Pico: A New Android Client for Micro.blog

Apps

I don’t use Android, but Pico by Belle B. Cooper’s new app Pico looks like a great choice if you do and want to use Micro.blog. It’s also [open source]. Neat.

I also enjoyed this part of her introduction post:

More recently I tried out Mastodon. Mastodon feels a lot like Twitter to me in terms of the tone and the content you’ll see there. For those who like the idea of Twitter but find it an uncomfortable place to hang out, this is great. Personally, I don’t like Twitter at all anymore. I don’t like memes, or internet culture, or silly jokes, or random thoughts from random people. That’s the stuff that Twitter—and now Mastodon—is great at, but it’s not what I want.

From my limited experience with Mastodon it seems like it wants to be the same kind of thing as Twitter, but less centralized so that if you don’t want to play in the same sandbox with white supremacists (or whatever), you can just not be a part of that instance, stay on instances which disallow them, and it won’t exist for you.

Micro.blog on the other hand is just a social networking layer built on top of RSS and other web standards. Manton will also let you pay him $5 to host a blog on his server, but you can just hook up your RSS from your own blog for free and get the benefit of a social network. The way I look at it, they’re both more an less ambitious than one and other in different ways, but I really like Micro.blog‘s approach, because it will still have value even if it doesn’t get all that big. Also, podcasting with it is awesome, easy, and one of the most affordable ways.

Belle is also 1/2 of the fabulous Exist.io, which is a service you try if your doing any kind of health tracking and wanted to actually make sense of it.

Reading With a Pencil

Other

This makes me feel as though I should be reading more books on paper, or at least have a notebook next to me when I read.

Reading With a Pencil:

I believe that the first step towards becoming a writer is becoming a reader, but the next step is becoming a reader with a pencil. When you underline and circle and jot down your questions and argue in the margins, you’re existing in this interesting middle ground between reader and writer.

(Via @Cheri on Micro.blog)

Morning Awakening Podcast

Mindfulness / Podcast

I’ve just posted the first episode of a new short-form podcast about mindfulness and meditation called Morning Awakening. It’s me talking about my practice, related topics I’m thinking about, and responding to audience feedback. I’d like to make it something I do on most days, but some of that will depend on how much response I get, so if you have any thoughts or feedback on a related topic, please send it via the contact form or on Micro.blog.

You can subscribe to the show by entering the URL http://feedpress.me/awaken into your podcast player, or searching in the coming days once it shows up in all the podcast directories.

Reversing a Swift String in Place

Dev

One of the interview questions at my old job we’d ask sometimes was to reverse a string in place; usually using C or Java. After conducting an interview one time, I decided to rewrite it in Swift. Here’s what I came up with:

func reverse(string: inout String) {
    var i = string.startIndex
    var j = string.index(before: string.endIndex)

    while i < j {
        let first = string[i]
        let second = string[j]

        string.remove(at: i)
        string.insert(second, at: i)
        string.remove(at: j)
        string.insert(first, at: j)

        i = string.index(after: i)
        j = string.index(before: j)
    }
}

var str = "12345"
reverse(string: &str)

Sticking With Tile After Trying Trackr

Apps / Tools

I’ve used Tile trackers since they first came out on my keys, wallet, backpack — anything I didn’t want to lose. They’ve always worked well enough, but they were a little big, and I didn’t love that the batteries weren’t replaceable. For those reasons, I decided to give Trackr a shot. It’s way smaller and runs on a watch battery. Those are the good parts. The bad part is, it didn’t work.

Yesterday I spent 15 minutes tearing apart my house looking for my keys because I could see in iOS settings the Trackr device was connected to bluetooth, it took that long to recognize it in the app. And this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. If the app can’t reliably detect when the device is connected — an issue I’ve never had with Tile — and trigger it to ring, it’s functionally useless to me.

I ordered a Tile Sport for my keys and will deal with the larger size and non-replaceable battery.

Opinion

Set up Tweet Delete to automatically delete anything I post to Twitter after 30 days. Maybe I’ll be sad someday not to be able to look back on what I was saying in 2009, but the direction I’m going is to post to places I control first, so maybe not.

Opinion

My living room basically looks like an Apple ad now, but stereo HomePods really do sound pretty good (as they should for $700).

Opinion

Went and used the automatic car wash today and picked up a little friend on the way home. Brown Bear Car Wash was pretty affordable and good for an automatic.

Opinion

Just finished my first Peloton ride at my new house. Feels good to get my fitness and exercise rings closed by 11am.

Opinion

Third-party mail apps like Airmail look appealing, but I always end up going back to Apple Mail within a short time. I don’t know if it’s a comfort thing, and I’d eventually feel at home, but nothing else has ever stuck.