“Reading” is a struggle for me

Oddly, this is something I’ve never publicly mentioned before, nor have I randomly come across it in my own web searches.

But:

“Reading” is a struggle for me.

It is, quite literally, the hardest thing I do ever day.

And as someone who writes computer code for a living, and has to spend much of my life, every day, reading to learn and keep abreast of new development and news, it may seem surprising.

But when you think about it: reading is not a natural skill humans possess.

It is something people have to be taught, learn and practise.

And I believe (base on past reading, ironically) it is something that was once designed to separate classes of people.

I am not ashamed to say reading is a major difficulty for me.

Recall memory is another even bigger problem I deal with every day.

Ironically, I write a lot down to remember.

But have a great visual memory (and no, written words are not “visual”. I can’t tell you why, but it don’t correlate for me).
I have an “index” mind, meaning I know where to find what I have once seen quite easily.
And even though I forget nouns (especially people’s names), I never forge a face.

And I’m the the person strangers will approach on an intersection to ask for directions or help.

All this to say: it’s OK to struggle with so-called “simple every day tasks.

The people who truly master reading – especially fast reading – are rare.
They also master high skilled jobs, like: lawyers; politicians; scientists (?); certain types of information workers.
But they are the exception we hear about, not the rule.

The rest of us struggle.
Every. Single. Day.

I call it “brute forcing my way through life”.
We may look smart.
We may look like we know what we’re doing.
But it’s brute force and adaptation that makes it look that way.

Reading is hard.
Learning is harder.
Both are learnt skills.

Accepting and figuring out how to adapt will set you free and give you a hand in stay ahead.

Parcel.js “ENOENT: no such file or directory” on build

Problem

Running Parcel.js build command (e.g. I run `npm run dev` script) to build and start the site with generates an error similar to the following:

D:\Workspaces\my-project\my-folder\my-file.vue: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open 'D:\Workspaces\my-project\my-folder\my-file.vue'
Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open 'D:\Workspaces\my-project\my-folder\my-file.vue'

Solution

Delete the .cache and dist folders and re-run the build command.

References

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/59196917/parcel-bundler-enoent-no-such-file-or-directory-when-delete-files-from-projec

Feedback to Microsoft Teams

Sharing some feedback I provided within the Microsoft Teams app.

Hello,

Just wanted to give a few thoughts after a couple of months of using Teams.

* It would be great to separate “Chats” with individuals from groups.

* It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to start a new chat with someone in the desktop app – the little icon up the top beside the search bar is out of context of the existing chats, and “blends in” to the background.

* Not having threads in a conversation (ie. replies to a specific comment) is a big pain in the backside. I’m forever chatting across multiple ideas and tracking what is being replied to gets problematic.

* You really need to include the standard emoji set. The old Skype for Business emojis are good not nowhere near enough. And the “Emoji One” integration is half-baked. I only stumbled on it by typing “:th …”, but it has no search, and typing “:P” automatically inserts the Skype “tongue out” icon. It might not seem important, but our team is quite expressive with emojis.

Maybe it’s because I come from using Slack for 4 years, but Teams doesn’t feel as simple or slick. Sorry to say it, but you really need to up the game to compete with Slack, especially now in a highly remote workforce.

Are you a Microsoft Teams user? What are your thoughts and gripes on the usability of the application?

In a rare occurrence, I’m opening up comments on this post.

UPDATE – 4 OCT 20202: Comments are closed. Too much SPAM. Sheesh, 2020 Internet people suck.

Limoncello Recipe

This is mainly a note for myself to quickly access the Limoncello recipes I’ve been using.

 

I’m currently resting my first Stage 1 jar:

Spellchecking “amateur” (from “ameture”)

My brain is somewhat fucked in a number of ways. One of those ways is dealing with words – yes, reading and writing.

A specific problem I have is remembering the spelling of a handful of words I use semi-regularly.

And one of those words is “amateur” (correct spelling).

After a time I ways revert to spelling it as “ameture” (incorrect spelling).

I know this is incorrect, and every time I wait for software spellcheckers to pick it up… and every time they fail.

Which begs the question: what is wrong with spellcheckers?

Surely the incorrect spelling is close enough to the correct spelling – in both sound and structure – to have a common rule?

