• Blue Harvest

    I’ve long been annoyed with copying files to a USB stick, and then handing them to a Windows user (typically a customer) and then telling them to ignore all the .whatever files that are created.

    Recently I found BlueHarvest, which runs $15 and has a 30-day trial, and it’s appears to be the new solution to my problem. It automatically cleans the OS X specific files on any non-Mac formatted (exFAT, FAT32) drive that enters the system.

    The results have been great, and my portable drives are now very clean.

    I used to have a menubar application called CleanMyDrive by MacPaw that would get rid of these, but at some point I quit using it for reasons I don’t even remember. I think the menu bar icon was kind of ugly on Yosemite+ (yes, I’m that picky.)

    Wednesday December 2, 2015
  • Apple TV

    When the 4th generation Apple TV was announced a few weeks back, my initial response was basically “take my money!”

    But then, I had second thoughts, and I didn’t order one at the start of the week when they were first available. I don’t really know why, my heart just wasn’t in it. I decided I’d wait it out and let others figure out all the kinks. However, on launch day I had a change of heart and decided to stop by the Apple Store and pickup a 32GB model.

    I have two of the 3rd generations units, and the 2nd generation, and while I love them for all they do, I have been patiently waiting for Apple to revolutionize TV. I want a single TV solution from Apple that makes my life as a cord cutter better. Unfortunately, that still hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a nice box.


    • Universal search, with Siri, is fantastic. Telling the box to “show me the latest Ben Affleck movies” results in unified results with content from all the major providers like iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Selecting a title brings you to the one that is the best option based on if you’re paying for streaming or if you’d have to buy it. (ex: Gone Girl is available on HBO, and iTunes, but it defaults to HBO.)
    • New remote is very handy, and a nice upgrade from the previous one. The touch sensitive panel is very sensitive and takes some getting used to. I’ve used the motion controller on a couple of games, and it’s fun but not something I’d probably do a lot of.
    • The volume control and TV power is controller through the new remote, and I didn’t have to do anything to program it.
    • The App Store. Yeah, that’s pretty self explanatory.


    • The current iOS Remote application that can control my 2G/3G units doesn’t work with the new Apple TV. No using the iOS keyboard to enter search terms on your TV.
    • You cannot pair a bluetooth keyboard (even the Apple ones) to the Apple TV, either.
    • The first two combine to make initial setup with logging into accounts, a real pain in the ass when you have super complex passwords for everything.

    Overall, I very much like the new box. There probably isn’t a day that goes by where it doesn’t get used. I’m going to be adding an OTA network tuner and downloading the Channels app this week to replace switching inputs on my TV to a dedicated antenna. I’ll probably also pickup another box for the downstairs TV and then gift my 3rd generation units out to the family for the holidays.

    Tuesday December 1, 2015
  • Size Matters

    My original bout with the 4.7” iPhone 6 lasted almost seven months to the day. I remember this because I received it on September 19, 2014. It was the same day my second son way born.

    On April 18, 2015, I purchased an iPhone 6 Plus.

    Why Switch?

    That’s what everyone had been asking me since I even brought up the idea of switching. I’m one of those people who originally couldn’t even fathom Apple ever making a phone with a screen larger than 4”, like what we had on the iPhone 5. Jony Ive had taught us that this was the superior phone size, and I carried that logic and marketing out into the world. Over time, I started to rationalize to myself that a 4.7” phone was a good size, and that if Apple were come out with one I know they’d do it right. It was inevitable. That’d be the phone I’d buy.

    And then came the iPhone 6… and the iPhone 6 Plus. The Apple Phablet had arrived.


    Admittedly, the thought to join the dark side had entered my mind a few times since the 6 Plus was announced. Would I want a phone this big? Could I handle a phone this big? Back in September, I said “Nope!”

    So along came the iPhone 6. And I loved it. Reading my original quick review from October, it’s still absolutely true:

    I’ve owned it a month now. Originally I felt that I was going to drop it every time I tried to grip it (using my smaller than normal man-hands) — that panic led me to the Apple Store to pickup the black, leather Apple case. The case gave me a safety blanket and the ability to learn to adapt my grip, however, last Thursday I took the case away. It’s been a week since I’ve removed the training wheels.

