Micro Posts

A collection of micro posts, usually posted via Micro.blog, or automatically from my Instagram feed.

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11th January 2019

There’s a bit more variety today.

I did something that I probably should have done a while ago, and that’s adding search to my blog. My blog runs on WordPress, so it only took adding a widget to the sidebar, and writing a small template for the results page. For some reason I’ve been putting it off. But it makes it so much easier to find old content.

While I was at work, I decided to start using my Apple Extended Keyboard II again. I stopped using it for a while, simply because I moved desk and I’ve been working mainly just from a laptop. But I’ve gotten used to the various different function keys for media and mission control. My current solution with the AEKII is trying out Keyboard Maestro. I have some custom macros set up for the function keys, and they’re media controls, volume, mission control, show desktop, etc. Hopefully I can make more use of it, then I’ll be purchasing a copy.

One section that I feel is going to become regular in these posts, is my podcast listening. I managed two episodes today:

Of course, I did a bit of work on Text Case 2.0 again today. I tightened up a few things from yesterday, like fixing scrolling lag (that was due to me messing around with rending shadows on every format, which gets updated every character you type), and some colour contrasts. I then started working on the Settings, where it currently only shows the theme. It actually doesn’t work right now, so you can’t even select it. But a lot of the work I did here were the foundations of how settings are stored, and actioned upon in the app. So once that is complete, the whole system is quite modular, which will be nice for future me that may have to update it.

10th January 2019

As promised yesterday, I wrote a post about the current progress on Text Case 2.0. I’ve done a bit more work on it today after that post as well, but it’s mostly been non visual stuff. But for the UI, I’ve added a small shadow/glow to the edge of the formats, and also changing the text colours to increase the contrast ratios.

Apart from that, I’ve also consumed a lot of media today. I watched loads of videos from a YouTuber called Nixxiom who mainly does videos about World of Warcraft, and I’m a massive nerd.

I also listened to a lot more podcasts than usual. It was pretty quiet at work, so I had a lot of time just working away with my headphones on. Here are the episodes:

9th January 2019

A very productive day today!

I got a ton of work done on Text Case 2.0. So much that I think it deserves it’s own blog post. I’ll probably write something about it tomorrow, because by then I would have done a bit more on it as well. Because of that, I wont go too much into detail, but I mainly worked on the beginnings of the input section, how the app manages themes, and then the interaction inside the app.

It’s going a lot faster than I thought it would. But every time I look back at the feature list I’ve created, I realise how many features I’ve added already. For example, I’m going to have to make sure things like the Siri integration is the same. It may look slightly different in the app, but I don’t want it to break anything.

One thing I have to say to reassure people, is that I have no desire to push this out as fast as possible. Text Case is a very stable app, and people seem to like it. So I will only release something that is better.

Just for fun, here’s another preview:

Oh and something not related to Text Case. I listened to a great podcast today, it was episode 36 of Daryl Baxter’s The Outpost Show which featured Federico Viticci of MacStories. I’ve now subscribed to the podcast, and I look forward to future episodes!

8th January 2019

Today started like any other work day, and I didn’t think I’d have anything interesting to write up. But it turned out to be quite productive!

In my lunch break I added HTTPS to my main domain (chrishannah.me), simply because I found it so easy to add it to this blog.

I then spent loads of time wondering about my next project, until I posted a single tweet, that seemed to have started a huge chain-reaction inside my head.

Maybe the big project I’m looking for is actually Text Case 2.0. 🤔 – @chrishannah

I then had a burst of ideas about where I could take it. About the overall design of the app, how I structure the formats, and how the efficient the user interaction is. All this while concurrently going over the current code structure in my head.

So when I got home from work I immediately starting working on a fresh project. I’ve so far got the main list of formats rendering, in some kind of logical sections. I can see the direction I want it to head in, and I think it’s represented in this first draft, but obviously the design is super early on.

So take this preview with a big pinch of salt:

Let’s see where I can take this tomorrow!

7th January 2019

It’s Monday, so I’m back at work! Although I didn’t do anything worthwhile talking about here, as it was mainly admin tasks for our annual performance reviews.

