movie-dark-knight-rises.jpg
After being blamed for the death of Harvey Dent and going from hero to villain, Batman disappears. Things change with the arrival of a mysterious thief, catwoman, and Bane, a masked terrorist, who make Batman abandon his forced exile.

Me

  • Halloween Movies: Update (2016)

    Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown cover

    Back in 2014, I wrote a post about the Halloween movies that I tend to watch around this time of year. Since it has been a couple of years, I thought I would update the list to add additional movies that I end up watching. These movies follow into a few different categories, Parodies, Zombies, Diseases, Horror, Super Natural, Aliens, and “Other”. The new movies are denoted with a *.

    This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor do I end up watching all of these movies every year, but I do tend to watch a bunch of them. There may be some additional ones in the future, but, as of this writing, I have not yet watched them. The possible additions include: “Navy vs. Zombies”, “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”, and “Warm Bodies”.

    There are also a few “honorable mentions”. These include “Fido”, “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”, and “Zombeavers”. I have seen all three of these movies, but they have not yet made into the rotation. “Tucker and Dale” has a real shot to be added to the list.

    Aliens
    Attack the Block cover
    Attack the Block*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Battle: Los Angeles cover
    Battle: Los Angeles*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Cloverfield cover
    Cloverfield
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Cowboys and Aliens cover
    Cowboys & Aliens*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Paul cover
    Paul*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Signs cover
    Signs
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Skyline cover
    Skyline*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Super 8 cover
    Super 8*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Diseases
    Contaigon cover
    Contaigon
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Outbreak cover
    Outbreak
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Horror
    Scream cover
    Scream
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Scream 4 cover
    Scream 4
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Other
    Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown cover
    It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
    Amazon
    iTunes
    The Village cover
    The Village
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Parody
    Hot Fuzz cover
    Hot Fuzz
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Scary Movie cover
    Scary Movie*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Shaun of the Dead cover
    Shaun of the Dead
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Super Natural
    The Happening cover
    The Happening
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Hocus Pocus
    Hocus Pocus
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Knowing cover
    Knowing
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Something Wicked This Way Comes cover
    Something Wicked This Way Comes*
    Amazon
    Zombies
    cockneys-vs-zombies
    Cockneys vs. Zombies*
    Amazon
    iTunes
    The Crazies Cover
    The Crazies
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Dawn of the Dead Cover
    Dawn of the Dead
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Dead Snow Cover
    Dead Snow
    Amazon
    iTunes
    28 Days Later Cover
    28 Days Later
    Amazon
    iTunes
    28 Weeks Later Cover
    28 Weeks Later
    Amazon
    iTunes
    World War Z cover
    World War Z
    Amazon
    iTunes
    Zombieland Cover
    Zombieland
    Amazon
    iTunes
  • Reflecting On Change

    If you have been following the blog for a while, you may notice that I do not post many things about myself. When I originally setup the blog, I was posting about myself quite a bit. Some of these things were short posts. The type of items posted would be much better suited for a site like Twitter, which is where I post some of those things these days. Even with this being the norm, I do post things about myself on occasion. This is one of those posts. One of the types of posts that have become common is one where people quit their day job and go out on their own. Unfortunately, if you tuned in to see another person going independent, this is not one of those posts.

    The Change

    On March 30th, I handed in my resignation at my job. One might think “isn’t that a normal every day occurrence all across the country?” Well yes it is, but there is a reason why this is particularly noteworthy. If you know me at all, you may already know that I have only had one employer since entering the workforce, almost seventeen years ago. If this was the 1970’s or even the 1980’s, this length of time would not be too surprising. However, this is not the 1980, it is 2016.

    Being a “millennial” having the same employer for more than a few years, let alone the same job for that long, is rather atypical. It is very typical for people to move between jobs every few years. Needlessly to say, I am not your typical millennial. Even as a non-millennial having worked at the same place for seventeen years is not something you see as often as you might have forty years ago.

    Despite only having had only employer, I have held four different positions. The length of each position is as follows: 1 year and six months, 3 years and four months, 3 years and eight months, and 8 years and six months. The last two positions were within the department, meaning that my tenure in that department was 12 years and two months.

    The History

    My previous job was in Library IT. I started out as a shelver who put back books. This transformed to computer assistant, who helped the public and staff with their Internet and Microsoft Office issues. This gave way to not doing this at just one building, but at all four of the buildings that we had. That’s when I started in the IT department.

