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7 Years Ago I was worried my Home Button wasn’t going to survive until the next iPhone came out. Man am I glad that Home Buttons no longer exist!!
Just posted a podcast about my 2019 yearly theme : Clarity, and what it means to me, my projects and my podcasts.
I set up automatic podcast episode importing for my website based on my podcasts' RSS feeds today. You can check out the script here, it's tools like microformats, Micropub, RSS, etc that make me love having a website nowadays!

Passive Tracking > Active Tracking

In the most recent episode of Two Dads Talking, Jonathan and I talk about tracking our information and whether we are using active or passive applications. Jonathan is using mostly passive applications that collect his behavior and translate that into posts on his website. I, on the other hand, spend way too much time tracking all sorts of information: what I watch, what I listen to, where I go, not to mention what I eat and drink. Essentially everything I log is manual, so in 2019 I have a goal to move as much as I can to automated and that which can't be automated to defer to a time when I have free time.

Step one is my listen posts. Currently after every podcast I listen to, I have to remember to activate the share sheet in my Podcast app (Castro) and share it with my app, Indigenous, which will share the url to my website and I will process it for the episode's information. Jonathan shared in the episode that he came up with a script that can pull in his play history from his Overcast account and publish it to his website. It hasn't been approved by Overcast's owner yet and he ran into some issues so he's waiting on those to be resolved but it's do-able. Because of this I switched from Castro back to Overcast yesterday and am looking forward to setting up a similar system so that I can have listen posts be passively tracked just by being played in my podcast player of choice.

Step two are my watch posts. Currently, every time I watch something and want to track it, I have to run a command line script which require me connecting to my server, running a snippet from an app on my iPhone and entering the episode number that I just watched. It's fairly low maintenance but it still requires more thought than I would like. I initially thought I wouldn't be able to use Trakt like Jonathan because I track who I watched it with. I realized, I already use an app to track what I want to watch that is compatible with Trakt, so I can set my site up to automatically import watch posts from Trakt, and then after the fact I can update who I watched it with, thus combining my two goals of 2019: automate and defer. This takes me from opening an app, connecting to my server, selecting the right snippet and entering the episode number into opening an app, tapping on the checkmark for the right show in my watch list. Then, later, I can sit down and add who I watched each show or movie with since I'm not likely to forget that.

I don't have a plan for the rest of my items: ate, drank, checkins, trips, etc. but I'm going to be thinking through them. Right now I have an app that automatically tracks my location everywhere and it logs when I've been in one location for more than 10 minutes and my speed, so I'm thinking I can build something that can analyze that information and present suggestions as to where I might need to checkin and how I might have traveled (walking, driving, biking, etc.) and then just provide the ability for me to modify that information if anything is incorrect and publish it to my site.

Additionally, there is no easy way to automatically track my food, but I can either work on making sure the app I use is as seamless and quick as possible to enter it and finish it, or I can try to defer it by creating an interface that makes it really easy for me to enter a entire day's worth of meals at one time at the end of the day and then submit that.

Any thoughts? Do you track information? Which do you track actively and which do you track passively?

Switching from Castro back to Overcast

As mentioned on the recent episode of Two Dads Talking, I found myself really enjoying Castro, but wanting to shift back to Overcast. I finally figured out a workflow that works for me on Overcast! I have three playlists: Queue (manual), Priority (Smart), All (Smart).

Queue is a manual playlist that I can add podcast episodes to and I always listen to episodes from the queue.

Priority is a smart playlist that lists episodes from my most important podcasts I follow.

All episodes is a smart playlist that includes all podcasts but excludes the podcasts that are in the priority smart playlist.

So my workflow is I listen to podcasts in the Queue, however when the queue runs low, I check my priority smart playlist and from there I can delete an episode I’m not interested in, or add that episode to the queue if I’m ready to listen to it. When I add it to the queue I also remove it from the smart playlist so that I know anything in the smart playlist doesn’t exist in the queue yet.

The best thing is that I can move individual episodes from priority to queue OR priority to all episodes if I feel like I don’t want to lose an episode but I don’t want it clogging up my priority list. The multiple playlists allow for more flexibility than I had with Castro while still allowing me the spirit of what I had in Castro a type of filtering system so I don’t feel I have to listen to every episode of a podcast.

