I decided that the Ghost blog will be more tightly focused on my journey to starting a business and hacking productivity. I’m going to start experimenting building a blog with a specific audience in mind. Here are some of the posts I’ve written:
This isn’t just me talking about my struggles though, this is also my way of sharing what I learned and hoping someone will also learn with me. Hopefully, if you all want to be updated, join me in my tiny newsletter.
So, with the way I’m waxing poetic about it I guess there’s no surprise when I announce that I’ll be moving all my blogging activities to the Ghost platform (although this blog will always remain here) but one of the things I love about Ghost is that it uses Markdown.
And its such a difference when I write with Markdown, it feels more natural somehow.
My other big announcement is that I finally bought a domain name andnot only will I be using Ghost as my blogging platform but I’ll also be blogging on www.MoniqueAlmario.com
Its been fun wordpress but I think its time for me to strikeout on my own! Thanks for the memories, and who knows I might comeback! Life is unexpected and mysterious that way!
I’m currently going to try Ghost, the new blogging platform. So far, I love the interface, its uncluttered as they come and since I’ve recently admitted that designing a site isn’t my thing (but I won’t rule it out in the future) I’m opting to use the available free themes.
I really love how easy it is to use, I really love how distraction free it is, and ironically even though Draft and Editorially are using markdown and offering distraction free writing, I find myself preferring Ghost’s writing interface more.
So for the next
30 29 days I’ll be blogging here.
Eventually, soon I’ll probably migrate to my own personal domain and hosting.
I think this is the new productivity hack I’ll do for 2014.
”Smartphones are unquestionably one of the most useful devices of the 21st century but they continue to have one critical flaw – battery life. We’ve all been there – you forgot to charge your smartphone and you have 10% battery life left to see you through the day.”
I miss the days when a cellphone battery can last days and not just a few hours. It’s really baffling why that is not the battleground smartphone makers are fighting in.
“It’s been over two years since HP’s TouchPad and the Pre 3 were released and then discontinued in a surprise decision from then-CEO Léo Apotheker. In fact, most people within HP were blindsided when executives decided to stop hardware production and left the software team twisting in the winds of uncertainty. Apotheker’s decision ultimately led to the open sourcing of some parts of webOS and the sale of the rest to LG under current CEO Meg Whitman.
But back in 2011, before and after Apotheker’s fateful decision, Palm had been actively working on both new hardware and new software. The Verge has obtained documents describing Palm’s plans and even a design prototype of a new smartphone. They tell a story of a company struggling to innovate in the face of daunting competition and perishingly few resources. They also show that, even at the end, Palm’s ambition outstretched its ability.”
This is something that still sets my teeth on edge because in my humble opinion webOS’s interface was light years ahead of any mobileOS currently in the market. Yes, that includes iOS 7 which cribbed most of webOS’s multitasking card function.
Its still the smoothest, most intuitive and put together interface I’ve ever come across and its a tragedy that it was cut short, especially with all the other projects they had lined up.
One thing I can say about 2013 — It’s certainly been eventful. I’ve done things I have done before, traveled to places I’ve only ever dreamed of but its also a year marked with sadness.
Fortunately, Facebook and other Social Media has made it easier for us to ‘review’ the year that’s gone before. Reviewing this blog I also realized how much I’ve fallen behind on my plans: The UX study plan for example — I’ve read the books but I haven’t practiced, nor have I been active in the communities I love.
Time does fly, and fly fast but the last few months of 2013 has also driven home an important lesson, we should all pursue our passions because life is unpredictable in the best and the worst ways.
I look forward to 2014 as a better year.
Professional Graphic Designer and Chalk Artist, Dana Tanamachi is my current inspiration.
She creates such beautiful artwork with chalk.
Almost a year ago I had my lightning strike moment and since then I’ve volunteered for the Mozilla Philippines Community, participated in a number of Developer and Designer events and met a lot of new and fascinating people. It was fascinating to be among the Developers, Designers, Evangelists, and Volunteers they’re all passionate and engaging people always welcoming to strangers and willing to share their knowledge .
Being around them cemented the feeling that I really do want to be in this industry.
I could feel it in my bones, and it still amazes me to this day that it took me this long to figure out. Even though I’ve graduated a decade ago (has it really been that long?) I feel like I’m starting anew again. There are so many possibilities open and, yet, I also feel like there’s a lot I have to trudge through in order to really feel like I could be part of the industry.
My main barrier to entry was I wasn’t a developer nor was I a designer.
I knew that there were other jobs that didn’t involve a lot of technical knowledge but I still find myself searching.
And then I found it.
There’s been some activity in WebFWD Philippines these past few months, and one that I was personally involved in was the kick off of Women and Mozilla (WoMoz) Philippines last May 25.
I feel very strongly about WoMoz’s mission of promoting IT to women and I was glad to be involved in the kick-off and that I was able to introduce and promote WebFWD to the group!
It was an exhilarating experience but we (Team WebFWD Philippines) also realized that in order to fully promote WebFWD we also need to increase awareness of Open Source so recently, Alvin Edwald Chan, fellow WebFWD Manila Scout, organized an Open Source Discussion for the Academe.