    I love this phone, it feels great. The size is perfect. The rounded corners feel great holding it for long periods of time. I’m also past fussing about the camera bulge. I worried it’d get scratched, now, in Apple(Care) and sapphire crystal, I trust.

    I had an original iPad through work, and then purchased my own iPad 2 on launch day, which I used until it was replaced by the iPad Air. However, I found myself using the iPad Air less and less over time, especially as OS X started to get more and more features from iOS. I started to embrace the idea of two primary screens. My phone and my laptop. Also, the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 gave me fewer reasons to think about the iPad.

    And with iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, along came iCloud Photo Library. This feature I absolutely love, but, it blew up my iPad. I have 170GB of photography stored in iCloud now. Even with the optimization features enabled, my 16GB iPad Air couldn’t deal with this. This led to it being turned off completely more than anything, and then eventually being sold to my brother.

    I was on the edge of buying a new 128GB iPad Mini for about a week, but I could never bring myself to buy. I wasn’t sold on the utility of another screen. I was actually very happy with the idea of my iPhone 6 and MacBook Pro as my major points of computing.

    But then my wife’s iPhone 5S started to have the same issues as my iPad. The 16GB limit would hit and every other day I was shuffling around apps and data to keep her under the bar. Enough was enough.

    My solution at the time was to obtain an iPhone 6 Plus 128GB for myself, and give her my gently used iPhone 6. This worked, and at first it was glorious. I was in love with my giant new friend. In my new two device world, it was a match made in heaven. The iPhone 6 Plus was great for reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    But, it had trade-offs.

    It is massive. It’s great for use around the house or at the office, when you’re not up and around with it. It was the first iPhone that I ever dropped and broke the screen, in seven years of owning them.

    Going out with it felt a little bit like having an iPad to contend with. My car didn’t really have a convenient place to put it and at one point we had family pictures done and I forgot to empty my pockets. Now, the giant rectangle in my pants will be forever immortalized in print.

    And the struggle with RAM, is real. There simply isn’t enough in it. Having a page open in Safari, and then switching back to a different one caused the site to reload. Having streaming audio from Apple Music running and then opening Tweetbot would cause jitter. It was annoying but not life threatening.

    I commented about this back in August, and even then I was planning to stay with it. As I said:

    … the reality is I’d have a hard time going back to anything smaller.

    It turns out, it wasn’t that hard.

    Coming Back

    When the iPhone 6S was announced, I started hatching a plan. What if I got a pink one for my wife, and (re)obtained the iPhone 6. I’d just give it a shot for a little bit, and then if I thought it was too small to stick with, I could sell it and go back to my Plus.

    So I did, and it turns out, I liked the 4.7” phone a lot more. It was easier to hold, didn’t act as sluggish, and overall was a lot more comfortable for me. Playing around with 3D Touch on my wife’s phone, I imagined the difficulties and all the broken screens I’d have with a larger display to contend with.

    The battery life on the regular 6 is crap compared to the Plus, I’d really become spoiled by that, but I own at least a half dozen Anker batteries with more car and wall charging outlets than should be legally allowed, so I made it work. I sold the Plus to a nice woman on Craigslist.

    And I love it.

    I tried to go back to the Plus, twice, just to be sure. One night I lasted almost 5 hours before switching back. It was sold the next day.

    I’m back to the 4.7” phone, and when the iPhone 7 arrives, assuming Apple doesn’t do anything stupid and move everyone to 5+ inch devices, that’s probably the form-factor I’ll stick with for the future.

    Tuesday December 1, 2015
  • Data Lake 2.0

    Data Lake 2.0 is the next generation of the EMC Isilon portfolio. Isilon is EMC’s scale-out network attached storage product. Traditionally, Isilon OneFS runs on physical nodes, with the cluster scaling from roughly 30 TB of raw capacity, all the way up to 50 PB. The nodes are all connected across a redundant, private, Infiniband network. But next year, EMC will offer two more ways to utilize Isilon. In addition to the traditional setup, EMC will offer “Cloud Pools” and “IsilonSD Edge” products.

