Procrastinate

Dezember 1, 2013

The hut in the forest

When I still lived with my mother (my parents are divorced) I sometimes joked that one day I will move to a northern country even though I’ve never been to one and I honestly don’t know a thing about any of them.

I don’t know what it is but there’s something about the north I find fascinating. I think it is the climate. The thing is, even though I’m half Italian, I never liked the heat. Everything above 25 degrees (77 degrees Fahrenheit) feels like a torture to me. I also don’t like wearing shorts and a shirt.
This is probably the reason why I enjoy a cold, dry winter day that much.

When I think about moving to a northern country I see myself in a small house which is heated by an oven. I am sitting there, working on my own websites thanks to the ultra fast internet I have (I heard that’s a thing there), drinking coffee or sitting next to the oven reading a book about adventures.
Chopping wood and walking through the wildland is my way to disconnect from work. Once or twice a week I drive to the nearest city to buy food, write at a coffee shop and socialize with people. And every day I will walk my dog. (I either own an Akita Inu or a Husky like my father does.)

Maybe one day, if I earn a living as a writer, I’ll start looking for a hut in the forest with an internet connection.

November 25, 2013

I cracked it

Do you remember this blogpost? Because I do. It still seems to be a problem I didn’t have a solution for nearly a month now. But something happened. I think I cracked it.

As I wrote back then:

But the thing is this. I have my websites. I enjoy writing for them. I even think I could go so far and one day make a living of it. But for this I need to work. And here lies the problem. I don’t get myself to actually work for a long time. I lose concentration and motivation really fast. I can’t get much done. But I don’t know why.

Well, I think I now know why. This sentence shows the problem:

I even think I could go so far and one day make a living of it.

I am scared. I am scared of trying and then failing. I am scared of working my ass off and after some time realizing that I failed. That, even though I worked as hard as I can and did the best work I could possibly do, I still fail and can’t make a living. That I spent days, weeks, maybe even months of my life working on something which leads me to nothing.

But if I don’t try, I will never know. If I don’t show up everyday and actually do something about it, I definitely won’t make a living. And then, one day, I will sit there and complain that I didn’t try. And this, ultimately, will be the true failure.

I seriously have nothing to lose but time. I am 22 years old, I don’t have a job but I enjoy, even love, writing. And I will write. I will write every day of the week. I will try as hard as I can and if one day I realize that I failed, I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Because it was an experience I had to witness.

November 1, 2013

Is this what they call writer’s block?

I have to tell you something.

I currently have no job. I’m even struggling to find one. Not because I’m bad. I actually think I’m a decent writer. But there is no place for me in this city I started to love. This isn’t a big journalism city. Forget tech journalism. I couldn’t even work for a publisher somewhere else. Germany also has the mindset that you need to be in the office to be productive and to work from 9 to 5. What a bullshit!

But the thing is this. I have my websites. I enjoy writing for them. I even think I could go so far and one day make a living of it. But for this I need to work. And here lies the problem. I don’t get myself to actually work for a long time. I lose concentration and motivation really fast. I can’t get much done. But I don’t know why. I don’t know what the problem is? Why am I not working on all the ideas I have? Why am I not able to do the best I can?

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if I’m scared or something. Is it fear? Fear of what? Failing? I don’t know what it is. But I also don’t know what to do. Which is frustrating and tiring. I just don’t know.

Oktober 6, 2013

Cleaning up the mess

Yesterday, while lying in bed, I realized that a lot of stuff is currently annoying me, that I am somehow a little frustrated actually.

I have a lot of ideas in my head, habits I want to pursue, articles I want to write, pictures I want to take, projects I want to start.

But somehow I’m scared. I’m not scared of starting those things or of failure. I’m scared of myself not actually doing it. I’m scared of not being able to form the habit, not writing every day, not doing what I want to do.

Until now what I did was nothing. I thought about those things, formed them in my head and that’s all. I never started.

But today is different. I learned that I can only form a habit by showing up everyday. And that’s what I’m doing starting now.
The first step actually happened yesterday. I opened Day One, cleaned it up and started journaling again. And I will write everyday. No matter how annoying my day was or how little time I have.

The next step is this website. I have so many things I’m interested in, things which don’t belong on one of my other blogs, which I see more as some kind of day job. Things I have an opinion about. This will be the place I’ll be sharing these.

Don’t expect a new blogpost immediately. I’m still working on different parts. I want to be sure I know what to write about and focus on a set of topics. What I realized is that I lose motivation really fast if there’s no clear goal. I need to find it first and then I’ll hopefully be able to write.

I’m currently changing some stuff here. Cleaning up the mess, removing the German content and updating some stuff. I thought of switching to Ghost at first, starting again at zero but I realized that it’s not about the platform, not about the tools but about the stuff I write.

I see all of this as the first step towards being a grown-up. It will be rough, but worth it.

