Soemarko Ridwan

iOS & Web Developer ⟡ Coffee Addict ⟡ Scuba Diver


On Money
On Money

Upon returning from my scuba trip to Raja Ampat, what I normally do is editing the clips and compile them into one-minute video for my instagram. While doing that, I like to catch-up on my youtube, I played them on my iPad as a background. But one of the recent video from Casey Neistat caught my attention.

The whole 10-min video can be sum up by a single line from Kanye’s Good Life;

Having money's not everything and not having it is.

This really resonates with me at this moment, as I mentioned on my yearly theme post; I’ve been coasting with my past income for awhile now, but now it’s time too aim for more stability especially in terms of income. Again, this is my year of adulting.

Being a digital nomad is current new hotness. I’ve been a subscriber to /r/digitalnomad for awhile now. It seems like an ideal situation for me. I’ll have most of the flexibility I’ve been having for awhile now, but I’ll also have a stable income. And even more stable than most, cause having dollars as income will shield me from the instability of Rupiah, along with the shoddy political climate we’re having right now.

So, up next is me putting my past projects here on this site so it can be both my portfolio and CV. Then apply to tons of companies that accepts nomad developers. Let’s see if not having a Linked-in profile will actually bite me in the ass.

Wish me luck!



Clean -- New bludit theme
Clean -- New bludit theme

It is done. Believe it or not, I made it live, here. It was done within like 3 hours. I simplified and removed a lot of things and dependencies. I always hated the way the old one always slightly off to the side. I've spent too much time fighting with the percentage width and scaling it with css @media queries. And it never looked right.

So here, a back to basic theme, single column view with no stupid / magical CSS or JS. It'll look right on any devices without needing any kind of magic on it. You can also use this theme. It is released under MIT. So please, use it, change it, do whatever you like with it.


Hello 2019 or My Yearly Theme
Hello 2019 or My Yearly Theme

December 2018 was a heck of the month. Got married on the 1st of December, then we went diving in Alor a few days after the wedding. Then we went on 3 weeks trip to Australia, no diving though, which was a bummer but diving there was super expensive and pretty far out from other touristy stuff except for Great Barrier Reef (which sadly, mostly are already dead). That said, the trip was super fun, you should caught glimpses of our trips if you follow my instagram.

Now, I’ve caught up on my podcasts. I’m a fan of CGP Grey videos ever since his coffee video, so I also subscribed to all of his podcasts. The most recent episode of Cortex, they discuss about their past and current yearly theme. Which is cool and all but what clicks for me on this episode is the idea about project. I always thought of project as this one big thing to dedicated some time into doing it. Turns out, something as simple as a blog post can be a project. For some reason, I never thought of it that way. This will totally change my way of thinking about what I considered being productive, and how I approach my future projects.

On to my theme for 2019, I’m just going to steal iMyke past theme, this is my year of adulting. Though I have a different meaning for it. Getting married was his adulting, mine will be focusing on being a husband and in the future, a father. A main provider for my family. I’ve made good bets in the past that let me coasts for awhile, but it won’t last much longer especially now we have scuba as a hobby, and it definitely not enough to send my future kids through college.

And I have so many projects in line right now. New template for this tiny blog of mine. “Mini” apps (more on this in the near future). Blog posts. Many many ideas. Forewarned, I may write many incoherent posts (even less so than in the past), since this is my brain dumping ground. Technically I only need the posts to make sense for me, but my attempt at explaining my approach to the projects will solidify and make the ideas more grounded and way more realistic.

So, happy new year, folks!



Yoga apps quick comparison
Yoga apps quick comparison

I’m getting back into yoga for two main reason, I want to improve my air consumption underwater, and more importantly, I want to shape my body further away from looking like a potato. I used to take yoga classes while I’m still paying for a gym membership. The gym is gone, and I don’t feel like joining another.

So, I start hunting for apps. After a quick search, 3 apps bubble to the top. I scratched out apps that are just showing images of yoga poses, push the one that charge money up front further down. I’m looking for yoga class at home.

