Last Thursday was rough. If I were to explain everything that went down both with my computer and my personal life, you’d think I was making the whole thing up.
It’d be like the adult equivalent of “my dog ate [the last month of] my homework.” Or something like that.
First, as far as my personal life is concerned, this has nothing to do with the well-being of my family. Just a local debacle of waiting two hours during the workday to get something handled. Irrelevant other than, you know, taking a hefty chunk out of a workday.
Secondly, the computer stuff can all be summed up easily: There was a completely pathetic series of unfortunate events that led to its demise. Essentially, “I killed the car.”
So I had to order a replacement in short order (which is not something I wanted to do), had to have to delivered the next day before noon (which is not something I like to pay for) nor is it something that I had planned as a business expense for at least another year or two.
But here we are.
And this leads me to write this post: It’s a walkthrough of the process I follow and of the applications I install whenever setting up a new machine and how I configure it.
It’s not going to be incredibly detailed, but it’s a starting place for if this ever happens again or for any developer looking to set up a new machine or repurpose an existing machine.
When it comes to OS X, I’ve tried almost every email client I could get my hands on. To say that I’m particular about my workflow is an understatement. As such, it’s important that I have applications that don’t harsh getting work done.
I’m pretty sure every single one of you is the same way. How we get work done likely varies from person to person, but still.
Anyway, so when it comes to email I’ve not always had the best of luck. Either the client was unintuitive, I didn’t like the UI, the shortcuts what weren’t I wanted, or it didn’t have features that helped me get things done quickly.
And since I use Gmail as my main provider of email, I often found myself hopping back into the browser. It was, you know, comfortable.
But then I found Kiwi.
I don’t do a lot of audio work on my computer – I don’t podcast or have a vlog or anything like that. I do, however, participate in a number of Skype calls and/or Google Hangouts, and I also do a fair amount of screencasting.
Because of the latter, I have a couple of pieces of equipment that I use in order to make sure that I’m getting the highest quality audio possible.
- A Rode shotgun microphone (with a stand),
- And a Blue Icicle for connecting the microphone to the USB port of my computer
It’s a simple setup, but it works. The thing is, if I have my headphones in and I’m working on my laptop, then I have three potential microphones available that the computer can capture audio:
- The microphone built into the display
- The microphone that’s built into my headphones
- My Rode Shotgun
And even though I can generally set the devices I prefer to use and leave them, all it takes is one mistake before I end up double and triple checking my settings for each call and each screencast.
Unfortunately, I made one such mistake before so now I check my settings every. single. time.
But, for the sake of screencasting, I even take it one step further: I use a small software tool called LineIn (and anyone familiar with audio inputs and mixing boards will understand the importance of knowing which device is capturing what audio at what level).
And it’s been a fantastic little application for making sure my levels are balanced and that allow me to hear what others will hear based on my system settings.
Outside of the normal messaging applications that are available on our phones – regardless of if you’re on Android or in iOS – there’s no shortage of options when it comes to having yet-another-messaging-application.
And maybe that’s what this particular post will be about, but out of all of the messaging apps that I’ve tried, I’m big fan of Telegram.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to speak at WordCamp Atlanta about the Importance of Following The WordPress Coding Standards.
I had a blast talking with the audience, meeting new people, answering questions, and being exposed to some ideas and techniques that I’d not previously considered.
During the talk, a friend of mine happened to snap a picture of two young guys – between 11 – 13 years old or so – sitting on the front-row of the presentation.
Since I tend to be protective about sharing pictures of my own kids online, I’ve opted not to share the picture here, but it doesn’t matter – the important thing is that there were young kids present at this WordCamp soaking up every word that was being present and even asking questions.
This is something that I’ve yet to see at a WordCamp – at least in Atlanta – and it’s really got me excited for the future of computer science, of WordPress, and of programming in general.