However, I did get round to completing a task that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. And that was to create a new guide about connecting an Xcode project to a GitHub repository. The one I wrote nearly a year ago has become rather outdated, as the source control features in Xcode has improved significantly. I’ve made some modifications to the guide before, but it really needed a whole refresh. So I’ve done it, and you can read my “Using GitHub and Xcode Together” guide now!

I also linked to two other posts on my blog today, the first being a review by Michael Rockwell of the MacBook Air, and the second being a very interesting take on why bamboo wood isn’t a bigger industry.

To end the day I caught up on my YouTube subscriptions, nearly everything in my RSS reader, and just a little bit of World of Warcraft. Now I just need to find one more thing to watch before I go to bed, while I still ponder what my next project will be.

6th January 2019

Another relaxing day to mark the end of the weekend.

It started with me and my partner going to the local cafe for breakfast. Of course I had a full English, topped with brown sauce.

Between that and a obligatory Sunday roast, it was time to play some video games! My choice as usual was World of Warcraft.

The day ended with us watching last years Christmas special episode of the BBC series, Call The Midwife.

Anyway, back to work tomorrow morning. I’ll hopefully be reporting back with a bit more of an interesting day.

5th January 2019

First Saturday of the year, and it was a relaxing one! It was filled with watching various programmes on the history channel. The kind of ones that most people would class as boring.

There was some football to watch as well, with Arsenal playing their first FA Cup game of the season against Blackpool. There’s an obvious difference in stature and quality of the two clubs, so the Arsenal team were mainly young and fringe players. They ended up winning 3-0 though, so you can’t really complain. We go through to the next round of the competition, and a lot of young players got some more experience under their belt.

Apart from television consumption, I’ve started to think about my next app project. As I mentioned in my 2018 – Year in Review post, I want to work on one big project this year. However the idea hasn’t quite hit me yet, and I don’t have any issue that I need to solve either. I was looking on the App Store and places like Product Hunt for inspiration, but as of today, none was found.

4th January 2019

As I mentioned in yesterdays journal entry, today is the day for Text Case 1.4! It’s now been released, so you can view the blog post, and check it out on the App Store. Of course I did a little emojified tweet1 for the update. I always find they get the most attention.

Apart from trying to spread the word about the update, I’ve been at work for most of the day. After which I went out for dinner with my family. Nothing special, just a pub/restaurant chain.

Since I got back, I’ve played two games of FIFA 19 Seasons, played some guitar, and then got stuck inside YouTube for about an hour. I even ended up watching a 10 minute video of Japanese chefs slicing things, which was actually pretty mesmerising after a while.

  1. I’m pretty sure emojified isn’t a word, but it sounds like it should be. 

3rd January 2019

This morning started with a quest to find an alternative app for reading my RSS feeds on my Mac, so of course I wrote about it.

I decided to finally investigate making my blog support HTTPS, which in the end took about 5 minutes to complete. I used LetsEncrypt, and their command-line tool automated the whole thing. I honestly thought it was a big job. I also made the choice to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS. All it took was one extra 'Y' in the process.

When I got home from work I was greeted by a late birthday present from my girlfriend. A new skateboard! It’s by a local company to me, Lovenskate. It features one of their slogans “Real men skate curbs” but made just a bit funnier.

There were two other things that were accomplished tonight as well. The first being an AirBnB being booked for the trip to Oslo in March, and the second being the Text Case update being approved by Apple. I’m planning on releasing the update tomorrow, and the blog post will be published at the same time.

2nd January 2019

It’s the second day of the year, so that means it’s no longer a bank holiday, and it’s back to work!

That doesn’t mean it’s not been an interesting day. As it started with the bad news of my train fares being increased by 3%. However that was countered by the new 26 – 30 Railcard, which is an evolution of the 18 – 25 Railcard that gave young people a third off all rail travel. It’s not an ideal scenario as you still have to pay for the railcard, but it brings the prices down to a more reasonable level.

The other I thing I did was finalise the new update to Text Case. Which adds a new format, format reordering, syncing, and also a keyboard shortcut. I completed my “Prerelease” phase today, which included sending a final build to Apple, composing all the release notes, taking screenshots for all the devices, and then getting a blog post ready for it’s release. It’s now waiting for review before it goes live, but expect a blog post here in the next few days with all the information.

I also managed to fit in the latest episode of Doctor Who, the New Years Day special. It was very good, and I think one of the best with the current doctor.