Getting Better

Over the last couple of days there have been some pretty decent updates to 10Centuries that have resolved a number of bugs that people have -- and sometimes haven't -- reported, as well as a couple of features that made sense to bring back from v4 with some logical updates. There are still a number of areas that need to see some attention, but the platform is inching towards being a better system for anyone who might want to use it. Hopefully by this time next week we'll see the return of the main landing page, which will include such necessary features as the ability to create an account.

Clearly I was a lot less prepared for the migration to v5 than I had originally thought.

That said, with the weekend here, a lot of the core development will need to come to a stop. Coding on the weekends is incredibly difficult given the people vying for attention, and family time is something I generally look forward to, so unless something is broken or a really quick job, there won't be any new features until Monday at the very earliest … and I'm okay with the delay. Although it's strange to say, I might be getting better at being offline for much of the weekend.

Last August, when Reiko shattered her phone and she had to use mine for a while, I made the conscious decision to be offline a little more often. While having a mini-tablet with an always on network connection was nice, it didn't make sense to pay $50 a month for the phone and data plan. I work from home, which means that my devices are either connected directly to the network via CAT6 or connected to the WiFi. When I go out for a walk, I'm out for less than an hour. If I can't be offline for 1 out of 24 hours a day, then there's a problem.

As one would expect, there was an adjustment period where I had to remember that random trivia questions that popped into my head couldn't be quickly researched while walking Nozomi. Not having the ability to check the global timeline on 10C or post an update was a little annoying. But all of these things were relatively easy to overcome1. Right now I have no plan on picking up a SIM card for the phone, nor do I see why I should pay crazy rates for data and the very occasional phone call. For my current use case, a phone plan is just bad value.

Without the digital tether, I find that when I'm with the boy or Nozomi, I am more present. The phone is now just a camera that plays podcasts when I'm not at home. Inside the house the unit is also good for messaging, reading RSS feeds, and using the browser. This is ultimately a good thing as it means that I have the opportunity to focus a lot more on what I'm doing rather than what's going on elsewhere. Being present is important, particularly given how rare it seems to be in this part of the country.

Not everyone can go without a phone, nor should anyone ditch their digital devices just because there has been some positive results from this change in my life. Being able to spend more time with the family is great, and not being distracted means that when I sit down at the notebook I can focus more on writing code or working with databases, but I'm just an edge case.

  1. I'll admit that I sometimes "cheat" and bring the corporate iPad out, which has a data connection. This is generally only done when I'll be away from the house for more than an hour so that I can deal with some limited problems at the day job should there be any server trouble.