Is it possible to sit in sun for an entire working day and not consume alcohol? I’m starting to think it isn’t.

One thing I’m glad of, now we’re getting a patch of good weather in the UK, is that my girlfriend gave me a haircut a few days ago. It was getting pretty long, and I was torn whether to grow it really long this year. Luckily I didn’t go for that option, as I would be dead by now.

Working from home is so much better when you can sit in garden. And thanks todays temperature of 20°, that has been very much possible.

It makes me want to get some kind of picnic bench for the summer.

Using command-line tools to automate Xcode projects

As part of looking into ways to improve my experience with Xcode, I came across a great talk by Stefano Mondino from Swift Heroes 2020.

The main concept behind the talk was to use various command-line tools to automate an Xcode project.

Firstly, how you can maintain an environment with things like a Makefile, Gemfile, Brewfile, etc. Then various other tools for more specific Swift/Xcode enhancements.

  • XcodeGen to manage the Xcode project, dependencies, targets, to link frameworks, etc.
  • SwiftGen to generate Swift code to map to project resources, such as images, colours, string, etc.
  • SwiftFormat to automate reformatting Swift code to follow a certain style.
  • SwiftLint to further enforce a style and conventions. (Which can be represented in Xcode as you code)

I use SwiftFormat and SwiftLint already. However, XcodeGen and SwiftGen are completely new to me. So I’ll definitely be playing around with these for a while!

The second issue of my monthly newsletter will go out at some point today.

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It’s just one story a month, no nonsense, just myself going deep into a topic.

Listening to Ambient Music

One thing that has really improved my productivity recently is ambient music. And to be more specific, Harry Potter ambient music.

I wrote about ASMR Rooms and using them to immerse yourself into a single task, and on “background environments” in general, back in November last year. And it’s something I’ve slowly been using more over time.

I’m not totally sure why Harry Potter is the thing that works for me, but I assume it’s down to a few factors. It has a nostalgic effect, the music is great, and I find it to be rather relaxing. The full effect comes with the various videos you’ll find on YouTube where you’ll get a scene from the movie (or an adaptation), a mix of the music, some slight movement in the scene, and also a few atmospheric sound effects.

The best way to describe it would be that you’re immersing yourself in a distraction-free environment, where you can fully focus on a single task. What I typically do is connect my MacBook to my external monitor, and keep the MacBook screen solely for one of these videos. It seems to keep one half of my brain occupied, so I can use the other half to do something productive.

It’s something I would suggest that everyone tries, although you may find that Harry Potter isn’t right for you. I’d suggest searching “ambient music” or “ASMR room” on YouTube, and having a look through them. I’ve also found some great ones based on The Hobbit which are quite nice too.

There were no suitable unicode symbols I could find to represent external links, so I’m using one from font awesome that I think does an acceptable job at indicating that the title link is to an external source.

I’ve been adding support for shorter link-posts on my blog. What do people think about the format and design I went with?

🆕 Text Case 2021.3 🎉

  • Reorder and edit formats in flow creator
  • 4 new title case variants (AMA, Bluebook, NYT, Wikipedia)
  • Italics format

Mac App Store | App Store | Blog post

Thoughts on WandaVision

After the hype of the finale, I decided that I would finally give WandaVision a go. I had seen some early clips and decided it wasn’t for me, but I had nothing to do today so I thought I’d binge the whole series in one go.

Without including spoilers, here are my overall thoughts of each episode:

  1. Painful
  2. Painful
  3. Slightly less painful.
  4. I think this could actually turn out to be quite interesting.
  5. Interesting but weird.
  6. Still weird, but I’m increasingly intrigued.
  7. The weirdest so far.
  8. An interesting turn of events. Things are starting to make sense. Probably the first time I became fully invested in the series.
  9. What an incredible episode.

Here were my thoughts after 7 episodes:

  • After the first three episodes, I was constantly questioning whether something was a joke or not
  • The first episodes were dull, and I think could have been reduced to 5 minutes.
  • Because the early episodes were so weird, I was on edge for the rest of the series.
  • I’m not a fan of the cheesy and cheery type of show that I think it’s meant to be mimicking, so this could be a reason why it didn’t click that much with me early on.
  • There are moments where I think it could get interesting, but they’re surrounded with so much filler.

But episode 8 was when it really kicked into gear. That’s when I started to find it really interesting, and I was actually gripped for once. And episode 9 was absolutely incredible. These two episodes made up for everything I found boring in the first 7.

I’m actually now excited to see where the storyline continues.

I just submitted an update to Text Case, and it took just 7 minutes for the macOS version to enter review. 🤯

After seeing some of the hype for the WandaVision finale, I decided that I’d give it a go. But I must say, that first episode dragged so much!

Another thing, how is there 7 minutes of credits?! There was only 22 minutes of actual content.

This may be taking it slightly too far, but along with refactoring the way title case formats work in Text Case (more rule-based and therefore much clearer to define), I also added four new standards. Which means there will be 9 total title case formats.

The March Blogging Challenge has begun and today’s topic is “Routine”.

Join the Discord to connect with other bloggers, and to see topics for the next week:

It’s not exactly a world class photo, but I keep looking back at this one I took yesterday. The curves in the wood seem to make it feel a bit trippy, like the whole photo is being twisted.

The 25 years of Pokémon celebrations make me want to watch the anime series from scratch again. It’s already well over the 1000 episode mark, but it would be pretty fun! 👀

I didn’t think that at 28 years old I would have just watched a virtual concert with Post Malone, celebrating 25 years of Pokemon. My younger self would be proud.

The visuals were pretty incredible.

If you’re interested:

I went on a trip to Ashridge forest earlier today and took a ton of photos. I was very lucky with the light, so I think these are the best photos I’ve taken!

Here’s the album:…

And a few of my favourites:

A few more shots from my afternoon walk.

Nice day for a short walk! Much better than being stuck inside and sat in front of a laptop.

As much as I use the command line, I’m still a lazy person. And therefore, even if I have to write a short command, I’ll still revert to tapping the up arrow until I find it in my history instead of typing it out manually.

I think I’ve convinced myself today that I’m going to start looking for a remote role at some point in the near future. So I think it’s about time I read a few books and properly bring myself back up to speed with everything.

My only problem with finding a next job is that I’m an iOS developer, and I want to keep it that way. However, at my current job, I’ve been working on more server-side stuff for the past 6/9 months. Although I have been building Text Case at the same time. 🤷

I’m really starting to think that I want to work at a remote company for my next job. Not just working from home, but actually being in a company that is built around being remote. Doist and Automattic are ones that come to mind.

I’ve been in Lightroom again. So here are three over-processed photos that I took last year in Lanzarote.