Tag Archive: technology


Is Technology just Novelty?

For my birthday I got a Galaxy S5 and I love it. My old iPhone 4 was getting pretty slow. It was painful to do anything on the Facebook app. Suddenly it was like a new world opened up to me and I started blogging, chatting, tweeting and posting like I once did…then I got caught up…and ended up in the same place I was not too much earlier.

Facebook still does not have an abundance of good stuff to read, blogging still takes a few minutes to sit down and think of something worthwhile to write. Reading still takes time to digest and is still not as valuable unless I take notes.

I have found that it is the novelty of a new device (before the new phone it was a windows tablet that I ended up reading comic books on more than anything…) that rekindles the desire to participate online.

And once again I feel the sting of a truth that I, and I am sure many others, just simply wish was not true. That solutions to struggles cannot be completely solved online or through a new phone, tablet or whatever.

Granted they can help in some aspects. My current problem is that I need to make a few extra thousand dollars before a trip to the states. I have chatted with people about it and the best we have come up with is mowing yards on the side. So I have done what I can online and with the phone but now I need to go get the mower,  go to houses to get the clients and so on.

But I still keep checking Facebook hoping that more of the work will have been done for me or that I can even do the work while laying in bed and between games of ‘Cut the Rope’.

I know that many astounding things have happened online so i don’t rule it out, but I will always firmly believe that somewhere along the line the, “metal has to meet the meat” as they would say in army terms, to have something beneficial happen for you and another party.

What are your thoughts, is being on your device all day starting to feel like a vacuum as well?

I have never enjoyed learning and experimenting with technology than I did when I was in a Linux User Group in Utah.  When we actually meet up and discussed why Open Source and Free Software were important.  What programs we each liked to use.  The history that we had as little hackers breaking our parents computers and so on.

so_social

I have never reached the same level of satisfaction from online social interaction, despite the topics or the memories or what have you.  I will endeavor not to beat this dead horse, cause everyone laments that Social Media is not social and it makes us closed off to the world and so on.  But I will just express my experiences and thoughts as I have waded through all of this.

When I was a younger teenager I would chat on ICQ…I can still hear all the little sound bites that alert you of messages.  That may have been the beginning of the downward spiral of negative affects of Social Media…because I could not communicate as openly with a girlfriend face to face as I could chatting through ICQ.

In my experience if you want something done, Social Media is the last place to go.  If you want to go out to dinner or a movie with a friend…I guess you could make a post…but all those kind of posts seem to not get the wanted response…just frivolous questions and then saying they sadly cannot make it.

Social Media has not turned the internet into the romanticized version of the internet we thought it would be in 1995.  I love the movie Hackers….where hackers unite and change street lights and what not.  But when you have a question or a project it gets very little attention for the most part.  If you are a programmer and need help, I think the best thing is to use Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com/

Sometimes you can sell stuff…

My desire is that we keep using Social Media and get a lot of enjoyment out of it, but let’s hang out and see each others faces…a lot of search that I am sure you can Google says that you will feel better if you do!

Just think of what Social Media offers you, a quick little interaction to feel that you still exist to acquaintances…do you want to spend your whole day on that?

With technology I believe that you have all you need to excel.  And perhaps if you have a little less then you are forced to be creative and still excel as much as the next guy.

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My favorite example is when I was going to community college and working a graveyard job.  There was a lot of content to remember from a human anatomy class and there was no way that I could do it.  But earlier I had taken the plunge and got a 30 gig iPod (this was well before the iPhone) and I also splurged on a add on recorder.  So I recorded the lectures and then listened to them while at work (when I could).

There are a lot of ways that you can use the simple and free technologies that are available to you to excel in whatever endeavor that you might have.  Below I have some examples that I have done…be careful though, I have fallen into the trap of spending too much time creating these and not really using them.  If it is more important to learn the thing you are formatting into technology, then give yourself a time limit and then use what you have made or formatted even if it is not perfect or pretty!

– Using Smartphone notes to memorize something
If you need to memorize something by reading then the notes app on your phone is perfect.  Don’t over complicate it, just type in the note, or email the note to yourself and copy and paste…then simply look, read aloud, and repeat.

– Using audio recordings to memorize something or reprogram yourself
Your brain is an amazing thing…but it works in its own way.  Repetition is the best way for the brain to retain something…Oh but you are so busy and have no time.  Well you drive or walk places, you listen to endless radio and whatever you may have on your iPod.  Record something that you want to retain and be able to recall and listen to that over and over again.

– Creating your own website with things to remember and information you want readily available
When I start a new job there is a ton to remember and in this fluctuating job market your employer wants you to learn it quickly and be competent ASAP!  At a few different jobs I have created myself a website with links to task and their explanation or processes.  Also part names and numbers, contacts, and even some javascript for making a custom item that the company sells!
See: Having and Internal Website https://hartsoffice.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/having-an-internal-website/

– Use Smartphone, computer, portable apps, spreadsheets and other programs to map and maintain you life or career
Portable apps are a Godsend if you are around a lot of Windows machines and need to have the same browser with the same settings and many other apps that are good for the student, the web programmer or even the gamer!  Check out their site: http://portableapps.com/

These are just some of my ideas, be as creative as you like, but also make sure to focus your creativity like a laser beam to get the most benefit  this blog post series is all about the discipline!

