I find that I am always thinking of new projects to start. I am currently working on an app, writing for this blog and have a podcast. I also have an idea for a science fiction novel that I would like to write one day. My friend, Nathan, and I have being doing a podcast, The Know Nothings, that we started in June of 2017. We have been on a slight hiatus due to, well, life. And we have recently been talking about starting it up again.
When I think about all of these projects that I am thinking of starting or am currently pursuing, I always comes back to the tools I plan on using. The projects themselves I know are and can be rewarding but I’m am starting to be more obsessed with the technology to do them with. How can I use my iPad to do this? Or where in all of these projects can I use this new software that I just discovered? I think this line of thinking takes away from the actual projects themselves. A lot of YouTube videos I watch or technology podcasts I listen to talk about the tools they are using on a daily basis. They talk about how Ulysses has changed how they write blog posts, how all the features on Ferrite can make it that much easier to edit podcasts on an iPad, or how this new keyboard changes everything about multitasking on iOS.
When I created Techuisite I wrote my first couple of blog posts on a Mac mini using the WordPress website’s interface. When I first started the podcast I would record and edit the whole thing within GarageBand. Now I use Ulysses mostly on my iPad to write my blog posts, edit them on the iPad with the Apple Pencil and submit the post directly to WordPress from the app. For the podcast I still do record the audio in GarageBand but I also record two separate audio files within QuickTime and upload those to Ferrite on my iPad to edit then upload the episode to our SquareSpace site that hosts the podcasts.
I have evolved my use of technology overtime to make my projects more manageable and more fun to do. I did not start out thinking about the technology I was going to use to make it happen, I just knew I wanted to make it happen.
Currently I have been thinking a lot about a new app I want to create, I may share more about that at a later time, and I keep wondering if I have the technology to do it. If my 12” MacBook can handle the development work, if I need a second monitor to give me more space, or maybe I need a few new apps that will help with the graphics and other code related tasks I am sure I will encounter. Yet, I am in the very early stages of learning Swift and am no where close in pushing my MacBooks power limits. Instead I need to focus on how I want the app to function and actually learn the development language I plan to build it in.
As I get more and more familiar with new workflows and tools that I can use to create things or start new projects. I need to remember that the projects themselves will push me in the direction of what tools I may need. But the actual projects need to come from pure inspiration or the technology I buy to start them will just be in that box I talked about in my last post, awaiting it’s trip to GoodWill.
My wife and I have been thinking a lot about stuff and how we can reduce the amount we have in our lives. Most of the stuff is just junk that we have from our childhood and kitchen gadgets/utensils that we don’t need or use anymore. For me the biggest thing has been all of the old technology that I have.
I went through all of my cables, old battery packs, cases, dongles, and other stuff that I keep “just in case” but never end up needing or using. I watched this YouTube video done by Joshua Fields Millburn (from the documentary Minimalism) which he talks about how to get rid of things you might need in the future. He talked about the “just in case” phrase that we use a lot. He explains in the video that if anything he is keeping “just in case” for the future is under $20 he will toss it. One example he used was how he owned a small pair of scissors in his car that cost $2. He got rid of them thinking he didn’t use them very often but once he realized how he did use them quite often he bought a new pair. Millburn does say that he is not trying to encourage just getting rid of everything and only buying them when we need them. But that if there is a threshold that you can afford to repurchase things you don’t use very often, it will start you on the path of having and needing less. You may even start to realize that you can make do without a lot of things.
Bringing this back to tech, after watching Millburn’s video and talking more to my wife I realized I didn’t need 7 micro-usb cables or old cases for an iPhone 7 I no longer have. So I reduced the amount of cables and extra items that I have been storing in drawers for year, reorganized both my personal and work bag with all the cables and essentials I need so I have everything when I’m on the go, and have also minimized the amount of power cables and dongles that I need at my desk. I have started off small and am working my way up.
Eventually I might just get rid of my desk and use our dining room table or get some kind of mini stand up desk setup facing outside a window. I mostly work on bills or other personal things at home anyway. Most of my creation work happens at coffee shops or on the go. So eliminating the things I don’t need or find useful is freeing. For now I feel pretty good with my box of dongles, cases and cables sitting in my room awaiting it’s trip to GoodWill.
