30th December 2017

The avatar images “work”!

I have them displaying properly, downloading properly, and also using placeholders when it hasn’t been downloaded yet.

Images also cache up to a predefined limit, and are stored with the URL as a key.

The only thing left, is to then update whatever is presenting the placeholder image, when the real one has finished downloading.

30th December 2017

I just moved one section of code in my Micro.blog app that dealt with parsing the content of a post, and sorting out the images.

Massive increase in speed.

Now the list of posts can’t scroll any faster!

29th December 2017

A few months ago, I started working on my own analytics service for my blog. I did this for many reasons, but ultimately for control and user privacy.

I only actually ever store four pieces of data:

  • Website Title
  • URL
  • Referral URL (Only if it’s been given)
  • Date Accessed

So while there’s not much data there, I can track everything I need, so like visits per day, per post, and I can get an idea of where traffic is coming from.

There have been occasions where the service, which I named “Minilytics”, has gone down though, so I can’t say I’ve tracked all the visits. But I’ve got a few things to share.


I made nice SQL query that shows me the performance of the site for each day. I use the view count for that day, and run it through a few conditions that will then output a string that I’ve manually set up. It’s not as exact as viewing the view count, but much easier to visualise.

Monthly View Count

Again, this isn’t totally accurate as these numbers may be higher and it hasn’t tracked them. But this simple count of views from each month, is a good way to check the general increase/decrease in visits over time.

I’m going to try writing some more queries soon, and see what other insights I can pull from the data. But overall I think the site has been getting a lot more traffic recently! Especially since I moved the blog over to WordPress a few days ago. My guess is that the WordPress installation has better meta tags, descriptions, and stuff that search engines like.

29th December 2017

So, Apple finally came clean with the battery stuff on older iPhones:

We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.

First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

The situation isn’t ideal, in that they’ve annoyed, and probably confused some of their customers by not making it transparent from the start.

However, the actual power management feature that people are complaining about, actually seems like a really good idea.

About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.

I’ve seen a lot of news outlets saying that this is Apple trying to move people to newer iPhones, and even that it is causing iPhones to not last as long (Not the battery, but the actual device’s lifespan).

I can only see this update doing the exact opposite. It slowed down performance, but that is to extend the short term battery life, and also the long term life of the device.

The lack of communication is what messes everything up though. Even if you disregard the trust factor of Apple doing this without telling anybody, it leads users to believe that they are affected by it, when in some cases they might not be. So after seeing a small bit of news about Apple slowing down iPhones, someone with a completely unrelated device, or even an affected device with another issue, would more than likely blame this new power management update.

What Apple are doing about this, is actually quite impressive. They’re reducing the price of an out of warranty battery replacement by $50. But more importantly, they’re going to start making the battery heath more visible in iOS. It’s something you have on a Mac, and I will welcome it to iOS.

They could have avoided this whole situation though, as clearly they proved they can be transparent about this feature (although in this case it was forced). So why didn’t they write a small article about a “new power management feature” and how they’re extending the lifespans of older devices, and then just make the whole thing optional.

28th December 2017

Jesse Watson has just published a time-lapse he shot of the recent SpaceX launch. You know, the one that looked really strange, and not like any rocket we’ve seen before. However the video is of course over a much longer period of time, and shows a wider angle of everything that went on.

He filmed it from Yuma Arizona, roughly 400 miles away from the launch site. And it took quite a bit of planning:

I scouted four locations that had foregrounds to add depth to the imagery and was uniquely inspiring to my hometown. Location choices were between a favorite local hiking mountain, the Imperial Sand Dunes, or a small hill that resides in the historic downtown area overlooking the city. I ended up choosing the location that overlooked the city, partially because it was the easiest to access with all of my time-lapse gear. I used The Photographer’s Ephemeris and Google Maps to help scouting and initial line up.

I have never shot a rocket launch before, so I did not know exactly what to expect as far as exposure or precise location of the rocket in the horizon. I wanted to be prepared to capture comprehensive coverage of the spectacle. Therefore I packed four cameras and five lenses, to cover wide to telephoto details of the scene. Three of the cameras were rolling time-lapse and 1 was setup for telephoto video.

It’s certainly an interesting story, and also a fantastic video.

Watch below in the embedded player, or if that fails, it’s on Vimeo along with his story.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Jesse Watson on Vimeo.

28th December 2017

☕️ ☕️ ☕️

25th December 2017

As usual, it’s Christmas day and my body still forces me to wake up early.

I’m 25, but apparently 9am is the latest I’m allowed.

25th December 2017

“But you’re English?” I don’t care! 🇩🇪

24th December 2017

Some more progress on my Micro.blog iOS project today!

I have Timeline, Mentions, Favourites, and Discover page working. And I’ve only just finished the polling for new posts!