    During this time, I also head to deal with server updates, network changes, and began doing some web-site updates. The last position I held was as an IT manager. This position had me handling all aspects of the network; which includes, but is not limited to, telephone management, server management, a Hyper-V failover cluster, and a Gigabit Passive Optical Network. A complete list of everything can be seen in my resume.

    In 2011 I began noticing that I did not enjoy doing some of the IT functions as much as I had in the past. Part of this was due to being able to off-load some of the more basic tasks to others to handle. Tasks such as help desk and PC repair. When possible, I began focusing more on our website, including a huge re-deployment, and adding new features to our custom-programmed staff intranet (I was the one who created the intranet). Along side this, in 2014 I also began writing custom reports for our library automation system. For the last few years I have been indicating to my superiors that I needed something different to do. I knew I had become burned out on doing the job, and honestly I have been burned out for a while.

    I have been looking for a new job for the last few years but have not been able to find anything, that is, until now. I have filled out hundreds of applications, thankfully all online. I have had a few interviews, and even one job offer. Unfortunately, none of them felt right, all for various reasons. Whether it was because I would have to uproot myself, just a gut feeling, or the pay wasn’t right, none of them felt like the right move.

    Determining Where To Go

    As mentioned, over the past few years I determined that I needed a change. Having done so many different things, within the library, it has been hard to narrow down what I want to do. The one thing that I knew was that I did not want to do IT administration work anymore. Could I do it, sure, but to be honest, I have become burned out on it. This lead me to determine what I want to do. The one thing I knew was that it would deal with computers.

    Having grown up during the 1990’s one of the things that I have been exposed to is computers, not to mention some great music, TV shows, and movies. Any who, way back in 1996 I began playing with how to create webpages. I was using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, AOLpress to be exact. It was the ’90’s after all. My interest in webpages stems from having grown up on DOS. Being a command-line only operating system, I became very interested in batch scripting. We had a 386 that had a bunch of games on it. We had a menu item to start each of the games. As we began adding more games to the computer I began editing the menu to add the new games on it.

    This tinkering lead to me getting into other programming languages. Some of these included Pascal, Visual Basic, C++, ASP, PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, and Objective-C. Over the past few years I have been spending more of my off-work time creating web-based apps as well as iOS and OS X applications. I came to the realization that is where I wanted to focus.

    Almost Missed Out

    For my next adventure, I will be doing website work, still within the library world. The weird thing to the entire story is that it almost didn’t happen. I was looking at other library jobs and saw two for a library. After looking at them both I decided to apply for the one that was similar to what I was already doing; Despite being burned out on the job, the big reason I applied to it was mostly due the pay. I had filled out the application, but when I was about just about done I went back to the first page and added the second position that I had initially decided to not apply for. I decided to add this second job because I figured “why not”, even though it was paying a bit less. After a couple of months I got a call to setup an interview. To keep it short (This post is already over 1000 words, so it may be too late), I interviewed and got the job.

    The hardest aspect to the whole thing was not the project I had to do nor was it the interview itself. It was sitting on the news for a week before being able to tell my current employer. I won’t lie, it was a surreal experience having to tell the staff in the department that I was leaving. I have spent just over half my life at the employer. That is a significant amount of time for anybody.

    Reflections

    In my almost seventeen years at my last employer I have seen many different changes. I have seen one building expand twice and a new building be built from the ground up. I have seen our network go from a segmented T-1 between buildings (18 channels for voice, 5 for data), to a gigabit fiber connection. I have seen our network infrastructure change, as well as implementing a number of new services for both staff and patrons, not to mention the countless hardware upgrades. I have also seen three library automation system changes, as well as the myriad of staff come and go. Including my boss retiring at the end of last year.

    Over those years I have also had a lot of personal changes in life as well. I am not one who is adverse to change, but I do not like change just for change sake. There has to be a reason to make a change. Changing jobs absolutely qualifies as a big change.

    The last month has been quite surreal to say the least. At first I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” to questioning “is this the right move?”, even after accepting the position and telling my employer that I was leaving, and finally deciding that it was the right move. The second reason is that the replacement for my boss has been hired and I only had four weeks to get them up to speed on everything we have and do.

    Having never resigned from a job, I did not know what to expect. I have experienced something new, something that most people do not really indicate. That change is the transformation within your own mind that a change is coming and that you are leaving and starting something new. Words cannot accurately describe the feeling. Maybe it is one of relief (because you’re leaving) and yet trepidation (due to going into the unknown) all at the same time.

