May 4, 2018

What Apple Watch Face Do You Use?

I was talking to Rosemary the other day about the Watch Siri watch face, and watch faces in general. It came out that we have a couple faces in our use rotation. I am always curious to see how other people use their watch and what face/complication combinations they use. So, in the spirit of sharing, I have listed below the setups I use and when. Do you use different faces for different activities or do you use the same face for everything?

Apple Watch: Series 3 - Gold.

Watch Face One

General & Exercise
Face Type: Activity Digital
Color: White
Complications: Weather, Date, Calendar
Watch 1

Watch Face Two

Zen Mode
Face Type: X-Large
Color: matched to the current band color
Complications: Date
Watch 2

Watch Face Three

Face Type: Mickey Mouse
Color: Classic
Complications: Sunrise/Sunset, Weather, Date
Watch 3

Watch Face Four

Face Type: Siri
Color: N/A
Complications: Activity, Date
Watch 4

Apple Watch
April 17, 2018

Making My Own Photo Timeline

Instagram became too much for me to accept for a couple reasons. I enjoy creating neat photos and sharing them with the world, so I am building my timeline called One Shot! In the spirit of the open web, I am hosting it through in a separate timeline.

How is this going to work?
Main blog: (aka:
Photo blog: (aka:

The Photoblog will cross-post to the Main Blog, so there won’t be a need for a second username on, and this solves the problem of someone wanting to follow both and then getting double posts.

The basic premise is there, and now I need to finish the implementation. The first thing I need to finish is backfilling in the ~120 photos with the correct dates and metadata, so the timeline is accurate and up to date. Secondly, comes the design! Finally, making sure all the cross-posting stuff is working correctly.


UPDATE 2018-05-01

The entire backlog is now up! 🎉

Q: How do you create a second blog?
A:On the web, in the main navigation, click Plans” and then New Microblog”. Give that blog a name for your photoblog.
Screen Shot 2018 05 01 at 11 59 49 AM

Screen Shot 2018 05 01 at 11 59 14 AM

Q: How do you cross post the photoblog into your main blog?
A: Go to and under the Feeds’ section add your photoblog feed.
Screen Shot 2018 05 01 at 12 00 08 PM

Q: How do you post photos to the photoblog from your Mac?
A: I do this in one of two ways. 1) MarsEdit 4 by @Danielpunkass. 2) web

Q: How do you post photos to the photoblog from your iOS device?
A: Because this list of photos is curated, I don’t often need to post them from phone, but sometimes I do when traveling. The easiest way to do this is to open in the browser, tap New Post” > Switch Site” > Select photoblog. Done! The native app will get multiple blog support soon. Sunlit now supports multiple blogs as of version 2.1!

IMG 0507

UPDATE 2018-05-03
The latest version of the mac app has support for Instagram imports!

March 19, 2018

Mac Pro Upgrade Project - Part Two: Hardware (Planning)

In Part One of this upgrade, I updated all the software (and firmware). Go check that out to get caught up. Now it’s time for the hardware, which as the name suggests, will, in fact, be harder. In this post, I am going to cover the plan” for upgrading hardware on the system. Let’s jump in!

The table below shows:
1. The various components of the system
2. What is currently installed
3. What I plan to replace it with
4. The priority I am placing on each upgrade

Original Part Upgraded Part Upgrade Priority
CPU 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3.46GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon 3
GPU ATI Radeon HD 5870 Radeon PULSE RX580 8GB 1
RAM 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC 32GB 1066 MHZ DDR3 ECC 2
HDD Bay 1 1TB 5400RPM 240GB SSD (Boot Drive) 1
HDD Bay 2 1TB 5400RPM 4TB 5400RPM (Storage) Already Done
HDD Bay 3 1TB 5400RPM 6TB 5400RPM (RAID 0) Already Done
HDD Bay 4 1TB 5400RPM 6TB 5400RPM (RAID 0) Already Done
Optical Drive (Upper) Apple SuperDrive N/A N/A
Optical Drive (Lower) Apple SuperDrive N/A N/A
WiFi AirPort Extreme 802.11N OSXWiFi 802.11AC 4
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR OSXWiFi Bluetooth 4.0 2
USB USB 2.0 x5 ports (add) USB 3.0 PCIe x4 ports 1


  • The graphics card will give excellent performance while being very compatible out of the box. This will enable Metal support on the system. The current 5870 card does not support Metal.
  • The memory will be stuck at that clock speed no matter what since the CPU governs it, so there is no reason to get better” RAM.
  • I already have the hard drives that are going in Bay 2-4.
  • I have no plans for the optical drives at this time. I could replace one or both with Blu-ray drives for ripping, but I haven’t done that in a long time, so they will just stay Super Drives. One side benefit is being able to use Remote Disc Sharing’ with macOS for any system in the house that should need to access data on a CD/DVD.
  • WiFi is a VERY low priority since I have it connected via gigabit ethernet.
  • USB 3 ports are going to be very helpful! I forgot how SLOW USB 2 is!!

There you have it, that is the list! Pretty doable I would say. In the next (and final) part of this post I will cover how the actual upgrades went, what worked / what didn’t, and of course Was it worth it!?”. Until next time..

