February’s challenge was super interesting! Switching to a different OS was certainly challenging, but turned out to be a great experience.
Let’s recap and then we’ll talk about March’s 30-day challenge: sport 5 days a week!
Switching to Linux was especially hard in the first few days. Getting used to the new functional keys was the hardest part. In fact even a month in, I still hit the wrong key combinations from time to time. Muscle memory is hard to change. It did change a bit though, and I’m now having to get used to macOS’ combinations again. ☺
I could have got used to this though. Ultimately, 2 things are bringing me back to Mac (yes, I’ve considered not switching back!).
I haven’t found a proper replacement for the Alfred app. I use it everyday on Mac, and I rely on a lot of its features. There are a lot of alternatives on Linux, but none of them are as polished, bug-free, and easy to build upon. Most of the tools I found were not maintained, not stable, required a lot of time to set up new workflows, and were just ugly. Alfred is the opposite of all this. All hope is not lost, though! I will be keeping on eyes on cross-platform tools, apps built with Electron for example (see young apps like Cerebro).
A lot of Linux users seem to hate on Electron apps because they are not native and can eat up a lot of memory. That hasn’t bothered me at all in the past month, and I had apps like Atom and Slack open all the time. I have no doubt it may be a problem on old machines, but I’m not sure it’s that important when building productivity and development tools.
More importantly, cross-platform apps means that a team doesn’t have to focus on a single OS. They’ll get contributions from developers and designers that are not familiar with native app development, and then will be able to maintain a Linux version with minimal effort.
The second thing that brought me back to macOS was MacBook’s webcam. It just doesn’t work in Ubuntu, and I couldn’t find a way to fix it. Although as my wife suggested, I could just buy a cheap USB webcam and my problem would be solved!
That’s it! Everything else was great, worked almost out of the box, and the 4 apps I use the most at work (Chrome, Atom, Terminal, Slack) were actually faster and less buggy. I seriously considered staying on Ubuntu!
To conclude, this was a super interesting challenge, and something that will definitely have an impact the next time I have to replace my MacBook.
Now let’s talk about my next challenge. In March, I want to get moving again.
2 years ago, my wife offered me a great Christmas present. I wanted to lose some weight and get back in shape, so she got me a few sessions with a personal trainer at a nearby gym. It was super hard at first, but I grew to love it. I stayed with that trainer for 18 months. He kept me motivated to go to the gym, never went easy on me, kept pushing me to my limits, and it paid off; I lost 12 kilos and gained a lot of muscle. I was back in shape! Unfortunately, it was also pretty expensive. I had to stop, and as soon as I did my motivation to go to the gym dropped. In the past few months, I’ve lost most of the muscle I had gained.
This month, I’m hoping to get into a new rhythm; 5 days a week, I’ll start the day with 40 to 60 minutes of exercise. After browsing through fitness apps I ended up picking Fitstar as my personal trainer for the month! It’s far from perfect but the programs seem nice enough. It includes both free and premium options.
It also has a Yoga program, so I’ll try to star doing some Yoga as well. I’m a complete beginner so this should be interesting. 🙂 Why Yoga? it will help me stretch, and that’s something I’ll need as most of the fitness apps I’ve tried don’t seem to include much stretching and resting in their workouts. The few workouts I’ve done with Fitstar and Jefit were very different from the workouts I did at the gym with my trainer: each separate exercise was less intense, easier on my body, but there was far less resting and stretching thus keeping my cardio up for the whole session.
Here is the plan: bodyweight workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Beginner Yoga programs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We’ll see how it goes!