My First Mac

Was a 700Mhz iBook G3 PowerPC. I was a diehard Windows PC fan before this system and had just finished building a fairly top of the line PC, but after buying the iBook it quickly turn into a huge floppy disk drive, which I needed to turn in college work (and yes I now feel old).

My memory isn’t the best, but I believe from that point my upgrade path went like this:
Mac #2. 17in iMac G4 – they 17in lamp looking one.

Mac #3. 15in Powerbook G4 – was so happy to finally have one.

Mac #4. MacPro (intel)- started doing more video editing.

Mac #5. MacMini (intel) – stopped doing as much video stuff.

Mac #6. 13in Macbook Pro – needed to have some portability.

Mac #7. 27in iMac – so much screen space

Mac #8. 15in Retina MBP – need to be portable again.

Mac #9. 27in iMac – yes again, used it mainly as an external monitor for a bit.

But it all started here:

Working Outside

The last couple days I’ve been working from a screened in patio of our hotel room in Orlando, Fl. Normally I am stuck in a 12×12 office in a basement with 2 glass block windows. There are definitely some distractions that come with this view (especially on the bottom floor of a hotel room), but having a water view to look up at can be very motivating. Much more then my painted blue walls could ever do.

Fixing the Elevation Dock for the iPhone 5

So the Elevation Dock is absolutely beautiful and the frictionless connector was just amazing, but then the iPhone 5 came out and ruined it all. Its not the fault of the guys at ElevationLab, Apple tied their hands and from what I hear they are still working on a better solution, but until then its actually pretty easy to get the dock back to working like it should and you can probably do it with what you find around your house (especially if your married or a woman).

watch the video for all the details (basically you just file down both sides of the connector). But be very careful In the video I filed down the entire sides. Focus on just the top area where the indentions are.

 

 

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you file down the cable too much and ruin your lightning cable, just FYI.

20,000 Steps A Day For A Month

I’m fat, but I used to be fatter, however before that I was skinnier and before that even fatter then the previous fatter and before that skinnier then the previous skinnier and before that fatter, but not then my fattest and before that I was 7.

All that being said my weight has always been an issue. So on July 21st, I made a goal with myself to hit 20,000 steps a day for a month. Yesterday (Day 31) I completed my initial goal. But I am not done yet. I have 27 more days before I will be stuck in a car for 16+ hours straight with 3 other adults and 3 children, so I figure I might as well extend my streak until a day that I have a true physical and mental excuse for not hitting my goal.

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**But wait… there’s more**<br>
Yes, I had the public goal of the 20k steps a day, but underneath that I had a goal to lose weight, like I mentioned before I’m fat. Luckily for me I had my beautiful wife walking with and motivating me to hit my goals and my best friend [Steve](http://www.twitter.com/funkmasterflash) and I started weighing-in daily and texting each other our progress good or bad, so we could keep each other accountable and encourage one another. It was also cool because the day after I started this journey [Sam Soffes](http://twitter.com/soffes) posted [this article](http://sam.roon.io/fat), which just added to my encouragement.

**The results**<br>
In the last 31 days I have lost a total of 23.6 pounds. I honestly was hoping to lose 10 pounds. I still have a long way to go and starting tomorrow I am going to turn back on a feature of my scale that post my weight publicly every time I weigh-in. It’s scary, but at the same time I believe it will keep me on track to get down to the weight that I should be.

**My current weight goals**<br>
257 – Sept 17th (day we leave for vacation)<br>
240 – Nov 28th (Thanksgiving)<br>
230 – Feb 3rd (My sons 3rd birthday)<br>
220 – Apr 19th (My 32nd birthday)

Honestly, I hope to kill all these goals, but right now I just don’t know what to expect. But you’re more then welcome to follow my journey. I hope to eventually get a dedicated page up again to better track it all, but for now feel free to follow me on [twitter](http://www.twitter.com/brianminor) I usually weigh-in around 6-8am.

