A lot of things have been afoot lately, some major, some just the march of time, and some that are minor. Shall we dive in?
- I got a new grill. No I didn't convert to the heathens with gas but I plain wore out my old Weber so I bought a new one. I did switch from red to blue though. The new grill has a few changes - the handles are plastic instead of wood and it doesn't have the hole for sticking a themometer into the lid. Also instead of an external rail to catch the lid the lid has a hook internally. I'm not sure I'm wild about those changes but I can see an argument for them and I haven't used it enough to be used to them so I'll reserve judgement. I took some pictures - see them here.
- The contract work I've been doing for the past year or so has dried up, leaving me less-employed. I'm taking some time to work on iOS and Mac apps and we'll see if I can really make a go of selling any of them in the various App Stores. I haven't done much of anything in Xcode in about a year and a half so it's taken some time to blow the rust off my Objective-C skills. I've also been hassling with updating my iOS app that was written against iOS 2 code back in 2008. It wasn't even called iOS back then and Interface Builder wasn't really useful for iPhone apps. A bunch has changed by iOS 4 :-).
- Sort of tied into being self-employed again is the fact that I've been needing to reset my OS and start over. Something is really wrong in Safari which beach balls all the time (and sometimes crashes at the end of that), and there's just generally a lot of old cruft installed on TinyGod. When I suddenly didn't have deadlines and OS X Lion (10.7) is around the corner that meant the stars were aligning for doing a fresh install.
- I decided not to buy a new computer - I think there's still plenty of horsepower in this old Mac Pro but since I was going to install fresh anyways … it seemed like jumping to SSD was a good move. After some reading I ended up deciding on getting an OCZ Agility 2 SSD. Note to anybody thinking of doing the same - although that unit does come with an adapter for a 3.5" bay it doesn't have the screw holes in the top surface that you need to put it on a Mac Pro drive sled (it would work in a old-school drive bay where you're screwing the sides of the drive into the bay, but that isn't how it works on a Mac Pro). I bought a fairly generic convertor and it seems fine. Man, it's CRAZY how fast Lion boots on this drive. I haven't switched over to using Lion full time yet, although I am writing this blog post in it. Anyways, I recommend the SSD upgrade if people are considering it. I'm not sure about the TRIM command - it's not on, but there's some sort of garbage collection on the drive itself so I've seen stuff on the web claiming TRIM is harmful in that case. I guess I'll wait and see. Then I plunked a 1Tb drive in for my document & media storage, leaving the SSD for just programs.
- I have not installed iOS 5.0 on anything yet. These early builds are apparently really–for–serious–not–for–use–on–a–primary–machine and I don't want to consign either my phone or my iPad to it. At some point I'll want to look at iCloud storage and maybe if I get that far before a solid beta arrives I'll buy a development-only iPod Touch.
- I also recently decided to try a standing desk. I'm not going to lie to you Marge, for about two weeks it was killing my feet but I've rounded the corner on that and I think I do like it better. Rather than spending a ton of cash to try out something I wasn't sure I wanted I bought some cheapie particle-board shelving units at Target and just plopped them down on my desk and used reams of paper to tweak my monitor height. In a while I might think about wanting to get a nicer standing desk - either by going to IKEA or by going crazy-nuts and splurging on something really sweet, but either of those will have to wait a bit, as the discretionary funds were devoured by the bathroom remodel. I put some pictures of the evolution of the setup on Flickr.
- Oh yeah, the bathroom remodel. We had some water damage on the floor in the master bathroom and I had started trying to pull up the icky lineoleum and then decided that I wanted a pro to look at the floor and that we needed something more waterproof than vinyl tiles. That was back in March and the project is almost done now (sigh). In fairness some of that is my fault - it took a couple of months before we even got contractors in to look at it. And at that point the prices were reasonable enough to decide to just redo everything - not just fix the floor and tile but pull out the extant shower, toilet, and vanity and whatnot. We're keeping the vanity itself but we got a new countertop and sink for it. It's still the right call, I'm really happy with how it's going to look once everything is here but that's the rub. Not everything is here yet. The floor and tiled shower walls are done, a new toilet is installed, and the new countertop is at Lowe's but the glass walls & door for the shower are still pending.