Last Friday was 100 day. I started in the 50’s last October.
Here’s some sunshine.
I was trying to hold Eliza’s hands still last week. I wanted to show her how to put her hands together to make a church with a steeple and people inside. You know, where your index fingers are the steeple, your thumbs are the doors, and the rest of your interlaced fingers are the people.
She just couldn’t hold still long enough to let me do it.
I eventually got frustrated and thought, “Dude, if you would just listen to me, I’m trying to show you something beautiful here.”
And then I realized that that’s the way life is. Beauty is all around us, disguised as tedium and hard work.
So what happened to my running? In July I ran 7 miles one day in my Vibrams, and then my knee hurt. Put me out for six weeks. That was after I spent all year working back up to 4 miles per day after my injury from racing a 10k.
I picked it back up when I got to Seattle, but the injury damaged my psyche. It felt like I was sneaking workouts in, hoping that my knees wouldn’t notice. No fun.
So in October I started CrossFit at a gym two miles from my apartment. Three days per week Carrie Klumpar brings the pain. Today we did:
Row 21 Calories
21 Box Jumps
11 Pull ups
My set times:
My theory is that running alone is a bad exercise routine. I needed to add some strengthening and conditioning for my whole body. CrossFit gives a much different kind of conditioning than I ever got from running. It’s usually 10-20 minutes of wheezing, grunting, kill-me-please sort of conditioning, followed by multiple days of I-can-barely-walk soreness. I have seen great results in my strength, flexibility, and condition.
So now that I’ve made some progress, my plan is to start running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and maybe Saturdays, which are my off-days, and see where that takes me.
Update: “Meh” is better than “hmph.” That’s progress. There is finally a viable Reader for wp7! Feed Reader 2.0 actually works! Five stars just for working. It has a Play Audio button that will read the post to me. Awesome. Cheering for you, wp7. You can do it, little wp7. (That was somewhat condescending. Where’s my January update? It’s March 16th.)
And Tumblr, where’s my Tumblr wp7 app?
So I went through a two week phase where I loved my wp7, Jenny.
- Love that when I add a FB friend, he shows up in my contacts, with all his FB contact info. If he’s already in my contacts, then his FB profile merges nicely (always with the option to unmerge).
- Love that I can see anyone’s FB news feed right from my contacts, I can write on his wall, and I can comment/reply/hit links from my contacts. No FB app necessary.
- Love the auto-upload to SkyDrive.
- Love the whole UI. It’s excellent.
But, things are getting worse on my list of reasons not to get a wp7.
- I was out of the US for two weeks, and it couldn’t get on my hotel’s wifi. My co-worker, with an Android, got on without a problem.
- Also out of the US, (in airplane mode the whole time), I could get on my company wifi, but at random intervals (don’t know how or why) I would get kicked off and onto the guest network that required a proxy.
- Browsing experience is awful. You can only go forward/back during your session. If you go to another browser window, or leave IE, and come back, then forward is disabled, and back takes you back to the last place you were on the phone.
- Marketplace crashes often, and crashes hard. Three hours ago I was looking for a Reader app. Clicked on “All”, and it gave me the “loading” bits. Back didn’t work. Had to hit the Windows button to get back home. Ever since, Marketplace won’t load. It starts to open, and then crashes. This happens often. Requires a reboot of the phone.
- No good RSS Reader choice, and Google reader in the browser isn’t great.
- No official Tumblr app.
- Can’t highlight from my Kindle app. Boo.
- SkyDrive itself is no good as a photo gallery. Picasaweb is one million times better. Of course, SkyDrive is a hard drive, not a photo gallery. I don’t even want it to change. I want to auto-upload to Picasaweb.
So, meh. I want this phone to be awesome, because the FB integration, the auto-upload, and the UI are awesome, but I’m not sure if I trust that the coming updates will fix the stuff that I hate. It doesn’t make me feel good that the update promised for “January” is now promised for “Coming Soon”. Boo.
A minute ago I was browsing Bob Marley albums in the Music + Videos app on my Windows Phone 7. (I named the wp7 Jenny, by the way.) The app froze, and after a minute I hit the Windows button to kill it. I tried to open it five times. Nothing. It would show the Loading thing with the dots flying across the screen, and the it would exit. I had to reboot the phone to get Music + Videos to load again.
While I’m at it, I want to complain about the branding again. I hate that the phone says at&t on the top, Samsung on the bottom, and Samsung and Windows Phone on the back. Also, when the phone boots, it shows Samsung with a black background, then it turns orange and shows at&t, and then it turns black and shows an animated Windows Phone logo. The phone would look so much better if it just showed Windows Phone on the back and at startup (or even just the Samsung logo).
More reasons not to get a wp7:
- Can’t buy/download music directly from the phone. Huh? All (yes, all) of the music I purchased from iTunes I bought while I was out and about. I heard a song I loved, went iTunes on my phone, and purchased. Can’t do that on my wp7.
[edit: yes you can. there’s a Marketplace link within the app.]
