Getting Fit After Lockdown

After the lockdown I’ve pretty much had to start from zero. I started by increasing the number, intensity and length of my runs and now I’m nearly a minute faster per km than I was earlier in the year, but not yet close to my best. I’ve also been able to run 10km without getting cramps which for the first time in my life I was unable to do at the start of the year. I was almost worried that my age meant that I couldn’t get fit again. The gyms re-opening has been great. I’ve moved back into free weights instead of mostly focusing on cardio and it has made such a difference. I do cardio when I’m running anyway. Well actually I have alternating upper body free weights days and skillmill/treadmill days when I’m at the gym and try to throw a bit of core in. My back especially has been thanking me for the core work as running with a weak core can cause a lot of pain in the lower back. I had a little go on the rowing machine the other day, and while it is a great form of exercise it’s just not doing it for me anymore. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t a Concept 2 rower and the hand grips were too big and slippery. My other gym (yes I have two different gym memberships) does have them, but not as fun a gym. I have a Concept 2 clone at home, but it’s in the shed which is way too warm for working out. I’m still working out a bit at home, but only to complement the real gym work.

All-in-all I’m really happy to be ‘almost’ back in shape. Might even be match fit in time for rugby/football/hockey season, or try something a little different like learning a Gaelic sport.

How Do We Solve Online Trolling?

The IT industry can do a lot more to prevent online trolling. Here’s some suggestions for how that can be done:

  • Opening a social media account on the bigger platforms should be like opening a bank account. You should have to provide photogaphic ID in order to create an account
  • Social media platforms should categorise reported posts by the seriousness of the offence. Serious matters should be deal with by the police
  • There should be a policing board specifically for social media. Board members should be from the police, people who work in the social media companies and politicians. All participants in the board should be held to account on their progress in dealing with and preventing trolling. This information should be made publically available when possible, using measurable metrics
  • Sentencing relating to online trolling should reflect the seriousness of the offence. For example a threat to kill online, should be seen the same as a death threat in the real world and dealt with accordingly

Yes, there will always be ways for people to get around that system, by creating their own websites or using smaller social media platforms, but making it harder for them to use the main platforms would be a good start. However, there may be some law abiding citizens who don’t agree with giving their personal details to social media networks. Those users might need to just suck it up or avoid using social media. The Internet should be a place for collaboration, not hate. An important caveat to all of this is that it needs to be done in such a way that it protects a person’s right to protest, and the safety of social media users in countries where free speech is very limited.

Social Media – The Toilet of the Internet?

I’ve noticed how some people constantly make toxic posts on the Internet. Social media gives everyone a platform, but the problem is that some people don’t have the mental capacity to manage their emotions and use that platform properly


The Good

  • Friends and family can keep in touch, no matter where they are
  • It’s a good way to get people to join organisations or clubs
  • It’s good for selling things
  • Good for sharing information that may help people

The Bad

  • People get lazy. Liking someone’s post online is not the same as talking to them about it in person and giving them support
  • On average people have around 120 ‘friends’ on social media. However, most of them only communicate regularly with 6 people, who they would normally be able to communicate with by other means anyway
  • Most people only post photos of themselves at their very best, and sometimes with filters. This can create an illusion that they lead perfect lives. This not the case.

The Ugly

  • Overly argumentative people who find it difficult to manage their emotions consume their time by constantly entering into conflict with others. Being behind a screen enables them to engage in anti-social behaviour with little consequence
  • Some people are obsessed with politics and they often are on the extreme ends of the spectrum. They force their weird views and conspiracy theories down your throats
  • Data collection by the big social media networks is a bit intrusive
  • It’s used by lynch mobs who set out to destroy people’s careers and publicly humiliate people, almost like putting them in a pillory

Social media can be a good thing if used well, but only if you use it properly and are emotionally capable of handling what you see on there. Spreading political BS or conspiracy theories is not a good use of your time. And if you do it too much people will just think you are paranoid or crazy. If social media is a serious thing to you then you should probably get out more.

A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Meghan and Harry

I’ll bite and give my opinion on this. They are two millionaires living a lavish life in LA while simultaneously whinging that they have been hard done by. These are people who had a $70,000 wedding cake, paid for by the state. They couldn’t be more out of touch with normal people, many of whom have been struggling with the repercussions of a deadly global pandemic. The world has much more important things to be worrying about.

Database Issues

Long story short: MySQL 8.0 was running really slow, so I switched to MariaDB and everything is running a lot quicker on all my sites and web based apps. Thankfully I already had backups of my databases.

Development-wise I’ve mostly been focusing on my work stuff and university work, so haven’t had a lot of time for hobby projects. I’ve also been completely redecorating the house which has been fun. Hopefully in Summer when I don’t have university work to do and all the house maintenance is done I can work more on hobby stuff.

However, I have been doing a bit of work on Timeshed, particularly to the IT inventory manager and the maintenance tracking side of things because I use them to help me with work stuff. I actually use those features on a day-to-day basis. It’ll be nice to make that part use friendly so other people can use them

I’ve also been developing a quiz buzzer that people can use in Zoom quizzes. The players can use it on their phone or computer and the host can use it on a computer:

Players: https://buzzer.pftcs.com

Host: https://buzzer.pftcs.com/resultbb

Server Move

I just moved my server over to my new house. There teething issues due to using different routers and a different isp, but I think most things are fixed now.

Over the next few weeks I’m planning to do a lot of work on Timeshed. I’ve written up a list of blue prints that should make it a lot more user friendly. Should be interesting when it’s ready.

HoverRace Netfix Test Release

Last night I released a version of HoverRace that will potentially fix some of the problems that were stopping online racing from working. For the nerds out there,  I’m using upnp holepunching to handle the peer to peer data transmissions. It should work behind some routers, but not all routers. I’m still planning to make it use servers instead of peer to peer between players, but that will require a major rewrite.

Here’s the download: https://github.com/johnsie/HoverNet/releases/tag/1.24.2