🎶 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…

Home-home for the weekend.

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.

Here’s a phone that’s cheap and actually built under fair conditions. Just sayin’…

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.

This is why I don’t paste any photos of my daughter anywhere. NYT video about „Sharenting“

We actually went to the farm where animals are sent to die 😉

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

Very nice! I was just wondering what I would do if I went Linux fulltime. Apple Launches Web-Based Music App as Public Beta - MacStories

The Don’t be Evil thing is long gone. Google tracking users with hidden web pages

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 🙃