|by Jon on Tuesday, July 17, 2012||file under: Off Topic|
We're on our way to bring our son home. Two years after we began our adoption process, we're nearing the end. Kortney and I are both beside ourselves. We're so excited to finally meet this little boy who we've grown to know through pictures and videos over the last fifteen months.
I'm really excited to be a dad. I don't know if I'm going to be a good one or that I know what I'm getting myself into, but I'm ready to find out. I'm looking forward to playing, teaching, caring for, and protecting our little man. I hope I can be someone he looks up to.
|Grey for Gray|
|by Jon on Sunday, December 4, 2011||file under: Off Topic|
I've changed hohle.net to grey in support of my brother-in-law, Troy Gray. Troy is an inspirational, dynamic guy who has poured his heart and soul into his family and teaching the youth of Tempe, Arizona about Jesus.
Troy has been battling leukemia since the summer and at the moment it looks like his cancer has the upper hand. Kortney and I are aching for him and his wife and children.
We are praying continually for Troy, Kelly, and their two beautiful kids who need their dad. We appreciate any time you can spend praying for him as well.
|One More Thing|
|by Jon on Sunday, October 9, 2011||file under: Technology|
The first computer I had growing up with an Apple //c with a color monitor, tri-color ribbon printer, and an external 5¼" floppy drive. I used the computer to play games, write papers, draw pictures, make banners and birthday cards (with The Print Shop). I even learned to write simple programs using the built in BASIC interpreter and the Apple II Basic Programming Manual.
While I always had an interest in computers, it really wasn't until high school that I thought I might pursue a career in programming. I fell away from Apple computers for several years, but when faced with the opportunity to get a new laptop in 2003, jumped at the opportunity to get a Titanium PowerBook. I was a heavy Linux user at the time and thought having a commercially supported UNIX would be interesting. What I didn't realize was OS X would become my operating system of choice.
Earlier that year I also picked up an iPod. This was when iPods still used FireWire cables, had hard drives (5GB!), and grayscale screens. It was brilliant. My previous CD+MP3 player could store about 10 hours of music on a CD, but this iPod could store all of my music.
Since then I've become an avid iPhone user and written software for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. We've had more iPods in our house than people and currently have four Macs for just the two of us. A trip to the mall meant a trip to the Apple store, whether or not we were in the market for new gadgets or not.
It was always exciting to see what Apple would announce next, and powering it all, a magic polish which made everything insanely great.
And behind it all, Steve Jobs. He brought Apple back from irrelevance into not only the biggest company, by market cap, but also one of the most engaging, opinionated, detail oriented, and customer focussed companies in America.
It's sad to think there will never be another Jobs keynote. We'll never hear "BOOM!", about "magical" new features, or "one more thing" again.
And at the same time, the sorrow of his death should be a catalyst to seize life and remember that "all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important".
In Jobs' now famous 2005 commencement address, he states, "[Death] is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new." Sometimes we're not ready for that change, though. But that change is inevitable and we must accept it or be paralyzed by it.
This summer we were shocked by the sudden discovery of advanced lymphoma in my brother-in-law. In a matter of weeks, he went from leading teenagers at Young Life camp to a medically induced coma. He's now in the process of recovering, but events like this shouldn't be necessary to shake us into an awareness that we can all do so much more.
|by Jon on Wednesday, January 26, 2011||file under: Commentary|
In the Apple community the verb switching has meant various things in the last decade. Seven years ago if you would have heard the term switching in the context of Apple, you'd have thought about getting rid of your PC and getting a Mac. Four years ago the same term signified Apple's transition from PowerPC processors in their computers, workstations, and servers to Intel processors more commonly found in Windows computers and low cost servers. But at the beginning of 2011, switching takes on a third meaning, at least in the US. And from a customer perspective it has less to do with the relationship with Apple and themselves, but instead introduces a new third party choice of network operator: Verizon.
I'll be up front, Kortney and I are planning to have Verizon iPhones on February 10th. We may not port our number over immediately due to a vacation in the middle of February, but we'll be ready to switch as soon as possible.
I've read almost deafening cries about why this is a dumb idea: the iPhone 5 is right around the corner, Verizon's network is slower, you can't use data while on a call, etc. Guess what: none of those things matter for some people. I'll address each of these claims in order.
Apple has released new phone hardware like clockwork every year since the first iPhone was released. Undoubtedly, Apple will release their fifth revision iPhone in June with a dual core processor, longer battery life, and world mode radios. Is that stopping people from buying iPhones on AT&T or other networks now? Of course not. Sometimes you just need a new phone. In my case, I'll be replacing my long in the tooth 3G and Kortney's Sony Ericsson feature phone. Based on the resale values of current used iPhone 4s, I imagine that we'll be able to "upgrade" to the iPhone 5 if we choose for a modest upgrade fee. But when it comes down to it, the iPhone 4 is available now (or at least soon), and the iPhone 5 and its feature list is only known to Apple and perhaps its suppliers.
Verizon's peak network speed is admittedly slower than AT&Ts with one major difference: Verizon provides reasonable service in the major metropolitan areas I frequent. I don't care if I can theoretically download at 1.5 Mbps on AT&T, I can actually download at >500 Kbps on Verizon. I recently did a speed test on my phone while in downtown Seattle. I averaged 536 Kbps. That's right around what Verizon is offering. I guess I won't notice any slowdown.