    I know I will miss some aspects to the old job. Some of these include the hours and well as a majority of the staff being the top two items. There are some things that I will not miss, this includes having to manage servers.

    Tomorrow I start at my new employer to begin a new adventure. I am glad that some aspects to the job will be the same (being in a library). And at the same time some aspects will be completely different (I will no longer be in management). As with any new adventure I do not know what to expect. Even so, it is a new adventure and everything that has happened so far is okay by me.

  • My Social Experiment

    There are definitely some positive aspects to using social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. However, there can also be some negativities in doing so. One of the downsides is that there can be individuals whom purposely misconstrue what you are saying. Sometimes this is deliberately done on their part because they feel as though instigating fights is a good way of handling things or as a means to push their agendas onto others. Other times this is due to the constraints of a service. Somebody purposely misconstrued what I said due to the brevity of items on twitter. Hence, I decided that I would stop using Twitter for a while. Ultimately it ended up being for about a week. If any of my Twitter followers are reading this, they may end up going back and checking to see if I actually did stop using Twitter for a week. I can tell you that I did.

    During this time I did not open up my preferred Twitter application, Tweetbot, on any of my iOS devices nor my Mac. When I made the decision to stop using Twitter, I turned off all notifications for Tweetbot and also disabled all of the SMS notifications that I had enabled on the Twitter website.

    It was an interesting experiment to do. It wasn’t a scientific one by any means, but merely a personal one. There were a couple of downsides; I missed wishing somebody a happy birthday during the week. Another downside, and the biggest one, was that I felt a bit out of touch because Twitter is my primary news source. It is where breaking news occurs, and while I did know about all of the big stories through my podcasts, including the locating of the tail section of the Air Asia flight 8501, as well as the attacks in Paris, I missed out on the smaller stories. Moreover, knowing about the stories is not the same as being able to participate, if not in real time, at least within a reasonable amount of time, with others.

    One of the tangential reasons that I opted to stop using Twitter was that I had noticed that I was been paying as much attention to the shows I was watching. This was because I was paying more attention to Twitter than the show. Without being on Twitter, I did notice that I did pay more attention to the shows I was watching. For some shows that I have seen multiple times, it would not be an issue, yet, for other shows it can be problematic.

    When I decided to get back on Twitter, I decided to check if anybody had mentioned me, direct messaged, or anything else; and they had not. I am Not sure whether to think that I am inconsequential or if it is because everybody is following so many people that they do not notice when one person does not post for a while. When using Tweetbot on my Mac, I have one Twitter list of people that I want to see everything they post, so I would most likely notice when anybody on that list does not post for a while.

    The hardest aspect to it was for not checking was the first couple of days, since checking Twitter had become a habit after being on Twitter for almost 8 years. As the week progress it did become easier to handle. As of right now, I am not using nearly as much as I was before. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, I think it can be helpful for everybody to take a step back, from whatever it is they feel as though they may be doing too much, every once in a while just to allow them to re-evaluate what they are doing and see if it is still completely necessary, and if they still enjoy the activity.

  • Perspectives

    Life will always throw you curve balls to make you quickly change things. It is bound to happen at some point in your life. If you are thinking to yourself, “Life hasn’t thrown me any curve balls.”, then consider yourself very lucky. Because when it does, it typically puts certain things into perspective. An incident today certainly did that for me.

    At about 8:30 this morning, I was sitting at work when I received the message that there was a fire at my Grandma’s House, that everybody is okay, but the place is basically completely gone. Here are some links to the stories about it: CBS2 Chicago and the Chicago Sun Times. It took me almost 90 minutes to get over the initial shock. I do not think I did much work for the first 15 minutes of those 90 minutes. During that 90 minutes, I did do work, but I was not completely focused like I typically am when working. The whole situation hit me pretty hard. Not just because my family was involved, that was obviously a factor and what could have happened, but because it was completely unexpected. The shock was not just the loss of the house, but the loss of the intangible things.

    The fact that everything is lost is heartbreaking, but most of it can be replaced. The clothes, toys, computers, TVs, appliances, and the other things of that nature can all be replaced. However, as I sat and thought about it there are certain things that were lost that cannot be replaced. Most notably, the pictures. You might be saying, “but they are only pictures”. And yes, while true, many of the pictures were of my Grandpa, Aunt, and Uncle all of whom have already passed on. Those are irreplaceable. We do have other pictures, but that is besides the point.