Juni 6, 2013

Vesper

Editor’s note: I first thought about writing this as a series of App.net posts. Sometimes when I am too lazy to write a post I tend to do this to share my opinion about different things.
But this time I decided to use my blog because of one simple reason: I haven’t published anything in ages.

So there’s this new app. It’s called Vesper. It’s a note taking app. Yes, I know, another one. It’s not as if we need any more apps of this kind. But this one is different. It was designed by Dave Wiskus, developed by Brent Simmons and directed by John Gruber. Basically three “famous” people. At least in my industry.

The app’s design is minimalistic and its features are simple. You can write notes, tag them, attach images, send them to your friends via Mail or iMessage, and you can use a browser if you need to look something up. That’s it. It doesn’t do anything else.

There is no Dropbox sync, there is no Markdown-support, there are no URL-schemes, nor can you add additional services.

I get why this app wants to be minimal. But what I don’t get is all the press coverage it’s getting. I would even go so far as to say peoples’ reactions would be completely different if it weren’t for those three guys behind it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have huge respect for all of them. Especially John Gruber. He’s kind of a hero to me because he does exactly what I want to do. Make a living writing about technology.

But if three other guys had created this app, I don’t think that many people would talk, or write, about it. I think the overall reaction would be a lot different. My first reaction was: “meeeh, another note taking app”. And my second reaction was: “oh wait, John Gruber worked on this one?”.
This is when I realized how biased I was. I purchased the app, I tried it. Then I deleted it. Because it doesn’t do anything I can’t get from other apps. I don’t think I would have bought it if there weren’t their names attached to it.

So yeah this blogpost is basically me flaming about a somehow unfair situation for unknown developers. But this is how the industry works. Well known people release an app and get a lot of good reviews for it even though it’s mediocre.
Maybe the industry is biased. Maybe I’m a moron. Nevertheless: if you want to try the app, go buy it on iTunes. (There’s no affiliate link)

Mai 25, 2013

F*** yeah Cologne, I love you

Cologne is full of street artists. Even more during summer. Most of the time they are either not really good or you’re used to them. Some of them are good though, but since they play or perform every day you don’t stop to watch anymore.

Today was different. While walking through the city with my girlfriend we passed two guys playing guitar. I never saw them before and I didn’t pay attention to them at first. But after a couple of seconds one of them started singing. In a reaction, I picked my phone and started recording them. To be honest, I never heard someone as good as both of them. (Yeah sure, I missed Alex Claire who played in the city once)

After recording I gave them some money and talked with one of them. He spoke English and told me that they keep playing on the same place once or twice per week. Unfortunately they don’t have a CD yet. This would be the first time after years that I actually buy a CD. And even the first time I buy a CD from a street artist.

I included two videos I recorded of them, though there’s no way to record how awesome they are. You have to experience them live to understand.

If I see them again, I’ll buy some bottles of beer and have a drink with them while they amaze me.

April 25, 2013

It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum

I bought a computer. No, not a Mac this time. I bought a Windows-PC. Well, not really. I bought hardware to build it myself. As you may have read, I had to decide whether I should wait for the next generation gaming consoles or buy a PC and become a PC gamer again. I went for the latter. The reason: I’m not 100% sure if I still believe in the gaming console market. But let’s talk about this another time. Or maybe I’ll talk about it on the podcast I’m working on.

When I finally decided to go for PC gaming, I asked Leo (who lives in Cologne and will probably help me build and overclock it) if he could come up with a setup which fits my needs. And so he did:

case

The case is a Fractal Design Define R4  which has been redesigned by German online magazine PC Games Hardware. I like Leo’s decision because it not only looks simple and clean, but it has two integrated fans that should keep the hardware cool.

netzteil

I must admit that I never heard of something like the Seasonic P-520 FL. A power supply unit without fans but still powerful enough to give juice to the hardare? Take my money!

yourmother_board

The MSI Z77A-G43 is the mainboard of my Leo’s choice. I know MSI and always bought mainboards from them.

cptotheu

The Intel® Core™ i5-3570K is clocked to 3,4 GHz but thanks to the CPU fan you see below, we’ll manage to overclock it to 4 GHz. Fun fact: while working in the IT department for a larger German bank, we once overclocked a CPU and cooled it with nitrogen. I don’t remember ever being as geeky as that day.

foehnwelle

There’s not a lot to say about Alpenföhn Himalaya. It’s huge.

ramramram

The RAM is probably the component I’ll upgrade the soonest. The G.Skill DIMM 8 GB DDR3-1600 I’m using will be doubled sometimes later this year. Just for the lulz.

graphicsbitch

The GIGABYTE Geforce GTX 670 Dual Fan is really ugly. If I compare it to Marcel’s one I think this one looks really hideous but apparently the GTX 670 is better. And in the end, I’ll never see it unless I open the case.

brain

I own a MacBook Air with a decent SSD glued to the motherboard. Since I’m spoiled by Apple, my PC had to have one too. We went for the Samsung 840 Pro series with 128 GB.

pinky

And because the SSD doesn’t really have a lot of space, a simple Seagate ST1000DM003 with one terabyte will store all my files and games.

slave

The DVD drive is probably the most superfluous component. But since Windows requires one I ordered the LG DH-18NS. I may or may not buy a Blu-Ray drive at some point, but as soon as my Apple TV works and my ISP won’t throttle my internet, I have no need for it.