I'll concede the last point, I won't be able to use data while on a call. That isn't much different from my AT&T experience, however, where I often cannot make a call... or get on a data network. It will actually be an improvement over my current situation, as I'll be able to reliably talk on the phone or use the internet. I consider that an upgrade, despite the annoying limitation.
For over two years, we've dealt with atrocious service with AT&T in the Phoenix and Seattle Metro areas. AT&T has failed to provide reliable service, despite collecting thousands of dollars from me and each of the millions of other smartphone users on their network. Like the switch from PC to Mac, or PowerPC to Intel, the switch to Verizon looks to usher in a welcome improvement in my connected lifestyle.
|by Jon on Saturday, February 20, 2010||file under: Off Topic|
Last weekend Kortney and I went up to Vancouver to see a few events at the 2010 Winter Olympics. We drove up Friday afternoon, slipped across the border with only a few cars in front of us and headed downtown for the evening. We checked into the Corkscrew Inn, a cute bed and breakfast in Kitsalano, about 20 minutes by bus to anything we were interested in seeing. After a small complication with our tickets, we roamed around the pedestrian areas that had been blocked off, and watched the opening ceremony while we dined at the Glass City Café. Later on we happened across Wayne Gretzky carrying the Olympic torch in the back of a pickup as he was transported to the cauldron.
Vancouver is dressed in Olympic garnish from head to toe. The signs and banners are all consistent, vibrant, and very well designed. All of the volunteers are uniformed in the same coats, hats, and occasionally snow pants. It was really impressive to see such a large city with such homogenous decoration.
Saturday morning we headed to the University of British Columbia to watch Sweden and Switzerland compete in women's hockey. Kortney and I rooted for the Swiss, but it was for nothing; Sweden shut them out 3-0. We headed back downtown and strolled through Chinatown, Gastown, and finally to Granville Island where we watched women's freestyle moguls while eating at Cat's Socialhouse. The Canadians were thrilled when they took the lead, and disappointed, but good spirited when we took the gold from them.
Finally, on Sunday we went up to Cypress Mountain to watch men's freestyle moguls. This was the highlight of the trip. We spent 4 hours, outdoors in the low 30ºs, but enjoyed the entire time (except the hour+ waiting in the concession line). The crowd erupted when the final skier, from France, got his score placing him in 6th, and it was confirmed that Canada had earned its first gold on its home soil.
Afterwards, we got in the car and headed home. We took a rural back road to a smaller border crossing without any lines. We made it home around 10:30, exhausted but still with the glow of Olympic fever.
|New Moon Countdown Promo Followup|
|by Jon on Friday, August 28, 2009||file under: Projects|
As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to buy books from the Twilight series for Seattle area charities, specifically those who were helping women and children. I was able to get 40 books — 10 complete Twilight Saga sets — to give away and found five great organizations to give the books to.
Each of the centers were really excited to get the books and I'm hopeful that they'll be put to good use.
|New Moon Countdown|
|by Jon on Monday, June 22, 2009||file under: Technology|
I had written a long post about getting a few apps on the iTunes App Store, and I might post more about it later, but in the mean time, I'm happy to write that I have two new apps available for download:
More about the apps can be found at the support page.
To market New Moon Countdown, I've decided to give a book from the Twilight saga to a women and children's center, school, or library in the Seattle metro area for every 100 downloads of the app through iTunes before July 31th. These books have brought a lot of joy to young women and I hope that this will get books into the hands of people who may not have been able to read them otherwise.
|by Jon on Thursday, November 27, 2008||file under: Off Topic|
With a full four days off, it seems like a good time for a "what am I thankful for" post.
That's not the entire list, but it is a good start. If you need to reach me today, you'll probably find me hovering around the pecan pie.
|LaTeX on Mac|
|by Jon on Sunday, August 31, 2008||file under: Technology|
I haven't written any documents in LATEX since Dr. Taylor switched to an XML submission format. (Or perhaps it was during Dr. Sebern's Formal Methods class.) I started the paper portion of my thesis this weekend, and decided to delve into the wonderful world of TEX once again.
There are several ways to set up a productive LATEX environment on your Mac, but the combination that seems to work best for me is teTeX installed from MacPorts and TextMate as my editor. I've also found Skim which will automatically refresh PDFs when they are generated by
Alternative, there is a MacTeX, however, the download is nearly 750MB, and includes many packages which already come with OS X.
Here's a collection of sites I found useful when setting up my LATEX workflow:
If you are writing a paper, a book, or any significantly long document (there are even packages for resum?s and presentations), I'd recommend looking into TEX or LATEX. They are a refreshing change from the WYSIWIG editors we've all become so accustom to.
|Spangle 0.2 - Now in French!|
|by Jon on Thursday, August 28, 2008||file under: Technology|
About 16 months ago I scratched an itch and wrote Spangle, an app that checks for updates to the applications you have on your Mac. It's worked well enough, and its largely stagnated since its initial 0.1 release.
Back in May, Pierre Rudloff sent me an encouraging email and a link to a French translation he had written for Spangle. I also fixed an anchoring issue with the icon in the upper left of the main window.
The most major change is that Spangle has been recompiled with llvm specifically targetting Leopard. This shouldn't affect much (except for people still using Tiger), but I was interested in seeing how seemless a transition to llvm would be.
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