hjertnes.blog

iPhone 5c is not the “budget” iPhone.

12.09.2013 02:00

I don’t really do that much news related commentary anymore. There is a lot of reasons for that, and it is something I plan on writing an article about at some point.

Let’s get back to the iPhone. I have not read a lot of stories about the iPhone event, or stories about the new phones in general. I skipped all the podcasts that was just talking about the iPhone event.

But. I have been listening to a few podcasts that was talking about the new phones. And I felt it was about time to write about this.

Many people was expecting a “budget” or “cheap” iPhone model. We did not get that. But we got a less expensive iPhone. That alone is boring, at least for me.

The thing I find very interesting is that Apple is treating the less expensive iPhone as the go to product, and the advanced and more powerful as something for the geeks and all the other people that want or need the power of the 5s.

There is nothing surprising or new about this. Apple is doing the same thing with their desktop computers. The iMac or Mac mini is the go to for most people, and a pretty low portion of it is buying the Mac Pro.

Let’s just hope that they don’t wait three years until the next “non c” iPhone model arrives.

(#blog)

Some Macbook Air advice.

10.09.2013 02:00

It’s been a while since I have written anything. First of all: it’s not because I am leaving this site or anything like that. There have not been any time to write much at all, during the last few weeks.

I’m still trying to figure out the perfect “groove” for being an effective and quality oriented student.

The other reason for not doing much is that I am working with a larger piece about DayOne and what I think it is great for. And even more specific: why you should consider using it.

But, let’s get back to the Macbook Air.

I have owned three Macbook Airs, since 2011, and I have loved each of them.

Expectations. The key thing you need to understand if you are moving from a Macbook Pro or a Mac mini to a Macbook Air is that it will not have the same kind of processing power. Not close to it.

To be completely honest. The only place I notice any lag is in Lightroom, when zoom in on a RAW image and have to wait a few seconds while it loads it.

Don’t upgrade! Seriously, don’t upgrade every year. Two of my three Macbook Airs have been the 2011 model(because of a soda spill incident). And when I upgraded the to this 2013 model almost a month ago, I noticed very little speed improvement. Some, but not a lot.

You might consider upgrading from the 2012 to 2013, if battery life is very important. But I don’t think upgrading every single year is something worth it for most people.

Understand. This is very important. You should understand the difference between the different Apple laptop models, before you buy something.

You have the Macbook Pro, which is very fast and a bit more expensive. And you have the Macbook Air; which is cheaper, better battery life and fast enough for most people.

The fact that I can walk from my flat, with my laptop a few text books and no power brick and spend between 10-12 hours away before I need to charge it is amazing.

(#blog)

Be good at one thing.

27.08.2013 02:00

There is this cool and unique, hot dog shop, here in Bergen. It’s very old school and there is almost always a line. I can’t eat there since I am a vegetarian, but I really enjoy the concept.

And everyone I know that have eaten there, love it.

First things first, this is not the kind of store that have every single thinkable fast food thing you can think about shop. I’ll guess you have them all over the world; 20 types of pizza; and kebab, burgers and everything else.

This little shop have a few different kinds of hotdogs, and jus the classy kinds. I don’t think they have anything with bacon. I think there is either ten or under ten different types of sausage there.

When you jump on to the “toppings” or whatever you want to call them, I have seen a development during the last ten years, where people for some strange reason put on from ketchup to potato salad or even shrimp salad on their hot dogs.

This shop don’t do any of that. You can onion, either raw or the crunchy kind, ketchup and mustard; that’s it.

And when it comes to drinks; you can get a glass of juice for free, if you want a coke or something; well then you have to go and get that somewhere else.

The thing I like about this shop is not the food, but more the concept. The guy that runs it have been able to distil what he is trying to deliver down to the purest and most core and true to itself experience possible. And people like it.

There is nothing I love more than the kind of businesses that you get the impression that they have found the one thing they are and want to be good at.

(#blog)

Working on something difficult.

26.08.2013 02:00

Sometime when I am working on some really difficult writing, I end up with nothing; or it seems that at the first glance.

I have been working on a argument analysis for my studies for large portions of the day. The stuff I have written is unusable; but it is not for nothing. You don’t need to write something good every time, you sit down. You just need to move in the right direction.

