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Third time in the office this year (actually since March last year) and I decided not to go there again until I’m fully vaccinated. There’s a little hope it will happen maybe in July but it might as well be anytime next year, I don’t care. I feel really uncomfortable with other people around in this situation.

There’s a vaccination dashboard in Germany. It’s supposed to show current stats about how vaccinations are rolling out here. Apart from the shameful numbers, it is a glaring view on digitization in our country. People have to copy data manually from paper on several levels probably. This is unacceptable. Politics did nothing in the last decades (!) to bring this topic forward in our country. This is just one disgraceful example of countless other areas where Germany behaves like it’s 1974.

I know and feel that meditation is probably the solution to many things I struggle with… yet I can never make it a habit and actually experience the benefits of it. I tried different things but it’s really not easy…

I got my work done today, the latest day I could to hit my deadline, at exactly the last minute. I could have finished days ago and do some actual work, but Xcode decided to play a game with me. I beat it and now I‘m going to burn it to the ground. This tool is a f***ing mess. I haven’t needed a weekend as much as this in a long time.

I caught myself searching for more music on Bandcamp lately. I somehow didn’t even know about this platform until recently. There’s a lot of really great music that passes me on the big streaming services. A new happy place for me! 🎶🙃

The SE is great and I love the smallness of the device. On the other hand I’m really glad to be back to a big screen. It all has advantages and disadvantages… I like that I can see more again, but it’s definitely harder to navigate, even with not so small hands.

I went with a California Poppy leather case for my new phone. Love a little color to make life a little nicer and it matches good with the blue phone 🙃 I‘d love to set up the device now, but it won’t let me unless the 14.5 update is installed… is this new? Why can’t I just do that later? 🤷‍♂️ Not the best first run experience, especially considering the phone-to-phone setup will take forever. But I’m already happy with tap to wake again 😉

It’s my Micro.blogversary today 🎉 4 years already! Time flies… still a great place I love to hang out at 🙃

Now that the iPad has the M1 chip and the iMacs look exactly like an iPad with a Magic Keyboard… it doesn‘t need much imagination how a new MacBook Pro could look like. Even a two-in-one is possible. I don’t have hope that it will happen though.

I think my NextDNS testing is ending sooner than expected. The system configuration doesn’t work, it always switches back to my ISP and it only recognizes the custom DNS after I restart the phone. It’s an iOS problem, not my network… happens also on cellular connection. 🤷‍♂️

I’m thinking of going back to TaskPaper or simple Reminders for my todo lists. I get the feeling I’m overwhelmed by Omnifocus and everything else…

Price for the new Apple TV is still ridiculous. Although… they could probably charge double the price to replace that crappy remote alone. I’ll probably get a new one just for that reason.

All right… all right… I’ll stop reading music reviews again. What’s wrong with those critics? Are they all sad, that they’re not the ones that came out big with their music? I’ve read reviews for a couple of very different artists now. It’s all just battering down on them. „No evolvement“, „too much of this“, „too much of that“, „heard this before“, „the lyrics are so simple”, „the lyrics are so complicated“. Maybe it’s just what it is: good music. 🤷🏻‍♂️🎸🎶

Two days, no internet… home office has its struggles sometimes 😩

I read a couple of reviews about it, some were good, some were so so. I’m not a music critic, I just love good rock music. And The Battle At Garden‘s Gate by Greta van Fleet is simply brilliant in my ears. I can dive in and forget everything for a few minutes. Great guitar, the vocals might not be everyone’s favorite but it’s really special. Great songs, great album, right in my wheelhouse. I stand by it: This will be my album of the year! 🎸🎶

Based on hard scientific research I did in the last couple of minutes skimming through the Discover feed, my new theory is that winter is cat-picture time while spring is dog-picture time 👨🏻‍🔬🐱🐶

I love iCloud sync in NetNewsWire! I also loved Reeder but somehow it didn‘t stick with me. I really think it’s the UI… It‘s really nice to look at and it has cool features… but maybe it’s just too much. NetNewsWire is about what RSS is about; clean, simple, fast. 👌🏻

I really love the small size of the SE but I ordered an iPhone 12 Pro Max now… the complete opposite but I realized lately that I need a better camera with me. I don’t use our real camera enough and when I do, I don’t really know what I’m doing. The SE just doesn’t take good enough pictures in most situations. Also, after 1 year I still try Tap to Wake all the time and it annoys me every time that it doesn’t work.

My disappointment about politics in Germany grows every day. It starts to get criminal. I‘d call it Denial of Assistance. There is nothing moving forward since weeks! Some talk about maybe doing something. That’s about it! It’s unbelievable. Hospitals fill up. Children get sick in schools and Kindergartens. The majority of workers and companies does not give a crap about mask regulation. Scientists call for immediate action since several months! And yet… nothing.

They should just admit, they gave up and everyone‘s out there on their own.

We have elections later this year. I’m afraid of the outcome. People notice that there is a complete paralysis in Germany. Living in this country and many others in Europe starts to become a risk, not a privilege.

I didn’t use NetNewsWire before because I couldn’t sync my FeedWrangler account. Now that iCloud sync is there I‘m happy to be using it! This is what a great and simple iOS app should look like. It’s beautiful! Not because of some fancy custom design, but because of its simplicity and easy of use. Maybe this will get me back to skimming through my RSS feeds again (I tend to neglect them every so often)

How to Help Test NetNewsWire 6 for iOS Via TestFlight nnw.ranchero.com

Posts and replies start to show up again on the timeline! Maybe the long international nightmare is over 😉 It felt a little like in the old days on Facebook (remember what that was?) when we couldn’t complain on Facebook that Facebook was down 🙃

My favorite Podcast is Roderick on the Line, yet I fell behind for a long long time. I listened to Episode 342 from June 2019 today and found out that the lost album of the Western State Hurricanes I heard about so often on this show, finally found its way into the public early last year. The lengths and struggles John Roderick went through to get this out after so many years is really interesting. So happy to see this! It’s available on Bandcamp and the usual streaming services.

I didn’t realize I had not bought a MailMate license yet 😳 I used it for so long now… I think it has a 30 day trial but those 30 days are counted when the app is active!? Long overdue to throw some money at it. Such a great tool!

Reading about so many people getting vaccinated elsewhere, living a normal life again like in Israel, Taiwan or New Zealand. It’s pathetic how Europe handles this. Catatonia. The US gets 4 million people vaccinated per day. Germany gets 10 million in more than three months. It’s really just sad how politics can even crush the tiny positive thoughts that were still out there.

I‘m not angry. I’m just deeply disappointed.

The stuff everyone talks about being from „Pfizer“ was developed by a German company, paid with German taxpayers investment. People in the US probably never heard of BioNTech. At least not the ones I talked to, nor do American news mention it anywhere. Why would they? The rest of the world is to the US what Germany is to Bavaria: an unknown blurb of something, not worth considering.

But look how BioNTech helped us… where we and the rest of the world are. There are countries that are even more unfortunate then Europe of course. They have no money to spend on vaccines. Are they worth less than the rich people in „the west“?

There’s so much going on, I can’t fathom to even try to understand everything. All I know is that I don’t want to wait until sometime next year to get that frickin‘ vaccination and live a normal life again. I don’t want to hate everything anymore.

Unpopular opinion: I like the old style of MacOS way better that Big Sur. Not as „fresh“ but so likable.

While setting up my old iMac I realized that I had HDD Fan Control (by the makers of Bartender) running for years without noticing it. Old iMacs with self-installed SSDs run the fan at maximum speed all the time. Such a great tool! Ran for so many years that I totally forgot about it. Worth every penny!

Apple Arcade brought some old time classic games into the service. I couldn’t have imagined myself so happy to be playing Fruit Ninja again after all those years 🙃 It was my first addiction before Threes and Alto‘s Adventure. So good 😊

I wanted to „quickly“ wipe my old iMac to give it away. Now I’m installing Snow Leopard from the original install DVD because the recovery installation has issues with APFS among other things. Now I remember… nothing is „quickly“ done in computing 🙃

One week to go until a little „vacation“ (what even does that mean these days) and a lot of pressure to get some stuff finished. Not looking forward to this week. Trying to kick things off on the right foot though. Early sleep, rise and shine! Trying to power through.

I might be able to assign the Apple One storage to the other account in my family and then try to downgrade 🤷‍♂️

But really Apple should finally find a solution to let people combine their accounts. I can’t even remember how this happened but I have it like that since forever, it causes only problems now and Apple just doesn’t care, as so often.

So… I’m one of those old old-time Apple users with separate accounts for media purchases and iCloud. And I’m once again punished by Apple and after all those years they still do not offer a way to join the accounts.

With Apple One I could, in theory, assign the included storage to my iCloud account. Currently, I have to use the 2TB plan but with the 200GB I get with Apple One, I could downgrade to the 200GB storage plan and be just fine. The extra storage space can be assigned to the iCloud account, if the storage plan is not bigger than the one coming with Apple One. So? There is no 2TB Apple One Plan for me (because I don’t speak English, apparently) and I can’t downgrade. This means: I have to pay for the 2TB plan even though I don’t need it anymore.

Thanks Apple. No Apple One for me.

I’m planning to move to Apple One, but I’m really afraid of an iCloud Storage Fallout. I know something will go wrong when I „kind of” downgrade from 2TB in order to upgrade to combined 400GB storage plans. This is not Apple’s strong suit. The process alone is a sign, that this is not something they intend anyone to do. I’ll probably just wait until the Premier tier will be available in Germany, which might well be never. Wouldn’t it be great for Apple if the whole world just lived in Cupertino?

If someone here on Micro.blog is interested in buying a reMarkable, I have a 40$ off referral link available 😉

Querdenker, Rubikon und Konsorten inkl. der dazugehörigen Youtube Videos sind im Familienkreis angekommen und werden nun auch weiter geteilt. Rubikon.news ist für mich eine der schlimmsten und gefährlichsten Seiten überhaupt im deutschsprachigen Raum. Schwierig damit umzugehen… Da muss man einschreiten und Kontra geben, aber ob das überhaupt noch hilft? Diese “Quellen” bauen darauf auf, dass sie ohnehin immer von “den Medien” diskreditiert und belogen werden. Rationale Argumente werden da nicht viel helfen. Das ist demokratie- und staatsgefährdend.

Ah how I love those services that just grab their yearly subscription fee out of my pockets without a single line of information beforehand. I might have signed up for another year anyways, but this is just shady behaviour. This time, looking at you Disney+

I’m on a Productivity Hunt again, I must be procrastinating on more important fronts. I’ll try this approach to bring Obsidian and DEVONthink together. I’m still not sure I’m the kind of person who needs any of these tools, but I love them anyways.

I‘m a man of many interests. Sometimes I think about going back to university (at least) part time to learn something that really interests me. Basically all I ever did just fell into place, but did I really decide what I actually wanted to do or who I wanted to be? I didn’t. I sometimes think back to the day I felt truly free. I can pinpoint the exact moment and relive it. It was really ecstatic! It was the day I finished my job education and had a couple of months of nothing ahead of me. Sometimes I wish that kind of freedom back. Then I realize that everything that happened in my life brought me to where I am, what I am, who I am and with whom I am. And that’s great! All of this doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) hold be back from becoming someone or something else; someone better. But it does. It’s hard. It’s never too late. But it’s also never the right time. And then again… what is different or better? Is different better? Does it matter? All I know is that things need to change in order to keep sanity.

I might have to switch back to Safari just because of the much superior way the DEVONthink extension works compared to Firefox, especially with paywalled content. On the other hand, this whole setup would be the nail in the coffin of my Linux / independence plans.

It brings me back to the same problem each and every time: The quality of software on Linux is just not where it needs to be.

I still think it’s strange that note taking apps in iOS can easily search handwritten text, yet PDF power tools on the Mac can’t. 🤷‍♂️

Now that I have to make use of Combine in an actual project, I’m really getting the hang of it. I find it incredibly hard to wrap your head around, but once it clicks it makes everything so much simpler… I love it!

We‘re now in spheres where the price to rent an apartment or house in areas I’d be willing to live in is so astronomically high… I have no idea who’s able or willing to pay that much anymore. I certainly can’t. I don’t even think about buying… that train left years ago already.

The titles in Rene Ritchie‘s videos lately show everything that’s wrong with YouTube.

There were elections in the state I live in today… I voted, but more with the whole country in mind. Locally, I don’t really care at all. I’m here since 10 years now and I still don’t have a big connection to the state itself or even the town I live in. I guess it will never change. Annoying neighbors certainly don’t help.

So… I started to watch this totally new show: For All Mankind. Don’t know if you got the memo, but it’s pretty good! 😉

I really love it that I can’t listen to music while Xcode is open. It’s not like music helps me working or anything… 🙄

Finally got to watch Joker tonight. What an incredible acting performance! Now I’m going to search YouTube for daisies or cat videos. Maybe even cat videos with daisies. That’s a rough movie 🍿 Phew… worth it!

Alright… GameStop is firing again and I missed that train again 🙈 What a story though…

I can only imagine this school was built like a Pi symbol on purpose 😉

The pandemic becomes harder to handle each day. Politics is really not helping at all anymore. I don’t know where they live but what’s happening right now was known since weeks, and they still talk about fairytales. Families are being crushed and tried to keep motivated with fake carrot sticks. We have two small kids and we‘re left alone with decisions laid on us that we should not have to make. We can only loose in this game and politicians are too weak to act meaningfully. I really hate everything right now.

I don’t understand Reddit. I like to browse it, I get a couple great links, I get some good laughs out of it… Yet I don’t have any idea why and what I should post there. I’m probably just old 😉

I think it’s funny when critics say that a movie is an audience pleaser, as if that would be a bad thing. What’s the point of a movie then? 🤷‍♂️🎥🍿

Is there a good call blocker app that works in Europe/Germany? I’m willing to try something but all those apps look just as sketchy as the calls they are advertising to block 🙈

Is it a coincidence that I get more and more Spam/Robo Calls lately (i don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t know) while shitty services like Clubhouse flagrantly abuse access to people’s address books, violating laws? I don’t think so. I never got any spam calls until recently.

I‘m always very excited for space missions. It’s unbelievable how much thought and technology comes together in a few minutes of uncertainty during the landing and it shows time and again that it can work. So inspiring… go Perseverance! 🚀

We are also paying for storage. We are already connected with Family Sharing. It’s time for Apple to solve families sharing and syncing photos and videos, which has been an issue since iPhoto version 1.

I’m not the only one with these photo management issues. Basically everyone knows that this is an existential flaw in iCloud/Photos and we know it since so many years. Apple has to know it. This article sums up the issues and some ways to solve it.

I’m sorry, but I won’t get tired of complaining about it. It baffles me all the time again and again and again. Why the heck is there no shared family photo library in iCloud!? It’s ridiculous!

I fell off the photo challenge wagon early on this time, but it definitely ups my English vocabulary 👨‍🎓 👨‍🏫📚

Too much new stuff to watch everywhere, I can’t decide what’s next. So, I started rewatching Gangs of New York again. Some movies I can watch over and over and they never fail!

Here’s the thing about working from home: On one hand I’m happy to not have to drive to the office every day since almost a year now, which saves me lots and lots of time. On the other hand I miss it because it gave me some time for myself, to wind down, listen to Podcasts, thinking about stuff. Also, switching from work mode to family mode in seconds is exhausting, the other way it’s really stressing me out when I have to jump into meetings unprepared and in a hurry. I like working from home, but that whole situation makes everything harder…

Reminder to check out the Discover feed from time to time! I found a couple of good posts and followed some more people today 👍🏻

Now that there are a bunch of other apps available to publish to Micro.blog I realize that what I‘d really want is MarsEdit on my iPhone/iPad 🤷‍♂️

I accidentally removed Overcast from my home screen and decided to leave it like that. Right now I feel like I listened to enough Podcasts in my life. I‘ll try to catch up with Roderick on the Line and keep listening to Core Intuition, but that’s about it.

Some albums really are burnt into my brain. I just love this one… Barn Doors and Concrete Floors by Israel Nash Gripka. He dropped the Gripka from his name a while back and there’s only a live version available on Apple Music for some reason but that’s also really really good! 🎶

There’s a new Greta van Fleet album coming this spring: The Battle at Garden’s Gate. The first three songs are really great. Might become my album of the year! 🎶 Also today, new Foo Fighters album: Medicine at Midnight. It’s ok, but doesn’t excite me that much.

Who is supposed to believe anything coming out of a politician’s mouth hole anymore? Yesterday: „We‘re definitely opening schools and kindergartens first! Promised 🤞🏻Pinky swear!!!“ Today: „well, you can get your hair cut in about two weeks.“ Basically the same thing.

I missed the last two days of the photo challenge… I’m so exhausted, I just don’t find the energy to search or think of good photos this time. Might jump in here or there though.

I have a very old „standing desk“ which was basically just a thing to collect dust and stuff that doesn’t belong anywhere for most of it’s lifetime (it’s not really a desk). Today I put our home trainer „bike“ below it, which was not very much used ever, and tried to work while „biking“. I got work done and closed my activity ring on the watch for the first time in many months. Feels great!

3 - Comfort: These days I try to get some comfort out of thinking back to great vacations. I’ll get a little bit sad, but I know there will be better days at some point in the future again.

Watched Palmer on Apple TV+ tonight. Nothing surprising but a really good movie🍿

In search for more structure, I took a look at MindNode again after a very long time. It’s such a beautifully designed and crafted app… Really amazing!

The problem with going back to a task manager after months or even years is that you need to clean up all that’s in there and doesn’t fit your current workflow and style anymore… 🙈

I came a long way without a task manager, but it starts to get really messy and all over the place again. Hard to keep track, so I guess I’ll be jumping back into OmniFocus again.

Browsing US politics news and between two posts about some GOP stuff, there’s an ad for toilet seats. Never was an ad more appropriately placed 👌🏻

6:30 PM - I‘m going out for a walk. I have to set a timer so I’m back home in time and don’t get fined if someone finds me in the empty streets of the town I live in. Moments like this make me realize what’s at stake with the Corona restrictions.

Whether I read Obama‘s Memoirs, learn about the history of how we perceived and interpreted the sky above us, chuckle over a silly novel about the life of a kid from a Mexican dump or read an essay in my weekly newspaper… lately I realize again what an immense impact beautiful words and sentences can have. It’s a great joy often overshadowed by all the bad things happening. Life is so much more than breaking news from morning to night. One word placed at the right position can lighten up your life for a brief moment.

I should read so much more… 📖

📚 Currently Reading: The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke-Hitching. About the history of the sky. Not too far yet but it really draws me in. Beautiful, beautiful images, lovely written, funny, informative, well researched. Might become one of my favorites.

Look at the Facebook post in this article and get a Conspiracy 101 and everything you need to know about what’s wrong with people on Facebook. Amazing.

GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Laser

… you might wonder why, if an international cabal of Jewish bankers wanted to finance a rail project, they would go about it by using their space lasers to set a catastrophic blaze. Aren’t there easier ways to get your rail stations approved …

New Weezer album today! Just through a couple of songs, but so far I think it’s really amazing! OK Human 🎶

For heaven’s sake… why, Apple? WHY is it so damn hard to support real family photo sharing? Even after all these years!? It’s a basic need for so so so many families. It’s all there, just connect the dots! Pretty please!

Thing I desperately want: an iPad with a reMarkable screen 🙃

A little bummed that the Packers didn’t make it to the Superbowl again. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have too much time to get another try. Still hoping for next year.

Also, not a big Brady fan. Yes he‘s that good and gets a basically no-name team to the Superbowl within a season. His story is ridiculous and simply shows how superior he is. But still… doesn’t get my sympathies 🤷‍♂️

Maybe the pandemic will show how inhuman companies of the pharmaceutical industry are. Making contracts, delivering way less vaccines than promised (AstraZeneca seems to deliver 60% less), poorer countries have to pay way more than rich countries. I didn’t expect much different.

I peeked into the press conference at the White House today. Things are really under control now… polite questions, polite answers, actual answers, constructive… I could watch this all night as some form of meditation. I can only imagine what it must be like for the journalists that can go back to do their job as it is supposed to be and be respected again.

The day yesterday ended with a virtual party… 4 years ago the first thing were lies about whether it was raining or not and how many people were at the ceremony. If this first day is also an indication for the next 4 years, the USA is in for a treat!

Back in the WHO, back to the Paris Climate Agreement… I guess the whole world is thankful today.

Shaved off my Corona-Beard after half a year… who is this ridiculous looking person staring at me in the mirror? 🧔 Sometimes I wished time travel would be a thing 😐

We watched most of the inauguration live. I think Biden/Harris becoming president is an important day in history. What a change to hear some actual presidential words from a leader again, trying to unite instead of divide, after four irritating, terrible years. What a relief for the whole world, that this terrible human being is finally gone. America will start to get respected again in the world, the country itself will become better again. We all get a some rest and don’t have to open Twitter every morning. Let’s hope people are willing to work together again. Don’t forget that all this didn’t only happen because of one single person.

But this is a day to celebrate! I’m so happy for my American friends that their long lasting nightmare cane to an end. A new beginning…

Welcome back to the real world America! Let’s see what a little normalcy will do with the other half of your country 😉

I finally found the time to watch The Mandalorian. I didn’t expect much, because I‘m not a superfan, but it’s really really good. It shows a lot of stuff from „the universe“ that’s not in the movies, that makes a big difference. I even might try Clone Wars now.

Picked up my guitar after more than half a year. Really happy that I was able to pick up the things I learned in the few lessons I had beginning of last year. I hope to be able to restart my regular lessons again this year!

Might not be the best time for Signal to be flaky or completely down, while masses of people are joining the service because of WhatsApp…

I think CGP Grey said that he thinks about his yearly theme already waaay ahead of time. I think I know why… I’m still not done with writing it down and setting up a system. I didn’t get around to it in more than a week now. In parts because I didn’t follow the easy steps I intend to do better this year. Hope to get this done on the weekend.

I get notifications in Telegram and Signal left and right of people joining the services. With some of those I did not have contact since I left Facebook two years ago. Maybe the revolution has started 🥳

This is the way.

The Mandalorian provides some much needed focus for the upcoming year to me.

How do you make important, long lasting and far reaching life decisions if you have no gut feeling for it and everything has its pros and cons? We can’t for some reason. Deadline tomorrow and we‘re feeling like one day this one day that. Maybe no gut feeling is enough gut feeling

📚 I got back to reading Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving after letting it sit for 5 years. Didn’t read much fiction the last couple of years, but now I know again why this is my favorite author. Strange, quirky stories with a special kind of dark humor. Perfect combination!

The ban train is rolling. Facebook, Twitter, Shopify, Reddit, even Apple… But it’s too late. Now they all found a thankful exit strategy. It’s 6 years too late. They helped getting the world where it is right now. They have dirt and blood on their hands. All of them.

🍿 Watched Soul today. I liked it and enjoyed watching it a lot. Not that excited about it somehow. ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The way Apple One and iCloud storage is treated is stupid. It makes no sense for me to sign up yet. Maybe if Fitness+ is available in Germany. We will all have to learn English to convince Apple. I didn’t hear any reason why this is only available in „english speaking countries“.

Everyone voting for Republicans at least in the last couple of years is responsible for the degradation of their country. The world feels sad for you and is somehow sarcastically laughing at your country. MAGA? Come on, these days are long gone. Leaders of the free world inviting rioters into their „sacred“ halls of lawmaking. There are videos showing officers leading them into the Capitol. Were they black they would have been shot from behind in a millisecond. Your Republicans support baseless conspiracy theories, destroying your country.

Why I even care about this? You are responsible for many other politicians in this world that think behavior like this is ok. It’s not. People like you create and follow actual fake news without any facts legitimizing „political“ practices that are simply unacceptable. You created a system of irrational media that makes money off of uneducated people. You are in large parts responsible for the same thing happening in my country.

You voted for „the good Republicans“? Well congratulations, they did nothing to prevent this and helped creating it.

This is on you.

This is not going to be over in two weeks, two years or even four years…

Creatures storming the center of American democracy ™… I‘m sure there were „fine“ people as well.

I understand people not liking the way we need to handle the pandemic right now. On the other hand I think there’s still too much leeway in the lockdown restrictions. It has to be all or nothing. Everything else just makes this whole mess even longer. Everything else just confuses people and leads to edge cases that make no sense at all. History tells us a lot about how things were handled in the past, especially during the Spanish Flu. Yet we didn’t learn anything, and we‘re making the same mistakes again. (Here‘s my German post from a couple weeks ago on the history and what we learned)

Jack Ma, one of the most influential persons in the world, just disappears from one day to the other. I wonder how long the rest of the world is trying to ignore the practices of China, kicking human rights in the name of saving their money.

I was so close to giving up and stop thinking about a yearly theme, goals or whatever. I realized that all of this is bound to make me feel even more miserable. But I might have cracked it. I need some more time to think about it, but I‘m on to something helpful here…

I wanted to come up with something nice or funny or insightful for the end of this terrible year. But I’m just out of words. There were a few bright moments of course, especially with our second daughter being born… but professionally, mentally, physically, productively… it was just horrible. It can always get worse, but I hope next year, maybe late in the second half, might improve a little.

Good Riddance, 2020.

When did the telephone app loose the ability to paste copied phone numbers? It’s really annoying to have to type the numbers from memory or using the app switcher when I could previously just paste it. Number recognition in websites or apps often is broken or not supported.

Trying to think about how the theme system could help me next year. Previous tries with similar journaling „systems“ didn’t stick. I’m not good at such things but I always see the great benefit it could bring to my life.

Started watching Tiny World on Apple TV+. I need some calm and cuteness in my life right now. I have no idea how they shot this stuff or whether most of it is rendered on a computer. But those images are fabulous! Really stunning images.

I just wanted a new coffee maker because my cheap one makes only horrible coffee now… I’m sad to report that I fell into a rabbit hole and I will probably have to open a coffee shop next week and become a barista.

Longer than usual Christmas vacation started today. More than 3 weeks at home thanks to lockdown and closed kindergartens et.al. Lots of time to spend with my older daughter, she needs it. These times are hard for kids. They might not show it, but they definitely behave like it.

Maybe I will find some time to reflect on this terrible, terrible year, looking ahead at 2021. There are major decisions to make for short, medium term and maybe even the rest of our lives. The problem is: I have zero mental capacity right now to even decide what I should eat for breakfast. Not a good combination. Sometimes it starts to feel like this year broke me. There’s a lot of room for improvement next year, on all fronts.

