Author: Rob Fahrni (page 1 of 111)

Middle Class

Newsweek: “On Thursday, House Republicans issued a fact sheet about their new tax cut plan that referred to Americans earning $450,000 a year as “low- and middle-income” — even though that income level would put those taxpayers in the top 0.05% of all individual Americans.

The median household income in the United States is $59,039, after all.”

Jerks.

The Scorpion and The Frog

This telling of a classic story is so good I had to post it here so I could read it over and over and over.

Click on it to read the entire thread. It’s glorious.

Downtown Fresno – Fulton Street

The Fresno Bee: “But there is so much promise. Nowhere else in Fresno contains such great architecture, buildings that give you a sense of place and history. And few California cities, if any, boast Fulton Street’s amazing collection of mid 20th-century sculptures and fountains, all beautifully conserved.”

It’s been a long time coming but Fulton Street in Downtown Fresno is finally, finally, ready to be used. They’ve done an amazing job and I’m pretty excited about seeing the changes in person.

Old downtown Fresno Architecture

Old downtown Fresno Architecture

If I were looking to build I’d look downtown first. There are many beautiful buildings downtown just sitting empty. The architecture is varied and beautiful. There is also a great opportunity to fix some of the mistakes of the past, like covering beautiful materials with ugly facades — watch the video with shots of old Downtown Fresno and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I hope building owners take this opportunity to improve their buildings and make the “less ghetto” as one of the folks in the article put it.

If you live in Fresno you owe it to yourself to spend a bit of time downtown with open eyes. Focus on the improvements. Check out Bitwise South Stadium and Hashtag Fresno in the old Hotel Virginia on Kern Street.

If you’ve ever lived in a vibrant city you’ll understand my desire to be a part of downtown. I continue to hope it can become a thriving place in the valley. It sounds like it has a chance. We have some true believers, we just need that extra little push to get over the hump.

Downtown Fresno streetcar.

Downtown Fresno streetcar.

Check out the video of years past. Fresno had a vibrant Downtown, complete with street cars! How cool is that?

Cities are fun when they work. I had the pleasure of working in Downtown Seattle for a number of years and it’s so nice to step outside the door of your business and be able to choose from hundreds of places to eat and shop without getting in your car and dealing with traffic.

Like I said above. If you have a business and are considering a move, or want to build your own place, you should consider Downtown Fresno. Become part of the solution, restore a building, or a floor in a building and help attract others downtown.

If I were a business owner you can bet I’d build downtown.

Where should Google land in Detroit?

Curbed Detroit: “Big news yesterday as Google has decided to ditch their suburban Birmingham offices for new digs in downtown Detroit.”

If you’ve followed me over the years you know I love cities and I have a real thing for Detroit. I can’t explain my fascination other than to say it’s full of beautiful architecture. Beautiful architecture that’s rotting.

I hope Google finds a great space in downtown Detroit to bring back to life. People bring life to cities. It’s nice to see Detroit coming back to life.

Making your iOS App embrace the iPhone X notch

After yesterdays announcement I decided I’d rebuild RxCalc with the iOS 11 SDK. I figured things would rebuild and my app would fully embrace the new iPhone X without change, but it didn’t work. When I built the app it ran in what I’d call letter boxed mode. The top and bottom were cropped. It was like running an older app on iOS 7, if you’ve ever seen that.

UGH! Why you letterboxed bro?

UGH! Why you letterboxed bro?

I was puzzled. I tried all kinds of jiggery-pokery and nothing worked. So I finally did what any self respecting lazy developer would do. I asked Twitter for help, and Jeff Johnson saved the day.

I was — quite honestly — surprised something so little could make it work, but darn it, you gotta trust the experts. I added a new launch screen at the recommended 1125×2436 size and it worked! Yippee!

Hey, that worked!

Hey, that worked!

So, thanks Jeff! Also, if you’re looking for a bonafide Mac and iOS Developer you should consider reaching out to Jeff — he’s available for work — and has a history of shipping great Mac and iOS Software.

And remember — EMBRACE THE NOTCH!

Work Note: Loading View Controllers from a Storyboard

When I need to load a view controller from a Storyboard I like to create an extension to the view controller’s class and add a class function to it that does the work. It keeps things looking clean in the code where you use it.

I’m not sure if this is smart or dumb. I’m sure very smart people will let me know. Here’s an example.

Here’s how you’d use it in your code.

How I use Evernote

A few days ago Steven Frank was asking on Twitter why folks no longer post about their PIM’s and the like, which made me think of two people; Jerry Fahrni  and Cass McNutt. Both are information junkies and are always looking for a better way to organize their thoughts.

Over time I’ve had to find a way to organize mine. At one point I could keep

Evernote Work Note

Image of my Personal Projects Work Note.

everything in my head but as I’ve grown older that’s no longer possible. I had to find a way to group them electronically so I can search them. That’s where Evernote comes in. I just dump all kinds of stuff into it and rely on tags and searching to pull out what I’m interested in revisiting.

I call these streams of thought Work Notes and I have different work notes for different projects; Personal and Work to name a couple.

When I’m working on something I open up a specific Work Note, add today’s date, a hashtag just below that, and highlight the hashtag. This may not be the optimum way to organize but it works for me and Evernote is good at searching for them. I also include Evernote tags so I can search on those as well. The hashtags and the Evernote tags don’t necessarily match but they might.

As I work through the day I may paste an image into the note or make a bullet list or write about how I solved a problem. It can be anything I’m thinking related to the days work on this project.

Is it useful?

