My iPhone 5c experiment is over

This will be my last post on my personal hardware devices, but I feel like, for the readers of this blog, I owe an explanation.

After 882 days, or 2.4 years, I’m replacing my yellow iPhone 5c 8 GB phone. It was an interesting experiment that lasted so much longer than I’d anticipated. Background: I had a 32 GB iPhone 5 and when the 5s / 5c series came around, I decided that for me the next step won’t be the 5s, but the 5c (which was roughly the same hardware as the 5) in the most basic, 8 GB version.

I did this is because I liked the looks better (I still do), and I thought that the 8 GB version will be enough for me as I won’t be installing unnecessary apps on my device – it will be a shift in my digital lifestyle, zen-state and so forth. I was wrong with this assessment. If I had bought a 16 or 32 GB version of the same phone, I wouldn’t have had to replace it just now, the storage is my primary reason.

iCloud Photos is a wonderful service where all my digital photo and movie library is displayed on all of my devices in sync. I’m archiving my library every year, so it is at a manageable size. Since my library this year was around 30 gigs in size, I thought I would be doing a clean slate, removed everything from my phone, started a new lib (you can do this by option clicking on the Photos.app icon), turned on optimize media on my device and stored all my photos and videos in the cloud against my free 5 GB cloud storage.

It was a good plan: the phone would always optimize my local copies to display a preview only, but my albums and edits would be carried over. I could move finally away from the archaic file based workflow. When my cloud storage became full, I could still update to 50 gigs for 9 SEK in Sweden, which is very affordable. Even if I did need more, I could archived my photo library and started a new one – I could work with that.

For some reason this works in theory, but in space constrained environments iCloud Photos refuse to upload the changeset to the cloud and the only way I could get around this is by removing apps to free up space and to kick in the upload process. It was a mess and a final push that I needed to move on.

It’s not a good time to pick a new phone, because the days of vibrant, colorful products are now gone. So let’s go back being dull. After some consideration I picked up a 64 GB white iPhone SE with the black leather case. Having said that I can conclude my last post on my personal hardware devices as something I was wrong about.

Video games are not art – they’re better

Jeff Vogel:

I just finished playing DOOM. Like many, I was amazed by how awesome a game it turned out to be. Penny Arcade had the perfect description for it: “Playable sugar.”

DOOM had three of the best boss fights I’ve ever seen. Punishingly tough and yet scrupulously fair. When I died, I could say, “OK. I know what I did wrong. I won’t do that again.” When I fought those bosses, I was utterly transported. The rest of the world vanished. When I won, I was sweaty, wrung out, and completely satisfied.

I love literature and theatre. I love great movies. Yet, I can’t remember any work of art, no matter how good, that consumed and drained me as much as the Cyberdemon in DOOM.

The whole piece is a must read. While I agree on many fronts, I don’t agree with the bullish, video games über alles conclusion in general. It’s a matter of personal affection, where some create video games and some create sushi, nothing beats the other.

One big question

Q: What were the biggest surprises from living in a simulated Martian habitat for a full year?

Tristan Bassingthwaighte, the mission’s architect, A:

I would say the biggest positive is that when you remove social media, TV and commuting, and even the need to have a job – because you can’t go to a job when you’re in there – you had a lot of time to do stuff for yourself. For example, I learned how to salsa dance, trained for and ran a marathon, lost 20 pounds (9 kg) and got back in shape, learned how to cook, got 150 pages of my doctorate written, and did a lot of funky t-shirt designs.

We are looking for more people

Today we updated our jobs page. We’re currently on the lookout for three positions:

1. Global Business Operations Lead
2. Front-End Developer
3. DevOps Engineer

Since we’re already a distributed team, remote work is also possible if you don’t want to relocate to Sweden. If you’re interested in one of these, just reach out in an email with your CV and references. By the way, if you know me, you might as well contact me directly to clarify things.

Mapillary is a 20-something people big, financially stable product company. I’m emphasizing this because if you’re used to agency style work, this will be night and day. 🙂 Come, join us!