Migrating from WordPress.com to Micro.Blog

I have been thinking long and hard about micro.blog and how it fits in. From wondering if this will allow me to remove myself from Twitter, or if the platform will expand and grow into the masses, and how I see ‘regular blogging’ fitting in. This post only covers the last one.

Instead of pointing my WordPress blog to publish on micro.blog, what if I just used micro.blog as a one-stop shop!? I started the journey of mirroring everything (that is possible) on my WordPress site over here on my micro.blog site to see how it worked. I didn’t want to just jump without some testing, so here is a list of my finding on migrating. Some good, some bad, some in between.

Currently pointing to http://micro.burk.io but who knows maybe it will be http://burk.io soon!?

I also want to mention that the site I would be moving is a hosted WordPress.com blog (Premium level $8/month), not a self -hosted WordPress.org blog

Pro’s of Migrating from WordPress to micro.blog
1. A single place for both ‘short’ and ‘long’ form posts.
2. The ability to have a theme that you can customize to be unique.
3. You can have static pages linked from your main page. Be aware that these only support html and markdown.
4. A bit cheaper at $5/month rather than $8/month. I love the idea of backing a “social network” with direct compensation rather than forcing shitty ads into my timeline or selling my data.
5. There are first-party iOS apps (iPhone & iPad).
6. There is a first party Mac app.
7. Third-party apps are starting to pop up as well.
8. You can map custom domains.
9. Typo? Need to update data? All posts can be edited after posting!

Con’s of Migrating from WordPress to micro.blog
1. Importing posts changes image hosting from the current location to Micro.Blog hosting. I use S3 for image hosting, so the posts are very portable between platforms. I would love to see an option during import to not update hosting locations of images.
2. No mechanism currently for uploading themes.

Somewhere in between depending on your usage..
1. No ‘traditional’ commenting system. People can reply to you via micro.blog (must have an account), which would be ok for a couple of replies, but the lack of threaded replies would make it cluttered and hard to navigate. Traditional commenting systems are mostly broken trash, so maybe this is ok? Just something to be aware of for those looking to transition I suppose. Standard replies in micro.blog would work fine for me most likely.
2. There is no mechanism for getting stats (page views, viewer locations, etc.). If this is something that matters to you.
3. You can’t add authorized users as “editors,” “authors,” “contributors.” It’s your account.

With all this, it has to be understood that micro.blog was never designed to be a 1:1 replacement for something like WordPress. I am personally really liking the fresh take on microblogging that micro.blog is building toward! For me, I think the migration would be a good move.

I am going to keep adding to this as new things are discovered, or new features are added!
See anything I am missing? Let me know! Thanks!

Time Tracking In The New Year

I have dabbled in time tracking tools in the past (RescueTime & Timing), but most of them were far too granular and only worked if I was sitting at my ‘computer’. With more work moving to mobile and some being nowhere near a device, I needed a more flexible solution. I decided to go with more of an open-ended ‘traditional’ time tracking tool to accomplish my needs this time, the tool/service I am using is called Toggl. I picked this one because it’s a simple tool that allows me to track the time I want in the way I want.

So what am I going to track? Well, the breakdown changes slightly as I progress through the year and get a better understanding of what types of activities I am doing day-to-day, but at a high level, these are the things I am going to be tracking.

  1. Work
    1. Meetings (Internal vs. External)
    2. Presentations (Creating vs. Presenting)
    3. Project Management
    4. Spreadsheets
    5. Software / Hardware Testing (Related to work products)
    6. Travel (Actual time spent traveling for work)
    7. Writing
  2. School (Arizona State University)
    1. Time spent completing coursework
  3. Personal
    1. Career Growth
    2. Writing
    3. Reading
  4. Volunteering

As of this post, I am 17 days into tracking, and it’s beginning to become a habit. The hardest part or tracking time is remembering to start and stop timers when doing various activities. Regarding this, Toggle does make it easy to go back and fill in time slots from earlier in the day or for previous days. This function is quite helpful when I do a daily recap and find items that I forgot to track.

I would like to keep this up for all of 2018, so I can see what a year of data looks like concerning how I have spent my time. I think this could be very useful in both a personal and professional capacity.

Do you do time tracking for personal or professional reasons outside of billing clients? What do you do similarly or different? I would love to know!

Tech & Stuff (2017 Edition)

Some of the coolest and most useful items that I came across in 2017. Enjoy!
(in no particular order)

ELECTRONICS HARDWARE 💻

SOFTWARE 💾

  • Pocket Casts My preferred podcast player.
  • Twitterrific 5 – iOS & macOS My favorite Twitter client across the board.
  • Pixelmator Pro The photo editor I have always wanted.
  • Bear Notes Powerful and elegant notes.
  • Setapp Mac apps subscription.
  • Things 3 Beautiful and efficient task management.
  • Due When you absolutely need to be reminded to death! (in a good way)
  • Airtable Great looking shareable databases.
  • Trakt Track your TV shows and movies.
  • Pillow Sleep tracking for iOS and watchOS.
  • Spark Email Super solid email app for iOS and macOS.
  • Robinhood Stocks. Nuff said.
  • Bobby Do you know how much you spend on subscriptions? You do now!

