Taking Stock

Things aren’t going well (in more ways than one), but I’m finding encouragement in odd nooks and crannies.

The causes don’t really matter, but one of the symptoms is that I’ve been feeling tired and unaccustomably irritable, something that I’m now trying to put a lid on by forcing myself to go back and re-visit stuff I don’t ordinarily like to do – i.e., tackling things head on.

That lead down some interesting paths – for instance, after a stint of Excel modeling I had a sudden flash of inspiration and spent Saturday afternoon tinkering with D3 to great effect, doing a sort of interactive pivot table with crossfilter and Handsontable (which, alas, I can’t publish here, at least not with the data I was using).

One thing led to another, and soon I was pondering timeline representations like this calendar layout that GitHub adopted with such resounding success, and which is now a commonplace way of visualizing activity.

So of course I rolled my own, and tested it with my own data – here’s one depicting edits to this site (including link posts, updates and minor edits like fixing typos):

Seems rather active, right?

Well, if I limited it to blog posts only it would be depressingly empty – my packrat habits of hoarding interesting links and publishing useful snippets of code are the main reason why the chart shows so many updates, even though I only actually publish a new blog post ever week or so.

In fact, I’ve begun to question (again) whether the site is viable, but this time not in economic terms (I’ve long given up on blogging as an income source). It’s become more a of a lifestyle thing, really – there’s very little point in writing about the Mac on its own (especially when there’s an entire industry doing that), I’m a happy iOS user (and critic), but I just don’t use computers the same way anymore – or phones, or even tablets.

And don’t even get me started on watches.

But the real point is that there’s a whole lot more stuff I want to write about that I just can’t. At least not here, and most certainly not right now, largely because despite the time I devote to technology there are other things that are vastly more important.

So I’m going to be pondering that over Summer break (whenever I find the time to actually take one) and start breaking stuff around September (in fact I’ve already started, but I’m going to take my own sweet time about it).