Dreaming.

I can’t believe the movie “Inception” is ten years old. It’s one of my favorite movies of the 21st century. We need to sit down and watch this again, maybe this coming weekend.

Secure.

My husband put an appointment on the family calendar indicating it was time for us to go through his online accounts and rectify all the compromised and repeated passwords he was being warned about.

I’m so proud of him.

Since we are primarily a Mac-based family, he’s going through the list of accounts in Safari and following the links to change his password from something dangerous to something nifty. We are both smiles, with Truman stretched out at our feet.

There’s no hollering and Truman is able to take an apparently much needed nap.

Fruits.

The pomegranate tree in our front lawn is coming along nicely. Apparently the more culinary inclined in the family know what to do with the pomegranates once they’re ready for picking. I don’t know what to do with them but I do know I will enjoy them.

It’s kind of neat having a tree like this on the property. As a Northeast boy that moved to the desert southwest by way of the midwest, I’m really appreciating the differences in flora and fauna in these parts.

I even avoided running over a tarantula in the road when driving home the other night. I’m sure it was thankful.

Saturday.

We decided to go for a ride this afternoon. We headed toward Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista to get a feel for the landscape in that direction. It’s a beautiful day, so we were riding with the windows down. We stopped for a cold drink at a drive thru in Benson. The car in front of us ordered over $100 in food with special requests for each of the burgers. These things happen.

We were smiling on the inside.

Caturday.

It’s a pretty low-key day in the desert compound today. Some of the family is still sleeping as I type this; Earl went and fetched us all some bagels, and I’ve been putzing around the house.

Truman has selected a couple of places to kick back. When I was putzing around upstairs he found contentment on the end table. Now he’s on his cat tree in the family room as I work in my office. Every once in a while he’ll open his eyes and see what’s going on. I stopped by to give him some scritches behind the ears and there were loud purrs, then he looked at me and I knew it was time for me to stop and for him to go back to napping.

The entire family is taking it easy today.

Upgrade.

Photo courtesy of apple.com

This morning I was up for work at 5:30 a.m., as per my usual schedule, and before leaping into the frivolity of a Friday at work I stopped by the Apple website and ordered myself a new iPhone.

I ordered the iPhone 13 Pro in Sierra Blue with 256GB storage. This is an upgrade from my iPhone X with 256GB storage. I will be trading in my iPhone X when the new phone arrives next Friday.

Going with the “non-gray” color is new for me. Looking back, all of my iPhones have been of the Space Gray variety, when any color option was available. My iPhones over the years have been: the original iPhone, 3G, 4, 6, 6s Plus, and the X. I almost went with the Graphite, but I decided to give the Sierra Blue a whirl. I also considered Gold, but I felt like it would be a little too flashy and I was concerned it would be a more urine color than actual gold. Let’s hope the Sierra Blue does not disappoint.

There are two things driving my upgrade to the 13 Pro: battery life (my iPhone X is starting to wane in that area) and the camera capabilities. I’ve wanted the Night Shot feature ever since it was available on models after the iPhone X, and the camera on the iPhone 13 Pro looks like it will be amazing. I’m hoping to try my hand at some astronomy photography once the new iPhone arrives.

Of course I’ll be watching my order progress through various status stops before it arrives on Friday. Let’s hope Apple’s retail management system doesn’t bomb out on my order. It seems to be struggling a little bit today. This makes me curious around the back-end systems used by Apple, because I don’t really think of MacOS as a platform for crunching numbers. It’s an unfair assessment, but when it comes to that sort of thing I’m more of a Linux guy.

Overall I’m excited about upgrading but I’m not swooning as I’ve done in the past with other iPhone upgrades. Either I’m getting old or there’s not too much to swoon about.

It’s all about the evolution, not the revolution when it comes to tech in general these days.

Clicky.

I type for a living. A lot of people type for a living, and in this day and age in the 21st century one should know how to type. A few years ago I saw a fellow co-worker typing out code on their laptop and they did it with two fingers. I don’t know how they typed for a living. I often think of how lucky I am that my mother taught me how to type when I was in fifth grade. “If you’re going to use this typewriter, you should use the right fingers”. So my mother taught me how to type and 40+ years later I can still type between 90 and 110 words per minute, depending on my stamina and the keyboard.

Because I’m what I’ll call a “legacy geek”, I like keyboards with a lot of hefty and a confident response. I’m not a fan of the mushy membrane keyboards that tend to come with PC setups or laptop docking stations these days. And I’m really not a fan of many keyboards found on PC laptops. Interestingly, I never had an issue with the very flawed-by-design Apple “butterfly” keyboards they abandoned a year or two ago; I can fly right along on my husband’s MacBook Pro from that era and he’s never had a hardware failure from a speck of dust falling into the keyboard or something.