    A bit about the house, it was built in the early 1960’s, it as a ranch house with a basement. It was where my Mom, Aunt, and two Uncles were raised. The house had not changed much from when I remember it as a kid. I had lived there on two separate occasions, the first when I was between four to five and the age of seven. The second time was between 2007 and 2009. I have some distinct memories of the place. It is where I first got glasses, where I had gotten chicken pox, where I got a stuffed Rudolph the Reindeer for Christmas, where we played Track and Field on the Nintendo, where I went back to after scratching my arm in first grade and had to be picked up by my Grandpa, and where we spent many Christmases. The place holds a lot of memories and, thankfully, those cannot be taken away from me.

    When big events occur, life is never the same. Life is certainly designed to keep us on our toes, and it has become rather adept at doing so. Sometimes I just wish it wouldn’t be so brutal when it does inject changes.

  • iOS 8 Sales

    Back on September 19th, I posted how the sales of my iOS 8 book were doing. This was after only 2 days, but the numbers included 16 days worth of pre-orders. I thought I would do an update to that post. This chart is comprehensive between both Amazon and Apple. Here are the links for purchase Apple (ePub), Apple (iBooks), or Amazon (ePub). This information is for all of September.

    iOS8.Sales.Non.US.September.2014

    Just as expected, the United States is taking up a majority of the sales. The U.S. has 81 percent of overall sales, followed by the U.K. at 11 percent and Canada at 6 percent. None of the percentages differ greatly from the sales percentage on September 19th. Let us look at Non-US sales numbers by themselves.

    iOS8.Sales.Numbers.September.2014

    The U.K.’s marketshare has increased by 5 percentage to 34, up from 29 percent. Germany’s marketshare has decreased by 3 percentage points to 21 percent. Italy has passed by Canada, to take 9 percent, to Canada’s 8 percent; these are up 3 percent and 2 percent respectively. Japan’s share has dropped by 3 percent to 6 percent overall. While Greece, whom also has 6 percent previously, has dropped to 4 percent.

    So there it is, the percentages have remained largely unchanged. The biggest surprise, to me, was Japan. I did not expect such a high percentage of Non-US sales to originate from Japan.

  • Why I bought an iPhone 6 Plus

    When Apple began sending out invites for its September 9th event, I knew I would be taking some time off of work to watch the live stream. As we know, that turned out to be a disaster for the first 30 to 40 minutes. However, during the keynote Apple announced that pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would begin on September 12th. In keeping with tradition, I knew I would wake up at 2AM and pre-order the phone, which I did indeed do. The only remaining thing to determine was which model to pre-order.

    Compared to the iPhone 5s, both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus had bigger and better screens. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7″ screen and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5″ screen. Over the iPhone 5s, the increases are 37.6% and 185.2% respectively. It is not just the resolution that is better, but also the type of screen. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have what Apple is calling a Retina HD screen; which is somewhat of a redundant name, but we will just have to deal with it. Regardless of which screen I went with, I would get more pixels and a higher resolution.

    The second factor is battery life. Here is a chart comparing the battery life of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

      iPhone 5s iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus
    Talk Time 10 hours 14 hours 24 hours
    Standby Time 250 Hours 250 hours 384 hours
    3G Internet Usage 8 hours 10 hours 12 hours
    LTE Internet Usage 10 hours 10 hours 12 hours
    Wifi Internet 10 hours 11 hours 12 hours
    Video Playback 10 hours 11 hours 14 hours
    Audio playback 40 hours 50 hours 80 hours

    As you can see, the iPhone 6 and more so the iPhone 6 Plus have increased battery ratings. Battery life is quite important to me. I always end up buying a Mophie Juice Pack for my phones, because the battery life is never enough.

    The third determining factor was the ability to hand down the phone in the future. There is one thing that I usually upgrade every year, and that is my phone. When I get a new phone another family member gets my old phone. In the past it was my dad, however this year it will be my sister. With the slightly increased screen size of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, the difference is minimal. Yes, it is bigger, but it is not that noticeable. However, with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, this is different. So it may be an issue next year.

    The last and, possibly not surprising, most important aspect is development. The feature that most excited me, from a development perspective, is only on the iPhone 6 Plus. The feature is that when an iPhone 6 Plus is in landscape mode, it mimics an iPad. What I mean is that you will get a Split View. A split view, in case you are not aware, is where there are two distinct sections. For instance, in the Notes app, you get your notes on the left and the contents of your notes on the right. When using my app, wwrite, on an iPad you get this exact same view when in landscape view. If there is one thing that I have learned from all of my development is that the simulator will never exactly mimic the way an iphone works.