Vue.js (2.x) v-model not updating for jQuery plugin input

Problem

I have a range slider HTML input (<input type="range">) I’ve inherited that uses the rangeslider.js jQuery plugin to render it.

I’m re-integrating it into a Vue.js (v2.x) project and using v-model to bind to the input.

However, to change the range value the user doesn’t interact directly with the HTML element but a rendered overlay which in turn changes the input value.

The problem is the v-model value was not updating when the range overlay is dragged to change the value.

 

Solution

My inherited code contained the following event handlers on the input elements.

$document.on('input', 'input[type="range"]', function(e) {
	valueOutput(e.target);
});

 

I added the following bold line to the called valueOutput() function.

function valueOutput(element) {
	element.dispatchEvent(new Event('input'));
}

The dispatchEvent ensures Vue is now aware of the change to the input.

 

I found this solution vis this StackOverflow answer: https://stackoverflow.com/a/56348565/115704 (article “How to change v-model value from JS“).

Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Headphones. Absolute Shit!

I’ve been using Sol Republic Shadow Wireless headphones for two and a half years now.

When I started with them they were great. Good battery life. Good sound. Good microphone. Rugged.

Now…

The microphone is shit – people tell me I sound like I’m talking through a long tube or I’m under water. And the earphones keep dying.

I’m on my 6th set and after just 2 months this one is fucked as well. My right earphone just stopped.

I buy my headphones from JB Hi-Fi and they come with a warranty. I even get the extended warranty. Which is a waste of money really because no set has survived the standard warranty yet.

So I’m going to get my replacement under warranty and that’s it. When the next one dies or I run out of warranty I’m changing brands.

It’s a shame because originally the Shadow was the perfect headphone for me. But given how much I use them reliability is more important than brand loyalty.

Sample of Static Header, Static Sidebar, Scrolling Content (CSS)

I’m working on what seems like a basic web layout: a static page header (stays in place when scrolling), static side menu (also stays in place) and the main column of content scrolls.

There’s a Codepen below that is “in progress” and shows it working. Bear in mind it’s not responsible yet – you need a screen >1024px wide. I’ll keep working on it to create a responsive option, so check back soon.

Something I want to point out is CSS frameworks can help with this situation. And they can hinder. I’ve taken to using the Bulma utility CSS framework lately and it’s great. But using its built in container/grid system I think (TBC) seems to be working against me. I also find myself needing to override the resets to un-reset certain typography decisions.

Sometimes it’s better to just do it yourself.

View the source code at https://codepen.io/jsnelders/pen/WNQrRbo.

See the Pen
Static Header, Static Sidebar, Scrolling Content
by Jason (@jsnelders)
on CodePen.

When people you respect start acting like dicks

There’s someone in my professional community I’ve listened to and respected for many years now.

I’ve consumed almost all their content. I listen to everything they have to say. I’ve engaged with them online. And I’ve even spent money on them.

But lately I’ve noticed a creeping from the shadows: they’re starting to act like a bit of a dick.

I’ve notice a bit of… how do I describe it – I think arrogance and hypocrisy are the words I’m looking for.

It’s nothing overt. More in they way they speak. What was once a consistent positive attitude and refusal to engage (at least publicly) with negative behaviour is now starting to turn. Where, on one topic they tell people “if you don’t like it, just ignore it”, on another topic they’re engaging in a fight they should just ignore.

While it’s not intolerable, it is a turnoff. To the point where every time I’ve wanted to engage with them online over the last few weeks I’ve decided against it, because I’m envisaging a hard-stop negative response from them rather than opportunity for a discussion.

And this is not good for the person, because they are their brand. They earn their living because of who they are – co ntinua leading authority in their domain.

And while they continue to be an authority, if long-time loyal “fans” (see Kevin Kelly) like me start turning away (perhaps even becoming vocal about their disappointment and affecting future listeners) then the authority will dilute their brand by turning away the people who matter most.

Sure, they won’t go out of business. But what was once the equivalent of Nike with a strong ambassador like Michael Jordan will become just another mall shoe store, selling a utility we all need but having none of the passionate following of something special.

I continue to listen to this authority figure. For now. But with me their reputation is already diminished. And if their attitude continues to aggravate me I have no problems tuning them out of my life (has they have themselves advised in the past). Life is too short for aggravation and there’s always someone else I can turn to for advice.