Hello (microblog) World

Tue 27 June 2017

Hello world! Is this thing on?

Swift Extensions (via Natasha the Robot)

Tue 29 March 2016

Natasha the Robot uses Swift extensions “the wrong way”. I like it. Basically, instead of relying on // MARK: -... to annotate code, split out the class into separate logical chunks via extensions. Nice.

First attempt is on the main view controller of my Udacity NanoDegree final project. We’ll see how it goes from there.

Code Scribbling

Tue 29 March 2016

I do a lot of reading of blogs and such. A little while ago, I decided that it’s a waste to go through all these articles without working harder to remember them.

Ever since, I’ve been recording notes into a notebook I keep on hand while reading. Basically, If I don’t write it down, then I didn’t read it.

Anyway, I’ve now decided that I might as well put these notes up on this blog. That’s what a blog is for after all!

I Finally Set Up OS X Server

Wed 16 March 2016

I’ve been wanting to fiddle around with OS X Server for quite a while now, mostly just to satisfy my curiosity and play with a new toy. But since I haven’t actually needed it, I never did.

But a lot has changed in the past year and a half. I got married. I moved to the suburbs. I reset a lot of things. I also built myself a working space in our home. In the process, I transformed my old iMac from a workstation to a server – and it’s spectacular.

An Accidental Server

At first, I just let a couple of apps run in the background on the iMac while I worked from my laptop in the living room:

  • Hazel – automated file management
  • Apple Mail – automated email sorting
  • Keyboard Maestro – miscellaneous scheduled scripts, in addition to keyboard shortcuts
  • iTunes – media server, especially for our multiple Apple TVs

Eventually, I decided to jump in with both feet, installed OS X Server, and dedicated the iMac to full time server duties. I wasn’t using it as a workstation anymore anyway. With OS X Server installed, it was able to do a few more, heavier duty, things:

  • Time Machine Backups – great for backing up all the computers in the house, including my wife’s
  • Caching – faster iOS, OS X, and app updates.
  • File Sharing – sharing work files with my wife, pretty useful
  • Xcode Server – this is a biggie: automated unit testing for my apps

In aggregate, all of these little functions have turned my semi-retired six year old desktop into another indispensable tool. Pretty awesome!

Xcode Bots

The most exciting thing for me on the list above is the Xcode Server integration. This was something that I always thought might be a little bit useful. In practice, it’s been a lot bit useful.

Again, just on a lark, I started following a tutorial on setting up Xcode Server bots. It turns out that it’s fun seeing another entity – even if it’s a computer – running tests to validate that my code works. Seeing a fancy dashboard showing that everything is a-okay is extremely gratifying.

Everything looks good.

I’ve been okay at writing unit tests for my server side code. But I’ve been very lacking when it comes to writing them for client-side apps on iOS. Now, I’ve gotten into the habit of writing unit tests for my code as I build it. This can only help.

Working Out

Thu 28 January 2016

The PV Trailhead

Last year was a tough one as far as my health was concerned. I have been in pretty good shape in recent years, just because I made it a point to go surfing every once in a while. Having the beach right across the street made this a doable system. A wonderfully walkable city also forced me to get out and move around on a pretty regular basis.

But things changed after I moved out of my apartment a little over a year ago. I moved in with my wife into her house in the suburbs. It’s only a couple of miles away from my old place, but it’s a completely different world. Walking anywhere is not very practical – you need to take the car. And getting into the water is no longer a quick decision, but a scheduled event.

Married life is great, but with all my old routines out the window, some things fell through the cracks, and exercise was a big casualty.


For a while, I tried out several different “everyday” regimens – do something simple (and relatively easy) every day, like walking around the block or doing a seven-minute workout. This never worked very well for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change gears and added scheduled workouts into my calendar at specified times and days. Instead of expecting myself to do a little something everyday (but ending up skipping them more often than not), I made myself commit to doing something more strenuous several times a week.

So far, this system is working.

The Schedule

On Mondays, I go for a hike in the hills. On Thursdays and Saturdays, I get on the rowing machine for a half hour (or more). I’ll throw in a seven-minute workout every now and then to help round things out.

Hiking the Hills

Monday mornings, we head up to the Palos Verdes Hills and go for a hike. It usually lasts less than two hours, and we get in a nice workout. The view is a bonus:

View From the Hilltop

This is from the top of a hill. That’s the PV peninsula at the top right. Barely visible in the back, to the left, is Catalina Island (only visible on clear days). The big blue thing in the middle is the Pacific Ocean.

Rowing Machine

I got a rowing machine because it helps keep my back in shape for when I get the time to drive out to the ocean for a swim or a paddle. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think this model is the same one Frank Underwood uses in House of Cards.

The WaterRower

I tried out the more typical air-resistance models at the store, but this type is just more pleasant to use. The sound of water swishing around while you row is pretty relaxing.

Staying Healthy

Last year, I tried to barrel through a bunch of work thinking that I could just catch up on my exercise after I finished. This used to work for me, but that’s no longer the case.

Exercise is literally a priority now.

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