    Software Defined

    The IsilonSD Edge product is the eqivilant of an Isilon virtual edition. Instead of running Isilon’s OneFS operating system directly on EMC provided hardware, customers can utilize their own physical boxes, loaded up with disk, and run the Isilon software as multiple instances inside VMware ESXi.

    There are some restrictions though, chiefly, the ESXi host operating systems must meet strict specifications. EMC will leverage the hardware compatibility list used by VMware’s VSAN product, to determine what will be a supported IsilonSD configuration. Each IsilonSD virtual node will have VMDK files running on the local storage of the ESXi hosts. Shared storage (even one provided by another EMC storage system like the VNX or VMAX) is not supported. Even though IsilonSD and VSAN will share the same HCL, it should be noted that IsilonSD does not leverage VSAN’s technologies in any way. The VSAN team has done extensive work with testing various storage controllers, solid state, and hard drive brands, so it makes sense for EMC to lean on their work.

    IsilonSD is intended for small, remote or branch office, and it will be limited in that it won’t scale-out like its traditional Isilon. Like traditional Isilon, IsilonSD requires at least three instances to create a cluster, but is limited to a maximum of six VMs. Traditional Isilon can scale to 144 nodes (the largest Infiniband switch on the market has 144 ports.) IsilonSD is also limited to 36TB of raw capacity in the cluster.

    IsilonSD comes in two licensing models. A fully licensed (and, importantly) EMC supported configuration, and a free edition.

    Cloudy, with a chance of RAIN

    CloudPools allows administrators to leverage off site “cloud” disk targets as storage for your files. Traditional Isilon has three tiers of disk/node types; high performance all solid-state S-nodes, general performance SSD/disk X-nodes, capacity focused disk based NL-nodes, and high density deep archving HD-nodes. Now you can think of your cloud storage target as the super-cold target for your files. CloudPools leverages rules to determine what type of data, or at what age, files are moved between tiers, or off-site.

    End users will have no knowledge of where the files came from, but may see the latency associated with having to retrieve files from off-site instead of from disks located in the company data center. Administrators don’t have to manually move data between on-site or the cloud, as the tiering is automatically done through pre-set policies. Files sent to the cloud are encrypted both in transmission and at the target cloud, and then decrypted as they arrive back on the on-site Isilon cluster.

    CloudPools will be able to leverage both public and private clouds offerings. Supported public clouds instead Amazon Web Service S3 and Microsoft Azure; support for VMware vCloud Air is intended for a future release. Private cloud offerings are limited to EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage solution.

    All of this forms EMC’s “Data Lake” — an edge to cloud file storage strategy. IsilonSD Edge puts big data in remote locations, and makes it easily accessible and consumable to end users, with support for Isilon’s SyncIQ replication technology to keep a copy back in the data center for long term archiving, backup and disaster recovery. From there, data can be moved out to a cloud provider as files age out, to keep the speedy access available for more frequently used data.

    EMC IsilonSD Edge, Isilon CloudPools, and the Isilon OneFS.Next version that will enable these functions is slated for availbility in early 2016.

    Originally published atwww.petri.comon November 17, 2015.

    Tuesday November 17, 2015
  • Neil McNeill


    Neil McNeill was the most interesting man in my world.

    Neil knew something about everything and had an opinion to share on all of it. Not in a way that made you feel inferior or insignificant, but in a way that kept you wanting to hear more. It wasn’t hard to spend hours in his living room engaged in conversation.

    He could discuss corporate taxation, or international affairs, and then a few minutes later explain how to avoid overcharging a lithium battery.

    He was born in Kansas. He worked in the Pentagon, lived in Japan and served in Vietnam.

    He flew planes both big and small. He retired from the Navy, but didn’t want to be called Captain. He had a PhD from Harvard, was an accounting professor, but hated to be called Doctor.

    He was a husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Those titles he didn’t mind.

    He owned one of the very first telephone answering machines. He sniped eBay auctions for radio control airplane parts. He complained about PayPal, a lot. His house had a gadget, part or widget for doing just about anything.

    He was a geek.