    In the end I chose the iPhone 6 Plus. The primary factor was the development possibilities. After an hour of using my iPhone 6 Plus, I attempted to go back to using the iPhone 5s and found the screen to be too cramped. Yes, I know that the previous statement sounds strange, but it is entirely true. The larger screen has already made a difference for me. Despite this, I have not yet begun to update my iPhone app to work with anything modern. Maybe I will do this soon, but maybe I will just come up with an entirely new application instead.

  • Defining Ourselves

    This post is an off-shoot by my post “How I Use Twitter”. Originally I was going to publish it was one post, but after looking at the length of each, I decided to separate them out. Either way, both of these stem from Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Relay.fm where Casey and Myke discussed Identify. There was one section in particular that got me to thinking about it, because I can completely relate.

    During the conversation Casey stated:

    “I think of myself…and as a hard worker, and decent at my job. I scratch fewer itches with my JOB job, and I scratch more itches with this…that’s been an odd thing for me to come to terms with. Where I used to put 150% into my JOB job, I don’t feel as though I haven’t gotten a lot out of my J.O.B. job lately, and because of that I would say that I’m not putting in 150% anymore.”

    This last sentence, absolutely rings true for me. Sure, I still do my job and get things done but I am no where near as happy, nor as fulfilled, with my J.O.B. job as I used to be. It could be due to burn-out, or it could be due to having to pick up too much slack from others. Regardless of the reason, this also got me to thinking “How have I been “scratching my itches?” For the last 3 months it has been writing two e-books (which are almost ready as I write this). That’s how I have been scratching my itches lately. In the past I have done other things to scratch my itches, more on those in a bit.

    There’s another show on Relay.fm, Inquisitive where the first question is always “What do you like to be known for?”, and it’s a very good question. When I first thought about the question, I honestly didn’t know how to begin to answer it.

    But, after some thinking about it I did determine how I would respond. My answer would be “Writer”. You might be thinking, “But you don’t write for a living” and yes, you would be correct. However, I do write. I may not be writing what most people would considering “traditional” writing, but it is writing none-the-less. Yes, I do write e-books and I write blogs posts, like this one. Do I write for a living, no. I write in my spare time. It’s what I use to “scratch my itch”. The things I do write are Objective-C Code, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These are most definitely not what one would consider “writing”, but it is writing.

    The writing of e-books is pretty self explanatory. Thus far I have only written non-fiction e-books. I have not yet delved into the world of fiction. While all writing requires effort, Non-fiction requires some effort with unique items. Effort in the actual writing, through research, in editing the e-books, assembling the book and even posting them to the different stores. All of these take time and when something doesn’t go right, it requires additional effort to fix the issue.

    I’m an engineer by nature. As an example, in a meeting after Amazon announced their Drone program, the topic of having a drone fleet at work came up. Instead of worrying about the implications and policy of what a drone fleet would mean, I was thinking “How would one control a drone fleet?”, “What servers would be involved?”, “How would one keep them charged?” and countless other engineering questions.

    Given my engineering nature, writing non-fiction could easily be seen as a natural fit. Non-fiction, much like engineering, makes you think about how everything fits together and works together. As an engineer you want to make sure everything is working, and most importantly, to do it yourself. Yes, you will have to rely on others for some things, yet you want to accomplish a majority of this by yourself.

    Since I like to write, would I like to write for a J.O.B. job? I think I would. If it’s a “traditional” writing position it would have to be one where I can do some more in-depth research and does not necessarily have a strict quota for churning out posts. Sites that require a huge turn out, particularly at being the first to break some news, are the sites that I despise the most.

    When I write an e-book, I do have a deadline. It is typically the release date of the item that I am writing about. However, when I’m writing a web-app, or an actual app, there typically isn’t a deadline. It’s ready when it’s ready. Regardless of what I’m working on, some days I make significant progress, others I do not. It just depends on what happens during that day.

    Overall, I want to be known as a writer. A writer of not only words, but code. Whether you write words or write code, the end result is a product, and that product should be what defines you. You shouldn’t be defined by what clothes you wear, what phone you use, nor whether you are up to date on the latest trends. All of these are fleeting and in the grand scheme of things, not really worth the time. However, the result of these products that could last forever. These are what defines us.

