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 micro.blog 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.

The WhiteFox Keyboard

In 2013 I fell in love with mechanical keyboards. More specifically I fell in love with small mechanical keyboards. I still don’t really like big keyboards which is why I was so happy to learn about 60% sizes like the Poker II. That was my first, then in 2015 I picked up the Poker III. The one problem with the 60% size is there are no arrow keys. This wasn’t a big deal because I stubbornly used Karabiner to reconfigure certain key combinations to be arrow keys.

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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?

CocoaHeads March 2016

For CocoaHeads March I was inspired by one of our member’s other meetup groups, Triangle Open Source Open Mic, and decided to have ⚡️lightning talks ⚡️. We actually did this once before in December of 2013 and I’ve been wanting to do it again since then. Considering I only gave the community a one week heads up, I think this we had a great selection of talks.

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→ One Thing

I feel like I link to Manton Reece all the time here. His blog is really the reason for why I’ve started blogging again. I often struggle with the dilemma of choice when it comes to things to get done. Work stuff is easier because someone is depending on you. It’s so easy to rationalize away your own goals. This idea of getting one thing done really resonates with me. Using something like Pomodoro or any task system, you can even try to get one thing done in some fixed set of time.