On a positive note: it’s so great to see my little daughter develop so incredible. It’s amazing how far she is and how much she learned in her first 7 months. Not all is bad these days.

I checked out the new Synology Photos app (there’s also a Testflight for iOS!) and it really looks good so far. There are a couple of things I really really hope they will still implement though. I don’t understand why nobody else seems to have the problem that family members take photos they want to share in one place while keeping other photos for themselves. It’s always one way or the other. A mix is either too complicated, not even available or stripped down in features. I understand that Apple desperately needs the money from my iCloud storage plan to not go out of business, but also nobody else seems to get this right.

Toilet paper supplies ramping up in local drug stores again. Either people take this lockdown seriously or the demand is saturated as everyone has piles of paper in their basement.

If I read „breaking news“ that start with “The Trump administration accused…“ I just stop reading. Nobody cares anymore. Just stop it, it’s over.

I wrote that post completely by hand on my reMarkable, converted it to text and edited it on my Linux machine. Two more topics in the pipeline! The text conversion is much better than I thought… Just a few things it didn’t get right, but they were expected.

The Game Pass app told me my game was already live today. It wasn’t, but I got something I didn’t think existed anymore… a test image! With a super annoying sound! It felt like the 80s again. Glorious! 🏈

As if this fucked up year wouldn’t be bad enough already, it’s really getting worse for a really good friend of mine who had a tough year already… Fuck cancer!

I was optimistic that mailbox.org would be a good alternative to Tutanota for secure mails. I checked it out and read about it… even paid for a month to actually be able to try things out. And now I’m not even able to send a mail in their web app. Not very convincing.

So… I did this thing where I played around with an old/new template and now I have a revived old/new blog all of a sudden. It just happened. Check it out: Subject to Change

Half way through Long Way Down and I think this is the most interesting one of the three. There’s natural tension between the crew, incredibly interesting places… Happy and frightning stories, amazing wildlife. And I think it shows what we can loose in humanity and our ecosystem.

Got a little closer to finishing my new/old blog. Template is more or less done; now tweaking the colors a bit and adding some basic infos… and we’re good to go!

Really happy I received my reMarkable e-ink device today! I’m amazed by everything around that thing and it really feels surreal to write on it. Technically it’s really really good. Now let’s see how and if I will use it daily…

Knowing that something you awaited for months will finally arrive kind of destroys productivity for the whole rest of the day 🙃

I wrote a long blog post including how lucky I am with the Manjaro install working for such a long time without failing on me. Jinxed it.

I’d really like something like Mars Edit or Ulysses on Linux. The best I can get is VS Code and that basically tells you the whole story.

This article about Facebook was widely spread yesterday/today (I got it via Daring Fireball). It’s THE reason to quit anything Facebook does. What does it take for people to realize that this company is helping to destroy the way we live? Why does nobody care? Is it really so hard for people to find another way to organize as a community these days? I just don’t understand anyone – and I know a lot of them – who is still unwilling to give up on Facebook or WhatsApp, let alone Instagram. They might understand it, but they don’t see a problem for themselves. It’s not just about themselves though. This company (and others as well) is destroying our democracy. This article is just yet another proof for that. People are not willing to take even the smallest hit to their convenience to help make a point for the bigger picture. It’s really sad.

Warum bekomme ich von Xing eigentlich immer Jobangebote für die Firma in der ich bereits arbeite…? Xing ist irgendwie das StudiVZ der Business Networks, lebendig begraben.

Wanted to fire off a short post, ended up with a 2000 word draft. 🥸

Someone once said that parenting means trying not to fail every single day. I can relate to that.

Beißender USA Kommentar in der ZEIT:

Er wollte “America great again” machen, aber es ist heute schwächer denn je. Und diese Schwäche wird das Land noch lange prägen. Trumps spätes Nachgeben ist von so erbärmlichem Charakter wie seine politische Laufbahn.

Das, was Trump groß und was er dann selbst noch viel größer machte, wird nicht mit ihm verschwinden: Misstrauen, Angst, Ungerechtigkeit und Hass.

Nichts hinzuzufügen.

All it takes is one decision
A lot of guts, a little vision
To wave your worries and cares goodbye

🎶 Placebo - Slave To The Wage

First NFL game I‘m able to watch this season. Packers vs. Colts, while doing laundry. I’m so exhausted… Go Packers! 🏈

After Long Way Up I binge watched Long Way Round. Now on to Long Way Down… I‘m addicted and if I would ride a bike I would probably start tomorrow on my own trip 😅

Woof. What a week. So much work the last couple of days. I don’t even feel tired anymore, I’m behind this point now. Looking forward to some play time with my daughter this weekend!

This is an evolving post about how Apple claims to be the security focused company, yet their actions speak differently when having a closer look. This is really concerning. But we all know there will never be a non-marketing answer to any of these issues.

Another step to getting my „real“ blog back to life. More or less finished with the theme. Now I need to fill in a couple of empty pages and choose the right font.

I removed the TV from our living room. Maybe the kid won’t ask for it all the time when it’s gone. Also probably means a little more tinkering time for me in the evenings as I don’t get distracted by crappy TV by myself.

What if Trump really is not going to leave? Who‘s responsible for dragging him out?

Long Way Up really gets the travel bug in me. I would sooo love to do something like this. People think I‘m crazy, but I really love this show.

Going a little bold on my updated design for my new/old blog 🤩

I also have an idea to get an outlet for some creative writing I‘d love to explore. It’s a long shot but maybe also here it’s time to at least try and start and create something. Lately I feel like this is the part that‘s missing.

I‘m about to revive my old-old blog, the one I wrote most and probably also the best stuff so far. I read through some old posts and now I’m a little bummed I didn’t follow through. Sometimes life gets in the way, but it’s time to get back to it 💪

Yes, Apple’s Silicon Macs are great, but the event today was very boring. The same statements over and over again. It’s literally the same computers with a new chip. Show could have ended after 25 minutes. The very best thing was the return of PC guy at the end of the commercial.

I really like the designs and lots of the functionality in WordPress came a long way the last couple of years. But it’s just not for me anymore. I’d like to have just a little more control and theme choices at Micro.blog but the simplicity is key. Nothing like that anywhere near.

After a couple of days on Big Sur I have to admit that I really enjoy most of the new look & feel. It really came a long way since the first betas.

With all the joy and relief, let’s not forget that more than 70 million people voted for a horrible, psychologically instable and insane person in the White House. Half of America is not celebrating today.

Scrolling through my Micro.blog timeline this morning is amazing. So much relief. I‘m happy for everyone that got a decent president again. Everyone else can try next time to vote for someone maybe not quite as crazy as Trump. It will be so great to not have to worry about Trump Twitter every day!

PS: Foxnews performed a terrific change during the last couple of days. Hearing Republicans talk in interviews is still so irritating. Hateful, angry, arrogant and spreading fear while being full of fear on their own. It’s very concerning for the next couple of years to come.

So relieved about the events today! Watching CNN and Foxnews all day even though I shouldn’t be that involved with all of this. Just so happy for all my friends over there. They can live a normal life again. Thank you America! You did the right thing! Thank you!

I became a fan of Momento during the last couple of days. I’m hesitant to go all in though because the development seems stale. There are some half baked features and the release notes of the last two years make it look like it’s in maintenance mode. It’s still alive, somehow, but there’s no investment anymore. Not sure I want to place my bet on this app. I don’t want to write a data converter again. (It’s a big plus for me that all data is local and exportable in clear text)

It’s getting cold outside… time to start drinking my beloved Earl Grey instead of coffee all the time again 😉

The Wordpress app improved a lot since I last tried it a couple years ago. I really want to try Wordpress again for something, but I really don’t want to 😉

The „radical left fake news media“ of the world seem to be on the same page. The fact that millions and millions of people voted for such an asshole just shows that he did more damage to the country, democracy and the whole world than anybody could have imagined. It’s unbelievable. Sad for the other half of the country but - at least up until now - this is ONE country, lead by an erratic dictator. The world has to wake up. Game over.

What does it say about a country if such a terrible human being can become president. Again. There’s something deeply, deeply wrong. This should not be possible. A couple of years ago everyone was dreaming about moving and working in the US. I don’t know anyone like that anymore. Everyone‘s somewhere between being frightened and laughing about it. Even if it still turns out good, which I can’t imagine now, America is lost. The world has to move on without it and I hope our politicians finally start to realize that.

Gotta go to sleep, but the amount of red I see on this map on CNN at the moment already feels like a nightmare. I hope I will wake up to a different world in a couple of hours.

Is there some wisdom about Momento? I had the idea of a „single user social network“ a while back. Just a dedicated place where I can dump stuff that’s not supposed to be public. Momento comes close to this idea, data stored locally (and exportable) and it can pull feeds in, like my Micro.blog posts. The app seems pretty established but I never heard about it before. It’s not exactly a Day One replacement for me but I’m looking for something „private“ since our Kids and Family stuff is in Day One. So far so good… I think I‘ll keep trying it for s couple more days.

Dear America, please do the right thing today. Thank you. Kind regards, The Rest of the World.

Dear America, please do the right thing tomorrow. Thank you. Kind regards, The Rest of the World.

Happy writing to everyone participating in this years NaNoWriMo! I’m skipping again because there’s just not enough time, but one day I will finish it! 💪

Bummed by Sean Connery’s death. I guess it’s an age where people are allowed to leave. But there aren’t many of his kind these days. I need to watch some of his movies now, but I can’t decide. Which are your favorites?

Thanks iOS! I really need to see this dialog everytime I unlock you. What would be even better is if there would actually be an update available.

The prospect of another shutdown and the decision about whether to have my kid go to Kindergarten or not really wears on me. It’s a risk, but it would be cruel to her to make her also stay at home again. I barely saw friends since March, no colleagues besides video calls. I don’t want/need to go to the office, yet I start hating to be stuck in here every day. I’m so sick of all of this.

Starting to hear about Covid infections of friends. My hometown is about to get locked down again. Things are getting real… time to hide again. This time it will be much, much harder though.

It’s really relaxing to not be bombarded with the US/Trump shitshow all the time for the last couple of days. With rapidly increasing Corona infection rates there are more important things to worry about. This will end tomorrow when the Comedy Club holds a meeting again, I guess.

I switched over to Apple Music again to get some free months. And for some reason I like it more than Spotify now. It’s slow and it infuriates me in certain areas, so there should be no reason for me to stay, but somehow I do 🤷🏻‍♂️

Our long lasting household crisis has been resolved! The Tracker figurine has emerged again 🙌 And so the Paw Patrol is reunited at last.

I thought about getting an iPhone 12 mini, but while I love the new design and everything, I really love having TouchID on the SE I got earlier this year. I think I’ll keep that one until maybe next years phones.

I know Apple, everything outside Cupertino is not worth mentioning. I don’t have to sleep at 9:30am… I just wanted to check on my existing order. Thanks for not letting me!

Work, work, work… taking notes, attending meetings, coding a little. Stuck in my home office since the beginning of March. 🦠

📍Somewhere near Heidelberg, Germany - ⌚️3:45pm CEST

#adayinthelife – Blogging leads to freedom. Micro.blog means a better community 🙏

Desk with monitor, iPad and headset.

Guter Kommentar von Giovanni di Lorenzo in der Zeit. Es muss umfassender informiert werden und Regeln müssen klarer und vor allem auch durchgesetzt werden, sonst interessiert sich hier bald gar niemand mehr für irgendwas. Corona-Politik: Klare Regeln schaffen Freiheit

Kann es sein, dass ausgerechnet wir vorschriftenverliebten Deutschen ein Vollzugsproblem haben? Und woran liegt das? Sind die Behörden zu zaghaft oder nur überfordert? Oder sind wir etwa anarchischer geworden als Italiener oder Griechen, denen das Misstrauen gegen Reglementierungen doch angeblich im Blut liegt?

Does anyone voting for Trump at least once try to read his Twitter feed? It’s unbearable and should be evidence enough that such a horrible human being should not be president of even the tiniest country in the world. Such a terrible person should not even be allowed to do anything in politics. And yet… he will probably win again. I don’t know what this says about a country.

I wish I had more time! I read my old story from NaNoWriMo and asked myself why some things are as they are and how it may continue. Found my notes for it… and boy, I put quite some thoughts into that 🙃 Now that I know some of the twists, I’d like to know how the story ends 😉

Also… What I started to write in NaNoWriMo back then… I still like it! I rarely find anything I write good after a while, but this is actually a decent starting point 🙃 maybe I should get back to that story!

I stumbled upon some very old short stories and writing prompts I started to write many years back in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I should get back into writing fiction… It was fun to write these short pieces and I read much worse stuff than what I just found 😉

German newspaper titles Gefährder in Chief

I looked up Gefährder and there seems to be no exact translation:

Person likely to threaten public safety, esp. in context of islamistic terrorists

I think they’re right. Good comparison. This shitshow continues to get worse every day

I had to cancel my yearly weekend trip with my best friends. Thanks, Corona… and FU 2020.

I rarely get to see any of them anymore because I live a couple of hours away from home. Our trip is the one time each year where we all find some time to get together. Not even this anymore.

I heard about this on this week’s ATP. Good find on The Verge about the risk of being on any App Store.

If we or our customers were to violate, or an operating system platform provider or application store believes that we or our customers have violated, its terms of service or policies, that operating system platform provider or application store could limit or discontinue our or our customers’ access to its platform or store.

It’s convenient to buy from the App Stores, but I still like to buy Apps (on the Mac of course) directly from the developer for various reasons. One thing I always think about is that it makes them a lot more money that way. I wished there was another way on the phone as well.

Man weiß gar nicht was man zu dem Thema noch sagen soll. Zwischen Häme, Mitleid in diversen Formen und Genesungswünschen… ich finde mich da ehrlich gesagt überall wieder. Am Ende läuft es darauf raus was Biden in der ersten TV-Debatte gesagt hat: “It is what it is, because he is what he is.”

Was, wenn der Präsident […] die Infektion vortäuscht, um dem Wahlkampf eine Wendung zu geben? Es ist traurig, dass Trump das Vertrauen in Amt und Person derart hat erodieren lassen – aber diesen Zweifel hat er selbst gesät.

Donald Trump: Einer von 7,3 Millionen | ZEIT ONLINE

Leaders of the free world? This debate looked more like a terrible day in Kindergarten.

Oh boy. I just watched a summary of the debate last night. I feel sorry for the US. This is an embarrassment. A disgrace. Trump is… well, he’s what he is. Biden didn’t take the chance he didn’t have. 4 more years of this. World, brace yourself, he’s bringing hell on all of us.

Three years ago today I wrote down my thoughts about the election back then. It’s also about one year to go until the next election. It was also today that I stumbled accross rubikon.news again and the only thing I want to do now is scream at this sh*t and vomit all over this horrible garbage site that calls itself „independent journalism“. This „news” page is a threat to the public and undermining our democracy. Nothing less and not worth any further discussion. I can’t believe there are people reading and writing this huge pile of crap. It also makes me worry about the election and everything that comes after it.

I just realized that about 80-90% of my online activity during the last month was done exclusively on my phone. I did not use my Mac at all besides some work related stuff and the one time I actually got some time to do some other coding. I also barely used the iPad except for watching a movie. On one hand I do enjoy using the Mac a lot more for basically anything. On the other hand I don’t really recognize the difference for everyday stuff. This amazes me a little bit… although I’m really happy to be sitting at my desk again with “a real computer“ in front of me 😉

Back to work tomorrow after five weeks off and lots of traveling with the family. Didn’t get to anything I planned and I’m also not ready to be working again 😅 The first days after parental leave are always rough. I really needed that break and despite quite some stress (small kids 🤷🏻‍♂️), that time is always very valuable and well spent! I get another month off in spring, which I’m already looking forward to. Of course, things will be totally different again by then… always an adventure 😊

After most of the day on the road yesterday my 23 days streak of closing the activity ring on my watch had to stop. Now it’s time to start a new try for the perfect month 💪

Oy… 4 weeks delivery time for an Apple Watch. Seems like I‘m a little late with ordering 😉

Playing with the very few widgets available as of now made all my folders disappear into several screens of randomly ordered app icons, after I just got all screens besides a single home screen removed. If there just was a way for Apple to properly test this stuff before 🤔

Season Ending

The surf center got removed from the beach today with just a few Kite surfers remaining. Temperatures going down, winds getting stronger again. We unexpectedly got the best weather of our trip while we were here. Great place! I think we’ll be here again some day.

We‘ll be spending the last couple of hours on the beach tomorrow before starting our journey back home. A little sad that it’s over, as we kind of just settled in with everything… it took us a while to get accommodated with our new situation. At the same time I‘m looking forward to be back home again next week, in my own bed.

24h notice for app developers to submit their apps for iOS 14 - I didn’t even get a reminder yet, like in the years before - is outrageous. How many apps will not be updated today and how many of the users will not blame the developers for that? Apple’s losing it.

Of course Fitness+ will only be available in „English speaking“ countries. It’s not like I‘m not able to follow „fitness level English“. I don’t understand this move, I think it’s yet another ridiculous decision, but at least it’s one less thing from them for me to try out 😉

After 4 years I‘ll be getting a new Apple Watch. I thought about it already last year but I‘m really using it a lot lately, so that’s a good upgrade.

I‘m conflicted about their new service bundles. The integration of everything (including the new fitness service) is unbeatable. And that’s exactly my concern. I don’t want this, but I want it. Pricing is fine, but the storage levels are yet again laughable. I still can’t understand why there is no family photo library. I’m burning through double photo storage with my family photos and this is probably the reason this feature doesn’t exist. It would let me drop back to the standard iCloud storage tier. Tim Cook would be sad about this.

Of course, in terms of quality, integration and features, Apple is the gold standard. This means vendor lock-in. Do I want that? No I don’t. Is it convenient? Of course it is! The experience is great. But is has a cost. Not sure where this will lead in a couple of years.

I have to think about this some more. At the moment I would even be ready to switch back to Apple Music just because it would make things easier. Against my better judgment. I tried alternatives to the whole Apple ecosystem. There are none.

Mid September and still no Christmas cookies in the stores?!? Somethings seriously wrong this year 🤔

Got to see the sun go down at the beach today with my daughter. Lovely scenery!

Strong winds today! Makes the sand look like fog.

The biggest beach I‘ve ever seen. No idea why I never came here before 😊

I love this place! So calm and quiet. It almost looks like you could walk over to Denmark (there’s a fisherman on the far right edge 😉)

Did a little tourist hike today to go see the chalk mountain on Rügen. Another day on the road tomorrow to get to our next location on the Danish border.

Sent an eMail to the owner of a supermarket today. Not a single one of their employees was able to wear their face masks correctly when I was there this week. One wiped his nose, kept the mask below it and didn’t even care to wash or disinfect his hands before continuing to restock the shelves. Unacceptable.

Trying to get into some coding groove in the evenings while on vacation. Not as easy as I thought… two little kids make me a little sleepy after long days 😉

With more stories of randomly rejected apps and suspended developer accounts the question is whether the App Store really is the best viable option to have your business depend on. I‘ll try to build my apps nevertheless, because I don’t depend on it and it‘s just a hobby, but I have some second thoughts (again). I already was certain to quit the whole ecosystem end of last year for different reasons, but I got drawn back in by the quality of the apps and services around it. Not because of Apple or the iPhone. Apple is wrong on so many levels. They just don’t know yet and I hope someone will show them sooner than later. The current situation is sad and maddening. It’s true: money hides problems.

Quick shot from our first „actual“ vacation location. Need to go out with a real camera some time this week.

The saga continues. Come on Apple… you’re acting a little too weird lately. What’s the tactic here? Do they want to force governments to regulate them?

We found a serene spot though… away from all those crazy people. Nice refreshment at almost 38 C.

I guess it’s official… there’s no Corona in Berlin anymore! 🎉

At least if you go by the behavior of all those crazy people out there. I thought it would be bad at home, but this…? Wow. I’m pretty sure now: There will be a second wave and besides returning travelers those people will be highly responsible for it and will also be the ones complaining the loudest during the next lockdown.

Ick faschteh keen Wort! Nimm ma dit doowe Ding runta.

– Ice cream vendor, complaining about us wearing face masks while ordering.

There was not a single person wearing a mask, nowhere. We could stay away from them, but boy… this is ridiculous.

I always was a germophobe. I like to think it’s what kept me healthy more than others over the years. It might also help during the Corona pandemic, but it sure does make me look a little insane at times. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Completely cutting off Epic from the platform is ridiculous. I don’t understand what Apple tries to prove here. The only thing that’s sure is that Apple looses, and already lost, a lot of credibility and sympathy. Their behavior is unacceptable and needs to be regulated. It’s their own fault, to 100% and they’re running blindly in the wrong direction. It’s sad to watch.

So much to do, so much to prepare, so much to pack… two days left and travel preparations will be on full steam tomorrow. A little nervous, but once the car is rolling, it’s just a matter of time when I can finally feel some sand under my toes 😁

Not gonna lie… I‘m a little terrified by the long drive ahead of us in a couple of days (turns out, our little one is not exactly a fan of cars). But I’m really really looking forward to spending lots of time at the beach for a couple of weeks! And we’re having a couple of stops in between. It’s been way too long without any real vacation for our family.

Still trying to stay away from people though. How things are evolving at the moment is a little scary, so we’re increasing our awareness again, while it often seems like nobody else even cares anymore.

I preordered a reMarkable 2 today. Really looking forward to it. I thought about version 1 already, but this looks like a really promising successor. Taking notes directly on my eBooks will be a game changer for me. Hope it holds up to the expectations!

I’m all in for some change in Apple’s App Store and their behavior. But the way Epic handles this Fortnite drame is also not the best. Controlled and prepared escalation is also a dick move. A first-day iOS developer knows that what they did get’s you in trouble on several levels. They knew it and escalated it… that’s also not ok.

Wrapping up several tasks before I’m on parental leave for more than a month. I’m not saying ALL of this could have been done weeks ago already, but maybe it would have helped and I wouldn’t have so much stress now while it’s freaking hot and my brain is melting 😉

I think I would strongly consider buying a new iPad mini if it should ever get another update. It’s ridiculous that it’s still more expensive than the bigger iPad. With the pencil it would be a perfect note taking companion. I still use my very very old mini from time to time.

Last days were slow days in terms of pet project progress. I had to read up on a couple of things. Trying to get back into the grove with some Vivaldi in the background. Sometimes I need electro, sometimes I need classic ¯\(ツ)

Not very active lately because busy. But I do read most posts and really enjoy everyone’s challenge photos this month! I’m lurking 😉

There are options I didn’t take because they felt wrong. They were mere options but no chances. I also have chances but are they the right ones for me, or someone I think I could or would want to be? I need to make decisions, but I’m not really good with these kinds of decisions.

We have some really nice mail carriers in our area! Other parcel services are just ridiculously rude and careless. A smile and a nice greeting get you a long way, they should ride along for one day with our standard mail guy and girl.

I‘m not in the Mac App Store game so far… one question I have at the moment is whether it’s possible to have an app that runs a background process all the time, like a Launch Daemon. I have the feeling would be only possible outside the App Store.

I started barking at people in the grocery store. If they are unable to put their stupid masks over their noses, they should at least be intelligent enough to keep the #$@&%*! away from me. Those people are the worst and I let them know from now on.

Why, yes I went into another side project. No, YOU bought yet another domain before anything else. (I might need an intervention)

I really don’t like it when services just charge your credit card for subscription renewal without giving you a heads up. They just count on you forgetting to cancel their service. Looking at you, 1Password! I thought they were better.

One of the things to do I was looking forward to the most this year, was going to a Nada Surf concert again after a few years of absence. Now it’s been shifted from back in April to when I’m on vacation in September. I wouldn’t go there in this situation, I don’t know whether such events are allowed again by then and I don’t even think they are allowed to travel to Europe at all, since people from the US are not allowed to enter any country here due to their terrifying infection rates. I’m sure it will be moved again to next year, I hope 🤞 I hope there will be nice clubs and event locations around by then and I hope I will be able to buy these tickets again, because Nada Surf is still one of my favorite bands!

140.000 people die because of his pathologic idiocracy, but he has nothing else to do then whining about Twitter trends always being negative about him. No really… this country has no other issues to solve right now.

Ok… I’m an Alfred convert now. A little overwhelmed by all the possibilities, but pretty pleased so far. I had the hope I could cancel my TextExpander subscription, but the snippet support is not as good and creating workflows for similar results is too complicated.

Went down a rabbit hole in a SwiftUI underground project at work. Still amazes me how fast basic UI is fully up and running. Not so amazing is how it plays together with even mildly complex model layers. I guess it’s finally time to get into Combine to unleash the full potential

Is there a MarsEdit plugin or something that helps to quickly share a Link and title with some highlighted text for Firefox?

🤔 Release Notes mention to test 13.6 beta for exposure notification framework updates. Maybe it will get to iOS 14 beta after 13.6 got released 🤔

Still no exposure notification api available in beta 3. Maybe it won’t be enabled at all during the betas? Would be a shame… I want to build my app for iOS 14 but I can’t test it on my device because I would loose the Covid-19 tracking.

I‘m simply shocked, shocked! about how people behave in public. This Corona thing isn’t over! Numbers are slowly rising in some areas again after a couple of weeks of calming down. Is it really that hard to wear a freaking facemask? Why? WHY does nobody even care? I really can’t grasp why people have such a big problem with it. It just makes NO sense whatsoever. Why is it so hard to at least try to keep modest distance? After todays short trip to the zoo I‘m more convinced then ever that this whole situation will get back to us. There’s no other possibility with that much ignorance and stupidity out there.

At this point, my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify is complete and utter garbage and it doesn‘t seem to improve anymore. Glad I still have the Release Radar which does not seem to be infected by the children’s music I have to listen to 😉 (I tried to trick Spotify the last couple of weeks, but at the moment I don‘t think a family account would help anymore)

After a very, veeeery long travel and almost 4 weeks being stuck in customs, my @gluon shirt finally arrived 👍🏻

(This is definitely the last time for me to order anything from the US 😉)

I got pointed to Obsidian today. I never heard of it. This is amazing! It matches a lot of Roam’s features, yet it is totally open. It’s just Markdown files in folders, which you could also edit in any other editor. It supports plugins and has a bunch of styles. I’m really liking it so far. I just started to check out Roam and I can see some benefits of this style of note taking, but I’m really concerned about the pricing, at least for my personal usage. Obsidian is free for personal use, but you can send money their way to support and it seems to have a nice community around it. On first sight, it looks to me like a better Roam (at least for my taste).

