Tour de france theme updated

Few years back , six to be precise, I was fascinated about chrome and its features so much that I created a chrome theme for tour de france. Now, I don’t use chrome, except for testing purposes. Safari rocks my life these days 🙂

That said, I was pretty surprised that my theme had 500 weekly users as on date. I was mind blown by the audience that the theme receives after 6 years of dormancy. Given the Tour de France season now, I thought I will give it some love. I did a minor update to the theme. Given the friendly chrome developer I am 😛 , I wanted to ensure that the chrome web store policies and  other conditions are met. I made some minor tweaks to the theme and updated the screenshots.

Unfortunately, due to lack of time, this theme isn’t retina optimized yet. Yeah kinda non starter, right? If you are one of them. Sorry! The minor update was not so minor when you consider that I spent 3 hours fixing things to adhere to chrome web store standards. But optimizing is a time consuming enough that I could work on creating a new theme than change this one. May be I will get to that later one of these days.  The theme still great for the tour de France season. Until the next big update, please try out the theme and let me know how it works for you.

Get the updated chrome theme from the chrome webstore here.

Apple watch – review after a year

I got the Apple Watch last year and I have been using it for every day ever since and I love it. Below is a brief review after using the watch for over an year.

tl:dr I love it and it is totally the best smart watch you can get.  (You may want to wait a few months as apple watch 2 might launch in Oct 2016)

Pros:

  • Works great as fitness tracker. It has tracking for most common workout needs you may have.
  • Notifications on the watch have been a huge time saver. Huge time saver while driving or in meetings. Some times you can take a step forward and acknowledge messsages (A quick reply is just a tap away).
  • A plethora of apps have evolved. They help  with tracking productivity and reminders etc
  • Siri works well.
  • Bling aspect is still true as was when it launched.
  • Watch faces and the interchangeable bands help suit the mood/trend/fashion.

Cons:

  • Was too slow. (Not any more, watchOS 3 fixes it and the speed increase is phenomenal).
  • Battery life wasn’t  great. I8 hours wasn’t great in comparison to the fitbits and Garmins that last for a week. Not much of a deal breaker for me.
  • Sleep tracking isn’t part of the watch at all. The pillow app fixes this. I wish the watch had native tracking like the Fitbits do.

Watch OS 3:  It is a phenomal update that would be coming to the watch soon. I am testing it on my watch, it isn’t stable yet, but it opens up the watch in a multitude of ways and adressess most of the complaints and restrictiveness it had.

You may think, I am just an apple fan boy and hence my fanatcism with it. Actually I have tested the Fitbit Surge (still own one),  Fitbit  Flex  and  a Garmin Vivofit as my daily activity trackers/ smart watches. So far, the most satisfying experience has been from the Apple watch and hence my recommendation above.

Stay Updated

Just got around to reading to this aricle about getting hacked, the story in itself was a good read and the suggestions to staying secure is a no brainer for everyone.

After a bunch of research, I decided to abandon dedicated servers entirely and move to a beefy DigitalOcean droplet running Ubuntu 14.04. It’s more powerful than my old server, provisioned instantly, and I’m paying a fraction of the price. DigitalOcean’s admin tools are phenomenal, and backups are automatic and painless.

DigitalOcean’s tutorials are absolutely incredible, and I found them invaluable in initial setup, securing Ubuntu, my firewall, MySQL, and using Fail2Ban to protect Apache and SSH. There’s still more work to do for monitoring intrusions, but it’s a start.

So, all of that sucked. But, while bittersweet, I’m better and stronger for it.

You should try the linked tutorials on your webhost/site.

 

SSL Enabled

I just enabled SSL for free on my site  simplysaru.com, by following the instructions here.

 

Screen-Shot-SSL.png

I am using the free SSL certificate from https://letsencrypt.org/.  Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit.  The service is in public beta, but that didn’t stop me from trying it out on my site.

I tested my site with SSLlabs test site. Here is how secure my site is.

The installtion and activation was extremely easy. I will recommend you try it out if you haven’t already.

The Billionaire’s typewriter

It is an elaborate and a very substantial critiquing on Medium and how Medium works by Butterick.  It is important to read through this and understand on how Medium works and what the implications are to using Medium.

People are often short sighted especially when barrier to entry into anything is literally none and more so when things are free.   But are there any free lunches anywhere? Yeah I know open source is still a big deal and it still works if you want etc.. etc.. The problem is, Medium is not open source, nor do I care if it will be one. The problem I have with Medium is that, they own the content. That is something that I am not comfortable with at all. I am self hosted for a reason and this is the primary reason besides a few other minor ones.  I OWN my content and I control everything about it. Now that is some thing every blogger/author needs to worry about.  I would prefer WordPress.com to Medium any day.

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