I know what and how I am going to write tomorrow; and that is the important thing.

But, if you used the whole day on writing and ended up with nothing. No usable writing and no idea where to move your focus to something greater, then it would be bad. Really bad.

The whole thing is about moving in a better direction. It might not be the perfect direction; but as long as you keep moving against the goal – then you got something.

(#blog)

Why I think it is important to just do it.

24.08.2013 02:00

I try to say this as often as possible, and in a why that is universally in a way where you can use it in as many areas as possible.

There are always to kinds of people, those who do, and those who want to do.

Let’s take some examples in two areas that I spend a lot of time with; writing and photography.

Photography. I know a lot of very good photographer talk against the approach of just “taking” pictures everywhere; and more about planning and all of that stuff. This might be important later down the line, but I think this is bullshit when you are starting out.

I always bring my camera where ever I can. I went outside a ten minutes ago to smoke a cigarette, and like I often do – I brought my camera. I shot 10-15 pictures, I don’t know if any of them was good.

I usually just shoot a lot of pictures when I am out, and then look at them when I am back.

The reason for this is that I usually can’t judge if they are that good without looking at them in Lightroom.

I don’t bring my camera because I expect to take the most amazing picture, when I am out for 10-15 minutes. The only reason for bringing it is to shoot, keep trying to get the picture I really want, the one I have been trying to shoot since march of the stuff around my house.

You will get a hell of a lot better at it by doing it every day.

Writing. I do it a lot. Every day. If I get an idea, and is somewhere and have the time, I will usually start writing it there and then.

Most of my stuff is not published right away. Just keep writing, keep writing – you will get better all the time.

Critical. You need to be critical, not matter what you are doing. You need to understand or get an understanding for what is it about whatever you are doing that is not as good as the stuff the great people in the area is producing.

Focus on one thing, and try to get better at that.

No one expect you to go from being an average blogger to John Gruber, Merlin Mann or Patrick Rhone over night; just give it time and try to get a little better every week.

(#blog)

Working, without a office.

24.08.2013 02:00

I really hope this is my final draft of this text. It all started as a response to the whole “home working” thing; combined with me going back to school and this being the first time since I was 18 where I don’t actually have a set place where I do the majority of my work.

There are a lot of reasons for having a dedicated place for doing all of your work, and I do know that it makes you more productive in general; but it is also a good idea to work from somewhere else a few times a week.

One quick note before I move forward; I still have access to my employers office, but I don’t like to go there when I don’t work for them. It’s just a bit combination between me mainly focusing on what I should be doing when I am there and a lot of distractions when I am there.

Setup. So everything I need to do 90% of my work can be backed into my messenger back or a backpack within two minutes.

  • Pens + refills

  • Notebooks and Index cards

  • Macbook Air

  • Books; the ones I need, nothing else.

  • 30pin USB cable

  • Macbook Air power-brick

  • Water bottle.

  • Camera

As you might expect, there are a lot of stuff missing from my bag. I don’t have my kindle, iPad or that much fancy stuff at all.

I can probably fit everything I would ever want to use in my backpack if I wanted, but this makes it harder to find the stuff I need, and a lot heavier to carry.

How often do I use my Kindle or my iPad when I am not either on my couch at home or traveling? Almost never.

You might wonder what the logic behind not carrying an iPad, but brining my DSLR with me; I take pictures almost every day. And to having to go all the way home when I decide to go for a trip and taking some pictures is more of a hassle than to just always having it in my bag.

Let’s get back to my main point. You should be able to get started doing something productive within a minute, if you are carrying your whole “office setup” in a bag of some sort. That’s the main reason for not carrying everything you might need; you should rather just carry the stuff you need in most situations.

(#blog)

My paper system.

23.08.2013 02:00

When you look at any system, I think you will find a few important things about them. – What is the purpose? – What parts are in them, and what are they solving? – What can you change about it to make it more efficient, or better in any other way?

My paper system is very simple, and I always try to keep it as simple as possible; without loosing anything important.

First things first, I try to have a work setup that I can put into one of my computer bags in about two minutes.

Let’s get back to pen and paper.