Being a Dad – (my belated Father’s Day post)

I love being a dad. It’s by far the best things in the world. My boy is almost 2.5 and it’s crazy how fast he has grow and changed in that short amount of time. He is talking up a storm and I can actually understand most of it now. I am also proud as can be every time he wants to watch Iron Man: Armored Avengers over Mickey Mouse ClubhouseBut best of all I start off nearly every morning with him yelling “DA-DA” over and over at the top of the stair (my office is in the basement) until I respond. There is no better way I could think to start a day.My wife’s a photographer and always surprises me with amazing shots of him for fathers day. Here are just a few of my favorites.

 

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Maintaining

Since vacation in October I’ve weighted around 255-259, This is far from my weight goal, but in the past I’ve always been good at either losing or gaining (mostly gaining), so it’s nice to know that I can maintain, now I just need to get to a weight worth maintaining.

Also, sometime next week I will be turning back on the feature of my scale to post my weight publicly again. I turned it off because it’s pointless when there is no progress being made.

The Disney Dining Plan

After spending 10 straight days in Disney World. I am finally back home, back to work and back to hopefully losing more weight.

I went into this vacation thinking that I could continue on with my weight loss process, but then came the dining plan…

The way it works is you get 2 meals and 1 snack each day. By the sounds of that it doesn’t sound like much, but each meal is quite large and comes with a drink and a desert itself. So it ends up being a ton of food. Yes, I could have made good choices and gotten grapes or a banana for deserts/snakes, but why would I do that when I could get a cookies and cream chocolate cookie sandwich.

Anyways that all being said when you see the weight gain I post tomorrow now you know why.

Why I’m Posting My Weights Online

My current weight goals

257 – Sept 17th (day we leave for vacation) – Hit on Aug 30th

250 – Jan 1st (New Years Day)

240 – Feb 3rd (My sons 3rd birthday)
220 – Apr 19th (My birthday)

The Details

A while back I heard (I believe) Leo Laporte call it Diet by Humiliation. It’s the concept of posting your weight-ins publicly for everyone to see as a way of motivating yourself. I really liked the idea and my Withings scale has a feature to automatically post my weight-ins after stepping on the scale, but it was still a tough decision to make.

I’m fat and I’d prefer others not know just how fat I am. But then I realized it’s not something one can really hide. If you’ve seen me you instantly know I’m not skinny. So there you have it. Pretty simple reason.

Here are my current goals I’m working towards. I hope to smash all of these, but I’m just not sure how difficult that will be just yet.

Eventually I may build a dedicated page for this, but for now this works well enough for what I need.

Cutting The Audio Cord

My laptop is my only computer I have. After having a desktop and a laptop it’s really nice to just have a single computer, but one thing that annoyed me was having to unplug the audio cable every time I wanted to work from somewhere other then my desk. I know it sounds stupid, but my speakers made this pop and hum when unplugged. So I went in search for a solution.

Solution 1. Airport Express – $99

The Airport Express allows you to Airplay audio to any set of computer speakers you decide to plug into it. But it has a horribly delay. On average it’s a good 5+second delay to start and stop/pause the audio. Even when listening to music there are also many hiccups where the audio would drop out for a few seconds here and there.

Solution 2. Beats Pill by Dr Dre – $199

So I gave up on Airplay and switched to Bluetooth audio. I mostly just listen to talk tech podcasts, so I figured a smaller speaker would be plenty. But the constant issues with pairing, drops in audio and low crackling sound drove me crazy so I returned the unit after 5 days.

Solution 3. Big Jambox by Jawbone – $299

I figured if I was going to give Bluetooth a shot I should drop another $100 and go with what I have heard others in the tech community praise. It did have better pairing support, but sadly bluetooth audio is just awful no matter how much you decide to spend on it.

