Renewing my drivers licence.

On Monday coming up I’m going to head into the local AA (Automobile Association – they act as agents for the NZTA) to renew my drivers licence for another 5 years. As part of that process my eyes will be tested so hopefully my eye sight hasn’t deteriorated too much or otherwise it’ll be yet another thing I’m going to have to spend money on in the form of a new pair of glasses. While I’m down the road I’ll have a look at getting a toasted sandwich maker (one that can make 4 toasted sandwiches) as well as looking at the possibility of getting a slow cooker so then during the winter I can put a stew on before heading off to work so then by the time I get home at night I’ll be all set – maybe even get a rice cooker as well.


Politics, cult of personalties and cynical isue of identity for pollitical gain.

Just reading yet another example of someone so jaded that they lash out like a wounded animal at anyone close by (link). At first, just after the election of Donald Trump, I gave Hillary Clinton the benefit of leniency given that the election was a horrible experience with it culminating in someone grossly unqualified being made president. I could understand that after working within the system for years to start to second guessing oneself, wondering whether one had done something wrong, whether something that could have been done differently and questioning the system itself that she had grown to respect given her legal training and involvement in politics. I personally don’t think that she would have been as angry had it been someone like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush winning because had the election being fought on policy rather than having to deal with the constant barrage of conspiracy theories, the blatant sexism etc. 

The problem is that here she is almost 4 years later and still haven’t moved on from 2016 – who is she trying to hurt? She is lashing out at Bernie but is it really going to help her get over the loss in 2016? She is allowing Donald Trump to live rent free in her brain rather than moving on resulting in the only person she is hurting is herself. Something I learned long ago, after being screwed over at a company I worked for, do I allow myself to get wound up where every minute of the day I am constantly bitter and angry at the person who slighted me or do I move on to better and greater things?

What is also pathetic is the lack of self awareness or more correctly how Hillary Clinton loves to play the victim when she doesn’t get her own way – it was her campaign that created the felicitous accusation that Obama had the ‘Obama Boys’ which had no basis in reality but she played the misogyny card. This same move was done when Bernie Sanders ran as a candidate with the same garbage regarding ‘Bernie Bros’. In the most recent primary the same nonsense was tried by the Kamala Harris supporters aka KHive labelling anyone who dared to question her track record as prosecutor or her policy positions as ‘misogynist’ and ‘racist’.

Ok, and if Hillary Clinton is going to play the game that the candidate is responsible for what their supporters do then would it be fair to link birtherism (link) to Hillary Clinton’s campaign?

“There has never been evidence that Clinton or her campaign started the birther rumors,” said Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, who as a POLITICO reporter in 2011 linked the origin of the “birther” movement to a fringe politician in Illinois. Some hardcore Clinton backers circulated the rumors in 2008, but the campaign itself steered clear.

After all, a small number of Clinton supporters started spreading the misinformation – using the same criteria should Hillary Clinton apologise? Step down? Perform self flagellation to demonstrate true contrition or should people be expected to behave like adults and accept that we aren’t responsible for what others do in our name when it is clear that there is no connection between ourselves and that particular persons actions? This is what happens when you weaponise identity politics, be it the identity politics of the right wing or the liberalism, rather than arguing based on track record and policy you end up with the likes of Donald Trump. In the case of Donald Trump he offered simplistic solutions and peddled in white identity grievance culture where he framed ‘the white man’ as the perennial victim but he, the great man of history, was going to swoop in and save them and make them great again. The lack of analysis which involves the intersection between class, race and other identities (intersectionality) results in a grotesque bastardisation of identity politics which ultimately fails to help the very people it is claiming to advocate for.

Personal · Technology

Finished work last night at 8:00pm, came home, cooked up dinner and along with the washing up of the dishes I jumped straight into getting the washing cleaned. I have so many undies and socks with me being the only one living in the house that I just leave my cloths hamper to be washed on Sunday – it saves money and it is efficient because it all gets done on a single day and on Monday/Tuesday I spend my time folding up the washing etc.