Pens. I always carry my Pilot Metropolitan and my black Retro 51; and a few refills for both. I prefer writing my a fountain pen, it’s both about the feel and how my writing looks with it. But, they don’t work on everything; so I use my Retro 51 on paper that don’t work with fountain pens.

My Retro 51 is also my go to pen, when I am in class. The reason may be valid, or not; but I will be taking a lot of notes in a short period of time, and I don’t want to think about if the ink is dry enough when I turn the page.

Paper. There is two paper products I always have in my bag; and one that I always carry on my person. They is a large Moleskine notebook, Index Cards; and a Field Notes is always in my back pocket.

They are all different, and serve three very distinct purposes.

Field Notes is a brilliant product. They are cheap, lasts just about long enough – and works great for what they have been designed to do.

The thing I use them for is to just take quick notes when I am not in front of a computer; this is the only place I will write tasks I have to do or ideas.

Moleskine. They are not cheap, but I think they are the perfect product if you look at the combination of availability, paper quality and price. The fact that I can walk into any book store or pen and paper shop and get one is the main reason I am using them.

The thing I am using them for is journaling, writing or notes during meeting or classes.

Index cards is one of my favourite “hack” items I have picked up from Merlin Mann. I use them for just about anything that I need to be moving around to figure out how to do something.

Everything from brainstorming, to just loose topics that I have to connect together; for example in a argument analysis.

Good luck with your paper system

(#blog)

The Merlin Mann / 43 folders problem.

22.08.2013 02:00

I think I start to hit a well known problem on this blog. There is at least 10 drafts for blog posts in my Byword iCloud container, they are all posts I though – and still think – is a good idea. But, I’m not happy with the result, for now.

The reason I call this “The Merlin Mann” or “The 43 folders” problem is very simple. Merlin have talked about this problem many times on his Back to work podcast on 5by5; you don’t post anything to your blog because you feel like the content you are producing either isn’t good enough, or isn’t up to the standard of your previous published content.

You could call this good or bad; either is acceptable. I don’t like it – I hate to not being able to produce content. Nothing drives me completely more nuts than spending hours writing words and realising they are completely useless.

One of the big difference between the me today, and the me from a few months ago is that I wont put out stuff I think is bad.

What to do? The key question is: what should you do about this?

I don’t know. The thing I usually do is to just leave the posts alone for a period and to pick them up again and try to turn them into something I can be happy with.

And some of them are just left there to be deleted a few months later.

I have never had any luck with rewriting the same text over and over again on the same sit-down and being able to turn useless collections of words into anything good.

It might be my judgment or my abilities as a writer. I don’t know.

Standards are a good thing. I really thing they are. The difficult thing is to always try to find the spot where you are pushing yourself to something better. While on the same time don’t keep yourself from putting anything out there.

The only thing worse than producing not as good as you would like content – is to not producing anything at all.

(#blog)

Purchasing a new computer.

18.08.2013 02:00

I finally did it; I ordered a new Macbook Air on thursday, and it arrived the day after.

Specs.

I always chose to put in as much memory and CPU power as possible when I get a new computer; not because I need it now, but to hopefully get a computer that is usable everything from a few months to a few years longer.

Macbook Air vs Macbook Pro with a retina screen.

I have been going back and forth on this issue many times during the last few months, and I decided to go for a new Air. First of all, I might have ordered a retina model if the new retina models have been out by now.

You might wonder why I did not wait. I didn’t wait because my old Air was very close to dying on me. And I could not afford to wait any longer.

What’s new?

This computer is more or less the same as the one I had. It’s faster, longer battery life and much more memory.

The 4GB memory limit on my 2011 Macbook Air was without doubt the biggest issue I had with it.

Other than that? I can’t see much of a change.

MagSafe-2

The new power adapter standard from Apple is the one and only thing that I do not like at all about this computer. I understand why they did it, but I still don’t like it.

I own many of the old Magsafe-1 chargers, five to be exact. – My office – One in each of my two bags – At home – My parents house

Because of the amazing 12 hours of battery that this model have to offer, I might not need five adapters. I’m almost never 12 hours at my office, and when I am I could just bring out the adapter from one of my bags.

It’s a great evolution.

