What I've been doing recently

I felt like writing something quick, not one of those long-simmering posts that grows larger and larger until writing it requires taking a week off or something. So, hello, here are some words about what I’ve been doing recently.

Work-wise… I left IF at the end of July. They’re a lovely bunch doing interesting and worthwhile things, but the role wasn’t quite right for me so it was best to leave sooner rather than later. Since then I’ve done some front-end work for Storythings, a dash of poking at tech things for Publish.org, and then a big chunk of Django development for Hactar. Which has all been a good re-entry back into freelancing.

Quasi-work-wise… I moved The Diary of Samuel Pepys from an Ansible-provisioned server at Digital Ocean back to Heroku. I learned a lot in setting things up over there, although learning it took ages. However, ultimately, it was too much work. I didn’t need to change things often, which meant I didn’t remember how anything worked, and I never felt confident it was set up at all well, never mind securely. Plus, while it’s interesting to learn new stuff, it’s still not stuff I want to spend my time doing. So, back to the comforting arms of Heroku, which is about £12 per month rather than £4, but it’ll easily save me £8 of time and background-level stress. I can now more easily update/fix a few things I’ve been meaning to tackle on that site for a while.

Still-at-the-computer-but-not-at-all-worky-wise… I’m going through a small pile of 100MB Zip disks from around 2000, before I wipe them and sell them, and the Zip drive, on eBay, for want of any other use. They all seem to work still, which surprised me. Unfortunately they have no documents on them I don’t already have copies of, or applications that work any longer. No long-lost treasures.

Similar-old-media-tidying-wise… I have four cardboard boxes of CDs that have sat on the top of the wardrobe since I ripped them all early in the century. I could give them all away but (a) that’s probably kind of illegal if I’m going to keep the MP3s and (b) I can’t quite bring myself to do that. So many of them meant a lot to me back then. So I bought a load of plastic sleeves as a way-too-expensive, especially-given-the-import-duties-I-forgot-about, means to reduce their bulk. This also means spending a few hours transferring CDs from plastic cases into sleeves before, I guess, putting them back on top of the wardrobe in fewer cardboard boxes.

Reading-wise… I recently read: Weapons of Math Desctruction which was good but a bit “pop science”; A Hologram for the King which was very quick and inconsequential; and Radical Technologies which was very good — more serious and interesting than the Contents might suggest.

Movie-wise… I saw Dunkirk which was, you know, big. And unnecessarily confusing, in terms of the timeline. And A Ghost Story which was brilliant and you should watch, and stick with, even if it seems too silly and too slow at first.

TV-wise… We’re watching The Good Wife, at about the same pace as @AllSevenSeasons, so currently part-way through season six. It goes down very easily, and we enjoy it, although we’re frequently frustrated by how apparently clever and perceptive characters can suddenly become really, really stupid for the sake of the plot. Oh, and how incredibly quickly things can happen (e.g. company take-overs, office moves, people moving firms) that would take ages in real life. There hasn’t been much else on we’ve watched recently… the summer lull on Freeview which, plus library-rented DVDs, is all we watch at the moment.

Game-wise… I finally finished The Last of Us which took way too long, given my quite occasional playing. It was very good, certainly one of my favourite ever games, not that I have a list. I usually find stories in video games get in the way of having an enjoyable time but this was a great balance of atmospheric narrative and action. I used a walkthrough because I dislike solving puzzles as much as I dislike stories. Now I’m playing Horizon Zero Dawn which I’m finding pretty tedious. After The Last of Us the cut-scene dialogue is woefully clunky, the fantasy/hippy/mystical atmosphere is wearing, and the RPG-ness of it is more complicated than I can be bothered with. Still, I’ve payed for it so will carry on, thinking of it as Horizon Sunk Cost.

That’s about all. Kind of like a loose sort of probably one-off weeknotes.

I hope you’re well and having fun.

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3 Sep 2017 at Twitter

  • 5:38pm: @tomtaylor @genmon Yes, I’ve liked Reeder. Currently use Mr. Reader on iPad, also linked to my @feedbin account (which is ace).
  • 5:36pm: @dracos Whenever the cron script next runs :)
  • 5:18pm: I have not just sent my latest email newsletter or written a Medium post or twitted a tweet storm. Out to the RSS crew.
  • 9:48am: A house for sale on the west coast of Scotland with its own smokehouse business rightmove.co.uk/property-for-s… You know, if you want to escape.