Thursdays at 10am I have a regular Meeting. I dialed in today, but nobody else showed up. It’s Wednesday…. 4 months at home and days don’t matter anymore.

I just had another look at the manual for MailMate (as you do) and found some nifty hidden preferences and lots of crazy stuff in there. This app is ridiculously awesome.

One thing I urgently need to do during vacation is decluttering and organizing my digital life again. I can’t keep up with all the newest shiny tools all the time. A handful of note taking apps, text files, some ToDos here, some on paper, some in OmniFocus, writing blog posts in this app and in that app, having a copy here but not there, different mail apps… it’s a mess. I lost control of this stuff over time. I think it’s part of why I can’t concentrate at times.

I was hoping for Micropub support in the next Ulysses update… seems like I have to wait. Subscription will renew soon and I’m still not sure I want to keep it.

I hope Apple enables the contact tracing API in the next beta so I can upgrade to iOS 14 on my actual phone. My app needs it, but I don’t want to break the Corona Warn App 😉

So… is Roam yet another hype train? It finally got to some of my peers and they are also all in on this. I still think I miss the point. It looks like an Outliner with Wiki functionality, but I‘m not sure why a normal Wiki wouldn’t do the trick here. I find TiddlyWiki similarly easy to use. But then again, I tried lots of note taking apps and they all just gathered dust at some point. I think I’m just not a note taking person. I’m mostly fine with a couple of text files in BBEdit or Drafts.

Also, their product site isn‘t helping much. There’s no information about features, just links hidden away to external content (and it only works if you allow Google Analytics, so there’s that). Why show me the pricing if you didn’t even show me what you do?

I don’t know… I might try it, because it looks promising and because I’m interested in why people are so hyped about it. I don’t think it will stick with me though.

I’ve been documenting some more progress on my pet project on my development blog (@kokodev) here and here. Making good progress… hope to be able to keep the momentum going for a couple more weeks!

Down the rabbit hole. Catching up with some not so enterprisey technologies… watching WWDC videos from 2016 and 2017. Feels a bit like I‘ve really been away for quite a while, but there’s just stuff you really don’t come near to in certain environments. Feels good to finally get up to speed in some areas again though.

Tomorrow it will be four months that I’m at home probably 98% of my time. Working from home, barely seeing anybody (since maybe a couple weeks ago, finally). The only time I‘m leaving the house in general is to go grocery shopping. Our trip to the ocean this summer will most likely be canceled because nobody can afford the prices at the moment, it’s ridiculous! Also, the reports I hear are terrifying. It’s like nothing ever happened. Face masks? For what? Distance? „Naah, come on! It’s gone! Look! Do you see anybody sick around here? Let’s party!“ At this point I just wait until the first come back from their summer vacation and spread the virus like nobody learned anything at all during this time. I don’t understand these people. I‘d love to have another great trip during parental leave with my second daughter just as I did with the first! We already cut it down to the bare minimum. I miss traveling a lot. I don’t mind being at home, but a little change of scenery every once in a while would be nice. Seeing even this in danger now, with an outlook of staying at home for even longer… it makes me sad. I still hope things will work out though. Maybe we will find something affordable, away from people, last minute. I guess we‘re about to find out.

A president keeping his old buddy from a couple of years in prison is not a sign of a healthy justice system. It’s what happens in underdeveloped countries with no rules. It’s ridiculous that this is even possible.

I‘m not affected by Facebook‘s crash… maybe because I don’t have an account anymore? We‘ll never know.

Facebooks SDK made lots of apps crash on startup again today. Why would you want your app/service be dependent on such an awful partner? Something like this must not happen when supplying such a huge dependency. Period. They obviously don’t care.

It actually took only 46 hours for my developer membership to be processed. Now I can’t register my App ID, because Xcode must have done that for my other account, with an expired membership. Of course I can’t remove the ID from that account, because it expired. Some services at Apple still are not up to their standards.

Cool Apple Developer Program experience so far. Created a new Apple ID with a strong password (as you do). Everything went well, until it got to purchasing the membership. Turns out: password was too long for the store to checkout. Account locked, twice, password changed (less secure!), purchase went through. Now I still don’t have full access to the Developer Account, because it doesn’t recognize my purchase. It could take „up to 48 hours to process“. We’re almost there… let’s see if this will magically appear later today 🤞

This reminds me… I started a new blogging project a couple weeks back, and I have an idea for a Micro.blog plugin… I should make sure I don’t put on too much stuff on the side again 😉

Once I‘m over some complaining about SwiftUI and how complex Swift got over time, I think I might really start loving it. While the complexity of the language is annoying at times, it allows UI development to become so much faster and streamlined.👌🏻

Now that I (kind of) understood my Swift issue from before, I’m even more annoyed by it. It’s incredible how you have to jump through hoops and make everything look uglier to make certain things work. Flexible would be different.

That’s a first… did some development & debugging on device with Xcode and my Macbook’s battery got drained while it was connected to power. Good job Xcode!

Wanted to noodle around with SwiftUI, now I’m stuck with obscure Swift errors. Oh well…

I got an idea for an app icon. I‘ll have to do it in code because I’m just too stupid to understand how Photoshop et.al. are supposed to be used.

Mythic Quest on Apple TV+ is actually quite funny 🙃

Scribbled some features and new mockups for a project I almost finished several years ago already. All new, a little different… not sure where this will go, but this is what WWDC does to me 😉

Day two of trying to download Big Sur on my test machine. Download takes many many many hours and then it just stalls. Not sure what’s going on with Apple‘s servers, but it seems I‘m not the only one with this problem.

I like the style of this year’s WWDC session videos. Like the keynote, being online only made the content better. Also, it adds a much more personal note to everything and the whimsical notes in there are perfect👌🏻

Besides the usual and most discussed stuff from the keynote, one thing that stood out to me was the Apple TV+ Teaser for Foundation. I really don’t have an opinion about the books (I stopped early in the first part because I thought it was exceptionally boring), but this trailer looked really, really promising to me! You could see that they are going for their Game of Thrones here. Looking forward to that 🍿

Well… this will be a different kind of WWDC experience on so many levels. I’ll have to digest all the information differently if at all this year, e.g. I can’t even watch the State of the Union until late afternoon tomorrow. Oh well… everything’s not that important when actually thinking about it.

For now, I just finished watching the keynote and took lots of notes. A lot to think about, but all in all I’m pleased with what I saw. Everything seems solid. I’m curious how it will work in real life. I know better, but I’m tempted to install everything right away.

Social Media Black Out for today… I can’t watch the keynote live. And while I thought I could not care less this year, I‘m somehow still a little excited.

How many visitors of the Trump propaganda event in Tulsa will get sick, how many of them will die? All because of a childish bully ignoring reality. And they follow like Lemmings. It physically hurts to follow what’s going on over there.

I can’t use the Apple TV app on my phone because Apple Music isn‘t connected to my account. Makes sense.

Attorney investigates president‘s friends. President fires attorney. Not suspicious… at all.

Banana republic.

Success! I bent the templating and site config available at Micro.blog and ported my old Hugo template. I had to leave out some things, but way less than I thought, so that’s totally fine. Now that I‘m done I think I probably won’t use it though 😉 It’s too specific and complicated to set up, with lots of assumptions all over the place. Definitely no recommendation to use it, but a showcase. I‘ll write up more some other day and also put the template on GitHub. Just for reference…

It’s not like there are other companies out there that manage to create service platform revenue without bullying their customers. The App Store model is fundamentally broken, inconsistent and unfair. Yes, they deserve to be paid. But the way they handle it now is nothing but a failure. Maybe just think of different tiers… Put a „call our sales team“ sticker on your business site. Try to think of other ways to get paid, fairly. That’s what this is about. Negotiate a fair price instead of ripping everyone off in the name of the users that don’t understand what you are actually doing: harassing developers that helped your platform and your company become one of the richest companies in the world.

The way Apple handles this whole App Store kerfuffle since forever is an embarrassment to the good things and values this company stands for.

Reading through old blog posts might make you realize how much things and your opinions changed over the years. You might also realize that there are certain patterns that are still visible today. This might be a good thing… or not. But it’s certainly something to think about.

Micro.blog being down reminded me of ye olden days when Facebook was down… Nowhere to complain that it’s down! 😉

Creating a Tag-Cloud for Micro.blog

I may or may not be fiddling around with creating my own Micro.blog Hugo theme. I just can’t help it, can I? Creating custom themes is really powerful, and while some features are not accessible at the moment, you can really achieve a lot! I do like the simplicity more than the overly custom Hugo features I used in the past.

I tinkered around with the tag-cloud I created in my own theme for one of my previous sites. It only needed a little bit of tweaking, which was a delightful surprise! Not sure I will end up using it, but it does encourage me to play around a whole lot more now.

It needs a little CSS to wrap things correctly, but this is what a tag-cloud for the categories on your Micro.blog site could look like in the Archie theme:

Screenshot of a tagcloud

The code is quite old and probably out of style. I also don’t know whether or from where I “got the inspiration” for most of it, but it took me some time back then to get this pieced together. If you’re interested, I put the quick and dirty template code and the CSS styles I used on Github. Keep in mind that this was built for my heavily customized theme and I just made it work for Micro.blog as a proof of concept.

I’m being dragged down the rabbit whole now I guess. I hope to get most of my old template over to Micro.blog sooner or later.

I should try to get the old Hugo template I manually created for my old old blog to work on Micro.blog. You can see I’m not a designer, but nevertheless I still love it 😊 It would require some stripping down of features though because I heavily used custom taxonomies and stuff…

I found an archive of my old blog I totally forgot about, with posts dating back to 2013. I wondered if I should bother importing them… some posts would be great to have back, but some others make me cringe 😬 Maybe I can put them in their own category…

I‘m sure I could also find everything I ever wrote back until 2006 probably. Hmm 🤔

I need to work on my blog. I’m just rambling since quite some time. I didn’t want this to become a pure Twitter-like thing… it’s a little pointless as it is now. Need to think 🤔

At the zoo… not the first time since reopening, but feeling very uncomfortable this time. People just don’t care about the easiest rules. What’s the fu…ng problem with staying away from others and wearing a face mask?! Don’t like the rules: stay home. It’s that simple. It’s socially unacceptable to put other people’s health at risk because I don’t want to do something simple and effective. I really don’t understand the problem here. Probably these are the ones protesting for their human rights every weekend because wearing a mask is such a heavy burden.

I really don’t get it.

Just learned about this on the news: Bassins de Lumières. Beautiful art installations in massive German WW2 bunkers in France. Too big and dangerous to deconstruct, now a place of art. Definitely on my list to visit some day.

I‘m back on the come on, this can’t be that hard train. Lucky me, not having any spare time right now to even start fiddling with it.

No, thanks.

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I might have finally found a way to get in touch with my school teacher from 20 years ago! After sporadic googling every couple of months for a few years now without any luck, I found some information. He was the best teacher back then and I just always wanted him to know.

Today, one year ago I boarded the plane to WWDC and two more weeks of visiting friends in California. I miss traveling, I miss the conference, I really miss seeing my friends again.

Hmm… I don’t know… but seeing videos of Police cars driving right into people, Police shooting pepper bullets on a reporter’s head without reason, reporters being arrested without reason… oh right, and black people killed by policemen regularly… No idea why people protest against police violence and peoples rights 🤔 Pictures of a deeply troubled country.

Pared with a ridiculous lack of leadership, a worldwide political desaster on all possible fronts and no chance of improvement… that‘s not a world leader of anything anymore. Make America great again failed horribly. The exact opposite is the case. The absolute worst of it shows itself right now… people are dying for no reason, power is exploited and don’t forget that Corona is still a huge problem, unlike in many other countries where we see improvements since several weeks.

By the way… considering the scale of this whole situation, the news coverage here in Germany feels extremely low compared to previous times. This is either: it’s happening all the time and not worth of huge coverage anymore, or it’s not worth more coverage because the US relevance is not what it was before. Probably a bit of both.

Of course, I have no saying in this, just a sideline opinion, which is probably false. All I see is the news. But I have friends and colleagues in the US and I feel sad for them.

Twitter Adds Labels to Trump’s Tweets for First Time

So… how long until Trump flames Twitter on Twitter now? New York Times

I could not access Instagram, following a link, because it resolves to something.something.facebook.com. Thanks, pi-hole, for making me stay consistent 👌🏻

📚Today’s recommendation: Gösta Berling by Selma Lagerlöf. Nobel prize for literature in 1909 for a really lovely book that makes you feel like being in one of the loveliest countries in the world. Some think it’s a little outdated, I think it’s diving into the past in the best possible ways.

📚 I saw Stephen King mentioned a couple times this week. Another great book I didn’t see yet is Carrie. I’m not the biggest Horror or Supernatural fan, but this is a good one 👍🏻

📚 Today’s recommendation: The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. Crazy stories, lots of weirdness, fantasy, details, language, creatures… all in all simply hilarious and funny, back to back. Really awesome for kids of any age, especially older ones like me 😊

Winding down a day that’s hard to describe. We welcomed our second daughter today! I can’t fathom that I now have two kids! We’re lucky everyone is well and I was able/allowed to be there and „help“ (there’s literally nothing I could do besides standing there and try not to be in the way too much, of course), especially during this weird time we’re living in right now. My partner did a great job! I can’t even imagine the things she went through today (again). We’re also really fortunate she has an amazing and caring doctor.

I’m home now, hoping to show our big one (she’s the big one now! 😱) some photos of her sister tomorrow before heading back to the hospital in the morning. She’s so happy already… unfortunately she’s not allowed to visit because of Corona still, which is ridiculous but understandable. Wouldn’t it be great if a family would be allowed to be together? Weird situation.

But exciting times are ahead of us! Corona crossed a couple of our future plans already but we’ll figure something out. I’m often overwhelmed by one kid, I wonder what it will be like with two of them 😉

Or, like my colleague told me the other day:

Trust me, one kid is no kid 😉

We‘ll figure it out 🙃

📚 Today’s recommendation is maybe my all time favorite book. Some might think it’s too weird but that’s exactly it. It has everything for me: The World According to Garp by John Irving. Close second would be Hotel New Hampshire but I only recommend one per day 😉

📚 One of the books that I will never forget and always the first recommendation that comes to mind: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh (Wie Siddharta zum Buddha wurde) A novel-like tale of Buddha‘s life. Near and dear to my heart.

I hope apps will move to other Gif services now that Giphy is bought by Facebook. I can’t imagine Signal using a Facebook service to search for Gifs.

After there’s been a lot of talking and writing about Pi-hole lately again, I set it up in a Docker container on my Synology today. So far it’s working great, love to explore more on this. I also didn’t see any problems with websites so far, but we will see how it will work out in the long run. At the very least it’s interesting to see what’s going on behind the scenes… It feels great to be able to simply drop any Facebook or Bild.de connections.

How awesome is this!? iA Writer now supports publishing to Micro.blog! I wouldn’t need to “draft-first” approach though. I’d love to directly publish from within the app. But this is huge 😊

Aren’t you tired of always doing the right thing?

Kidding, S1E3 💬

People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.

– Stephen King in Carrie 💬

The first draft of anything is shit.

– Ernest Hemingway 💬

Trying the full mindfulness cannon trying to feel better. Meditation, yoga fitness and brain.fm for deep sleep. Like throwing Spaghetti on the wall… maybe something will stick.

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.

– Frank Herbert, Dune 💬

I hope the new SE will make App Makers realize that there are still phones around that are smaller than eleventy inches…

Stores are opening again in Germany and I see pictures of masses of people standing in line to go shopping; no distance, no precautions. These people are ridiculous. Complaining about regulations and limitations, but as soon as they’re on their own they fuck up the whole situation again. I don’t get it. Education seems to be an even bigger issue in our country than I thought. We will live like this for months and months. Get used to it. It’s not going away any faster if everyone’s basically hugging each other in front of a store for hours in line.

7 weeks at home. 7 weeks without seeing anyone besides my partner and daughter. Once a week I get out to buy groceries. We get out everyday for a walk in the forest or around the block… there are parts that don‘t bother me. There are parts that are not optimal. There are habits forming that are obviously not good for any of us, but with everything going on, are hard to avoid. Overall, the situation starts to wear on me. I’m not in a great mood since a couple of days. I feel stressed. I feel annoyed. I feel incompetent. I envy those who claim how boring this time is and how much Netflix they have to watch to kill all the time. I don’t have any time to kill. Even less than before all this. I don’t want to whine yet again, or complain. There are lots of people that are in much much worse situations. I have a great job, great family… everything else is mental. Maybe that’s the worst part here.

One week in, I still love the smaller phone. Feels so much better than my huge work phone. I miss tap to wake and the great camera, but oh well… everything else is just great. It might bring me to actually use my real camera more again.

I love the smaller size of the SE again. The corners of the UI need some getting used to again, as well as the smaller keyboard. But it’s a frickin’ phone! I’m also in love with Touch ID again. Face ID became more and more frustrating lately. It fits so much better on the iPad. The phones really need both options in the future.

In the process to set up my new iPhone SE and downgrading my XS Max to be a work-only phone. This will take some days to adjust.

Home made Pizza today. Need a little practice but turned out not too bad for the first time in forever 👌🏻

I find myself almost unable to work for the last couple of days. I think the situation wears on me.

Lehrer-Bashing in der Corona Krise

Ganz ganz schwacher Kommentar in der Zeit zum Thema Home Schooling in der Krise. Ich bin immer wieder verärgert darüber wie über Lehrer hergezogen wird, daher hier ein paar schnell zusammengefügte Gedanken meinerseits. Nicht nur finde ich den Kommentar an sich haarsträubend… ich habe auch den Fehler gemacht und die Kommentare darunter gelesen. Kapitalfehler, den man niemals, bei keinem Thema, bei keinem Artikel, jemals begehen darf.

Es ist schwer, das ist klar, die Ansprüche der Eltern hoch, aber da wird auf Lehrer eingedroschen die zum Großteil keine anderen Möglichkeiten haben. Natürlich gibt es schwarze Schafe bei den Lehrern, das weiß jeder. Aber auch wenn es der allgemeine Eindruck ist, dass der Großteil so ist, hat das mit der Realität wenig zu tun. Die meisten arbeiten auch außerhalb der Krise mehr als so manch andere Helikoptereltern. Die Krise führt nur dazu, dass gerade diese Lehrer noch weiter belastet werden. Das fängt beim Online Unterricht an und wird sich im Zuge der langsamen Öffnungen nur noch weiter verschlimmern.

Eltern haben ja gar keinen Einblick was hinter den Kulissen alles abläuft. Es kommt nur an, dass Schneeflöckchen nicht genügend Beachtung bekommt. Aber da müssen Lehrerkonferenzen virtuell abgehalten werden, in Gegenden wo das die Infrastruktur z.B. gar nicht hergibt. Es müssen Tools benutzt werden die bis vor ein paar Wochen noch gar kein Thema waren. Es gibt Notbetreuung die zusätzlich zum Online Unterricht organisiert werden muss, es gibt Auflagen welche die ohnehin schon sehr lichte Personaldecke noch weiter ausdünnen, die es quasi unmöglich machen Unterricht zu gestalten. Die Liste kann endlos weitergeführt werden.

Letzten Endes ist die Politik der Flaschenhals dieser Krise. Digitalisierung und IT wird seit Jahren und schon fast Jahrzehnten ignoriert. Was man schon mit einfachen Mitteln seit Jahren hätte einführen können, muss nun schnell schnell für teures Geld aufgerüstet werden, wobei sich niemand mit der Technik im entferntesten auskennen kann. Gelder und Personal wurden gestrichen. Lehrermangel ist nicht erst seit einem Monat ein bekanntes Problem. Dinge die nun auf einmal normal sein müssen, wurden unter fadenscheinigen Gründen wegdiskutiert. Auch hier… die Liste der Fehler auf politischer und schulamtlicher Ebene in diesem Bereich kann endlos weitergeführt werden.

Der Stand der Digitalisierung im deutschen Schulsystem ist eine unfassbare Peinlichkeit. Da sind aber am wenigsten die Lehrer dran Schuld. Auch wenn diese bis heute offenbar zum Teil nicht fähig sind eMails zu bedienen… es wurde keinerlei Anreiz oder Nutzen geschaffen der es nötig gemacht hätte sich das alles anzueignen. Im Gegenteil wurde eher dagegen gearbeitet anstatt Lösungen zu finden.

Es gab auch gute Kommentare zum Kommentar. Mein Favorit zum Thema im Allgemeinen:

Jeder, der mal in der Schule war, ist Experte bei der Bewertung des Lehrerberufs. Schließlich ist jeder, der mal Flugpassagier war auch Experte des Pilotenberufs.

Gute Lehrer haben sehr viel um die Ohren. Die schlechten machen auch schlechten Unterricht im normalen Leben. Bitte diese Diskussion nicht auf dem Rücken derer austragen, die sich wirklich Mühe geben, aber von oben, also der Politik und den Schulämtern, bitterlich und seit Jahren im Stich gelassen und ausgenutzt wurden und werden.

Strongly considering to buy a new iPhone SE now. The tech is more than enough, I somehow miss the „smaller“ size and it’s a little more affordable. I think I put my Android / Alternative plans to grave for the next couple of years…

While researching /e/ I wondered where the apps come from. Turns out: it’s probably mostly illegal. Oh well… the principle behind the project is amazing though. I really hope they figure this out, but apps are only available through Apple or Google. Everything else: meh.

I used Android for a day and I have opinions. So many opinions. Thinking about details is exhausting. I’m too interested in my privacy and there are only two players on the market. I can only loose in this game. Maybe I‘ll just buy a dumb phone again. Maybe it will be freeing.

I’m thinking about buying a cheap Android phone and putting /e/ on it. The problem is that I find most apps on Android unbearable. But I fear to regret all the time & money investment to switch and not finding decently designed and usable (independent) apps.

He will win again. And the whole world has to suffer for another four years. It’s infuriating.

We tried to get our daily dosage of fresh air without crossing ways with too many people and found a couple of quiet spots in the forests around.

I‘m extensively using iA Writer lately for work on my iPad, and I love it! I checked and realized I bought it back in 2015, but never really used it. Now I feel guilty because I don‘t have to give them money even after such a long time!

Working Copy has an amazing way to charge for upgrades. You unlock pro features until at a certain point new additions are available and then you pay a little more to get those features as well, if you want them. Perfect model! No subscription, honest, fair and you see what you’re paying for. I wish more apps would follow this way instead of the standard subscriptions these days.

Oh and by the way… if you’re writing and storing your documents in GitHub, those two apps are just made for each other. Two of the greatest examples on how to integrate and inter-operate with the system (and other apps for that matter). Really amazing tools👌🏻

I read a great article in a German news paper today that compared Trump’s press conferences to Edgar Allan Poe‘s The Masque of the Red Death. It says he is like Prince Prospero and the Red Death in one person. Of course I have to read that story now!

I might have to switch to a wired mouse. I don’t know what Apple did in Catalina with their Bluetooth support, but my mouse is constantly disconnecting and, if I’m lucky, reconnecting. Happens with different mice, never happened before Catalina.

Working from the balcony… sunshine, just the right spring temperature, and the birds chirping away. And with very little traffic all around you can actually hear them! Great day!

On a different note, being out of development means being out of my comfort zone. I‘m not a project manager, far from it. In an email the other day my task was described as „caretaker“. I might be ok with that. I don‘t manage. I don‘t want to manage. I might be able to organize a couple of things, but what actually needs to be done is to enable the developers in my project team. I need to figure lots of things out, not only for my team, but also for me personally. Again, it‘s a chance to grow for me, and this time this thing will not just go away. There‘s money and pressure behind it, and I‘ll better make sure this thing is done in time.

Sometimes a little pressure might turn out to be helpful. We‘ll see how this went in three months.

After being out of development for the foreseeing future again, I‘m falling back in love with my iPad again. Taking notes with GoodNotes makes me think so much better than anything else. I don‘t need a lot of other things on my Mac to get non-development stuff done. Emails, notes, meetings, research… It‘s a great tool for certain stuff, but it‘s not ready for prime time for me. I can understand people going all in to use it as their main computing machine, but I still think they’re jumping through hoops, maybe sometimes to prove a point, maybe because it‘s kind of fun. But more effective? Not sure about that.

Also, I‘m always in awe of Bob Dylan‘s Hurricane. So much energy, anger and truth filled into eight and a half minutes.

Everytime Catatonia comes up in one of my playlists, I‘m really sad they broke up so long ago and there’s not more music from them. They were my favorite band back then…

Fake Doctors, Real Friends might be my favorite thing in a long time! Zach Braff and Donald Faison rewatching and commenting all of Scrubs. I loved that show. I still do very much, even though maybe it didn’t age so well in parts. They‘re both so funny! First episode is 👍🏻

Trying out a couple of games on Apple Arcade. The overall quality is astonishing! Not sure it makes a gamer out of me, but so far it’s quite fun.

I really love working from home. Especially with my family around all day. I always worked from home every now and then, maybe even for a few days in a row, but usually there were meetings and colleagues waiting at the office. Now I’m at home since three full weeks and I don’t miss anything. I’m more productive, even though I never get full hours of course because I need and want to spend time with my daughter.

Again, I could not be more thankful for an employer that understands how life works and that fully supports us employees and their families. I see how other companies struggle and how difficult this time is for others. It’s not only times like this that make me realize how lucky I am to be working where I am. But especially now, it’s impossible to underestimate the support we get there.

Our teams and projects accustomed to fully remote work now and I don’t see any friction. Even when I’m in the office I’m on the phone most of the time anyways with colleagues from various time zones all around the world. Rarely do I really work directly with my direct peers from my team. So there’s not much of a change for me.

The biggest difference is that I can spend a whole lot of time with my family and don’t have to sit in a car for more than an hour each day. I don’t have to rush in the morning to get my daughter to Kindergarten in time (oh boy, how very thankful I am for this!), I don’t have to feel guilty in the evening because I’m home too late. I can play with my daughter in the morning, at noon, between meetings or prepare lunch for us.