Question? Send me a message!
jason at burk dot io

Apple macOS Mac Pro
March 14, 2018

Boosted Board - Extended Range Battery Upgrade!

After a much longer wait than expected, it has finally arrived! It’s time to swap out the standard battery with the all new Extended Range Battery on my Dual+. The upgrade did involve more than I expected, but overall it’s pretty dang easy. Check out the photos below for a quick overview of what is involved.

Step 1: Here is the box that got delivered with the new battery, tools, and extra hardware.
My Boosted Board Next To The Extended Battery Shipping Box

Step 2: These are the three main parts that need to be installed. Extended Battery, New Front Riser, and New Rear Riser.
The Parts That Need To Be Installed

Step 3: Removal of the Standard Battery.
Standard Battery Removed

Step 4: Swapping out the Front Riser with a new taller version.
Front Riser Swap

Step 5: Swapping out the Rear Riser with a new taller version.
Rear Riser Swap

Step 6: Installing the new Extended Battery.
Extended Battery Installed

Step 7: Finally, a firmware update.
Firmware Update Time

Now you just need to charge it up and ride!
Apple Watch Notification

Boosted Board Battery
March 10, 2018

Mac Pro Upgrade Project - Part One: Software

The 2010 era Mac Pro has always been one of my favorite Mac computers. The design and functionality are incredible. The thing that may surprise you is how usable the system still is in 2018! For a fun project, I have decided to see how modern’ I can make my 2009 Mac Pro and document the journey. I am breaking it up into two parts; Software and Hardware. Enjoy the ride!

Real quick, here is what I am starting with:
Early 2009 Mac Pro (4,1)

  • 2.93GHz Quad Core Xeon
  • 8GB RAM
    1. 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • 802.11N Airport Card (this was upgraded previously)
  • ATI Radeon 5870 1GB Graphics Card
  • macOS 10.9.5

About This Mac

Part One - Software

The first thing to upgrade is the firmware. Because the 2009 and 2010 models were mainly the same, you can upgrade your 4,1 system to be a 5,1 system! This is helpful because it allows you to update macOS to the latest version 10.13. This also allows you to upgrade hardware past what the 2009 model initially supported.
Note: the system will still show that it is a Late 2009’ model, but you will see in system information that the identifier is now 5,1.

What You Will Need

Upgrading from 4,1 to 5,1 took a little work, but overall it was a smooth process. Initially, I was getting a 5570’ error code when running the firmware tool, but this was fixed simply by mounting the MacProEFIUpdate.dmg’ but not running it. This then allows you to run the firmware tool and complete the firmware update required.

Once the system was showing that it was now a 5,1 instead of a 4,1, it was time to install a fresh copy of macOS. This was no different than any other install. I made a USB installer (I like Disk Maker X for making bootable macOS installers) and installed macOS High Sierra 10.13.3.

System Information

In part two I will cover everything related to hardware in this upgrade project!

UPDATE 2018-07-02
After getting 10.13.2 installed, I was never able to get any later 10.13.x update to install. These installers were also trying to do some system firmware update that wouldn’t complete successfully.

Regardless of how I tried:

  • Software Update
  • Creating bootable installer

I decided to try software update again when 10.13.5 released and still no luck. Today I created a new bootable flash drive for 10.13.5 and tried that route again. Good News! The fresh install of 10.13.5 worked and the firmware update completed successfully as well!

I now have a fresh install of 10.13.5

Question? Send me a message!
jason at burk dot io

Apple macOS Mac Pro
February 17, 2018

Our HomeKit Update!

We have slowly been adding to our HomeKit setup over the years at our house, and it has been going great! Here is the rundown of all the items that are now HomeKit controllable.


Living Room


Laundry Room

To avoid adding the IKEA hub to your house, you can get the IKEA bulbs to work with the Phillips Hue app after a firmware upgrade. The problem I had with this is that they did not then show up in the Apple Home app and were only controllable from the Hue app (which I don’t use).

To control your HomeKit accessories remotely, you need a HomePod, an Apple TV (3rd generation or later), or an iPad to be at home.

The dimmer switches are perfect for anyone who may come over and doesn’t already know how you have everything set up. Just push the light switch as you would anywhere else.

The automation is really convenient. Give it a try when you have multiple accessories set up.
Turn all the lights in the house off at 10 am if everyone is gone”
Turn off the thermostat if a window is opened”
Turn on the entryway lights for whoever gets home first if it’s after sunset”.

If you are looking for a particular item, check out this site! HomeKitty - Browse HomeKit Accessories

Apple HomeKit Home Automation
January 18, 2018

Migrating from to Micro.Blog

I have been thinking long and hard about 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, what if I just used as a one-stop shop!? I started the journey of mirroring everything (that is possible) on my Wordpress site over here on my 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 but who knows maybe it will be soon!?

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

Pro’s of Migrating from Wordpress to

  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

  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 (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 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 was never designed to be a 1:1 replacement for something like Wordpress. I am personally really liking the fresh take on microblogging that 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!

January 17, 2018

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!

Update 2018-04-26
For a really good overview of Toggl, check out this post over at Freelance Effect.

New Year Time Tracking Toggl RescueTime Timing App
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