So sous vide is really fun. The idea is you cook under specific temperatures for a longer time so that you can reach the desired “done-ness”, usually under a vacuum. For example, cooking a steak on the grill for a long time is a difficult way to get there. With sous vide, Medium is just 136º for an hour. Then you sear it and enjoy. I picked up the Anova Precision Cooker on Amazon and haven’t regretted it once.

I just realized that January 5 was the 6th anniversary of the Triangle CocoaHeads meetup. I actually started it outside of for a few months with little luck. Moving it to meetup’s site really helped us grow. Well, that and having a great community, great speakers, and consistent meetings. After a couple years of inconsistent meetings, I’m trying to get that consistency back this year.

Last year I listened to a lot of books and it was great. This year I hope to to more. Also, more reading of print books. This snowy weekend I read through a book about comics, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. It explores the history of sequential art and breaks down the tools used to communicate ideas. If you are interested in comics—whether it is as a reader or creator—it is well worth the read.

Ever since I started really learning how to draw back in October, I’m starting to develop a sketchbook addiction. As of now I have 11 sketchbooks and 4 of them I’m actively using. I’ve found that it’s much easier to overcome my laziness by leaving sketchbooks at all the places I frequently sit. Then I have no excuse to not pick it up and draw.

Okay, so I just backed Manton Reece’s project on Kickstarter. Having my own little microposts on my blog has been fun—when I remember to use it. I think this is a good thing for this type of content and I hope it takes off. I was backer #49 a few minutes ago and as of this writing it is already at 71 backers.

This weekend I moved our company’s primary code repository from a private server to Github. It wasn’t easy as there were 5 years of code changes (including large database files and even built binaries). I was able to shrink it from about 4Gb to 440mb by removing large files from previous commits, moving built libraries and databases to S3, and removing unused parts of the repo. I could not have done it in a reasonable time without the BFG Repo Cleaner. Initial attempts with git filter-branch would take hours. This tool would take seconds.

Well, that’s been a year. I got all excited about blogging and then 2016 happend. Thanks 2016. Now where was I?

A couple weeks ago I bought an Amazon Echo. The smart home takeover of my home has begun. I’ve already bought WiFi power outlets to control my lights and have added an “Alexa Skill” to control sonos. I think this is could be a big thing if Amazon can maintain interest in it. It handles real speech much better than Siri and is much more open to automation.

I love my sonos. It’s a great speaker and they just opened up Apple Music support, which is the service I currently use. So… yay! Right? Well the client is not very good. I don’t like using it at all. It looks like something from 2005 to me. Luckily I found the AirSonos project on Github. Now I can play music on my headphones or just stream to the Sonos directly. It’s also a really interesting Open Source project and he provides more info on how it worked on this medium post, “Hacking AirPlay into Sonos”.

I’ve just scratched the surface with AWS Lambda, it’s such a powerful idea. They call it “serverless computing”, but really it’s “I don’t want to think about servers” computing. As a client developer, I don’t want to have to care about servers but I want to be able to create things and having a remote service is an important part of this. Lambda, OpenWhisk, and Azure’s Service Fabric seem to all be tackling the same idea. I can’t wait for Apple to release something in this area as part of iCloud or CloudKit. How cool would it be to define a worker in Xcode and just deploy it as part of a target?