TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

The Library

One of the most beautiful places I visited during my recent trip to Dublin, Ireland was the Trinity College Library. The long, two-storey high grand hall with stacks on each side was breathtaking. The smell of old books filled the air.

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A Change of Scenery

I had been taking the same path to work for the past ten years. Sure, there were minor variations - I could turn this way a block earlier, go that way a block later - but essentially the walk was the same. I started recognizing the people I’d see on the street (and secretly naming them in my head), the doors on buildings, and even the various imperfections on walls and on sidewalks. I am an amateur photographer and, in a word, I was bored. On a typical walk to and from work, I could look at anything and feel I knew every visual facet of it. Leisurely photo walks were always different, but were few and far between. And then, I moved to a new job.

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Lessons Learned While Hiking

Today’s post is a quick story. In 2009 I took my kids hiking in Wisconsin. It was the first time the kids had gone on a long hike. I assured my wife that we’d be fine and we left after their regular Saturday activities. It was a character builder for all of us.

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The Best Time to Die

The only certainty in life is that it has an end. I’ve been trained to think of death as a sad, morbid topic. But lately I’ve come to realize that embracing the inevitable can have a markedly positive effect on my life.

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Open Workouts

No Specific Goals
No Specific Goals

This is one of my favorite things about the Workout App on the Apple Watch: the ability to start a workout without having any specific goal in mind.

I love that I can just start and see where the workout takes me. There’s no pressure reach a certain time or calorie count. I can just play it by ear.

See you tomorrow.

This is the 13th of my 30 days posts.

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Level Up In Photography

Remember what I said a few days ago about fitness? “Just show up”? Today is such a day with this blog for me. I’m tired, I have a headache and I would rather not write. But I’ve shown up, with the idea that a small, helpful blog post is better than nothing. So, here goes. I’m gonna talk about taking better pictures.

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No Regrets

This has been eating at me for the last 28 years. I’d like to start talking about it today. It’s what I call the American mantra of “I have no regrets.” In this post I’ll lay out my initial thoughts so that I can, over time, flesh them out and come up with a well-written essay.

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Exercising Your Brain

We’ve all heard or seen the ads making claims like, “Download our scientific app and play our brain games! They’ll improve your memory and actually improve your brain power over time.” I’d often thought about downloading one of those apps and trying it out. Wouldn’t hurt right? Wrong. It would hurt your pocketbook, but wouldn’t help your brain at all, according to Johns Hopkins Professor of Neuroscience David Linden. What would help is exercise, he tells Terry Gross, of NPR’s “Fresh Air”.

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It’s Never Too Late to Learn

I was pre-teen in the early 1980s. The 1980s was the decade of the Rubik’s Cube. It was everywhere. I was in India at the time, and people over there were as nuts about it as people in Europe and the US. Kids all over the world were experiencing the thrill of solving it. But not I. I had a book that described how to solve the cube, but it did a really poor job of describing the seemingly arbitrary algorithms required. Even though I could solve a single side by myself, I couldn’t solve the entire cube without having the book open in front of me, following its complex directions.

The defining fad of the 1980s
The defining fad of the 1980s
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Learning About Your Product

Today’s post will be short and sweet. I want to share something that worked for me really well when I recently started my new job. There are a few existing iOS products for which I will have to become the primary developer. I needed to come up to speed on these products quickly. I started of the way we developers normally do: read internal documentation, examine the Main.storyboard file, look at the AppDelegate.m file. But then I got a good idea. I asked the salespeople to demo the product to me, as if I were a prospective customer.

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