So… there’s some good in this whole situation at least from my personal situation. More relaxed working, more time with family, increased appreciation for my company…. As long as we stay healthy, I‘m fine with this situation. 🦠

New Music Friday is a jackpot today! New Swedish music from Mando Diao, Corona preview song for the new album of Die Ärzte, and a new album of Brian Fallon. I‘m all set for this Friday!

I really need to make time to switch back to Spotify. I activated the Apple Music family account while we’re on lockdown. But guess what’s not working 🙄 Device says there’s already a subscription, yet it does not let me do anything. Apple’s services can really be frustrating.

Regular Reminder for myself: There’s only so much you can do… if there are 100 tasks, prioritize them and chip away one after the other. Don’t get paralyzed by the sheer amount of work and pressure.

I just realized that I’m way past week 2 already. Working from home since two weeks, before that I only spent 2, max. 3 days per week at the office this month… I already had a feeling that it’s healthier at home. It’s the lockdown we had since last week after kindergarten was closed that makes it feel different.

Lots of people out for a walk with beautiful weather today. Makes it hard sometimes to keep the distance, but at least some people that never go outside get some fresh air all of a sudden 😉 Plus, almost no cars, which is great 👌🏻

I registered for Disney+. I don’t know whether I‘ll really use it, I don’t even really use my Netflix subscription. Kind of a FOMO situation. All these subscriptions… it’s a pain.

Very calm Saturday. Curfew and „celebrity“ campaigns seem to help people understand they need to stay home. Very few cars on the streets, supermarket around the corner is completely empty (maybe I should check whether I can get some toilet paper there 🤔). Hopefully this is a change for the better. Infection numbers went up like crazy the last couple of days. Not too long until hospitals will be filled.

At home we‘re also calm and relaxed. Our daughter is enjoying time with us and playing all day long. I start to recognize some anxiety because the only time I went out in more than a week was to go shopping and a couple short walks with the family. But in general I really can’t complain about anything 😉

Best day yet! Beautiful weather, family in a good mood, work is becoming a little more productive… all in all very positive today. I think I can make working from home for a longer period work, I don’t miss anything at the moment. I’m sure this will change though. But I’m pretty happy that I’m with my family all day long and nobody freaks out so far. Yes, my little girl wants to see friends or family, but she’s doing fine so far.

No cummute, no Podcasts. Staying home means I have to declare bankruptcy… it just piles up. The only thing on my backlog will remain the last year of Roderick on the Line I didn’t get to. Although I didn’t find the time lately, this is by far my favorite show of all.

I really recommend this weeks People First newsletter by @johnphilpin. Good overview of how people really don’t matter to news and corporations.

I can’t get over the fact that a patent should be used to block Corona vaccines tests. A Theranos patent of all. How ironic.

Today I‘m mostly baffled by the stupidity of so many people. How can it be that people steal 50000 protective masks from a hospital? How can it be that so so many still sit packed together in street cafés? How do people not realize that this is incredibly selfish? Is this our culture these days? Where’s the humanity? Just because they’re fine right now does not mean they’re not putting everyone around them and a whole lot more people at risk. And all just for the sake of not being bored for 5 minutes of their life? At the rate this virus is spreading right now, hospitals and intensive care units will be filled to the maximum in just a couple of days. They might be empty now, but it won’t take long until we get a problem. The numbers are terrible. From roughly 2000 beginning of last week we’re already almost at 10000 right now. It might not be those who don’t care now, but others. They will put doctors into positions where they have to choose whether to help a 60 or an 80 year old person, based on statistics, because there is no capacity anymore. We need to stop this. If people do not understand, they need to be forced. They are the ones responsible for a possible curfew. And they will be the first to complain about it.

Personally this whole situation gets me more than I expected. It’s really really hard to get work done. And that’s not because family is around all day. They do their thing and they do it so great, I could not be more thankful and proud of them. It makes me feel guilty in a way, because I can only help out so much. But we decided I can’t take vacation right now because we don’t know for how long this will go on and I might need those days later.

I’m very glad I have an employer which knows how life works and that working from home these days with small children around all day is sometimes nearly impossible and lets us know that it’s fine. Some things are more important. Nevertheless I try to do as good of a job as possible and not let my peers down which on the other hand seem to be working all day long because they don’t have anything else to do at the moment. Two extremes… both need some consideration to not make one get frustrated and burned out.

Just two days in and I feel different about a lot of things in ways I really did not expect. I‘m overwhelmed and I hope I will settle in with this situation tomorrow.

This is the time for blogging. I urge everyone to keep a log of their experiences during these difficult times. It’s important to show what’s really going on and to let people know that there are others with similar problems to take care of, helping each other to cope with a strange new way of living for the next couple of weeks, maybe even months. We‘re all in this together and it will be a major recess… maybe the most important situation in our lifetime after climate change. (At least for now until the next big thing happens)

If there is anything remotely important to share with the world it’s experiences like this. 🦠

I can’t help it… I’m becoming more and more anxious. Everything will be closed down by tomorrow. I could still go out and get groceries, but do I really have to? I ordered some furniture to pick up in the morning, but that’s closed now. Even if it was still open, should I pick it up? I missed the window to make my home office space a little more comfortable. I‘ll have to stick with what I have. Technology is more or less fine so far…

VPN had some hiccups and apparently MS Teams was down, although I was in a conference call while everyone said it was down 😉 I still need to get a little more organized. Knowing that I will be at home for probably 5 weeks changes my normal home office habits more than I thought it would.

In the family department everything‘s fine so far, but it will get stressful soon, as we can’t even go to a playground anymore. We built our own little playground on our balcony/garden. We can spend a lot of time there as long as the weather is fine. We‘ll see how long it will be exciting for my daughter. She starts to get that everything is closed… no zoo, no library, no swimming pool… she thinks grandma is sick and suggests to visit grandpa instead. We‘ll probably will also stay away from her Kindergarten friends to stay safe.

We‘re a little worried right now. I know I am for sure.

Trump apparently tries to bribe a German, government funded company researching vaccines for Coronavirus, to work exclusively for the US. What a d…. climbing down the stairs of humanity, day after day. I don’t understand how anybody still supports this creep.

Something with this announcement of WWDC 2020 doesn’t sit right with me. It’s so Apple, it’s annoying. „The current health situation“ mentioned in a half sentence being shadowed by how amazing an idea of an online WWDC would be and how innovative this is especially in its 31st year. Followed by more text about how awesome the App Store is and what a great history Apple has.

Apple continues to put the focus on the wrong things for me.

Schools and Kindergartens around us (Baden-Württemberg) are closing. It’s inevitable that this will also be the case here as of beginning of next week I guess. At the moment it’s planned for the next couple of weeks, plus there will be holidays which means more than a month of children at home that need to be taken care of. You should not give those kids to their grandparents to not put them in danger, as the risk is so much higher for older people.

I have no idea how everyone will be able to handle this family situation. I’m very lucky that we are in a situation where this is no big problem for us, plus I’m working from home and can help as well. Biggest issue will be that my daughter is getting a little grumpy when she’s at home for too long 😉

This situation keeps becoming worse and worse. 🦠

This whole Coronavirus thing really starts to make me nervous. I worry about my family. My company asked everyone to work from home if possible for the foreseeable future, especially with people of risk groups at home (pregnant wife, small kid, both with frequent sickness issues). So I will work from here for the next couple of weeks, which is no real problem for me, thankfully. I just never worked from home for more than a few days in a row until now.

The last couple of hours were crazy. Our chancellor telling the country to keep social contacts to a minimum, lots of sports events and leagues being canceled, Austria canceling ski season, schools and universities get closed in lots of countries, Belgium closes all Cafés and restaurants, Italy on lockdown since a few days already. And that’s just a few of the news of this evening. We expect our Kindergarten to get closed down as well probably by next week. We‘re even thinking of not going to a family gathering this weekend.

I don’t understand why Germany is not as strict as many other countries around us to try and slow down new infections. I guess we will see if this is the right way to go… I have the feeling it’s ok for now but it’s probably also a thin line to walk between keeping calm and everything under control and everything going down the shitter in panic.

All of this is hard to swallow. It’s unprecedented at least in my life time… pig flu already was a big deal back in 2009 (?), SARS/MERS didn’t do much here, but the impact today is something else. I wonder what the outcome of all this will be when it’s over. There will be consequences.

Anyhow… I read The Stand and watched The Walking Dead. I hope I’m prepared! 🦠

My advice for working from home? Put on pants, grab a coffee and head to your desk. Problem solved 😉

Trump being Trump 🙄 The one good thing that comes out of all of this is that this might actually be the thing that gets this horrible individual loose the election.

The soundtrack to Sex Education on Netflix is just brilliant.

Some conversations, while in itself being really good and helpful, can be demoralizing and somewhat devastating at the same time. Today gave me a pause.

These days I’m thankful for Brain.fm again. I reactivated my account after a while and it’s the only way at the moment that I am barely able to concentrate on any given task…

30/30 - Vision - When our cat walks by our cat cam on night vision.

29/30 - Leap - There’s a leap in sales of hand sanitizers currently. None available anywhere. Same with Pasta, tomato sauce or canned Ravioli… people go crazy because of the Corona virus.

After fiddling around with GTK on Linux for a bit I can finally start to actually build something now! Might not be a hipster technology, but pretty good to get going on a new endeavor!

24/30 - Double - The Dynamic Duo of our zoo. These two are my favorites 🙃 Little otters are so cute 🦦

23/30 - Station - I love remembering our visits to friends in Japan. So many good and crazy memories. This is Tokyo Station, back in 2014. It’s kind of a crappy photo, but somehow one of my favorites. Maybe the craziness shines through 😉

22/30 - Spectacle - It’s really spectacular how a three year old can reduce her vocabulary down to a single word for the whole day. Not so spectacular for everyone else involved though.

21/30 - Progress - I sometimes have ideas for side projects. Problem is: I get lost in the weeds, sweating over details. What should have been a small tool for myself, turns into a full-blown thing for others. I do this until I loose interest, with no actual progress being made.

20/30 - Scale - You need some stamina to scale the Great Wall. This was really impressive.

19/30 - Space - Open space… relaxing road trip through the Valley of Fire.

People should use more trains to travel instead of cars they say. In Germany you should not have any appointments or arrangements you need to get to though, or travel a day in advance. There can’t be anything more unreliable than train service in Germany… it’s absurd.

18/30 - Oppose - Ich lehne die AfD nicht nur ab, ich verachte diesen Versuch die Deutsche Demokratie zu unterwandern. Wer sie offen unterstützt gehört ausgegrenzt, wer still „Protest“ wählt soll sich klar sein was er dem Land damit antut. Das hat mit „besorgt“ nichts mehr zu tun.

17/30 - Cool - Cool show by Tenacious D yesterday in Frankfurt! I always wanted to see Jack Black on stage… in his underpants 😉

16/30 - Rest - The year of Linux on the Desktop he said. 🙄 I‘m so close to putting this endeavor to rest again.

15/30 - Balance - It’s not always easy to find the right work/life balance.

Wow. Finally done with the last season of Mr. Robot. This was a peace of art! Amazing storytelling, each episode with its completely own style, great acting, twists and turns… so great! Worthy ending to a great show! 📺 🍿

Man… @siracusa really nails it with his little helper apps. SwitchGlass puts me back into the old days of MacOS. Just like with Front and Center I didn’t realize I missed this way of working. Great little tool! (Although I’m still not sure, Front and Center causes app hiding issues for me.)

I never understood the hype around Billie Eilish, I‘m probably old because I think it’s terrible music 🙉😉, so it‘s no surprise to me that I really don’t like the new Bond song.

14/30 - Warmth - Looking forward to warm spring and summer evenings again.

13/30 - Rise - The rise of an empire… birth mark of todays Middle Kingdom with the Terracotta Army of Xi’an, protecting the emperor in the afterlife. A highlight I got to visit in China.

12/30 - Attachment - I have a certain attachment to Sweden. I studied there for a year, already 14 years ago now. Time flies… I had the best time of my life there and always felt more drawn to their culture than ours in Germany. I hope to get to go back there some day.

11/30 - Plain - I love plain, good Rock music. I was lucky enough to hear one of the last „We‘re Motörhead, and we play Rock’n’Roll“ entries about a month before Lemmy died in 2015. They defined the genre and inspired a whole generation of music. Definitely an all time favorite!

The concept of Home Office is sadly unknown to a three year old 🙁 I’m so sorry I can’t play with you now 🙁

The main argument for someone to use Medium seems to be discoverability. Search for keyword X and you immediately get a list of high rated posts. That’s a huge benefit of course. Where can you find similar discoverability for your own website? That’s a big issue to solve…

During vacation on Samos I read The World According to Garp by John Irving, which might probably be my favorite book ever by probably my favorite author ever 📚 It has everything… funny, sad, love, weirdness… I need to read this again!

9/30 - Lull - The calm beaches of Samos. Today this lovely little island is drowning in refugees, without much help from the rest of the world.

Only two episodes in, I think I like Piccard. I see some issues here and there… but I really love the pace of it. Not being on speed the whole time really is something different these days. I really enjoy watching it.

8/30 - Contrast - Niagara Falls, Canada. Fascinating in many ways… glad I went there and saw the force of the river, but it’s also a sad example what humans do to nature. The town itself looks like a crazy (horrible) copy of Las Vegas.

7/30 - Above - One of my favorite photos from our trip to China a couple years back. Shanghai from above. This is what a clear blue sky and bright sunshine looks like in big cities over there on normal days.

6/30 - Plant - I love traveling to Japan. Such an amazing country! One of the great things to see are the plants and everything in their beautiful gardens and parks. I once was lucky and got there just in time to get the last bits of cherry blossom season.

5/30 - Hide - I’m not fully hidden here, but a lot of memories hide in this photo from Yosemite back in June 2012. I had a great time on a California road trip with my colleague and friend on our way to WWDC.

Reading about US politics is even painful from the outside. Not far from the comedy we had in Britain the last couple of months. It’s disgraceful what this country became. Trump says the US have never been so strong? It feels more like nobody actually takes it serious anymore.

4/30 - Spot - I was a big Star Trek TNG fan when I was young, and always thought Data’s cat Spot had the coolest name. This one came to us with a name and it fit so perfectly, there was no choice. Meet Lola, named after the movie Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run)

Following a bunch of new people thanks to the photo challenge 👌🏻

3/30 - Reflect - Lots of space for some reflection this week. I don’t always find the time, but when I do, it really helps…

This sums up my feelings about why people these days seem to not care about their privacy and data.

Consider that the internet has become essential for social participation, that the internet is now saturated with commerce, and that commerce is now subordinated to surveillance capitalism.

This conflict produces a psychic numbing that inures us to the realities of being tracked, parsed, mined, and modified. It disposes us to rationalize the situation in resigned cynicism, create excuses that operate like defense mechanisms („I have nothing to hide“), or find other ways to stick our heads in the sand, choosing ignorance out of frustration and helplessness. In this way, surveillance capitalism imposes a fundamentally illegitimate choice that twenty-first-century individuals should not have to make, and its normalization leaves us singing in our chains.

– Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

(I’m just starting this book, and I think it will be really good and informative, but again the German translation seems to be ridiculously complex. The english snippets I found were much more comprehensive than the translation.)

2/30 - Sight - You need to have good sight to see these little fellows. They scare me.

1/30 - Open - I love the sound when opening a bottle of beer. Well deserved after a long day.

Not quite sure where January went all of a sudden. I somehow must have missed it.

Good discussion at the end of this week’s Connected about the new business model of Fantastical. Sums up my opinion quite well.

The usual subscription-outrage over Fantastical 3. It will settle like it did with all the other apps. And everything will be fine for everyone. I understand it… but if you need it, you pay it. If not, you don’t need it. But a required account?

Yet another example: Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers – Electronic Frontier Foundation

Ring claims to prioritize the security and privacy of its customers, yet time and again we’ve seen these claims not only fall short, but harm the customers and community members who engage with Ring’s surveillance system. In the past, we’ve illuminated the mismanagement of user information which has led to data breaches, and the attempt to place the blame for such blunders at the customers’ feet.

I know I sound pessimistic when writing about data privacy and the intrusion by foreign governments into my life or the way private companies are exploiting every bit of (meta-)data I create. Some might think I started wearing a tin foil hat, and in a way I actually might. I’m definitely changing my online behavior.

But my main goal is to spread awareness. I understand that not everything strictly speaking has to be bad. My point is that not everyone understands or even knows what’s going on behind the scenes. People should at least understand that their data is used and might be exploited. If everyone would specifically know what’s going on, there would be a conscious decision. And while I still don’t think people would care, at least they were to blame themselves for being exploited.

Nobody really knows where all this is leading in the future. Very few people actually think about these things and what’s already possible. These companies are completely unregulated and basically can do whatever they want. If there are any rules or laws, nobody can really enforce them. Just have a look at GDPR and the way companies treat it. It was a panic hype last year when it became law and every single company was complaining. Yes, they might have implemented something where you can request your data, but who knows/believes that this is everything they actually have. It can’t be everything they have in a lot of cases. And that’s just a basic example of how our data is hidden from us. If everyone would know what’s going on, my reaction would be different. But my data is basically treated as a trade secret. I’m not allowed to know what any given company is doing with my data. I might be allowed by GDPR, but again… who actually gives a damn about that?

Again… it’s not all just bad and will lead into a dark future. Of course a lot of use cases are valid and make lives better. And of course I also make use of them. But we’re not aware anymore about what’s happening. And this needs to change. We need to take back control over our data. There need to be laws and regulations, and maybe more importantly, there needs to be someone who can actually overlook and enforce them.

Finally completely Facebook-free. I deleted my WhatsApp account today… took me long enough and I will cut down on a lot of other things as well now. I’m wondering what happens with all my data there now. What you get from them is ridiculous. Someone should enforce GDPR big time. Companies don’t care at all.

If it’s possible that data stored securely today can easily be hacked, leaked or stolen, is this kind of data worth that risk?

Is all of this surveillance and risk worth it merely so that we can be served slightly more relevant ads? Or so that hedge fund managers can get richer?

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy - The New York Times

I stumbled upon this in The Talk Show. Again… nothing new, but it’s really alarming. There needs to be regulation to protect innocent people that simply can’t know and/or understand how any of this works.

That whole Apple vs. FBI privacy thing is also a big joke. The ads about their privacy even increased during the last days. It’s a joke. People try to apologize for Apple because „customers will complain about their lost data“. It’s a joke. Make it a setting, make me confirm it a hundred times… the tools are there, just enable it. If this is not coming in the next 1 or 2 years, they will loose me as a customer. Me buying an iPhone is no reason anybody has the smallest right to have the technical capabilities to intrude my privacy. „I have nothing to hide“ and all, but my life is my life and is not of any interest to some company or foreign spy agency.

📚 Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden

I’m not from the US… and this book makes me really, really angry. A huge part of why I need to be afraid of losing my privacy, is a foreign government that feels entitled to spy on the whole world. And for what? It’s just a sad story. This country is run by agencies that ruthlessly think they are the gods of the worlds information. Everyone else on this planet is completely and utterly at their mercy. It’s ridiculous and no country even dares to stand up to that. Now, I know there’s a lot more to the whole problem, but this is a big one.

There’s not much new in this book. But it’s well written by someone who clearly knows what he’s doing and stands up for the rest of us, even if they’re not from the only worthy country that ever existed in history.

If you’re at least a little interested in why we need to be so careful with what we do on the internet and how we do it these days, this book gives insight into the digital world after 9/11. It also helps to understand the person behind this story and why he did what he did.

Edward Snowden sacrificed a whole lot to bring this scandal to the public, and I’m really thankful for that. I’m curious how his story will further develop this year. As far as I understand his time in Russia will come to an end. There are not that many options it seems. So it’s prison for life, because he helped the world, or… what? Other countries should step up and offer asylum. It’s sad nobody dares to do that.

Governments need to realize that they are elected to serve the country. We need more Snowden’s to make them realize what’s at stake by their foolishness and arrogance.

Getting back into Sunlit lately… I somehow miss a lot of photos in my normal timeline because of lots of post and probably timezone „issues“. Great to have a place to only see all the great photos ☺️

Besides that… I always thought this company was a guy named Allen selling alcohol via the internet 😉

I never heard of Booz Allen before they were sponsoring a lot of Podcasts. Now I read that name again as a „contractor“ for the NSA in Edward Snowden‘s book. A shell company that sends people to spy on the world. I wonder whether the Podcasters knew or just ignored this.

This song is just brilliant. I love Suede so much. Really glad they are still around after all these years, making a big dent in my taste in music while I was young.

Not alone
When the world puts all the winter in you
Not alone
I’m there in the words that you use
You’re never alone
Your life is golden
Golden!

🎶 Suede – Life is Golden

You’re not alone
Look up to the sky and be calm
Not alone
Look into the light and be heard
You’re never alone
Your life is golden
Golden!

🎶 Suede – Life is Golden

Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Studio Ghibli movies will be available on Netflix soon. I can’t wait 😀❤️

Stories like the face recognition piece, make me question why I‘m „public“ on the internet at all, even with only a post on Micro.blog every now and then. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but it seems dark. Is it worth it? I’m not sure anymore. I wish it were.

I don’t really care for Kansas City, but Mahomes is a hell of a quarterback! Last week’s game was incredible… Hope to see him play against Aaron Rogers in the Super Bowl 🏈

Got out my guitar again after easily half a year and tried to get my last lessons back on. I love it, even though I suck at it of course 😉 Really need to get back in touch with my teacher ASAP.

Got a link to an article on Reuters, suspected it didn’t fully load because of content blocker, disabled content blocker, site is now basically unusable. They definitely know what they’re doing… not.

Someone recommended Emacs to me today and I watched a couple intro videos, skimmed through some tutorials… and I have no idea how anyone can even remotely remember anything to operate this thing. My brain capacity is definitely too low for that 😉

We discussed data privacy, security etc. at our Cocoaheads meetup today and now I’m depressed again. It seems like a problem with no solution. Most people don’t know and most people just don’t care. Adding incompetent politicians, some fear-producing governments and ruthless companies and there will be no coming back from dystopia. We can try to do our small parts, but it doesn’t really feel like we’re going anywhere with it…

When I read about Front and Center I thought I don’t need it. Then I heard @siracusa talk about it on ATP and it got to me. I totally forgot that I was missing this from the old Mac OS days. I didn’t realize it because I probably was gaslighted over two decades of OS X, but the fact that not all windows of an application came to the front when I clicked one, drove me crazy! So glad I have this tool now!

Back to work after 2 weeks off. I did everything I needed on my phone and iPad during this time… now feels really good to sit in front of “a real computer” again. As much as I like the mobile lifestyle… it’s just too cumbersome most of the time.

Had a nice dinner with some old colleagues/friends. Always special to see them again. Especially today with my old boss showing up as a surprise. I didn’t see him for almost 9 years now. I really love these evenings!

Finally got to see Star Wars today. It could have needed a couple more minutes to serve the story better, but I think it’s a good movie. It couldn’t possibly satisfy every fan, but I think it’s more entertaining than the last one, even with all the quirky plot holes. I liked it!

Since I horribly failed with all of my goals for 2019 - things even got worse - I won’t even try this time. The only thing I plan to do is keeping a daily and meditational journal, in paper notebooks because every software tool I ever tried didn’t work for me. Maybe this will help make 2020 better.

Happy new year! I‘m so glad this one is over. Let’s hope it will get better…

(I read New Dark Age in German, and I have the feeling that this was a mistake and the reason I didn‘t like the writing style. Probably just bad translation)

📚 New Dark Age, by James Bridle

Not sure how I like the book in general and how it is written. The message is clear though and I recommend reading it, especially when looking back over the last decade and how things changed during that time. Also a good warning heading into the next decade.

While not very surprising, it provides valuable insight in how we run our world, the internet and especially how we think. We’re running in the wrong direction. It’s a sad and fearful future if we keep letting big data companies like Google or Facebook and agencies like the NSA tell us how to live and influence our lives by collecting ever more data with the promise to provide more transparency and insight, while all they do is creating a fog of uncertainty, lack of knowledge and fear.

To be honest, looking at the world at large these days and the past few years… I’m afraid of the next decade to come. In parts, this book explains why I feel that way.

Recommended.

Watched a report on CNN about the 25th anniversary of Friends. I still love that show the most. Still nothing like that anymore. I think I‘ll re-watch it yet another time! Maybe after another run of Seinfeld 😁

Time flies by, life is running away… faster than ever. One year gone again already and it somehow feels like a lost year to me. Glad about two weeks away from work now and that this year is finally coming to an end. I can only hope the next one will be better in many ways. I know it will be crazy challenging on all levels.

Best news today: The original Blade Runner game is available again after decades! This was one of the very best games I have ever played (no big gamer). Very good memories of it… Looking forward to playing this again 😀

Probably one of the best German songs of all time:

Nicht mal das Meer darf ich wiedersehen
Weil der Wind deine Haare vermisst
Wo jede Welle ein Seufzer
Und jedes Sandkorn ein Blick von dir ist

Am liebsten wär ich ein Astronaut
Und flöge auf Sterne wo gar nichts vertraut
Und versaut ist durch eine Berührung von dir

Ich werd nie mehr so rein und so dumm sein wie weißes Papier

🎶 Element of Crime - Weißes Papier

Is your life okay?
Is it who you are?
Are you right on track?
Or has it gone too far?
Well, only you will know.
Don’t let the blues get you down.

🎶 Volbeat - Last Day Under The Sun

Pre-ordered a movie in iTunes, but there was no possibility to view it on my Apple TV because I had to confirm a couple of alerts on my phone first… This stuff is hard, sometimes I forget how magical it is that I even have all these capabilities. It’s really amazing!

Two weeks to go and barely any Christmas cookies in the stores anymore… I guess it’s more common to eat this stuff in August these days 🙄

I actually have no real opinion about the Mac Pro ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I maxed it out at 70.000€ At least it has wheels, a display stand and Apple Care included in the price for this luxury car, sorry I meant computer.

Now that I had to start implementing Dark Mode in my apps, I actually can appreciate the look and feel. I‘ll let it switch automatically now and see how I like it. Still don’t understand the hype though.

