Late New Year Update

Yes, this is one of those late-late February New Year round-ups! And what a year it’s been in general. Moving back to the ‘real world’ (aka London) has now come and gone, and I’m safely wrapped up in trying to stay ahead of the world’s general downward curve.

This site has fully moved from it’s previous Dreamhost location and is now being hosted by Slicehost. This has allowed me to add bug tracking through Redmine, which has helped considerably in keeping track of the state of things. I’m still experimenting with the right settings, and there are occasional weekend dips as I move things around, but everything should now be running quite nicely with a combination of Apache and Phusion Passenger. If you’re not afraid of managing your own system then Slicehost are highly recommended.


ThingsAlso in keeping organised I’ve become enamoured with Things, a very swish looking GTD application for Mac OS X. I’m by no means a GTD addict so I make no claims as to the completeness of this application, but for me it’s hit the sweet spot between all the techno-science that GTD seems to involve and something that is attractive and straightforward to use. Tagging is used extensively and this allows a very flexible setup to be created that’s tailored to your own workflow. Things has achieved the seemingly impossible job of making task management fun to use.

Following on from this I’ve drunk deep from the Apple-flavoured kool-aid and am now in possession of an iPhone. I know that for many the iPhone is either a thing of great beauty or of great hatred. Being a mobile phone luddite for so long the iPhone has pretty much knocked my socks off. I’ve enjoyed using it so much that my other gadgets are starting to feel envious.

In terms of visual entertainment I’ve also been enjoying the final season of Battlestar Galactica. This show has had it’s fair share of twists, and as a viewer you’ve been dragged through some pretty dark episodes, but it’s hard not to just watch in awestruck appreciation as everything grimly unfolds. Also of note has been Dexter, of which season 3 continues on with Michael C. Hall’s greatness driving yet another journey through the makings of a monster.

As to reading material, I’ve been disappointed by The Magus, and wrapped up once more by a set of Haruki Murakami novels (Norwegian Wood, Kafka On The Shore) – off-kilter Japanese stories make for good bedtime reading, dry literary noodling does not.

I’ve also been reading Cocoa Programming by Aaron Hillegrass. While this book is very detailed in walking you through various parts of Cocoa development, I can’t help but feel the need for a little more reference information – the Cocoa system provides such a vast library of features, but it’s hard to know where to begin.

6 thoughts on “Late New Year Update”

  1. Hello John,

    Great to hear what you are up to.

    We’re just looking to do some improvements to a certain neighbourhood guide…

    If you are serious about the Cocoa programming, I have a couple of small ideas with big bang (deep hooks but minimal code).

    I tried Things for a couple of months. I loved the program but found the default text far too small so put my back into making TaskPaper work now. I’m now happier than I was with Things. What’s great about TaskPaper as well as the minimal interface (although it has all kinds of drag and drop hidden under the hood) is it’s built in outlining capabilities which are really good. TaskPaper is also as fast as a plain text editor. Quite a small work of genius actually.

    I own an extra license so if you’d like to give TaskPaper a real try, drop me a line.

    I can’t believe you were disappointed in The Magus. I was entranced by it – I was about twenty-seven at the time. My life came to resemble enough the contents of the book (at least the exotic and mysterious women and strange conversations) so perhaps I would be less impressed now.

    Anyway…the real reason of my visit today (I had despaired of ever seeing any UrbanGiraffe.com updates a couple of months ago) is to ask you about your book on WordPress templating. Is it still up to date? Someone asked me for a reference book on WordPress and I would like to recommend your WordPress Themes.

    1. Strange about the Things font size – it is exactly the same size as all other applications for me. I think I actually have a license for TaskPaper knocking about that was part of some bundle, but I never quite got into it. No tool can create time that’s not there, however, so ideas on useful-but-small projects for Cocoa would be interesting.

      The themes guide is not up to date and documents WordPress 1.5. Most of it is still appropriate but there’s large portions now missed off.

      1. Yes, Things is the same as many of the built-in Apple apps but with the Apple apps (exception iCal), one can change the font-size (try Address Book for instance).

        TaskPaper version 1 was a bit of a dog – more a proof-of-concept for task management as a flat text file – but TaskPaper 2 is entirely different, with drag and drop and ultrafast filtering. Try it out as a speedy outliner.

        I’ll send you the idea for the little Cocoa app that I’d like to built in email.

        Thanks for letting me know about the themes guide. We are just gradually moving Foliopress from 2.2 to 2.71. Quite happy to have missed out on the database changes and the awful 2.5 version and all the plugins broken/not updated. 2.7 is a real advance in admin interface and built-in functionality.

        It looks like WordPress has finally caught up with most of what we (i.e. you and I) built back in 2005.

  2. I’ve enjoyed Murakami’s books as well!

    If you liked Norweigian Wood, might I suggest “South of the Border, West of the Sun”?
    I think that’s his best, but that’s just my opinion.

    I also like Dexter; although I’ve only finished season 2 of it recently!

    I haven’t been to London in like ten years, so I’m a little itchy to return.

    Keep up the great work on your WordPress plugins!

  3. I’m going with John on this one, you’re in for a nice little treat if you liked the first couple seasons of Dexter, season 4 gets crazy. If you watch Dexter you will be satisfied for sure!

    I also read your review for Dexter and wanted to say Kudos, nice write up.

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