Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks (review)

Three Weeks With My Brother is a beautiful memoir written by American Writer Nicholas Sparks who is probably most known as the author of the books that are the base for movies like The Notebook, Message in the Bottle, The Chance. There of course exists more movies based on his books but those three are the ones I actually saw.

This was a great read. It evoked many emotions while reading: joy, sadness, amazement. The novel is about his travel around the world in 2002 with his brother Micah and as we learn at the end of the book, his only remaining relative of nuclear family of 3 kids. On a travel the brothers often reminiscent about their past and how close they were all the time – growing up, interacting with parents and their very tragic family side of the story. I enjoyed reading about brothers’ adventures when they were young, I’ve enjoyed reading about their wonderful mom and her philosophy (“No one ever said life was fair”, “What you wish and what you get a two entirely different things”, “It’s your life + some socially comment”). Also when the author was describing past events he looked and offered explanation to why they were as they were with the eyes of adult and a parent (simple example, as a middle child he didn’t get attention like his older brother or younger sister but looking back as a parent he knows that attention doesn’t equal love). Comments like that also made me thing about myself and my past.

Three Weeks With My Brother was recommended to me by my mom. Now we are even since I’ve also recommended a book she enjoyed (All the light we cannot see). 🙂

Translated text doesn’t show up on site (when using WPML)

At current job I have a chance to work with WPML plugin which provides a multilingual capabilities to a WordPress site. I’m really impressed by it since it can translate everything I stumbled upon to translate. There was only one gotcha I spent more time resolving than I should’ve (or my bosses would’ve allowed :D).

The problem

Site uses child theme where a parent theme is a premium theme that gets updates often. There I wanted to translate footer text (copyright information), went to WPML’s “String translation” settings page, found the particular string and translated it to chosen languages. Translations are saved but aren’t showed on the site.

Searching for solution

I read a lot of WPML support forum threads, many of them multiple times. The first take according to support forum was to dig into advanced part of “String translation” – by selecting “Translate text on admin screens”, finding the key named after premium’s theme name and than trying to check the option this particular text is saved to. But alas the option was already checked. And to add more to confusion, the text was different than in a footer.

Solution

Fast forward couple of hours I tried spontaneously searching the option name under the key name of a child theme. And voila, there was an unchecked option with value that is displayed on the site.

Why it was hard to find the reason I think it’s also because some translated text under the key of a premium theme name were visible, but others were not.

Downsides of reading e-books

I’ve been wanting to write a post about downsides of reading e-books on my Kindle for a long time. For me there isn’t almost any. But recently I have found a big one.

I don’t miss holding physical book in my hands and how much space they take if you own couple of them. I don’t miss smell of it (my sense of smell is poor anyway). But I do miss the the ability to see immediately how many pages a book contains.

For example, as it turned out I’m now reading 850-page long book. It’s The Charm School by Nelson DeMille and I started to read it because I’m sad The Americans has ended after 6 seasons. I discovered book in Barnes and Noble’s blog post Instead of Watching That, Read This. The series’ and book’s concepts are very similar. I predict I’ll finish it in 2 months.

First impressions of ASUS X540UV

Yesterday a new laptop arrived at home. It’s a budget one and I spotted a pretty good deal with 90 € off. I’ve decided for a purchase because the previous has been acting funny recently with on and off weird issues with display. It still works and does the job but with external monitor pluged-in. So it has became a stationary one which defeats the purpose of laptops.

The first think I observed was the lightness of a package. ASUS X540UV uses SSD and no DVD unit drive which lowers the total weight to 2 kilogams.

Next are ports: it has 3 for USB, 1 for HDMI, memory card and sound. Those are all on the left side. On the right side there’s nothing. The only thing I miss a little is a Ethernet port because it could come in handy from a time to time.

I have a little experiences with upgrading hardware components in a laptop (RAM) so I checked on a YouTube how would one open a laptop with similar internal design. Compared to my previous laptop, I have to say it’s less convenient. My previous laptop only required you to unscrew two screws and remove only a part of bottom surface to be able to add additional RAM but with the new one you have to remove the whole bottom surface and internally you have to unscrew some component, flip it, add RAM and repeat the process in reverse order. I decided not to do this myself since it’s not a pressing issue – my previous laptop had only 4 GB but new one has 8 GB.

On MobX Redux dilemma

In my experiences using MobX as a state management library produces less code and lets you get things done quicker (two-folded knife!) but with Redux you get a lot of stuff for free – most notable is scalable approach to architecture and maintenance of web applications.

I personally prefer Redux also because it’s functional like React which puts a lot of emphasize on functional stateless components and it makes me feel like a JavaScript developer. While that means it’s more verbose, it contains minimal abstraction and thus is easier to debug.