    In 2013, doctors told him he had just a few months to live. He lasted almost two more years. Even as cancer gripped tighter on his liver, lungs and heart, even as radiation and other treatments abused his body, he always had just enough energy to light up and entertain us all.

    Neil’s dad had lived to be 102, but Neil was only 83. He had too much life to live for. This man wouldn’t go down without a fight. Even towards the end, hospice would say he had only had a few days left, and weeks would go by. When they said it was a matter of hours, no one believed them.

    They obviously had no scale to properly measure Neil McNeill.

    Neil was my wife’s grandfather and since both of mine had passed away years before I was even born, over the the 12 years I knew him, he became mine too. He was the most interesting man in my world, and he will be forever missed.

    Peace out, Gramps.

    Thursday October 8, 2015
  • Rash Judgement

    A couple of months ago I noticed a rash on my wrist, under my Apple Watch. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it at first, made sure to clean the strap and back of the watch. Figured it was just from lack of skin breathing under the sport band, on a hot day, after a workout.

    But the rash didn’t go away, it actually got worse, and it seemed to be localized to one spot on the back of my wrist, right where the metal clasp of the sports band rubbed by arm.


    And it was getting painful.

    My wife was the first to suggest that it looked like a nickel allergy. At first this seemed strange, why would Apple put nickel in the band? Everyone knows that can cause issues. So I did a little research.

    The stainless steel in the Apple Watch and in the bands, is grade 316L, per Apple’s own site. It’s incredibly common in jewelry, medical implants, and other places where contact with the human body is a thing. It’s also easier to machine than other grades of stainless steel. But it has nickel in it. According to AZO Materials, about 10–14% of the composite is within spec for 316L.

    Still, I’ve worn watches forever, and ever since I was a teenager they’ve all been watches with metal bands. Apple Watch was the first watch in probably 18 years that had a band made out of plastic. (Sorry, fluoroelastomer.) I started thinking back, and when I was about 15, I had a similar reaction on the top of my wrist that a doctor told me was because of the nickel in the back of a cheap watch, but I ditched the watch and it was never an issue again.

    My wife suggested that I apply some nail polish to the back of the watch clasp to create a barrier between my skin and the watch. This didn’t last very long, within a day the polish had separated from the metal and stuck to my skin. I started to wear a bandage with some hydrocortisone cream on the irritation, under my watch. But this all seemed silly.

    So, I called Apple.

    The first person I spoke with instantly transferred me to a specialist the second I mentioned a rash and Apple Watch. They weren’t going to mess around. Tom took my case, and started to ask me a lot of questions about my usage of the watch, how often I wear it, what bands I use, if I shower with it, work out with it, how often do I clean it, etc. Then he started to ask medical questions like if I had asthma, allergies, other issues with jewelry, rashes on other areas, etc. And then questions about the rash specifically, what I was doing about it, what it looked like, did it hurt, was it raised, when did it appear.

    The initial call took about an hour, and at the end he had me send 8 pictures of my wrist. Four with the watch on from all angles, and four without the watch on, including a closeup of the rash. Eventually he let me know that this would have to be escalated to engineering and that he’d give me a call once he heard back. It was the Saturday before the big fall announcement, so I didn’t expect anything back for a while. I was told to stop wearing the watch to see if the rash cleared up. Eventually I put the watch back on with a barrier and continued my hydrocortisone treatments. The rash went away.

    That Thursday, Tom called, and after discussing the current status of the rash, advised me to try wearing the watch again to see if it returned. So I did, and it did.

    Tom called back a few days later, and I let him know the rash had returned. He asked for more pictures, the same as before, which I sent over, and he said he’d call back in a couple of days once the case had been reviewed again.

    Eventually, Tom called back and said that after reviewing the case Apple had determined that it was indeed a nickel allergy, and they’d be willing to process a return for the Watch. He also suggested trying an alternative band. I quickly told him I wasn’t interested in returning the watch, because despite the fact it’s slowly trying to kill me, I love it. I asked if under the circumstances I could get a discount or trade-in on another band, he said he’d find out and called back a little later with another woman from the customer support team.

