Everything but the Oink

It’s not a unique concept, and it certainly isn’t something I arrived at first, but over the past year or so I’ve been working on making more out of what I have, and making sure I use things more completely. The phrase I’ve thrown about is one that I have appropriated from CGP Grey and Myke Hurley on Cortex, and that is “The Year of Less.” My take has been a bit different, so let’s talk about that and see if you think there’s any benefit to this strategy for you.

In our highly technical world it’s very easy to get caught up in the unending march towards faster, better, and more. It’s enticing. It’s exciting. There’s always a new and shiny thing on the horizon. Computers and electronics have always driven this kind of change and adoption. Phones have made this an order of magnitude more prevalent.

My original goal had less to do with some desire to “do more with less” and more to take care of clutter that had been accumulating in my life. There was a seemingly unending pile of “stuff” that had been purchased for one reason or another but never really got much use. Some electronics, some household items, but it’s the same general issue.

The epiphany came during this cleanup process. As I was going through the “stuff” I began to realize how little of it I actually needed. Many of the items I had could do double or triple duty if I used them a bit differently which would allow for many other things to be gifted, donated or disposed of. This was the ‘monkey touch the monolith’ moment for me: I had too many unitaskers. Too many oft ignored specialist tools that were mostly taking up space.

There are cultures in this world that are very good at making full use of the animals they raise for food. While some people may find it strange or off-putting to eat chicken feet, ox tail or pig ears, there are other places that use the whole animal. Making full use of every last thing on the beast. To do any less would be to disrespect the pig, or the cow, or the chicken. Use everything but the oink. Why should our technology be any different?

As long as my stuff is working I don’t need to get the new shiny. Phones should last more than a year (or two). Computers should last more than a few years — I’m hoping to get at least 6 out of mine. It was time to stop accumulating and using the things I have more completely. Time to get more out of what I had. So I’ve eliminated the “stuff” replaced one computer, and have reduced by a full 1/3 the number of IP-addressable devices in my home.

I’m not trying to change the world, just make my own a bit more efficient and a lot less cluttered.

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macbook-sliderWe dive behind the microphone and give all of you Apple users a slice of pie you don’t want to pass up on. We talk about making your Mac “Slider” friendly and how to put up ladders and crawl out of Apple’s walled garden. We have quite a slew of interesting tips and tricks on how to run “cross platform” applications, files, filesystems and connections through your favorite Mac. Learn and listen to this episode of the podcast that is filled to the rim with community feedback and contributions and great music by Youtube princess Juless.

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Tweak code (Copy and paste in your OSX command line)

#make dock appear instantatiously

defaults write com.apple.Dock autohide-delay -float 0 && killall Dock

#don’t reopen every file when you reopen your app.

#in preview

defaults write com.apple.Preview NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

#in quicktime

defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

#kill the dashboard

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

killall Dock

#show the path in the finder

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

#disable window animations

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool false

#enable direct scrolling

defaults write -g NSScrollAnimationEnabled -bool NO

#no more bouncy windows when scrolling

defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0

#set time machine backup to 1800

sudo defaults write/System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto StartInterval -int 1800

#force expanded save-and-print  dialogs

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -boolean true

defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -boolean true

#no 3d-glassy dock

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean yes

#show hidden files in finder

#defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

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defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean no

#make hidden app icons semi transparent

defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -boolean yes

#create a ‘recent items’ stack

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-others -array-add ‘{ “tile-data” = { “list-type” = 1; }; “tile-type” = “recents-tile”; }’

#screen grabs in jpg

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

 

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What is to come in 2013 ?

Its that time of the year again. Where we sit down and look back over the last 356 days to try to make sense of the chaos that is is ‘Linear Time’. And it has been quite a memorable year, both personal and on the field of technology. A year where some had predicted that it would be the end of times and in many ways for some technologies .. it has been.

I think it is safe to say that the realm of the desktop is officially over and the period in our lives where we could quite clearly draw the lines between a computer, a phone, a tablet and a laptop, can safely be reserved for the history books. Watching the technological evolution this past year I have seen boundaries fall. I have seen the clear lines of segregation between personal data and cloud data fade away, watched tablets and laptops merge into one , seen privacy and personal data fade away . I have watched the number of emails in my inbox decline and have started talking to my phone. However the one fact that continues to amaze me is the death of the early adopter.

There used to be a time where I was part of the technological elite. The happy few that sported devices and services that where largely unknown to the general public. Where the specs of my hardware or the customisation of my software setups would be lightyears ahead of the general population of “norms”. That time has come to a close.

girl

Case in point was an event I went to a couple of days ago. My hairdresser is quite a geek. Their quaint little salon lies in a small town that can be considered the veritable ‘Anti Cupertino’ of Belgium. An ageing population, low level of schooling and beautiful rolling fields of orchards make this a beautiful area, but also a digital “blind spot” where adaptation of technology is something that moves at a slow pace. So when she decided to have a lottery event where every customer who spent at least 15 euro got a chance to win an iPad .. I frowned a little.

But the day came it was time to draw the winning ticket. In the evening she opened up her salon and invited everyone who had a ticket for the big raffle. I attended more as a curtesy and was very sceptical about the turnout ? Who would even show up ? This was a rural town , these was an ageing clientele.. they would not be interested in winning and iPad ?

3 hours later, when the raffle was over .. I had chewed, swallowed and digested those words. Over a 100 people turned up for the event on order to ‘win an iPad’. Many of them had come to the salon several times (and sent over their family members as well ) to collect as many raffle tickets as possible. I had spent the last 3 hours involved in a couple of high level tech conversations about where technology was taking us. How big were tablets going to be, the fall of the desktop era, the unification between mobile devices and computers, the falling fame of Apple, stagnation of innovation and patent wars. My audience (and very vocal counterparts) in these conversations ? Women between 35 and 65 years old. Born and raised in this very rural town with direct affiliation with the technology industry except that they where a consumer.

2 years ago this kind of conversation would have been impossible. It would have never dreamed of explaining the difference between ARM and Intel processors to a pensioner. I would have never expected that pensioner to reply with the question “Why don’t we use Arm processors everywhere”.
But somehow this evening was very real .. a sign of the times that the realm of the geeks has just hit the mainstream. I saw people sporting phones more advanced then mine. A housewife of 49 told me that ‘Since Steve Jobs died, Apple hasn’t been the same” and it wasn’t at CES .. it was at my hairdressers.

So with great curiosity I look towards 2013, where the age of ‘Consumerisation’ is going to go on and on. Where the fat underbelly of the “Norms” will ride upon the technological plains that used to be reserved for the Geeks and the early adopters. Sure, we are still ahead of the curve .. but not by much, and they are catching up … fast !

So let me close off with wishing you all the best in the upcoming year ! Wether you are an experienced geek or a budding ‘norm’ who has only dipped his toe into the great digital ocean of progress. We have interesting times ahead of us !

I wish you all .. a fantastic 2013.

* Norm : ‘Normal citizen with no tech job or interest”

Links : Kapsalon Hairdreams.

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On the very end of the year we give you a preview of the upcoming book “On the Edge” that is about to be published by Knightwise.com. In this weeks storytime we read 3 stories from the book all centered around the very absence of technology. Chill out and enjoy this episode and don’t forget you can get your hands on an advanced signed digital copy of the book by sending a donation our way. Sit back, Relax .. its Storytime.

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Knightwise.com Donation page.

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