October 10, 2019

My second digital life: what is privacy?

Part of an ongoing series exploring my digital life, starting with “Designing my digital life (again)” Part of understanding my gut feeling for wanting to move away from Google, why I think HTTPS is good, or why I dislike targeted adverts, is understanding and unpacking the feelings I have when I hear about Google and data in the news, when I hear about three letter agencies dragnetting the internet and when I see targeted advertising going wrong. ... Read more

July 27, 2019

Working around DVD regions

Yesterday, what I really wanted to do was watch 3x3 Eyes. I own the DVD, so this should be a matter of plugging play … except what I own is the NTSC Region 1 DVD “Collector’s Edition” and I no longer have a Region 1 DVD player regularly in use under the television … So this could’ve turned into a post about how hard it can be to find older, less popular, works on streaming services but this is actually a post to remind myself how to get video from a Region 1 DVD to a decent digital rip with nice subtitles, and some of the things I learned along the way. ... Read more

June 27, 2019

Designing my digital life (again)

Nearly a decade ago I discovered the power of controlling my environment by being deliberate in how I wanted to operate. This consisted of reflecting on what “systems” I wanted to use and what mental models served me. This ranged from the delightfully banal (“how do I want to hang my washing?”) to the rather more esoteric (“I desire my wallet to function exactly like this”), which often brought an associated step of having to build that thing. ... Read more

June 19, 2019

Experiment: smart watch reminders - 15 minute vibra-chime

This post is mostly for me. It’s not a design diary, it’s not a retrospective. Using embedded development tools is tricky and so this represents some notes on the use of the tooling (more of a project log, and because I will forget!) on the two experiments I ran to start hacking around before I get deep into a complex original piece of work. Introduction Eventually I managed to set up the smartwatch development environment ready to begin some hacking. ... Read more

May 27, 2019

Getting started with smartwatch development

So the goal here is to have some fun hacking some watch face ideas together for personal use. I’m not looking to sell, or share. When working with embedded systems like these, there’s two parts that we need to get working: Development/compilation environment Deploying code onto the device Usually deployment is fairly easy and the IDEs are the hardest part to configure. In this case, the security model of the watch is such that there’s a whole signing process to go through and the development environments provided by Samsung and Tizen are Java-based, which hurts on MacOS. ... Read more

May 24, 2019

TeslaBridge II - live in the wild

A couple of months ago, I detailed the construction of a special guest wifi for my car, and ended the post having successfully got the car to connect to the bridge and appear, and first blush, to work. Over the last month I’ve watched and noted the car not staying connected over night, and not reconnecting when I get home from work. Early in the process I checked the logs and could see things being a bit wafty, but this time it was time to get serious and figure out what was going on. ... Read more

May 16, 2019

My first smartwatch

Today is day 5 of smartwatch ownership for me. This is a purchase that was made after a lot of thought about my needs and how I might use it, but like the tablet before it, I knew that this device would influence my behaviour by the capabilities offered just as much as it solved problems I had and could articulate. My decision making process swings wildly from the emotional “Shiny! ... Read more

March 31, 2019

Design diary: special guest wifi

In late 2017 I bought the best toy I have ever had the pleasure of playing with: a Tesla Model S. I’m not a car-person, so I didn’t have to overcome the loss of a combustion engine, and I mostly do a 30 mile round-trip commute, so range anxiety was something that wasn’t a huge deal for me. This post isn’t about my experiences of the car, this is about getting the car on the wifi. ... Read more

March 19, 2019

Lessons in keeping music software up to date - part 2

Two days ago I realised things were a bit wafty with my DAW setup, but now it’s time to do a proper cleanup, because upgrading to Reaper 5 64-bit has shown: My plugin stack is running 32 bit, but some plugins are starting to creep into the 64 bit territory. Half my plugins won’t run under 64 bit without upgrading them. Revalver is annoying the hell out of me and really just plain broken IK Multimedia just doesn’t quite work on the interface side of things anymore anyway. ... Read more

March 17, 2019

Lessons in keeping music software up to date

Back in 2015, when I wasn’t working I was trying to make music. I spent a lot of time and some money to assemble a set of tools to support my creativity. It was a careful blend of the physical space, the recording and instrumental software and the hardware (both instruments and computer), and it worked great. Life happened, however, and my setup was moved, reassembled and largely left behind while I upgraded my OS. ... Read more

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