Friday, July 21, 2017

Apple Music "All Time Favorite" Playlist.

I was inspired by Shannon's 10-Pack of Songs.  So here is a link to an "All Time Favorite" playlist of mine on Apple Music.


Sorry if you don't have Apple Music - It's what I use.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ingénue



I recently tweeted a link to this great NPR interview with K.D. Lang about the 25th anniversary of Ingénue. It is really worth a listen, especially if you have an appreciation for this album or any of Lang's work.

I finally got the 25th anniversary edition and it's worth every penny.

I've been in love with this album since it was originally released.  I didn't think there was anything wrong with the album. But, this remaster is so full and vibrant, making an album I already loved even better.  The 2nd disc is a MTV Unplugged performance of most of the songs. It's a great companion to this wonderful album.

I know and like people that don't like this album. It's ok for them to be wrong.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Remix)

Sgt. Pepper's was recorded 50 years ago at the beginning of June.  To commemorate this a stereo remix was released.  AHHHHHHHHHHH!! WTF Why?  Well it turns out, we should have been listening to the mono version all this time.  The original stereo mix was done hastily and with the idea that it was a novelty.  Things have changed quite a bit over the years.  But, don't take my word for it. Listen to this great interview on All songs considered with Giles Marten.

This is an amazing  gift for anyone that likes this amazing album.  Everything you thought you knew about the album is fresh and new.  You will discover things about the music that you never heard before, and your appreciation of this album and amazing band will grow even more.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

iOS 11 Beta 1 and the iPad Pro

I took the unrecommended step of installing the iOS 11 beta on my iPad Pro last night.  I normally wait till the 3rd or 4th beta before taking a look at whats new. This time things are different.  I could not wait to give the dramatic changes to the OS a try.

A small disclaimer first, do not try this at home, i'm what you call a professional. This is an early beta and I have already experienced a few unexplainable crashes. It was entirely likely that my iPad could have turned into an unresponsive block of aluminum. There were multiple reports of developers being unable to use their devices after the install.

DO NOT INSTALL THIS ON YOUR MAIN DEVICE!


Here are some of my initial impressions.

Files

The iCloud Drive app is now a part of a new application called Files. This is a major change by Apple that will vastly improve productivity on iOS.  It's still an early beta though and there are some issues with knowing where a file you save is going.  I did not see a way to control where saved files go first? I also do not understand how the new "On my iPad" section works. Hopefully this will become clear as new functionality is completed and bugs are fixed.

The Dock

Big changes to the dock, functionality was intuitive. Seems to work very well without any apparent bugs.  One of those changes that seems obvious after you see it.  I could see some variation of this coming to the iPhone in the future.

Multitasking Improvements

This works in conjunction with the new Dock, but it took me a bit to figure out how to use the new multitasking gestures. I ended up having to Google it. Overall I think these changes make it easier to use multitasking on the iPad. However, I think there may be some ways to make things easier to discover, maybe a tutorial video that you can watch when you first update?

Drag and Drop

This is another tent-pole feature that should have been here from day one. This will help to increase the number of people who are able to use an iPad as their primary computing device. Works like you would expect, drag selected text, images, etc... The applications have to support it, but I'm sure every app will as soon as possible.

Apple Pencil

I don't have the new iPad Pro yet, so I can't see how the new refresh rates impact drawing and writing responsiveness yet.  The new markup features in the Notes app and in multiple other locations are big improvement. I'm sure these changes will make the Apple Pencil a required accessory for anyone trying get work done on the iPad. It's not just for people that want to draw or take a few hand written notes.   

Being able to search for hand written notes is a game changer for me, and may drive me back to the notes app from Notability.  I hope they are able to take advantage of some of these features.



I can't wait to explore the other changes in iOS 11. I was already using my iPad daily. These changes make it an even more important tool for me.  Now, if they can figure out how I can to desktop style development tasks on an iPad without feeling like I have one hand tied behind my back...

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Element

Since I switched to the Fostex T50RP headphones, I have been having an issue with my "at work" DAC / AMP the Aune X1S. The Aune is just not powerful enough for the T50s.  These are seriously power hungry headphones and maxing an AMP out is never a good idea.  The Aune is great amp/DAC combo, but not for this usage.

So, I switched to JDS Labs The Element. More than capable of powering any pair of headphones you throw at it. There is something addicting about the large volume knob on top of The Element.  It's a good feel interface that is superbly made.  I also love that the DAC remains active with the power switch off.  So my externally powered speakers can make use of it when I'm not using the headphones, and I do not have to unplug them.

Here is a review of The Element by user ZeosPantera. This should cover what I have not.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

I'm starting to agree

I have been doing more JavaScript programming over the last few years that I would ever have imagined.  Node JS and React have really changed the way I think about programming.  I can honestly say I would prefer to create a web application with NodeJS, SailsJS, EJS, and React over Java, Spring, and JSP.   Know there are other options and variations on these. But, the JavaScript based stacks is just more enjoyable, and more importantly quicker for me.   Realizing and acclimating to this new reality is an on going process.

I was just sent these two articles today. I should have already been aware of.  If you haven't read them yet, give them some attention, there are some interesting ideas to mull over.

The Two Pillars of JavaScript - PT 1,  and PT2.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Chromebook Solution

I decided to get another Chromebook to "play" with.  The first one I had was impressive, but I gave that one away.  When I heard that google was bringing Android apps to the Chromebook platform I decided to give it another go.

I got the Acer Convertible Chromebook R11. It's plastic, small, cheap, and more importantly it feels fast and responsive.  I'm not sure I'll use it in tablet mode much, but having the touch screen will be nice when the Google Play Store is added.

For many people a Chromebook would be all the computer they need.  Email, browsing, social apps, messaging, and basic productivity tools are all available. With increased security and the ability to reset the device at anytime and you have a nearly perfect machine for most normal computer users.

If you are a developer who needs more out of a machine then you still have options on the Chromebook.  You can put it in "Developer mode" get to a shell and install linux via crouton.  It can really be fun to embrace the limitations of this platform and try to get work done with different tools and in different ways.  Limited memory and storage are probably the biggest problems you will have to deal with.

Overall, I'm really happy with this device.  I'll keep it to goof around with and to take on trips when I don't want to risk taking my macbook.  I would also highly recommend this or another version of Chromebook to anyone looking for a new computer for normal daily use.  they are simple, fast, and easy.