I think it’s fair to say that I love technology. I’m a classic early adopter, wanting (and sometimes getting) the latest thing just because I can. I don’t think I’m a bandwagon jumper (although others will probably disagree), rather it’s the novelty of anything new that fascinates me and makes me want to play with it, own it. In this regard, the technology is the goal, the end product. There’s not necessarily a ‘point’ to owning the gadget - just owning it is the goal.
Well, that’s me personally. Professionally I see technology in a completely different light. Technology is not the goal, it’s merely a means to the end, whatever that end may be. Technology is helpful, a facilitator, a means of getting to the goal more efficiently or effectively. Technology is a tool. Of course technology can also be a hindrance, a time-waster; it’s about choosing the right technology (tool) for the job. In a nutshell, this is my job - picking the right tool for the job - the research, the prototyping, the cost benefit analysis, the side effects, the return on investment.
Although they appear at odds, I think my personal and professional demands on the technology that exists (or is yet to exist) complement each other. Both come from a desire to learn and experiment. And sometimes, the cutting edge technology that personally fascinates me is the right technology tool to reach a particular, professional end.
See also: "Why I love mobile tech", from my other blog.
"Why am I here?"
That's a good question. I have My other blog - "Star Tier" where i've been a bit of a generalist. The idea for Star Tier was that it would showcase 'excellence in the everyday', but hasn't really lived up to its tag line.
So this place - Another Place - is a fresh start on a more personal blog. It's also an experiment with Sett and, if it works well, I can see myself transferring Star Tier across.
I'm also experimenting with Ghost and Postach.io, so who knows where the future truly lies. (Confusingly, my Postach.io blog is also called 'Another Place' - I need to write a blog name generator.)
I'm going to (try and) take part in the A-Z Blogging challenge this April. This means a blog post each and every day in April (except Sundays). I've started to get my subjects sorted for each of the days, and have started writing some of the pieces.
With only 1 week to go go before the challenge starts on 1st April, I'm filling up my A-Z topics and the good news is that I've got the first week's post topics ready and have started writing some of them already. I think this may be a bit of a cheat - writing them before the day of publication - but I know that I'm not going to have the opportunity to set aside time each day to be creative.
Because I'm something of an organiser, I've categorised the posts into four topics: personal, productivity, technology and writing. There's some cross-over in some posts (can't be helped) but I like the idea of theming them. The first week has 2 personal posts, 2 productivity posts and one technology post.
I hope to see you here in a week's time for the first post.
Addiction is a curious thing; I really don’t understand the purpose of it. What benefit does the gene pool receive from making certain items addictive or making us have addictive natures?
“I don’t know,” is the short answer, and I’m not about to try and fathom it out either. The fact is that I have a highly addictive nature and as far as I can see, it’s a wholly negative situation that I’d rather not have to to be in the middle of.
From personal experience, I can see two types of addiction: the first is physical addiction - nicotine, in my case; the second is where the addiction is psychological - Candy Crush Saga, anyone? I’m willing to accept that the latter may also be based on a physical addiction - to adrenaline or some such.
The harm in being addicted to nicotine is well documented, but what’s the harm in being addicted to phone games? Well, it’s certainly not doing my social or home lives any good. The best think I could do would be to delete all the games from my phone, but I can’t. The daily challenges keep me coming back - sometimes only to play the daily challenges!
There is one light on the horizon, though, with a new electronic cigarette - the Smokio. It’s the first ‘connected’ eCigarette, with bluetooth connectivity to your smart phone. I’ve got one and watching the money saved clock up with every puff you take, and watching your daily progress to a healthier lifestyle is great!
Monday 31st March was World Backup Day 2014. No, I didn’t know either.
Even the most non-computer-using people need to be considering backups seriously if only because of the tons of photos you are likely to have in digital-only format.
Having fallen foul of lost data a number of times in the past, I have had a fairly intense backup system in place for a couple of years now. (To set the scene, I have in my household 3 desktop computers, one laptop, two iPads and two iPhones. Phew!):
All the above means that I have multiple copies of everything in multiple sites.
It’s going to have to be a rapid post, today, I’m afraid.
I wanted to tell you about a great book that I’m currently reading. It’s called “The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right” and it’s by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer. There are a number of reasons that I am enjoying this book so much:
I would urge you all to find a copy and be bemused, surprised and fascinated in equal measures at how such a simple concept can have such dramatic results.
Do you keep a diary - a journal? For a while now I’ve been keeping one, but I’m not very good at writing in it. It’s an online diary using an application called Day One. It’s available on Mac OS X and Apple devices, which makes it easy to create entries whenever or wherever you are.
According to productivity experts, keeping a diary is a great way to improve your productivity.
I seem to write in the journal in fits and starts - I go for a few weeks non-stop, with an entry or two each day and then stop completely for a month or so. It’s one of those things that should be so easy to do, and it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. We can't all be Tony Benn, after all, with his prolific diary writing, and writing a diary should be a personal thing and not written in anticipation of being read by others.
Evernote is my knowledge base, my memory. Everything I want to store and anything that I think may be useful in the future goes straight into Evernote. If I get an email that I want to keep, I just forward it to a special email address and it goes straight into Evernote. If I find a really useful web page that I want to be able to look up at a later date, I can use the Evernote web clipper and it’ll be stored in Evernote along with a link to the original page. If I make notes in my notebook it’s an easy process to take a photo of the pages and put them in Evernote.
Once stuff is in Evernote it can be categorised and is searchable. It even searches within attachments and will perform OCR on your photos so that they are searchable too.
I don’t know where I’d be without it, to be frank.
I stumbled across this word whilst reading a newspaper article over the weekend. It’s not often that a word particularly stands out like that, so I took it as a sign to write my ‘F’ post about it.
As an ex-programmer, facade means one more thing to me, in the context of a Design Pattern: