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The Kindle Fire for reading

I am a complete Apple follower and I have been since I was in grade school knowing the in’s and out’s of my Apple ][+. So when my wife wanted to get a Kindle Fire for reading (she said the iPad was just too big to take on trips, etc.) I said sure but inside I felt queasy about it. Inferior Android and all that.

Well, we bought one and she used it for about 20 minutes. Her goal was to read books and magazines. It failed horribly for periodicals so she gave up on it. And it sat. And sat. Forgotten to a coffee table.

I found it while cleaning up our bedroom recently and I charged it up. I dislike devices devoid of life. I quickly bought The Hobbit and tried it out last night.

Honestly, it provides a really good experience for reading books. It’s very responsive. The definition feature is lightning-fast and the sharing thing is mildly cool. Popping into a web browser to catch up on some news and then jumping back to the book is nice. The software keyboard on the thing was very nice as well – the fact that the keys don’t expand above your finger is actually a little less distracting than the experience on an iOS device. The thing is snappy for sure.

It’s only been one night, but if I wanted to take a device on a trip and read some books, I’d pick this. It’s up to the task, integration with Amazon is nice enough, the browser is okay enough, and  I wouldn’t kill myself over losing it (except to change the Amazon password immediately) because it’s pretty cheap.

I am surprised. But it’s true.

Rush Clockwork Angels: TD Garden

I had to zoom a little on the Canon to get this, but it’s a decent shot.

Holy shitski. The boys played for over three hours and they kicked ass every second of those three hours. To be honest, I was spent with about thirty minutes left in the show. Consensus: This is without question the overall most epic Rush concert I have ever attended, and I have been to plenty. Hell, I think it’s almost up there with the Iron Maiden World Slavery Tour. It might be better in some ways.

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My madness with a UIScrollView [solved]

I have been working on a universal project which works perfectly on a touch/iPhone. I started to inject the iPad-specific code and noticed that my UIScrollView wasn’t updating the current page frame when paired with a UIPageControl. I kept logging the math behind it (simple) which was logging correctly. Using Storyboards and ARC.

After wondering what the hell was going on, I clicked on the UIScrollView in the iPhone Storyboard and took note of it’s size inspector. I think checked out the iPad Storyboard and saw that the UIScrollView there was defaulted to the “Content Hugging Priority”. I don’t know what’s going on there yet, but I figured that that resizing behavior was totally borking my iPad bit.

Go to the File Inspector on the right in Xcode and you’ll see in the Interface Builder Document grouping that Use Autolayout is checked by default. I get it, I know that Apple wants us to migrate to this because it’s better, but if you uncheck that box for your Storyboard you’ll get the old & familiar size inspector. I made the quick adjustments there and now my UIScrollView is behaving properly again.

Burned almost 45 minutes on this dance with my face in the wall.

650cc motorcycle for a beginner?












I have almost half a season of riding under my belt – and not a ton of miles at that yet. I took the MSF last summer and did pretty well and got my M classification after the MSF test. I then bought the above bike (sv650 2k7). I has a GSXR shock and a few extras (bar extenders), etc. At first I rode only the area around my house and one cold morning in March I put it down in a corner (cold tires maybe), but I wasn’t leaned over that far. Probably just me getting target fixated and grabbing too much front brake in some gravel.

So I took thing more gently at first – which probably didn’t help get miles under me. I am mostly into commuting – ATGATT and all that. Recently I have been forcing myself to go onto more and more major roads, going further and further – which has helped me more than anything. Miles. Getting someone behind you. Taking off in first gear from a stop at lights and intersections. I still stall occasionally, but I’m getting better.

Is a 600+ cc bike a good beginner bike? For me I think yes. It has oodles of power and the v-twin is torquey in lower gear, but that keeps me honest. If I had a 250 Ninja or something like that I might be tearing around quicker and get myself into trouble. With my bike I respect it… and I am learning to be able to feather the throttle, my shifting is getting nice and smooth (even blipping is working most of the time on down shifts). The sv650 has crazy engine breaking, so I have to get used to the idea of either downshifting later and easing/braking to stop signs, or maybe just stay in gear and ease that brake with the clutch held in and downshift all the way from whatever gear I’m in as I approach.

If you’re smart, a 600+ cc is awesome. When I want to get up and go, there isn’t much problem. It has all I need for now. Perhaps an upgrade in the future, but this thing is awesome for getting around and commuting, riding for fun, etc. It’s a little small looking (I am about 6 feet tall) and I wonder if I look too big for it, but who cares. It’s mad fun, I’m having a blast while respecting all the power sitting under me, and I am riding longer and harder which in turn is building confidence, skill, and endurance.

One thing I’ve just started to overcome is an intersection near our house. It’s pretty busy and the traffic motors along at around 40mph. There is a slight incline at the stop. So normally I pull up to this intersection (stop sign for me to get on) and there is generally someone behind me. Because of the incline I have stalled the bike a few times there – and given the rate of speed I have to pull onto, if I do this without enough cushion and don’t get going, I could get spanked. It makes things a little more stressed because of that – and that incline means I have to punch the gas a bit more than usual for the same results. So instead of letting out the clutch and giving gas at the same time, there I give it some gas with the clutch disengaged and then slowly let the throttle out. This generally means I pull out smoothly without stalling and get up and out of first gear a lot sooner (the sooner the better). I think I just need to take that approach all the time because it works for me… and it’s what I did in MSF when in line, etc.