So Far


Although my typical day these last couple of weeks starts at 6:30 (or earlier) cradling an infant and a milk bottle and seemingly consists of hours of jiggling the accoutrements of baby care (and rattles) with half-hour blissful intervals now and then as the youngest dozes off contentedly, I’ve already managed to do a bunch of stuff that has been on my backlog for ages, namely:

What Why
Messing around with LiMo I’ve gone through half a dozen different firmware images so far, and although they’re all for ARM devices, the amount of dumb stunts and weird userland layouts I’ve seen so far defies explanation – everyone does it differently, and even the same manufacturer does it differently across otherwise nearly identical models – so I basically gave up for the moment, since I cannot be bothered to roam six different filesystem mazes, all unlike. An interesting side note is that it was easier to switch on my NSLU2 (which is ARM-based too, albeit with the wrong endianness) to mount the cramfs images than find a working cramfs toolset for the Mac.
Getting rid of phones I’m utterly fed up with mobile phones, so I’ve started going through drawers and stacking up old phones, patiently charging them, peeking inside them, resetting them and, in some cases, re-flashing them to the latest firmware version (which entails visiting the land of Fusion quite often to poke at my captive XP instance). It’s been slow going (about one every couple of days, if I’m lucky), but it’s a nice way of banishing the past.
Building a few web tools I’ve come to the conclusion that doing web UIs for desktop browsers alone is a waste of time – at least for my own use – since when I need to access some of my news filtering or drafting tools I’m usually on something small and with a WebKit browser. So I’m tossing most of my jQuery stuff and learning Sencha Touch, for regardless of what they do with the library after the beta stage and despite a few layout bugs when you switch to landscape mode on an iPhone (the title bar is too tall, for one thing), it works OK for building simple UIs that work across desktop and iOS devices, and I’ve already cobbled together, among other things, a Textile previewer (that is locally installable, since it’s all pure JavaScript) and a front-end for server statistics.
Drinking gallons of tea Despite the blistering heat, I’ve been routinely putting a kettle on and imbibing all manner of infusions, which makes me feel oddly British in some sugar-free way.
Clearing out personal e-mail I keep finding stuff I haven’t replied to or filed away across a bunch of folders and accounts, and that is taking a while to sort out. If you’ve written in the past couple of months, then there’s hope for a reply yet.
Consolidating contacts No matter how trendy cloud-based contact lists happen to be, I still prefer to manage my contacts the old-fashioned way, and have been deleting a bunch of stale ones (LinkedIn is good enough for tracking former colleagues and partners, thank you), cleaning up duplicates and filling in missing info. It’s slow going, but fun in a nostalgic sort of way.
Bought a new printer It’s amazing how long you can put up with some things, and lousy printers are one of them. I’ve already written that up, but it bears listing here because it was a sort of cosmic turning point.
Thought about the Kindle, sprang for an iPad Partly due to an ongoing discussion in the local geek crowd mailing-list and partly due to the DX refresh, I’ve thought about the Kindle vs iPad, and came to the conclusion the former wasn’t a good investment at this point because its web browser sucks and the latter was almost justifiable (despite it being a first-generation device, with all that entails). After a ninja-like affair, I got a 16GB Wi-Fi one, and will be writing about it later – I’m actually typing this on it already.

More is sure to come, although my priorities right now are enjoying the kids, puttering about the house doing various chores and reading (sometimes all at once).

But I’m definitely having a great time.