Lost for words

It is no secret that I have been struggling with this blog for a couple of years. Most of the things I have wanted to write are inappropriate outside of work context, and everything else seems like uncritical regurgitation of already published news stories.

For a while there, I tried to only post how-to articles, or should I say, bug reports. Every time I ran into a problem, I would publish the solution if I found one. My post about fixing the OneDrive sync engine issues have received a lot of hits WordPress tells me.

It is a slightly depressing situation as I have always enjoyed blogging about whatever came to mind. However, perhaps there’s a reason for this blogging fatigue. As many other people have pointed out, the rise of Facebook, Twitter etc. have made it easier for people to create content in a more on-the-fly manner. The content is usually not very interesting as there’s little thought behind it. I would argue that a blog post reqiures more effort to produce, as it is longer and contains more information as opposed to a tweet which tends to be 140 characters worth of dopamine stimulating nothing.

In the immortal words of Denis Leary “have we turned into gerbils ladies and gentlemen?” I don’t know about you, but I certainly have. Everyday, I mindlessly scroll through status updates mixed with an unhealthy dose of advertisements in order to feel that I am up-to-date. Freeconomics have ruined my imagination. Thanks a lot Google.

Think for a moment about people like the late great Arron Swartz, who had serious visions for the Internet and compare that to how the it has now become nothing more than a vehicle for advertisement and privacy violations.

We as IT people should be focusing on making the world a better place. I sincerely believe that we have a lot of the tools required to do so, and here we are looking for new ways to enslave our users, making them dependent on their smartphones so we can come with new a creative ways of exposing the to advertising, making them want shit they don’t need to impress people they don’t like with thngs the cannot afford.

Anyway, enough complaining from an bitter guy. I will be attending Scrum kick off tomorrow with my new team. Hopefully that will spur some inspiration.



Considering Outlook.com Premium

It’s the weirdest thing. I don’t really send or receive a lot of personal email anymore. Most of my communication goes via Facebook messenger or Google Hangouts; not even Skype is something I use a lot of these days, with the exception of Skype for Business of course. Despite this change in habits, I find myself oddly drawn to Outlook.com Premium.

Since I moved to Android I have been considering moving to Gmail, but even though I find that it is fine product I can’t seem to actually do it. And now that I can can use my domain with Outlook.com for real, perhaps that is the way to go?

Or maybe not. Why on earth would I spend money on something I don’t really use. Seriously, am I that vain? Or am I just stuck on an aging technology for nostalgic reasons? My oldest doesn’t really use email and the two youngest are still too young to have any real use for these tools. When I communicate with my wife we always use Facebook messenger. That being said, the new premium service seems like a pretty cool idea, and if I can just find a domain everybody in the family likes I should be golden.

New Firbit Charge HR

FitbitChargeHR18 months ago I lost my Fitbit Flex in the airport. At least I think I lost in the airport during a business trip, however, I could theoreticall have lost anywhere. This illustrates by biggest problem with the Flex – the locking mechanism. I lost it a couple of times before, but I always managed to find it again. But not that time.

So, when I decided to venture into the wearables category again, I needed something that would not fall off my wrist without me noticing. Enter the Fitbit Charge HR. I am not fully committed to any specific wearable yet, so the very reasonable pricepoint defenitely swayed me here. I know – I am a cheap bastard. Compared to the Flex, this is a meaningful upgrade in terms of features, so right now I am more than happy. The expanded data collection is quite useful to me. Heart rate, floors climbed, moving reminders are all features I actually use. ¨

I don’t use the Charge when I go running, as I still have my Garmin Forerunner. I am reluctant to make the switch, since it is not possible to change the band like it was with teh Flex. The wear and tear from running is pretty significant, and is the weak spot of the Charge. No replaceable band.

For now I am tracking my nutrition via MyFitnessPal as I think that service is better than what Fitbit offers. However, the integration between the two is pretty good, so it’s not really a problem. If Fitbit makes their service a little bit better I would definitely consider switching.

Adventures with Android part 2

s-l300I have been using my Nexus 5X for around two months now, and even though I swore I would not blog about it I feel compelled to do just that.

So far it the experience has been pretty good. I am really enjoying the plethora of apps. Although I never considered myself an “app person” there seems to be some apps like HBONordic that I am using a lot more than I would have imagined.

However, it seems to me that the phone is starting to slow down, which is way too early for that to happen. I think more ram would have helped out a lot, but that’s what I get for not getting the high end version. It could ned up being a problem, but for now I’ll just have to waut and see.

Android itself is ok. It seems to me that it lacks a lot polish and it doesn’t handle 3rd party email terribly well, which is very disappointing. Luckily I can mitigate that by installing Outlook.

All in all I am pretty satisfied with my purchase. However, I really miss Windows mobile for it’s great performance and more polished look. The app selection on Android seems to negate that feeling so I don’t see myself returning. Perhaps my next phone should be an iPhone. 

Getting help with my Nexus

I reached out to Google on Twitter to get some assistance with the charging issues I experienced with my Nexus 5x. They actually got back to me pretty quickly and even though it didn’t help they still deserve a hat tip.

Adventures with Android

a217I have finally left Windows Mobile. It took a little while but eventually I started to feel a little left out because of the app gap and because of the limited develoment put into the OS. I chose Android because it came highly recommended and because I am not too comfortable investing my pension saving in Apple products. They are nice and all, but I don’t want to be tied down to one platform and I don’t want devices that are so expensive I am afraid to use them.

Moving to Android has been an experience alright. I have had some seous issues with the charging capabilities as documented in another blog post  ut I have also experienced some grievances with the software. We’re talking bugs for the most part, but there some things that work a little weird as far as I am concerned.

Office365: I am a heavy Office365 user because of my work. My company recentl moved to O365 and it has been really great in my opinion. However, I have had issues with it after moving to Android.

The Gmail app cannot add my Outlook account for some reason. It was supposed to after the update but I don’t get the option. It could me be not paying full attention but the user experience has been lackluster. I have installed Outlook for Android, which works very well with my Outlook.com account, expect it doesn’t pick up my aliases this time. However, I cannot add my O365 account. What gives? It appears to be a company setting that prevents this, so I have to get a hold of support, which in itself is scary. It would be nice if I could integrate O365 better with Android.

Gmail: The app itself works well with my Gmail account, but does not handle my Outlook account well. I don’t get to change the swipe options, which is a big deal to me as I like inbox zero – or as close to zero as possible. It’s nice that it detects my pop3 account from Gmail, so I can use my domain email without having to add another email account.

Since I cannot add y work account to Outlook, I have been trying to add it to Gmail instead. However, the option does not show up when I try to add a new account. Apparently you have to re-enable Exchange services as described here. I must admit this is getting a little frustrating.

Calendar: The calendar doesn’t let me change the colors of of my non Google accounts, which is a little weird. I guess Google is hell bent on making their own services a first class citizen while demoting others’. I am not sure if this is also true for Yahoo accounts.

Apps: One thing that trips me out though is all the apps. Coming from Windows Mobile I am not used to making frequent trips to the app store but on Android that is a different story all together. Good stuff.