Its been a long year

Last year I got a new job, and since then I have not blogged that much, I didn’t even get around to finishing my series on my new NAS server. I have been very busy since then, but I have learned a lot about development, people, and project management.

This post will be a round up of many topics, which I hope to develop into deeper posts at a later stage.

New Phone – Lumia 950 XL

So I just got a new phone the Lumia 950 XL in black, it is amazing, and Windows 10 Mobile is great. People keep asking me, why have I stuck with Windows as a phone operating system. People make good arguments about the lack of Apps (which I have never used, or have needed to use) but I have everything I need and I seriously prefer the UI and UX over iOS/Android.

Its fast, fluid, great camera, easy to develop for (far better tooling, language, and platform), its perfect for me.

Xbox One

After having upgraded to a Raspberry Pi 2 for my Plex client, I have since aqquired an Xbox One. So I have replaced all of my living room devices with just the Xbox One.

  1. This means only one device needs to be on – this seems to have created a small power reduction, even when I include the new soundbar
  2. I can switch between lots of different media sources, using consistent and wonderful voice controls (thanks Kinect!)

Health, Body, Food and Gadgets

Just a note on this section, when I use the word diet I use it in a general sense of what one eats, not a weight loss plan.

In the last 18months I have gotten the Microsoft Band (now replaced with the Microsoft Band 2) and a Withings Body Analyzer Scale, which has enabled me to keep and eye on my activity levels and accurately measure my calories used and weight, which has really help me to lose weight. Simply by knowing how much I have burnt off a day and comparing that to how much I have consumed (thanks MyFitnessPal) I can ensure I am always losing weight.

Its amazing how being able to monitor your activity levels pushes you to make small changes in your day to day life to just do more. For example now instead of going to Bank station, and standing on the esclators, I either walk up the esclators (about 6-8 flights of stairs) or I go to Tower Gateway and walk into work (0.7miles) depending on the weather. At the weekend I will walk to Waitrose instead of getting the tube (Tube takes about 20minute, walking takes 30minutes).

Making small changes really does add up, and its sustainable, It’s making small, changes that I can keep doing forever to maintain my health, rather than requiring significant unsustainable changes.

I also noticed as a batchelor that its really hard to cook healthily, varied and tasty food for one, which lead me to eat the same thing day in and day out, and it wasn’t that healthy. So what I have done is to switch to Joylent which is a European Soylent alternative. Which I eat for 2 out of 3 meals a day, having pasta and meat (and sometimes Spinach) for lunch.

This enables 5 positive things:

  1. I am eating much healthier and it is a balanced diet.
  2. It is significantly easier to control the calories being consumed.
  3. I always feel full from it
  4. I get a steady energy release across the day from it, instead of high’s and lows compared to my other diet
  5. I save ALOT of time and money

So I still do not have a lot of variety in my meals, but I make up for it at the weekend, when I can spend a bit more to get special ingredients and make something different. I’m 90% of the way there.

Finishing off the NAS

I will not be completing my series on the NAS I built, and I never really got to the applications I run on it, to make it useable:

  1. Plex Server – for media streaming and some management
  2. Sonarr – for managing TV shows
  3. Syncthing – for Backing up from various devices

And that’s it nice and simple really.

Wrap Up

That’s about it for now, I have a new other posts up myself that I want to get to.