Taking part in Advent of Code this year, doing everything in Python. I don’t think I’ll get all the puzzles done because it takes a lot of time, but it’s fun to do a little exercise every now and then.

I‘m on Linux fulltime at home now. I actually bought my first non-Mac laptop at all (my last Windows PC was a Pentium with 133Mhz back in 1997 or so 😅) VM is ok, but this is all in. It’s a terribly cheap device for now, but I want to find out what I want and need. It’s exciting!

I can’t decide between secure/encrypted email services. I know a lot of people use ProtonMail… any experiences out there with Tutanota? I only hear good things about both and I expect there to be a Black Friday sale again. (I think there is one already for ProtonMail).

Watched the first two episodes of The Morning Show today and I love it so far!

Another thing Amazon knows how to do, compared to smaller shops, is customer care. I’m writing the 5th email within 3 days, answering nonsense questions, to get an eBook from another store, because their shop is broken. Amazon would just act without stealing everyone’s time.

While taking notes and jotting down ideas for a project, I noted „I hate everything about this.“ Maybe it’s not quite my favorite project ever…

I really appreciate Apple trying to provide a review of the music I listened to in the past with their Replay feature. But they could really remove all the kids music from their analytics, like Spotify does. It’s pretty useless otherwise.

🎶 New Nada Surf album coming in February! Can’t wait 😊 (And how would I know? Because of Music Harbor! Awesome app!)

Some days are just garbage. Projects not building anymore all of a sudden, new stuff not working for whatever reason, simple samples break. Sometimes I think I should just stop developing software…

I‘m rediscovering my love for Belle and Sebastian today 🎶💕

Ok… the problem is TiddlyWiki, WebDAV and a bad upload. It destroys or even deletes the file. That’s no way to go. I‘ll try running it via Node.js now, otherwise this is not working for me.

I might have found a bug in either TiddlyWiki or my Synology‘s WebDAV implementation, but whenever I try to post a certain text, the HTML file gets deleted. Glad I have a backup 😐

Another album I awaited for years! Volbeat - Rewind, Replay, Rebound 🎶

One of the albums I missed and quite like! Jimmy Eat World - Surviving 🎶

🎶 Time to go back to Spotify?

I‘m baffled by how bad Apple Music still is for discovery of new music by artists in my library. @renem pointed to MusicHarbor yesterday and I found so much new albums of some of my favorite artists. Apple‘s New playlists are so so so terrible, with music I never ever in my whole live would want to listen to.

I thought about going back to Spotify for a while, as I think they are miles ahead with their service. Music is available everywhere these days. It’s the service that matters. I don’t use Siri at all but Spotify would also be integrated there now I think. I really need to think about moving again. It’s disappointing to miss that much music. Apple has all the information… but they don’t use it.

Maybe they want to use it but the app is just crap? Besides me missing new music, I like to listen to some shows on Beats 1 regularly but I have to have a note in Drafts that links to them because I just can’t figure out how I can get to them quickly if at all in the Music app.

I‘m on the edge… switching means hassle again. It might be worth it again.

I might be fully immersed in TiddlyWiki 🙈 While I didn’t understand its value at first, it might now be my one-stop shop for the majority of my private notes, journal etc. It even is a private microblog now; a void where I can dump my thoughts into. Love it! /cc @jack @twelvety

Sehr sehr gute Ausgabe der Anstalt heute. Die Wiedervereinigung mal ohne rosa Brille aus dem Westen beschrieben. Da bekommt man durchaus etwas mehr Verständnis für die heutige Gefühlslage.

The state of my desk at home kind of describes my life perfectly at the moment. Not sure where I should start cleaning up so I can sit and do anything again 😉

Watching For All Mankind right now and so far I really enjoy it!

Playing with DokuWiki

Giving DokuWiki a shot, trying to get some order back in life as my brain stops working because of sleep deprivation 😉 I tried TiddlyWiki but I’m afraid of the performance there, since everything is in a single webpage. It’s fun to play around with various tools, but still… it’s mostly the integration I‘m missing. It’s still not fun to fiddle around with most open source tools especially when the mobile support is based on their main website.

Maybe I’ll also try the full-blown media wiki just to get some perspective. I guess it would be overkill for my needs though. DokuWiki is really bare to the metal with just the basic Wiki functions. Everything else (Markdown support, tagging…) has to be added through plugins.

I have to remind myself why I’m playing around with such tools. I’m not quite sure a Wiki solves any real problem I have 😉 I‘m just trying to become a little less platform and ecosystem dependent. That’s also a reason why many tools that look interesting are a no-go for me. I want a self-hosted solution where I can get everything in plain old text files if I wanted to. An iOS only app where all my stuff is put on some webserver I don’t trust or even worse requires a Google account to work, doesn’t do it for me anymore.

In Nuremberg you can buy a special local Playmobil figure of Albrecht Dürer 🙃 My daughter loves playing with those and I think it’s cute!

Stuck on iOS

I feel more and more uncomfortable with iOS because of many reasons, some of them not even related to the system itself but everything around it. I wanted to see lately, whether I can find something else instead.

I searched, but as you can imagine, there’s not that much to search for. Today it’s either Apple or Google. I tried to find a way to use Ubuntu Touch as a replacement, but as noble and cool as I might find the project and its idea, it‘s really light years away from anything real. I refuse to use Android because of Google and usability. I might try Lineage at some point, but from a quick glance I didn’t understand the big difference to Android itself. Somehow I don’t trust that Google is really cut off there.

It’s weird for me to say it, but I’m stuck on iOS. I‘d love to go elsewhere but so many of my „workflows“ and day to day tasks I like to do on my phone rely on a couple of apps. I like good apps and as far as I can tell the iOS ecosystem is the only one that really takes usability, experience and a fair amount of polishing into account. Plus, I don’t want to be stuck on one device. If it’s on my phone it should be on my computer. Just like that. Apple gives me that. I‘m not going back to Dropbox (also, almost none of the apps I use directly integrates with it anymore) and while my Synology is great, it’s support is also limited on mobile devices in some ways.

So, here I am. I‘d like to leave, but the world out there doesn’t look promising, so I‘ll stay around for a bit longer. I hope there will be some system breaking up the effectively monopolistic 2-OS world. But I don’t see a shining star in the near future. I guess I can only try to be less dependent on the whole ecosystem. That might be a good start.

In ancient times, like… back in May, Mail.app was able to display a preview of a Word document. Man… those were the days…

Seems like my daughter decided that she’s an early riser now. Unfortunately I never was and never will be… 😴🥱

Using my iPhone without a case since a couple of days (don’t buy the plastic Apple case, it’s a piece of overpriced crap). After getting used to a little less grip, it feels a lot nicer and is much better to use actually, since there’s no bump on the edges anymore. Love it! 👍🏻

Last day for our little girl at daycare 😢 Now on to Kindergarten… and we‘re definitely not ready for this. They grow up so fast. She’s excited and doesn’t care though 🤪

I think I might have found my preferred Linux distribution. Zorin OS is really, really polished and feels like the most usable to me. I instantly felt at home here! Close to that is Pop!_OS which is out of the box better suited for software development.

The Unread bug is fixed in Mail. Now I always end up in the All inbox, which I disabled, each time I open the app 🤦🏻‍♂️

Things are a little crazy lately. Not sure when I felt so generally exhausted the last time. I think NaNoWriMo is off the charts for me… even half assing it looks unreal currently 😔

📚 Something Deeply Hidden - Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime

You don‘t need a PhD in theoretical physics to be afraid of quantum mechanics. But it doesn’t hurt.

📚 Sean Carroll, Something Deeply Hidden

I probably won’t understand most of it, but so far this is incredibly interesting and we’ll explained! I wanted to learn a little about quantum physics after all the buzz about „Quantum supremacy“ claimed by Google. The fact that nobody really knows what all this is and how it really works, makes me feel better about not understanding it at all 😉

I think the iOS 13.2 beta might have fixed a couple of quirks in Mail🤞🏻Need some more time to verify though. The new emoji are great 🙃

Not quite sure this is the appropriate cover art for this song 🤔 🎶

Apple pulling apps/news from Hongkong stores is a disgrace to humanity. If they can’t handle the heat from China, then don’t do business there. A couple billions less in the bank for people to live, demonstrate and show their anger. What’s the price of that? What a terrible move.

Barcelona this week for some business stuff… It’s been a while since I’ve been here, but I still like it a lot!

I think the way TV manufacturers select their product names is by choosing a random WiFi password of any manager on the development team. Or they just have a fancy random number/letter combination generator.

It’s autumn! Went to a lovely small festival at a farm today.

Spent a nice, relaxed weekend with some old friends in Prague. You know you have good people around you when you didn’t see each other for several years and after a casual HI! it feels like nothing has changed. It’s a lovely city, but it really suffers from the masses of tourists and everything that comes with it. It seems like there’s no life outside of tourism anymore. Because of the type of tourism it feels even worse then Venice! (No picture because it’s impossible to get a quick shot without literally thousands of people in it)

Today we are connected with vast stocks of knowledge and yet have not learned to think.

  • James Bridle, New Dark Age

Funny that this is something people think might lead to impeachment. Feels like there were many more issues with better chances before. I have no idea about this stuff, but if I learned something during the last few years is that the world shouldn’t hope for a time without Trump for a long long, loooong time.

Ich kann gar nicht in Worte fassen wie wütend mich diese faule und ignorante Politik macht. Das Schlimmere ist noch, dass die Bevölkerung das vermutlich zu großen Teilen immer noch für unnötig und zu viel hält. Das wird nichts mehr.

Klimapaket… was ein Witz. Ein sinnloser Rohrkrepierer von A bis Z ist das. Deutsche Politik ohne Zukunftssinn, -Plan und -Perspektive. Traurig ist das was die da veranstalten.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that developers need to think about the CO2 impact their solutions have. You can (roughly) calculate the footprint of a MB of data that’s transferred. Constantly polling an API with lots of data? Nobody cares about the size of an app package anymore? Think about how much CO2 is emitted when only a couple thousand people download an app that includes huge amounts of unnecessary images or tracking and advertising libraries that constantly generate traffic. How many websites are bloated with ridiculous amounts of ads, tracking, auto-playing videos. It’s not just that this is annoying to the users.

We stream everything nowadays… music, videos, apps, games, news. Depending on the scale of your solution, this amounts to a significant portion of power that needs to be generated for data storage, servers and transfer.

The Internet is already responsible for more CO2 emissions than worldwide air traffic. Let’s start taking this into consideration when building software and services.

I saw a short report about the CO2 footprint of internet usage on TV yesterday. I knew this is a thing, but somehow it didn’t make it to full consciousness until now. Need to think about this a bit. Here’s a nice project showing how much CO2 is emitted by Google every second 😕

🎶 Back around the time when I lived in Sweden for a year, Mando Diao was my favorite band… by far! The last couple of albums were disappointing, but the first songs on the new album coming in October are quite promising! This makes me really happy 😌

Here we go! It’s bare metal, just what I expected. But what’s there is just fine and works surprisingly well. I know what I went into… freedom, privacy, openness… no apps and a few bugs 😉 Maybe I‘ll try to find out how to support development with this.

Playing around with Android on my „new“ OnePlus One before I install Ubuntu Touch on it. This device is more than 5 years old but it feels really snappy. More than enough power for a normal user.

I didn’t read the whole thing, neither on Daring Fireball nor the article in the New York Times, because quite frankly I don’t care about the details. But while skimming over it, I saw this quote from the article:

The entire event is at odds with our current moment — one in which inequality, economic precarity and populist frustration have infiltrated our politics and reshaped our relationships with once-adored tech companies. But it’s not just the tech backlash. When the world feels increasingly volatile and fragile, it feels a little obscene to gather to worship a $1,000 phone. […]

This 100% describes my current feelings. It’s exactly what all my grumbling about the tech industry lately is about. That’s where the focus of this discussion should be. It’s not like nobody should have any fun anymore or shouldn’t enjoy their gadgets. Good for them! But it really often looks like worshipping. Apple bloggers are defensive here and I agree to some of the arguments from the NYT (again, didn’t read the whole thing). I also understand John Gruber and also Jason Snell here. It’s their job to report about this stuff, and they do probably the very best job in this field, also from a journalistic point of view. They mostly are objective, but sometimes I also get the feeling that they are a little apologetic in some cases.

My point is this: Nobody cares if people are willing to spend obscene amounts of money to get a new toy each year. What I care about is that there are way more important issues in this world, and tech companies are doing nothing against it. What they do is marketing and greenwashing at best. They have money, they have power. They should do something better with it.

Python Easter Eggs

While learning Python I found out that there are a couple of fun easter eggs in the language itself. Something that makes it even more compelling somehow. It’s not harmful to show a little whimsy, even in a programming language.

Besides the import antigravity link, the Zen of Python isn’t just fun, it also teaches you about the foundations of Python and programming in general:

>>> import this The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

Beautiful is better than ugly. Explicit is better than implicit. Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated. Flat is better than nested. Sparse is better than dense. Readability counts. Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules. Although practicality beats purity. Errors should never pass silently. Unless explicitly silenced. In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess. There should be one– and preferably only one –obvious way to do it. Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you’re Dutch. Now is better than never. Although never is often better than right now. If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea. If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea. Namespaces are one honking great idea – let’s do more of those!

This is a great source for a couple of more advanced techniques when learning Python. One of the better programming books I`ve read…

No, YouTube. I still won’t subscribe to your Premium service, even if you ask me another 3 billion times.

Trying to get an old OnePlus One on eBay to try out Ubuntu Touch. Curious how this will work… I think it’s is an interesting project and worthwhile to support their mission. Linux is far out in this game, but iOS and Android could need some competition.

Once again considering to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. I wrote almost 6000 words for myself during the last couple of days. Should be doable if I can find the time for it. But I also have no idea at all about what I would want to write then.

I Think I'm Out of This

This might just be another brain fart and/or a moment of madness (maybe even sadness?), but considering what’s going on in this world, the products Apple builds and the audience they are built for… I think I’m backing out of this business. When I look around me, when I read the news or watch reports on TV, I see a degressive world in pain with problems getting worse each day. I just can’t reconcile all of this with my conscience. Sitting here, building meaningless stuff without the purpose to at least try to improve even small things in this world. I’m not the one saving the world, but I can maybe help a little. Everyone can construct a meaning in what they do. But I don’t want to construct it, I want to actually do something more meaningful.

Apple has all the money in the world, and I acknowledge that they might be one of the few companies that at least try to do things more conscious and sustainable. But that’s not enough. The actions they take don’t help the world as a whole. Yes, they build a watch that seems to save lives and makes people live healthier. And I’d argue that this is the most important product they offer at the moment. All their products are great in some way, and I still think they’re the best in what they do. I don’t condemn them for their work. But the way their products are marketed and to whom… there are so many features I don’t think anyone really needs. Those resources (time, money, effort, ideas…) could be spent to make the world a better place to live for our children. Are lots of cameras on the back of a telephone saving our climate? Probably not. Are workers in Asia suffering because some rich kid of Instagram makes money by taking stupid selfies with an insanely expensive electronic device? Probably yes. Do I want to build productivity apps for rich people to squeeze another minute a day out of their precious time they need to optimize themselves, or do I try to create something that actually helps for real?

Times are changing, the world is changing, I am changing. And I need to put my energy in something more worthwhile. Whatever that may be. At least at this moment I don’t see myself in this ecosystem anymore.

Curious what the new „phones“ will cost this year. I guess the greatest design and functionality is reached when nobody can buy it anymore because it cost 3000$ plus 1000$ for the optional display.

More Than Just the Syntax

Learning a new programming language can sometimes be quite intimidating. It’s not just the syntax. If you know one programming language, you understand more or less any programming language. It’s all the things around the language itself. The whole ecosystem might be special in its own ways, maybe a little quirky to your eyes if you’re so used to some other environment for a long time. Once you’re fairly confident to move a long in one language and its ecosystem you’re used to a certain way of how things work. At least for me its hard to really get into a new language simply because I have a certain standard of code quality in my mind. But what is considered good code in a new language? I don’t want to create tiny playground tools nobody needs and that only use the bare minimum of language features. I have other aspirations and a bigger project in mind. But bigger projects mean bigger responsibilities and bigger complexities as well. If you want to do it open source out in the public, it even means others judging your code. If you go into an ecosystem for the first time, this can be really intimidating.

What does this mean when learning a new language? To me it means figuring out how unit testing works and how to do concurrency and asynchronous tasks. How are you supposed to package your stuff? What to people in the community consider good code? What frameworks are considered the way to go for specific use cases? In my case it even means which of the many UI frameworks should I use?

There’s so much more to learning a new programming language. I still learn best reading books about it, but unfortunately the most books are often just about the syntax and maybe a little theory about how and why things work the way they do. It’s rare to find lots of books to cover more advanced but still generic topics that are needed for more complex solutions.

But it’s fun and rewarding to learn all these things. It’s my level of standard I like to adhere to when programming that slows me down in the beginning. I’ll get there… I just need a little longer to learn everything to get up to speed.

First time in forever that I probably won’t watch an Apple Keynote at all. If there is no big surprise… I really don’t care about new phones nobody can afford anymore. Times change.

I sometimes start writing a blog post and it becomes something I’m just unable to share with anyone, including myself. I count this as a valid reason not to blog

Deepin looks really amazing! Finally a Linux system that doesn’t look like a decade ago. (Love the new Gnome BTW) Unfortunately I can barely run it in a VM. Testing postponed, sadly.

In general it seems impossible to get my Mac keyboard mapped correctly. I blame VMWare, but it’s also what I expect from Linux 😉

I’m a big fan of the option to encrypt my harddrive and/or home folder, offered during installation of some Linux distributions. If this is not offered by default I think I won’t consider the distribution for now.

So far the best experience for me has been with Pop!_OS (seriously… that name 🙄). I also tried Mint with xfce, which is a little more snappy than Gnome, but lacks out of the box development packages and everything is complicated without having to figure out what packages I actually need. Elementary looks nice, but it feels a little slow and I can’t put a finger on why I don’t think it’s the distribution for me. I want to try Deepin next, but I’m a little concerned it might spy on me 😉

Pro-Tip: when one of your friends is getting married, put it on your calendar so you don’t commit to business trips at the same time. 😔

In other news: Sometimes it feels like I‘m not on top of my game lately.

I‘m strangely drawn to country music every now and then. This is a new album I’m looking forward to. The first songs are really amazing! Stumbled upon this while checking out Brandi Carlile, who‘s part of this new supergroup of country stars I never heard of 🙃

★ Daring Fireball - Thirty Years of Fetch

I didn’t know Fetch is still around. I totally forgot about it, but I loved it back when I needed it. I always thought it’s much easier to use than Transmit, which was always too much for my needs. I’m really glad it’s still alive!

Diving Into the World of Linux Podcasts

A couple of weeks ago I decided to dive a little bit deeper into Linux and try out some new stuff. One thing I hoped would help me was to listen to some Linux Podcasts. I wanted to expose myself to the topics in this community and how the people in there think. This is a whole new world to me, as I tried Linux way back and decided it’s too complicated. (My first impressions basically confirmed this, but that’s a whole other topic.)

So I downloaded a few Podcasts that popped up in a search in Overcast. I didn’t have too much time for lots of shows yet, but I thought I’d write up a (very) short summary of the few I listened to so far.

Linux Action News

This is kind of a fast paced quick news only show, but they cover a wider range of topics, not just Linux specific but also open source in general. It’s around since quite a while with more than 100 episodes yet. They’re not that much opinionated, at least in the few episodes I listened to so far, which I like. The Apple world is really narrowed down in opinions, repeating the same ideas and often circling around themselves too much lately.

It’s just about 30 minutes long and appears weekly, so it’s a nice way to get an update on different topics. I think this is one I’ll stick with for a while.

Linux Unplugged

I heard two episodes and I’m not quite sure what to think of it yet. It’s kind of an ATP format and one of the hosts also is on Linux Action News and founder of the Jupiter Broadcasting network. There are a couple shows on this „network“, all in the area of Linux. Maybe it’s worth checking them out a bit more. It looks a little like Relay.fm for Linux.

The show is a little opinionated, but not in an offensive way. It’s well established with more than 300 episodes. A few notes here and there made me chuckle because they were exactly how I imaged „Linux aficionados“ would think. Having them discuss some topics with the hosts of ATP would definitely be very interesting!

An episode is around one hour, also released weekly. I’m not sure I’ll stick to it, but I’ll keep listening to a few more. In the beginning I didn’t like ATP, but that changed too. Maybe this is similar here.

Going Linux

As a „newcomer“ to the scene it sounded like this would be a good one to get some basics about how Linux runs today, which tools are in fashion and that kind of stuff. I think this one would have potential, but I could only listen to the first couple of minutes of two episodes. The audio quality differs a lot between the two hosts. One is up to today’s Podcasting standards, the other one sounds like a bad phone call. I don’t know why though, because even if you record audio with your phone it sounds quite good today. They’re heading towards 400 episodes, which is why I would expect a more polished sound quality. My time is limited and if I’d wanted to listen to some bad phone audio on my commute to work, I’d join a conference call.

Maybe I’ll try it out at some later point, but for now there are lots of alternatives.

Exploit Brokers - Hacking News

Also a show I’m not sure about yet. The topics they cover sound interesting: It’s about cyber security, „hacking“, data breaches etc., but somehow I kept diverting.

It’s short (around 10 minutes) relatively new and not too regularly it seems. I think I’ll try out some more episodes to get a better opinion and see how it evolves.

There are still a few more Podcasts on my list. Maybe I manage to write up another quick review when I listened to more of them.

We saw a sloth and her baby in the zoo the other day! We never saw it outside before. So cute ☺️

Going back to the office for the first time in six weeks. 3 weeks sick, 2 weeks „recovery home office“ and a small stay-home vacation later it’s time to get back into the groove. This will be hard. 💪

I don’t know why LinkedIn gets hyped so much. It’s not a social network by any means. It’s a platform for self-promoting business clowns, selling themselves as the biggest shots in history. I don’t see a difference to the behavior people show on Facebook, minus the racists. It’s a window to a rosy business-freak show and head hunters that don’t even try to show any real interest.

Good start for my home team 🙂 First Champions League game in team history!

I can definitely see myself switching to Linux on a daily basis. It’s fun to play around with it… a lot of improvements since I tried it the last time. Although I have the feeling that it would be too fiddly in the long run. I ran into some walls even with some basic stuff. The state of the GUI is mostly ridiculous even after all these years. I guess designers don’t care about open source, or the developers not about design. Maybe I should go in and help on some projects 😉

Found a couple of Linux podcasts. Curious to hear of what quality they are. Could be a good way to get a feeling for this community and the topics coming up there. I feel like I’m fed up for the time being with Apple news and discussions in various forms.

Allright then… I’ll go and try out a couple of Linux distributions. That’s the first thing that’s quite tedious. How is someone coming fresh to this topic going to know which one is the right one? This is one reason Linux will never be successful on the desktop (not even this year!). But maybe that’s also the good thing about it and an advantage.

I think I might be sick… I‘m honestly thinking about getting a Linux laptop and I‘m interested in the Librem 5 phone which should be out soon. I might also just be tired of developing for iOS.

I think what mister Trump doesn’t understand is that everyone talks to the US in this oh so nasty tone because of him. What a ridiculous episode this is once again.

I finally decided to send bug reports for the state of the Mail app in the iOS betas. This has been terrible since the beginning and with only a couple of weeks until the final release I fear to have to buy another eMail client. I always loved the Mail app for its simplicity 😐

Found the right help page, so I figure I’ll probably create a new account for another blog.

Does someone have more than one micro blog? Do you have them in the same account or did you create multiple accounts to manage them? I’m not sure what’s the best way…

The problem with moving away from Amazon is the perceived malfunctioning of every other shop. Tracking info isn’t correctly handed over to the delivery service and it just takes at least a couple days more to arrive. No big problem at all, but we’re used to just get it way faster.

My iPad won’t update to Beta 5. Seeing how terrible it is on the iPhone, it doesn’t really matter. This is the worst beta cycle since several years. At this state, I doubt it will be ready for the next iPhone. Mail doesn‘t even get the unread count right… come on!

Turns out… there’s only so much Netflix and stuff you can watch until it’s not fun anymore.

Patience – I need to stay home and wait for my body hopefully fixing itself. Nice surprise when my daughter somehow called me on FaceTime all by herself today (probably by accident 🤣). Need some patience watching Netflix waiting to see her again later this week. // @macgenie

Having to lie around all day, I finally get to watch Mr. Robot. I love it! A little over the top sometimes though… and it really makes me re-evaluate my computer usage 😉

Surgery averted. Now stuff is dripping out of me. Not sure this whole thing was such a good idea.

“You know the three lies of a surgeon?”
“What would they be?”
“I do it myself, it won’t hurt and it will only take 5 minutes”

– My Surgeon 👨‍⚕️

Things you do when sick at home: learn about Carolingian Miniscule, the thing that revolutionized written language in the 8th century.

Jumped off the scalpel of the surgeon again. 😐 Next check on Monday, still with the option to get a 1-2 week stay at the hospital with two more surgeries. Go body! You can do this!

Back to the hospital with a wound infection.

„Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?“
„That is the only time a man can be brave“ - Game of Thrones

Half way through season 3 of Stranger Things I have to say that I enjoy it way more than the previous seasons! They did an amazing job with this one.

Boris Johnson being Prime Minister sounds even more ridiculous than England leaving the EU. World politics are a playground for strange idiots these days. It should be a laughable joke, but everything becomes just more and more scary.

Also… there’s no way I can see which episode I already listened to. I’m keeping a list to be able to tell which one‘s I already heard. I know it always looks easier than it is, but the Music app definitely need some thorough rethinking.

There are a couple of radio shows on Beats 1 that I‘d like to listen to regularly, but I just can’t figure out a way to find or even save them somehow. It’s like Apple does not want me to listen to their stuff and tries everything to keep me away from it…

Love it when the occasional Swedish post flies by in my timeline and I can still pretend to know some Swedish after all those years. Jag älskar Sverige! 😊

Squirrels are treated like rats in some places. Here, they are just cute little fellows running around in the trees 😊 So much fun to watch them do their thing…

Spending the night in hospital. A first for me 😕

The Catalina Beta 4 Release Notes sound like “Please don’t install Catalina Beta 4”.