To be honest, this thing sounds huge. I will probably overclock the CPU and GPU a little as mentioned earlier. I can’t remember being so excited for a computer since the MacBook Air. Now that I’m back into PC gaming, anyone looking for someone to do “let’s plays” can hire me.

But first I need to wait. Everything has been ordered, the stuff should arrive next week and Leo and I will start building that thing. And then I’ll throw the last bit of money I have left at Steam. Who needs food anyway.

April 21, 2013

Greetings and welcome… I want to play a game

I’ve been a gamer nearly all my life. I got my first gaming console, a Sega Mega Drive, at the age of four. It was my father’s, though I played most of the time. My favourite game at the time was Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. I used to be a huge Jackson fan as probably nearly every 90s child.

Some years later, my uncle bought me a Game Boy. A couple of months later I bought another one because Nintendo released a special edition with a transparent shell. Clever guys!

Though it took several years and the Nintendo64 before I became got serious about gaming. Banjo Kazooie, Ocarina of Time and 007 used to be my favourite games at the time. I also owned the first Playstation, though I haven’t played with it as often as the N64.

Then it happened: I decided it was about time to get serious. I bought a PC and started to play all those fancy “hardcore” games.
During all those years I owned nearly every Gameboy and even a PSP.
I also got the first XBox even though all my friends had the PS2.

When my computer started to refuse playing the new generation of games on a decent video quality, I made the decision to become a console gamer again. I bought an Xbox 360. I still own it today but with the new console generation on the rise, it’s about time to move on.

And now comes the problem. I need to decide between a new high-end PC or a Playstation 4. The next Xbox is not an option anymore for several reasons.
The new generation seems to finally be powerful enough to compete against mid to lower high-end PCs, graphic quality wise.
I’m tending towards a PC, but the high price level and the fact that I don’t need to update a PS4′s internal components make it a though decision.

Though on the other side I have the possibility to update a PC’s components as soon as I feel the urge to. I also own a decent gaming keyboard and mouse. Lastly, I’m a huge Steam fan and I’m convinced that a Steam box could single handedly take over the whole console market. And, as you know, Steam is already on Windows.

So what should I do? I probably will get a PC now, maybe also a Vita and in a year or two I’ll be standing in a shop buying a Playstation 4.

April 5, 2013

Now what?

I have a problem. You know, that kind of problem, where you’re sitting in your office chair for hours, doing things, working, creating stuff and in the end you feel like as if you haven’t done anything at all.

I’m writing articles on ApfelTech, tweets, updates on App.net and tons of emails every day. And every evening I’m sitting in front of my MacBook, looking at this website and I see: nothing. No new posts, no new comments, nothing.
And this is frustrating. I want to write on here. Every day, several times per day even. But I don’t know what I should write about. Most tech-related stuff has already been written for ApfelTech. And I don’t feel like translating those posts to put them here. I want to offer you something unique which hasn’t been seen anywhere else. At least my take on those things. But I don’t know what it should be.

In my opinion, there is no writer’s block. And if it exists I don’t have it since I’m writing every day. I’m also motivated enough to write on this blog.
But I won’t stop. I will keep thinking about what I should write on here every day. I will try to find content. Maybe this blog post helps me to gather my thoughts.

We will see.

März 10, 2013

Hello World_v004.1

It’s been a long time since I last wrote something here on my blog. The thing is the following. I decided to completely rethink how I work on procrastinate.de.
As you may see, some things have changed.

For one, I’m not writing German (if you haven’t realized yet) but I decided to go completely English with a few exceptions. Some blog posts will be written in German because I think that those posts are only suited for German people. An example would be something related to the city I live in.

What also changed is the blog design. I sat down with my good friend Kim and we redesigned the blog a little. It’s still the theme I had before, but some elements were changed.

Next is the content. I decided to not do link posts anymore because I risk to only do those. So what I try is to still “reply” to posts, but more like Ben Brooks does it. If I don’t have anything to say, I won’t say anything. So no Jim Dalrymple like posts for me. (even though his “yep” adds great value to nearly everything.)

So yep, new me. And to the German speaking people over here. I’ll be recording a podcast with Ben. We still not sure if anyone will be able to listen to this first episode, because it’s more of a test than anything else. We haven’t decided on a name yet, nor what topics we want to discuss.

That’s all Folks!