    So my question to you, “What do you like to be known for?”

  • How I use Twitter

    I finished listening to Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Myke Hurley’s Relay.fm. The topic was “Identity” and during the episode Casey and Myke were discussing Twitter and how some Twitter users all about the numbers. Hence, how some users define themselves by those they follow, or follow them, on Twitter. To some extent, I do this. While I do care about the number of people that follow me, because on some level we all do, it’s not how I use Twitter. I have been using Twitter for 2775 days, or just over 7 1/2 years. During that time, the way I use Twitter has changed.

    I originally used it as a way to indicate what I was doing throughout the day. If you look back at my first posts on Twitter, you would see this. A little over 2 1/2 years after joining Twitter, October of 2009, I started doing my “Daily Run Down” blog posts where I would summarize the news of the day in a list of links. I did this to garner more attention and share more on Twitter. I ceased the publication of my “Daily Run Down” articles on July 4th, 2013. Subsequently, the way I use Twitter has shifted again. Now I use it as a way to actually communicate and connect with people, not just as a broadcast medium.

    I have never been a 100% completionist when it comes to Twitter. In the beginning of Twitter, I was more so than I am now. I follow too many people (1,551 as of this writing). I usually consider Twitter to be like a party. I don’t usually know what happens before I arrived, and while I may hear about it during my current session on Twitter, I wasn’t there at the time. Likewise, I don’t know what happens after I leave. There are times that I will scroll back a bit to see what was said, and if the conversation is interesting enough I will try to trace it back to its start and read the entire thread.

    When Twitter introduced lists back in September of 2009, I immediately began grouping those that I follow, and sometimes those that I do not. Some of the lists are just categorizations, like “Chicago”, “Apps”, “Bloggers” and more. Yet, there is one private list that where I am a completionist. It is a list called “Friends”. This list is purely for those who I would, and in most cases do, consider friends. These are the individuals where I actually do care what happens and these are the individuals I interact with most often. If you’re on this list then I will very likely read everything you post. Yet, you will never know if you are on this list, because it’s a private list.

    I don’t have many “meat space”, or “real life”, friends. I only have a few. I make up for my lack of “real” friends by using Twitter. As mentioned before, I do consider many, if not all, of those on my “Friends” list, to be actual friends. You could say considering those I have never met to be friends, as an aspect to the introverted part of myself and to some extent this would be accurate. In general, I am not one who like parties (I don’t mind family parties most of the time). I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. Yet, strangely, I have no issues giving talks on things, provided it is a topic that I am well versed in. I tend to prefer staying out of the spotlight and at the edges of gatherings.

    Twitter is where I go to find news, do quick rants, and overall converse with people. Twitter fulfills that physical interaction, which was mentioned in Episode 3 of Analog(ue), that a vast majority of humans need to survive. While I do not use Twitter like most others, It does serve a purpose for me. The question becomes, how do you use Twitter? Do you only follow celebrities? Do you only use it to socialize with your closest “meat space” friends? However you decide to use Twitter, as long as it works for you, ignore others if they say “you’re doing it wrong”. Because what’s right for them, is not always right for everybody else.

  • Daily Run Down: Final Edition

    Fireworks

    I have just finished going through my RSS feeds, for my Daily Run Down posts, for the last time. After many weeks of contemplation, I have decided to stop publishing the Daily Run Down. I have been publishing stories daily since October 20, 2009. You view the first one here. When I began following the news, I originally did my ‘Stories of the Week’, but this became problematic and began finding ways to automate the task and have done so. There really is not much for me to do, in terms of posting, it is all automated. The hardest part is going through my 1500+ items in my RSS feeds per day. It was this time last year that I added categories to the site for better organization. Last November, November 9th to be exact, I began publishing two Daily Run Down articles per day. On May 23rd, 2010 I added the “Historical Edition” of the Daily Run Down. These were published weekly, mostly because news on the weekends, and particularly Sundays, is quite slow. Both the Historical Daily Run Down and regular Daily Run Down will no longer be published.

    This decision is partly inspired by some comments Marco Arment made regarding why he sold Instapaper and then subsequently sold The Magazine. I think the comments were made on on the 5by5 show, Quit! Marco was on episode #21: Quit & Analyze.

