One more day to go….looking forward to overtime

Having a look through the work schedule I noticed some open positions so hopefully I’ll get a reply back soon from the person who does the roster that the opportunity to do over time will be possible. Basically my big focus over the next year is getting financially back on course and part of that making sure all personal debt is primarily paid down to the point that it is bill akin to the amount I pay each month for my power or internet connection. Anyway, the big focus for next week is getting that all sorted out – a few extra dollars each week, no matter how small, will make quite the difference over the long run.

I’m looking forward to time off from work from 1-9 June where I have my birthday on 1 June and then have it follow by a week of WWDC fun and excitement not to mention all the individual sessions that might even motivate me enough to get me up early in the morning to watch the keynote speech. With that being said it will be interesting to see whether Apple use the WWDC as a launch pad for the much rumoured announcement of the Mac Pro which was rumoured to be still on track for a 2019 release. The other big announcement will be the removal of 32bit support from macOS – the ripple effect will be amazing given that it’ll include removing Quicktime support on which QtKit is based along with all the applications that rely on it as well (as mentioned in the latest update to Compressor, Motion and Final Cut Pro X which talks about the need to transition all ones assets to modern CODECs before moving to the next version of macOS and newer versions of said applications).

Anyway, I’ve got work tomorrow and hopefully it will be as uneventful as it was today – a drama free zone where everything works as it should. I’ll wake up, have a bowl of tea and whilst getting ready I’ll watch some news on YouTube then head off for the day. My goal is getting back to my old diet patterns – 2 days of 1800 calories each day and a fasting on the third day – I might even start getting rid of a lot of bad foods out of my diet like cheese, milk, meat etc. move to more of a vegan diet as well. Long story short, I need to get my eating back in order and a greater focus on getting healthy now that I am getting older and the impact of a bad diet will impact me a lot more than 10 years ago where I could be a bit reckless with minimal consequence. Turning this ship around will not only mean a slimmer waist like it will also mean being more productive, having more energy, a longer and more enjoyable life. The big focus isn’t the change itself but the sticking to that change to the point that it becomes second nature to the point that tI don’t have to consciously think about it but rather it becomes automatic like how one breaths without even thinking about it.

Almost there…one more day

One more day to go and it’ll soon be the weekend – time to get things sorted out at home. Looking back it is funny how I haven’t had soft drink for the week but what I also thought about is how much money has been saved by not buying soft drinking. When it comes to my much needed caffeine fix I’ve been able to ween myself off coffee with milk and I’ve been drinking coffee black (no milk) – a great way to get that caffeine hit at work without the price tag. Could I give it up? Sure, but it would hell on earth and little real benefit giving up a caffeine based beverage for zero health benefits other than the moral high ground of “I’m an all natural person who doesn’t need stimulants because I’m high on life”.

There are two big events coming up in the next month or so with the first being the ‘World Mobile Congress’ where it is rumoured that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S10 with three models that closely mirror the Apple product range of iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max. It’ll be interesting to see whether there are other products released – I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing a refresh of their wearable line up but I doubt we’ll see Samsung embrace wearOS especially when you also consider that Samsung uses Tizen in their televisions instead of Android TV. It is interesting to see the growing relationship with Apple with the inclusion of iTunes Store with the range of Tizen televisions which makes me wonder whether this is part of a much more long term goal of moving away from Google in terms of a reliance on on their ecosystem resulting in what Samsung wanting and what Google wanting not always lining up.

Towards the end of March there is a rumoured event regarding a subscription news service along with a greater focus on cloud services so it’ll be interesting to see what Apple deliver. What will also make for an interesting discussion is the work being done on 10.14.4 particularly with the work being done with Webkit and the regular Technology Preview’s being pushed out which has done a lot of work in the area of HTML5 compliance especially in the area of web applications given how there is a general trend in that direction with Spotify being the most obvious example but also Twitter doing the same thing when they retired their Twitter desktop based application in favour of a PWA (Progressive Web Application). By getting Webkit to support those technologies it will hopefully translate to vendors at least allowing users to install PWAs on their computer without having to haul along the Chromium baggage. Hopefully the added support for those technologies will allow end users to benefits whilst taking advantage of the inherit efficiency that comes from Webkit when compared to Chromium.