    She asked me what band I would be interested in, color, size, and then asked for my shipping address. She initially said she would call back the next day with more information but then about an hour later I got an email from Apple that they were sending me out a new medium black Leather Loop, at a $0 charge.

    It arrives today.

    For those of you who keep track, I’ve actually had the leather loop before, for about 18 hours. I bought it on an impulse. Twice, actually. The first time I ordered it with the watch before it shipped, but then cancelled it to give the sports band a proper evaluation. The second time, was in the store, but I had buyers remorse at the $150 price tag. (More accurately, I decided it wasn’t worth trying to justify to the wife.)


    For now, I’m still sporting bandages under my watch, to clear up the second coming of the rash. My next problem is figuring out what to do about the fact that the leather band isn’t appropriate for working out in.

    My other issue is that a week before I learned all this, I backed a Kickstarter for a stainless steel band to match the space grey aluminum watch. It’s made of 316L.

    Tuesday September 22, 2015
  • Java Jive

    Yesterday my local paper posted an article about a new coffee shop that has opened up near my house.

    Arshad said he has instilled his own requirements for quality in the restaurant. Most of the products used are kosher and organic and he uses organic fair-trade coffee.
    And with that philosophy, he also balances the need for affordable prices. Arshad says he has accomplished that and maintains some of the lowest prices in the area. A large cup of coffee at Java Jive costs $1.95 while a small costs $1.50.

    I’m all for supporting a local business, so this afternoon I decide to go check it out.

    I just wanted to get a plain cup of coffee, nothing fancy. I look at the prices and a confirm what the article says a coffee is, $1.95. I ask the girl working there for one. She asks if I want milk in it. Sure.

    “OK, that’s a latte” … Rings me up for a $4 drink.

    No, I explain, I just want regular coffee.

    “But you said you want milk? Did you mean a cappuccino?” and she points to the cappuccino machines in the corner that look just like the ones you see at a gas station turning powder and water into drinkable substance.

    “No, plain, black coffee, with milk in it.” … She looks puzzled. Turns around at the board, looks at me, shrugs her shoulders and says …

    “So, not a latte?”

    I left and went to Starbucks.

    (Thanks to @djchrisallen for pointing out how much like Larry David I’ve become.)

    Friday July 31, 2015
  • Uber Annoyed


    This afternoon, this image and rants from angry Kansans hit my Twitter timeline. I didn’t even realize prior to today, that it was even a thing, and when I saw Uber’s announcement my reaction was, immediately … I can’t believe I agree with Governor Brownback!

    “As I said when I vetoed this bill, Kansas should be known as a state that welcomes and embraces innovation and the economic growth that comes with it. Over-regulation of businesses discourages investment and harms the open and free marketplace. Uber, and other innovative businesses, should be encouraged to operate, grow and create jobs here in Kansas.”

    I don’t disagree. I want innovation, and I especially want it here in Kansas where I’ve lived for 31 years.


    I’ve read the law, it’s Kansas SB 117, and it’s just 8 pages. Nothing I’ve seen would prohibit Uber from doing business in Kansas. This isn’t a prohibition of ride sharing services. It doesn’t make unreasonable demands of drivers or the company that prohibit it from doing business. I’m not sure why I’m going to even try to defend the Kansas legislative branch, because I generally think they’re a bunch of Looney Tunes. However, I think Uber is playing social media users and rest of the media into a false narrative.

    What if, and I’m just saying, the regulations the Kansas legislators passed were actually in the best interest of consumers… but not Uber? Is that such a bad thing?

    Uber, like most companies, doesn’t want any regulation of their business that doesn’t actually benefit them. But every business has to expect some level of government scrutiny, even in an otherwise conservative state like Kansas. “Regulate commerce” is sort of a fundamental reason why we elect people into government.

    In this case there were actually some things that would have probably been beneficial to Uber, such as prohibiting municipalities from adding additional prohibition or regulations. But, if their goal is no regulation they’re understandably annoyed with this law and in this case they’ve decided to take their ball and go home.

    Full disclosure: I’ve never used Uber services, I’ve never needed to. That said, I don’t have issues with them or the business. I just don’t travel enough where I don’t have my own car or end up renting one for work. I think I’ve hailed a taxi twice in my life.

