Smaller and Newer is Better

My Sony Xperia Z3 is about to get retired/fired/trashed/recycled and I’m really glad. I grew to really hate that thing. The phone had lost its water-proofing failed a few months after I got it because the front cover started to pop off. I wasn’t really rough with it. I just carried it around in my pocket mostly. I didn’t really notice that the water-proofing failed until I tried to take a picture and it came out cloudy. I looked at the lens, and noticed that there was condensation in it. Fun.

The speaker on it started to sound like it was busted. The vibration on it stopped a LONG time ago. The sound from the headphone jack is awful. There are two piss yellow stains on the display. The damned thing’s charging port is on the left side which prevents me from closing it when I charge (totally my fault for not thinking those things over before I buy the cover). Oh, and if you drop it and the screen cracks, it’s totally worthless and expensive to replace.

I got sick of Sony updating the software for it a year after a new Android version was released. (Sony said they weren’t going to update Android anymore a year after I got it.)

Android, however, isn’t bad. I liked seeing widgets on my home screen. I liked to be able to do more with it. I liked how Android felt and operated.

I am done with it.

My two-year contract with my Xperia finished this month. I ended my contract early because the cover/touchscreen is about to pop off for the third time.

Before I had the Xperia, I had an iPhone and looking back, it was a pretty stable, reliable phone. I didn’t have any major problems with it like I did with the Sony phone. I mean, the phone started swelling, so that’s why I ditched it. Come to find out, it just needed a new battery. I gave it to my ex and he’s still using it.

I decided to get an iPhone again, but it’s not one that people would expect. One of the annoying things about the phone I have now is that it’s an uncomfortable size. I can’t really use it with one hand (and before anybody thinks something naughty, there are plenty of times I needed to pick my nose with the other hand). I’m getting the iPhone SE. I’m getting the 128 GB sized one.

I am wanting to get less obsessed with my phone. I look around now on the trains, trams, and buses and see people with their heads down. People are going to dinner with their eyes fixed on a phone. I figure that a smaller phone will make me look at it a lot less. I feel like it will improve my relationships with other people because I know that I’m guilty at playing with my phone in social settings.

The front camera on it is horrible though but I don’t care.

It’s also over $20 cheaper per month than what I had before. That saved money can go towards bulking powder or pizza.

I’m also hoping to get one of the new 27″ iMacs and I know that having both a Mac and iPhone is a nice pair. I refuse to use that thing with a Windows PC.

Bing: No One Uses Us, So We’ll Pay You To Use It!

I’m fairly sure this probably should be a Twitter update instead of a weblog post, but I’m going to go for it anyway. I’m also not much of a tech writer, so please forgive me for coming across as a bit idiotic. In my daily life, I use multiple operating systems on multiple computers. I use Windows 10 mostly, followed by Mac OS, then Ubuntu. I use Windows 10 a majority of my work because it’s most dependable for me. My MacBook Pro and I are enemies. I hate that thing. It’s been excruciatingly slow since day one. What takes me 5 minutes to do on a Windows computer takes me about 30 minutes on that Mac. I just hate it and use it as a last resort. If I need to do something quick that doesn’t involve Adobe Creative Cloud apps, I use Ubuntu. A bit of a KDE flavor, I guess you could say. I can still get work done on it.

Now that I’ve given you that little bit of useless information, I will confess something. I’m writing this using on the Microsoft Edge browser. To me, it’s not so bad, but I’m one of those people who really likes the Google integration of Chrome since my small business uses G Suite.

There’s a reason I am using Edge though and it’s quite a hilarious reason. No one really wants to use Edge or Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, so they have to give incentives for people to use it. That comes in the form of earning points for doing web searches and using the browser. I think if it wasn’t for that, I honestly wouldn’t bother. I actually DO like Bing’s image search though, so it’s not so bad.

A little thing about those points that you earn from Microsoft is that I stockpiled over $60 in Skype credits the last time I was in Texas for three months. Back then, it was a USA thing, so I had fun using it and adding to my Skype balance. I came to Australia and well, they detected that I was in Australia and the point earning stopped. Recently, they brought the Microsoft Rewards system to Australia so I’m back to earning points. I thought that it’s a good time to give Edge a go and really, it’s not that bad. It feels a bit slower than the Webkit-based browsers, but it still gets the job done.

It makes me think what it would be like if Google incentivized their browser and searches. They don’t need to though because most people already use it but wouldn’t it be great to earn towards something like a Chromecast (which I already have so…)?

I just find it interesting is that the rewards system is pretty much the only reason why I use Edge and Bing. It’s just kind of weird that I’d do something like that but it’s a bit of a nerdy rush to see my points increase like they do. I’ll probably just keep adding to my Skype balance though I hardly ever use it. I’ve been thinking of just getting a Skype number and then I remember that no one ever calls me anymore so maybe I can just keep saving for something else. I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s it from me. It’s just something that was floating around in my head. 🙂 By the way, no one coerced me to write this thing. Seriously.

