Functional Entropy

Chaos breeds order, sort of.

Category: Remember This

It’s Getting To The Point Where I’m Going To Need A 3 Month Rotation On Phone Upgrades

Ack. Damn it. I really didn't need to find out about the Robin phone and I really shouldn't be even thinking about it now when my Nexus 6 isn't quite paid off yet. I've been exclusive with the Nexus line since the Galaxy Nexus and, for the most part, I've been much happier than I was with the iPhone (used it from the initial release until the 4 until I wanted to do things with my phone that Apple didn't want me to and had a phone too recent to jailbreak) and the reason for this is that I'm willing to take responsibility for my own stupidity. There are the sort of safety guards around the vanilla version of Android that keep the totally inept from wreaking havoc unless they do some research and take the same express lane to what they want as I did. That said, I doubt that the vast majority of all thumbs Android users are rolling on any of the Nexus devices.

All of that (over)said, the Robin definitely has a lot of appeal for me. I appreciate the 100G of storage (go to CNet and read the comment section full of hilarious freakouts over mobile data plans and security of any cloud platform released or not while OneDrive, released and maintained by Microsoft )the security software giant is good enough for them ), the option to move old, untouched data to the cloud automagically, and the covered by warranty no matter what you do (software anyway). The only real hesitation that I really have is whether or not they're going to be able to keep up with updates. I imagine this would be simplified by only having a single model and having a small initial group of users, but it also puts a little bit of fear into me. I like being as close to current as I can (albeit with my provider as the roadblock in between) without reading two layers of excuses why updates are being deployed quicker.

Then again, there's a Nexus event in SF coming up and I'm sure I'll be just as susceptible to the buy now, think later bug as I have been in the past. Oh, yeah, and here's the Robin Kickstarter campaign which is already fully funded. Good stuff.

The Redundant Name Is Redundant

I don’t geek out about monospace fonts very often (there’s supposed to be some humor there, but I can’t remember the tag for it), but Hack is completely awesome and solves a whole bunch of problems I typically have with the system monospace defaults in nearly any environment. The zero/capital ‘O’ problem has always frustrated me and actually caused me to change the language highlighting if I’m working with a bunch of third party libraries that annoyingly insist on using uppercase o’s. It also solves the lowercase ‘l’ and 1 problem. The other cool part is that it’s actually set up purposefully to be easily tinkered with and altered so if something is annoying, you can just fix it yourself.

It doesn’t make a bunch of sense until you actually try it. Luckily, there’s already an AUR package for it so it took me about 45 seconds to get it installed and set up for Gedit and I’ve been happily editing old scripts with little regard for highlighting hackery for the past couple days.

This Pretty Graveyard Used To Be An Ugly Battlefield

If you’re at all a fan of being able to read good old words on the web that aren’t encapsulated in a piece of Minion clipart or in the subtitles of a muted video on Facebook then Hossein Derakhshan’s article about how the web has changed while he was imprisoned for six years is crucial reading. It’s something most of us who were cognizant of the popularity of blogging in terms of influence and relevance only a few years ago should try to see, albeit sympathetically, through the eyes of someone who was jailed because of what he wrote about on his own blog as well as his role in connecting other Iranian bloggers and championing blogging in that country.

I’ve been more demotivated about writing anything for web consumption than saddened by the changes in how and what folks consume via the interwebs, but I can see how stunning that might be after six years. The difference is frighteningly stark. Facebook wasn’t the first walled garden on the open web (and here I’m talking about post-AOL sort of web where you were outside a near-literal walled garden; keyword:fish-in-a-barrel) and at some point in the future it will likely cede at least part of that monopoly to a competing service that probably doesn’t exist yet. That said, the mall approach (remember how much fun we all made of the services that constructed little town interfaces to represent ‘net resources?) or the app store approach to the web seems to keep many folks happy or at least distracted. Derakhshan has an excellent central point; people generally just like things and then move on to the next thing without further participating in the discussion. I’ve noticed on my own FB threads that people will not read any of the text responses but will often like some funny graphic or answer it with another premade graphic.

I miss the old web a ton which is one of the reasons that I rolled this site out. I didn’t want to try to resurrect the decaying corpse of Team Murder and wanted to start off on something new that didn’t even benefit from whatever residual audience TM had left over. I still see feed readers hitting that site regularly despite that being a somewhat quaint idea these days. I have the option to ship posts off to FB, but I don’t. I tend to be wordy and people that prefer FB as their vehicle of online communication (scare italics added for my own amusement) don’t seem to have much patience for words. Lately, and this may be a more certain sign of my age than any of the other breadcrumbs in the trail, it seems like Facebook serves mainly as a way to find out which among my friends has recently died. I think I like words better. This site, this experiment of sorts is fun to write but it is read almost exclusively by robots.

Hotels Are Purgatory Between What You’re Supposed To Be Off Doing and Home

I've never travelled very well. As predisposed to chaos as I often am, I need the pull of the familiar and some of the pull of routine (too much gets to be, uh, too much for me) to build some structure into my life. I think that the cycle of comfort versus duties at home is what actually keeps me sane. Whenever I've had to travel for work I end up in one sort of mania or another. During one work trip to San Francisco all I did outside of working hours was return to the hotel room and sleep. I ended up sleeping something like 13 hours a day for three days. It was not restorative in the least. I've, for better or worse, established a lot of home routines some of which are dependent on my kid (he rolls out of bed ready for something big to happen) and some on me since unless I've gotta be somewhere and for something major I'm a homebody. On another business trip, again to SF a place that I lived a long time ago and doesn't exist any more, I read like three novels in a couple of days. I think it works best for me to fill empty spans of time with things that I would normally do at home only without interruption. I read a lot. I watch a lot of baseball. I don't sleep much more than a bare minimum other than miraculous recovery Saturday mornings, but by the time I've reached Saturday getting more than five hours of sleep is no longer optional.

Travelling, as long as I'm doing it minimally and have some extra time to enjoy silence and crazily starched sheets, is something that I can typically look forward to or at least approach with a minimum of dread. The idea of being in perpetual travel mode just freaks me out. I did find it somewhat validating that many of the strategies I use for reigning in the chaos of my life at home are similar to the ones that the author of the above piece found useful as well. Getting shoved out of the house and forced to deal with a world that isn't tailored well for me (it's 1am, I'm hungry and vegan: oh shit) makes the 'anchors' of home seem less constraining once I've returned and remind that without the structure I would be less likely to become a hotel room insomniac and more likely to fall into something deeper and darker.

Messing Around Is Mostly What I Do

I’m giving Draft a whirl as an alternative to shuffling things around in Dropbox and saving drafts in the WordPress web interface. I’m rapidly becoming a fan of this as a less stranded version of tools like PyRoom that doesn’t have an interface or any widgets to twiddle around with AND doesn’t default to local storage by default. Given the lack of anything important stored in any of my text files (essentially), I have zero problems leaving unfinished piles of things somewhere that I can usually get to. I like.

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