Review: The Apple iPhone Xs

As my iPhone 6s was nearing its third anniversary, I began to get the bug for a new phone. The battery is still fine on my 6s (reports at 87% capacity, not bad for 3 years old) and the latest version of iOS had improved its snappiness, but, it is still an older phone, and, it was time to jump to the latest and greatest. Continue reading →

Instagram

With the arrival of Cerbie, brother and fellow Kauai rescue hound from Copper’s Dream Rescue, I have been blogging, and decided to create an instagram account for sharing pics and updates about him.

I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I suspect that I am not their demographic, but there are a lot of dog picture sharing, so I am wading into the pool again.

However, that said, I have to grumble (damn, I am getting to be an old man, grumbling about new fangled whizz-bang things).

  • There is no good way to access it from my computer. It is app and smartphone centric, I get that, but I have most of my images on my computer. I do take snaps with my phone, but that is a small fraction of what I have. I have to move pictures to my phone to post. Lame.
  • There are no good apps I have found for my Mac to post images to IG. There used to be a couple that I bought a couple years ago, but they are no longer working. Seems like IG keeps their API locked down to force use only with the smartphone. Sure, I can log in with my browser, and see the images, but that sucks. Sure on my Mac, I can force the client string in Safari to pretend it is an IOS browser. Still sucks donkey balls.
  • Even simple things like updating or editing my profile on the web from my computer is horribly borked. Seriously, even after disabling blockers and ghostery, I got errors in editing my profile fields. Lame. It is almost as if they don’t want you to use their web service.

Still, I will use it, as I now have a following. Check out Cerberus47 for fun pictures.

Apple Music – A Fresh Look

With the shifting allegiances in streaming music, I found myself re-enabling my Apple Music subscription. There are some benefits, and some less desirable aspects.

This is relevant as I again ponder the mix of music that I have in my collection, as well as the convenience of streaming. In the following post, I lay out the pro’s and con’s of Apple’s Music subscription plan. $9.99 a month, it is in the ballpark of the offers, between Amazon and Spotify. All three of them also offer family plans for the same price (alas, my Wife isn’t interested in sharing a plan.) Continue reading →

Music, part 5,231

If you dig through the archives, you will read my travails around a permanent solution to my streaming/collection.

The last “winner” was Amazon Music, hands down the best app experience, a decent library (not as big a selection as Apple, but enough) and the instant “AutoRIP” feature of what I bought from them were clinchers. The real win for Amazon is that whatever magic they do, even when I hit deadspots in my commute (via VTA Lightrail in San Jose), it just kept chugging. Continue reading →

Fucking Referrer Spam

Sorry for the language. However, I run a handful of small, fairly low traffic sites. This one, my product management site, one for my dog(s) and their exploits, and my Wife’s professional site.

All of these use WordPress, and I have Google analytics set up to track and monitor them. Continue reading →

Serverpilot Changes

A service that I absolutely love is changing their business model. Serverpilot, an automation, and management front end for simple VPS1 deployments, that takes a minimalist droplet from Digital Ocean and abstracts the drudgery and risk of managing that installation from the user. Continue reading →

Back to the Mojo

About a year ago I got a burr up my butt to learn something about FPGAs. I bought a Mojo board, and some accessories, and did some of the beginner tutorials. Really cool stuff, but I was using this well aged (read: shitty) windows PC that was pretty underpowered, and an AIO (all-in-one like an iMac). Since that computer was camped out on our kitchen table, it was inconvenient as hell. But the toolchain, ISE from Xilinx doesn’t run on the mac (and while I could have setup a virtualbox and ubuntu VM, that was a drag.) Continue reading →

Going SSL/TLS

Recent announcements by Google that they would begin to de-emphasize search results to sites that aren’t protected by SSL/TLS encryption (that green lock you see to the left of your browser URL bar) weren’t surprising, but it was a eye opener.

This site (tralfaz.com), its sister site (tralfaz.org), and the Greytbros, as well as Barbara’s wordsbybarbara were all at risk of going essentially invisible. Continue reading →

Ditching Chrome

Facebook is currently in deletion process. In 14 days, unless I have a moment of weakness, my account will be irrecoverably removed1. While this will be painful, it is for the better.

However, there is one more goliath that I need to wean myself from. One that is infinitely more entrenched, and intertwined in my online life. One that will probably be impossible to completely cut out. Continue reading →