Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

A little over a year ago I switched from the FitBit ecosystem to the Garmin one when I traded in my ChargeHR for a VivoactiveHR, reviewed here.  I made many compromises when I made the move to pick up a lot of additional capabilities, but now that the FitBit Ionic is on the horizon it may be time to re-evaluate that equation to see if it still balances out. Continue reading Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

Kotlin, JavaFX, and OpenJDK Is My Perfect Dev Baseline

Like many people I got into my software development stack rut; complaining about the things I hated about it and why I wanted to change. The Java stack had been treating me ever increasingly well, especially with the refactoring of Spring into what it is today, but the language itself and it’s stagnation bothered me and had me starting to gaze at .NET now that it’s open source. I am now officially done with that exploration and will be sticking with the JVM-based system for the time being. This is driven by three major things: Kotlin, JavaFX, and the fully open source nature of the pieces I use.

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ArsTechnica’s IBM PC-History Series Is Awesome, But There’s More…

I am totally loving ArsTechnica’s two part series on the history of the IBM-PC (Part 1, Part2).  However there are some glaring omissions around the MS-DOS part of the story that I think they should have added in at least an afterward.  My write-up here is based substantially on other articles but most importantly this article from the Computer History Museum.

Continue reading ArsTechnica’s IBM PC-History Series Is Awesome, But There’s More…

I’ve Caught the Kotlin Bug…

Although my primary development language of recent years has been Java I have been itching to get to a more modern language.  Yes, Oracle made lots of good strides with Java 8 but they are still falling woefully behind.  As a former heavy .NET developer the open sourcing of C# and making it truly cross platform was my original go-to choice.  You can see that in articles I wrote here and contributions I made to Sharpen to get it working under Java 8, with the new date types etc.  Throughout my experiments with C# I refused to go back to Windows, and sadly while there have been great strides the bottom line is that Linux is a third rate supported platform compared to Windows and the not quite so poorly treated macOS.  But what alternative do I have?  The answer came with the increased news coverage, dare I say hype, around Kotlin.  This was a language I looked at notionally before but now I did a deep dive and I have to say I am really liking it.

Continue reading I’ve Caught the Kotlin Bug…

2017 Phase 8 Goal Accountability: Finally Dialed In

At the end of June, part of the way through this year’s 7th goal accountability phase I decided to finally get my shit together.  I carried that momentum into the 8th phase.  I haven’t done too many summaries this year, since I’ve mostly been sucking wind, but I have been keeping up my daily grading.  Now that I’m dialed in from the goal perspective, so too will I be dialed in on reporting it. I am happy to report straight A’s across all my goals, finally!

Continue reading 2017 Phase 8 Goal Accountability: Finally Dialed In

Test your solar eclipse glasses, even if they are rated

Apparently there are some very unscrupulous people who are faking their solar eclipse glasses to make it look like legitimately rated ones.  It goes without saying that if you don’t have legitimate solar eclipse glasses then don’t even think about looking directly at the eclipse, no not even with layers of polarized sunglasses.  If you can’t find them last minute then make an eclipse projector box such as the suggestion from Popular Science or this pinhole model.  However now that I know that there are people who are low enough to fake out eclipse glasses just having ones rated is insufficient comfort for me.  So, how do you make sure you don’t burn out your eyes using some something some POS manufacturer cranked out (they should be prosecuted)?  You test! These are the tests I’m doing to confirm for me I can safely use my own glasses to view the eclipse.  Use any of these steps at your own risk.

Continue reading Test your solar eclipse glasses, even if they are rated

If Bad Documentaries Cause Positive Changes Are They Redeemed?

This has been quite a year of lifestyle transformations for a lot of people I know, and a lot of it has been spawned by documentaries.  Health documentaries aren’t new, perhaps the grand-daddy of this current generation going all the way back to Super Size Me in 2004.  There is also no shortage of new awareness about problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD) between all of the various diet and lifestyle trends.  It therefore makes sense that year after year more documentaries are being cranked out covering the topic of diet and health from a myriad of points of view.  However the quality of these documentaries to seems to be plummeting, but they still seem to be showing success into converting people to healthier diets.  The question I struggle with then is if that’s a net positive or still a net negative.

Continue reading If Bad Documentaries Cause Positive Changes Are They Redeemed?

Compulsive Connectivity

I’ve been a computer geek literally my whole life, at least as far back as I can remember.  I grew up getting “online” back before there was a thing called “internet” and quickly transitioned into all of the technologies associated with it. What started off as costing way too much to be online and with mostly text based interactions has become, as we all know, a pervasive and universal multimedia rich infinite stream of connectivity.  But is that connectivity too much, or at least too much for me?

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Finally had a 4.0 week, don’t make it a stumbling block

Since I started dialing my fitness regiment in three weeks ago I’ve been striving to get a perfect 4.0 grade across all five of my daily goals for an entire week.  I was getting really close, but each week had one or two hiccups/slip ups that kept me off the perfect mark.  No longer.  I finally got a 4.0 across all my categories for an entire week for the first time since I started trying to do  this whole daily grading thing (even back to my Nutritarian Experiment of 2016).  First, I’ll congratulate myself for a job well done.  Now, a word of warning.  When I nail something like this I often have an impulse to try to extend it longer and longer.  Inevitably I stumble, just like anyone else does with anything like this.  That stumble then usually leads to a crash.  That crash then leads to a period of rationalization of how I was doing well so deserve a little “reward” for it, whatever that means, and that I’ll get back to it tomorrow.  String a bunch of tomorrows together and I get years of getting back to it “tomorrow”.

This week may be a perfect week again, or it may not not.  Instead of focusing on these longer term trends like I usually do I’m going to take my “being in the present” mindset that has been working these past three weeks forward. I’ll concentrate on nailing my goals today, and only today.  I’m not going to worry about what I screwed up yesterday, or if I’ll screw up tomorrow.  I’ll still track and trend all of these things as an observational and historical thing, but I’m not going to expend mental energy on it beyond just working it out today.

Momentum Made Me Do It!

In a world where “life” didn’t get in the way of me doing my exercise/fitness things I’m sure I’d still find a way to avoid them.  Part of the reason for doing the daily metrics and grading is to make how lax I am getting in those areas apparent.  In the past three weeks I’ve had it dialed in really well though.  My 10K steps goal is one that my fitness watch tracks for me.  As the consecutive day counter goes up every day it seems like an even bigger shame to break my record.  Yesterday work really got in the way of me getting to over 10K steps.  It wasn’t that abnormal of a day compared to my normal schedule, but it was the first time since I decided to dial everything in that it happened.  If it was three weeks ago I would have just said to myself, “Screw it! So I get a low grade on that that goal for the day!” Yesterday was different though.  The low grade may not be enough to move my hand but the idea that I’d break my streak was enough.  I hadn’t had time to squeeze in a morning walk (or run) before work, it wasn’t until mid-day that I realized I wouldn’t be home in time to do it before dark, I didn’t have exercise clothes, and it was 100 degrees outside.  I even had “other things” I could have done to kill some time waiting for traffic to die down to make my way home.  But I didn’t.  Not this time.  This time I just started walking and more walking for an hour, until the counter clicked just over 10K steps.  The streak continues for another day and I registered another 4.0 day.  It’s a minor victory to be sure, but string enough minor victories together and you get real progress.

Exploring Diet & Exercise From a 1st Person Point of View

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