I miss reading blogs

I miss reading blogs. Not the sometimes highly polished, magazine length, writing for ad views type we see today, but the decidedly personal versions of years past. I haven’t discovered anything new in ages, and they do seem as was reported starting 3 years ago (and likely before that) a dead form of publishing, at least in the form of “the unedited voice of a person.”

I used to learn so much about these strangers lives and learn so much from what they shared. Much of my early learning about user experience was the result of articles and recommended books on blogs. On the rare occasion that I would get to meet them in real life, it was like connecting with someone I knew for years.

There are still a few I read on a daily basis — John Gruber’s, Tina Roth’s, and Peter Rukavina’s. But while they all have a distinct voice, only Peter shares much of anything about their lives.

Of course, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Periscope, and others I don’t frequent have all taken over the conversations that I used to find on blogs. Algorithms have somewhat unsuccessfully replaced curation. Facebook is where most short form writing and conversations seems to take place. But it’s decidedly impersonal to me, and not as raw as what I read before; its’ like most people on Facebook never have a bad day.

These roughly 250 meandering words with links is where I’ll end; as I ponder why I still on occasion come here to share.

Taiwan home office soundtrack

I started working from home on a new project this week and am aiming for a good 6 week effort before heading to Canada to finish. There I hope to spend some time at the beach and bathe in the fresh clean air. I was supposed to be in China but with all the delays that’s been put on hold until the fall. This past Monday was spent cleaning my workspace, setting up a new monitor, and planning out the week.

This is the sound I was greeted with yesterday morning.

Naturally as this is Hsinchu, the Science Park working crew decided to schedule 2 weeks of tearing down walls, thereby producing what is for me the most irritating noise imaginable. Spend any time at home and you are bound to be greeted with similar noises, as it seems the tile walls they use in homes here seldom last for any great length of time. Below was the sound track to our Christmas one year.

In fact if there was a soundtrack for urban Taiwan it would have to feature the concrete drill as it’s main instrument.

But few people seem to complain. My last company moved into a new building months before it was even finished. They were practically building the place around us.

It looks like the nearby Starbucks might be my new home for the next week or so.

Moshi Clearguard

I bought a new MacBook quite awhile back and now that I am in between projects I finally am finding time to outfit my workspace at home.

Looking at the other keyboards in the house I thought it would be wise to invest in a keyboard protector of some kind. After a short burst of research I settled on Moshi’s Clearguard product, for both the fact that it was readily available and its reasonable price. A quick order on PChome and it was here within 24hrs.

Prepping for its’ use I realised one of the reasons why I wanted one in the first place, as the white cloth I was using showed the telltale signs of the poor air quality in Taiwan, black soot.

Unfortunately I don’t like typing with it on top of the keys. Despite being only .1mm thin, it feels entirely too different, and my already atrocious typing has taken a turn for the worse. I’m going to give it a week but I have a feeling that I’ll be removing it and passing it on to someone else.

Edit: I’ve taken the cover off the keys and won’t likely use it again. It had a real adverse effect on my typing. When the cover was closed and connected via HDMI it tended to overheat.

The Sound Of China

Though recorded in China, it’s such common part of Taiwan’s soundscape I often call it Taiwan’s National Anthem.

It’s so common that I’ve given up considering spending any extended time at home, be it for study, work, Christmas or recuperation, because without fail someone will start making this or similarly aggravating noise.