- Marketplace gets in a state where it just won’t open. It says “Loading” for about 5 seconds, and then quits. Rebooting the phone doesn’t work. It feels like the service is just down. Either way it’s unbelievable. This happened last night, the night before, and this morning. On each occasion I tried for ~5 minutes. Rebooted and everything. Super lame.
- Had the same issue this morning with Music + Video. Happened after I synched. Difference though is that after a reboot it worked find.
Failing apps, and have to connect to a machine to get music. Really disappointing.
I got a Windows Phone 7 a few days ago. The last picture I posted was my iPhone, face down, in the Microsoft Store bag. It looked so tired there. It’s been the most satisfying electronic device I’ve ever owned. I’m not a fan of OSX or the iPad, both of which I own, but my iPhone is/was impressive.
I wasn’t going to make the change, but then my friends started bringing the Samsung Focus to work. Yes, I work for MSFT, so there was an additional incentive in there.
Reasons to get a Windows Phone:
- People Hub. Collects all your lists and combines them in one location without trying to own them.
- Live tiles and lock screen. Apps can display stuff on the tile so you don’t have to go into the app. Weather, traffic, your next calendar appointment (even Google Calendar), etc. Super cool.
- Office integration. OneNote and Sharepoint on my phone.
- Voice Commands. Hold down the center button, say “Open Outlook” or “Call Molly”. I think my iPhone required various clicks to do that.
- Zune. Yes, I said Zune. Zune Pass costs $15/mo. You listen to any and every song you want. You get to keep 10 songs forever.
Reasons not to get one:
- Old school voicemail. Enormous fail. I love visual voicemail on my iPhone. May have been a deal killer if it weren’t for the employee incentive.
- IE. Yes, you have to use IE. Maybe Mozilla could make a browser app. I don’t know.
OK, the reality is that it’s not too bad. But the URL bar and the controls to add a tab or add to favorites only come up in portrait view. Landscape view is just to view. Makes browsing yucky.
Worse, the Back button is powered by the phone’s native back button. The forward button is under More in the controls. Yucky.
- Marketplace has no search. So weird that I am still looking for it bec I can’t believe it. So if you want to find an app, bet on a category and get scrolling.
[edit: Yes it does. It’s the dedicated search button. I didn’t even consider that the dedicated search button could do anything other than open a browser and go to Bing. I found this by accident in Outlook. Not sure how I feel about this. It’s hard to deal with a mix of soft/hard buttons.]
- Other tiny issues.
Can’t find a way to turn off the sound when the camera snaps a photo. Lame.
Shutter speed is as slow as my iPhone 3g. Super lame. I don’t care about White Balance, Image Effect, Contrast, Saturation, EV, and other settings. I care about shutter speed. I push the button -> the picture is taken. That’s what I want.
I’m sure I’ll have more. I just wanted to log all this.
Overall, I can’t believe it, but I don’t miss my iPhone. That’s more “wow” than I expected.
I feel like I just got back from the longest vacation of my life. Oh wait. That’s exactly what happened. Graduated in June. Spent a solid month (200 hours?) getting to know the LAMP stack, EC2, and the beauty of RESTful API architecture. Probably spent too long doing that, and then I remembered I had to get myself and my three favorite people to Seattle. That took a month. Then three weeks finding the post office and close Indian food.
Last Monday I put on the ‘ol clown suit (khakis and a button-down) and headed off to New Employee Orientation for the most boring eight hours of the summer.
Tuesday I re-met my new manager (knew him pretty well last summer bec he’s good friends with a good friend of mine) and learned that I have the most awesome job on the planet.
Wednesday another ray of sunshine hit when my skip-level manager (my manger’s manager) showed up at work in a t-shirt and jeans. I’m just a t-shirt sort of a guy, and I love seeing signs of casual-ness around the office.
Did this turn into a day-by-day break down? It wasn’t supposed to. The point is that I’m back at work, clearing the cobwebs out of my brain, and excited to be in Seattle. Haven’t read a blog post of any sort since mid-July.
I think many of my family members are wondering what on earth I’m doing in the corner of a spare bedroom of my mother-in-law’s basement. It being summer and all, and having just graduated and all, and having two really fun 1 year olds and all, it is kind of crazy to be holed up. So I thought I’d take a moment to add some color to everyone’s perception of what I’m doing.
I just spent an hour trying to figure out where a newline was added to my response. I was getting this error:
XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
Line Number 2, Column 1:
I’m trying to make my server respond with (valid) xml, and a blank line was being added as the first line of my output. I got really close to my screen. I searched and researched every line of code. I dug through CodeIgniter’s REST base controller and scrutinized every character of the _format_xml response function that actually builds the xml. Nothing.
Then I copied an example implementation, completely gutted it, copied in my function so that the only thing in it was the function I had written, and that was presumably adding a newline at the top of the response, redirected my browser to this implementation, and … it worked. I toggled back and forth between it and the controller I had written for about 10 minutes. Could not see the difference. Finally stepped through the two files line by line and realized…
any white space outside of the tags is part of the response!!!
Don’t forget that. I had an empty line in my controller php file at the very end, after the closing php tag. That line became the first line in my response, and my formatted xml came after that. So the browser interpreted the sum as invalid xml.
These are the adventures of a Microsoft developer in LAMPLand.