Saturday, December 20, 2014

Upgraded to HTC One M8

I upgraded my phone from the original HTC One to the HTC One M8, which was a really clear choice because I just loved the HTC One, but unfortunately this is what mine looked like eventually:


It still works, if you want it for parts!

The M8 is exactly what I was looking for. It feels familiar, like holding a softer edged version of my One that fixes a few of a rare complaints I had, mostly around the purple-tinted sapphire lens camera. This is the first time I have replaced an Android phone without being frustrated by the performance of the previous. My HTC G1 (the first Android phone) and my LG G2 X (the supposed successor flagship) were both great phones when I got them and I still have both, in various levels of “working condition”, but they both showed signs of age as newer and newer applications ran sluggishly or refused to run at all on their dated hardware.

Android hardware skyrocketed for the first few years, but I think we’ve seen it taper off now, and that’s a good thing.

So these days I can buy a phone and just select it based on factors that don’t have much to do with the hardware, because all of it is pretty great. Its hard to buy a bad Android phone these days if you aren’t some kind of hardcode mobile gamer.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Handmade Hero



Handmade hero looks like an amazing project.

If you're a long time game developer, new to it, or develop in some other discipline I think you have to respect the goals Casey has laid out for himself here. Developing an old style game from scratch live every weeknight is both a wonderful personal project and a beautiful piece of art.

Check it out!

Codex Vitae

I've come across Buster Benson's attempt at a Codex Vitae, which he got from Robin Sloan's Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and I'm hooked. This is an idea that has come to me on its own, and I've made some personal attempts at it. But having a name for it, seeing others pick up the idea, it makes it feel more validated and more real.

I am not sure what form my own Codex Vitae will take. Will it be public or private? Will I update it ad hoc or develop some rules around when and what to update? What topics are on and off the table for it? But I've got literally the rest of my life to figure that out.

A project I can't finish until the moment I die? This is kind of perfect for me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Days 9-16

My NaNoWriMo attempt will not complete during the competition dates, but that doesn't mean I count it a failure. Most days I'm getting some words in, some days only a hundred or two and others a couple thousand. I keep at it, and I keep solving problems in my attempt to tell the story before me.

I won't win NaNoWriMo, but I will finish my novel. That's the thing I care about. NaNoWriMo is a great event and I hope to win one day, but right now what it represents for me is a springboard towards my dream of finishing and publishing a novel. I'm not going to let that same inspiration be a weight that drags me down, so not completing my 50,000 words before the end of this month isn't a failure. It is just the reality of finishing this novel.

The truth is, if I don't, it isn't about what I did or didn't do today. The larger factor is how rusty and out of touch I am with writing. It takes practice, like any skill, and I am woefully lacking in that practice. This novel, of course, is providing just that. And I'll continue to practice beyond the month of November. I'll practice by finishing this book no matter how long it takes. I'll practice by writing short stories that fit on a page when they strike me. I'll practice by telling stories that fall into a dozen or two pages when I need to tell them. I'll practice when revise my drafts and turn them into something better and learn from my mistakes.

I won't give up.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Days 7-8

Day 7 I took a deliberate break, as a gamble. I was feeling some strain and I needed to show myself that I can take a break when I need it, so I spent the evening watching a movie with my son (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) instead of writing that evening.

I decided to catch up starting this weekend, but slowly instead of trying to do enormous days that would just kill me. 2000 words a day is enough to catch up over the next week without pushing myself too hard, and I do think I can do that. I did 2200 words on November 8th, and they were good words and a scene I was happy with. I'm feeling good.

There are a lot of questions about how to get through some of the "rising action" that needs to happen between now and the planned summit of my story, but I'm feeling ever more confident that I can get there. Not just that I can get there, but that I can get there through an engaging story that someone might enjoy reading. I'm really feeling good about this.

So, plans can change. You need to adapt if what you're doing isn't working. Writing advice from a recent NaNoWriMo update is very fitting.
It is not important that you stay the same writer you are now
I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.