JQL Group By

So part of my gig is playing with JIRA.  And if you want to query you can use JQL to perform queries.  Sounds promising except JQL really isn't that powerful at all.  It's almost a misnomer to call it a 'Query Language' in my book.  More of a 'Query Tool.'

A 'Language' would imply that a user can do functions on the data and you really cannot do that unless you want to pay for a plugin.  I don't.

My issue was that I want to see which open items each member of the team has at a particular point in time.  Sounds straightforward except that there's no Group By or Count function available natively.

So what I did was add a 'Favorite Filters' widget on my home screen and then created filters for each team member.  The real bonus was it shows the number of Unresolved Issues.  The only real trick was filtering out things like Stories and Epics which don't need to be tracked.


My Current DVD Rip Process

So I'm ripping a few DVDs so that I can share them via iTunes (on my iPad, iPhone and via AppleTV.)

This is pretty trivial but I figured I'd outline it in case somebody else wants to give it a shot.

Using Homebrew I install both MakeMKV and Handbrake.  (Yes, I know I could probably use ffmpeg for the second part or the Handbrake CLI but whatever.)

The first step is to rip the DVD using MakeMKV which creates an MKV file.  Load the DVD and in MakeMKV click on the DVD drive and give it time to scan.  Once that's done you can then click on the 'Make MKV' icon in the upper right and let it do its work.

The second step is where I get hung up.  MKV is a fine format but it's not great for the Apple ecosystem.  What you need to do is get the video remuxed to h.264 and the audio to AAC format.  I was playing around with ffmpeg for what felt like entirely too long so I just opened up Handbrake, select the file and ripped it to the best format based on the source.  Since these weren't HD and they were native at 720 and around 30 fps that's what I converted them to.

I then copied the finished file into iTunes.  Once there they tend to show up in 'Home Movies.'  I clicked on the 'Get Info' and updated them with the movie title, director, cover art, even added a short description for a couple of them and changed the type from 'Home Movie' to 'Movie.'

Now when I'm in AppleTV with home sharing on I can see all of the movies that I've ripped that I'm sharing from my iMac.  I even tweaked the Home Sharing so I can see which computer things are being shared from.

Homebrew for Mac

If you have a Mac computer then you need Homebrew.  I can't state this enough.  At this point it's one of those things I install right after I get my iCloud identity logged in.  It's that critical.

What it is is a package manager which is a fancy way of saying application installer.

You run it via a simple command line:
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

It will basically run some scripts to you get you going.  There are plenty of resources on the net about things you'll need to do like getting Xcode Command Line Utilities installed - which you'll need for some of the packages you'll want to build.

You can then extend the functionality by installing Cask as well via the command:
brew tap caskroom/cask

So instead of going to a webpage and downloading an installer and having to drag an icon to your Applications folder, you can simply type something like...
brew cask install google-chrome

And that's it.

Periodically you'll want to check your stuff.  There are two handy commands for this.
brew update to update packages and brew doctor to make sure things are hunky dory.  And then occasionally you'll want to run brew cleanup to delete any out of date files.

So if I find a utility or application that I want to use I try to install it via homebrew and if it's not in the main repository I can then check to see if it's in the cask.  FWIW, if it's a graphical application it's usually in Cask and not in the Main Homebrew repo so things like GiMP or MakeMKV are in Cask.

I've played around with Macports and Fink but find Homebrew way easier to use.  As always, YMMV.



My youngest, who is now nine, watched Jaws for the first time last night. A couple of years ago I had her older sister watch it. 
The youngest asked why she had to watch. It's obviously a scary movie. 
I told her there were two reasons. First, I want them to learn how to get past fear - the oldest swore she wouldn't get into the ocean again after watching the movie but was in the water the next day. The second reason is it's an awesome movie. Just terrific. 
The younger one kept pointing out which gore looked fake and "that blood totally wasn't real." I think she was amused more than scared which, based on her personality, makes sense. 
I love having them for the week at the shore. They love the beach and ocean. And I love that they love it. 


Words are interesting

I love etymology. Not enough to be a philologist, but enough to be dangerous. Half the problems with words is determining intent, i.e. how the word was used.

Truth is, most words have more than one meaning and even certain types of words, say nouns, frequently get modified into verbs or gerundives.

With Ancient Greek it gets real tricky since one word can have hundreds of meanings. Take logos for example. It can mean word or book or Scripture or letter or...well you get the point.

So I'm googling some stuff around mood and the like and I see it ultimately comes from a Greek word, orge, which means anger. I then start to wonder if it's also the root of orgy. It turn out that orgy is associated with ergo, meaning to work, i.e. to work into a state of frenzy. Originally, it meant a singing and dancing festival for the gods that was fairly revelrous. But the o at the beginning of the word...

What I figure is that orgy was a combination of ergo, to work, and orge, full of mood possibly strongly and you literally have 'work up a mood.' Neat.


Playing with P Mode

So I dabble in photography. I have a pretty nice dSLR and an extremely solid point and shoot along with my iPhone which can be handy and take a surprisingly good picture in a pinch.