The benefits of switching back to Overcast are also that Jonathan wrote a script that I can use to automatically import listen posts to my website rather than having to do it manually. Also, I’m looking forward to being able to try out Overcast’s Apple Watch app, not to mention I really appreciate Marco’s design aesthetic and attention to detail.

The latest episode of Two Dads Talking is out! It’s the great holiday recap! We’ve got family stories, we’ve got food, movies, video games, Christmas loot, diets and more! Not to mention talking about tracking and recapping our months using our websites.
It was nice to visit my website today and experience the confetti I built last year! 🙂 It's fun to experience something when you first build it, but it's even more fun to enjoy it later when you're not really thinking about it!
My Gen 2 Apple Pencil was supposed to arrive on January 2, 2019. When it shipped that was updated to December 27, 2018. It arrived to today! Happy early Christmas to me!!!!! 👏👏🙌🙌
Researched various tech conferences today. I’d like to start speaking at tech conferences in 2019. I’ve got a handful I’m going to look into and submit speaking proposals to. I can talk about UI/UX, JavaScript, Angular, and Web in General. Any conferences I should know about?
Editing podcasts is pretty fun (and convenient) on my new iPad.
Don’t mind me...
After discussing the finer points of multitags in the IndieWeb chat today, I decided to add support for it to my site. Thanks to my recent re-architecture in November, it was actually really quick and easy. Took less than 30 minutes!
Episode 2 of Two Dads Talking is Live and we’ve got a theme song! We talk about the holidays, web browsers and how to make the perfect cocktail ice. But you don’t wanna miss the new theme song!
So glad to have my AirPods back after they’ve been missing for like a month! Turns out they had fallen underneath my wife’s couch cushion the one time I sat on her side of the couch. 🤦‍♂️ which of course was the only cushion I didn’t check.
That was strange... somehow (and I can’t duplicate it) my iPhone had a landscape lockscreen just like iPad. But now it’s gone and doesn’t seem to be coming back 🤔

My Url Is jgregorymcverry.com (Episode 3)

In this episode Eddie interviews Greg McVerry. We talk about how Greg has used blogging and the IndieWeb as a professor, how his kids are an important part of what the IndieWeb means to him, his website woes and finally brainstorm how private groups could work on the IndieWeb.

If you enjoyed this podcast:

Liberty University CSIS 316

PHP's Relevance

(This post was written as an assignment for my CSIS 316 class as a short ~300 word analysis of PHP vs newer programming languages)

PHP has been the bedrock of web development for decades. It was actually the first server-side language I learned how to program, 15 years ago. It has historically been one of the most dependable server-side programming languages, but the question is does it still hold that place in today's fast changing, ever growing market of programming languages?

PHP has a lot of things going for it, historical reliance, a large base of programmers who know and program it, server support in essentially every shared hosting plan available, as well as being the foundational language in two of the most popular Content Management Systems available (Wordpress and Drupal). Ease of use for newcomers is also key to its success. Once PHP is integrated with the web server it rarely if ever has to be managed or restarted and individual PHP scripts are run automatically by the PHP server service.

There is a lot of competition in today's programming market. Many of them have better tooling, are more exciting to work in and have great features that help with reliability such as typed variables, native multi-threading and speed of processing. But are these improvements worth the cost of the reliability and dependability of PHP? For me, that depends on the use case. If the application isn't going to have anyone experienced with managing it routinely, PHP is the best route to go because of the ability to easily deploy it on shared hosting environments by just uploading the scripts, while other languages such as Node.js, Swift, Go and others require an executable to be run and to ensure it remains up in the event of a crash, there needs to be a secondary server that restarts the application. If you need modern tooling with robust features such as typed variables and multi-threading it can help to use a more modern language rather than trying to use new libraries that make PHP more modern.

Ultimately I think it comes down most of the time to personal preference. There are likely few cases where any specific server-side language is going to drastically change things unless the application is frequently under a large load or has a lot of intensive data processing tasks.

30 and Counting, Episode 20: Juggling Projects

In this episode, I talk about a variety of projects I've been working on: My Url Is, Two Dads Talking, My Website, not to mention raising a tiny human.

Links and Show Notes

You can find all past and future episodes at http://30andcounting.me.

You can find all my content at my digital home, https://eddiehinkle.com.

The theme music is Day 90 of Aaron Parecki’s 100 Days of Music project.