Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions 2017

Happy New Year and Qapla’! I hope 2016 was for good to you. As I did last year, I’m posting my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve got a lot planned for 2017 and it’s going to be a busy year, so I’ve decided to keep my resolutions quite loose. Here they are:

  • Improved focus and quality (blogging). After a year’s worth of usage, I think I’m beginning to realise the real benefits of running my blog; it’s super-handy to be able to refer back to something when you’ve got a memory like a sieve. So, I’m going to concentrate on making my blog’s design and functionality work better for me. I’ll mostly be focusing on improving its structure, functionality and quality. To achieve this, I’m going to create a new WordPress theme and stick with it for the entire year. I will post about the theme as I develop it and try to leave no stone unturned in search of perfecting its structure and design.
  • More Linux (Lincoln LUG). It’s been a good couple of years since I stopped using Linux exclusively. In that time, I’ve been enjoying the freedom of using other operating systems, but I don’t want to lose the knowledge I gained from using Linux every day for more than 10 years. With this in mind, I’m going to spend more time working on the Lincoln LUG website trying to improve it for our LUG. My hope is that by being more involved with the LUG and its website, I’ll keep abreast of all the latest news and developments. Also, I’m going to make a promise to not attend LUG meetings with a non-Linux machine, something I have been guilty of in the past couple of years.
  • Be more sociable (Twitter). Last month marked my 10th year as a Twitter user (see this inspiring first tweet). In those 10 years, I’ve managed to tweet exactly 5,242 times, which equates to about 1.5 tweets per day, which is pretty crap. This year I’m going to make a concerted effort to be more sociable on Twitter. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to achieve this, but I’m thinking that some API driven software support will probably feature quite heavily.
  • Get fit (Running). It’s a non-tech related resolution, which I don’t normally do, but I’m going to attempt to start running. Actually, I started running a couple of months ago, but I failed to do any research about it and six weeks later I developed a bad case of runner’s knee. Doh. I wish I’d read Jono Bacon’s recommendations for new runners. Anyhow, my knee is beginning to feel a bit better, so I’m going to start again, but take it easy. I’ll be using the Endomondo Couch to 5K app and hopefully, after a few months, I’ll be able to take part in my first parkrun with my wife (she already runs on a regular basis.). Also, I’m thinking that by getting fitter and becoming a better runner, it will help me focus on my other resolutions.

That’s it. From the above, I’ll create a more detailed TODO list for myself, which I can then action throughout the year. If all goes to plan, by the end of 2017 I’ll be more focused, sociable, knowledgable about Linux, and a lot fitter. Wish me luck!

Preparing to Be Badass Next Year image/svg+xml

TL;DR, don’t concentrate on trying to fix stuff you are bad at. Focus on the stuff you are already good at and level-up to being awesome at it.

Seems like good advice to me. Currently, I’m good at eating pizza and drinking coffee, so next year I’m going to be awesome at eating pizza and drinking coffee! Seriously though, if you’re into setting New Year’s resolutions (as I am), it’s a good read.

New Year’s Resolution 2016

Happy New Year! If you are reading this, I hope 2016 is a fab year for you.

Last year, I set myself just one New Year’s resolution and I stuck to it. This year, I’m going to attempt to do the same. My 2016 New Year’s resolution is to increase my published output. To achieve this, I am going to attempt to do one (or more) of the follow every single day for the next year.

In theory, this should be quite simple and easy to achieve. In practice, it could be more difficult as I’m really rather prone to procrastination. I’m hoping that by setting myself this goal/resolution, I will prevent myself from procrastinating and break the habit, if procrastinating can be called a habit?

In preparation for making this resolution, I have been practising and I have managed to push a commit to my GitHub account everyday for the past 39 days. Not a bad effort, even if I do say so myself, and it is certainly enough to give me the confidence to think that I might actually be able to successfully stick to my new resolution in 2016.