The beta process this year is really rough on all platforms. I still had no chance to test/build all my apps for iOS 13.

An important thing to do before meetings in big companies is studying the org chart 😐

Rammstein live in Frankfurt today. Not the best seats, but I was happy to get any at all! Great show! So glad I finally got to see them play some of my favorite songs 😊

Tried to recreate a simple SwiftUI sample and all I get is a compiler error that doesn’t make sense. So… there’s that ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Sometimes I don’t know on which planet I live and why certain music does not reach me. I listened to Dialog with Frank Turner today. I never heard of him (what’s wrong with me?! 😉), but this is exactly my kind of music. Kind of sad I just got to know it now, but glad I stumbled upon his music 🎶 (Great Podcast by the way!)

Some days at work can only be summarized by a collection of sad gifs…

The whole Zoom thing is an easy target for internet outrage.

Writing some stuff with a little help of my pal here.

Setting up a new computer will always be a little special… everything feels so clean and uncluttered and somehow faster 🙃 Also: I pretty much like the new 13“ MacBook Pro I got as a replacement for the 15“ (which was destroyed by TSA 🙄). I went smaller to have it more portable and much lighter. The power is still more than enough for my needs, although I can already see what a huge difference the bigger battery made. The keyboard is much better than the original one, but still far from good. Even after 2.5 years I still can’t type on this thing and I never will… it’s really bad (still).

I constantly need to remind myself that “Think about X“ or “Search for solution to Y“ is not an actual item I should put into OmniFocus. It will just sit there, untouched, nagging me forever.

Well, I’m ready, I’m willing
And I’m able to rock and roll all night
I’m ready, I’m willing
And I’m able to rock and roll all night
Come on pretty baby
We’re gonna rock, we’re gonna roll until the broad daylight

🎶 Fats Domino - I‘m ready

One month of blogging! I managed to post something to my blog once a day for the last 30 days! Don’t know what that’s worth, but it became a little bit of a habit. Of course I was traveling 3 out of 4 weeks and then it’s always easy. Still not sure where I want this blog to go though. I feel like there should be more substance to everything, but then… why? I want this to stay fun and not become a chore again. So… here’s to the next 30 days?!

Well it’s a most peculiar feelin’
Like sunburn in the evenin’
With dark clouds on their way
And you think it’s most unlikely
Life could ever shine as brightly
Once the sun is gone and the pressure’s on
And the rain is here again

🎶 Catatonia - Don’t Need the Sunshine

I‘m super exhausted 😴 The last couple of weeks and the crazy temperatures here take its toll. I can’t even think straight…

I agree. I think it’s a chance for Apple‘s future product design. But someone should be in charge.

I don’t worry that Apple is in trouble because Jony Ive is leaving; I worry that Apple is in trouble because he’s not being replaced.

★ Daring Fireball: Jony Ive Is Leaving Apple

Ich weiß nicht wie konnte das geschehen
Die Welt kann mich nicht mehr verstehen
Ich bin heute morgen aufgewacht
Und es war noch mitten in der Nacht

🎶 Tocotronic - Die Welt Kann Mich Nicht Mehr Verstehen

Climate change? What climate change? 39°C, felt like 46°C at the end of June. Couldn’t think of anything more normal than this, after we had 12°C three weeks ago.

I know that the iPad professionals always smiled at those that demanded USB thumb drive support for iOS. I get it… I also barely use those anymore. But don‘t forget, that there are normal people out there, that do not know about and/or do not want to use cloud storage. There are so so so many people still relying on thumb drives. Teachers in Germany for example are simply not allowed to store anything in the cloud. They need an encrypted drive if they want to work with documents outside of their crappy old school computers. How were they supposed to use an iPad legally? Well, now they can! And that‘s just one example of many. It seems like a silly feature to quiet some nagging bloggers and news sites. But in my opinion it‘s much more and will be greatly appreciated by so many users!

I barely started to play around with iOS 13 on my iPad and it‘s glorious! This will change a lot and make it even more viable to use this as a main machine ☺️ I love it already! It’s as buggy as I expected though 😉

Back to work tomorrow… it’s always a challenge to get back into the groove after being offline for three weeks. And there’s still so much WWDC news to catch up to now! I hope the jet lag doesn’t catch me tomorrow 😉

I think the cat is also happy that the constant food supply is back.

Feels good to be home again after being away for three weeks. It’s a slow, tiny town Sunday afternoon. What a contrast to Times Square basically yesterday evening. I need this now. So many inputs the last weeks! Time to let everything sink in a little and think about what’s next.

To round out my US airport experience, TSA destroyed my MacBook while I got a private massage in public. All in all we had a great time the last couple of weeks! Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow though 🙃

I love New York! But I think I‘m getting too old for this stuff… I really don’t know why I‘m drawn to crazy ridiculous Times Square everytime 😉

A day at the Boston Children’s Museum is quite something 😉 I‘m ready to take a nap now!

We‘re staying in Somerville with friends and I have to say this neighborhood looks really pretty! I love all the old little and historic houses. We had some ice cream from Gracie‘s today and now I‘m in love with marshmallow fluff topping! 😋

Enough with the ranting 🙃 It’s been about 8 years since I was here the last time and I loved it back then. Looking forward to exploring the city again in the next couple of days! 😊

After 2h delay and a missing stroller (“don’t worry! We’ll take care of it“ they said when asked about it while unboarding the first airplane) we’re finally in Boston! There were families with 3 months old babies without their car seat at 2am. These things should not go wrong.

That’s a first… 1h more delay and changing the gate while alread boarding. 😩

ORD 🛫 BOS 🛬 I heard the weather will be a little tougher on this one. (Of course this flight is also delayed, as was every single flight I ever took in the US)

That being said… the way employment works in the US seems more like exploitation and surrender to me. Working here under normal circumstances would never be an option for me. I‘m lucky to live in a country that puts more value in the human being than in its work.

I love being in big cities. It’s so vibrant and there’s something to do wherever you look. You just step out the door and there are endless food options and lots of opportunities. Every city is special in its own way. I‘d love to live in one or the other for some time.

SFO 🛫 ORD 🛬 Welcome to Chicago! Looking forward to an American wedding tomorrow 👰🤵

Domestic Flights in the US are just the worst. The way things work at the airport and during the flight is so terrible. There is really nothing that works. I never had an at least decent experience.

My daughter is 2.5 years old now and I wonder if there will ever be a week where she’s not sick in any form. Poor little thing… 🥺

Muir Woods today. Lovely place! Tomorrow will be travel day… not really looking forward to that, but there’s still one fun week ahead before we need to go back home.

What a great 6th game in the NBA finals today! I have the unpopular opinion that Toronto should win 🙃 Always for the underdog! 🏀

Why wouldn’t I enter?! I love In-N-Out Burger!🍔 😋

Natural Bridges beach today, where we had a lot of fun and got to see dolphins passing by! Ended the evening with BBQ and a cold beer in a hammock… could be worse 🙃

Went down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz today. I love it here ☺️ I always take that route when I have the chance. So many incredible places… too bad you can’t stop everywhere!

Enjoyed the beach in Pacifica today 🏖🌊☀️

Turns out… small kinds also have a jet lag 😴 Up since 3am. I am barely alive and I don’t know who I am anymore 💤

Glad that I was able to attend the last lunchtime session this year. Sesame Street was really funny 😄 Definitely a highlight!

WWDC is winding down, most people already left and I’m going to pick up my family at the airport later for some vacation. A great week comes to an end again… Not sure I’ll make it next year, but I sure have lots to learn and figure out until then. See you San José! 👋🏻

Cute little easter egg in the demo on how to bring iPad apps for Mac to the next level: Marzipan is marked as a favorite with a heart. I wonder why 🙃

Of all the new stuff from WWDC I think the Combine framework will be the biggest challenge to get used to. Totally different way of coding. Makes things easier and cleaner though. Lots of stuff to learn! 🤓

I had a quick look on the SwiftUI tutorials and it really looks ready for prime time already. This is so powerful. Animations, transitions, navigation… easier than ever and everything built right in already. I‘m curious how this looks in real life, but it‘s incredibly promising

I met a bunch of WWDC Scholarship winners tonight and I have to say… it’s really impressive what they built. So much creativity and ideas to help people and technology. Well deserved!

All the changes to Xcode, the new SwiftUI and Combine Frameworks… it‘s a great year for developers! Really makes me want to dive deep into some new app project again. I‘m afraid there‘s no real time to do everything.

WWDC 2019 – Keynote Impressions

Alright… WWDC Keynote’s over and as usual I‘m a little overwhelmed by all the new stuff. It always needs a couple of days to figure out what‘s really important and what will stick.

On a first impression, as a developer I‘m really excited about the new SwiftUI of course, although this means lots and lots and lots of new learning and a different way of thinking as I was used to for two decades now. But I guess that‘s a good thing 😉

I also think the Sign In with Apple feature with its randomly generated eMail addresses etc. is a huge deal. Maybe not in the public, but considering the importance of privacy and someone to stand up agains all the ad-driven services undermining people‘s privacy, this feature can‘t be overrated.

The changes to the new iPadOS are also something that will be incredible useful. I‘m curious to see how these features turn out to work in real life and what‘s still missing to them.

And the Mac Pro… well, I guess it‘s great that it exists again and is more powerful than ever before. Of course it‘s kind of a niche product. But they showed some dedication to their different user groups. But how can you sell a display without a stand? I don‘t know… my focus during the last couple of months was on iPad and I feel like this is only to get more intense with time now.

Now I‘m looking forward to the State of the Union and get some insight into what‘s under the hood. This year much more exciting than last year already now.

WWDC – Let’s do this! (Dub Dub is now an official term 😖)

Got to get up early for the keynote tomorrow… still not sure I want to stand in line with my friends at 6:30 It doesn’t really matter where you sit. Maybe I’ll take it as a chance to meet new people in line while getting enough sleep for a long day.

After a long long day of travel and visiting friends, I watched the first episode of Chernobyl in the hotel. Holy moly. I need to get my blood pressure down. This is definitely nothing to binge watch 😱

Of course my old old iMac dies on a system update the day before I leave on a trip. Best timing👌🏻

I need to prepare for my trip to WWDC on Saturday and tomorrow’s a holiday… Someday I will learn to start earlier 🙃

I did my duty and voted today. I know many who won’t and that’s a shame.

The Indie/Open Web is often promoted by saying it will bring back what the Internet was like years ago. I 100% agree, but the focus should maybe be more on how now and the future will be improved. Young people usually don’t care about the past anymore.

I learned about Screen Curtain to turn of the iPhone’s screen today. This is extremely helpful when testing accessibility for apps… No way to cheat!

I love my Synology! I don’t know what I would do without one anymore. So powerful, so easy, so reliable. 👍🏻

Apparently Ding Ding is now the official word for phone in our household after my daughter introduced it. I have to admit, it makes sense somehow 😉

The recent verdict against Monsanto is just one piece of several thousand lawsuits against a horrible company. I don’t understand how Bayer could possibly buy them last year. They have enough legal issues to deal with on their own. All well deserved. What these chemical giants do all over the world is sometimes cruel and unethical at the very least. Executives and Supervisors need to be personally liable for the terrible actions such companies are responsible for. Worldwide.

I got the first email ever with a Mail Drop attachment. I didn’t know this was still a thing.

Is there a psychological phenomenon explaining why I drag easy tasks along for months and months, even if it only takes a couple of minutes to finish them? 😩

My Micro Monday recommendation goes out to @oroboros because he shares incredible photos and time lapses of the (night-)sky.

Finished After Life on Netflix. It’s so sad, yet very funny. Not sure what a second season would look like, but it felt like it was too short. I enjoyed it a lot! I like Ricky Gervais take on things.

Cover image of the After Life show on Netflix..

I wished there was an iCloud enabled eReader. I don’t like reading on iOS but the restrictions on the Kindle in regards to books bought outside of Amazon are ridiculous. I don’t want to be locked in… If I bought a book, it’s mine and I want to read it wherever I want.

Watching a political talk show about climate change and politics tonight… and it’s disgusting.

Two or three days without catching up. This will be a Mark all as Read situation.

I have no time to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode 😱 This means I need to try to avoid any spoilers until at least Wednesday evening. This is basically impossible!

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could unlock my iPad using my watch, just as I can unlock my Mac with it? 🤔

One day in, I can say that the Reeder update is well worth the price! Love it! Needed some time to get used to some changes but I don’t know what I‘d do without this great app. 🙏

I started reading lots of science news via RSS feeds lately and OMG is it good. Science is magical.

I had a cool idea for a new blog yet again… and we all know where this ends: I‘ll buy a domain name, set up a blog and write an introduction. The end. 😉

Related: I like the review on MacStories because it’s extensive as usual, although I’m not sure how I feel about endorsements of friends citing endorsements of other friends.

The whole Apple rumor machinery is weird. There’s nothing anybody could do with this „information“. It’s, once again, all just hot useless air. I’m not following any of it. This stuff will either be a nice surprise at the keynote or nothing I could be sad about.

I need to re-think my news consumption again. What is really news? When I see the amount of hot air and click bait on some of the news sites I‘m following, I get the feeling there’s not really anything substantial going on. And it’s overwhelming. I should go for more in-depth content and real articles. I don’t need a news ticker which starts to distract and annoy me.

If your winning strategy in playoff game 7 of 7 is to only let a tiny amount of underdog guest fans into your stadium because they were way louder than your own fans in the games before… that does not look like a lot of confidence in your team! 🏒

Here we go… 1 day of trying to avoid any Game of Thrones spoilers. This will be hard!

I will start to pay attention to this stuff again when it’s not „in the US only“ anymore. It’s like people in other countries would not watch movies or anything. You know… We’re still hiding behind rocks, trying to catch the next Bison for our family dinner in our winter-caves

So happy I found out that one of my favorite albums is available as a free download! I missed it on Apple Music (not sure why it’s not available) since I listened to it a lot on Spotify. 🎶

Und Du rufst in die Welt,
daß sie dir nicht mehr gefällt.
Du willst ‘ne schönere erleben,
doch es wird keine andere geben!

🎶 Joachim Witt – Die Flut

Turns out… learning to play the guitar is hard 🙃

My guitar teacher asked me for a couple of songs I‘d like to try playing next to learn some new stuff 😐 I can’t finish this task! I need to pick all the songs. It’s like asking about my favorite pizza… It’s all of them! 😉

Big german newspaper Die Zeit, writes about deleted data from social networks like Google+ and how to archive them. No mention of ways to prevent this in the first place. No open web or anything. Plus, the comments show the depressing state of the internet and mindset in Germany.

Flights booked for WWDC and the following crazy tour to visit friends all over the place in June. This will be great!👌🏻 🛫

If I were rich, I‘d buy myself a small house up in the mountains over there. I love this region.

One of the main reasons I didn’t upgrade to the latest Apple Watch (besides the price) was that ECG wasn’t supported in Germany. Now that this works I might actually reconsider it…

… oh, and if you want to stay, than stay! But do anything. This limbo is going on for months and months and people get tired of all of this and start to not care at all what happens. Probably nothing will happen and we‘ve waisted a lot of time on nothing.

Maybe I‘m too stupid to understand what’s going on in the UK. They want Brexit but they don’t want Brexit. They want a deal but no deal. How many alternatives can there be? Just leave, for God’s sake! Europe has more important things to discuss than this undecided childishness.

Oh wow… I think I didn’t update the Drafts beta on my Mac for quite a while. The release today looks a lot different to what I know so far 🙃

Sometimes I feel like I‘m buying Time Zone apps like others do Weather apps.

With my reconciled RSS feeds I get a lot more information and I‘m much more involved with the topics I like than I was with Facebook or Twitter. Facebook scrambled everything together and had a fancy algorithm that showed that my favorite soccer team lost two weeks ago, the win from yesterday wasn’t mentioned. Twitter was a hellscape that just made me angry with uncountable Trump posts other nonsense. I‘m much happier without them. The one thing I still miss is the interaction with international friends though.

Since I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts I heavily (and happily) rely on my RSS feeds for news. I‘m into US sports (NHL, NFL, NBA), but not sure what’s the best source for a quick overview here. I subscribed to ESPNs feeds. Any better options out there?

Owa I Bin Ned Aloa…
Weil Da Wind Und De Bam Und De Berg Und Da Regn Und Da Schnee Und De Wies’n Und Blattl’n Und Felder San A Nu Do
I Bin Ned Aloa…

🎶 Hans Söllner - Ned Aloa

🏈 Just caught up on a couple of NFL news. Some unexpected trades going on this season… 😮

I just had to use Chrome to log into my Apple ID because Safari wouldn’t let me ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Facebook stored unencrypted passwords… There are no words for this company anymore.

I don’t understand (better: I don’t want to understand) why it is ok for a company to violate laws and regulations for more than ten years and only get fined a tiny amount which they gain tenfold in less than a day. This is not ok. Why do companies do that? Why can’t governments actually fine them? Why doesn’t Google have to pay a 50 billion Euro penalty? If a company – any! company – has more money than probably the majority of countries in the world, they have a responsibility. And that‘s not a responsibility for their „shareholders“. I also don’t understand why their customers and users don’t give a crap about it. Why do they support these companies and their horrible public behavior? Sometimes I question how I can continue to work in this industry. I continue to value more and more to work for a company that’s actually trying to act well and do good things. There’s probably not everything coated in gold as well. But at the very least it’s not evil like Google, Facebook et.al.

All in all, Google had to pay >8 billion Euros to the European Union for penalties now. Don‘t be evil looks different.

So… which Podcast will feature the product manager for AirPods this week? 😉

It‘s funny to see all the Windows people at this business event walking around with their huge laptops carrying those awful power adapters with them, while I sit here at our mobile helpdesk working on my iPad all day long 🙃

Made the most of a little sunshine and did a walking tour over our campus with some stops for an active workshop today.

Apple responds to Spotify’s claims. Also a lot of truth in there… They need to find a common ground to work on. I understand some of Spotify’s claims and the general issue with Apple’s way of charging developers. But I also see where Apples point of view in this case comes from.

Registered to hopefully be allowed to throw some of my company‘s money at Apple for WWDC again. Even if I don’t get a ticket, I‘ll be there anyway this time. Looking forward to being there! I‘m excited again 🙃

Olli was recommended in the App Store the other day… it’s really astonishing how good the effects are. Not the first time I see something like this, but it’s the best version by far! Really fun to play with.

Oh, a shiny new version of Ulysses is out. Which of course means I can continue not writing anything even better now! I love this app, I just can’t find the tiniest amount of time to use it…

And yet another music hero of my youth just died 😔 Keith Flint and The Prodigy were a truly remarkable band in the 90s. And even their most recent album is really really good! I thought about going to a concert recently… that‘s not an option anymore. 🎶

While I was barely able to move because of crazy back pain today, I started binge watching Scrubs again. It’s silly and didn’t age too well, but I still love that show 🙃

Sometimes Apple Music has a weird opinion about what should be called Hard Rock 🙈🙉

1 second decided between several family members run over by a car and the car crashing into a street light at full speed today. Nobody was injured (seemed also the driver was fine, despite what that car looked like). The driver fell asleep… Please don’t drive when you’re tired.

I‘ll just say, that I’m very happy at the moment to not have a Twitter account anymore 🙃

The problem with me having cool app ideas is that there is no space left on the graveyard of dead side-projects…

Scheinbar bin ich ein Telekom-Unicorn. Ich hatte bisher ausschließlich positive Erfahrungen mit Kundenservice und Problemlösung. Immer freundlich und unkompliziert… 👍🏻

Hotel booked for alleged WWDC dates this year. This probably means that I can be 100% sure to not get a ticket to the conference 😉

We went to the cinema yesterday to see Green Book. Great Movie with great actors! It’s tough to think that not all that happened during that time has changed until today. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I also moved over the categories from my old blog. Not sure this is necessary here or where I will go with it though…

I just imported all posts from my abandoned site into Micro.blog. Wordpress import really is super easy! I’ll adjust the links in those old posts and shut the old blog down whenever I find the time to. It feels good… one less burdon.

I‘ve been using OmniFocus for the last couple of weeks (again) to get some order in my todo list. Agenda didn‘t work for me and a Bullet Journal also doesn‘t seem to fit my work-life chaos. So far I‘m pretty pleased and I think my productivity got a major boost during that time. Another huge bonus: I don‘t have to treat my eMail inbox as my todo list anymore. I‘m at inbox zero for the first time since several years! I really get the feeling that at least some small part of my brain got a little more air to breathe now.

Today I basically got paid for writing eMails on 95% of my workday… my brain is melted.

Facebook financing a new institute at the technical university in Munich about Ethics in artificial intelligence is a little cynical. What a match after the last couple of dozen scandals.

That timespan between being happy and proud of (finally!) finishing a project and when people will start complaining about it 🤪

I’m still excited about the recent additions to Micro.blog! It basically means that I can get rid of my Linode because my abandoned blog is the only thing still running there. I moved everything else already and keeping it up to date is kind of tedious…

Google did the same as Facebook… I bet there are more of these. It just shows where the focus of probably the majority of the tech industry is. Don’t be evil is long gone…

Why is it that getting shipments from the US is such a PITA? Problems with customs, astronomical shipping costs and no real way to return wrongly shipped items. I guess I won’t buy any merchandise etc. anymore if it’s not also shipped from within the EU.

Oh do I hope that Greta Van Fleet is not becoming the new The Darkness. They have such a great sound that’s more or less extinct these days. 🤘🏻🎸🎶

Ok… Starting the day I already realized that Agenda might not be the thing I was looking for. It was promising, and I think I will give it quit it for a while. Getting stuff in order is hard 🙃

That was clearly a flag 😳 sorry for the Saints. I cheered for them today. But as everyone knows: if you don’t make your points in the beginning you will regret it in the end. The Saints had the chance for two touchdowns right at the start but only made it to two field goals. 🏈

I‘m giving Agenda a shot to organize my stuff. I‘ve been swamped with stuff lately and I forget more and more things I should have finished weeks ago. I never understood this app. But now that I had a quick look it’s promising… It might kind of work the way I think.

I‘m back to using my eMail Imbox as a todo list. Never a good sign for my stress level…

The GoodNotes 5 Update looks pretty amazing! I might even consider to switch from Notability 🤔 The problem, as usual, is the silo of all these apps. I can’t get my stuff from Notability to GoodNotes, and I already have a whole bunch of stuff in there I don’t want to miss… Maybe I’ll just make a cut. It’s really good!

I think tension between melody and lyrics gets me. The more a song is a happy song for me and the more it should make me sad, the better it feels 🙃 Another favorite I can listen to over and over is Brian Fallon - Forget Me Not Makes me wanna dance and sad at the same time 🎶

First time to see Interstellar today. Great movie all in all… also makes you think about how we live on our planet. But the last 30 or 45 minutes really don’t hold up to the rest of the movie. 🎬

Funny how Apple had to stop selling the iPhone 8 in Germany because of issues with Qualcomm and nobody even cares 🙃

My Word for 2019

I finished my personal goal planning for 2019, similar to what I did at work for the last couple of years. I know, I know… it sounds terrible. But it lead me to some more insights for this new year than just the usual ”I’ll loose some weight”. I wanted more than the usual resolutions and I ended up with a list of things that I’d like to improve in my life, starting in 2019. I also tell myself that I don’t need to do all of it this year, that I don’t need to finish everything on the list. It’s a list of things that should guide me through this year with the means of helping me feel better. One thing I want to do though is to check in at the end of each month and see where I am. Check whether there is something that was left behind completely or that I really did good during the month. I hope that this helps me to stick to something and build new habits, instead of loosing track after a week… as usual. I feel really good about this list and I really think it might help me to work on some stuff.

Inspired by @macgenie, @klandwehr, @cheri and others on Micro.blog I thought of a word that could describe this year for me. The biggest pattern in my list of goals turned out to be around my health and fitness (what else? Well… a lot!). The one word that came to mind immediately was well-being. Ok… it’s kind of two words, but oh well ¯_(ツ)_/¯ It tells me to eat healthier, become more active and most importantly become more relaxed again. It also tells me to finally start with a couple of things I wanted to do since a long time.

I need to feel better next year. So this will be my word: well-being

We can fly to the moon and drive around with remote controlled cars on Mars, but delivering a package from A to B seems to be an unsolvable problem sometimes.

I failed on many personal fronts this year, so I guess I need to figure out some of my worst habits before anything else. Changing things to the better means making time for better things, not squeezing in more stuff in time I already don’t have.

Unlike many I learned to really like the yearly goal planning process in my company. It can do a great job to set expectations and see where you’re going next year. I‘ll try to do the same for private stuff, but I can already see that this is probably mostly wishful thinking 🤔

I‘m waiting for „friends“ to exchange their contact info with me, but 2019-01-01 00:15 will be the date I delete my Facebook account (I will enjoy New Years first, of course 😉). This Wired summary is just the tip of an unethical and constantly lying iceberg.

Finally leaving Facebook

I posted to my Facebook timeline that I will leave soon. I really fear that I will loose contact with some friends from all over the world. I have so many great memories about visiting friends in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, the US… None of these friends will ever use a service like Micro.blog. None of them will use Telegram or any other messaging service besides Whats App or Facebook’s Messenger. None of them will write letters. Will we go back to eMails like 20 years ago? I’m not sure… I guess we’ll see whether it is possible in a post-Facebook world to stay in contact with people you usually don’t talk to very often and that live in a completely different culture.

It’s still mind boggling to me, that Apple still has no idea about where I stopped listening. Spotify works seemless. Start a song on the Mac, leave the desk, put AirPods in, open Spotify and it immediately takes over where you stopped. iTunes/Music doesn’t even support Handoff.

It’s been some crazy busy days and weeks. Time for a small treat. This one is really great!

I got down from 10 work eMails to 0, did some outlining for a storyboard at work and managed to pay a couple of bills. On a Saturday evening. Times change… 😒

I think I‘m about to switch from Spotify to Apple. I got another free month and remember now what I liked about it. The playlists are amazing! It’s much more than just Discover Weekly. Also, Spotify’s CarPlay app is a joke, which becomes more and more of a problem for me 🎶

I like that Spotify filters out children’s music from my „Best of 2018“ list. This list would be a mess otherwise 🙃

Is this the world we created?
We made it on our own.
Is this the world we devastated right to the bone?
If there’s a God up in the sky, looking down,
What must he think of what we’ve done
To the world that He created?

