Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

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Writing software is something I've loved to do for a very long time. But a little over a decade ago I made some career choices that meant my day-to-day no longer involved the production of code. I became an amateur developer. Since then I've noodled around with things here and there, and have even managed to write some code that I or a small number of other people have used, but I find it hard to prioritize the time to do these things. Despite coding not being one of my day-to-day tasks anymore it's still something I'm involved with indirectly every day so it makes sense for me to keep that skill set as sharp as I can. Possible solution - scratch my own itch: find a problem I want…
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Remove the Barriers

Remove the Barriers

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The key to success is quite often getting started. The laws of conservation of energy apply to the macro scale of our lives as much as they do to the basic physical principles of the universe. A body at rest will remain at rest, while a body in motion will remain in motion. For anyone who's ever tried to "[get in shape][get-in-shape]" the starting of that routine is often done with sheer willpower. That's hard enough at the best of times. Most of the times we don't make that healthy choice easy because there are just to many little barriers in the way. These are barriers that tend to overcome our willpower when it's time to do the healthy thing, but they're generally not major obstacles. The key is to…
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A Case for an Open Podcast Directory

A Case for an Open Podcast Directory

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Podcasts have come a long way since people started just recording audio files and posting them to a website. Over the last decade the advent of RSS and mobile technology has provided publishers with the ability to produce text, audio and video content and have that content delivered directly to millions of subscribers around the world. While many podcast enthusiasts find shows based on recommendations from friends or social media, the most common way to find new podcasts is through a podcast directory, specifically the iTunes podcast directory. Even though I no longer own any Apple devices many of the top podcast clients have search features powered by the iTunes directory. It has become the de facto place to find a new show on your favourite niche topic. What happens…
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Analogue Journey Update

Analogue Journey Update

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It has been about a year since I started my analog journey. It's has had some ups and some downs, but overall the experience has been extremely positive. I stopped bouncing back and forth between task-tracking tools and productivity systems. I tore it all down, I went back to basics, and found simplest way of doing the things that needed to be done. Most importantly I found something that I could sustain over the long haul. Despite the many hats that I wear, I can really only wear one at a time. The whole point of adopting my simple Journal based task management system was to not lose things. But time marches forward. Unrelenting, it drives us down the long road of progress. And this week, a little over a…
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Year of Done

Year of Done

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Done. It's a word that conjures up finality. Following in the footsteps of 2017's "[Year of Less][less]" I have christened 2018 my "Year of Done". I'm not a big fan of resolutions, be they New Year's or otherwise. I do however like the idea of a theme for the year. After some soul-searching, add some cognitive down-time in the month of December, I have decided that "done" will be my theme for 2018. I've told this to a couple of people over the last few days, and the most common question I get back is: "what do you mean by '*done*'"? For me, and for the purposes of the theme, I have two specific meanings of the word done. The first one is the most common sense of the word…
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Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

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*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/), [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/), and [part 3](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-3-bullet-journal-exploration/) before continuing.* I always thought that fountain pens were kind of neat. A quaint throwback to a simpler time where people put pen to paper when issuing an invitation to dinner, and when manners and etiquette were the order of the day. The journey down the path to owning multiple fountain pens begins with the rest of my analogue journey that I started earlier this year. Notebooks, pens, paper and other stationery products have become the tools of my trade. It didn't start with fountain pens, of course, I didn't understand them at the time. But I've begun to and…
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Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

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*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/) and [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/) before continuing.* I've been experimenting with a slightly (drastically?) more analogue lifestyle for the past few months. It's not that I'm becoming some kind of anti-tech zealot, just that I think I can find a bit more balance in my life. I've written before about my adoption of notebooks and paper for my handwritten notes at work, but I didn't talk much about the *how*. It's no secret that I'm a bit of a systems and tools guy. ([Knightwise](http://www.knightwise.com/) is undoubtedly rolling his eyes right now.) When it came to my newfound use of pen and paper to track work and take…
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Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

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*This is the second article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/) before continuing.* The second part of this tale starts a very long time ago. My relationship with notes and note-taking is one fraught with missteps, mistrust and frustration. I had always been a decent student. Mainly, I would later learn, because I had a pretty good memory -- particularly for things that I hear. Up until I was about 15 this served me well and I got good grades without a ton of effort. Then something changed. In my memory this is a sudden change, but much like the loss of my wiry teenage physique it was probably gradual, and I'm probably the only one…
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Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

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About four months ago I declared bankruptcy -- of a sort. It was a kind of technological bankruptcy. This is the the tale of that decision but to find its roots I need to take you back to a time before I'd come to this realization. A time when, for me, technology could solve all of my problems. This goes back years -- though I'm not sure how many at this point. For some time I've been battling my way through the jungle of productivity tools. Apps, sites, systems, tricks, life hacks, [thought technologies](http://www.maxedmands.com/notes/2014/07/20/interesting-concepts.html), and anything else you can imagine. Early in 2016 I committed to picking a tool and sticking with it. The app I chose was [Todoist](https://en.todoist.com/web). This was far and away the best tool I'd used because…
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Getting Started with Hyper-V on Windows 10

Getting Started with Hyper-V on Windows 10

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I've recently moved to Windows 10 after about a decade swimming in the Apple Kool-aid. While I've not been away from Windows entirely (I use it at work) I haven't spent any time exploring some of the newer technologies introduced by the Redmond crew in the last few years. Something that comes as a feature for the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10 is Microsoft's VM Hypervisor technology Hyper-V. If you're not familiar with it, this is comparable to something like Oracle's VirtualBox. One of the biggest reasons to use Hyper-V if you have a version of Windows that supports it is the fact that you will get a bit better performance of your VMs because the system has deep integration with the Windows OS. Another is the Hyper-V…
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