A Creator Studio In Your Pocket

As I wrote about yesterday, I broke my hand and I created that post typing it out entirely on my iPhone. This morning I did the same thing on Laravel News and now I’m writing this post the same way.

I find typing with one hand to be pretty difficult on a traditional keyboard but with the one on the phone I can fly. All those years of texting really pays off when you find in situations where you might only have one hand to use.

Even though I’m finding typing on the iPhone great there are still things that I’ll need in a normal workday that I’m going to struggle with and all of those are related to php. Just try to type ‘<?php echo ‘test’; ?>’ on a phone keyboard. It’s pretty dreadful.

Outside of my little annoyances I’m most amazed at the creator studio we all carry around in our pockets. I’m able to go from an idea to publishing in minutes and I can do everything from writing, to editing, to photography, and even video and video editing. All in this device that fits in my hand. That is amazing.

I know many people are going iPad as their primary device but I’m willing to bet those same people could even go a step further and go iPhone only. Granted the small screen might be annoying but I’m not sure you could have a more portable device. I guess it does lack the pencil support so I do see the benefit of the iPad.

If you would have told me twenty years ago that today I’d be publishing blog posts and taking pictures that could compete with a professional I’d think you are nuts.

It makes me think of people born in the late 1800’s who could have went from no power and outhouses, to lights, toilets, cars, and even flight. All within a 50 year timespan.

As many people are looking back and trying to relive a past I’m excited to see what the next twenty years will bring.

Boxer’s Fracture

Every November there is a local mountain bike race that I enjoy competing in called a Ride-n-seek race. The goal is you and a partner have four hours to complete as many checkpoints as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.

Today was the day of the event and I got up super early to head to the race and arrived early enough to get some cool fog photos and a sunrise through the trees.

It’s been raining in my area fir weeks now and I knew it was going to muddy going into the race and indeed it was. On about the mile we hit our first little wooden bridge and I crashed. The mixture of water and leaves made it like black ice. I was on the ground in an instant.

While getting up my wrist and hand was hurting but I didn’t think it was broken until I pulled my glove off and seen a huge bulge. At that point I tried to squeeze my hand. No luck.

Swollen hand

Knowing it was bad my team mate and I pushed back to the truck, loaded up my bike, and I headed to the emergency room.

After x-rays they told me my hand was broken and that I had done something called a boxers fracture.

X-ray of my hand

According to Wikipedia A boxer’s fracture is the break of the 5th metacarpal bones of the hand near the knuckle. Occasionally it is used to refer to fractures of the 4th metacarpal as well.

They said it would require surgery and they couldn’t do it today but they did need to set it. I had no idea on the pain that I was about endure.

First they stuck my fingers in a Japanese handcuffs contraption and used gravity to start the process of pulling the bones straight. Next they set it by hand by pulling and pushing my fingers. It hurt.

Making the best of it.

At this point it was time to head home and get some rest and tomorrow I get to schedule a survey.

All this reminds me that I need to check on disability insurance. I know I’m not in an industry where we are prone to danger but you just never know.

Flickr

Flickr was THE place to upload and share photos until Yahoo bought it and ruined it, much like they did Tumblr and everything else they touched.

A few months ago it was announced that Smugmug was buying Flickr and was to keep it going and then a few weeks it announced pro plans and a limit on the number of free photos you could have. To me, it feels like they are making a sincere effort to buck the trend of having you and your data as the product.

I’m all for this and with Facebook in the news so much this year about its scandals you know they are doing the same with Instagram. I prefer to be done with them, and I’ve basically left Facebook but still using Instagram because I haven’t found a decent alternative.

When I started checking out Flickr again the first thing I noticed was that it still used Yahoo login and registration system which gave me second thoughts about continuing. Especially considering how inept Yahoo has been on the security front. I ended up biting the bullet and reinstating my old account with the hopes they will be totally moving away from Yahoo.

What I’m enjoying with Flickr is how it feels like a professional tool with the focus on managing all your photos. Compared to something like Instagram where, to me, it feels the focus is on likes and interactions. Granted Instagram is simpler with less to think about, upload and go, but Flickr allows this too if you want, but it shines in uploading a bunch of photos all at once.  That is what I like and makes it easy to go back and relive the experience.  

I’m going to give Flickr a real chance and go all in on it for the rest of the year and see how it goes. If you are on it, give me a follow

Some of my current favorites

For more of my photos check out my Flickr page.