Yes, it’s useful to me. This may not work for you or your particular workflow but I’ve found it works great for me. Is it perfect? I don’t know that any generic solution is perfect for anyone. I’ve had my moments where I’ve considered using other tools to record my thoughts, like Day One, but I always find myself opening Evernote, adding a date, highlighting a hashtag, and going to work.

Old Apps

A cute little monkey.I got an email from Apple a week or so back letting me know I needed to upgrade one of my apps to 64-bit. I knew right away it was Arrgly but wasn’t really sure if I wanted to update it.

On Sunday morning I received an email from an Arrgly user asking if I was going to update it because he likes the app. It felt good to know someone else found my goofy app useful. I decided at a minimum I’d publish a little framework someone else could use to write their own version of the app if I couldn’t get to it, or couldn’t finish it on time.

It took less than an hour to create the project and get it published. If you’re doing Mac or iOS development and you need to shorten or expand URL’s for a YOURLS based service you’re welcome to use YOURLSKit. It’s all Swift 3 but should be fine with Swift 4 projects and iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra. It’s a tiny bit of code, but it does the job.

Apple Watch as an Heirloom?

When the Apple Watch was announced I saw some pictures on apple.com that gave me hope Apple would make the guts replaceable. (If someone knows of a picture showing an exploded view of the Apple Watch I’d love to hear about it.)

For some crazy reason I thought it could become an heirloom, like the watches my grandfather passed to me. Those watches are very special to me. They’re physical objects that still work and remind me of my grandpa.

When Tim Cook said the Apple Watch was “The most personal device we’ve ever created” I took him at his word. It is a very personal device to me. I have great affection for all of my Apple devices, but they all feel like tools compared to the Apple Watch.

I still really want a device I can wear for the remainder of my life and pass it down to someone else and have it continue to function. This is something Apple could do, if they wanted. I know I’m asking for a lot. But, if I can’t do this it means the Apple Watch is really an expensive throwaway item. Because it does feel so personal, I hate that idea.

I think the first test of this devices longevity is approaching. The battery is not

Muddy Watch

so great. It managed to last for over two years but now dies mid-afternoon. At some point I’ll take it in and hope I can get a replacement battery. I don’t want a new watch, I just want a new battery. When my iPhone 5c’s battery went bad they just replaced the entire device, which was fine with me, but I feel a need to keep my watch. The face and body are scratched and that makes it really unique to me.

If there is no way to replace just the battery from now until I croak I’ll just switch back to one of my many analog watches and keep my Apple Watch Series 0 as an artifact of an interesting time for Apple.

My Medical Records

Medical records need disrupting. I’ve made little quips here and there on Twitter about this. I should own my medical records and they should be shared with physicians and their facilities as needed.

Why? In the words of Joe Biden “None of your business.” Seriously though, why should our medical records be locked in a system we cannot access? We can learn something from Twitter, Facebook, and Google. We should own our medical records — via an open standard — and allow doctors and hospitals to ask our permission to see them. Much like friending someone on a social network. The doctor looks me up, asks if they can see my records, I get a message saying the doctor would like access to my records, and I choose to let them or not. My choice, my records.

Case in point. I have a problem with one of my knees. In 2004 I had surgery to remove cartilage, a bone spur, and some arthritis from that knee. It was a fantastic decision. It made my day to day life much better. Fast forward to 2017 and that knee has become an issue. It hurts — constantly, it swells, on occasion it fails causing me to stumble, and it’s unstable. I don’t trust it and I’m tired of the constant pain it causes.

Getting to the point. I made an appointment with my family doctor to discuss the problem. Before going I tried to locate the doctor that did the surgery back in 2004, but she’s moved on. I contacted her old group to see if they had my records. Nope. All they have are records dating back to 2006. Ok, no proof of the surgery and more importantly I don’t have a record of what was done to the knee. Swell.

I visit my doctor last week. Tell her what’s going on. She puts the knee through some tests and understands there is something going on. Great. I explain there is a history here but I cannot tell her exactly what was done. My only explanation is I had surgery in 2004 to do X, Y, and Z. But I don’t know the exact terms nor do I know where the cartilage was removed or how much.

She orders and x-ray and while she’s doing this she explains she’d like to do an MRI but the Insurance company requires she order an x-ray and order physical therapy before doing the MRI. What?

She knows it’s wrong but her hands are tied. She can’t see what’s already been done to the knee and to top it off the insurance company has it’s checklist she has to fulfill before she can order what she really needs.

Now I get to go through — what I imagine will be quite uncomfortable — physical therapy because my records are lost.

I have to believe if a service existed, based on open standards, I’d be able to share these records with my doctor so she could see exactly what was done in 2004 and the insurance company would also have evidence physical therapy didn’t work back then so why not go right to the MRI and avoid the expense of the x-ray and physical therapy.

This is broken.

I know the EHR is only a tiny fraction of our dated system but I’d like to have a complete medical history. It’s my history.

To fix this will take eons. Medicine is so far behind when it comes to technology. Look at systems like Epic. It is seen as a leader in its field, but it’s a closed system. How does that benefit anyone but Epic? It doesn’t.

We need an Open API with services offered by many providers that are patient driven. Allow data to move between systems. Don’t make your money by holding patient data hostage. Make your money by building the better service.

Hopefully, someday, we’ll have a Single Payer System in America. As part of that system it’s my sincere hope good patient outcomes becomes the center of attention and data is allowed to flow between systems at, at least, national level.

Someone please disrupt this industry with an open system.

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