I’m a big fan of the shell and the productivity it brings, you can have a text editor, command to run a server and more within easy reach. I use a shell at work, at home and on the go. On the go could be using my iPad or iPhone. One of the first SSH clients on iOS was iSSH, which I used many years ago. After this, Panic released a professional class application called Prompt. Prompt is what I’ve happily used for the last few years, but the 10 minute background process limit is a constant pain. Just a quick switch away for a few minutes, and you have to reconnect. That’s fine once or twice, but when it happens many times it seriously slows your productivity.
For the last few years, I’ve always wanted to budget properly and see where my money was going. But like all habits that are good for you, looking after your finances takes time, care and attention. I started off by researching the market for budgeting software. A lot of the prepackged software out there was very US-centric, including Quicken, Microsoft Money and Mint.com. I eventually settled on and bought a license for You Need a Budget, because: it had a budgeting methodology, very good Euro support and was cross platform with Adobe Air. YNAB lasted me well for a few years, with its pretty graphs and ease of expense entry. I even liked their much pared-down companion iOS app at the time.
As part of my masters degree in University College Dublin, we undertook a group project which focused on building a technology product. I’m very proud about how we ran the project, so I’d like to give an overview of it here! The product is a technology news application, which personalised your news feed based on your interests. I like to think of it as Facebook meets Techmeme meets your favourite RSS news feeds!
If you haven’t tried Google Apps Script, I found a really nifty use for it: smart filtering for email. Wait, shouldn’t I just use Gmails’ built-in filters? As it turns out you can’t - my filter needs to act on email that matched that filter in the past. So in other words: a filter can only act on email it actually “filters”, which kinda makes sense! I’m a big fan of automation (and email is ripe for automation), as you can see from my post on meetings in Outlook.
After some thought initially on a new laptop, I decided to spring for an iPad Pro 12.9”. So far I am really glad I did, the computer comes with me everywhere. I bring it to work, to visit family, on trips and everywhere in between.
I recently read Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier-Hansson (who created Ruby on Rails) and Jason Fried (who co-founded 37 Signals with Heinemeier-Hansson). This book is really a case study in why the future of work will be remote, of which the book did convince me (but I would say, I already believed).
Early last year, I purchased two Code Keyboards (one for work and one for home). The Code Keyboards are designed by Jeff Atwood (who founded Stack Overflow). Mechanical keyboards are “old style” in that the switches are from an era where everything was mechanical, unlike today where everything is glass. So mechanical keyboards have ardent fans and people who don’t really care for them.