Wish me luck!

New Year’s Resolutions 2015 – The Results

It’s nearly the end, the end of the year that was 2015. Unfortunately, this blog was not around last year, so I didn’t publicly record my New Year’s resolutions for 2015. However, anyone that knows me will no doubt know what those resolutions were. Actually, there was really only one resolution and that was to embrace proprietary software on the desktop.

I think I can imagine how that might sound to the uninitiated (easy right?), but for me, it was a big deal. Having spent the last 10+ years as a Linux only guy, switching to non-free operating systems was daunting, scary, unknown and at times, a real ball-ache.

For the first seven months of the year I opted to use Microsoft Windows. Windows 7 & 8 to be precise. Windows 7 at work and Windows 8 at home. Coming from Debian, the move to Windows was truly a baptism of fire. At first, I felt as if I had lost all or some of my senses. Software and tools which I took for granted in Debian were suddenly not available and I knew I would have to quickly change the ways I did things. I found this to be somewhat strange as I was used to bending the operating system to fit around me, instead, I found myself bending to accommodate Windows. After a while, I guess I just gave up fighting and changed my mindset.

During those seven months, I came to love and hate Windows. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about things like driver support (to be fair, Linux driver support is generally pretty ace) and tasks such as setting up home networks and file sharing was scarily easy; so easy that it left me feeling worried about how secure my network was. I also loved Steam, in fact I loved Steam a little bit too much and I wasted many hours playing games, which made me feel really guilty (damn, I’m getting old).

Now for the Windows hate. I’ll try and keep this brief as I’m not a natural hater. Firstly, the lack of a decent terminal and Shell. Seriously, how does anyone get any proper work done on Windows? Yes, I know all about PowerShell, but for some reason, I just could not bring myself to learn/use it. Maybe that is my loss, but if my time on Windows taught me one thing, it is that I am Bash guy. Secondly, Window’s Explorer. Without doubt, Windows Explorer is the worst file manager I have had the misfortune to use. For anyone that is not aware, in the Linux world there are a plethora of file managers and in my opinion, nearly all of them are more pleasurable to use than Windows Explorer. Shortcuts, Favourites, Libraries, WTF? Just show me the files and their real paths! Finally, the font rendering. It is simply horrendous.

So, that was a quick summary of my experience with Windows. For the most part, I got things done (apart from when I was killing Space Marines), but I never felt truly comfortable using it.

Towards the end of July, I made the switch to OS X. OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” to be precise. Interestingly, or not, I had never used OS X before (not for longer than a few minutes) and I instantly felt a lot more comfortable. It was almost like the feeling of coming home after taking a really long holiday (in a shit resort with terrible weather). I had a decent terminal and Shell again. I could just stop here, but there are so many things to love about OS X that it would be remiss of me not to mention some of them.

So, firstly, it has a usable terminal and Shell (I know, I’m repeating myself, but hey, I can use Bash!) Secondly, the file manager, it’s not perfect, but it’s a lot more usable than Windows Explorer. It shows me my files and their true paths. It’s also very similar to Nautilus in GNOME (or Nautilus is similar to Finder), so I am super-comfortable using it. Thirdly, the font rendering is superb. Fourthly, there is a large collection of quality software available. No, it’s not all free software, but to fair and IMHO, the quality is far superior to a lot of free software (this probably warrants a separate post in the future). Finally, and somewhat shallowly, it looks beautiful! Now, I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is very subjective, but I think OS X is the prettiest OS I have ever used. And despite the naysayers, I think there is probably something to be said for surrounding yourself in pretty things, I think it certainly helps to encourage inspiration and aspiration.

Anyway, that was a summary of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions. I think I’m going to chalk it up as a success. And if you are asking if I will switch back to Linux on the desktop in 2016? No. I’m more than happy to continue using and loving Linux on my servers, but I’ve no plans to move away from OS X on the desktop.

Next up, 2016.