Family Dinner

Many households struggle in today’s hectic world to sit down and have dinner together and, according to a UCLA study, when they do, it’s typically done in the kitchen instead of the dining room. Take a look at the diagram below where the red dots are the position of a family member every 10 minutes.

A diagram from the 2012 U.C.L.A. anthropological study, “Life at Home in the 21st Century.” The red dots indicate the positions of family members every 10 minutes in a California home. Credit Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, U.C.L.A.

After seeing this diagram I started thinking about my own family and how we typically move about our home and where we are when we are together. It matched the pattern almost perfectly and what really stuck out to me is the kitchen island. We’ve grown accustomed to eating there, and save the dining room for holidays and other special occasions. The main reason for this is we didn’t want to mess it up and have kids spill stuff everywhere as they are known to do.

It reminds me a lot of my late grandma who bought a new couch in the 80’s and put a blanket over it to “keep it looking good”, instead of enjoying it. After 30 years it still looked good, but it was out of style and worthless.

Since reading this and thinking about it, we’ve made an effort to have every dinner together in the dining room 1. The side effects have been great, we’ve had better conversation, we don’t feel as rushed, and it prevents others from getting up and cleaning before everyone is ready.

Sources:


  1. When sharing posts like this I feel like I always need to clarify that I am luckier than most with my job. I work from home which makes it easy for us to have time for things like this. I know many don’t have this luxury.  ↩︎

Impressionable

There is an old saying, “you are the sum of your friends” and it’s true. If most of your friends workout, you are probably going to workout. If most do drugs, chances are you’ll be doing drugs.

Although I’ve heard this saying for many years and have always believed it, I have never experienced it first hand like I do with my own kids. All it takes is one new friend for me to notice a change at home.

Since we are all susceptible even as adults it’s something we need to watch out for and always remember what our own goals and drive is so it’s not diverted when we let our guard down.

Laracon 2019 Apple Music Playlist

The Laracon US site was relaunched for the 2019 conference and the new design is hotness. I love that it ventures so far from the traditional clean and minimal style of Laravel. Big props to the designer Jack McDade from Statamic for it.

In honor of the style I threw together a quick Apple News playlist with artists from that genre.

laracon-playlist Laracon 2019 Playlist

Now I really wish I could make this a publicly curated playlist so others could contribute, but I’m sure that would be a weird use case for most of the population.

Of course, if Apple Music isn’t your thing Janis Kelemen created one for Spotify:

I can’t wait for Laracon NYC and look forward to seeing everyone.

Update: Jack McDade created a playlist too. Check it out:

Update Again: Josh Lewis duplicated Jack’s on Apple Music:

iPad Only Frustrations

With the release of Apple’s latest iPad Pro I’ve been reading a lot of articles and blog posts where people are still attempting to ditch their laptops and make the move. For the past few years they all read the same to me and come to the same conclusion.

Going iPad only is great if you aren’t a developer, and if you are willing to change your workflow.

That’s all fine but it isn’t honest either. The people writing these posts are typically tech savvy and they know how to workaround the limitations. It’s not that easy if you aren’t.

My wife is an example of the other category. She only uses two devices, an iPhone and an iPad. She doesn’t use any accessories like an external keyboard and uses huge and awful bullet proof cases. In it the wonderful feel and beauty of the devices are gone.

All that aside she constantly has to come to me to figure out workarounds over common tasks. Just tonight she was attempting to fill out an agreement form for a local business so we could reserve a birthday party. The form was uploaded and online as a .docx and it was supposed to be editable, but it wasn’t. So now I’m going to have to figure out how to get her a version of it with all the information filled out so it can be emailed back.

Another thing that is constantly annoying is the on screen keyboard and trying to position the cursor, trying to select text for copying, and just general movement that is easy on a laptop.

Almost every day she hits little stuff like that and that leads to a frustrating experience. I know that Apple isn’t really at fault here because both of these is really related to developers and site owners not thinking about their end users. I’m confident in a few years these little things will be worked out and all this will be considered the growing pains.

I know this post is me pointing out little annoyances but I want to leave on a positive note and say how much better the personal computer experience is now with an iPad. I really appreciate the sandbox and the safety that comes with it. I don’t have to really worry about viruses, offering crazy tech support to my extended family, and how easy it is to pick up and use.

Just keep in mind that it’s fashionable to write about switching totally to an iPad, and for technically savvy users that aren’t developers I would be all in on it. I hope one day I can join this crowd and do everything it does now with the addition of web development.