I got a new watch

I think the last time I used a wristwatch I was still in high school. I got it as a birthday present and I can still remember that feeling of wearing an adult watch: it was made of steel —or at least it looked that way— and it was way more elegant than those cheap plastic digital Casio watches that beeped every hour and had multiple functions.

One day the battery died and the band broke so I took it to the shop to have it repaired and the battery replaced. I can’t remember what happened but when I came back for it they hadn’t repaired it, I got angry at the shop and put the watch in a drawer. I never took it for repair, or see it again. 

Fast forward to this year, and everyone is gossiping about the Apple Watch. Since I work on the iOS platform I’m usually overexposed to all things Apple. So I kept reading about smartwatches for a long time.

A few years ago, I probably would have wanted one, but now I couldn’t figure out how it would be useful to me today. But there was this one thing: I started liking the idea of having a watch again. Or more specifically, I started craving a nice old fashioned Swiss watch. At least until I saw their prices.

One day I was shopping for something else in a sports store and found this beauty at the outrageous price of 15€:  

I really liked the simplicity in the design, and how it was elegant without being fancy. And have I mentioned the price?

After a couple months with it, I couldn’t be more happy. I can think of a few ways this is better than an Apple Watch:

  • Compared to the 400+€ of the sport edition, or the 1200+€ of the steel Apple Watch that I liked, this one feels practically free.
  • Battery life is measured in years, not hours. I really don’t miss having to charge yet another device. 
  • Being able to just look at the time has made me pull out my phone less, which meant less time wasted on distractions. I don’t want to bring notifications to my wrist, I want less of them. 
  • It was very clear on the packaging that I could swim with it, and I’ve done it without issue. 
  • I’ve dropped it a few times and didn’t even care.
  • I watched my baby chew on it as he was vomiting, and it made me laugh not cry.
  • It will probably be as useful in five years as it is today, maybe many more.  Even if it wears out after a couple years, for the price of one Apple Watch I could buy a lifetime supply of these.

A few years ago, I was one of those people who thought it was silly to have a device that just told time. Now I’m happy to have a watch that doesn’t tell me who liked my latest picture when all I want to know is the time. 

    Fuck Xcode

    Two years ago, Brent Simmons introduced ded: a handy little alias to deal with Xcode quirks

    alias ded='rm -rf ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData'
    

    It has been useful, but since recently it was not enough. Sometimes, Xcode will complain about not being able to use the simulator, even if it’s not running.

    Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 14.02.21

    Or things will just fail randomly and often, leading to frustration and anger.

    Eventually, ded was not enough, so here’s my replacement:

    alias fuckxcode="pkill -9 -i 'ios simulator|xcode' && rm -rf ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData && open http://www.calm.com/"

    And I’ll quote Brent again on Bugs:

    In the old days, programmers spent hours and days and weeks working very hard, and sometimes brilliantly, on difficult things that no one had ever done before.

    These days, programmers spend hours and days and weeks working very hard, and usually unsatisfactorily, on getting around bugs in their platform.

    Impossible debugging

    If your first reaction on witnessing a bug or seeing a bug report is “that’s impossible,” you are plainly wrong. Don’t waste a single neuron on the train of thought that begins “but that can’t happen” because quite clearly it can, and has.

    From The Pragmatic Programmer

    I should print that and hang it on my wall because some days one needs to be reminded there are no impossible bugs, even when things just don’t make any sense.