    Over the years there have been stories of little consequence, like the “Antennagate” “scandal” revolving around the iPhone 4 and big stories, like Osama Bin Laden being killed and the death of Steve Jobs and Barack Obama being elected President. One thing I have learned is that no matter how much you try to keep up, there will also be more and more news.

    You could say the decision to stop publishing my Daily Run Down on July 4th is in the spirit of independence. To some degree you would be right. However, that is not the intent behind my decision. Sure, it does reduce the feeling of being compelled to keep up on the news and make sure to go through all of my RSS feeds just to make sure there were stories to be published, but the amount of time it takes to keep up was just becoming too much. I could have tried to reduce the number of feeds, but that would have only reduced the story load. It ultimately comes down to me not being into keeping up and publishing news on a daily basis. Sometimes, when your heart just isn’t into something, it may be time to let it go. This is completely the case, for me, with the news and thus, why I am no longer publishing my Daily Run Down.

    I know some people do use my Daily Run Down to keep abreast of the news but in all honestly keeping up with the news has become burdensome. In the last few months, and increasingly in the last few weeks, my heart is just not into keeping up with the news anymore. The same feeling became evident when I decided to stopp writing for Macgasm on a regular basis. I realized it was time to quit, which was two years ago now, because I was burned out. I was burned out on keeping up with the Mac news and always having to try and be first. When I realized that it was not working well for me anymore, I decided to stop writing for the site. I still do write a lengthy review of OS X Server, and am still planning on doing so again this year, but I do not regularly write for the site anymore. I had written for the site for over 3 1/2 years when I realized I had become burned out. The requested number of stories was two per week, which is not many, but sometimes there were some very slow news weeks and trying to find something to write became problematic.

    During my time reading the news, many of the stories were items that I picked just by the headline. There was no way that I would be able to read every single word of every single story that I shared, it would have been impossible to accomplish. The final “nail in the coffin” was when I recently realized that I was hitting “mark all as read” a lot more often than I had in the past, just to clear out the feeds and reduce the number of stories I had to read. This was when I really knew I was burned out on the news and it was time to stop publishing.

    I’m not saying that I will not be following the news, I will; it will just be a much lighter load. I will be able to reduce the number of feeds I follow and the feeds that I will read will most likely be targeted towards sites that I really want to read, absorb and digest in a more complete manner. If I do manage to come across an article that I must share, I will post it on the site, but it will only include parts of the article that I wish share, comment on, or elaborate on, instead of just a list, like it is now.

    In terms of the future of the site, instead of publishing a list of stories every day, I may try focusing on more specific, and thus more in-depth, stories and my thoughts behind them, along with implications. I have not fully decided on whether or not to do in-depth stories. In conjunction with that, I cannot say if I will resurrect the Daily Run Down at some point in the future.

    What I do know is that I will be focusing on some projects that will be very time consuming, including two e-books, and completely re-writing a webapp. As for the e-books, one will be on iOS 7 and the other will be on OS X 10.9 Mavericks. I also have my apps which have been severely neglected and are in definite need of an updates and complete rewrites. I would love to try and create a new application that utilizes the latest and greatest features of iOS 7, but I have not yet had a chance to come up with a good concept for an application.

    Now that I have finished reading the last of my feeds for the final post, I can begin reducing the number of feeds that I follow. It will definitely be difficult to adjust to to the change in my reading habits, However, the first thing I need to do is remove the “send to” options that I have on my RSS reader, just so I’m not tempted to share stories. I do hope you will continue to read the site to stay up to date on the goings on and look for the in-depth articles, should I decide to write them.

  • 50,000th Tweet

    twitter-bird-light-bgs

    If I have scheduled and calculated everything properly, this will be my 50,000th Tweet since joining Twitter on January 29th, 2007, or 2301 days. If I would’ve looked at the number of days yesterday, I would’ve made sure I hit 50,000 tweets yesterday. Alas, life This comes out to an average of about 22 tweets per day. A great many things have happened in my life since that time. Too many to go through in just this one post. However, if you’re really interested let me know I’ll go through them with you on a one-on-one basis. I’ve made quite a few friends during that time. Coincidentally, none that I have actually met in person. I hope to change that fact.

    To celebrate my 50,000th Tweet, I’ll be giving away one copy of each of my e-books (including the soon to be released Xbox e-book) to one lucky individual.

    In order to win you must have a valid email address (yes, weird requirement I know), be able to download books from iTunes AND have the best reply to the Tweet (as determined by me). The contest will run for one week from this posting, or May 25th, and 12:00 Central Time.