With that being said, it’ll make for interesting discussion given that 10.14.4 comes with added biometric support from within the browser which makes me wonder whether Apple has taken time to backporting those features back to the current stand version of Safari or whether they just said “bugger it” and branched and stabilised a technology preview then crowned it with a stable version number. There is also iOS 12.2 in the works so I’m looking forward to see what that also delivers.

Feeling good so far

So…since I made that original post on 1 January 2019 things have been going well – I’ve been having a walk each night which has helped me get over the cold that I’ve had; fresh air and exercise helping to get the body moving and stop the build up of phlegm in the lungs which can occur with a sedentary lifestyle.

Today I went shopping today to buy everything I needed so I’m all ready for the next couple of weeks. I’ll write a longer post tomorrow but I thought I might as well do a brief update.

A new day, a new year

A new day for a new year and with that new year comes a new resolution – that involves making some big changes in my life; financially as well as health wise. I got through the first year at my job which was a big focus but this year I want to build a strong foundation going forward which includes getting my financial house in order by getting 75-100% my debt cleared by the end of the year. In terms of my heath the big focus is on moving to healthier eating and living in general which means moving away from fast foods, moving to a more vegan/vegetarian diet with a focus on high fibre nutrient rich food. This week’s pay will be the first shop for the first week of my new regime for the year so I’m going to make sure that I create a list with a budget to ensure that I stick with a plan – which goes into another focus which is having a good routine.

With that all being said, I an still nursing myself after getting knocked for six over Christmas – a combination of no sleep on the day I took the train up to Auckland then combine that with the lack of quality sleep over the next few days resulted in my immune system falling through the floor. Over the last few days I’ve been getting myself back on track but I think that I might need some time off from work because I don’t want to force myself back into a stressful work environment where I am not fully healed resulting in not only spreading it to my work colleagues but also getting sick again because of the stress put on the body which isn’t in a fully strong state.

On a good side I’m tinkering around with iMovie so I’m going to give that a go because I’m tempted to make some videos about Windows 10 and technology not to mention philosophy and politics so we’ll see how that goes. I won’t be showing my face on the video because it would be kind of pointless given that unless I’m going to offer visual aids or something that justifies having a visual presence then not showing my face is good enough. In the future? Sure, at a later date as my iMovie skills improve I might start start showing my face but other than that I’ll just stick to the plan – hopefully the use of YouTube will expand my online presences and gradually build up an audience so that my posts move beyond just yelling into the emptiness of space.

Enjoying the weekend..getting healthy

The week before last week I said to myself that I would go for a walk at least 4 times and I did it which averaged around 8km each day (32km over all) where as this week I’m aiming to go for a walk every night – even if it just a small 4km walk my focus is to get into a good exercise routine so then it becomes second nature. There are the health benefits of going for some regularly exercise but it also a great way to empty ones mind after a long day at work. The last week I ended up going for a walk at least 5 days a week so this week, barring bad weather I’m aiming for a walk each night – I’ve done a measure where the ‘short walk’ is 5km where as the ‘long walk’ is 9km, so hopefully if I can do 3 days of short walks and 4 days of long walks but I’ll see how I feel but the main goal is to at least get moving 7 days a week. I think the whole ‘get moving’ is important because I work in a job where I sit down all day and because that lack of physical it is very easy to gain wake rather quickly without noticing especially during the Christmas time as nibbles are being handed around – lord knows I know that first hand how quickly weight can creep up.

Oh and the other part of this ‘getting back on track’ is having a good night sleep – that is another thing that so many dieticians point to – have a good night sleep because when you’re tired and haven’t had enough rest then you feel hungry resulting in overeating etc.so I’ve been ensuring that I get a good night sleep. 

In the mean time I’ve been looking at all the alternative social networking platforms and I’ve become particularly concerned with privacy and how my personal data is treated particularly when large chunks of it is residing in meta corporations like Twitter, Google, Apple etc. and whether in the long term it is healthy to have such a concentration of personal information in the hands of organisations whose primary reason for existence is profit maximisation for shareholders. I am sceptical though that there will be meaningful regulation given how captured the political process is in the United States and although the European Union can act (and has done so) for a country like New Zealand, unless we enter into some sort of regulatory union with the European Union so that we can piggy back on their regulations along with enforcement mechanisms then Facebook for example will continue ignoring their obligations under New Zealand’s privacy act as they’ve done so already (link). Although I am off Facebook I am looking at getting off WhatsApp and Microsoft’s own platform as well 

First day of my weekend gone

The weekend is going great – went for a 10km power walk tonight in between the rain which, by the way, has been raining cats and dogs on and off so the end result has been that my new roof has been getting a good work out. Although a power walk does have health benefits I also find it as an effective way to unwind and clear the clutter out of ones mind – focus on ones breathing the fresh cool air of the night whilst laying out a long term strategy to get where I want to be in 2-3 years time.