Things are going well, enjoyed a nice quiet day at home today although I really do need to get myself organised and do the weeding although I I’m getting to the point that I think I need some weed killer – the strongest nastiest stuff possible to not only kill the weeds but also the earth that the weeds try to grow in.

It’s been Wellington anniversary so things are pretty quiet – I am hoping that Tuesday will result in my package finally being released resulting in the delivery of it in the next few days. Once that has arrived – I’ll boot it up, install updates and then put my SIM into the phone. It also means that if I am happy then I’ll sell my iPhone XS Max 256GB and Apple TV then use that money to pay down debt to then consolidate and close off the last account with BNZ. The big goal – debt free by 40 and I’m getting there.

I’ve been following Windows 10 development and it appears that their move to restructure the way in which they conduct their development is paying dividends. There is the fast release where the latest and greatest features are merged so that all those who opted in for the fast release cycle will get access but that being said those new features won’t be automatically appearing in the slow release ring like they do today. Rather than what some users have dubbed ‘a continuous cycle of beta testing’ the back porting to the slow release will hopefully mean that by the time that the developers to backcourt to the slow release that it’ll be rock solid stable enough as not to cause problems when compare new features making their way back almost immediately resulting in many occasions the experience not being as stable as users would like it.

Windows 10X is developing with some good screenshots from CES found on Neowin (link) – it appears that it is still very much in a beta or even alpha state given how spartan nature  of the file manager and the lacking in the sort of functionality such as free formed windowed applications (as noted in the application) but then again this could change. I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually over time Windows 10X eventually replaces with Windows 10 on the consumer front then eventually, as it matures, it is rolled out to business customers then in something like 4 years time the LTSC end up receiving it The reason for that conclusion on my part is that I doubt Microsoft will wanting to maintain multiple divergent builds of Windows 10 so it makes sense to make Windows 10X available on those new emerging devices but then eventually roll it out for everyone.

Personal · Technology

Getting things sorted out, making long term decisions.

Well, NZ Post have finally gotten in contact with the e-commerce team to tell them that customs have ok’ed the release of the parcel I ordered from Amazon – I’m tempted to lay a complaint to see if I can get my P&P back given that it should never take a month to get something as basic as a phone, ear phones and a case through customs given that NZ Post is doing the custom clearance themselves. Yeah, I’m pissed off at the mucking around this time but my concern is also about future purchases – am I going to go through the same drama and BS if I buy something from overseas? Well, hopefully this will mean coming to the end of my saga.

On the financial front my aim is to consolidate the debt so that’ll mean that hopefully by the end of February I’ll have all my accounts closed off with BNZ then by the middle to the end of the year I’ll move what I have at Westpac over so then I’ll just have the one set of accounts with ASB which will make managing finances a whole lot easier. This has been part of a larger change in my life where I’ve set up a list of lifestyle changes that I’m implementing but I’m doing them gradually bit by bit – not that I’m worry about overwhelming myself but rather the benefit is that I focus on one and with enough repetition it becomes muscle memory that I do automatically without thinking so where as if I am take on more than one task at a time then I’m having to consciously think about all those things I have to do which aren’t muscle memory.

Microsoft released Microsoft Edge Chromium edition and it is available on Windows as well as macOS. So far I’m pretty happy with it and some how they’ve made it more efficient than Chrome on macOS which makes me wonder whether discarding the Google bloat has lightened up – lets hope that as they add back functionality such as tab synchronisation along with other features (keeping in mine that Microsoft not only must create a compatible backend on their server but also functionality in the browser then testing it to make it sure it all works according to plan) that it’ll maintain the same level of snappiness.

I am waiting for my Pixel 4 XL to arrive but I’m wondering whether I should create a bog standard Google account but use the Microsoft Office 365 account that I have for my email and so on. I’ve already got 1GB, everything synchronises without too much drama, the Microsoft browser on Mac is works perfectly fine and Edge Chromium on Android also works nicely which makes me wonder whether using Google G Suite is ab absolute must or is it a situation where if you want to get the smoothest experience then it’s pretty much a given in that you’re going to have to use Google.