  1. Yoga Studio (iOS & Android): after free installation, every button in the app just ask you to subscribe to their membership programs. There is 7-day free trial, but that’ll kick in after you commit to a subscription fee of $96 /year. So I just skip this one, the free is a lie.
  2. FitStar Yoga (iOS only): the only app I saw that gives completely free classes, but it is limited to one class a week. Personally, I’m not a fan of their classes. Not a fan of their music choices, it sounds like those techno electronic songs in gyms. They seem to focus more on poses and positions rather than flow and breathing. Also the app isn’t updated for iPhone X screen, really?! It’s been more than a year. The premium version costs $40 / year.
  3. Down Dog (iOS, Android, & Web): Vinyasa yoga classes. Highly recommended all over the net, including /r/yoga. While some reviews mentioned that it can be used totally free, this is no longer true. You can use it for 3 classes without any commitment, but after that you need to pay $20 / year subscription fee. The classes are quite brilliantly generated every time. Great flow along with some breathing guidance. Good music picks and we have some options to pick the types of music too. Another thing going for Down Dog app, there is a web app version. I’ve been using the web version ever since I’ve paid for the pro account.

That said, I really recommend you to join introductory classes before committing to doing yoga via app or youtube vids. It’s better to have an instructor to teach the most basic stuff rather than going in totally blind. Also youtube is a terrible way to do yoga from home, the pace will go all over the place from videos to videos, and you’ll spend like hours to look for the class you’ll actually like.


Insight into new Gmail

From a googler;

Am a googler (hence throwaway account) & I can easily tell you why this shit keeps happening! Google featureless ZERO penalties for fucking shit up! Zero! Do you know what the people who wasted two years on Allo got after it was canned? Nothing! Some of them actually got promoted!

Google GREATLY encourages “launches” - releasing something publicly. And keep in mind - no penalties if the shit is half baked, not working, only works on chrome, or some such nonsense! This is the norm! Why? Promotion. You cannot get promoted beyond a certain level in this place unless you “launch” something big.

So what do you get when you add of all these perverse incentives? Nine thousand, eight hundred, and eighty-three chat apps, and a never-ending chain of redesigns and relaunches so some people can get promoted. Do you know how many bugs you need to fix to get promoted? Infinity. No matter how many you fix, it will never get you enough “impact” for promotion. Never.

How many useless redesigns do you need to launch to get promoted? ONE!

Extra fun: people internally usually warn about this shit, complain about it, file bugs about shitty performance, etc. It is ALL ignored. Most people who’ve been here for over a few years have given up filing bugs even. Because the reply is always the same: “you’re not the target audience”! And we all know it! We all do! Some quit when they realize it, others just begin optimizing for promotion as opposed to optimizing for what is good for the user or the company. And this is how you get new gmail, for example.

TBH, I’m not a fan of the old Gmail either. Gmail is good for two things, and that’s hosting and searching emails. Use your preferred email client to access your Gmail accounts. And yeah, Gmail app sucks too. I was a fan and bought Sparrow early on, but fucking Google bought it, and pull it off the AppStore.

I was doomed for a bit after the death of Sparrow, back to Apple Mail app. Yes, Mail.app is still better than Gmail. Now, I’m very happy with Spark on both Mac and iOS. It’s practically Sparrow if it hadn’t been bought by Google and kept on being developed until today.


On The 2018 iPad Pro
On The 2018 iPad Pro

Many reviews are out, but I think this twitter thread by Matthew Panzarino hit the nail right on the head;

… it’s great - almost there - but simple things still require gymnastics to pull off.

You’ll be trundling along and then someone will send you a zip file or a download link and all of the sudden you’re caught in an outward spiral of apps, services and extensions trying to just get the files onto your machine for you to use and then into your project.

It’s going to further into becoming a laptop. So I’m gonna hold off upgrading my iPad and keep on using this 2015 MacBook Pro and the old Mac Mini (I don’t remember which year, it’s too old). I might upgrade the Mini if I have to, but I kinda don’t want to. The new Mini is pricey.

Once Xcode is available on iPad Pro, many of those issues above should be gone. By then, it should have a proper solution for looking up docs and pulling codes out of git repos. Working with fonts, images, icons, and other assets. It will then be the perfect iPad Pro for me.