I designed from scratch, it’s not finished. And I doubt it will ever be. The current design of Hjertnes.me used to be Less. But, I’ve modified it quite a lot.

    I also use BigFoot.js to get “Marco-style” footnotes.

    In the end the design question – at least for me – is about should I spend a lot of time right now designing something from scratch. Or should I start with something I could accept, and over time shape it into the design I wanted all along?

    I always end up going with the latter. First of all, I don’t have the time to move a design from the easy “usable” state to “perfect”. And I kind of like the process of finding the one thing about my design that I hate – and fixing it. And doing that over and over and over again until the design is good.

    You just need to get a design, that you are proud of. My personal taste is simple, beautiful designs, that shows off the content. While other people like more “in your face” designs2.

    But the thing you have to do in the end, is to find what kind of design – what kind of message you want to send to your readers. My site isn’t perfect, and I don’t think anyone expects that.

    Your site should look like it is something someone designed during the last two years. And it need to look professional[3].

    Go out there and get a great design. [^0]: Tumblr is one of the few exceptions [^1]: If you picked up a paid or free template on the net. that means these days. Nothing. What I mean by it is to have something you can show your boss, your board, your professor or your mom.

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    Your site – your identity.

    27.03.2014 01:00

    I made a decision a few years ago, about how I’m going to host and deliver what I create. And that place is this site.

    There are a lot of places you could publish your content. You have Tumblr, WordPress.com and Squarespace for writing. You have Soundcloud(and others) for podcasting. You have Vimeo and Youtube for video’s. And you have Flickr, 500px, Instagram etc for photos.

    I was a long time Squarespace user, and wordpress for a long time before that, Tumblr for a short time and now WordPress again. I’d like to explain why I don’t publish much[^1] on anything except for my personal site and Twitter.

    Twitter is the social network I like, it’s also the social network I get. Everything is simple. You get 140 characters. Everyone that follows you get it. And that’s it. While Facebook is complex and weird.

    I prefer using platforms that is design to be – just websites and blogs. Tumblr isn’t a blogging platform. It’s more like a combination of Twitter and a blog. Which is great for some people; it’s not what I want.

    Why host your own website? There are many reasons. If you use Squarespace and decide you need or want something different – then you can make the switch in a few hours, if you have a design ready. And you have the same options for WordPress.

    It’s easier to publish to Tumblr(for writing) or 500px(for pictures) than it is to publish to WordPress. But you control the experience. And I think it’s a better chance for WordPress and Squarespace being here in 10 years, than some startup.

    I think having a real website is the best way to create something that stays around. Be the person known for your website. Don’t be they person that created a Instagram profile that was popular for a few months.

    Get out there, and create what you want to create.

    [0^]: I do write from time to time on other sites, like for example UiBeta

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