Personal · Technology

Following up with New Zealand Post.

I fired off an email the night before last to NZ Post to find out what happened, yesterday (since I’m sending this at around 2:30am in the morning on Wednesday) I received a reply back that they have cleared ir then it will be released and delivered soon. The big question is what do I do from here – do I sell it or do I sell my iPhone XS Max 256GB along with the Apple TV and go back to using Google services with Pixel 4 XL The balance between going all in with Apple where everything is nicely integrated together vs. Android which gives an immense amount of flexibility along with the power and flexibility of Chrome. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it but in the mean time – full steam ahead and the focus will be on continuing the hard work on the financial front in terms of reaching my goal of being debt freely the end of next year.


What’s happening in the world of technology.

Like many other countries over Christmas and New Year the country shuts down for around a week and even then it isn’t until until the following week when people gradually come back from their family holidays and get back into work again. Keeping in mind that during this time students also have their time off from primary school, intermediate and secondary school so in some cases parents will align their holidays with their kids so things are pretty quiet around where I live.

When it comes to what is happening in the technology world, there is the yearly CES held in Los Vegas where Apple has made an appearance but from what I can gather they’re there to pretty much talk about what they already have rather than making a big announcement. I think the big star of the show has been AMD  building on its success in the desktop, workstation and server areas to expand into the mobile space where traditionally Intel has had a strong lead when it comes to performance per watt. That title is being challenged as AMD’s new 4000 CPU range has moved to the TSMC 7nm fabrication that will not only close the gap between AMD and Intel, it will always make it good enough at a great price point that we might even start seeing OEMs start using AMD SoC offers outside of the usual price sensitive products to being used in more premium products.

Apple is pretty quiet but I’d say that is most likely staff yet to come back but I am hopeful about the improvements that are coming through when it comes to Webkit (which forces the basis of Safari) appearing in the next version of macOS. There is also macOS 10.15.3, iOS/tvOS 13.3.1 that are currently in beta testing which makes me wonder whether we’re going to see a product refresh in March when they normally have one followed by WWDC, an iPhone refresh in September then sometimes in October they do an iMac refresh plus launch miscellaneous products but that is based on past trends and Apple on occasions like to shake things up a bit by not following past conventions.

I’m wondering with the uptick in work on Safari that we’re seeing Apple take PWA seriously which hopefully will mean for those developers who want to deploy PWAs on macOS that rather than being dependent on Chromium that they can leverage Webkit with all the optimisation that Apple has done when it comes to battery life, security etc. not to be mention the reduced download size because Chromium isn’t having to be bundled.

There is a rumour over at Mac Rumors that Apple will launch an iPhone with 5G, both sub 6GHz and mmWave but I’m skeptical given that there is limited appeal with mmWave with most of the benefits coming form the sub 6GHz being deployed around the world. Although I’ve been told by numerous people that they’ll be using Qualcomm chips in the next phone, I personally think that they’ll be sticking with the Intel modem they acquired and it wouldn’t surprise me that Intel was already working on sub 6GHz 5G support when they sold the division to Apple which makes sense for Apple to pick it up and continue its development. When it comes to mmWave it has limited appeal and the complexity of the antenna array not to mention the chip itself makes speculate that given Qualcomm’s expertise in the area of 5G reside in the area of mmWave I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple end up using the licensing arrangement to incorporate technology into their own chip from Qualcomm.

For those keeping track on what is happening with Ad Guard for Safari on macOS there has been some quietness since the most recent release (link) because of the move by Apple to become a lot more strict about developers using private APIs, specifically, when it comes to the use of Chromium which has a lot of dependencies on private APIs which has required a lot of work not only by the Chromium developers to bring their code up to specification but also third parties having to test all their code to ensure that nothing is broken in the process. Ad Guard makes use of Chromium so as a result, because it is distributed through the App Store, has to be bought up to date with the new rules being enforced. What I am hoping is that with this focus on getting developers to use only public APIs that it’ll also result in a more reliable experience in between versions of macOS – not petrified that a private API breaks therefore requires waiting it out until an updated version is released.


