A collection of 13 posts

Early Adventures in 3D Printing

3D printing 10 min read Early Adventures in 3D Printing

New technology excites me. Always. In my experience, learning and understanding new technology can only ever have positive results. It is never a hindrance to education or career (unless you make it so by misapplying what you've learned or prematurely forcing new technologies where they're not helpful, so don't do that).

I've been following the 3D Printing phenomenon for years. I continue to marvel at the number of applications people find for it. So why not give it a try, even if I can think of no personal use case for it today?

That was my thinking a month ago.

Trialing Google's New Monthly Photo Print Service

photography 4 min read Trialing Google's New Monthly Photo Print Service

Once upon a time, printed photos mattered to me. I spent hours in Photoshop correcting and cropping and prepping.  I invested in expensive printers.

As I tired of replacing ink cartridges and toner, I shifted to print services like Shutterfly. Eventually, even that was too much work. I resorted to quick print jobs at Walgreens. The quality wasn't spectacular, but I'd have my photos same day.

In those days, I had young kids, and I took a lot of photos on digital cameras and, eventually, phones. There was no easy way to manage them (the photos OR the kids). Photo

Social Distancing with Ori and the Will of the Wisps

gaming 1 min read Social Distancing with Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I like video games, but I'm not a huge gamer. I dream of being a superb gamer the way I sometimes imagine I'm still a collegiate gymnast: in my head I'm a rockstar, but reality tells a different story.

In any case, other than dabbling in No Man's Sky, filling leisure time with Rocket League, and dying frequently during way too many hours of PUBG, I don't play too many games.

What better time to try a new one than during a bit of social distancing due to a global pandemic?

Disclaimer: I am not a person who must make

My First Weeks with Google Play (Audio) Books

technology 5 min read My First Weeks with Google Play (Audio) Books

TLDR Summary: Google Play Audiobooks is fantastic and every bit as great as Audible. I noticed a small syncing inconvenience with Android Auto, but that's easy to fix. Google Home integration is lovely. The big negative: content. Google needs more Audiobooks. I'm sure they'll get more eventually. Until then, we'll struggle with wanting the ecosystem benefits of Google Play but preferring the book selection of Audible.

At long last, Audible has a worthy competitor. It’s called Google Play Books.

In most ways, Audible is a fantastic service. Great selection. Great features. The subscription plan is reasonable for my usage

My Gadgets: Made by Google

technology 12 min read My Gadgets: Made by Google

I’ve long been a fan of Google services. In the beginning, I resisted. I’ve spent a chunk of my career designing interfaces and coding presentation layers, and Google’s early interfaces were boring, often crude, and painfully simplistic. Eventually, they won me over, and it had everything to do with their early cloud game.

More than any other major player, Google understood the advantage of universal access. I could search, check my email, view my calendar, track my history, or update my task list from any machine, anywhere, as long as it had a web browser, or eventually

Early Impressions of No Man's Sky

gaming 6 min read Early Impressions of No Man's Sky

This past week, No Man’s Sky, a much hyped video game years in the making, arrived on PC. I sat queued up at noon waiting for that Steam download button to grace my screen. Refresh, refresh, refresh, repeat. Then boom: there it was. I downloaded, clicked Play, but nothing happened.

For the next hour, nothing happened. After a year of reading about this huge little game, there it was on my computer, and I couldn’t play. Instead, I poked around on Twitter. I read the Steam forums. The problems were nigh universal. (Note: I haven’t used the

Dusting Dusty Desktop Innards

technology 3 min read Dusting Dusty Desktop Innards

I’m rebuilding my computer. Why? A game, of course.

Like so many others in the geeky computer gaming world, I’m impatiently awaiting the August 12th release of No Man’s Sky. This appears to be, in every way, my kind of game. Thoughtful, strategic, fantastical, multiplayer but not too dependent on other players. It’s been too long since I last idled away a day lost in a gaming world. I’m too old and slow to be any good at first person shooters, and I’ve never made an effort to analyze weapon and resource matchups in

My First Day with Microsoft's Surface Book

technology 6 min read My First Day with Microsoft's Surface Book

Last month, Microsoft wowed many of us with their unexpected Surface Book announcement. I certainly sat ooh-ing and aah-ing at my desk, sending instant messages and tweets to everyone I thought might care. What those messages said: “Microsoft just made the laptop I crave!”

Over the past year, I’ve been using a Surface Pro 3, a Macbook Pro, and a Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus (what a name!). In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve always preferred Windows to OSX. I use the MBP for Xcode and Ruby development, because it’s required by universal laws and such.

Playtime with Sphero's Star Wars BB-8 Droid

toys 1 min read

There's a new Star Wars movie coming soon. Today, #ForceFriday, Disney released a ridiculous number of new toys. While I'm not as desirous of such things as I once was, I still couldn't resist Sphero's smartphone-controlled BB-8 droid. I like it so much, I made a little video.

This was not an unpleasant way to pass the time. We should all play with toys more often.

Introducing Dander (Update: Deprecated)

business 1 min read Introducing Dander (Update: Deprecated)

For those who don’t know, I’ve got a new side project. It’s a mobile app dedicated to creating awareness and raising money (via microdonations) for animal shelters.

We call it Dander. You know, like Tinder, but Dander, except for pets, not humans. Actually, our original concept really was a Tinder for Pet adoptions (swipe right if you want to talk to the pet shelter), but the app doesn’t look or work like Tinder any more.

In any case, if you love pets, want to support animal rescue shelters, or maybe just want to support a few

Fun with my new DJI Phantom 3

drones 2 min read

This past Christmas, I bought a decent sub-$100 drone for my brother-in-law. We’ve enjoyed the progress small RC vehicles have made over the past decade, and our excitement bubbles over in December. Christmases are filled with battery hunts, impatient charging, and destructive crashes. This drone stepped up our excitement. 3-axis controls, 30 meter range, and a 720p video camera. I won’t bore you with our giggly first flight adventures, but the day ended with a fishing pole and some fishing line tied to a glove, which we cast onto a neighbors roof to gently retrieve an inverted,

Hello, Facebook's Updated Android Dialer

technology 3 min read Hello, Facebook's Updated Android Dialer

So here’s my first app review. I use and study so many applications, I might as well think about them a bit more vocally, if only to get my own thoughts in order. Yes, this first one might be rough, but they’ll get better. Perhaps.

This week, Facebook updated their Hello app, and I’ve switched to it as my full-time dialer. Overall, it has promise, but there are, expectedly, a few drawbacks. Let’s see how this goes.

What is it?

Facebook Hello is basically a replacement for your phone’s dialer, call log, and incoming call

My First Week with the Moto 360

technology 4 min read My First Week with the Moto 360

In the interest of upping my weekly word count and changing things up a bit, I thought I’d scribble a few thoughts on the technology I use daily (for both work and pleasure). To start things off, let’s talk Moto360 and Android Wear.

I’ve been a Pebble owner for well over a year. I started with the original pebble, upgraded to the pebble steel, then reverted to the original pebble. Sure, the Steel was constructed of better materials and had a nifty black metal band, but it was also blockier and didn’t sit as well on