Weekend Coding – Session A (Audio Version)

This is the audio-only version of a video that I’m currently waiting for YouTube to process called Weekend Coding. This is my attempt at archiving my “developmental evolution”. I’m not intending it to be for entertainment purposes but if you do like it, that’s cool.

This session starts with some musings on my qualifications as a bedroom coder. Then I move into analysis of the code that I’m writing (Android using IntelliJ). There are tracks playing in the background from Jamendo and those tracks are referenced on the SoundCloud page for this.

Once YouTube decides to let me have control over the video, I’ll post a link here as well.

Musings

I do have a lot going on in life right now. I’m in the process of finding and moving into a new apartment and the new job is very much the definition of full-time. So for those few small instances where I find myself with nothing to do, I really just don’t want to do anything but sit for a while.

I had one of those instances last night and decided to relinquish the sitting in silence and instead make a trip to the local GameStop. One of those trips where you know you shouldn’t be doing it but you’re going to anyway because it’s your feeble act of defiance against the decadence of life. My targets were quite simple: a used/new PSP and The 3rd Birthday.

To qualify these targets a bit, you’d have to first understand that I’m a massive Parasite Eve whore. Pretty much anyone who knows me will figure that out at some point. So I’ve followed the series along quite closely for years. I can’t count how many times I’ve played through the first game. The second one was a bit strange compared to the first but it was still good. It just didn’t have that captivating factor to me (maybe because the composer for the score was different?).

The unfortunate thing about this was right before T3B was released, I parted ways with my original PSP for the sake of moving money around and never replaced it. So T3B was released and I only glimpsed footage on trailers or YouTube. A friend of mine once had T3B but I wasn’t in the right mindset to try and enjoy it; playing games like those, for me, requires a bit more of an intimate setting.

Last night I played it for roughly four hours or so. No big deal. But then I did something this morning that I haven’t done since I was fourteen or so: I woke up and immediately turned on the PSP to play T3B. And I played for another three hours.

Let’s chalk it up to a testament of how good a game it is. Admittedly, however, there was something else going on there. Despite looking at what I did from two different perspectives: the adult perspective and the juvenile perspective, the juvenile won out because I felt good afterward. I feel like there’s a part of me that should hate myself for wasting time on a video game when I could have been programming or studying.

I find it interesting that I should feel like that because I never used to before. This is something I’ve struggled with for years. And it’s not directly correlated to my playing a video game (even though it’s the best example) but it’s the battle between subscribing to an ethereal guideline of how to act in order to maintain a certain behavior/stature or just doing what comes to you or makes you happy (within reason of course). A lot of times it feels like doing what makes me happy is in direct violation of this guideline that states act like this in order to be perceived as a mature adult.

On the flip side of that, it’s not too hard to scoff at someone because they’re not acting in a way that you perceive as being mature; that’s called projection 🙂 (or a really horrible inferiority complex). But I can’t help but wonder if that’s because the basis for that perception is skewed or even indoctrinated by bias? Most everyone can agree that there are some basic forms of behavior that are clearly defined as being on one side or the other of the maturity fence. Beyond that, it seems like the differences in what’s actually defined as mature become strikingly apparent. That definition could very well be just as diverse as the number of people in any given room.

The thing that’s always struck me as odd is that despite understanding all of that, why do I still feel like I should take a shower for hours on end after doing something that makes me happy yet is in violation of those maturity guidelines? Maybe it’s because I feel embarrassed that I let myself “stoop so low” as to not be mature for a few hours? Or is it because I feel like other’s perception of me will be different if they know how immature I really am?

The really strange thing is that despite having attained a professional level in my career with technology, it’s still an area where I get perceived to be immature simply because of how excited I get about working with it. So is your enthusiasm about a topic partially to blame for your immaturity?

Fuck it. I’m going to go play T3B.

Of Hiatuses, Jobs, and Other Shit

At a minimum, I try to write something at least once a month. However that hasn’t been possibly lately since I’ve had so much going on. In fact, it hasn’t really been possible to do a lot of things that I was planning on doing due to recent changes in my personal life. So allow me to banter on a bit while I sip on some coffee and listen to the Tron Legacy soundtrack.

So let’s start with the interesting stuff: I’m currently trying to use Ubuntu as my day-to-day distribution instead of Fedora. Blasphemy I know but I’m really wanting to put Linux everywhere in my house. The only hold-out is still my media center and the most critical component of that is the gaming portion. Yes I still enjoy freedom-hating triple-A titles and while Steam is now available on Linux, those titles aren’t. But I’m really doing an honest attempt at getting that Windows machine out of there and putting a full-time Linux box there. My gripe from the outset was that I couldn’t get Steam to run under Fedora. I know people have accomplished this and there are tutorials available but I’m convinced that Gallium hates my graphics card (Radeon HD 4670). Not to mention that Valve have cozied up enough against Canonical that Ubuntu is the gateway drug for this particular piece of software. So I have to spend some time with it to get familiar with its eccentricities so I know what my potential media center is going to be doing. Even though it’s Linux, Canonical have a habit of doing things their own way.

Not the juicy tidbit you were looking for? Fine. I get it.

I started my first enterprise job around the late-middle of March. I’m not writing code for a company (mostly because I don’t want to ever hate writing code) rather I’m driving around to multiple locations and effectively working as a break-fix for servers, PBX/phones, registers, PCs, RF devices, MFDs, etc… It’s definitely a challenge and a bit different than what I’ve been accustomed to for the past three years but it’s certainly welcome. I just can’t come to terms with the overwhelmingly deep penetration Windows has in that environment. I suppose that’s true in a majority of enterprises but I really do cringe when I turn my company laptop on and Windows 7 comes up. I asked if I could get a Linux image deployed but they reserve that for the almighty developer. Putting that aside, the other change came as a shift in schedule. While most people are accustomed to a 8AM-5PM job, I’m not one of them. Prior to this, my time was usually 2AM-5PM (waking at 2AM, bed by 5PM). Of course I’d be writing code for nearly this whole time but I enjoy waking up that early in the morning in general. Now I’ve been contending with a five-hour shift and it’s still not taking to me very well. I’m still coming home and crashing hard because I just feel completely beat since I’m getting off the clock at the time I used to go to bed. And typically I’ll be more than an hour away from home at any given day.

While definitely a much needed job/change, this unfortunately has meant that I’ve had to put nearly everything I was working on prior to on a bit of a hiatus for the time being. At least until I get my bearings and stop stumbling around like an idiot (which hopefully isn’t too long since I tend to pick up on things pretty quickly). Despite having a very steep learning curve from this position, I’ve already found myself starting to wean back into writing code on the weekends (which is actually how I started programming as a weekend/bedroom coder). I’m starting with small stuff for now with the thinking that I’ll be able to get back up to writing decently complex programs by next month barring any complications that come up.

I haven’t been able to publish any screencasts to YouTube either. I’m actually sitting on a few that just need to be rendered but I haven’t had the time or inclination, simply by virtue of being tired, to click the render button on Pinnacle. Eventually I’ll get more of them up there.

So it’s time for me to order new Google swag. My original Google coffee mug, still kicking after three years, is starting to show its age thus it must be replaced. And I bid you adieu.