Quick rules for personal technology

(Edit: found this while cleaning old posts, must be about 2-3 years ago, but seems very relevant still 😀)

Bunch of suggestions from me, take it or leave it:

  • get off social media
  • no more free games on your phone
  • no news apps
  • no notifications (as much as possible)
  • use “do not disturb” aggressively
  • turn off ads everywhere
  • make something instead of “swiping away”: doodle, write gibberish, whatever
  • write a small journal everyday

Monthly recap (Sep 2019)

A shovel-full of little stones in the sand
A shovel-full of little stones in the sand

Minor updates:

  • A team offsite that involved sailing in the bay (on the USA-76)
  • Some frustration with the limited AT&T data plan that I have
  • Went for a Gulzar event
  • Rapunzel at the Playhouse
  • Trying out Sam Harris’ meditation app
  • A first Lego set for Tara (so, will be giving away her Duplos soon)

Watched/read/made:

  • Chernobyl (series on Netflix)
  • End of the tour (movie on Netflix)

Notion

I’ve always been prone to trying out new apps in the note-taking, information-herding, organizing, brain-storming, storing-and-finding space, not because I like shiny new things (I used to like shiny new things earlier, I don’t any more, I really don’t …), but because I’m always looking for that one thing that will magically “improve my flow”, help me write better, help me think better.

I had checked out Notion earlier, like I checked out a bunch of other things, but I think I didn’t give myself enough time with it, or perhaps I read too many reviews of what other people thought about it.

I tried it again recently, and I’m hooked. This is not just practically useful (in many, many, many ways), but also very satisfying in the sense of “I’m glad someone is doing this!”

As someone who’s also prone to wallowing in the “how did all the magic of the 60s and 70s come to this?”, I think this is a tool in the great tradition of Hypercard, of Xanadu, of Mindstorms, of the early intentions of Smalltalk, and of the legendary “mother of all demos” itself.

(As a minor aside, the only other such tool is Tinderbox, but that suffers to some extent from a lack of evangelism, and perhaps more from a lack of cross-platform-ness).

It’s not there yet (I understand the necessity of having an Electron app, but I’ll patiently sign up for the personal plan and wait a few years for the native app), but it has made its place as a tool to think.

(I expect I’ll have much more to say about this, over the next year)

Monthly recap (August 2019)

Sunset
Sunset

Major updates:

  • Towards the end of the month, we took a trip to Kauai
  • Got some work done in our kitchen (tiling the floor)

Minor updates:

  • Started out mildly embarrassing but ended rather well: treated myself to a Spa session (sauna/massage)
  • Met up with some friends of ours in Berkeley (and as a side effect, discovered the wonderful Berkeley Bowl market!)
  • My grandmother hasn’t been well 😦
  • Had a great view of the Milky Way on a cloudless night in Hawaii
  • Three birthdays this month

Watched/read/made:

  • Watched Angry Birds with Tara (we’re really getting into the “watching movies with her” groove this year!)
  • Also, Sacred Games and The Last Czars on Netflix

Monthly recap (July 2019)

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Flowers that Tara picked, kept in a bowl

Major updates:
– Laguna Beach vacation
– Accepted an offer from Confluent, Joined on the 22nd!
– Surprise birthday party for me (again) by Shivi
– A friend’s mother passed away, attended the funeral

Minor updates:
Dolphin watching (no whales though)
– Watched 4th of July fireworks
• Women’s Soccer World Cup final (happened to be playing in our hotel room)
– Tara moved to the last preschool class
– Took a bunch of haikus I’d written earlier and put them into a book
– Has to deal with a tedious CP-2000 from IRS
– Added Caltrain to my commute (technically, my first public transportation commute in a decade!)
– One birthday party every weekend …

Watched/read/made:
– Finished Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
– Watched Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix
– Watched the new Lion King with Tara
– Watched a musical Beat Bugs at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre

Retro-active content

Just finished importing two old Tumblr blogs (each from roughly 4-5 years ago), one under my name and one … not.

So there’s suddenly a lot more content at this blog, in 2014-2015 !

(of course, it lacks tagging etc, but, it exists … all part of my current plan to aggregate bits and pieces of my digital life into this WordPress blog …)

Monthly recap (June 2019)

Iao Valley, Maui

Major updates:

  • Trip to Maui (again) … this time featuring (1) hiking, and (2) close encounters with sea turtles
  • Two movies with Tara: Secret Life of Pets 2, and Toy Story 4
  • One of our friend’s mom passed away after a long battle with cancer 😦

Minor updates:

  • Car battery failed, in the middle of a busy week, led to a lot of Lyft trips (!)
  • Trying my hand at putting some Marigold and Moonflower seeds in a pot and seeing where that goes …

Watched/read/made:

  • Finished reading Seveneves (amazing, deserves its own post!)