All at once time seems to not be progressing, and yet slipping away.
This week: time is weird; bosses that treat work like prisons; why you can’t trust online reviews; new bag reviewer I like; stop worrying about how your bag looks; things I am working on writing about.
Read this, I can actually save you some money. But I can also help spend it too.
In a recent Member Journal I posted about trying to use digital cameras I have around the house as webcams. Obviously, this cannot be done by using your iPad as your calling device, but rather you need a Mac or PC. I used a MacBook Pro 13” for this.
There’s a few things to note about webcams and setting up for good calls in general:
- MacBook Pro webcams are utter shit. They are likely the lowest quality devices you can use for video calls, and their mics are about the same as the webcams.
- iPad Pro front facing cameras are a really solid middle ground for quality, while being easy as hell to use. Their microphones are better, but the feedback because of the speaker proximity will drive your attendees insane.
- You can use your iPhone’s rear cameras as a webcam and those look pretty darn good, however the setup is really not good. It is cumbersome, and puts your iPhone out of action as you need to really put it in Airplane mode and leave it in a tripod facing you. Lame.
- You can tether most modern and some older digital cameras and use them as your webcam. This works pretty solid with many caveats, largely centering around the actual hardware you have. Also these are the nerdiest and finicky of setups you can possibly choose.
I have two cameras I could use, the first is an old Canon 5D mkII, and the second being my Fujifilm X100T. Now neither is officially supported by the manufacturers for this purpose, so I needed to buy an excellent piece of software called ‘Cascable Pro Webcam’ for $30.
And that, that is why we are here now.
Pick one: data caps or working from home. Because streaming video calls uses a lot of bandwidth, and so does remote education.
This week: managing in lockdown; writing as a key remote work skill; the shine wears off remote work; video conferencing follow up; why Comcast internet is a huge blocker to remote work; and some knife talk to round it out.
Do not waste your money on this.
Don’t buy this thing.
It is not often, actually this might be the first time, that I have come across a GORUCK product that I loathed. But this is that product. And, I am writing about it because I was excited when it came out, and if you didn’t buy one, I want to make sure you save your money.
This week: better quality video calls; we turn to individuals; managing in a pandemic; I miss the office; sharing culture is a joke. You must be a member to read the rest of this article. (Already a member? Log In.)
This week: better quality video calls; we turn to individuals; managing in a pandemic; I miss the office; sharing culture is a joke.
Exploring some inexpensive admin pouches.
For as particular as I am about bags in general, I am more laid back about organizers within my bags. These are typically called Admin Pouches, and most of the good ones are made by the more tactical focused companies out there.
The ones I use often are either GORUCK’s Field Pockets (article and here) , or ones by Triple Aught Design (OP1 and Context Organizer). But Prometheus Design Werx sells a few that are much lower in price, and on paper look just as good as the others. So I went all in a bought a bunch from them to try out.
Let’s really talk about why Xfinity sucks as much as using GitHub for writing collaboration does.
This week: wait, does that say the 13th of July already, crap; Xfinity refuses our money; Kitchen upgrade tip; choosing the right words; men’s fear; over committing; DEET; routines.
Why is Xfinity work from home hostile?
Zoom saw daily meeting participants soar to a peak of 300 million in the latest quarter, up from 10 million before the pandemic.
You would think that the work from home revolution was something Xfinity would grab a hold of — the the very least as a means to make more money. Sure, there’s more infrastructure costs with more and faster traffic, but before this home internet users really had little need to get an expensive internet and cable package. Before they just needed something that worked between 6pm – midnight. To get them through the hours before they get back to work. Cyber Monday became a thing, because people refused to have great internet connections at home (I’d argue even base connections make that a thing of the past.)
This all changed when we started working from home, often more than just one person in the household needing good internet speed.
But no, Comcast/Xfinity whatever they call themselves this week has buried their heads in the sand. The only real changes are to data caps (at first they removed it, now they added on 25% more for “free”). But what has remained is their plan structuring.
They structure things by focusing only on the download speed. 1gigabit service gives you that on the download, on average, usually. Upload? No clue. I have their 1 gigabit service and could not find the upload speed they are committing to on the website or on my account pages. In practice I get 30-40megabits up. 30-40. Are you kidding me?
With AT&T Fiber, I got 1000 up, and a 1000 down. Full duplex. Full magic. I could rest assured that degraded video was never from my connection.
But, in their moment to shine and make more money, Xfinity has stayed the course (actually, that’s a lie, they now offer a 2gigabits internet connection which would take me from $85/mo to $299/mo with no upload speed increase noted). With the world on video calls, and document collaboration at all time highs, we now have more reason than ever to want — to demand — fast upload speeds. And yet, nothing from Xfinity.
I would pay them 50% more money for the same download speed and 250megabit uploads. I am sure I am not alone.
And yet…I am not allowed to do so.
So why are they so against taking more money?
Probably because they generally suck.
Ok, we need to talk about a practice get home bag, not this shit people talk about on Reddit.
I went down a many-subreddit rabbit hole looking at bugout bags, everyday carry setups, get home bags, and vehicle everyday carry kits — basically I started getting frustrated at the state of advice out there for these bags.
I don’t think people plan for emergencies correctly — they plan for the extreme, while missing the likely. So, today, I want to talk about what I see as the most crucial prep for anyone who has a car, or commutes somewhere for work (I mean like eventually, not right now, but now is a good time to prepare because you have ample time to find stuff in your house).
We are talk about a ‘get home bag’. The get home bag is like a bugout bag, but for your car. Or, to carry with you if you commute on public or shared transit. It is the gear you need to help you get home safely in the event of something extraordinary happening.
A game of finger pointing no one wants.
This Week: app makers breaking their apps; Comply AirPods Pro tips; New York Times and Apple News; New Email; Houston Heat; Facebook still sucks.
I love this bag, it is one of the best out there for daily general use.
Pop quiz, hot shot, how do you carry around face masks, hand sanitizer, pens, and anything else you might need for a COVID-19 day out?
You carry this bag. And I want another, here’s why.
(To see the real reason for why I bought this bag, please read this post.)
I love Filson, as a brand, as a company, and the stuff they make. They remind me in a lot of ways of my grandfather. Everything they make is classic, over built to almost a comical level, and pretty fucking straightforward. Funnily, my grandfather never wore/used Filson stuff, which is almost in itself perfect.
Take your pick on this one, because I talk a lot about iPad apps, but also about emergency kits for your home. Huge value in this edition.
It is almost July, how is that possible?
This week: arm on Mac; iPadOS 14 feels; Scribble thoughts; new sidebar design paradigm; VESA stand follow ups; Emergency kits; Alone; Best Coffee; masks; and life indoors is wearing me down.