I’ve been having a look at the new Android Pie and how people are reporting on it along with a rumour that the Pixel 3 will be launching in the beginning of October this year. As I’ve said in the past, when it comes to the phone I am not wedded to Apple but because Google has flat out refused to provide the Pixel and Pixel 2 in New Zealand then the end result is always a shitty experience because of Samsung’s butchering of Android by ramming their Samsung Cloud that no one wants, that no one needs but Samsung keeps ‘trying to make it happen’ when it is clear that people just buy Android devices as a conduit to access Google services – Samsung devices are a means to an end and I wish that Samsung would stop trying to think that customers want a more Samsung experience when most just want Samsung to get out of the way. Lets hope that either the Pixel 3 comes either via their Play Store Devices or Kogan, PB Tech, Noel Leeming or some carrier bring it to New Zealand.

There have been another round of iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS betas a couple of days ago with all the feedback I’v read over on Reddit, Macrumors, Arstechnica and so on have been very position with many noting that even at this point it still feels very much like a final version given how robust it feels when compared to previous developer previews on 10.13. With all this praise it makes me wonder whether this is part of that rumoured big push by Apple to deal with the software quality issue that took a battering in the online press this year and the prior especially around dumb security and bug issues (such as the roof fiasco) or how features like APFS support on Fusion drives on 10.13 left end users feeling as though they had been shafted by Apple having bought a fusion drive only to find that they were left out in the cold when it came to their signature file system that was talked about at the announcement of High Sierra.

The biggest let down in the Android ecosystem has always been the lack of a decent Android TV set top box – either you have to purchase a woefully out of date CPU which dates back to 2015 or buying a whole new television set from Sony with the cheapest model that has Android TV starts at $1449 and when the vendor no longer wants to update the Android TV included then you’re stuck with an out of date expensive piece of equipment where as getting a set an Apple TV set top box would be a whole lot cheaper.

Oh, and from the ‘a solution in search of a problem’ department it appears that Alexa (and probably can be applied to other voice assistances) appears not to be as widely used to order things via Amazon as the ads on the internet and television would like to make out to be. Amazon of course is in detail overdrive but it appears, according to the article on Arstechnica (link) that only a small percentage of users actually use it to buy stuff. Who would have thunk it – a gimmicky device searching for a problem to solve that doesn’t actually exists turns out to be a giant waste of time. Here’s a hint Amazon, instead of shipping gimmicky devices how about shipping products to New Zealand instead of the current situation that every other product listed on your website saying, “seller does not ship outside of the United States’ and the numerous services that aren’t available from my location – apparently New Zealand is a giant backwater to Jeff Bezos but then again I wouldn’t be surprised given how stuck in the echo chamber he has created for himself.

Trying to get back on track

So I have to admit I have slacked a bit and put on a couple of kgs – part of it is due to bad weather and after having a long day at work then a cold journey home then one is hankering for some comfort food to get warm again but my big focus tomorrow isn’t depriving myself like some sort of martyr but instead on focusing sticking within the 1500-1800 calorie allowance for the day. The other thing I am going to do is get back into going for a regular walk around the block during my breaks so it gets me out of the office and get me moving along with taking the stairs (up and down) rather than taking the lift – it doesn’t burn a huge amount of calories but it does boost the metabolism which can slow down if one is sitting down all day. Oh, that is another thing – I’m going to focus on standing up more during the day which will allow me to keep me awake (I tend if I sit down for long periods of time I start yawning and feeing tired for some reason). I think what I’ll do is do some more chatting on my blog which in part will help to keep me honest during my journey – I found it worked the last time and I think I’ll do the same now plus I think that most of you guys (and girls!) would sooner hear something more than me rattling on about Apple products.