When you sit down to the computer you (or at least I) have either a million things that you want to do and maybe do a little in all of them…or you have nothing to do and you fabricate things to do that…really…is still not doing anything.  Such things as:

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– update Twitter
– update Facebook
– Fill up my Buffer queue for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
– Build a website
– Learn more HTML, CSS, Javascript or PHP
– Read the news about whats new and cool
– Read your social media feeds
– Read or write blog posts
– Build an android app
– Work on a clients project
– Create computer courses curriculum
– Stream music
– Download podcast
– …..Listen to podcasts….
– Listen to audio books

And this is just a quick and dirty list of things that eat up all my time when I sit down at the computer.  But the sad thing is that I never do any of them well.  Just try to develop an app or a website while listening to a podcast.  You will either not hear anything the podcast says and struggle through making a website and having to re-align yourself with what you are trying to accomplish.  Or you will somewhat hear what the podcast is saying and be dabbling at best in your development.

The scattered brain is just that, scattered, and technology will not solve this for you.  All the todo lists, reminders and widgets will simply add to your scattered attention.  While nothing in my quick and dirty list is a waste of time in and of itself.  But dabbling in all of them thinking you are making progress in any of them…well then it is all a waste a time in my experience.

The solution that I have found and recommend is tunnel vision.  Take one thing such as learning Javascript, which is what I have been working on lately, and focus just on that for an hour.  Then you will make strides in actually learning and retaining!

Also…and possibly more important…is not getting on the computer if you have no reason…that will lead to wasting time or even doing stuff online that you really shouldn’t…

Does your computer help you stay organize or give you a nightmare of more stuff to deal with?

This has been something that has been in my mind for the last 6 months or maybe even the last year if I would have been keeping a proper journal. I am a techno geek, I love gadgets, I love computers and I love nifty programs and websites. I go through phases of loving and being disgusted by social network sites. I had a Twitter account a long time ago and it seemed that it was a million people talking and no one listening.

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works...

My daughter Chloe trying to figure out how the touch screen on this flip phone works…

You cannot promote yourself or your wares, whatever they might be. Everyone posts quotes left and right, which I don’t mind…but it is still not a conversation. It is a bunch of people talking at you hoping that you will buy into whatever they are selling.

I use to be extremely excited about all forms of technology. When the iPhone was first coming out my brain exploded with all the possibilities. I could run a business from my phone! From the marketing to the quotes on services. Even the FTP accounts and the Joomla administration could all be done from the phone!

But alas! The simple truth is that real business is done when you get clients or customers. Customers give money to people they can trust, and they trust people who they can talk to, have a conversation with, and hold accountable for the services or products that they purchased.

And while Smartphones can do so much they do not improve how we communicate or work. If anything I find all the alerts and buzzings from my phone as a nuisance and treat it almost like spam. But oddly enough the first thing I do when I wake in the morning is check my email on my phone, and more likely than not I delete all of them as they are spam or marketing of some sort.
With this series that I have dubbed “Digital Discipline” I hope to move myself, and anyone else that is interested into a new era of technology. Not the gadgets and computers themselves…but our on self discipline to use all the technology around us to our utmost benefit and improvement.

We could be learning new languages, improving the knowledge to become the best in our fields and careers, and improving habits. The most important thing is not use it when we don’t need or really want to. Go to bed if you are low on sleep. Make a phone call to someone if you are lonely or just looking for some human interaction instead of trolling down your facebook page replying to everyone wither or not you care about what they have written.

The world at large seems to be socially caving in on itself and it is no fault of the software out there, much of it works in a fantastic manner.

Can you see the negative affects that technology is having in your life? Is it outweighing the positive effects?

Try Anyway

So I am a professional burn out.  That is all I know, it is either ramp up, amp up and get no sleep OR veg out, eat out and sleep all the time.  The one thing about all of this that is remotely redeemable is that despite the things about me that ruin progress for success, I try anyway.

I was thinking of changing my tagline to “try anyway” because that really is my motto, that is what I keep telling myself when I am mopy and get nothing done.  There is this mystical and super powerful gap between daydreaming something and then actually doing it.  How bizarre it is to me, that I can be sitting in front of the computer, day dreaming about a blog post that I want to write, thinking it over and enjoying how good it sounds in my head…all the while my fingers are doing no typing and that little cursor just keeps blinking and all my thoughts and anything that I can offer the world continues to live in a vacuum!