    Here is my (non-lawyer) understanding of what this law does:

    • It defines Uber as a “transportation network company” for the purposes of Kansas law and now referred to here as a TNC.
    • It explains that TNC drivers are using their personal vehicles for ride sharing.
    • It specifically outlines that TNC drivers are not taxi services, private motor carriers, etc. Again this seems like it would be beneficial to Uber to have this codified in state law.
    • It would require Uber to register with the state as a TNC and pay an annual fee of $5,000. It would also require Uber to have an “agent” in Kansas.
    • It requires TNCs to disclose fare calculation prior to the ride, something Uber already does.
    • It requires TNCs to show the license plate and a picture of the driver in the app prior to the ride, something they already do.
    • It requires TNCs to provide an electronic receipt for the transaction, something they already do.
    • It requires TNC drivers to carry insurance, something they should already be doing. It does not require Uber to insure the drivers, but gives them the option to. It requires a $1m policy be carried by drivers. My understanding is this is the same requirement Uber already has.
    • It allows Kansas auto insurance providers to exempt coverage for TNC drivers from their auto insurance policies. I could see this being an issue, where drivers might have to obtain a different “business” policy. But this seems like the cost of doing business for the drivers.
    • It requires TNCs to conduct criminal background checks and prohibits drivers from having recent convictions for reckless driving, sexual assault, etc. which seems completely logical. It might be additional overhead, but the cost of this could be passed onto the drivers when they start.
    • It requires the TNC to have a zero tolerance policy for drivers who use drugs or alcohol while doing their jobs. This doesn’t seem like rocket science.
    • It requires the drivers to only accept prearranged rides via the app, you can’t “hail” an Uber driver from the street. This is pretty much the entire appeal of Uber, and not an issue in my mind.
    • It requires the TNC to have a non-discrimination policy with respect to riders, and to make accommodations for handicapped riders. This I found it shocking that Kansas would even care about something like this. I actually applaud them for this.
    • It requires the TNC to hold driver records for one year. I don’t know what Uber does in this respect now, but it doesn’t seem cumbersome given the amount of data these companies are holding already.
    • It prohibits the TNC from disclosing rider information to third parities without their consent. Again, nice.

    In my mind, while all of this does indeed place restrictions on Uber doing business in Kansas, they don’t seem like unreasonable restrictions. Some of them almost conform exactly to Uber’s existing business model. But more importantly, the law actually appears to benefit and protect the consumer when it comes to security, discrimination and privacy.

    It would be great to live in the libertarian utopia that many of the technorati want for their services, where innovation and market forces drive consumer protections. In the meantime reasonable government restrictions doesn’t seem like it requires Uber to pull their services completely.

    I’m often critical of government attempts to protect intrenched interests, such as Tesla’s constant battle with states who prevent the company from selling cars directly to consumers, because the existing dealer/franchises don’t want that model in the states. I’m also not being critical of Uber as a service, or have any interest in maintaining the status-quo in terms of taxi cabs, etc.

    I want Uber in Kansas, but at the same time I don’t think it’s unreasonable to set reasonable minimal expectations for doing business here.

    Tuesday May 5, 2015
  • RPA Factory Reset

    I ran into a situation recently where the need arose to effectively “factory reset” an Generation 5 EMC RecoverPoint Appliance (Gen 5 RPA). In my case, I had one RPA where the local copy of the password database had become corrupted, but the other three systems in the environment were fine. There was nothing physically wrong with the box, I just wanted to revert it back to new and treat it like a replacement unit from EMC, and rejoin it back to the local cluster.

