I’m going to start blogging again, mostly about music, photography, and the city.
I will be blogging primarily on Medium, due to better discovery and distribution, with links here to my Medium posts.
My first computer, back in 1978, was a COSMAC Elf, specifically Quest Electronic’s Super Elf, based on RCA’s 1802 CPU.
Read the full post on Medium where I give some background on the 1802.
Pundits like to claim that Mastodon is failing, but I find it to be a lot more active than any of the other new social sites and I get a lot more engagement there.
I have around 780 followers on Mastodon and 1200 on Twitter, but I get many more likes, replies, and reposts on Mastodon.
Yesterday I posted this same picture on both Twitter and Mastodon, and immediately got many more likes and reposts on Mastodon than Twitter.
It’s been a couple of years since I wrote here and a lot has happened since my last post. I’ve mostly been writing on Medium, where I worked for a short time in 2019. I’m also active on Mastodon. I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting here.
A short summary of the last few years:
I left Line2 in 2017 when our engineering manager left and it seemed like there wasn’t much more to do there. The company was acquired about a year later.
Later in 2017 I got pretty sick and was out of commission for a few months.
I then worked for several startups over the next few years which went through major layoffs. My most recent company, which made educational software, laid off 50% of the staff only a few months after I joined.
It’s been over a year since my last blog post and a lot has happened since then. I can’t promise that I’ll start blogging more regularly, but I’ll try to post more than once a year.
Since my last post:
* I left Klip last June because I was getting tired of the commute, which was over 3 hours a day. Working with Alain Rossmann and the rest of the team there was one of the best experiences of my life. Unfortunately they weren’t able to get a big enough audience to monetize, so they shut down at the beginning of this year.
* For a few months I worked at a startup that was building a new social network, but I soon realized it wasn’t what I wanted. Although they’re great people, it wasn’t a service I actually wanted to use and I started to hate seeing the same tired memes and corny quotes posted repeatedly by our users. I also found the commute to a really bad part of SOMA even more unpleasant that commuting to Palo Alto.
* Since December I’ve been working at Line2. I’m really excited about working on an Apple Watch app, which we recently released.
* Cody died suddenly of an unknown infection in early March. He’s been immortalized in Cole Garage’s pet mural.
As long as I’ve lived in San Francisco and for all the years I’ve been visiting here, I’ve spent most of my time downtown and around the eastern part of the city. My last apartment was in SOMA, which was very convenient when I worked in that area. I could easily walk to most places downtown and I especially enjoyed walking to Chinatown.
Although it was very conveniently located, SOMA is not a very nice place to live. The traffic is pretty bad, especially when there’s a game at AT&T Park and the streets aren’t very pedestrian friendly. The rents are among the highest in the city, and it’s one of the filthiest neighborhoods.
I recently moved to Cole Valley, a neighborhood near Golden Gate Park & Haight-Ashbury. Until a few months ago, I was unfamiliar with the western neighborhoods, but as soon as I saw this place I fell in love with it. Instead of heavy traffic, garbage, and characterless high-rises, there are tree-lined streets and beautiful Victorian homes. This is the San Francisco I love, and it feels like a completely different city.
I can no longer walk to Chinatown, but I can walk to Golden Gate Park & Haight-Ashbury, and it’s only a 15 minute train ride from Downtown.
I commute several days a week via Caltrain to Palo Alto, so I like to work during my commute. Unfortunately Caltrain doesn’t have Wi-fi and I easily go over my data limit when tethering my iPhone, so I found a much better solution: Karma Wi-fi.
Karma provides a portable 4G hotspot like many others, but what sets them apart is their business model: Every time someone connects to your hotspot, you earn free data. Their basic contract-free plan gives you 1GB of data for $14, but every time someone connects you earn 100MB of data. Since I’ve had mine, I’ve earned 1.66GB of data.
The coverage is good in San Francisco & Palo Alto, but unfortunately there are a couple of dead spots along the way, most notably around Bayview & San Mateo. Outside of those spots, the 4G speed is excellent.
Today’s news that Aaron Swartz committed suicide hit me hard. I’ve known him from the days of Radio Userland when we exchanged many emails and chatted about scripts & features. I never had the opportunity to meet him in person, but he was someone I respected.
Aaron was only 14 when he contributed to the RSS standard, which is the basis of blogging. Aaron’s work with Demand Progress helped revolutionize online political activism and was one of the reasons Obama was elected.