Very few Apple products is a revolution, but this new Macbook Air model is a great evolution, of a great products line. And I would like always recommend most people a Macbook Air.

(#blog)

Digital hoarding

10.08.2013 02:00

Hoarding . All of us have more or less the same problems when it comes to files and folders on our computer. Some of us know it, others ignore it and most people just don’t give a fuck.

Most of us that have used a computer for more than a few months have a lot of files. We take some pictures, make some movies, download some music or maybe we write something here and there. You will end up with files everywhere and you can’t find anything.

Unless, you have a system.

My system. I have three types of content stored on my computer that I care about. Source code, pictures and my writing. All of them are different and have different systems in place to make sure that I store what I need and get rid of or archive the stuff I don’t need.

But I also have a “general” system for everything else. I use Dropbox for almost everything, and I love it. It makes sure all of my files and databases are available across all of my macs, and it also makes the process of configuring a new mac a lot easier.

Archive. I have one folder in Dropbox, on the root level called Archive and inside that one I have a few other folders named something like “20130810”; this is the date of today.

What I do with this structure in to quarantine files for deletion. The first thing I do when I have a spring cleaning (or any other time for that matter) on my computer is to go through this structure, all of the folders with a date older than 6 months are checked, if I still think I will need the files inside them I’ll move them to another folder inside Archive called “Permanent”.

So put everything that I don’t need now, but I might need later into the Archive structure; it is in one place and it is simple.

The reason I do the whole quarantine process is to figure out what files do I really care about six months after I put into some place I can’t get to in just a few clicks.

And then I stop syncing the folder to dropbox and removes it.

Source code. Most of my development peers have a copy of most of their projects since they started doing development, and I have nothing. Some of it is due to a few hard drive failures, while others is just because I don’t see the point in storing unmaintained code.

How relevant is the code for your CMS if you don’t maintain it for a few years? And how much less work would it be to start from scratch than to rewrite your old code?

Pictures. I lost all my pictures in a hard drive failure sometime in 2007; that was the point when I started researching and implementing insane backup systems.

There are a lot of different approaches to handling pictures, anything from keeping every single shot to just the best.

All of my pictures are shot in raw and the converted to Adobes DNG format when I import them into Lightroom. After that I will star them from 1-5; everything with 1 will be deleted within the day, and everything with 2 will be exported and than archived in other places (I will come back to that in a few moments).

All of my pictures with marked with either 3 or 4 stars will be re-evaluated at least a few times a year. I do this to make sure that my library only have the pictures I am proud of and think is really good. I don’t need 400 pictures of the same landscape or sculpture; I want the 10-15 best pictures.

2 stars. I use the 2 star mark as a collection of pictures that are not amazing, but I want to keep for sentimental reasons. But I will not keep them in Lightroom for very long. I export both full size JPEG and DNG files and then I just delete them.

The DNG files will be archived in Dropbox and then I add the jpeg picture files to Evernote. Some of them will live forever in Evernote, while others are deleted later on.

Text content. Almost everything I store of text content is blog posts, school papers, poems and stuff like that.

I used to store all of them in both either nvalt or Ulysses and wherever they were used.

For example, I had a copy of every single blog post I have written for the last few years there. But, I came to the conclusion that I this was a really stupid idea. I have all of the good ones on my Squarespace site anyway.

So I deleted them.

To make this short and simple. Most of my drafts live in byword, ulysses or nvalt; while all of my completed documents live either in some kind of blog, site or document system – or just in nvAlt or Ulysses.

I want one copy, and many back’s of it. But not more than one copy of any single document or file on my harddrive.

Important. Nobody in this digital age can store everything and be able to find it; except for John Siracusa.

You need to find the apps and services that you need to manage, sort and store your data in a way that makes everything manageable. The most important thing is to find the files you need, when you need it!

Think about how to find the information later on, when you don’t remember where you saved it. Try to store all of the content of the same type in the same place, and avoid all proprietary and “closed” systems that don’t have a very good export feature.

But, you also need to have a workflow that makes you go back and to review everything. You need to remove all the clutter, all of the files you don’t need anymore.

Remember, you need to have at least on local backup to an external drive and one in the cloud as a bare minimum.

(#blog)