🎶 Queen – Is this the World we created?

I always get completely teared up at that part of the song (Who wants to live forever). There’s so much overwhelming power in Freddie’s voice. Never gets old. Not after ten billion times. 🎶

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today

🎶 Queen – Who wants to live forever

If there’s one app that I use every single day, it is BBEdit. They celebrate the 25th anniversary… that’s crazy! Of course I got myself some merch over at the Bare Bones shop.

Was hätten sie denn gern? Verweigert ihnen denn ihr Leben
das wonach sie suchen und wonach sie wirklich streben?
Das ist doch gar kein Problem, wir übernehmen das.
Unter Garantie findet sich im Angebot auch was für sie

🎶Sportfreunde Stiller – Einmal Mond Und Zurück

I finally deleted my Twitter account. I didn’t check anything in several months. All my posts were deleted since almost a year. I totally forgot about it and didn’t miss anything. Good riddance!

How is this year already almost over again? 😱 It’s like time doesn‘t exist anymore!

What a great day on Micro.blog! So many great links, discussions & opinions to follow. Thanks everybody! 🙏

What’s a good & practical way to share family photos? We use iCloud Photo Library, but the family album is a joke. I don’t want my images to be scaled down. But without it we use almost double the space we need for our family photos. Google is no option. Maybe my Synology? 🤔

The iPad mini has nothing on it besides apps to read (Books, Kindle, Reeder) and a couple to take notes & quotes, which is much nicer to do than on the kindle. The power is just enough for any of that and the size is perfect! I really hope there will be a new mini at some point.

I started using my old old iPad mini to read using the Books and Kindle Apps. I somehow like reading on it better than on the Kindle. Plus: loading non–Amazon books onto the Kindle is a pain. Books is incredibly easy in that regards.

I didn’t hear anything from Jimmy Eat World in a long long loooong time. A friend introduced me to their 2016 album Integrity Blues and I love it! 🎶

Sometimes one or two sentences in a song make it special to me in a way that’s totally in contrast to the songs actual intention. 🎶

I hope creators of web applications will also realize that more and more people are using their stuff from a mobile device. It’s infuriating if some things just fail on an iPad because some tool on the web is unusable all of a sudden.

Since I got that new iPad I‘m the biggest fan of Notability and Nebo. Notability is overall amazing, I live in it. Nebo is crazy in how it allows to work with text and how it recognizes handwriting and drawing diagrams. Each day I‘m amazed by the great things this device can do!

The Castle was illuminated in purple today. Strange but beautiful ☺️ 5E8A6069-3CA0-4756-8250-8CF63DEB0A2B.jpg

You should really subscribe to iOS Dev Weekly if you’re interested in iOS development stuff 😊 There’s always lots of interesting stuff in it!

Building iPad Pro features in Swift — Swift by Sundell

Being able to work on iPad-specific features can sometimes be difficult, and I know that some teams find it hard to prioritize work like that. However, adding support for some of the iPad’s more powerful features doesn’t always have to be a huge amount of work, and can sometimes be a great way to delight users

It might not always seem like a good investment but I’m confident that a good iPad version will make the difference between success and failure for a lot of apps in the future.

Building iPad Pro features in Swift — Swift by Sundell

I‘m no language nerd and I like Swift in a way, but I‘m still not sure whether I find everything good about it. This will definitely help spreading the language into other areas like server side development. Language Server Protocol - NSHipster

Face ID on the iPad is magical! It’s standing next to my Mac (dev machine!), a notification pops up, I look at the now activated screen, it automagically unlocks because of attention awareness and displays the full notification. Really amazing!

This will be an amazing concert! So excited 😆 🤘🏻🎶🤘🏻

I have no idea what’s the criteria for the iPad to allow unlocking it by tapping the space bar on the smart keyboard. Sometimes it works consistently for a period of time, then it just stops for the rest of the day. Am I doing it wrong? 🤔

One more thing that works like a charm in an iPad (well… as „good“ as one would expect): Skype for Business, even presenting a PowerPoint from OneDrive 👍🏻 Welcome to business life.

I know you should not talk about religion… but if I wanted to try server side web stuff again, which would be the language of choice these days? (I hate JavaScript, love Ruby but didn’t do anything in several years with it and work with Swift everyday.)

Dreaming of Xcode on the iPad

Let’s imagine the iPad was a device for real work. You know… stuff that professionals do. Not only media consumption for fun and stuff. That’s what we’re all waiting for isn’t it?

I think we’re well past that point. Not only are there lots and lots of people that do actual work on their iPad – people that are real professionals. There are less and less tasks that an iPad isn‘t capable of. Yes, there are shortcomings in some areas – I really struggle with the fussiness of copying and pasting things and I seem to never get used to how the Shortcuts app works – but there‘s nothing that can‘t be fixed in the future. There‘s probably not much that can‘t at least be worked around with some tricks even now already. In the end it probably all comes down to what people are accustomed to, how they are used to work and what their preferences are for how they accomplish their work. Even if some tasks might seem cumbersome, it’s still a question of how someone is willing to accept these tradeoffs for other things, that the iPad might do better or are more fun for them. There has been enough talking and writing about this topic in the last couple of weeks before and after the new iPads were released. I think it‘s unfair to dismiss the ability of the iPad to do real tasks on and to belittle the work of people that run their business or core parts of it on iOS. I for one are still undecided on whether this style of work is really for me. I think it is. But I need more time to really try it out.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a brand new 12.9” iPad Pro last week. Without joking, this might well be the best computer I ever used. I didn’t really have a deeper look at the iPad until a couple of months ago when I tried how it feels like trying to do some actual work on my old iPad Air. I already saw that there are a lot of tasks in my daily work that I could do on it, but it still felt quite cumbersome most of the time, so I lost it and unknowingly went back to the Mac again. Then came the 12.9” iPad and I thought: “Oh well, let’s try it out for a while and see what this feels like. But I will never really use this. It’s just too darn huge.” Well… I am barely able to put this thing down when I sit in front of it. I really love it. iOS is the same as it was a couple of months ago, but the size is the real deal for me. This suddenly feels like a real computer. Together with the smart keyboard folio and the pencil, this thing is not only gorgeous and blazingly fast. I can really work on that thing.

There are still jobs I can’t do with it though. I’m an iOS and Mac developer for the most part of my work life and that’s one of the few things iOS can’t do yet. The iPad could probably run most development projects with the blink of an eye, comparing the benchmarks to ”real” computers. But there is no Xcode available for iOS. I would run across the streets screaming if this would become available at WWDC next summer. This would be the turning point for me. I can do most of my daily work on this iPad. In fact, for the last couple of days that’s what I did. I’m a corporate bee, so besides sitting in front of Xcode I spend a lot of time writing eMails, collaborating in Slack, editing Word documents or looking at Powerpoint presentations. I really can see myself using the iPad as my main device, falling back to the Macbook only for development stuff in Xcode or related tasks where I need a Terminal or specific tools. Everything else? Should be manageable on the iPad. At least at the moment this is a lot of fun.

Now, what about Xcode on the iPad? Is this impossible?

I don’t think so! The hardware can do it. And if it’s not the fastest development machine yet? Oh well… there’s still the Mac for more speed, and I doubt that this is actually the case anymore. But please Apple, let me do my coding on an iPad! I’m willing to take a hit in compile time, if necessary. The support for external 5k displays via USB-C could make Xcode on the iPad a really amazing experience in my opinion.

This would be a setup I could imagine: The iPad attached to an external display using an external keyboard. The display shows my code on one side and the app I’m building in a split view on the other side. No simulator anymore!? The iPad screen is used for documentation and/or the debugger. Everything I need, running on a device I can carry around anywhere I’d like to. Even without the external display I really think there’s a way to make the IDE work. It get’s harder to think of a good solution if you also remove the external keyboard from the scenario. But hey… why should there be no other way to work in an IDE than what we know now? The iPad and iOS already changed a lot of habits and what users expect from their apps. Maybe there’s also a different way to think of an IDE, so that it can be used on a smaller screen?

There are lots of other problems, I know. A lot of issues to solve… what happens if the app crashes while debugging? It will better not bring the whole system down! I guess technical problems like this are the biggest reason why there is no development environment available on iOS yet. But I really hope that either these problems get solved or Apple comes up with another solution I would never ever think of in my life. The playgrounds app is an example. It’s no full blown IDE and the main purpose clearly isn’t building apps from scratch. But it shows that it’s possible to edit and run Swift on an iPad. I even would be fine if the iPad would only be the code editor for my Xcode project and the compilation would have to run on a remote machine like a Mac mini somewhere, running the simulator on the server and only VNCing it to the iPad.

Whatever to solution might be… This is the dream I have. I think with this, I could do 99% of my work off of my iPad. And at the moment that’s really what I want… doing some actual work like professionals do.

Played around with the Shortcuts app to get a tiny thing done. I’m not sure this thing is made for me. It probably needs a lot more practice, but for now the way these actions work, is quite weird to me. Besides that, I’m still in love with this big iPad!

I thought I’d just try out this 12.9” iPad Pro. ”It’s too big” I thought… well… I think I’m in love with this thing 😱 Yes, some stuff is still cumbersome. But the bigger screen makes these things a little better. And that screen… oh my! What an awesome piece of technology!

I just got to try out the new Macbook Air for a minute. First time for me to try out the new keyboard… Wow! The difference to my 2016 MacBook Pro is incredible! I still hate my keyboard, but could get used to the new one!

I will never understand why elections are held on a Tuesday ¯_(ツ)_/¯

It’s funny how the perception of everything not Apple is that it’s much cheaper. I struggle with the pricing of Apple’s products and everybody tells me “Go get a Surface Pro instead”. I looked at the prices and wow 🤯 For a similar configuration which probably has a worse performance and less features than an iPad, it’s even more expensive. And that’s not even considering my investment in the whole ecosystem I would have to switch. It’s tough… no-pro iPads are no option because of the storage options, “old” iPad pro is not that much cheaper for what you get with the new ones, Android tablets also are a no-go. I guess I have to bite the bullet.

I wonder what happens when the Republicans win the midterm elections. What would this say about the country? From the outside it seems just like two years ago. Democrats in a bubble, mostly sure „they“ will win. I guess we’ll see… The world crosses their fingers they’re right.

Yes! Got me some tickets to Rammstein live next year 🤘🏻🎸🎶

This week’s episode of ATP is why I like this podcast. Very energetic and insightful. They address a couple of issues that concern me with Apple’s products I didn’t think of yet.

I wrote down all the subscriptions I pay for every month or year. Holy 🐱 It’s just a coffee per month times a bajillion! Everything moving to a subscription model is a problem. I throw way too much money at stuff. I really need to consolidate what I need and pay for.

First steps in reducing the amount of paper in my office. I use a wireless document scanner to automatically put new snail mail on my Synology where it is OCR‘d. 99% of the paper can go to the trash now and I can search everything in Finder, accessible from anywhere. \o/

I‘m more than excited that Rammstein will be on tour with a new album next year 🤩 I really hope I can get a ticket to a show when they go on sale next week!

All the best for all the NaNoWriMo participants! I have no idea where you all manage to carve out the time to write this much 😅 I admire your creativity!

I guess I need to start start thinking about a time after using Apple products. The prices are insane.

I can‘t watch the Apple event live today. But following the live blogs it seems like a pretty great event with all the right things to be released 👍🏻

I had to think about Ironic by Alanis Morissette when I saw that I started to think about what I could change to find some time to write more exactly 1 year after I wrote about Why I Failed at Blogging.

And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think.

iOS 12 Beta seems to be fine. Will install it on my main device now. Heard lots of issues with Mojave though… can’t install it on my work machine because of several issues.

Apple Sample Code became really really amazing over the years. It shows in so much detail how to do certain things better. Really happy with the new sample projects this year!

Apple engineers are only cooking with water as well, as we say in Germany 😉

The range of experiences in the labs this week went from „you should try that out and tell us if it works“ to „WTF just happened on my computer, this guy is a magician!“ 😊 I really like the atmosphere and possibilities at the labs during WWDC. It wouldn’t be the same without it.

The focus this year was clearly on AR stuff. Siri is a big deal too, but there are some questions about how useful the way it’s implemented really is. Besides that everything‘s quiet. Not much new things to work on, which is a good thing, especially in a business environment.

WWDC is over. I think it was a pretty good conference with highs and lows. I learned quite some things and got a couple of new ideas. Now I‘ll hang out around town, watch the Warriors tonight and wait for my flight home tomorrow to finally see my family again after two weeks 😊

I never consciously heard of Panic at the Disco before, but the show was actually pretty good! Turns out, I knew two songs of them 😉

Today was just too much stuff going on. I feel bad for all the things I missed…

A little late today… will skip the first session (I‘ve had enough lining up yesterday already. I‘ll hang out somewhere outside and have a look at how to integrate the new Siri API in one of our apps.

Had a great time tonight at the ATP live show and the Beard Bash!

I need to force myself to write down all the impressions I got during the week I’m here already. A lot has happened, even more will come and I don’t want to forget the import details. I have a great time here, but I miss my family at home… FaceTime is such a great thing!

What a busy first day of the conference… I‘m already tired, but I‘ll try to get into the The Loop Bash after grabbing a bite to eat.

Nothing too big, all a little silly. WWDC Keynote is a bit disappointing…

Relay.fm is probably quite happy to be featured in the WWDC keynote 😉

This is exactly what I need before the conference starts 😊

Checked in. Now heading to the beach to meet friends 😊

Last day in Zeeland… biking a bit and spending some time at the beach. Heading home tomorrow already. A couple of days more wouldn’t have hurt 😉

Pet Project Progress

I’ve been very busy lately… mostly excruciatingly tired, but sometimes I found a couple of minutes to think about and work on my current pet projects. I won’t post that much about them on this blog in the future, except if there is something worth to know for a wider audience. Technical things regarding development topics will be posted over on my other blog at kokodev.de. I started a development diary for my two active projects there. I will post more in the coming days, but here’s my introductory post from today: Development Diaries.

My plan is to have the diaries as companions running next to the development to discuss some problems and approaches I find along the way. This could be technical things, but also how I tackle the creation of icons for the apps or thoughts about different solutions to offer in-app purchases. It could be anything really. I have a couple of posts more or less ready for the next couple of days, before I go back into development. I’m excited about this!

Again, for everyone interested, you can visit kokodev.de and follow my posts there.

kokodev.de Reboot

I always had some side projects that I worked on in my spare time. Most of them never made it to the daylight and into the app store or anywhere else really. It was a shame and I had this website that I used to post informational stuff about technical things. Since I consolidated all my online stuff a couple of years back now, I took everything down and with this purge I also deleted all my content from all my blogs.

I few weeks back I wrote about late pet projects and what happens when you let them sit around for too long. I thought about some things I could build and tried out some stuff, but in the meantime it became clear that I really want one specific tool. I went back, did some research, found a lot of old code, fiddled around with it and finally decided that I’d try to go for it. I will try to follow my progress and the process on my other website. It’s technical stuff about iOS development (for now) and I’d like to keep this blog more on the personal and non-technical side. It’s pretty empty so far… the journey just started a couple of days ago, but I hope to fill it with some more information soon.

For everyone interested, you can visit kokodev.de and follow my posts there.

The Problem of Leaving Facebook

Here’s a controversial thought: social media isn’t all too bad! There’s lots of talk about how bad different social media services are these days. Twitter supports harassment, Nazis and some weirdo called „Trump“. Facebook collects every tiny bit of your life and sells it to the devil, and then there’s Google+ (wait… what?!). Everybody knows that the way these social networks evolved during the last decade is a disaster for all the known and obvious reasons that were already discussed everywhere and all the time.

But here’s the thing: social networks used to bring people together. There was a time where collecting data and selling it, was not an issue. Yes, we were blind and didn’t really know what’s going on until it was too late, but it connected people in a way that we didn’t know before. I’m going to focus on Facebook here, because it is a real pain point for me and Twitter is easily replaceable (see Micro.blog for example).

When I started to use Facebook back in 2006 it was a great place to be. I studied abroad during that time and Facebook was the way to stay in touch with the ones who went back home, or to organize the weekly (ok, daily) party with your friends. People shared photos of what they were doing, checked into places they traveled to, friends wrote you updates about what’s going on in their lives. Yes, there was the obligatory „Poopin’!“ post every once in a while, but in general – at least to me – it was a really great experience.

Fast forward 12 years. What’s the experience today at Facebook? Hardly anyone of my friends posts anything anymore. I see an infinite amount of updates from sports teams, music groups or talk shows. There’s creepy ads all over the place. The timeline is no timeline anymore… posts from a week ago are mixed with ones from today. I never know whether someone actually posted something, or whether I missed it because the AI thinks it knows better than me what I want to see.

Yes, Facebook, right now I want to see a post of my soccer team asking for fan support in this really important game yesterday, but please to not show me how the team reacted to the fact that they won… yesterday.

It’s not fun anymore, and the staying in touch part is also not that apparent since quite some time. The part of Facebook with actual people sharing more or less important things of their life has long vanished. Almost nobody ever does that anymore, and this is sad. It was a great way to stay in contact and this is gone now. I don’t need Facebook anymore. I don’t want Facebook anymore. I want to own my stuff and I don’t want it to be exploited in all possible ways, like it is right now. But what’s the solution? What should I share, where, when and why? Do I really want to share everything publicly? Spoiler alert: I don’t. But what are the options then? Let’s have a look at my web-presence at the moment:

  • I have this blog, where I want to publicly write longer pieces like this one
    • I’m on micro.blog where I publicly post shorter snippets to my own domain at hutaffe.blog and which replaces Twitter for me
    • I’m on Twitter, but who cares
    • I’m on Google+… seriously… I still think this is hilarious!
    • I’m on Facebook where I share more ore less private stuff with my friends
    • No, I’m not really on Instagram. (The way their „timeline“ is sorted is an abomination even worse than Twitter)

Let’s go through this list: A blog is public. To everyone. Everything I post here is accessible to anyone on the interwebs. Whatever is posted here or on micro.blog needs to be polished in some way and put me in a certain light. (I wrote about my rules in a previous post). For the things I share on Facebook I don‘t necessarily want that! Sharing most of the photos I‘d like to share is impossible on a public place like my blog. I don’t want the whole world to be able to see important parts of my life. Why should they care? I can express my thoughts, ideas and opinions freely on the web. Everyone can read it (sorry about that!). But photos of my daughter? No.

When sharing private content, owning it is even more important. When sharing my content on Facebook, it gets dumped into a black hole of algorithms with the only goal to squeeze every little piece of information out of my life and sell it to some company. I want to post all this stuff to my blog, where I decide what happens with the data and where I decide who is going to see it.

I want to keep my privacy and the privacy of the ones that are visible on my pictures or tagged locations. I like the principal idea of Facebook. I like the principal idea of Twitter. And I like the principal idea of blogging and microblogging. Micro.blog is Twitter’s microblogging, social network and normal blogging combined. I love the open idea and implementation of the service and I will continue to use it because it‘s everything that was missing on Twitter and what was in parts forgotten with blogging. What I‘m missing is the privacy aspect. There needs to be a way to have a blog, yet keep parts of it private to friends. Without the hassle of password protection or special RSS feeds that nobody understands. The simplicity and privacy of Facebook – I realize the controversy, but I mean the sharing part, not the creepy corporate part. The stuff that brought me and my friends to this platform more than 10 years ago, combined with the openness and ownership of a public blog.

I want my friends from far away, on the other side of the world, 12 time zones ahead of me, to be part of my life and vice versa. I don’t necessarily want to bother them on iMessage or make them join a Slack team or whatever nerdy tools and services might fit. I could make them users on my site or offer an email newsletter or something similar. But… seriously? Nobody will jump through these hoops just to get a “Poopin’“ from me every now and then.

A mixture of both worlds… The openness and inherent values of Micro.blog, combined with a privacy control and social features like we have on Facebook. Facebook is easy. Of course they sell the hell out of my information. But the short sighted value is that only the people I want are able to see what I share with them. If I apply for a job, I control what the recruiter sees on my Facebook profile: nothing. What will they see on my public blog? Probably a curated list of posts that I publish here in order to sell me. What will friends see on my public blog? The same; and less. How do I make sure to stay in contact with my friends in Japan or California? How will I know what’s going on in their lives? Public blogs are the wrong place for this. It needs privacy! I want to share my life with them on my site, but I want only them to see it.

At the moment my friends don’t get many updates of my life, because I don’t post any relevant information on Facebook anymore. Whether or not they actually would want any updates is a totally different issue, of course 😉 And this blog is not Facebook. At the moment they could follow me on Micro.blog or subscribe to my RSS feed. But they wouldn’t know or understand what that means and they won‘t find anything interesting to them here in that regards, because I won’t share photos of my daughter with the public or the location of the concert I’m going to and with whom I‘m there. Of course some of this stuff is stupid, I know that. But that’s everyday information friends like to see and which I would be happy to see again from them. And that’s the stuff I like to share with them because it makes us keep in touch and get back to each other every once in a while and not forget about each other.

I should be able to have a blog, be it a separate one like this site or Micro.blog, and still be able to have certain posts or even all of it only accessible to my friends. Whether Facebook is the authenticator to decide who is my friend and who’s not is a secondary issue at first. A more open service would be better of course, but people are on Facebook and this is not going to change in the near future, let’s face the sad truth. Since Facebook is not going to vanish, and I have my list of friends there, it might be an option – until something better comes along – to use this connection to define who’s going to see my private stuff on my website. If someone’s logged into Facebook, I would need to check if he or she is on my friend list. I doubt that this is technically possible, because this could probably be exploited in many bad ways, but this is what I would need at the moment.

I’d rather have all this also built on a more open platform, leaving Facebook out of the game. But let’s be honest: who’s going to switch anyways. We can all leave Facebook and Twitter for noble reasons because the platforms are creepy, dishonest and horrible places to spend time on and to publish content to. We can leave them behind and get our news and open discussions elsewhere. But how will I be able to see the holiday pictures from the beach of my Japanese friends? How will I see photos of my friend’s newborn on the other side of the world? Despite Instagram et.al. most people do not share these personal things there. They share it on Facebook, because there is at least some control over who sees what and keeping it private, and it’s pretty easy to set this up. On a larger scale, basically nobody is going to post intimate stuff like this to the public. At least I know that I don’t want to. That’s also the reason why there will never ever be a photo of my daughter or friends and family or even myself posted on this blog. If there is a photo, it’s totally anonymous. It could be anyone in the picture. It might not even be me. Because it’s too public. To me, this is sensitive information and nobody I do not know personally has any right to see it, especially not the whole internet. I’m not a public person… what I share publicly is curated and (more or less) thought through.

I want to leave Facebook behind. But at the moment I can’t if I want to stay in contact with my friends. I have no real solution to this… but for me, this has to be the next step. I better make sure to have all the eMail addresses and phone numbers I need in my address book, because Facebook has no future for me no matter what. People were in contact before Facebook, so I’m pretty sure the world will move on without it and I will be able to catch up with everyone in some other form, just like generations before us did 🙃

Edit

After I wrote all this I learned about LiveJournal. I think I never heard of this before and from what I can tell it’s not that popular outside of Russia anymore. It seems like it has elements of what I’d like to have though. A blog with a detailed privacy mechanism. But what’s missing here as well is the openness. It’s a closed platform, my content is not where I want it to be: on my server.

And again… Facebook friends are at Facebook and won’t go anywhere else. The question is whether this will ever change and if it does, what will happen? I doubt that everyone will move in the same direction and if so, we’re moving the same problem from one platform to another. Where everybody will move needs to be part of the open web, yet be extremely easy and also support privacy mechanisms.

Should you know about some other service or tool that you think would help me with this, please tell me! There might be something like LiveJournal that I just did not see yet! You can fine me here:  @hutaffe on micro.blog 

That moment when you try to add a toolbar to a window in Interface Builder and your Mac reboots. A case of Radar or GTFO 🧐

Why Should the User Know?

Users are stupid! Or… are they? Who declares what a user should know and be able to do? Designers? Developers? Product Managers? The answer is simple: The user declares what he or she knows and is able to do. But we, the ones who build stuff they should use, tend to think that the user is the problem if there is a problem with a feature.

Nilay Patel wrote a piece on The Verge the other day:

Think of the tech industry as being built on an ever-increasing number of assumptions: that you know what a computer is, that saying “enter your Wi-Fi password” means something to you, that you understand what an app is, that you have the desire to manage your Bluetooth device list, that you’ll figure out what USB-C dongles you need, and on and on.

This resonates with my experience. I‘m an iOS and Mac developer and happen to know my way around in the system and learned a few tricks over the years and I of course have to check what’s new on those platforms all the time. I have to stay on top of it to not get lost. Do others have to do the same? Not really. The examples in the article above are real world problems. I hear them all the time. I get asked similar questions and quite often I think to myself: „That‘s not very hard to understand! How could you ask such a question? That feature is available since 5 years!“. Yet, they just don’t know!

And it’s not their problem. They know how to get along with their devices. There might be other ways, sometimes easier and faster ways to get to the same result. Sometimes they might not know something is possible and they give up trying, because they can live without it. And that’s fine!

I had the opportunity to attend a number of usability tests for one of our internal tools. The app itself is pretty simple. At least it seems so on the surface, but it turns out that average users tend to think completely different then the people who build the apps! Who would have thought that! I learned a lot (again) during these sessions. There were the obvious problems where I thought: „How is it even possible we did not think about that!?“. Those are relatively easy to solve. Then there are issues where the users don’t fully understand the main - and single - use case of the app. Also pretty easy to tackle by training them better, providing more information beforehand etc.

And then there are those issues where we need to make use of certain patterns and features of the platform. If you used an iPhone for more than a month we - the ones building and designing apps - tend to think that people take the time to learn the patterns, the look and feel, the language and features of the system. But really, they don’t! They are not interested in this nerdy stuff. They want to send messages - whatever this means to them - or call someone. If they are adventurous they installed an app, a free one probably. That’s an average user. Maybe they even have a phone full of apps and work on iPads quite often. This does not mean that they know about everything. Those are the ones we need to focus most of the time when building seemingly simple apps. At least for the ones that need to be used by everyone all the time.

