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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

John Quincy Adams on GTD

Not really.

Maria Popova on the always excellent Brain Pickings re: John Quincy Adams and his thoughts on getting things done, learning, and wasting time:

Years earlier, in observing his own habits of mind in the course of his voracious self-education, Adams had become aware of the meager correlation between effort exerted and results obtained when a clarity of purpose is lacking — even the mightiest discipline, after all, is wasted without a clear direction.

The entire post is worth a read.

This quoted bit stuck out at me because of a personal hack that I do to ensure I get things done and don’t just spin my wheels. I give myself insanely tight windows to get things accomplished. While writing my first iOS app, a project that is extracurricular for me, I give myself only an hour or two at most each morning to work on it. I sometimes wake at 5:30a and have to finish what I’m doing by 7:30a so I can make it to work on time. This constraint means I need to be wholly focused on the tasks I need to get done.

Quincy Adams also talks about the nature of time being spent on learning because it is in those times that you learn what do didn’t even know you were ignorant about. I find these moments spring up all the time. I might be intentionally researching something only to stumble on a completely different field of research that I need to do. I love those times and apparently Quincy Adams finally embraced those times later on in life and used them to help others.

I can’t believe he didn’t know Orion until he was almost 50. I wonder what I will stumble across at 50 that I wish I hadn’t missed?

What I saw this week #48: August 18, 2017

  • Adam Savage visits Third Man Records – I’m a huge fan of everything Jack White is involved in so this was an instant-watch for me. It also reminds me that I need to go through and prune some records from our collection to make room for some newly pressed ones.
  • Ready Player One trailer breakdownDo not watch this if you haven’t yet read the book and are planning to.
  • SVG can do THAT?! – Good presentation from Sarah Drasner.
  • Lattner goes to Google Brain – I hope he likes it there and can do good work. Part of me still wishes his code was driving me around.

These are links that didn’t make the cut for full posts. Here are more.

Blank by Cotton Bureau

Cotton Bureau:

Size-inclusive, made-in-the-USA, better-fitting, premium t-shirts for women and men.

I wore a Cotton Bureau tee on Tuesday of this week (thanks Kyle). It felt great. It looks like these new carefully considered tees will be even better than the high-quality product they already offer.

/via Kyle Ruane on Twitter.

Vines – July 2017

A list of words being used too often in news headlines lately

  • Finally
  • Blasts
  • Destroys
  • Braces
  • Defends
  • Smashes
  • …and you won’t believe what happened next

The State Street Grill, Clarks Summit, PA – August 2017

I had a recent business lunch at The State Street Grill and finally remembered to add anchovies to my Caesar Salad. It was delicious.

This morning’s fog was beautiful. I wish I had time to stop and shoot some photos.

🌮 Tuesday.

Of course Twilio’s platform is experiencing tons of queueing on a day that I’m to demonstrate an app to a client.

Zach Leatherman’s garden

Zach Leatherman:

As my own little corner of the web uncermoniously turned ten years old this year, it’s really starting to feel more like a garden than a piece of software. I certainly enjoy tending to it. I can plant what I like and with proper care it can grow into something useful.

First, how cool is his last name?

I like this analogy of comparing a personal web site to tending to your own personal garden.

Hudson River, Newburgh, New York – August 2017

On a recent weekend trip Eliza and I ate BBQ on the Hudson. It was a gorgeous weekend in the Hudson River Valley area.

Hazy day. Did some shopping this afternoon. Finally found some suitable flip-flops/slippers and sunglasses.

E18: Ground Digger Wasp

In late-July I stumbled upon a large mound of sand at a construction site that had several large wasps digging holes. I had never seen a wasp that large in my life. Turn your volume up for the tail end of this audio bit.

Links

Download MP3

Giving Minecraft a spin.

Repost: Phil Schiller on Twitter

Ron Chester on Webmentions

Ron Chester:

I have only one reservation about the development of this IndieWeb stuff. While it is in progress, most of these websites have disabled regular comments, if they ever had them. Often there is also no contact information given, or it takes a lot of hunting on their websites to find it. So if one doesn’t have webmentions working on one’s own website, there is no obvious way of communicating with these folks about things they post. I have found that if they’re also on the Microblog website, one can post a message there, addressed to them. But that seems pretty round about, when an old school place to post a comment on their original post would be very easy to leave.

Please go to his site and read his entire post.

I read Ron’s post before making my decision to turn comments back on. Also, my email address is available on every page of my site. So if anyone would like to comment on anything on my site they should be able to do so both publicly and privately with ease.

Side note: One of the reasons we all turned off comments, aside from the benefits of disabling comments like more traffic to your site (I wrote this post 10 years ago!), is that people claimed that moderating comments is too much work. I no longer think that is an issue. Even if my blog became a popular place to comment I think I’d be able to keep up with it with the tools we have available now.

Sundar has been a good CEO for Google thus far. The next few weeks will put him to the test.

As a result of this decision, I’ve now opened commenting up on all posts so far in August 2017.

Replies from Micro.blog and oh hai, comments

If you visit my site at all you may have noticed many of the recent posts have replies showing up on them from Micro.blog. Here is one example post. That is because webmention works pretty well on Micro.blog.

However, this is causing me a bit of frustration because it feels as though the conversation about a post is happening on Micro.blog rather than on people’s own blogs. Even if those people have their own blogs they are using Micro.blog to reply*. It is an interesting thing to see. Effectively, Micro.blog is feeling a lot like Twitter – replies to my posts are on there so I have to go there to reply to those replies.

To that end I’ve decided I’ll start turning comments on some posts (like this one). I’d much prefer people reply to my blog posts on their own blog or – starting today – on my blog. Even though I like Micro.blog better than Twitter or Facebook doesn’t mean I want to have to navigate to that web site each time I want to reply to comments on my posts.

* I’m unsure if that is what the M.b team wants to happen. But that is what is happening right now. Also, M.b is supposed to be a host for blogs if people want it to be. But, again, even people with their own blogs are using M.b’s reply feature to reply to posts.

Favicons on tabs in browsers

John Gruber:

With many tabs open, there’s really nothing subjective about it: Chrome’s tabs are more usable because they show favicons.

Like John, I’m currently a Safari user. I switched to Chrome for a bit due to the Developer tools being a bit better at the time but, as you may know, I’m trying to go all in on Apple. Safari is just better all around when on the Mac, iPhone, or iPad*.

I totally agree, though, with everything John says in his piece. Go read the entire thing.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned in his piece though is Safari’s “Show all tabs” view. If you have a ton of tabs open it can be very useful to use the Show all tabs button to view them all and find the one you’re looking for. This feature alone will not pull Chrome users over to Safari but at least it is something.

* Currently iCloud tabs are not working at all for me on the Mac. But I’m guessing that may be due to me using the iOS 11 betas on both iPhone and iPad and I am not using a beta of macOS High Sierra.