Personal · Technology

Vaxxed to the max, Apple releases another round of betas, Google is optimising Chrome for macOS’s platform changes.

On Monday 30 August I received my second Pfizer covid shot thus making my fully vaccinated – no, I’m not going to stop wearing masks because it is still possible to get sick but taking the vaccinate greatly improves your chances of not dying if you contract it. Remember, keep safe out there by socially distancing, wear a mask, practice good hygiene and only go out because you need to purchase something (and do all your errands in one go) rather than just dawdling around the store. For me, I’m purchasing my groceries online which funny enough I’m being a lot more mindful about what I actually need rather than turning up at the store after work and hungry for dinner only to buy a whole heap of stuff I don’t really need. I also bought some razor blades for my ‘old school’ safety razor – for NZ$22.99 I can get 100 blades which is so much cheaper than if I had the modern disposable razors whose blades can be $25 or more for a 5 pack of razors not to mention the fact that the old school razors don’t get clogged up with whiskers. The only way I could go cheaper is if I learned how to use a cut throat razor but I don’t feel confident enough to make that leap – given how error prone I am I would end up like Norman Gunston (link).

macOS 12 beta 6 has been released but there are still things that need to be fixed with iOS 15 beta 7 but all signs indicate that Apple has frozen the addition of any new features and disabling those features that aren’t stable stable enough to go into the golden master. As noted earlier, what it indicates to me is that macOS will get released later (like last year) which will probably be in line with iOS 15.1 and the launch of secure relay and custom domain hosting. As noted before, I’m playing it by ear – keeping in mind that I’m not particularly wedded to iCloud but I much prefer using macOS than using Windows so my other big focus is waiting for an ARMv9 based MacBook Pro and iMac to ship.

I think holding off from upgrading is a good decision on my part having read through the Chromium change log where the various backends aren’t optimised for Metal so they fall back to the older backend technology. The net result is that although Chrome is compiling for macOS the big focus by Google will be to optimise and restore the Metal backend optimisation for Skia and ANGLE (along with other Chrome components).

That being said, there is also another piece of software that I love keeping track of which is Mimestream (link). Mimestream is a mail application designed from the ground up for Gmail so rather than implementing IMAP with all the extensions Google has done to the standard it uses the Google Mail API instead. The net result of using the API? it is a lot more reliable, pushed based receiving of emails, labels work properly not to mention all the fun ways in which Mimestream integrates in with the Google ecosystem (yes, it also works with Google Workspace). Currently it is still in development (currently 0.27 is the latest version) however it is being developed quickly and it is written from the ground up using Swift so it gains all the performance benefits of using a modern highly optimised language.

As for my person life, I am enjoying four days off from work (2 day weekend (Monday, Tuesday) followed by 2 days off (Wednesday, Thursday)) but on a good side I have been getting much better organised, eating regular meals that are home cooked. Oh, and speaking of food, they’ve finally bought back Tatua sour cream to the supermarket. Honestly, it is the only sour cream, along side the Lewis Road sour cream, that is worth buying because it has a proper sour cream taste. Next week there are a few things I want to buy but I think I’m going to make it a more regular thing to get my groceries delivered since I take a bus to and from work there is a limit in what I can purchase but if I can order a whole heap of stuff then it’ll mean I can go straight home each night rather than piecemeal shopping which can be problematic since other things get bought that I really don’t need.

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