January 04, 2020

Second run experience

I went for my second run this year today. The sun was shining wonderfully, and the chilling wind was only able to reach me during the shorter parts in the beginning and end where I was not in the forest. I have not by far explored all my running options here. I am, for example, pretty certain I have not found the quickest way to get from home and to an actual forest trail. I have, however, found a convenient way to do so, and I have also found a running route which I can easily extend to any distance I like.

Funnily enough, that convenient route is probably at least as long as the quickest route I had to the forest before we moved, but somehow it feels easier and more natural to go from here. The ease of extending the route also might be helping me get back to longer runs - I have extended it slightly each time, and a half-marathon distance is already starting to feel quite within reach.

It sure feels nice to get home feeling that certain tiredness from a long run, especially when the day allows for pulling a chair into a sunny and protected corner for a short rest before heading indoors to shower.

This new route is probably my hilliest yet. I begin at almost the lowest point, go down to the very lowest point within the first kilometer, and then it is pretty much all uphill for many kilometers. I think that might actually work to my advantage mentally, because whenever I decide to turn back toward home I know I have already done the vast majority of the hard work.

In other news

Two 40% keyboards, one split Two 40% keyboards, one split

I have more small keyboards, more keycaps, and more soldering experience than ever before. More on that later.

(No idea what that garbled look over on the right is, but I have seen another Iphone near me produce a similar thing. Bugs? Bad camera circumstances? Bit rot?)

December 29, 2019

A great gadget

This might be my favourite computer of the decade:

Ipad mini 2 from 2013, still going strong Ipad mini 2 from 2013, still going strong

This is my Ipad mini 2 from, I think with decent certainty, December of 2013. It can no longer run the latest versions of IOS, it is dented, the screen cracked in places, and it is getting seriously slow at starting and switching between apps.

Oh, and there is no touch or face ID so I have to type passcodes like an animal all the time.

Somehow, all that sort of fades away because it is still such a joy to hold and use. When this Ipad was new, I was at my height of dreaming of being a one-device (plus phone) person. Now that the updated mini does pencil support, I could easily see one being my One Ipad again, and I can dream once more of one being my One Device. Xcode for Ipad, how far off can it possibly be?

On the other hand, I feel more like getting a really powerful stationary computer than I have in years. Developing with serious horsepower backing a huge retina-grade monitor. Perhaps even playing a game or two without stutter, drained battery and/or screaming fans?

A really powerful stationary computer and an Ipad mini, how cool would that be for a personal setup?

In any case, this mini has served me really well. For a while, podcast recording and editing was about the only thing I used a laptop for at home. Oh, and rare bits of coding and updating this site of course. I guess I was not all that one-device even at that peak. Oh well, I was closer anyway. I bought a keyboard which also sparks joy and used the combination a whole lot.

My Macbook has done its share of joy-sparking too, not least when compared to other fan-monsters for size and weight. But it has never approaced the total level of joy sparked by this mini. I thought its time was all but over though, as it has spent the last few years mostly left in various corners, sometimes as a Spotify provider for a kitchen speaker.

For some strange reason, I have rediscovered it after my latest move. Perhaps a larger space makes it more relevant to have another device strewn about for easy access. Perhaps it is the smallest alternative to the phone I try to pick up as little as I can. And perhaps the larger Ipad gets used by other people more often. Whatever the reasons: I am finding myself using it a lot again, loving the size, finding myself dragging it around the place a silly amount because I happened to start listening to something on it rather than the phone.

Also: how and why is the battery still so good on it? I know my Macbook of similar vintage has held up very well too, is this what all modern batteries are like?

December 10, 2019

The sound of air escaping

A flat bike tire clearly took all the air out of me this afternoon.

Granted, it happened right at the usual low point of the day mood-wise: making the discovery just as I was leaving the office in the afternoon always has a good chance of setting something like this off. But it feels unusual not to recover a bit more at least once some dinner has been had. I think with peak darkness of the year the adults in the family hit the same slump at once and that changed the equation a bit.

(New tire valves are on the shopping list. I am hopeful the tire is not actually punctured, because I was kind of mean to the valve when I pumped the tires the other day. Seemed like it had got stuck in a closed position, which explains a lot of frustrated pumping on my part.)

Still, I am working my way back from it ever so slowly. Some light reading, and now the impulse to write this which made me dig up my beloved Spider monkey and Logitech keyboard. After some nervous bluetooth pairing problems everything seems to be working just as well as it always has, and the full-screen experience with a twelve-inch Ipad and Drafts or Editorial is just the kind of calm a winter-tired evening mind needs.

On the other hand: perhaps it is good to not work back too much. Perhaps it is better to lean into the tiredness, have an early evening and get better odds for tomorrow? Not that I usually manage to pull tricks like that off, but there is a first time for everything. Right?

In other news my split 40% keyboard seems to finally be on its way. The amount of time I spend on my customized small keyboard at work keeps tripping me up just a little when I use other keyboards (which I currently do at any point I type something outside of work), and of course all the regular keyboard time is no help for improving on the small keyboards either.

So I think I am still an all over worse typist now than when I started using the KBD4X. But I still am having fun with pretty much every key stroke, and I look forward to getting a second small keyboard so I can shift the balance even more in its favor. I am sure entirely new and interesting snags will appear, like the major problem of deciding which keyboard lives where.

(My current thinking is split keyboard at work, standard one at home.)

Side note: so to rebuild my site and upload this I think to myself that it is time to get the "real computer". Funny how that "real computer" is a Macbook of similar screen size and technically inferior to this Ipad in probably every single other way.

December 08, 2019

Exercise finished?

The watch asks if my exercise is over.

Foolish gadget, I just moved into a house.

My exercise will not ever be over.

One of the advantages of moving is a lot more space. And what is the natural thing to do when I find myself in a pretty empty room with a few minutes to spare?

Play a round of Beat saber, of course.

More space to move without worry turns out to make the game even more fun, to a degree I had not anticipated at all. I usually stand pretty still when playing, but the game does of course track my movement. When you start to move your feet and arms more freely, it becomes even more of a fun dance (and a even better workout), but it struck me that the ability to take a step backward has a major gameplay impact. Suddenly, I can gain some extra tenths of a second to hit the next blocks by moving backward. That extra little bit of flexibility is just fantastic in the difference it makes.

A lot of this might of course be entirely in my head, effects of being able to move more and simply have more fun. But I have set new personal records on every song I have tried, so I imagine there is an actual benefit too.

Good times!

I have not had the time to try Robo recall yet, but I imagine the increase in fun factor is as great or even greater there.

(I also have the final episode of Vader immortal waiting for me, for some rainy day like this were we are not busy relaxing on the couch, enjoying the patter of rain drops on the windows and the wind rustling the trees.)

November 23, 2019

Finite numbers

Biking uphill on my way home, it struck me that there is a very limited number of times left of this particular uphill bike ride. Soon, there will instead be an unknown number of trips along a completely different route. Including, yes, a completely different uphill climb to get home. I keep imagining that it is a bit less steep, but it will probably be more than enough to get the heart pumping.

One previously infinite number became finite and started counting down, while a new and currently infinite number appeared right in line behind it.

Fun to happen to notice a change like this before it actually happens. While the numbers are still counting.