I work with and am around development for my job. I am not a developer myself but I have always loved the idea of programing and creating an app. The fact that you can type a new thing into existence is pretty amazing.
I watched the Apple WWDC keynote and I once again got inspired to be apart of the developers club. So (again) I am going to attempt to learn Swift and create a iOS app before next years WWDC. I want to try and attend WWDC with a finished app in 2019. So I can attend workshops and talk to other developers to hopefully add to my new development skills and may even add enhancements to my future app or maybe inspire an idea for a new app.
I don’t necessarily have a concrete idea for an app but that’s okay. My goal is to first learn how to code in swift, we will see what inspirations come out of that journey alone.
I want to give myself a blank slate on this blog and not stress so much on the direction I want it to go. I realize now what Techuisite is for me.
You see YouTube videos with cover art that looks incredible; an iPhone X sitting on some foreign texture, displaying a modern and unknown wallpaper with a title saying some thing like “How the iPhone X changed my life” or “How the iPhone X made me more productive”.
And…… you get sucked in.
You want to know how the iPhone X might change your life. But every time you are left disappointed. Really, the only reason why you watched the video is because you either have an iPhone X and want to know how your life has been changed or you don’t have an iPhone X and want to know if you did, what it would do for you.
Overall this line of technology videos is just adding to the abundant materialism we all are victim to. I am in no way judging anyone who wants to watch, contribute or enjoy these types of videos. All I am saying is that I am starting to understand what this line of technology reviews and media means to me.
I have been thinking really hard about productivity and minimalism. I know I am obsessed with materials. Buying, owning, talking about and yearning for more and more stuff. I am starting to see that I am not enjoying the things I have but how I want to constantly replace them. This is not only making me stressed and anxious but I am starting to see an unhealthy attitude towards technology.
Don’t get me wrong I love technology. But lately I feel it has been more about the shiny and new. When it should be about the thing that technology can and has done for us as humans. I am constantly fascinated by not only what technology has done or will continue to do but how we were able to create it in the first place.
Conclusion. I don’t want to write tech reviews, I want to write about tech honestly with my own opinions on how it fits in our world. I have watched too many videos being flashy with tech reviews and first looks that I am starting to realize, though I love them and will try to moderately continue to watch them, it is not something I want to do. Techuisite is about how technology is required in our society. Lately I have been stuck in the mode of technology being a want and a status symbol. Not anymore. I want to talk about how tech can help people in big and small ways. Not about how fucking cool the new OLED screen is so you have to buy it now.
I like technology. I want to talk about it. I feel like I grew up right in the middle of technology really becoming personal. I had my first cell phone in fifth grade and the most I could do with the software was take phone call, send text messages and play snake. I was able to download some cool ringtones and customize the case of the phone but that was about it. It wasn’t until high school until I got a semi-smart phone which let me do a little bit more and then by my second year of college I got the original iPhone.
My point is that throughout my journey through new phones and the new technology that it harnessed I had a personal attachment to them that was far less than how my iPhone X is to me today. It is more than ringtones, cases, and games now. It is a communication device that surpasses any communication that was possible back when I was even in high school. Sending images, video calling, and being able to share things on such a huge scale. Not to mention all of the things that phones are able to provide us that only computers used to be able to back in the day: typing documents, sharing files, or even having an address book, contact list, calendar and task lists that all communicate with each other.
Our phones are our maps, our mediation schedules, our cameras and camcorders, our wallets, our clocks and alarms, our health trackers and so much more. You can not convince me that technology is not a necessity in our modern age and is why I believe it is a requisite to our lives.
My younger cat Finn got into a Lily this weekend which my wife and I discovered are extremely poisonous to cats. This destroyed any attempt of productivity on my blog or the work I brought home from the office. He is home now and seems to be okay. Going to get his blood tested to check kidney health tonight, once I’m reassured he’s going to be okay, I think I’m going to start working on the What I Carry post.
I definitely want to do some tech review posts on some of the tech I use everyday. I am going to start out by doing a series called What I Carry. Sort of a tech bag series where I will start out with a summary post, then follow it with more in depth posts on all the tech that I carry everyday. It’ll be a fun project and allow me to review tech but instead of random new tech coming out, I will review things I use everyday, the essentials.