Solution 4. The Winner – $118.27

During this 5 month process I found out that the Apple TV didn’t have the delay and as many hiccup issues like the Airport Express. So I switched my gears back to Airplay. I bought the items below and hooked up the speakers I already had and it’s great. No delay very few hiccups and it’s Airplay so all my Apple devices can easily send audio to it with ease.

Here is a list of everything I bought to make it work:
Apple TV – $99
Optical to analog audio converter – $15.98
Stereo Female to RCA Male Cable – $1.71
Optical Cable – $1.58

I know the other more expensive options are more portable, but my needs were just going wireless. I am not a high standard audio person, but like I said I mainly just listen to tech podcasts and even then the bluetooth quality drove mad, so personally I recommend staying away from those options.

Wearable Fitness Devices – Some pros & cons

So wearable fitness tracking devices are getting more and more popular and more companies are throwing their hats in the game, but as of now there are still just 3 main competitors: Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike. I’ve been crazy enough to purchase and use them all for 6 months or more and just wanted to list my pros and cons.

Fitbit

They were around before this category blew up. So lets start with them.

Pros

Device Options: In my opinion the biggest pro is the device options they offer. They have 3 devices, , One, Flex. I have used the Zip and it is very freeing after using a wrist option for a year, to not have something on your wrist so you don’t have to be concerned that your not getting your steps when you carrying something in your arms.

The App: The app is definitely the most rounded of them they’ve been around the longest and in that time they’ve built in more features to their app.

Cons

Syncing: I don’t know if it is something they did or something Apple changed, but the bluetooth syncing is awful! It’s sad when I can take off the Jawbone UP and plug it into my phone faster then I can get my phone to even see that the fitbit is ready to sync.

The App: The app looks old. Hopefully with iOS 7 coming we will see a redesign soon.

Rant: My biggest pet peeves is I can’t modify my water intake goal. Why Fitbit, WHY!

Jawbone UP

As far as I know they made the first tracking device for the wrist, if they didn’t they at least made it popular. They had a ton of issues with their first version, but they went back and made it great.

Pros

Vibration Alerts: Love this feature, you can set the device to vibrate if you have been idle for so many minutes. Just to remind you to get up and move around. Definitely helps you when it comes to starting out and hitting your goals.

Sleep tracking: Fitbit also offers sleep tracking, but I haven’t had a chance to try it out since I just have the Zip, but the tracking on the UP is great it gives you all the data you need and the vibrate to wake up is a great feature to help you wake up easier.

The App: Out of all of them the others I like this app the best. They took the time to make it beautiful and functional.

Cons

The Band: It doesn’t clasps. So it can easily be pulled off by a Baby/Toddler.

Syncing: Out of the 3 companies the one that is known for their bluetooth devices is the only one that requires you to plug the device in… huh?

Nike Fuelband

What else can you say about Nike. Their Nike!

Pros

The Band: It feels great on your wrist it’s secure and it can tell you the time. I know that seems stupid, but since it is already on your wrist it’s much easier then pulling your phone out of your pocket.

Cons

Fuel Points: They make no sense and they don’t put you on an even playing ground, maybe its become of my next con below, but me and my wife could start out on a walk and she would earn way more points then I would doing the exact same activity.

Accuracy: Out of the 3 this one is the worst. Step count is off by 1000s and not 100s. I know it’s on my wrist, but if I can gain more Fuel Points on my 30 min drive to work then I can on an hour of the treadmill something is just wrong.

App Size: It’s huge! 152MBs to be exact, really Nike just get rid of those stupid videos in the app they get annoying after the first or second time anyways.

And the winner is…

Honestly, I have no clue. I am currently wearing both the UP and the Fitbit Zip. I sold my Nike Fuelband, even though I like the hardware the best I am in it to be more active and inaccurate data just doesn’t motivate me. I love the accuracy of the Zip, its not on my wrist so it is always counting my steps, but I also love the vibration alerts of the Jawbone (which the Fitbit Flex doesn’t have, it just does a sleep alarm”>Zip. So for now I wear both.

[]: http://www.fitbit.com/flex