A requirement of a keyboard that shall be graced with my fingers is that it has to have a full sized function key row, or at the very least, a decently sized Escape key. As mentioned, I’m a “legacy geek”. In my day to day workflow I still use an editor called vim, which uses what are now considered archaic keystrokes to navigate and otherwise do things in a text editor. It’s not rare to see a document I’ve typed with wwwwww or jjjjjjjj accidentally typed in the code. The “w” in vi or vim is used to move the cursor by word, the j key moves down a line.

Here’s an eight minute tutorial of how vim or vi works

Back to the keyboard.

In addition to having a confident feel and response, I prefer a keyboard that does not have a numeric keypad. I don’t type numbers that much but more importantly, I don’t like reaching over the extra couple of inches to get to my mouse. I like my mouse to be close at hand so I’m not reaching around on my desk. Plus, I just don’t like giving up the desk real estate for the bigger keyboard. So I go with “tenkeyless” keyboards. Except once in a while I want a small keyboard where I can use a numeric keypad.

Enter the Havit Mechanical Wired keyboard. (Link to Amazon). This keyboard features red switches, has a fantastic response feel to it, but more importantly, incorporates a numeric keypad where the usual other navigation keys are located. The keypad layout uses the original IBM PC layout of home-end-insert-del, so it hearkens back to my teenage years and using an IBM PC in the high school business office. I have it on one of my Linux computers and I am thoroughly enjoying the typing experience. It’s still a little loud (the switches are mechanical, after all), but it’s not as loud as my Velocifire keyboards with Brown Switches. Yet, people still know when I’m typing. I don’t know if the neighbors can hear me or not, but the rest of the family definitely knows when I’m typing and sounding productive.

I recommend this keyboard for enthusiasts who like a smaller footprint, but still need a numeric keypad. It’s clicky, but I find it a delight to use.

Inspiration4.

Today, four civilians plan to launch into orbit aboard a SpaceX capsule. This will be the first all civilian space flight in history. They will orbit Mother Earth for three days before returning home.

This is awesome.

Here’s a link to their website.

Inspiration4 is the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit. The mission will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shift4 Payments and an accomplished pilot and adventurer. Named in recognition of the four-person crew that will raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, this milestone represents a new era for human spaceflight and exploration.

Deco.

I decided one of my art deco school clocks would look better in my office, so I cleaned it up, hooked it up, and hung it up. The other clock was quite nice but I like the art deco look of this clock much more. It feels more “me”.

Updates.

I blocked my work calendar to partake in the latest Apple streaming event. The event took place this morning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, which is also 10:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time! Yay for no Daylight Saving Time in Arizona.

The announcements were predictable, but I found the presentation enjoyable. Since my iPhone X is getting long in the tooth, I’ve decided to go ahead and purchase an iPhone 13 Pro when it becomes available; pre-orders start this coming Friday. I’m upgrading primarily because of the camera improvements. The iPhone X was the last of the iPhones to not feature “Night Mode” and I’m anxious to give that a whirl. I also really want to see how it fares with shots of the night sky.

I was happy to see the improvements to iPad, specifically the iPad Mini. The new iPads are compatible with the Apple Pencil 2nd generation, the same Apple Pencil I have on my 2018 iPad Pro. And like my iPad Pro, the new iPads have also been transitioned to a USB-C connection instead of the Lightning Port found on the iPhones.

Sadly, no models of the iPhone 13 were moved from Lightning Ports to USB-C ports. Apparently Apple can’t get waterproofing where they want it to be with USB-C ports on the iPhone. I can deal.

The new Apple Watch Series 7 looks intriguing. I’ve had this Apple Series 3 watch for quite a while and I’m looking forward to maybe asking Santa for a new Apple watch. I’m really pleased with the cycling improvements they talked about, with auto-pause happening when the cyclist stops for a break and the fall-detection alerts. I’m really enjoying the fitness capabilities of my Series 3 Watch, I’m sure I’ll really enjoy the upgrades and the bigger screen on the Series 7.

I recently traded in my 2015 MacBook Pro for an Apple gift certificate with the intent of using it to purchase the new iPhone or perhaps another MacBook of some sort. I’m not with a lack of computers; as of the trade-in I’ve been using my iPad Pro as my main unit with my Mac Mini as my Mac of choice when there’s something I can’t do on the iPad Pro.

Overall I’m pleased with everything Apple has to offer, but still wary of their privacy practices. Even with these concerns, I still believe Apple offers the best experience of all that’s out there.