More Notes on Changing Behaviour

I wrote up a post this morning on micro-behaviours, triggers and rewards. Later on I was checking out Hacker News when I stumbled on this post by Alex Coleman, on how to get stuff done. Both posts refer to the same original work by Dr Fogg on micro-behaviours. In my post I emphasize using “triggers” to trigger the new habit, which may be an existing habit or environmental cue. In Alex's post, he puts a lot of emphasis on setting up a routine or schedule. The time itself becomes the trigger.

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Micro-Behaviors, Triggers and Rewards

I watched this TED talk video on changing behaviour a few days ago, which really inspired me to take a more structured approach to developing a new positive habit. The key points of the video are that in order to affect long-term behavior change, you need to have a trigger – some habit that you already have, or an environmental queue that you can chain the new behavior from. You also need to make the new behavior as easy to do as possible. You want to associate a “micro-behavior” with your trigger – something that can easily become a habit, but that you can later expand to fully incorporate the new habit you are trying to achieve. Finally, you need to reward yourself in some way every time you do the micro-behavior.

Installing CyanogenMod on a Nexus 7

Yesterday I installed CyanogenMod on my 2012 Nexus 7. I decided to do this because I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we will all be using our computing technology in the next few years. I think that we will be carrying around our smart phones and tablets, and using these as our main computing devices – but projecting the screens to the nearest large display. This appeals a lot to me as a developer, but basically I won’t be happy unless I have a Unix prompt.

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Problems with iPhone 5S and a Virgin SuperHub

Ever since I’ve had my iPhone 5S, I’ve had problems with the wifi on my 120 MB Virgin SuperHub. Quite often the phone fails to connect to sites, or the wifi connection drops out. I’ve even tried re-installing iOS to see if it was a corrupt operating system (as the “Genius” at the Genius Bar suggested).

It turns out that going into the wireless settings of the Virgin SuperHub and changing the “Wireless Band” parameter from 2.4GHz to 5GHz, with a channel setting of “Auto Compatability” fixed my problem.

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iPad to iPhone Tethering Issues

The past few days I've been bringing in my new WIFI-only iPad and trying to use it tethered to my iPhone 5. It's been a frustrating experience so far. I've found that it works OK when the iPad is first tethered to the iPhone, but shortly thereafter the internet connection seems to drop out on the iPad, even though the iPhone is still reporting it to be connected OK.

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Mobile Tethering

I finally moved my cellular provider from O2 to Three, because Three has an unlimited data + tethering plan. So far it’s been working really well. I brought in my wireless-only Nexus 7 to BNP Paribas’ office today, tethered it to my iPhone, and been able to access my email, notes, and other online services quite well. My Nexus 7 is paired with an Apple Wireless Keyboard, and it actually makes a very usable environment.

The Technological Arms Race and the Middle Class

Over the last few days there’s been some rumblings in the blogosphere about whether technology will or won’t destroy the middle class.

There was this piece in the Washington Post by James Bessen arguing that although there might be short-term disruption, there will be plenty of work in the future for the middle class.

This was countered by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones who argues that you can hardly compare the technological changes that have happened in the past, with what is currently happening with regards to computing.
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Using my phone as desktop

I am experimenting at the moment with using my phone as my primary computing device. I think that this is the future. There are phones coming out (hello iPhone 5s) with remarkably powerful processors. We can connect our phones to a bluetooth keyboard at the moment. The next step is to be able to send the display through to a nearby screen.

The good news is that there should be an exponential increase in the need for iOS and Android programmers.