Chris Bevan

Turns out manufacturing relatively a large phone chassis at scale would be far too intensive to make this a viable proposition for the foreseeable future.

Background Looping Video for Increased Productivity?

The other weekend I picked up a LED TV to use as a monitor in the office at home. My plan is to use it to loop videos (muted) in the background while working, something that I find makes me concentrate more than just sitting all alone in a quiet office.

For a while I’ve used my iPad Pro in a similar way, though recently became inspired to install something more permanent by a certain Casey Neistat and his The Godfather on a loop studio setup.

Home Office Setup Close-up

New TV monitor mounted on the office wall.

After looking around for a suitable screen, I settled on the Sony BRAVIA 22in KLV-22P413D Full HD LED TV. I like the small size and wanted a screen capable of showing a full 1080p picture.

Strangely I would have had to jump up to a 32in screen – and pay more than double the price – to get a larger model capable of showing the same Full HD picture.vOddly both interim sized 23in and 24in models in the major brands I looked at only seemed capable of displaying 1366x768 (aka HD Ready). This Sony model seems to be specifically made for the Indian market, complete with “Made for India” splashed on the specs sticker.

Before installation

Unpacking and getting everything primed for installation.

For a few days I made good use of the built-in media player with a USB stick loaded with videos. At first I struggled to find the videos and it was only after digging to the “Playback Options” menu and finding “Device Selection” did I realise that it as mounting my single USB as two partitions and showing the empty “Media 1” partition by default. Only after selecting “Media 2” was I able to see and play my files.

Even then, getting files into a format recognised by the player took more effort than it was worth. Using the same HandBrake profile has surprisingly been giving me mixed results, some videos work, some just don’t. I didn’t end up spending too much time troubleshooting as the plan was always to pick up an Apple TV for streaming media, primarily via Plex.

Home Office Setup Wide

Home office setup is coming together slowly.

Back when I had an iMac I used to run everything through iTunes, converting whatever videos I wanted to watch with HandBrake into a format supported by iTunes and Home Sharing, and maintaining the metadata for each file by hand. Nowadays I’m mostly iOS with all my media sitting on my NAS, so I’m leveraging Plex wherever I can for files not available for streaming on iTunes Movies or TV Shows.

The killer feature of Plex is it’s ability to play pretty much any video format and can transcode anything else on the fly, so no more mucking about with converting files to formats that are known to work in iTunes. Almost anything you throw at it just works and is almost immediately available for viewing.

Biggest issue now is getting Plex to correctly identify videos based on the filename and length. This works well for movies and TV shows when named correctly, though falls apart for the motorsport series that I tend to download and watch.

Now to find some more slow television

Alchemist and metaphysician Brian Roemmele posts a detailed account of how and why Apple may be in the midst of a pivot from aluminium to zirconian ceramic for its hardware devices.

Really looking forward to iPhone 7, however these anecdotes about the fundamental design of iPhone 6 being compromised by a lack of sapphire screen and triggering a heightened focus on ceramics makes me genuinely excited to see what Apple has coming for iPhone 8.

Fort Cochin

A six day trip to the south-western state of Kerala for my 40th birthday last month.

We stayed in Fort Cochin/Kochi and spent our days exploring the historical Portuguese and Dutch buildings, Chinese fishing nets, churches, and spice markets on foot and auto.

Trip to Delhi & Agra

Spent a few days in June exploring Delhi before taking the train down to Agra for a few more days.

Had lots of fun focusing more on shooting video than photos on this trip. Am really starting to enjoy the process of creating these short videos so I think I’ll stick with it for a little while.

I had my annual performance review at work yesterday and the whole time I kept thinking about this video.

While I love a good productivity hack and think of myself as a generally productive person, I know I can do better. Being better would mean always following through, to Always Be Closing, to communicate more openly and more honestly at work when things are not working out. Especially when I’m waiting for something or someone to allow me to close.

2016 is to be the year to deliver, close, and do better 🔥.

This is up there as one of my all time favourite Casey Neistat videos.

For an animal not caught on film until 2012, we sure are starting to see more and more of these beautiful beasties.

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