Jared White
Writer. Musician. Open Web Advocate. Programmer. Designer. Sci-Fi Nerd. Family Man.

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Projects

(Here's what I'm up to around the web…)

Simple Praxis

Essays which echo the broader movement of progressive Christian writers and thought leaders—heralding a return to the empire-challenging social justice movement which was the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry and of his disciples.

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INTERSECT

Published by my web software company Whitefusion, INTERSECT features articles about supporting the open web, security & privacy, UI/UX, and Ruby programming.

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Yarred

My alter ego as a producer of synthwave, chillout, and thematic electronica. Yarred combines cutting-edge DJ-style live groove production with classic keyboard playing on analog and digital synthesizers.

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Podcast

(The latest from The Jared White Show…)

The Jared White Show

The Year of the Personal Cloud

In this episode, Jared gives a detailed rundown of all of the big commercial internet services he's replaced with open source, self-hosted software that he controls himself. Why would anyone want to do this? Three words: privacy, security, and network health. Just as biologists know that an ecosystem with a large amount of organism diversity is more resilient to environmental pressures, the internet is more resilient to negative forces when software and content is distributed and spread across the network (instead of consolidated under the thumb of a few big corporations or governments). Save the open web by switching to your own "personal cloud."

Player & Show Notes

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Posts

 
Jared White

So much of internet discourse ends up:

  • I believe in Position A! You people are wrong!
  • I believe in Position B! You people are wrong!
  • Well, I believe in the One True Position, which of course is C. You people are both wrong!

I wish more people would instead speak up and say:

  • I appreciate interesting observations from people who believe Positions A, B, C, and beyond. Let’s celebrate this conversation and sharing of ideas!

(And if you disagree with me, you are, of course, WRONG! 🤣)

Jared White

iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro: How to choose the best iPad for your needs and budget

Apple has introduced new versions of the iPad Air and the iPad mini, plus it’s removed one of the iPad Pros. This leaves the lineup ranging from $329 to $999 for the just the base models, but it’s also made the buying decision a little more involved. AppleInsider explains how to balance getting the most features for your budget.

This is an excellent overview of the current state of Apple’s iPad lineup, now that there’s a refreshed iPad mini along with a resurrected iPad Air (!) with a larger 10.5” screen which makes it feel more akin to the previous-generation 10.5” iPad Pro.

Both of the new models feature laminated True Tone displays, which is awesome, and they also support the Apple Pencil (1st-gen). Having Pencil support now in the iPad mini is actually a great update for people who are fans of the tiny form factor for note-taking on the go. I also applaud Apple for not skimping on the base storage. 64GB is a great starting size for the iPad.

I feel like it’s weird the now-very-out-of-date entry-level iPad is still a thing. I would have expected it to get a price drop or something. At this point, I couldn’t in all good conscience recommend anyone buy it, unless it’s for bulk purposes such as in the education sector. Otherwise, either the new iPad Air or iPad mini would be a fantastic tablet to get if you don’t need the extra power, size, and utility of the iPad Pro.

Jared White

The Elusive Byzantine Empire

Though the beginnings of the Byzantine Empire are unclear, its demise is not. The history of the Eastern Roman Empire, from its foundation in 324 to its conquest in 1453, is one of war, plague, architectural triumphs and fear of God’s wrath.

Like most Americans I suspect, my general knowledge of Western European history—particularly the British Isles—is far more robust than what little I learned about the East. I knew about Constantinople and the fractured relationship the Byzantine Empire had with the West…first after the initial schism of the Roman Empire, and then at times following the fall of Rome and subsequent rise of the various “barbarian” nation-states in the West. But other than those broad strokes, nothing. This essay by Dionysios Stathakopoulos is a fantastic overview, and it whets my appetite to dive into further study of Byzantine history and culture.

Jared White

Well this year is shaping up to be one in which I use a Linux command line more than I have in any other year prior. Largely for practical reasons, yes, but I must admit I’m kind of turning into a Unix nerd and I’m not ashamed to admit it. 🤓

Jared White

Gitea - Git with a cup of tea

Gitea is a painless self-hosted Git service. It is similar to GitHub, Bitbucket, and Gitlab. The goal of this project is to provide the easiest, fastest, and most painless way of setting up a self-hosted Git service. With Go, this can be done with an independent binary distribution across all platforms and architectures that Go supports. This support includes Linux, macOS, and Windows, on architectures like amd64, i386, ARM, PowerPC, and others.

