Nice sightseeing run over Temescal Ridge and down Palisades this morning. The plan was to run just 1hr to catch up with Zou but it went total over 15K and 500m ascent so a pretty heavy set. Palisades drive felt like going forever. The trails were soft after rain yesterday but views magnificent.
— Mikko Välimäki (@mvalimaki) January 8, 2019
That was a pretty good run. Same time as last year and two minutes faster than three years ago. TomTom’s heart rate monitor messed up after just 20-30 mins into the run or so and didn’t give any meaningful numbers. At some point it said my heart rate was 232 while I felt like 150. The reason must be cold weather — maybe gloves would have helped?
A few weeks ago I took Lenovo Carbon X1 into use with Windows 64 Pro. There’s no turning back. After fifteen years of using Apple products starting and ending from a Mac laptop my dependency with that company’s products is over for good.
I bet many other so called pro or power users have come along a similar journey so here’s mine. I’m 42 and belong to the group of users who have coded as a kid and used computers all my life for work and fun. From 1980s home computers to modern PCs and all kind of gadgets in between.
The first Apple product I bought must have been the original iPod back in 2001 or that time frame. I started following Apple and considered OS X a winning concept on paper. Unix basis with all the needed desktop apps in a visually nice looking package. Most users were stuck with their PCs and Windows systems which I felt didn’t develop anymore after Windows 2000. Linux sounded great but was not an option for desktop.
The first colleague demoed me his Powerbook (Macbook’s name at the time) back in 2003 and I was sold. After long consideration I went with 12″ Powerlook and never looked back. It was a top notch hardware with the best OS available that just delivered. A no brainer. Apple was on an accelerating road to renaissance in the tech industry and it felt great to be in the forefront.
More Apple hardware and devices followed. I got the Airport Express when it came out and connected my speakers wirelessly over Wifi. This is innovation. New stuff. I got more Apple stuff. Couple more Airports including Airport Extreme where I plugged a harddrive and had a minimal NAS set-up. Another innovation delivered. Then came the big thing. I was among the first wave of guys buying iPhone back when it was released in 2007. Apple stores had still no lines at that time. It needed to be hacked so I could install European SIM card. When it was all set-up it was huge. Groundbreaking innovation right there. Delivered.
Laptops followed after another with 2-3 year cycle. I got a couple of 15″ inches and after that settled with the 13″ line. I had also Apple’s Cinema display from the first version, which I also updated a few times up until the 27″ model. At some point, I think this was in 2011 or so, we had as a secondary home computer an iMac 27″. And of course I had iPod minis and then shuffles’ for running. And yes, the very first iPad as well for kids. It was just great. I was all-in for Apple.
I speculated with many friends at the time who started to gear towards Apple too that every company, ecosystem and platform in the tech business must come down at some point. When would be Apple’s time? It didn’t seem to happen anytime soon though I noticed I got less and less thrilled with each new Apple product update. And somehow it looked like after iPad there was nothing new coming. Just more of the same.
Looking back Apple’s peak in my life came and went without me even properly noticing it. Somehow the peak coincided Steve Jobs’ passing away and the time the company dropped Computer from its name. I got eventually bored with Apple. iPhone4 was my last iPhone from where I switched to Android in 2013. It felt like the innovation platform of the future. I had sold the iMac and Cinema displays already in late 2011 and switched to first DELL and now to LG and ASUS screens. They had more connectors and just overall better features for better money. IPod shuffles broke down and I didn’t get new ones. Now I have a TomTom sports watch which can also play music. The kids used up the iPad and I had cheaper Android tablets to spare. Airport products I switched to Zyxel and ASUS stuff again because they just delivered more.
Why did all this happen?
Back in the day, and we are talking now about 15 years ago, Apple was in the forefront of computers. The company was first and foremost a computer manufacturer. Apple made servers, workstations, laptops and peripherals like screens. iPod was the first new category defining radical device innovation. It delivered on top of Apple’s strengths which were great software & hardware in a nicely designed package. More followed: routers, phones and tablets.
Today Apple is all about highly priced phones, watches and other gadgets sold in masses to middle class families worldwide. Macs and pro users have become a side story. The product categories have shrank based on what sells to the masses. To me Apple looks like a new Mattel or Lego. It is a Toy Company. Delivering modern mediocrity and consumer statistics.
This season was shorter than anything for years. I signed up for Kormu Run but didn’t participate because of schedule conflicts. Went to Länsiväylä for fun and clocked in 1.05:12, which is like 4 minutes away from my best years. Nothing in the summer really. Also my TomTom doesn’t have much training notes to speak of.
Finally came September and Midnight Run. After two weeks of improvised training pulled up 36:16 which I was very happy with. I totally maxed out going 17:51 the first half and then slowly burning towards the end. The main goal was to beat Tuxera lawyer-at-the-time Jussi Honkasalo, which I did with +30 secs gap…
Last week I had a plan to get together with Vane for “the run of the year” but we had to postpone for next week and 2019… The Christmas run was 14K and on the second Christmas day made a 15K in Lahti, which may have been one of the longest of the year, at least in the top 5.
I don’t have any major goals in mind for 2019. Except Red Rock Canyon awaits 10 days from now or so and after that, unless there is NFL or skiing, I might do something in the Bay Area.
I am proudly announcing valimaki.com is back online! I had the site offline for more than a year, which is a really long time on the Internet. Looking back I was only updating the blog section from time to time with mainly running and training related updates. When I started to run less, I posted less. The main page was static and the university stuff I had under org was out of date with no updates. At the same time, since 2014, I had started to tweet more, which was away from blogging. Then something happened and valimaki.com email forward didn’t work at some point in 2017. My old ISP had been sold to a new one and my old, free services were obviously over. I just set-up quickly an email forward elsewhere, reconfigured the name servers for the domain, and let the site go black for a while…
Now, after a bunch of new writing ideas had brewed in my mind for months, I finally took the time and started to get the blog data back together two nights ago. First I didn’t find the old database anywhere in my archives. Started to feel really nervous… Luckily the guys at TNnet helped out and I got a mysql dump of the blog how it looked like when last online. Turned out some malware had hacked into my old WordPress (version 3.1) installation and added all kind of viagra links to most of the posts. Dammit! Browsed options but looks like WordPress cleaning is a business and there are no easy solutions out there. Took me several hours to clean all that crap up with a long run of sql search and replace scripts. Maybe I could do a free service out of those? Well, the spam is gone for now.
The next step was to install a complete WordPress site locally with MAMP. Then figured out how to get the old data up again without another run of spamming. Found that the security hole was most probably in my old theme, which was immediately gone. Settled for the time being with one of the WordPress defaults. When it all looked to work again started the migration to the new ISP.
Decided to set up WordPress as the engine for the whole website. Manually added the most relevant twitter posts from the past few years into the blog so it doesn’t look totally dead. I am now looking at options for future Twitter integration, and looks like WP to Twitter is what I’m going to try next.