GAMES 🕹

BUSINESS WORK STUFF 📊

  • Teamwork Project Management. Control all the things!
  • Doodle The only sane way to schedule meetings with a large group.

HOME 🏡

FOOD & BEVERAGE 🥤

CLOTHING 👟

Acer XR382CQK – 37.5” Ultrawide Monitor and MacBook Pro

It’s time for another Ultrawide Monitor test! After two failures, I am hoping that the third one will be it!

Recap of monitors I have tried so far:
1. Dell U3818DW Link to the post I did on this one
2. HP ENVY 34-inch Ultra (TL;DR: It was impossible to calibrate the color correctly)

Just like the 2 monitors above, this was all done using the same Late 2016 15” MacBook Pro w/ TouchBar.

MacBook Pro Config

This time I am trying the Acer XR382CQK! This monitor doesn’t seem to be one of the top hits you come across when looking for Ultrawide monitors. I came across it somewhat by mistake. My primary focus was on the LG 38UC99-W and was ready to pull the trigger on it, but at the eleventh hour, I found this Acer. After a good bit of comparison, I went with the Acer for the following reasons.
1. Materials: The Acer and LG use the same LCD panel.
2. Price: The Acer was $899 compared to the LG at $1399
3. Refresh Rate: The Acer is at 75Hz (only when using DisplayPort) while the LG caps at 60Hz. For some reason, the USB-C and HDMI connections on the Acer just gave me 30Hz (which looked terrible).

Downsides To Using The Acer Monitor
* Like the other panels I have tried, no audio control of the monitor’s speakers using MacOS native controls. There are a couple of workarounds but they are kinda hacky and I would rather not bother. The integrated speakers are barely ok anyway, so you would be better off with external speakers more than likely.
* The USB A 3.0 hub on the back of the monitor (4 ports) is only accessible through the USB-C port. Although it states they are USB 3.0, I could only get them to recognize as 2.0 ports on the mac so far. I opted for an Aukey Hub that gives me 4 USB-A ports as well as pass-through of up to 100W power.
* Although the stand that comes with the monitor is very nice and super stable, it does require a lot of depth, and with my desk setup it sits the monitor too close to my face. I decided to get an adjustable monitor arm so I can float the monitor in any position and it will also have the added benefit of extra room under the monitor.

Now that I have figured out all the quirks and made the necessary adjustments, I am super happy with this monitor. I still really like the form factor of the 38” Ultrawide panels and am so happy I finally have found one that works with my setup. It’s not perfect, but it will work until future offerings come along. Now, on to the final setup!

The Final Setup
* Acer XR382CQK Monitor
* Aukey CB-C58 Hub
* Amazon Basics Premium Single Monitor Stand
* Cable Matters USB-C >> DisplayPort Cable
* G-DRIVE with TB3 | 10TB for archiving
* G-DRIVE with TB3 | 4TB for TimeMachine and MacBook drive imaging using Carbon Copy Cloner.
* Logitech MX ERGO Wireless Trackball
* Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Acer Monitor Desk Setup

Dell U3818DW – 38” Ultrawide Monitor Paired with MacBook Pro

I recently jumped into the world of ultra big, and ultra wide monitors! Here is what happened..

Monitor information
Size: 38 Inch Ultrawide Curved Display
Resolution: 3840×1600
Connection: USB-C

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.23.04 PM

Laptop Information
Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.24.37 PM

First a couple general observations

  • The box that it came in is huge! No, seriously, it’s HUGE!
  • The USB-C cable that comes with the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro is “Charge Only” and can’t be used with this monitor.
  • I haven’t used an ultra-wide monitor prior to this, and it does take some getting used to.

Let’s start with the great things!

  • This resolution is crazy! I was somewhat worried about the PPI since I was coming from the Retina MBP screen, but this monitor looks great.
  • I have never liked two monitors side by side because of the disgusting bezel split in the middle. This monitor fixes everything wrong with that setup.
  • Because it has a 21:9 aspect ratio, if you ware watching movies of similar aspect ratio, it’s awesome to see them fit so perfectly
  • Overall, it’s an absolutely beautiful monitor.

Ok, now onto the not so great things.. (Issues)

  • The monitor does have speakers built in that are simply ‘ok’. Audio will play through the monitor, but you cannot control volume using macOS volume controls.
  • Brightness cannot be controlled from macOS controls. Also, Night Shift is not compatible with this monitor.
  • Not really the monitor’s fault completely, but transitioning between ‘clamshell mode’ and laptop mode still sucks.
  • The Everything falls asleep unless amphetamine is running.
  • Only has one USB-C connection.
  • Because your MacBook Pro is closed, you can’t use the TouchBar. Bummer!
  • You also can’t use TouchID. Mega bummer!
  • Not sure why but, Final Cut Pro X refused to run while connected to this monitor.
  • The monitor does not have an integrated webcam (I knew it didn’t when I purchased it), but something to be aware of if you need video capabilities.