Learning how not to get overwhelmed.

Well, another week has come and gone with the start of a new year and for some reason it is already feeling a lot better at work – learning to relax at work and not get wound up about meeting some target that I set for myself which doesn’t mean a hill of beans at the end of the day.

On my way home from work they had some blueberries on special so that was a nice along with some custard is always nice – my favourite being the Puhoi Butterscotch (link) along with the grocery shopping for the week. Before heading away on holiday I didn’t buy any groceries so I just ate what I had to reduce what I had in the fridge so by the time I left I had nothing in my fridge, freezer and my shelf I just had some assorted long life goods (canned tomatoes, spiral pasta and spaghetti). I always like to have a few extra items in the freezer so I took advantage of some specials – ciabatta rolls, multigrain bread etc.

I bought myself two blue short sleeve shirts for work – I was able to get away wearing a t-shirt under a jumper but going into summer the idea of wearing a woollen jumper doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. When I head off to work tomorrow I’ll be all tidy and presentable – and most importantly comfortable.


Flirting with alternatives.

It’s always good to do a bit of flirting with the alternative technologies available – not only to see what else is out there for the sake of curiosity and education (which can help with work – when customers come in with a new toy and I’m having to help provide technical support) but also the appreciation one acquires for what one already has. One of the oldest chestnut has to be the ‘Apple products cost more than xyz’ and Rene does a good clarification and refutation.

For me, I’ve never cared for the reasons why a person chooses product a over product b since it doesn’t impact me one iota but I do get a bee in my bonnet when a person is dishonest. If you prefer Windows because it allows you to build your own computer which is something that you’re interested in then be honest – don’t BS around the edge and don’t try to masquerade opinions as objective fact, and for goodness sake don’t do the ‘but I can built it cheaper’ then bring up some costing from NewEgg that no one outside of the United States can buy from. It’s like saying that you can buy a car from junk yard, do it up and then have it as a good as new – all while ignoring the time spent working on such a project which, if counted, wouldn’t be hard to justify when one could buy a brand new one off the lot for close to the same price.

Anyway, over the last month I’ve been using Google services and software (on my iPhone and Mac) to keep up with the play on what things are like in the Google ecosystem. Something I have observed is that although the ecosystem in some ways is feature rich it does miss a lot of the niceties that one has come accustomed to when it comes to iCloud. Some of the positives of Google are that t web applications are a lot more feature rich – although you can setup your mail client to use IMAP/CalDAV/CardDAV the impression I got is that Google would sooner you be using their website instead with their applications being relegated to being used on smartphones. That is one of the things you’ll notice with Google’s services on smart phones you use the applications but for everything else it is web apps. I guess it depends on what is bought up on but I’ve always found that web apps are a compromise that never quite have the same degree of integration, fit and finish, and integration that a native application does.

On the other hand the iCloud ecosystem has web apps however the impression I get is that the web apps are more like a stop gap measure such as wanting to check your email on your friends computer rather than something that one would be using all the time. The preferred way is through local applications – each service has its own application so the whole experience feels as though it is part of the device itself rather than some intrusive outsider that has barged in and taken over ones phone – that the application was always meant to be there. Then there is the niceties, iTunes Podcasts when compared to Google Podcasts that attempts to use the Google search engine to index podcasts.

I’m looking forward to seeing macOS 10.15.3, iOS and tvOS 13.3.1 to be released in the next few weeks. It appears the cover Christmas and the new year that Apple closes down and in the new year they start back up again. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming year – and once again this year on June I’m going to take a week off to bask in the awesomeness that is WWDC.For me what I am looking out for aren’t giant leaps forward but further refinement and building on what is already there such as making Safari support more web standards, refining Catalyst (which enables one to bring iPadOS applications to macOS with minimal changes) along with technologies like SwiftUI maturing to the point that we might even see some early uses of it large visible applications.