Switching to FastMail

I started with webmail using HotMail. Then in 2004 I received an invite to Gmail via off-topic.net. At the time Gmail had 1 GB of storage, infinite storage by the standard of the day. Gmail added features as time went on and, mostly, improved. Its search functionality is, as of writing, unparalleled. In 2011 I switched my domain e-mail to Gmail. Gmail was the incumbent, was cool and lived up to it’s ‘don’t be evil’ slogan. In the past year the wheels have come off the ‘don’t be evil’ trope with the advent of Project Dragonfly.

The Inquistr reported “{Google CEO}Pichai’s statements at WIRED 25 provided more details about the project. He acknowledged Google’s plan to create a censored search engine for China and said that the company found that it could serve well over 99 percent of the queries despite China’s strict censorship laws. (emphasis mine)

The project drew condemnation from Google employees. Their letter against Project Dragonfly can be found on Medium.

Needless to say with Snowden’s Prism revelations and the revelations of Project Dragonfly, ‘don’t be evil’ is utter hogwash.

The alternatives are many. I’ve used Outlook365. It is a fine service but feels stodgy. An oft recommended service was FastMail. I’m a week’s old customer of their service. Below I’ll note answers to some of my concerns before migrating my e-mail.

FastMail is fast.

I can say with certainty that they live up to their name sake. The service is extremely quick and, according to NoScript, appears to connect only to FastMail servers:

FastMail connects to fastmail.com alone

Similarly, uBlock origin did not register any connections to third party servers. To connect, I needed to disable the cookiemonster extension for FastMail by way of a whitelist exception.

The migration from Gmail was facile. I needed to tell Gmail to allow access to all email via IMAP. Then I followed the step-by-step process of entering my Gmail credentials into FastMail and my Google-specific app password. A few hours later about 30,000 messages and their replies migrated perfectly.

So far the most pleasant feature that is not touted more loudly is the allowance for static web pages. FastMail allows you to set up a static web page. A static webpage is enough to advertise your name and contact info and links to a blog and LinkedIn or similar.

Overall FastMail is a fine alternative to my domain Gmail setup. It leaves little to be desired.

Macbook Pro not waking up after deep sleep/hibernation.

The problem:  My 2017 Macbook Pro would wake partially from a deep sleep (here, a deep sleep is what happens when you close the lid and leave your computer overnight).  In my instance of this problem my display would wake but my trackpad would take sometime to be active (> 60 seconds).  During this time, the keyboard would be completely unresponsive.  Unlike the trackpad it never seemed to wake.  If my trackpad woke, I would select restart otherwise I would perform a hard reset.

The usual advice is two fold:  Reset SMC.  Reset PRAM. 
Other advice is to go through the output of “pmset -XXXX”

This advice did not help me despite performing each reset several times and comparing my pmset output to those posted by others online.

What did help was as follows:

Go to “System Preferences” and find “Printers and Scanners.”

Control+click the items listed in the left half of the window (I chose the panel with printers)

Select option “reset printer system.” {I’m paraphrasing because I’m not at my Mac right now}

-I saw this solution on Reddit which was linked from elsewhere.

Addendum:  The wake problem did not occur after an overnight hibernation followed by a twelve hour inactivity.

Addendum:  Still waking after deep sleep. 

Addendum: 72 h on and the Macbook still wakes as expected.

Addendum:  It’s acting up again!

Has not recurred since 10.14.3 update

Two year anniversary post

December 16th, 2018 marks two years since I chose to change my health and size.

Top right shows my drivers license photo Nov 2013 versus Nov 2018.

I thought it fun to compare photos from 2008 and 2009 as well.  Two things are abundantly clear: Smaller face and less hair in contemporary photos.

The greater challenge going forward will be maintenance of weight loss.  Weight re-grain is extremely common.  A study funded by Novo-Norodisk and reported at endocrine.org says:

“… over the two years, fewer patients maintained their weight. In the modest, moderate, and high weight-loss groups, 40.0 percent, 35.9 percent, and 18.6 percent of patients, respectively, regained over half of their lost weight during the maintenance period.”

In the best-case scenario I have ~ 20% chance to regain at least half my weight loss.  Others report that it may require only 1 year to regain half of weight lost.  This is rather grim but I’m ever the optimist.

My proclamation for 2019, like the one I made on my “Fat white guy” journey is public.  I will maintain my existing (as of 2018-December-09) waist line while increasing my mass.

Star project (nee that Fat white guy) 2018-Nov-10

It has been ~ 3 months since my last Star Project update.

I started a new regimen since the last update.  Namely, working out less or resting more between workout days.   Instead of 3 on, 1 off, 3 on, I workout every other day.  The added rest between workouts has upped my strength and mass.  I’m now swinging 106 lbs of kettle bells (up from 53 lbs) and have improved my leg strength and stamina.

The weight increase has not changed my dimensions.  My clothes still fit although my pant legs fit more closely.

Cats not afraid of cucumber

Lester and Macy Gray (Right)

A colleague asked me whether my cats were afraid of cucumbers.  I have been a cat person for 25 years.  Never heard of this phenomenon but it is mentioned in TV show Rick and Morty, episode “Pickle Rick.”

My cats were truculent and pawed the cucumber.

With tongue in cheek I proclaim: Cats not afraid.  N=2 P<0.0000000000000000000052.