The Mood Project

And so, over a day or two, my little project has progressed. It’s working but haven’t merged it yet. There are a few user interface things that I need to work on.

I’ve also decided that once I get it working with WordPress, I’m (hopefully) going to make it into a mental health tool.

It’s coming along. Obviously, it’s not called MoodOS. It was the first thing that popped into my head. That’s also not what it’s going to “be” either. Cut me some slack! 

As some of you may know, I’m very passionate about mental health. It’s always been hard for me to communicate certain things about myself to other people, especially about how I may be feeling. Honestly, I hide my overall mental health from people closest to me: my mother, my sister, my partner, and my closest friends. It’s not that I don’t trust them, but I just don’t want them to worry about me but at the same time, I don’t want to get myself backed down into a hole where it’s really hard to get out.

As I’ve explained before, one of the biggest reasons I’ve started this project is because I want to keep a close watch on my mood and my general well-being. I want to see whether I am improving, or if I need a little extra help from someone, whether it’s from a health professional or from someone close to me. I want to see visually how my ups and downs are going, because I couldn’t really tell you how I was feeling 2 months ago, let alone 2 weeks ago. I can barely remember how I was feeling 2 days ago!

I am quite stubborn. I got that from my father. I find it really hard to openly discuss things with people I know because I don’t want to worry them. I don’t want to bore them. I don’t want to seem like I’m overly dramatic. Though some people have assured me that I can speak to them when I need to, it’s super hard to make that first step.

Now, how does this all fall together? I think that it’s nice to have something, an app possibly, to record these moods and feelings and analyze them and make little suggestions like “It might be a good time to have a chat with someone.” There’s a list of people who you consider your closest friends and family that can be pushed a little intro message of some sort. Not a super serious message, but something to push for communication. Something that says “I’d really like to have a chat about what’s going on lately.” Of course, nothing would get sent without the OK to do it. It can suggest places to go to get more help, if it’s needed. Something informational. Something where you can just open up the communication lines with someone, no matter who it is.

Sure, it’s even hard to start that very first step even: to download an app or sign up for a service. I don’t expect to be able to reach everybody who I would love to reach, but it’s a start.

This is just the beginning though. I’m going to have a chat with a few health professionals in the next week to see if it’s feasible to do and if there is a real need. Of course, to be funded would be great, but I’m not expecting that right now.

I am still going to develop it and use it for myself because I really like the thought of me being totally open and honest. I’ve gotten the databases and a lot of code already done, and it’s running (except I need to make the widget match my site). The pic I’ve included here is just the very start of it. No, it’s not chatting. It looks like it, but it’s kinda grabbing from my chat styling.

Unnamed, self-controlled Twitter clone that may morph into a mental health tool. More research needs done! (Ignore the updates. They’re not real, of course. No new chickens here. Added trivia: I call my cockatiel a “chicken”.)

I thought since my packing orders from the last thing I was working on, this is a natural thing to do. I need to keep my IT stuff up to scratch.

That’s all for now. I’m fine, really.

My Ever-changing Mood, Documented

Emoji_u1f604.svgYesterday, a project I’m working on for my weblog, took up most of my time. I spent most of it uploading files and installing server software, only to realize that I didn’t even really need it. At least I got a bit of coding done.

So what is it? I don’t know if any of you remember it or not, but there was a big thing about people posting their mood on the internet, you know, whether they were sad, happy, confused, or other emotions like that. It was simply a face with a word next to it. I used a service called imood to change my mood.

You can post your own or see how the internet’s mood is in general. Right now it’s feeling The current mood of the Internet at www.imood.com. So that’s about it. I also had a friend who made his own little system like this a while back and it was pretty good too.

One of the things I didn’t like is that I could feel a certain way, but couldn’t really elaborate on it and as far as I knew, I didn’t have a history of how I am feeling. I kind of like statistics and how my mood fluctuates over time and show it as a graph or something like that. Some of it is done. I’m using emoticons from Emoji One.

I don’t know whether it’s necessary or not, but I’m building it for myself and I’ll be posting the result here. Additionally, if I do a good enough job, I’m going to try to make a WordPress plug-in. We will see how it goes.

And yes, I’m fully capable of doing it. This isn’t one of those things where I say something like “Surfing? Looks easy. I can do that.” I can actually do it. Since my audience here is quite small, I don’t really expect people to find out about it through here.

Again, this is another thing I’m going to make so I can control it, post whatever, and maintain it however I want. If other people see value in it, that’s a bonus.

It’s unnamed right now. I’ll have to think about that.