These were very colorful, but you’ll have to take my word for it.
“So I just need to split my simple CRUD app into 12 microservices, each with their own APIs which call each others’ APIs but handle failure resiliently, put them into Docker containers, launch a fleet of 8 machines which are Docker hosts running CoreOS, ‘orchestrate’ them using a small Kubernetes cluster running etcd, figure out the ‘open questions’ of networking and storage, and then I continuously deliver multiple redundant copies of each microservice to my fleet. Is that it?”
I’m fascinated by the shift to micro services, but I’m wary of it turning into something like Paul’s cheeky description.
In an interview on The Verge about his recent Delicious acquisition, Maciej Cegłowski says:
If you could have Flickr back the way it used to be and run competently, everybody would be on there right now. I think it would be wonderful if the old Flickr crew could get the site back and run it the way they wanted to.
Oh my, that would make me so happy.
Flickr is still my favorite image sharing service. I have optimistically clung to it in recent years, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to get past the recent Verizon acquisition. Seeing Flickr back in caring, competent hands would be the ideal outcome.
I was spending more time on meta work instead of real work
As someone who frequently switches task managers, I can relate to this. The problem is that switching task managers is just another form of meta work. It’s meta-meta work.
I’ve rationalized changing task managers in more ways than there are task managers. It’s always some feature or other that I need and the current tool doesn’t have. Or it’s that the iOS version is so great. Or it’s that it needs to be cross-platform, or any number of other “reasons”.
Fact is, I switch task managers when I get bored and doing so is way more fun than doing actual work.
I tried moving away from Org Mode four days ago. Doing so required finding replacements for the following:
- Email client
- Task manager
- Code/text editor
- Note-taking app
- Publishing tool (PDF)
- Git client
I have favorite apps for all of the above, and I love using them, but it means that I end up with my “stuff” spread all over the place. I get hung up deciding where to write things down. Should it be a note in the Things task? or in Bear or just a note in DEVONthink?
In Org Mode I don’t have that problem. Everything is just text and notes, and TODOs can be mixed together any way that suits the task at hand.
Also, Vim keybindings will always be my favorite way to edit text. With Spacemacs and “evil” mode, every bit of text I write can be written using Vim keybindings; Email, notes, git commit messages, everything.
So, after just a few days away, I decided to stick with Org Mode.
Org Mode is weird in that while putting everything in it feels “open” and future-proof, it also sort of locks me in to using Emacs for everything. I’m OK with that1, because the everything-in-one-place-ness of it is worth it.
- For now. I’ve been through all this before. Recording my thought process when I go through things like this helps. [return]
Shaun stopped supporting Mint some time last year, but I thought I’d just keep running it indefinitely. Unfortunately, after a recent server update, it stopped working. Rather than trying to figure out what went wrong I decided I’d find a replacement.
The obvious answer is to use Google Analytics. I’ve been using Google Analytics for various sites since it was an expensive self-hosted package called “Urchin”. Google bought Urchin in 2005 and since then it’s pretty much become the de facto standard for web analytics.
I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with Google owning so much of my data so I thought I’d look for an alternative.
I decided to try Piwik. The basic version is free, open source, and looks to be very capable. I like that it’s self-hosted so I own all the data. In less than ten minutes from hitting the download button I had a fully-working installation of Piwik on my server.
Piwik is overkill for the handfull of visitors coming to this site, but it’s better than a broken Mint installation and it’s way better than handing everything over to Google.
Maybe click a few links so I can give it a workout.
It has become trendy to question our allegiance to Apple.
There are certainly times I wonder why I continue to use Apple products. Between a bunch of little things always breaking and my disappointment with the new MacBook Pro I grow frustrated and threaten to leave Apple completely. I become curious about how the other half (or two-thirds, or whatever) live. I like to shake things up now and then, so this all leads to hedging my bets against Apple.
To this end, I’ve been using fewer Mac-only apps, more web apps, and have gone all-in with Emacs and Org Mode. You know, just in case one day I decide to switch to Linux or Windows. In recent months I’ve been this close to buying a fast Linux laptop and an Android phone, just to see how it would feel.
Fact is, that’s crazy talk. I can’t imagine I’d ever actually switch. Avoiding everything that macOS and iOS have to offer, just in case I change my mind some day, seems foolish.
My use of the iPad Pro has increased, and the updates in iOS 11 have cemented that trend. The relatively seamless integration between my Mac and my iPad is pretty compelling.
So, for now I’m clearing my head of any thoughts of switching platforms and will be moving my stuff into my favorite Mac and iOS apps.
For now, those are:
- TheBrain for managing projects and files and connections
- DEVONthink for storing everything in an eminently searchable way
- Things for managing tasks. This one is new, and so far I like the v3 upgrade.
- Apple Mail for email. At least until I run into too many things I don’t like.
- BBEdit for text processing and editing
- Bear for taking notes. I may end up using Apple Notes or nvAlt’s replacement but for now, Bear is pretty great.
My concern is that as great as the above apps are, Org Mode really is the best all-around productivity tool I’ve ever used. I may end up missing it too much to leave out of the rotation, and once it’s back in the rotation, it eats everything else.
Now, I’m aware that Diet Coke is not exactly a health tonic, but blithely calling it poison in a voice cracked with the tar of innumerable organic butts speaks to a certain cognitive bias. The soda was bad purely because it wasn’t natural, and the cigarettes were good purely because they were. I refrained from asking her if she enjoyed lots of other natural things, such as cobra bites, poison ivy, malaria, and diving headlong into 100 per cent organic molten lava.
I don’t mind when people prefer organic or other “natural” foods and processes. That’s fine and dandy. What I do mind is when they apply a blanket policy of “naturally-occurring is always good and everything else is bad”.
I snickered at her depiction of the imagined Big Ag scientist:
The man squints down at his Ayn Rand day-planner where there are only two items in his to-do list:
- MURDER NATURE
- $$$ PROFIT $$$
She closes sensibly with:
Nature can seem as inspiring, beautiful, strong and nurturing as a mother, but it would be foolish to believe that this ‘mother’ loves us. There’s no reason we can’t celebrate her glorious natural gifts while also appreciating the important ‘unnatural’ improvements our fellow humans have created.
Although my Medium usage has significantly dropped off I had intended keeping my membership going. Then I realised something: I’ve only read one or possibly two members-only, funded stories.
Like Colin, I question the value of my Medium membership.
I became a Medium member the day memberships were announced. Since then, I’ve been tempted to cancel, simply because I don’t feel I’m missing much if I skip the “members only” content. The other members-only features are not compelling on their own, either.
Unlike Colin, I’m opting to keep my membership active – for now.
I admire that Medium is trying some new things. I like the idea of Medium. I can cancel any time, but for now $5/month is a small contribution toward their experiment.