My latest fun geek project in my ongoing quest to use self-hosted, libre #openweb apps as much as possible is installing Gitea on a DigitalOcean server. I’ve used either Bitbucket or GitHub for hosting all my code repositories (including this #website), but I’m planning to transfer them over to my own Gitea-powered server going forward. The great thing is, Netlify (which I use to publish static sites) supports custom Git servers. Simply install the SSH key they provide, add a webhook to your repository settings on Gitea, and it just works! I’m a happy camper.

Jared White

One of my favorite #synthmusic artists is Jerome Froese, formerly of Tangerine Dream fame. He joined the group at the end of the 80s during a period of tremendous stylistic and technological change. His father Edgar originally founded TD in the late 60s, so you can imagine twenty years later there was much that was different about the “vibe” of the band (much to the chagrin of many long-time fans).

Nevertheless, I would argue and few would deny that one of the big highlights of 90s-era TD was the Dream Mixes series, principally composed and spearheaded by Jerome. Of this series, DM II is probably my favorite. It’s a heady blend of techno, drum&bass, chill, world fusion, and other styles that got big in the 90s, yet with an overall depth and sensibility that evokes the greatness of classic Berlin School electronica.

Jerome has released a newly remastered 2019 edition of Dream Mixes II, and I highly recommend it. I’m listening to it right now, and it sounds fabulous.

Jared White

512 Pixels: Dashboard

Steve Jobs pitched widgets as mini-apps that let you look up a quick bit of information without ruining your workflow or train of thought. They allowed for quick interactions. They were present when you needed them, and disappeared when you didn’t.

This is an oldie but goodie from 2016, in which Stephen Hackett breaks down the origins of Dashboard: a feature which first came to macOS in the days of 10.4 “Tiger”—and with it a suprisingly robust set of enhancements to the web itself (because Dashboard widgets were actually miniature web pages!).

I’m sharing this because I would really like to see a 2019 take on Dashboard for the Mac, but even more than that, I would love to see an iOS-variant of this concept come to the iPad this year. I relish the thought of dedicating my iPad home screen to a variety of widgets. Maybe the widgets that are already available in the Today View could be expanded upon visually and worked into a more freeform Dashboard-like concept. At any rate, even though Dashboard itself is legacy technology barely holding on for dear life, I think the concept continues to have merit and deserves a modern overhaul for both Mac and iOS.

Jared White

I was messing around with ZenBrush on my new iPad Pro and this emerged. I apologize in advance to any Chinese calligraphy experts out there…I have no idea what I’m doing! This is supposed to say “Serenity.” Hopefully I didn’t botch it completely. Anyway, ZenBrush is an amazing app. (This is straight out of the device—it’s not actually a canvas hanging up in an art gallery! 😲) #iPadPro #creativity

Jared White

Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog

A decade ago, blogging was a big deal. Web users would bookmark the sites of the blogs they liked, and would check them frequently. Sometimes you’d even subscribe to a blogger’s mailing list to be notified of a new post.

Then came Facebook, and increased centralization of content on the internet. This included sites like Medium, which aggregate and curate writers’ content, and then sell it to readers behind a paywall.

David Heinemeier Hansson’s had enough. The web developer, bestselling author and the CTO of popular project-management software company Basecamp has decided to take his popular blog, Signal v. Noise, off Medium. He’s started publishing it on his own site, for free. And yes, you can sign up for his mailing list, too.

I was very skeptical of the move to Medium when Signal v. Noise first jumped on that platform, so I’m super excited to see this classic blog from the Basecamp folks return to full independence. I love the new design as well.

Also, as someone who really, truly dislikes long tweetstorms (honestly, if you have more tweets to convey a singular thought than you can count on one hand, start a blog!), I can’t welcome this trend wholeheartedly enough.

#writing #openweb


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