Ditch the iPhone for a cellular Apple Watch?

I’ve seen some companies are now offering “dumb phones” which are basically cell phones that do two things, phone calls and texts. The idea is to break the habit of being always connected to the internet, games, social media, and anything else that strives for your attention.

The problem is, you still have to carry the thing around, and I think the cellular Apple Watch would be a good alternative to those. With a pair of Airpods and the watch, you’d be able to do almost everything. Make phone calls, text, play music, listen to podcasts. At least, in theory, I think this is possible.

The downside to this idea is Siri, and one example is that Apple refuses to let Siri play songs on Spotify. Of course, there are many other problems with Siri but that alone is enough to make the whole idea a deal breaker for me. Maybe Android watches have the solution?

I think it’s a neat thought experiment to think about ditching the cell phone and still remaining connected to what you need. I just don’t think the tech is there yet for me.

1Password 7 for Mac

AgileBits just released 1Password 7 for the Mac and it comes with a ton of new improvements. Some of the things I’m really looking forward to is the new design and the ability for better app integration:

With our new app integration we’ll automatically suggest logins for the current app you’re using. Along with support for drag and drop, this is a real game changer.

Not being able to use 1Password for standalone apps is one of the reasons I’ve always preferred browser-based apps. So I think this alone will be huge.

If you are not using 1Password or another password management system then I highly recommend you start and you couldn’t go wrong with 1Pass. It’s seriously great and when you hook it up with 2fa logging in has never been quicker and easier.

 

Take Notes On Paper

Walter Isaacson in the conclusion of the biography of Leonardo Da Vinci:

Five hundred years later, Leonardo’s notebooks are around to astonish and inspire us. Fifty years from now, our own notebooks, if we work up the initiative to start writing them, will be around to astonish and inspire out grandchildren, unlike our tweets and Facebook posts.

I’ve used a notebook in some form or fashion throughout my life and I love going back through my old ones. Most of the time it’s simple scribbles of me working through a problem, or planning out features in the software I’m building, but it brings me back to that point in my life. I never assumed anyone, including my grandchildren, would find it interesting, but I would love to have old notebooks and journals from my grandfathers. Both served in WWII and lead interesting lives to me, so learning more about them through their writing would be amazing now.

Earlier in the book Isaacson related Leonardo’s notebooks to Steve Jobs:

The more than 7,200 pages now extant probably represent about one-quarter of what Leonardo actually wrote, but that is a higher percentage after five hundred years than the percentage of Steve Job’s emails and digital documents from the 1990s that he and I were able to retrieve.

That stat is pretty amazing to me and makes me think of how much of our digital lives are in siloed ecosystems owned by a few big companies. Unfortunately, I don’t see us bringing the web back to its roots and away from that.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

In my family, we are not big gamers. We have an old WII and then just iOS games. The main reason for this is because one of my family members has slight cerebral palsy that affects their entire left side. Going through life with this has its challenges and playing has always been pretty much out of the question. The only controller they could use one-handed​ was the original Nintendo and of course the WII.

AdptvCntlr_Top_Alt_RGB.jpgThis week, Xbox announced a new Adaptive Controller that aims to help those with disabilities:

For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging. The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.

Joining the Xbox family of controllers and devices, the Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs.

You can find out more information about this controller on the Xbox site and sign up to be notified as soon as it’s available.

How much have I spent with Amazon?

A few years ago my family only used Amazon to purchase books and electronics, but over the past year and a half, the company has made its way into our daily lives and now we order everything we can through it. It’s so convenient and easy to just pull up what we need and click order, versus spending the time driving to different local stores and then either not finding what we need or having to wait forever for an employee to show us where the product is. It’s so much easier to search, look for it as a prime item, and then have it appear two days later.

One thing you might not realize is a nice feature Amazon offers is the ability to download your entire order history which makes it easy to see exactly how much you are spending. To create this report follow these steps:

  • Click your “Account & Lists” from the top navigation
  • Next in the “Ordering and shopping preferences” box look for “Download order reports
  • From here you can create your own report to download and see how much you’ve spent.

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Just note that I wasn’t able to export from the beginning of time. It would always fail, but doing 12 to 15-month ranges seemed to work. YMMV.

 

Photos from DuPont State Forest

A couple of weeks ago I went mountain biking in DuPont and had a blast. After coming home and telling my family about it we decided to rent a VRBO in the area and spend mother’s day weekend hiking and exploring the area. Below is a bunch of photos from the three waterfalls, Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls. All within a 2 mile out and back walk.

Photos from the cabin

Photos from the waterfalls:

Photos from the iconic covered bridge

Finally, here is the Strava segment showing the path we walked. Keep in mind we were walking with two kids that had to look at every tree on the way so it took way longer than it should. haha

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