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.24.24 PM

I think a lot of the control issues that I am seeing are due to macOS seeing this display as a ‘TV’ rather than a monitor.

Final Verdict
I really like this monitor! But.. given the issues, I am going to return it.🙁 Going to wait until there is a giant ultra wide that is more compatible with macOS.

I have to imagine connecting this to a Windows computer would be a much better experience since there are specific Windows drivers for this monitor.

UPDATE
I have now also tried the Acer XR382CQK – 37.5” Ultrawide Monitor.

Stop Receiving Emails About Updates To Shared Apple Reminders

If you use reminders and have shared lists, you may have noticed (read: been annoyed) that you get an email to your iCloud account email every time something happens with a shared list. Item added, Item completed, item updated, etc. We already have push notifications for this, so there is zero need for these emails. At the very least, this should not be a default behavior.

After much searching around the internet and coming up empty, I started trying things. I believe I have found the magic bullet that stops this behavior! It’s not super intuitive, so hang on tight!

Here are the steps

  1. Login to https://icloud.com
  2. Go to the calendar
  3. Open the preferences (gear icon in lower left corner)
  4. Open  advanced preferences (second tab)
  5. Uncheck the box labeled “Email me shared calendar updates” (See screenshot below)

You should no longer be receiving the emails!

IMG_0029

If you thought you deleted your Evernote account, you didn’t.

This is anecdotal evidence, since it is just my experience. But, on the off chance that this is widespread, I think people should know about this.

This all took place over the course of about 45 min on Wednesday night, July 5th, 2017.


After having it brought to my attention that I still had an Evernote account (that I had not been using in quite a long time), I went down the path of deleting the account.

Step One: Get into account
I tried to do this on my iPad, but found nothing but “sign up” buttons. Not a single log in button. Annoying, but anyway, I moved over to my MacBook Pro and logged in successfully.

Step Two: Go to settings and find “Delete Account” button
Like so many web services now, this option does not exist. There is however a “Deactivate Account” option. Also annoying, because what the hell does “deactivate” actually mean..?

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 9.29.04 PM
Their advice of “Return to your notes and delete any private notes and empty your trash” is pretty telling that none of your data is removed from their system when you deactivate, but who knows, maybe it is?

Step Three: Click Deactivate account and get logged out.

That should be the end of the line, but in my case it wasn’t. Remember how I said I started this process on my iPad, and then moved to my MacBook Pro? Well, when I returned to my iPad I found I was still logged in. Probably just cached and would log out upon trying to do anything with the interface? WRONG.

I was able to navigate the UI, create new notes, modify tags, and even send invites to collaborate on newly created notes. Shouldn’t this account be unusable?

IMG_0024
I was able to navigate the UI, create new notes, modify tags, and even send invites to collaborate on newly created notes. Shouldn’t this account be unusable?

This got me thinking that perhaps I didn’t finish the deactivate process on my MacBook, so I went back to my MacBook and attempted to login to the account. I was presented with this:

IMG_0026

This shows that the account was “deactivated” but posed another concern. Remember what it said in the first dialog up above?

When your account is deactivated, you will be logged out of Evernote, and this account will no longer be usable. You will not be able to create another account with your same email address.

Well that doesn’t seem to be true since the login page tells you the account was deactivated and gives you a chance to reactivate..

So, bottom line. You can never get rid of your account and if you don’t explicitly delete ALL your data and empty the trash, your stuff will live on within Evernote’s walls indefinitely.

Message to all web services:
Just let people delete their damn accounts and purge all their personal data in the process.

MacBook Pro Discharging Under Heavy Load?

I was recently doing a good bit of work in Final Cut Pro on my MacBook Pro (with TouchBar) and the system was running on all cores. The weird part was that my battery was slowly discharging while plugged in.. How the heck?

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 1.19.16 PM

I am using the Apple 87W Charger and Apple USB-C power cable, so not an issue with third party power products.

Because this seemed like a MAJOR issue since it’s a “Pro” machine, I wanted to see if I could figure out what was going on.

After a little bit of investigation, I think I know what is going on! (at least in my scenario)

When looking at the System Information, I noticed that it said I was only getting 55W. Why would this be? Well, it turns out to be the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter I believe.

MJ1K2

Charging MacBook Pro through the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter:

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 1.26.25 PM

Charging connected directly to MacBook Pro:

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 1.40.00 PM
So, for whatever reason, the adapter does not allow the full 87W through and knocks it down to 55W, and a MacBook Pro running at 100% uses more than the 55W provided. Kind of a bummer, but not the end of the world by any means.

Is this happening to you? Do I have a defective adapter?

UPDATES 2017-04-03
1. A few questions/answers on the apple.com shop pages talking about this adapter only providing 55W. This looks to be true for the VGA version as well. Furthermore this would most likely be the same issue if you use one of the new LG UltraFine 4K or LG UltraFine 5K displays as they only provide 60W for charging.

2. A friend of mine also contacted me and let me know that this adapter does indeed only provide 55W of power to pass through.