Wandering onward

This is a recording of my blog from February 15, 2020

Saturday morning has arrived and things should be going well enough. At the moment the only thing that seems to be happening is a bit of muddling through as I wander onward toward living the dream. My new microphone shield arrived this week. I ended up getting the, “Marantz Professional Sound Shield Live Vocal Reflection Filter.” It is a much larger product than I expected to receive. I thought it would be much smaller from the picture, but when you don’t read the specifications that sort of thing happens. I’m still contemplating setting up and running a daily Nelscast again for 6 months to see how it goes.

Today started a bit slowly

Today, I called an audible (in honor of the Pro Bowl) and focused on the “Introduction to Git and GitHub” course by Google on Coursera. It is the 3rd course in that “Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate” series that was released this year. Today, it seemed like a really good idea to focus in on version control systems. This cup of coffee is starting to work. During all these courses I’m using Microsoft Visual Studio Code as my starting point to try to execute code locally. It does not have a cost and seems to be gaining popularity with people who are doing interesting things. My goal for the day is to try and finish this course.

Tracking down some technology

This is a recording of my blog from December 15, 2019

During my trip one of the other airport travelers had a Kensington MacBook magnetic privacy screen. It seemed like an amazing piece of technology compared to the privacy shield that 3M built for my Pixelbook Go. This privacy shield that I am using right now is stuck on the screen with some type of two sided glue based stickers. That method is way less useful and awesome than a magnetic privacy screen that can quickly be either used or stored. A few quick Google searches were enough to spoil my plans to purchase a magnetic privacy screen for this Pixelbook Go. I even went to the company website for Kensington and did a global search which yielded the following, “Sorry, no results for: ‘pixelbook go.’” 

This month I’m trying out the TIDAL music streaming service. It seemed to be a good match with my Sonos surround sound system. Normally, I just use Pandora internet streaming radio, but it seemed like a good idea to try out something new. This might be one of those things that I use for a month or so and cancel. Paying for ongoing subscription services is something that I am trying to avoid if possible. That seems like a reasonable course of action. Speaking of music services I’m trying to pick a new service to upload some spoken word audio files. I’m not going to all it a podcast. It really is a spoken word performance art of amazing content. Totally different from a podcast. I’m not sure if italics alone could convey the sarcasm in that last sentence so I left it standard print.

Giving up on Google Hangouts

This is a recording of my blog from December 9, 2019

Today for the first time in a long time, I removed Google Hangouts from my Google Pixel 4 XL smartphone. After removing Hangouts, I switched to using Messages as my default application. I’ll still have Google Hangouts on my desktop Gmail tab, but it won’t be right on my phone for direct communication.

I did have to make sure an update to my Google Hangouts. The steps were pretty easy: 1) open  settings from the website, 2) find the Google Fi settings, and 3) remove the check mark from the “Receive SMS and voicemail in Hangouts” option. That made Message work swimming well.

Overall, I have always been really happy with Google Hangouts and having to move away from it to Messages is not very exciting. I’m going to have to get the Messages for the Web setup on my Chromebook and desktop to allow me to have the same type of functionality from before. One of the things I really like to have is the ability to see messages without having to turn on my phone. It is easier to handle incoming messages on the computer with a full keyboard when I’m working at a real computer vs. having to pick up my smartphone.

Thinking about privacy shields

This is a recording of my blog from December 5, 2019

Well I finally broke down and started looking for a privacy shield for my Google Pixelbook Go. 3M makes one designed to fit the screen exactly. It has been a long time since I purchased a privacy guard for a personal computing device, but it seems like now is the time to make that happen. I have been doing a lot more writing in public places and it seems like the best way to avoid folks reading the screen is to get one of these 3M privacy filters. Given that a good chunk of what I write is published online that might seem unnecessary, but it feels like it will be a good thing to do. We will see what happens and if it ends up getting used. The screen on this Pixelbook is really good and people can read or see my code at a pretty wide angle compared to looking directly at the screen. Anyway — those are my thoughts about that at the moment. 

Earlier today I started to think about rewriting the standard talk I give about machine learning. The last time I sat down at the airport and wrote out about 5,000 words in one really large run through of exactly what I wanted to say. Sitting down and writing out a talk without actually speaking is an interesting method of putting something together. My Google Pixel 4 XL supports a recorder feature that produces pretty accurate transcripts. I could have gone the other way and just recorded my dry run and edited the transcript after the fact. One of the things about writing it out and working on that draft is that it helps refine the positions being taken and allows me a certain degree of perspective about the work being produced. That is important to make sure everything flows together and the overall story being told remains impactful. 

Oh, I almost forgot… I enrolled in the Coursera “Architecting with Google Kubernetes Engine” specialization by Google Cloud. I’m going to try to finish it in the next 7 days during a free trial. 

https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/containers-kubernetes/announcing-new-gke-architecture-specialization

That course specialization is part of my ongoing efforts to keep current and engage in professional development.