One way I have combated this is just doing something, and then giving it out to the world, more often than not it is not polished, and really seams cheap or quickly slapped together…many of my android apps can attest to this, and I am in no way saying that it is okay to settle for this kind of quality if I know that I can do better, but for my personal issues of struggling to even do something in the first place this really is better than nothing.  I hope to make improvements in iterations since when I at least do something I have faced that fear and that dread, that overwhelming feeling of incompetence, and did something  I have thousands (somewhere around 20,000) people that have downloaded my android apps.  If you know much about mobile apps you know that is not much, but it is thousands more than if I just in front of the computer daydreaming or just playing video games.

The reason for this post, more than anything, has been the books and the blogs I have been reading on how to blog better, get more followers, engage readers and how to be able to do something like this full time.  There are so many great suggestions and tactics that when I sit down to write I am overwhelmed, I think I cannot even start to write unless I have these big checklists…and hence I have not written for over a week.

I was thinking of writing a post titled “What Am I Doing?” and ask my readers what they expect from my blog, or what do they think I write about, what would you like to see and read?  I am desperate to find like minded peers, I am tormented by the fact that everyone seems to want to live such mediocre lives, that there is little to no drive out there and the really burns out my drive since it cannot find an outlet.

Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think or any suggestions that you have!

Holy cow I have not been blogging or getting any of the usually stuff done.  This last two or so weeks have been intense for me building for my future.  I got the book “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, and read that all the way through, then I had this feeling that I should start a video blog, I got a little excited and then let it die cause it would be a lot of work.  But the feeling persisted almost to dread if I did not do it, I kept thinking that I just could not do it or that it would be no good.  I finally just made myself do it, and here it is for you to view in this blog!

Hope you enjoyed it, I only made it like a week ago but with all I have been trying to do I just never blogged about it.

THEN I decided to get serious about my website, my previous one http://www.hartwired.com was pretty lackluster, and now that domain points to the same place as the new URL http://www.hartsoffice.com.  The great thing about this site is that it markets me, what I do for the company I work for, my teaching and coaching in software that I do for a school here in Drumheller, and what I do on my own.  The exciting thing that this brand that I am building can come with me where ever I go.  So when I do move back to Utah, or move to Germany…that all my work will not be for nought in that new location.

I love the adage that Dave Ramsey so often uses in saying, “Leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home!”  I can fight mediocrity and so can you!

What are you doing to find, kill and drag something home? (Note: of course you know this is a metaphor for finding success, no actual killing is needed unless you work at a meat processing plant of some kind…)

Today I am turning 28 years old.  It is funny how birthdays do not have that same magic they did when you are a kid or even a teenager.  I would like to thanks all those who have texted, facebooked, tweeted, or otherwise contacted me and wished me a happy birthday. (Oddly enough no one has called yet, but that is typical with the technology we now have)

My wife has asked me what kind of cake I want, and earlier in the week gave me (allowed me to download from Amazon) the book “Platform” by Michael Hyatt.  After devouring his book I can’t think of anything more that I would like for my birthday than to see some traction with my blog, and Android app sales, and life goals.  I want to start winning, now this is mostly up to me, but I want to be involved with other people and their winning, I believe that to be the primer to my own success.

It is nice that my birthday is so close to the middle of the year cause it gives me a chance to reassess how my year is going and where I am at with my goals…sadly I have not moved the needle much, but as I have read on Dan Millers Blog:

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I recently saw Ted Turner being interviewed on CNN.  The interviewer asked Ted how he kept going when his sailing team lost year after year and his baseball team was in last place for four years before going on to win the World Series.  Without any hesitation Ted said, “I wasn’t losing, I was learning how to win.” 

http://www.48days.com/2011/12/29/losing%E2%80%A6%E2%80%A6/

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So since it is my birthday, I will not be as tactful in asking that I want people to follow and subscribe to my blog, I want you to follow me on twitter and facebook, and it may be because of Hyatts book, but I really want to build my platform.  Yes I will admit for all the selfish reasons that one would want to do such a thing, but I also truly want to connect with people, I want to give you my free content on how to use a vast variety of software and grow with you as I read all these inspiring books, get out of debt, and be anything else other than mediocre!

What would you really want for your birthday?  How would you like to win?  What can I do for or with you to help you win?

Being a Salesman Day 2

So it is day two of being a full time saleman for Reality Bytes inc.  Today I created a RBI sales app for Android, had a meeting with a gentleman about building a website and spent the rest of the day creating the app and making a demo site for this prospective client.

It does not really feel like I got a lot done, but I was really tired by 6pm so I must have done something.

The Technology our Kids will Have!

Can you just imagine when we tell our kids about VCR’s?  Or about how we would wait by the radio with a cassette tape to record the songs we liked?  Here my daughter is playing on a netbook that is no longer working, the next picture she ruined my Kindle cover to hold the Kindle and would not let go of it…until she fell asleep.  Already she knows what my tablet is and knows that she can play Angry Birds and watch Dora on it.  For her to not have access to all this will make her think that she was in the dark ages….and don’t even bring it up to Grandpa and Grandma, they will laugh at her terrible electronic device addiction (that she will likely inherit from her father).

I do hope that the standard for devices for her generation will put ours to shame, hey I will still be around and since I showed her how it works, I hope that she will show me how the newest stuff works!