Legacy This!

I own a mid-2011 Mac Mini Server. Earlier this year I brought it back to Japan with me. Being relatively compact, it was easy to transport. But it was in rough shape: hard drives loudly hummed, the fan whistled, and the whole operation ran hot.

Over on Reddit I outlined my situation as basically Is upgrading my Mac Mini Disks Worth It? The answer was yes! I got a Dell 27″ IPS display, an AmazonBasics monitor mounting arm, and cleaned up my desk to celebrate. Note to self: I still need a good chair.

Then I tackled the big issue – work at home.

There is not much need for me to bring my company issued MacBook Air home with me most days. My current generation iPad with a Magic Keyboard handles 90% of what I need in the off hours. But what about what about the 10%, and when I work from home?

Using VMWare Fusion on my Mac Mini, I set up a virtual machine for work. It only took 4 tries to get it set up properly for work. The issues were with the setup mechanism with the corporate environment, but VMWare did me few favors – doesn’t support non-English keyboards in guests without editing the VMX file, no Unity for a macOS guests, no T.R.I.M. support, and others. Regardless, all of the apps I need for work are installed and working in the VM.

Next I need to address my backup plan for the Mini, get that chair I mentioned, and come up with an elegant way to disguise my desk when not needed. I’m thinking small curtains.

I might consider an incremental upgrade to a 2012 Server but not to the 2014 Mac Mini models due to their lack of user replaceable components. If Apple were to release a new Mac Mini in the 2011/2012 mold with updated everything I would jump on it.

As things are, even though my Mini is now end of support with Apple, it works well with upgrades. When the Mini dies, if Apple keeps on its current course, I’d get a topped out MacBook Pro 15 and just permanently dock it with a smart outlet to keep the battery in as good a shape as possible. I’d hope I’d never have to use it as an actual laptop but use Negative Visualization to prepare me for the experience.

It would be sad, though.

Typhoon #18

What a great name!

The storm is due to hit tomorrow but we already have overcast skies and cool air. It will make the Belgian Beer festival in Roppongi a less sun blasted event than Oktoberfest in Hibya a few weeks ago.

As to the storm’s name, obviously the Weather Channel et al have not worked their marketing black magic here.

Little things

My Saturday started shaky after a nice wake up. The service based apps TextExpander and 1Password set me off with their poor Windows support and nagging to move to their subscription services. This was made worse by my actual subscription to TextExpander not working. While I was struggling with these highly important issues my coffee shop was loudly playing American pop and pop country music. I am often caught by surprise about how much I hate pop music. Capping it off there was a photo shoot right out front for what I think is a J-pop girl band. My stoicism was truly put to the test this morning. Let’s see how I bounce back.

The Japan Migration Continues

I got my Japan laptop this week. I did little with it until yesterday with work and home stuff demanding my attention.

I got email and instant messaging and a whack of other apps going. I also converted my US work phone to get my Japan emails and such. Switching the iPhone was not intuitive or brief.

Today I finally made some time to start customizing my laptop.

I don’t think I properly conveyed to management here how important having proper Japan focused tools are to me and my doing well. Lesson learned.

Fun fact: the Japanese keyboard layout is different from the US layout in significant ways. The cool bits are that the changes, for the most part, don’t interfere with US typing habits and when they do – they make sense!

When typing emails, how great would it be if the @ is an unshifted key? SPOILER ALERT – pretty awesome.

How about taking a page from the old Blackberry, where the $ is an unshifted key? Boom! The ¥ key is direct type – no shift required.
and ^ are first key unshifted, too.

Yes. My typing is a bit impaired right now, mostly with the @ and ‘ for contractions (now shift-7).

(Away from) Home for the Holidays

2016 will be the first time I’m away from the U.S. for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Many years ago I spent both Canadian Thanksgiving and U.S. Thanksgiving around Toronto. Another year I think I was in Austria and Germany at the end of November.

Regular readers and PVC Security podcast listeners know I moved to Tokyo this month.

I don’t particularly care I’ll miss Christmas and New Year’s. I could do without both. Christmas to me means traffic jams and hypo-consumerism. New Year’s is mostly an opportunity to screw up one’s sleep schedule. Unless the calendar is forgiving, all too soon one returns to work.

I used to volunteer to work those holidays, I liked them so little. I won’t miss them here.

Thanksgiving? Well, that’s another thing entirely.

I love the weather in New England and Michigan this time of year. I love well cooked turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans, etc. I love pumpkin beer (though it’s creep earlier and earlier reduces the draw for me). I love watching football.

Most of all, I love spending it with my family. It can be just me and the kids. It can be the whole clan or something inbetween.

I wonder how I’ll do that day here. Some of my colleagues and friends here have already volunteered to take my mind off of it.

Stay tuned!

And so it begins … in Tokyo

How to follow me on my adventures in Tokyo.

I’m finally here.

The partner leading my consulting practice asked me about moving to Tokyo in December of ’15. I remember I was in my Brussels hotel room just before Christmas when he floated the notion. By February it was more than a mere notion. By April I would be starting “Any Day Now”.

It’s November, week 45 of 2016, and I’m at long last on the ground with all (most all) of my things.

I’m documenting my Tokyo experience, at least the personal side of things, in a few new places.

On Instagram I’m TokyoGringo.

On Twitter, I’m also @TokyoGringo.

On YouTube, I’m not TokyoGringo. I’m just plain old me: pjorgensen.

Follow and comment if you’re so inclined.

Week ending 092516

Quick hits as I re-ramp up my Week Ending posts.

  • Holidays in Japan while I’m back in the States.
  • Great feedback from the client about our work.
  • Wish I’d attended @Derbycon.
  • I’ve been back in Detroit on my return from Tokyo. Spent time with my kids, fun time talking about Tokyo and getting sushi (their idea) and my impending move.
  • A great guest joined us on @pvcsec – Marcelle Lee.
  • Professionally I connected with some new folk and a bunch of friends & colleagues.