A year offline

Paul Miller, talking about his year offline and what he experienced when he “reconnected” with the Internet and Social Media.

iMac on the Fritz

After six and a half years of heavy use, my main computer, a mid-2011 27″ iMac, is on the Fritz.

It is currently unclear if it is the graphics card itself, some related hardware, or just a worn cable. Maybe I am gonna be surprised and it is something completely different. What annoys me most is that it could be related to an call-back from 2014. I did not notice the re-call at the time and it apparently expired in 2014 (that is the reason why it is only available in the WayBack Machine).

I already emailed a local authorised service provider. Once I hear back from them, I will bring it in to get an analysis and a quote. Based on that, I will see what my options are.

Update (Feb 2018)

Thanks to a good friend I was able to disassemble the iMac and extract the graphics card. We put it in the oven and baked it for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. We cleaned the iMac, replaced the thermal paste and reassembled the iMac again.

And what do you know, it worked again! It works for the last couple of months and I guess as long as I dont use it daily again it will work fine. I make sure that it does not get over 45 C for longer periods of time and hope that in doing that, I can extend it’s life even further.

iPhone 8 Plus

When Apple first announced this year’s new phones, I immediately wanted to go for the iPhone X. I was instantly sold on the idea of having an almost bezel-free OLED display, combined with the latest technology and one of the best chipsets on the market. And wireless charging? Please sign me up!

This morning though, I ordered an iPhone 8 Plus with 64 GB of memory.

After the initial excitement of the event was gone, and the usual euphoric hype on all media and social channels had faded, I started having doubts about my first assessment. People were talking about the weird placement of the notch, about the security of Face ID and the gorgeous, but very new OLED display.

In addition, I found that not only the prices for iPhones in Europe had sky-rocketed, but also the price for Apple Care+ had been steeply increased — even more so in Europe and Germany.
All these factors, combined with this excellent tech comparison changed my mind. The iPhone 8 fulfils all my needs and is a huge improvement over my battered, but sturdy, iPhone 5s.

It is the conservative choice. Let the early adopters battle with the UX changes, the new hardware, and the new authentication system. Instead of getting the “Point Zero Release”, I will wait for the next one. The one where all kinks have been worked out.


We in the IT industry in general, and me in particular, very much like to complain. A lot. The recent iPhone release, and the expected price increase, helped me quite a bit to deflate my head and return a bit closer to Earth.

I am in a remarkably privileged situation. I am very lucky, very fortunate, to be able to think about spending many people’s monthly net salary on a phone, a technical gadget, without restricting myself, or limiting other expenses in any way.

I am not a fan of any religion, so “Thank God” is out of the question. But I am thankful, very much so indeed.