    From what I could find, EMC had no documented procedure on how to do this. So after finding a blog entry and EMC Communities post (that individually did not help) here it is:

    • Attach a KVM to the failed appliance and reboot.
    • Hit F2 to boot into the system BIOS (the password emcbios).
    • Under USB settings, Enable Port 60/64 Emulation.
    • Save your settings and reboot the appliance.
    • This time hit Ctrl + G to enter the RAID BIOS.
    • Select the RAID 1 virtual drive and start a Fast Init.
    • Reboot the appliance.
    • Hit F2 to boot back into the system BIOS.
    • Under USB settings, Disable Port 60/64 Emulation.
    • Reboot the appliance and verify that no local OS is installed.
    • Insert the RecoverPoint install CD (the one you created after you downloaded the ISO from EMC Support and after you’ve burned it) and press enter to start the install.
    • The installation does not require any user interaction, your appliance will reboot when its competed into a “like new” status.
    • Rejoin the appliance to the cluster using procedures generated from Solve Desktop. (You can ignore instructions about rezoning fibre channel connections, or spoofing WWPNs, since none of this will have changed.)

    The key points here are the bits about Port 60/64 Emulation. If you don’t do this, the RAID BIOS will load to a black screen and take you nowhere. Likewise, if you leave it enabled your RecoverPoint OS may not install correctly.

    Tuesday April 14, 2015
  • Apple Watch

    After months of industry speculation, Apple today released pricing for the new Apple Watch. As a registered iFanboy, I’m legally required to purchase one. I wasn’t even sure when they were originally announced last fall if I’d want one, but I’ve come around.

    However, I haven’t decided which one to purchase. Because I don’t have $10,000 sitting around, the “Edition” line is out. That leaves the stainless steel (starting at $549) and the aluminum versions ($349/$399) to choose from. Then it comes down to straps.

    There are many obvious things to consider…

    • Material durability: I work in datacenters, I have small children, I occasionally go outside. Which one is going to hold up better under such abuse?
    • Fashion and personal preference: I like things that look nice. But I’m not flashy.
    • Face size: I have small wrists, and traditionally wear smaller faced watches. But would I like something bigger?

    Then there are the, less obvious…

    • What cost am I willing to pay for a smartwatch?
    • What cost am I willing to try and convince my wife that she should let me pay for a smartwatch?
    • What cost is my wife actually willing to let me pay for a smartwatch?

    Humm… decisions, decisions.

    As it is, I’m leaning towards the 38mm Stainless Steel w/ Black Sport Band.

    Monday March 9, 2015
  • Blog Engineering

    I spend a considerable amount of time and effort considering the infrastructure and engine that powers this blog, far more than I’ve ever spent contributing actual content.

    Recently I’ve been considering a move from Ghost to GitHub Pages. It’s the hip thing to do these days. Scott Lowe moved his over last month, Jay Cuthrell moved his earlier last year. I’m sure there have been plenty more.

    I’ve been playing with it for the last 24 hours or so. I can’t seem to decide if going to all the effort is worth it. I rather like what I’m using now (Ghost), it’s pretty simple, but with just enough features to do what I really need it to do. It seems like spending time moving away from it, for me, is sort of a solution in search of a problem. I already write in Markdown inside Ghost (required) and was doing so on previous platforms for this site including Octopress and Second Crack.

    Might just stick with what works, and find more stuff to write about…

    Monday February 23, 2015
  • Fewer Fucks

    Pardon my language, or don’t. Last weekend in my Instapaper Weekly email, was a link to a fantastic article by Mark Manson called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

    Take 12 minutes, and give it a read:

    Most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given… Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?

    This is the problem, my friend.

    Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.

    As Mark points out, not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being apathetic, it means only caring about the things that really matter, and then not giving a fuck about what anyone else things in pursuit of that caring.

    Ironically, the Instapaper Weekly email that came today included a mention about the language of Mark’s article, and an apology.

    The top highlight in last week’s email contained some… colorful language, and we’re sorry if you were offended. The Weekly is an algorithmically generated newsletter based on the most popular articles & highlights saved by Instapaper users, and unfortunately we didn’t build the algorithm to filter profanity in any way.

    We’ve added in some filters on our end to ensure that future content remains as interesting as ever, while avoiding any potentially offensive language. Again, we are sincerely sorry if you were offended, we’re still getting the taste of soap out of our mouths!

    Perhaps if those people who were offended, spent some time reading the article, they would have realized there are more important things to give a fuck about.

    Avoiding potentially offensive language, what the fuck!?

    Sunday February 1, 2015