The Open Source Discussion was held last July 24 and held in Globe Corporate Showroom, Valero, Makati with professors from De La Salle University, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Informatics with fantastic resource speakers in Bryan Bibat from DevCon Philippines; Wade Mealing, a Red Hat certified Engineer, and Adric Schreuders, Freelancer.com’s Director of Engineering.
Alvin and I briefly talked about WebFWD then Alvin began moderating. It soon became a lively discussion on Open Source and the trials and tribulations some professors encounter in teaching Open Source. On the other end, Mr. Schreuders pointed out how experience in Open Source can help boost a graduate’s resume to employers.
The misconceptions about Free and Open Source Software was also touched on, which was that to quote Mr. Mealing: ‘Just because it’s open source doesn’t mean you can make money.’
In the end, it was agreed that there is still a lot of ground to cover in promoting the philosophies and practices of Open Source to students but extracurricular activities promoted by organizations outside of the colleges do help a lot.
January was too long a month, and February too short. But it was a busy short month and I regret I couldn’t write as often as I’d like.
I’ve been a using Evernote since I first heard of it a few years ago but I don’t think I’ve ever took full advantage of the application. I think I might start using the app for more, especially when writing blog draft posts.
In my previous post I mentioned the Firefox OS App Days in Manila, and it was by far one of the more exciting things I’ve participated in. It was also fantastic to meet another person from Mozilla’s HQ, William Reynolds (@dailycavalier). I wanted to write about it immediately after but a lot of work distracted me from writing a post about it fortunately Mozilla Philippines has a recap of the whole event written here.
Things have ramped up since then and from my end of the spectrum almost every blog since the Mobile World Congress has discussed Firefox OS entry into the market. One of the factors being the heavy hitters that’s lined up behind Mozilla’s operating system from Alcatel, LG, Huawei and ZTE to telecom companies like América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN VimpelCom (source), and in our little corner of the world, Smart Communications.
One thing some tech blogs have missed during the reviews of the Firefox OS phones is that Firefox OS is targeting feature phones in emerging countries and not catering to the Smartphone market in First World countries. Naturally, it won’t have the features and speed the higher end phones would have, so expectations should be managed on the end of the reviewer.
Speaking of Smartphones, one phone that also caused waves prior to MWC 2013 was Blackberry Z10. I’ve briefly mentioned Blackberry’s new phone and noted how very familiar the UI was to Nokia N9 and WebOS. Two platforms I’ve come to love, I do have a penchant for falling in love with dead or dying platforms.
I haven’t had a hands on experience with the Z10 but based from the reviews and the videos I’ve perused this phone is catered to the power users and there’s quite a bit of a learning curve just to get a hang of it but once we do get the hang of it, it’s a phone that can help a lot productivity wise.
It’s also working to fix the lack of ‘ecosystem’ (truly loathe the term) by trying to make Android apps work in the phone very much similar (correct me if I’m wrong) with how Alien Dalvick would work on a non-Android phone.
Research In Motion, which has recently rebranded itself as ‘Blackberry’, has a tough mountain to climb. Much like Nokia, it took too long to jump into the Smartphone bandwagon and the company suffered from it, with a lot of its users shifting to iPhones or Android phones.
Time will tell if Blackberry’s gamble will pay off, I’m a fan of the underdog, so I really hope Blackberry pulls this off.
Things are gearing up for Mozilla’s very own Firefox OS, I touched upon the mobile OS in my previous post citing that Firefox OS is one of the many innovations Mozilla is currently developing. This is one innovation that is as ambitious as Mozilla’s first task: going up against a giant — in this case, two giants of the mobile field.
One of Mozilla’s big push for Firefox OS is to launch FirefoxOS App Days a global push to introduce and promote Firefox OS to developers. Since the name of this game is getting a good number of applications into the OS to replicate and to make the shift from iPhone and android easier for the consumer by providing seamless experience. This is after all the very crux of what Mozilla is trying to do with Firefox OS — break the walled gardens that made iPhone and android such a duopoly.
A few days before App Days, Mozilla together with its partner, Telefonica (through Geekphones) previewed its Firefox OS developer phones.
Firefox OS has a simulator in the browser but there’s nothing better, I bet, than getting the opportunity to use the physical phone to test out and develop apps for the mobile OS.
I admit I’m a little charmed by the orange but I also fancy the white, if only for the ‘Firefox OS’ brand at the back. It does bear a bit of a resemblance to an iPhone, which some people have already pointed out. Although I think of course that’s the shape and look it would look like because:
a) Smartphones tend to look this way these days save for a few phones out in the market.
b) It’s a developer phone so the look might still change.
But that discussion is neither here nor there, so let’s talk facts, what will the phone’s hardware be:
- CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
- UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
- GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
- Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch
- 3 MP Camera
- 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
- MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
- 1580 mAh battery
- Over the air updates
- Unlocked, add your own SIM card
The specifications aren’t all that impressive considering all the other phones in the market today but we also have to remember that Mozilla is targeting the low cost smartphone market. Considering that, I’d say the phones can stand up on its own.
Another piece of good news for the mobile OS: Japanese carrier, KDDI seems interested in selling Firefox OS phones. Exciting times ahead for Firefox OS, especially this coming January 26th!
Also, if anyone’s interested, I’ll also be talking about Mozilla WebFWD on the Manila Firefox OS App days. If you have a startup with an Open Source component, you can drop by and talk to me.