But sometimes it’s necessary to go a step beyond that stage. We need to use these well established usage patterns and system features. But they are complicated. They seem to be an integral part of the system and to be known by everyone, but in reality those are power-user features. Let’s take swiping cells in a list to reveal actions, like in the Mail app… you swipe left and a button is revealed. Not a single user is ever going to discover this in an app on the first try. Never! It would take some time to get familiar with the app, maybe reading a manual or help article. It takes effort to learn that the feature exists, if it’s not found by accident. Compared to us power-users living in our information bubble, only relatively few people are willing or even thinking about making this effort.

And again: why should they!? Of course I can come up with dozens of good reasons why they should and why it would be important for them to do it. But those are reasons from my worldview, not theirs. If they are happy with their devices, let them be happy! It‘s not their problem that we fail to understand what’s easy and what’s complicated. We fail to empathize with people that are not using their devices the same way we do. We fail to design our apps in a way that makes it easy and accessible for everyone. Just because there are features on the platform, it doesn’t mean these are good features and every app really needs to make use of them.

And it’s not only a problem of us, designing and developing user interfaces in the wrong way. Stuff is too complicated and it only gets worse. Like Nilay writes:

... over the past few days I’ve started to realize it’s a pretty damning indictment of the tech industry

The tech industry does not care about normal people. They need to build the next iteration of something barely anyone really needs and they need to have built it last year already to make their stakeholders happy. Technology is evolving faster than most of the people are capable of and willing to keep up with. I know a whole bunch of people who ask me „why everything has to change all the time“, in regards to features that already exist since a couple of years and in regards to UI paradigms that were introduced many years ago. Of course, technology evolves and everything is changing more rapidly than ever before. But there a whole lot of people that are left far behind. Changes are either happening too fast, or there is a huge lack of thinking about how people should be guided to learn all the new things without telling them they’re stupid because the tool you show them is just too damn complicated to use. I think it’s a bit of both, with a lot of stress on the latter.

We can’t expect the users to know everything. They can’t. We need to watch them use the stuff we make and learn from them what it means to use something like a normal person would. We need to build the apps we want them to use actually for them, not for us. If there are issues we can’t solve for them, we need to make sure to guide them and not leave them stranded. Our products are our problem, not the users‘. That’s nothing new of course, yet we always forget. These problems are decades old and everybody involved knows about it, yet we always make the same mistakes. We need to try harder.

Late Pet Projects

Well… sometimes putting something on hold for too long has consequences. My stalled pet projects have been sitting around for too long. Others had the same ideas in the meantime. Before starting new development on those apps, I checked the App Store whether there are any new competitors since I last checked. There always were a few that did similar things like I had in mind, but they were all terrible. The situation changed and for each of my ideas there is one app that does exactly what I wanted to build. Even more so, they do it in exactly the same way that I had in mind. So… if I would go on and build what I want, I would basically just create the same apps that already exist and make it look like I just copied them.

Now I need to think about what I should do. Will I create them and use them as my own private tools, or will I finally drop those ideas. I guess the nagging will stop, now that what I wanted is already there. I’m not quite sure yet but there are two sides to this. On one hand it’s frustrating, because those apps could have been my apps. On the other hand, I have free space in my brain for new projects now. I think that’s the way I want to see it. I already deleted all the old cruft of those projects. I can think of new things I would like to try to create and see how realistic they are.

I already have something in mind. It’s probably nothing the public will desperately need, but it will solve a real pain point for me. I think I’ll go for it and dig around for some information on how to do it…

Until someone else has the same idea and beats me again 😉

Stalled Pet Projects

They nag me. They lie around for several years, nagging me, telling me that I want and need them. These pet projects are seemingly important to me and I have two that I count as the good ones which could actually be used by others as well. They‘re not necessarily huge App Store successes, there’s a lot missing to become that. But maybe I could make a few dollars with them. And if not, the nagging would stop… at least for a while… maybe… hopefully.

But I know how much time it really takes to finish and polish an app. It always seems like it would only take a couple of hours, maybe one or two weeks. Tops! But then you start looking at the details. You see that this feature could be realized a little bit differently. And while you’re at it, why don’t you just quickly add this other thing! It sure won’t take that long! Or, does it?

Then there might be a break for a couple of weeks because life gets in the way or you just are not in the mood to code every single night because you code 10 hours a day at work… Fast forward a couple of years and there is the first thing I really wanted to build but still sits unfinished on my computer, nagging me from time to time. It’s old now. I learned so much in the meantime. Even if it wouldn’t be an outdated programming language I would want to completely rewrite it from scratch.

I found my first sketches of wireframes for the first app idea a few weeks ago. They were four years old. I threw them away. I threw the code away too, it was old anyway. But the nagging is still there.

Hey! Pssst! It‘s me! I know that you know that I‘m still here! And I know that you know that I will stay! So...? What do you say?!

I‘m going to get rid of it. I‘ll start over with one of my projects and see where it will lead to.

Parental Leave

I know it‘s a privilege here in Germany to be able to take some - or even a lot of - time off of work to take care of your children. It‘s even more privileged to receive money while not working during that time. It’s also not very common to be able to get a paid parental leave if you’re the father. So, we‘re lucky to live in a country with great social-, health- and family-care!

I also am lucky to work for a company that fully supports parental leaves and which is able to absorb a colleague who’s not available for an extended period of time. I know other fathers working for smaller companies are facing heavy resistance to this from their colleagues and bosses. So again, I‘m lucky!

My daughter is just over one year old now and I am back to work from parental leave for the second time. I took two months off earlier this year when we went on a long trip to Canada. Of course I don‘t think that she will remember any of it, but I think it’s important to show her the world as early as possible. She will learn from early on that the world is huge, that there are lots of different people and ways of living. That there is more than just our small town where we live with the forest next door where we often take her for a walk. She can only benefit from it and for us as a family it was a great way to spend as much time as possible together, to grow and to learn our way of parenting and handling the day-to-day business of it. We sure had a great time and I wouldn’t want to miss any of it.

For the last two months the situation was different… After more than ten months at home, my partner started working again and I was alone with our daughter most of the day until she came home from work. That’s a totally different experience! Suddenly I was the responsible person. I needed to prepare the food and make sure there’s some action happening. Everything that needed to be done and makes the baby happy. I did this before as well of course, but now it was my fulltime job to be a dad. It‘s a hard job. I would even say it‘s much harder than my normal day job and I have the greatest respect for everyone who stays at home for several years to take care of the kids.

But it‘s also much more gratifying than anything else I‘ve done during my worklife! It‘s great! Being there for this cute little thing day in and day out. You learn a lot during that time… about the baby, about you, about your family. You learn that there are things way more important than showing up in the office every morning. Of course it is nerve wracking at times and I do need a break from time to time, but things have changed now. It’s a totally different connection.

On my second day back at work I had a conference call with colleagues in California. Naturally it was pretty late for me already when I left the office and when I came back home, my daughter was already in bed, ready to sleep. It was rough! She was around me nearly 24 hours for the last two months, and now all of a sudden I barely saw her the whole day. It was heartbreaking.

I realize this is a mediocre summary of what I will remember as being one of the best times of my life, but it really was a great experience and I’m very grateful that I had this opportunity. I would recommend every parent to do the same. It will help you, your kid, your partner and all of you as a family. Spend as much time as possible with your child! Take that time and don’t care about the money. I had my four months of parental leave and I wouldn’t mind to take another four. But we live in a time where it is hard for a family to live on one salary. Although I can imagine to regret this in a few blinks of an eye when she will be 18 and living far away from me to go to university. Time flies… I have no idea how the last year went by so quickly… and it scares me.

Photo Challenge, Day 6: Seasonal - Last week was St. Martin‘s day. We walked through town with our lanterns, had the first Glühwein of the year and enjoyed the autumn atmosphere.

That Time I Went to NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of the year again… November is near and NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I get excited about it since two or three years now, but I think I remember to have first heard of it already sometime around 2010. I liked the idea that you sit down each day for a month to write and at the end of it you have written your own novel. I knew that it would not be a finished book and that the whole idea is to get an early first draft ready during that time… just writing, not looking back, not listening to your inner critic and putting down 50000 words in one month. It took me some time to be brave enough to try it out myself though. I had no big ideas for a novel and I couldn’t imagine that one can just sit down, start writing and hope for the best. But somehow it got stuck in my head and so I decided to give it a try.

Two years ago I went for it. I knew that this November would not be the best month to do it, because I already had planned some weekend trips and had some appointments scheduled in the evenings, but I decided that I would make it work. I started to think about stories, put some ideas in mind maps to get a bigger picture and I even tried to outline some parts of it. When the 1st of November arrived I had some content to start with layed out in my head and I already prepared myself by doing some writing exercises. But then I chickened out. I started to think that everything is too complex, at least for my very first try to write a novel. It needed more preparation. It seemed I am a planner, not a pantser. The material I prepared is not lost, it’s still on my computer, waiting to be brought to life… and who knows… maybe I will do it some day!

But my mission was still there! I wanted to be part of this NaNoWriMo and though it seemed I’m a planner, I tried to run with another idea I had in mind but did not elaborate on. It was a good idea to start with and although I didn’t really know where it was going I was excited to see where it will take me. Maybe I’m a pantser overall?!

And so I sat down on November 3rd (those weekend trips!) and started writing. This is a post I put on my old blog, describing how my first day went. I put this on this site because I think it’s a great reference to how I felt during the process. And it’s interesting to see how feelings and memories change when you look back on the same thing two years later. Back then I totally ignored the fact that I planned a whole other novel before I started with this story. Crazy, but I was excited! It also shows what’s so great about NaNoWriMo… to sit down, write your story and to see the characters evolve. When you totally dive into it, your brain comes up with things you would have never thought of. At least I never thought that this is really possible, but then I experienced it on my own. I didn’t know that story I was writing and I had an idea where it might be going. But it turned out that the characters really were on their own and I just put into words what they wanted to do. Thinking about it, this really sounds esoteric… but it really works!

I managed to write about 13500 words. That’s a bit more than a week of NaNoWriMo. I also tried to write a little journal about my experience. Here’s another example. I came to a point where it felt like I drained my brain of ideas for this story. I was somehow exhausted. And after another weekend trip and some more busy days I lost the thread. Sadly, enough excuses to make a break. Sadly, I never went back to it. But I’m not sad I didn’t manage to write for the whole month. I’m actually kind of happy that I did try it out. I learned a lot and it was fun! When reading that manuscript it’s comically bad somehow. But that’s the point of NaNoWriMo… Get the story written, make it better afterwards. And that’s something I could do. The story itself isn’t that bad, it’s just the writing and the storytelling that needs improvement.

I know that I will never have enough time this year to really try it again… but I might try to just start another story, or dig out those mind maps and outlines of this other novel I had in mind back then. I’m not sure. All I know is that I feel that itch again and if it’s not this time, it might be next year or maybe I’ll just start writing on my own without the events and the community that’s built around it. I can only recommend to everyone who ever thought of writing a book to give it a shot. NaNoWriMo might not be the best fit for everybody, but it sure gives you a great feeling when you write the first chapters of your book! Nobody can take this away from you, so why not just sit down and start! As they say:

The world needs your novel

We Are the 87%

The result of the election last Sunday was as I expected.

A far-right party is the third strongest party in the parliament now. Roughly 13% voted for them. Funny enough, they are the most successful in the areas with very few foreigners and refugees. I don‘t know why especially these people vote for more nationalism. The area where they are most successful is Saxony. I heard a radio interview, telling that an average kid in Saxony gets about 40 hours of political education during their time in school, starting at an age where many already left school. 40 hours of political education compared to an average of over 200 hours in the rest of Germany. This might not be the single reason, but it sure hints to a huge problem there. Of course there is a general problem in our country and the way some people think, and Germany isn‘t an exception… we see similar things for example in Hungary, Austria, France and of course the UK with its Brexit. It‘s a worldwide problem and it‘s unclear to me where all this will lead us.

I was very angry about those results. A few days passed now, but it’s still the same. And it will take some time to realize what all this means. But I do know that the other 87% in this country can’t sit around and do nothing. We have to show those 13% what a life in our times should look like and tell them that their hate speech and world view is unacceptable. This is not who we are; who we became. This is not what our history, especially as Germans, has told us. We have to fight for our democracy.

One of their (stolen) slogans is: „We are the people!“. Their main candidate after the election said: „We will take our nation and our people back! We will hunt Angela Merkel!“. And they have even more idiots shouting even more stupid things out of their mouths. Let me tell you this: we are not their people and this is not their country. They might try to ruin our country, but they will fail.

Star Trek: Discovery

I got to see the first couple of minutes of the new Star Trek: Discovery series. I didn’t hear a lot about it up until now, but I also wasn’t really searching for reviews or opinions. I was a huge fan of Star Trek when I was a bit younger. Deep Space Nine will forever be special to me.

I really liked TNG and also Voyager, although I realize that there are some really strange episodes and characters in it. After Deep Space Nine my interest gradually declined. I never was a big fan of the Star Trek movies and I never saw a single episode of Enterprise for example. But this time I’m somehow excited to get something new.

I’m really looking forward to this series! And considering that this is Star Trek, I’m pretty sure it is better that I did not hear anything about it yet 😉 The first couple of minutes were promising to me! The first characters seem interesting, the setting seems to be good and the visuals are amazing. I’m not so sure about the Klingons yet… I guess the costume design was inspired by the Orks of Lord of the Rings. I’m curious how this will develop… The start looks very promising to me!

Fun fact: In Germany the series is aired by Netflix. The funny part is that it is one of those shows promoted as a Netflix Original, but it’s actually not a Netflix show at all. I know they do this often and somehow understand the reasoning behind it, but I think it doesn’t make any sense 😉

Election Day

It’s Sunday, election day… and I’m scared. I’m afraid this might be a turning point for our lives here in Germany. It’s the election where an extreme right party might become the third strongest party in our parliament. The people in this party are among the worst our country brings forth. The AfD (Alternative für Deutschland – Alternative for Germany) and the whole movement behind it is horrifying. Lots of people will vote for them because they are not satisfied with the current government and politics in general. I’m afraid they have no idea what this party stands for or who the people are that run for it. The fascists, the nationalists the Neonazis… it’s horrifying. These people in our parliament is the worst that happened to our country since World War 2.

Those who vote for them will have to explain to our children what they did and why they looked away. „We didn’t know anything“ is no excuse this time. It’s just not. We know! And we have to do everything we can to prevent the world they want us to live in!

I hope the election will not turn out as everybody expects. I hope their influence will be low. I hope our future won’t be their future. I hope I won’t have to explain to my daughter some day why we went backwards in 2017 and why nobody did anything against it.

Follow Up: "Why I Failed at Blogging"

It hasn’t been too long until I got the first couple of responses to my last post! First of all it’s great to see people reacting to what I write. It makes me think I’m on the right path here. (Shush if you don’t think so 😉)

Manton picked up on the part about caring too much about the stats:

If all that drives you is the number of likes on a tweet, or subscribers to your podcast, it’s easy to get discouraged when the numbers don’t pan out. Or worse, overthink your writing when you know a bunch of people are paying attention.

In my case it was both, maybe a bit more about the overthinking. Thinking if what you write will make a certain group of people satisfied or upset changes the way you write and will all too often lead to a dead end. It’s not becoming the text you were thinking about, but rather the text you think others might be judging nicely and maybe give you a like for it on Facebook.

Everyone has something to say. Write because you love it, or to become a better writer, or to develop an idea.

I’m not sure what I have to say yet, but I hope I will have something 😉And loving to write and trying to become a better writer is exactly what I will do around here!

Colin Walker reacted to some different aspects, especially tinkering around and pet projects:

Both of these can actually be good sources for blogging as you can write up your thoughts and progress as you go which, by their very nature, are definitely not in perfect territory.

That’s definitely true! Although for me I always felt like even more work to also write about my pet projects. When I work on an app for example, I totally immerse in it, coding until 4am. Until I can get back to it the other day there are already new ideas on how to go on and improve. Writing about it would have stopped my flow. I would write about it when I’m done or when I found a solution to a hard problem. I feel like this might help others out. On the other hand, when you’re stuck trying to solve a problem or finding new ideas, writing about it will almost definitely help to find the way forward!

Colin also linked to one of his posts: Why We Need Short Form Content on Our Blogs, making a case for short form content on blogs and why it isn’t a good idea to only have long articles on a blog. This was a reaction to Chris Lovie-Tyler:

When I first started blogging, it felt like the expectation was that blog posts should be about 500 words

That was exactly my feeling. I even tried to get it way above 500. And it’s wrong. Shorter posts can sometimes be more valuable than long articles. It’s not possible to write thousands of words on every topic on a blog. And who says that people even enjoy reading it if it’s too long. I have the feeling that long articles are not very popular anymore these days. It takes time to read and people think they don’t have that time.

Getting to the point, sharing the message is more important. If it needs more words, do it! If not, just leave it as short as it needs to be.

Why I Failed at Blogging

One of the biggest purposes of my blog is to improve my writing and find out in which direction I should go with it. Now that I have a vague idea of some rules I like to set for myself and this site, I wondered how I could make it work this time.

I had a couple of blogs in the past, all of which are offline now. I wrote in bursts… there might be a few months where I posted a lot, but then there would be silence for the rest of the year. The question is: What can I do to improve this? I thought about reasons I did loose interest in continued writing on my blogs. I always enjoyed it, but why was I not able to keep up? I thought about some points:

I’m a Tinkerer

Every time I set up a blog, I wrote some posts and immediately found a couple of points where either the process of posting could be improved, the theme could be tweaked or some feature could be added. Last year I created a whole new page design using Hugo from scratch. The posting process was pretty easy considering all the tools I used in the background. But after everything was set up and smoothed out, the number of posts went down.

I took a different approach this time. I started tinkering around for a new blog yet again, until Jack Baty wrote that he just wants everyone to start blogging again. It hit me… what am I doing here? Playing around with stuff that doesn’t matter. So I went to the Hugo page, looked for a new, very simple design I liked and put it on my server. There is no process of posting. It’s very manual and requires me to log into a server and run some tools on a command line. Something probably nobody else would like to do. But maybe this is the part for the tinkerer inside me that keeps me concentrated on writing instead of improving the process to death.

Enough tinkering. More writing.

I Put Pressure on Myself

I always felt like I have to put something out there… I just needed to! I wanted people to read all the things, all the time. I thought about all the topics I could write about, ending up in a really long list that would never get touched. Once I started working on a series of posts on a single topic and talked to friends about it. I didn’t necessarily want to finish these posts, now I needed to finish these posts. It wasn’t just for fun anymore. In a way I committed myself to finish the story. Two years later that story is still only a draft.

It’s a hobby and again… I do this for myself, for fun. Sometimes committing to do something, going out there and telling people what you work on, can help to get it done. For me, when it comes to writing, it’s hindering me. There won’t be any commitments anymore. I won’t overthink everything too much. Let’s go from one post to the next and see where the journey takes us.

Less commitments. More writing.

I Stared at the Stats

When using Wordpress, it’s easy to get the basic numbers of interest: how many visitors, from which part of the world etc. The next level is Google Analytics… what a plethora of settings and numbers! I stared at them all the time after a new post went up, it was exhausting. I thought about which posts get more visitors, what times are better to publish etc. It’s not directly the problem why I didn’t write more regularly, but it’s a reason why I don’t care about any stats anymore: it’s a distraction. There are no Google Analytics or anything enabled, and if I want analytics back at some point it will be something else.

Less thinking. More writing.

There’s Always Another Pet Project

I’m a software developer and used to play around during my spare time a lot. I worked on an app here and there, looked at ways to improve my toolchain or learned about new techniques. It all took time and it all was well worth it, but is also took away time I had left to write. Since our recent addition to my family, priorities changed and I don’t look at any pet projects anymore. Work and family does not allow for any side projects at the moment. This means, that even if it’s a small amount, I can dedicate a lot more time than before to writing.

More time. More writing.

I’m Not a Journalist

A good blog post is long, profound, good to read and just excellent in general. At least that‘s what I told myself. I wanted the text to be as good as I can make it. Of course my capabilities were limited, but I tried hard. Part of the pressure I put on myself came from the fact that I often tried to write a journalistic article instead of just getting something out the door. And already while writing these lines I can feel it sneaking in: reading back ten times, moving things around, changing sentences, adding more bullet points… let’s wrap this thing up.

Less perfection. More writing.

So… these are of course just some issues I had in the past. Thinking about them and finding ways to cope with them in the future will hopefully help to keep up the writing mood I’m currently in. And to not give this blog a theme of self-treatment, I’ll better leave the introduction phase with this. I should start blogging now! On to new adventures!

A Blog Definition

You do what? What is blogging? But... Why? I don‘t get it.

I had some conversations like this in the past. “Normal people“ don‘t understand why anybody would take a relatively large amount of time to write about whatever and put it somewhere on the internet, exposing themselves, giving away a lot of private information. Should I try to explain it to them? Would they understand? I know about all the good reasons for blogs, microblogs, adding and owning content etc. But do normal people understand or even care? I’m not sure about that. I’m sure they should know about it. But there’s a lot of work to do in the future and I’m not sure I’m the right person to preach it. I’ll try my best.

But what am I actually doing here? What do I write about and why? I also don’t get it. But it’s a journey. I like to write, I want to become better at it and there’s no further explanation needed for me. It’s fun. You have your hobbies, I have mine.

Before I went and set up this new site I thought about these questions… What am I writing, why and how? And to some extend I am like Gary the Privacy Concern Clown 🤡 here. I hesitate to put out very opinionated texts. I did not write anything of substance at all in probably two years. I removed all content from all my domains. I basically quit Twitter, deleting roughly 6000 tweets and now more or less only use it to be up to date on the latest Trump-Outrage of the day. I rarely post to Facebook anymore, that whole platform is only corporate-, sports- or ad-related content; I can’t find anything posted by my “friends“ there since a very long time. In short: I don‘t want the whole world to know too much about me. I don‘t want search engines to link to my sites. I don‘t want crawlers to save everything I put out there for eternity. What I would like is for “normal people“ to read what I write, but still maintain some sort of privacy.

But how I get people to read it then? I don‘t know. We’ll see. It’s still new around here. Maybe it’s even better if nobody notices it. And in the end it all comes down to one thing: I want to write. If people read it, great! If they like it, even better! If nobody sees it, also ok for me (at least for now). I do this for myself, not to become famous or anything.

Staying private yet putting stuff out there is a bit of a contradiction. But I made my experiences in the past. I read some of my old stuff of my old blog(s). I’m still proud of some posts, but some are hard to read. It’s painful in a way. Therefore I need rules and I need to take care of them.

But what should I write about then? Aren’t blogs opinionated? Maybe a tech blog? Some software development stuff, How-Tos, Intros and Guides? This might help to reach more people, but it’s a very narrow field and it’s a lot of work. I did try some of these out, and it’s really time consuming. It has to be more or less the one single topic of the whole blog, otherwise it’s just not worth it. So… for this and many other reasons… this will not be a tech and/or development blog. There might be the occasional comment on something, but then it’s just a side note.

I’m not a Link-Blog person. Commenting on other blogs is also not my thing. Although I really do enjoy others commenting on other people’s blog posts. I just don’t think that I can add much value there. I’m also not sure how much value I can add to my own posts though. I like to compose longer texts, but this is a lot of work and it takes time for refinement. On one hand this is a problem, on the other hand this is also an area for improvement. And again… this is what this is all about.

If you haven‘t noticed: I‘m German. I‘m pretty sure all of my writing is full of grammatical errors and misspellings. Please be kind… I do my best and hope at least some of it makes sense 😉 I try to stay English, but some things are probably irrelevant for non-Germans or just too hard for me to translate and formulate, so there might be the occasional German text. Beware! It will be loud, cruel and horrific! 😉

Considering all this I came to these conclusions:

  • Stay positive! It’s a rant? It doesn’t belong here.
  • Stay away from very opinionated posts. I know I will break this rule with one of the next posts already, but I don’t want this to get out of control. If it is one of those posts, there has to be a good reason for it.
  • It’s not about a single topic. I will explore what I want to write about and don’t think too much about it.
  • Short posts will stay over at Micro.blog. Longer posts will be put here. I enjoy writing, I want to get better. This blog is all about that.
  • It’s for fun, not work.
  • I don’t care about stats.

That’s my definition of my new blog. But if anyone asks me why I do this, I’ll just say: „Why not?“

Lagom

Ever since I learned the Swedish language for my time at a university in this beautiful country, there was one word that especially spoke to me. It probably is the word that describes the Swedish culture the best. It’s not just a word… it’s a way of life, a way of thinking. I somehow feel connected to it.

It’s a word that does not have a clear translation to other languages. It’s unique. If you want to tell somebody what it means, you have to explain it because it means nothing, and everything, and everything in between.

Lagom

When you search the internet for this, there are many different translations. It almost seems like everyone has her own interpretation of what it means. At least so do I. While I was looking it up again the other day, I read the Wikipedia article about it, which tells you:

Lagom (pronounced ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm) is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount”.

And that’s it. Just the right amount. Not too much, not too little. Not too loud, not to quiet. Not too hot, not too cold. It’s a word of reasoning. It speaks to my nature.

In these times – and to me it feels like especially within the last couple of years or maybe even decades – everything is overhyped, everything is the best, the most amazing thing ever; or the worst, the crappiest, the most unnecessary and stupid thing of all times. Everything is extreme. Everything else is boring. We need to be fast, we need to know everything and be experts in everything. I feel exhausted from all of this.

Lagom. You really should let it sink in and think about this word. „Lagom är best“… „Lagom is the best“. The right amount is the best. Not too much is the best. Not too little is the best. Normal is the best.

Whereas words like sufficient and average suggest some degree of abstinence, scarcity, or failure, lagom carries the connotation of appropriateness, although not necessarily perfection.

To me, it is a very positive word. I think it doesn’t mean that one should not strive to do great work, write amazing things, be great to other people… it means that we should think about what really matters to us. Maybe just the right amount of anything is the key to be happy and successful.

And with this kind of mindset I wish to see this blog exist. That’s why it’s called Think Lagom. It surely will not be the greatest blog ever. Heck, barely anyone will probably notice it. Maybe it will see a couple of posts each week, maybe it will see a post every other month. I don’t know where this is going. It’s new, it’s shiny, yet imperfect. At the moment, it’s just lagom and that’s the way I want it to be.

Left the office for two full months! Feels not too bad 😉