Tonight’s goal is to build a better image upload experience in my Rails application. I’ve never really bothered too much about adding drag and drop to my applications, but for image uploads is a much better experience than using a file picker.

I always love the superb view at my parent’s garden in the winter.

Over the years I’ve taken a few pictures like this. Some with leaves everywhere, some with frost and even a couple with snow. I’ve yet to capture the deer that sometimes wander into the garden though.

I’m not sure if it’s age or wisdom (they’re not exactly the same), but as these increase, I’m becoming increasingly selective about the technology that I introduce into my life.

Watching Jaws tonight. The murky waters in the movie are much more realistic looking than the more modern shark movies.

Had a wee listen there to “Protect Ya Neck” by Wu-Tang Clan.

Apple subscription bundles

An Apple bundle might start with news, TV, and music, but Apple could also chuck in iCloud data and maybe even a credit card deal supported by the Apple Card. Hell, given the existence of the iPhone Upgrade Program, which charges customers a monthly fee to upgrade their phone every year, a future Apple super-bundle-plus might even include hardware on tap. — Apple could bundle news, TV, and music into one subscription as soon as 2020

I would love to see Apple bundling more of their products into single subscriptions. We’ve got an iCloud subscription and a Apple Music subscription for the family. If Apple could throw in News and TV+, I would definitely sign up for it.

I’ve spun up a Ghost blog on a small DigitalOcean droplet. No idea what I’ll do with it yet, but the install process was very straight-forward. Good to know.

If I could do the whole career thing again, then I would love to be able to write for a living.

Applying for a 2nd golf club membership for Ethan. He will stay at his current club, Paisley, but the second club, Fereneze, is just down the road and come the spring he’ll also be eligible to play for the Ferenze junior team as they play in a different league from Paisley.

I don’t know why I took so long to do it, but I’ve just activated the ActivityPub API on my account. I’m now free to follow and be followed by Mastodon accounts.

Being able to follow others across different communities is such a great option to have!

Despite the fact that touch interfaces are everywhere in personal computing devices, we’ve yet to see them have the same popularity in the workplace.

I’ve got space in my golf bag for new wedges and a hybrid for next year. I’ve been enjoying hitting Ethan’s Cobra hybrid, which is what I think I’ll get. I’m not so sure about the wedges though. I always hear good things about Vokey wedges, but the options are overwhelming.

Cold start to the morning. Boys are Taekwondo while I sit in the cafe with a little code and coffee combo.

I watched the latest trailer on Apple TV for the new Star Wars movie. Even after over 30 years of watching these movies, I still get goosebumps when that music plays.

I’m resurrecting PenMuse, or something like it

A while back, I started a little Rails app that would generate random writing prompts. After a few months, I decided to kill it. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I killed it. I just remember one day deciding that it wasn’t gaining any traction, so I decided to pull the plug on it. Now though I’m not so sure that killing it was such a good idea.

If I was making the application all over again, then there are a few things that I would do differently.

I would open-source it

The main reason I would be open-sourcing the application is so that I can provide a working Rails application on my Github profile. That old chestnut about your Github being your profile isn’t something that I put a lot of stock into. Still, it would be helpful if I have something on there that is working, live and provides a small sample of my work.

I would enforce some constraints

The last time I did PenMuse it ran away from me. I got hung up about too many things about the application that I ended up overthinking what should be a simple application. This time I would keep it simple.

There won’t be an admin section for it, and I would simply connect directly to the database to add new prompts. I would keep the application as minimal as possible, to begin with. One model, one controller, one page. At least I’ll do it this way, to start with.

I would track interest in it

I’m not a big fan of using analytics, but that was back in the day when Google Analytics was the only real option. Now though, there are plenty of great options out there, and a few are even GDPR friendly.

One such analytics service that I have been wanting to try is Fathom. I have earmarked for another application, but I thought PenMuse would be a good starting point to get myself familiar with Fathom.

So there we have it. PenMuse is back! Although not right now, I still need to build it! And it’s not going to have the same name, but more on that later.

Frightening figures for golf in the UK as the number of registered players fall. I’m still optimistic for the future of golf in the UK though.

It’s a great sport that teaches etiquette, focus and sportsmanship. It’s also great for improving your health and socialising.

The diminishing MacBook Pro battery performance

Ever since I upgraded my macOS to Catalina, I’ve noticed that MacBook Pro’s battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to. In fact in the couple of days that followed the Catalina upgrade, I found that the laptop had simply ran out of battery while it was in the sleep state. What I can’t work out though is whether this issue has been made worse by the macOS upgrade or not.

I’m not using my MacBook Pro as often as I used to do, but one of the problems I have is that when I am using it, it’s plugged into the adapter and sits like that for a few hours at a time. The laptop has already had a battery change and I know that it’s bad for the battery to have it plugged into the adapter all the time, but having it unplugged just leaves me with a couple of hours of battery.

It’s time like this I wonder if I should go back to a desktop.

I want to stick with Ruby on Rails as my goto web development tool for the foreseeable future. It’s open source, frequently updated, and has a great community. Job opportunities have definitely tailed off though.

Building the reading list again

Last week I finished my first book in a long time. It felt good to get to the last page and actually enjoy the book for a change.

For a long time, I have struggled with books to read. As books have piled up, the want to read them hasn’t been there. And in some cases, when I do read them, I don’t end up enjoying the book and give up on it.

Here are a few more books that I am hoping to read over the next few months:

  • Shiang: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden
  • The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden
  • The Book of Dust volume I by Phillip Pullman
  • Spitfire by John Nichol
  • Super Thinking by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann
  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Our street is in a very quiet part of town, but like most places this time of year, there’s the frequent noise of fireworks being set off for Guy Fawkes night.

What does “Ikagi” mean to you?

Another study backs shorter work weeks

Another short-term study on moving to a shorter work week.

Is there evidence though, to still support this when the organisation has been on a shorter work week for longer than a month? How about a year?

I find it amazing that we’re able to do things more efficiently than ever before and yet we’re still working the same number of hours we did decades ago.

The blogging challenge

Adam Keys has some words on the challenges of blogging.

The hardest part is showing up, every day, writing. The hardest part is writing! The second hardest thing is hitting the publish button on a regular basis, not necessarily every day.

Blogging, like writing, is challenging

I find the act of writing pretty straight-forward to do. Crack open a notebook or a text editor and after a few stumbling blocks I’ll get going.

The big challenge for me is hitting that publish button.

You might not have noticed, but my blogging activity has picked up since the start of the month. I’m using November to build up a wee habit of blogging daily. Every day, I’ll post a short post and a longer post. It’s working well so far.

In building a product for a specific market, I’ve discovered that the admin interface doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Feedback from beta users is that they like the basic screens.

Quiet house

Using this afternoon’s quiet house to do a few things.

One of them is working out why I have now two of every app after upgrading macOS to Catalina. All my apps are accessible from Alfred in two directories now. I can find the same app in /Applications and /System/Volumes/Data/Applications.