Monday, February 26, 2018

Addiction - It's an unfair advantage

"You will never know love like an addict and their vice " -- Anonymous 

I wish I had an elevator pitch that was this concise. Anyone who has spent a small amount of time around me will know I suffer from an addictive personality; hear me out, this is a force of good. 

An "addictive personality" is a colloquial or informal term based on the belief that certain people have a particular set of personality traits that predisposes them to addiction and other problematic behaviors, such as drug abuse or gambling . Although it is a fairly common concept, there is no medical or scientific definition of an "addictive personality" or "addictive personality disorder."
The article goes further to define personality traits that can lead to addiction:

Impulsivity, Sensation-seeking behavior, Negative affect, Negative urgency, Neuroticism, Disagreeableness, Narcissism, Aggression. 

  • Impulsive - Check - although I have learned to keep this in check by slow thinking exercises.
  • Sensation-seeking - Check
  • Narcissism - Depends on which of my ex's you talk to
  • Aggression - I am the most loyal friend a person can have, but god help you if we are enemies. 

Since there is no full DSM / Medical definition for this complex it is left to individuals and their practitioners to decide.

Over the years I have suffered from minor addictions, I am biologically wired for novelty and when I find something I love, nothing stops me from becoming the master of my domain. Sprinkle in a constant struggle with Nicotine addiction and I think I fit the bill moderately well.

So why is this a good thing?

Luckily I know where to draw my lines when it comes to vices and substance and have strict boundaries - if it is unhealthy/damaging and I suspect I will like it, I never try it. Sorry meth, maybe in another life.

Some of my friends who have been on this wild ride with me (life) for a few years will know, I swing in body weight by about 30lbs pretty consistently. Why?  Because of addiction. Whenever I find myself getting back into exercise, I don't just dip a toe in and establish a healthy life style, I go whole-hog. 7 days a week, multiple times a day. It's an unfair advantage, I become addicted. Unfortunately for my waist line, I never end up loving it enough to end up with a new long term addiction.

Oh well that is just the eb and flow of life.

Now lets look at how this affects my professional life?

I love what I do for a living, I don't have children, so for me, work is life. Dare I say it sets me, no no no, we won't say that.

It is just an unfair advantage. You can't be my competitor.

You don't get it, do you? 80 hour work weeks? Unacceptable, the addict in me craves 130 hours. I am never off. You are eating dinner with your family, me? I am snorting lines of Soylent Green while developing a new business plan/piece of technology/method of crushing you.

3AM Saturday - Wake up in middle of night to use the bathroom...
- First thought, lets find that bathroom
- Second thought, did I sleep enough so I can return to my work?

6AM Sunday - Is it to early to start sending emails to employees?

11:45PM Tuesday - Why don't these customers work harder and reply at all hours of the day?

12:15PM Thursday - I can't believe people take lunch so regularly, how can they eat with all this anxiety around returning to their computers.

8:00AM Friday - Oh no, must hurry, half of my contacts vanish in a few hours for something they call the weekend, I just don't get it.

How can you compete against someone who get's a dopamine rush from working every waking hour of the day?

I just don't know how to play and relax. Because playing and relaxing is stressful, I can feel the cortisol levels backing up. This isn't good, it makes me angry, I have to return to my work. Just a small hit, I swear I won't abuse it, just one more bump of this drug called power point, maybe a few quick lines of code. I swear I won't use it all up - OK, maybe my inner narcissist it lying... gimme all those PDFs, and give them to me now.

While you are busy burning out, I am getting high on my own supply. Biggie Smalls got it all wrong.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

iPhone X - Comparison of A1865 vs A1901/A1902

There is a lot of debate over the Qualcomm vs Intel modem versions of the iPhone X (and iPhone 8 AFAIK).

The A1865 contains a Qualcomm CDMA compatible modem, and is typically sold in the USA for Sprint and Verizon customers. You can purchase an unlocked A1865 for Verizon at the Apple store for full price.

The A1901/A1902 contains an Intel modem and supports all networks, sans CDMA providers.

Both the A1865 and A1901/A1902 support all global GSM standards.

So why get the A1865 if you don't need CDMA? Well from my speed tests the Qualcomm performed significantly faster in almost all conditions than the Intel modem. My methods of testing were not super scientific. I purchased both phones, plugged in the same T-Mobile SIM card and tested them each one after the other in locations I commonly sit with no WiFi coverage. All tests were inside of buildings around the Bay Area.

Here are the results:

So there you have it, an in the field comparison of the iPhone X Qualcomm modem vs. the iPhone X Intel modem.

Non-measurable performance differences:
- The iPhone X with Qualcomm seemed to perform drastically better in areas with low reception (1 bar).
- The iPhone X with Intel seems to have a slight advantage on battery. When carrying both of them for a few weeks I found the Qualcomm always ended up slightly lower on battery. Many other reviews online claim the Qualcomm is more energy efficient, esp in bad reception. This does not seem to be the case.
- The iPhone X with Qualcomm modem has a much more stable bluetooth connection. The Intel modem version (like my prior iPhone with Intel modem) has issues with BT audio crackling with my Apple Airpods when in a call (happens randomly for a few seconds per call and then clears up).

Favorite Products

Electronics / Accessories

Best travel computer:

iPad Pro 10.5 256GB + LTE with keyboard cover and Apple Pencil:

Bonus: Add a T-Mobile international sim card for $10 a month - 5GB roll over data a month with free international roaming. Never be without a working computer, no need to chase down wifi. Combined with killer battery life, ability to sign/send documents, hand written notes, and side by side multi tasking. There are few tasks that leave me wishing I had a normal computer/laptop when traveling. Factor in it's size, weight, small cable / charger (same as for phone) and it becomes a no brainier. For those who need to present the Lightening/HDMI cable works brilliantly. 

Bonus: Combine this with a short 1ft Anker Powerline Micro USB cable and Anker High Power Auto Charger for a winning combination

Best iPhone X Case:

PITAKA Carbon Fiber (with rubberized coating) case. Includes embedded magnetic plate for above mount. 

Best Battery Pack:

Aukey 20,000mAh Pack with 3 outputs (USB A) and 3 inputs (Micro, Lightning, USB-C)

Best Chargers:
I usually take one of each - The mini charger will do 2.4 amps (I have tested) of total power, this is actually more than the 10w iPad charger. These are almost as small as the included Apple iPhone charger. With international travel it isn't uncommon to only have one good outlet to use to setup a charging station, so I keep the big charger (iPad, iPhone, Battery pack, iWatch) but usually try to weasel one of these guys in near the bed with a long (7ft) iPhone cable. 

My current electronic travel kit:

Inside of a BAGSMART Travel Universal Cable Organizer Electronics Accessories
1 x Anker PowerLine Micro USB 3ft
1 x Anker PowerLine Lightning Cable - MFi Certified 1ft (usually used on plane or in backpack with battery pack)
1 x 1 M iWatch Cable
2 x British Style Plug Adapters (in universal international sockets, these usually stay plugged in best)
3 x random others - usually used as risers out of deep surge bar sockets.