Sunday, November 09, 2008

OT: Why I think Amanda Palmer is semi-goddess

Coz she shares beautiful, wacky, amazing and special moments with us? Because she’s odd? Because she gets Neil Gaiman staying at her place? Because she’s my age, but gives me more food for thought than Seth Godin? Coz she can Google?
Because hearing her voice makes Ema smile in her sleep?


Saturday, October 04, 2008

OT: Readable code and Regular updates

Just a quick note to let you know my new blog is online. readable code is my C# blog and is more technical in nature. If you're interested in checking out the first 3 installments to my Building a Regular Expression Random Data Generator series head over there now and leave some comments!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dad 2.0

As I'm sure you are blissfully unaware of - project Ivy is now called Ema. The last internal build was on Monday and we shipped Tuesday. There was no party, no confetti, no champagne (just some prescribed medication for mom). I might be biased but the final product turned out great. We missed the deadline by 4 days which I'm sure you'll agree is practically on schedule but we are feature complete (we've got voice recognition and emission tested, waste management system on-line, food intake running...) so I'm congratulating myself on a job well done!
Also we've changed our url, but that's a topic for the next post with the working title: My life is a box, (Boxing Goran?).
Also I'm internetless! For the first time in 8 years I'm offline. Well not completely off line as I got my mobile phone and this UMTS card for my laptop. But I feel as if I'm all alone and naked in the dark... OK. That was waaay off topic.
So no pictures till I get my computer running again, which is incredibly low on mom's priority list. So as soon as I set up the kitchen, build that rack, fix the sink and move that TV - you'll be the first to know.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The return of the lego dinosaurs

David is definitely going through his dino phase. I fondly remember mine. Dinosaurs are all he thinks about all day. Here's a wonderful example of a Diplodocus...

It's still lego and it's still dino's but I'm much happier with the latest development. I'm sure you'll notice there is no cave men lurking around eager to play with the diplodocus. Yay!

Dad 1 : creationism 0.

Index is out of bounds

Our countdown to project ivy has just returned an unhandled exception. We have passed zero and we're counting upwards.
On a side note we're also (4 days) late on moving-to-a-new-house project. I'm sure you'll notice that neither of these is my fault!
But being a bit late in a project is nothing new to us software developers. Now why is that? I'm sure we've all read books on project estimations, multiplied our estimates by pi, threatened to quit if project scope gets out of hands again. Still none of this makes a difference. The problem is that projects get late by the actions (or lack of actions) of people who have no vested interest in meeting the deadline. The guys that pour concrete don't care about me moving in. My boss keeps forgetting I have a life. And I guess "ivy" will come out whenever she's ready and isn't aiming for the due date.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OT: Interface pet peeves

When talking about badly designed UI’s age verification interfaces surely deserve a few (thousand) words.

The basic premise of age verification controls is quite bizarre in itself. Somehow, somewhere, someone got the bright idea that the best way to weed out those not old enough to handle mature content is to ask for their birth date. Yeah.
Next up is the fact that 99 out of a 100 controls will use the dreaded drop down menus for day, month and year selection. Drop down menus are the worst UI invention since, well ever – but that’s another story. I guess using a calendar to choose a date would be too radical.
And last but not least, the vast majority of controls out there list years in a descending order. This means that 2008 (or the year the page was put up) is the first choice offered. How many less-then-one-year olds are using the internet these days? And are they really looking for mature content?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

OT: Wiki Gaming

I'm always on a lookout for computer games that David might find interesting in the future. I'm looking for something non-violent that stimulates creativity and perhaps teaches you a few things about the world around you. So invariably most of the games in the selection are physics based.
I recently came across this gem of a game called Fantastic Contraption. The game simulates a simple 2D world with a few gadgets you can use to create a contraption. The goal of the game is to push, drag, drive or hurl an object from your work area to the goal area. Sounds simple right? Well, it depends on the level you play! And the level I had most fun on was this one:

Your task is to get the ball through the area of falling boulders to the goal. My first successful contraption was a caterpillar that dug through the boulders and used around 30 pieces to get the job done. But soon when enough people completed the first 20 levels new challenges were invented. Something the creator of the game never thought about. One of the challenges was to see what the lowest number of pieces is needed to complete a level. Surprisingly the answer is usually between 0 and 3 pieces!
So I got back to work and thought about using the using the boulders and a seesaw to hurl the ball to the goal. Sure enough I made a green solution (not using any of the powered widgets – another user game-play invention!) the level using 8 pieces and proudly posted it to the forums. Took them less then two hours to tweak my design to 3 pieces.

I'm always amazed by the power of collectives. Browsing through the contraptions has got to move you. So many ideas and approaches to solving the same problems, so many brilliant solutions. I'm definitely bookmarking this one.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lego horror

I came home the other day and to my horror found another lego set box in the middle of the hallway. It's not the legos you see. I love the fact David plays with them. Stimulating young minds and all that. But the box showed – ah just look at it.

Was I wrong at being horrified by this image? How about this one at the side of the box.

Dinosaurs and (what I can only gather are) neatherdals playing together? Is that creationists trying to creep their way in my home? Was it wrong that I sat David down and explained (ok, I'm not saying he got it) that dinos and humans never coexisted in the same period (he just smiled and said diinooo!). I continued railing on about Dinosauria, millions of years of evolution and DNA while mom slowly took him out of the room.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I fail to see significant difference between making sure David is safe from physical harm and making sure he’s safe from intellectual harm. So I’m doing my best on both fronts but the damn legos sure aren’t making things easy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How do you tell if your boy is a Dilbert or a Pointy Haired Boss?

The other day I was watching David play with his Legos. He was putting together a train when he encountered an engineering problem. You see, not all of the undercarriages can be joined together as some are missing their couplings. But just then in an “Also sprach Zarathustra” sound tracked moment he picked up the toy wrench and connected the final train-carriage.

I’m guessing he’s a Dilbert.

Right now David and Mom went to the sea-side and I’m home alone for the week. So I just miss them. A lot.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Project Ivy Private Beta

Project Ivy has gone from concept phase to private beta. Still the wonders of modern technology make it possible to take a snapshot of the development build. And here's the exclusive!

How great is that? It's quite hard to believe we're able to create things like that - even though it's the second time around. And it's quite emotional for me to even look at that picture. I guess evolution wired us to feel like that, so that we might take better care of our offspring. But the other part of me thinks that this just might be on of the two cutest faces on the planet.
I'm off to view the rest of the video again (yes, that's why they call it the 4d ultrasound - don't get me started!) and give the Subversion server (mom) a big hug :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bug Bash And Meta

The amount of news happening in my life is inversely proportional to the frequency of posts on this blog. Since all three of us came down with a flu I've got some time to spare.
Our next project is a (fingers crossed!) female version of David codenamed Ivy. I'm guessing 10 megatons will compare to the yield of that event. So I'm kinda wondering if I should discontinue David.exe or expand it?
I mean - come September I'll have zero time to report and by January I'll have two projects on my hands. And we're moving to a new house! How much will Ivy differ from David? Can they both fit in the same blog? Is it too soon for David to start blogging himself?
Leave a note after the beep...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A new project

Ok, it’s time to come clean. I’ve been absent for a while as we (my significant other and I) were starting a new project. You see David has been going so well lately we somehow got the idea we’re actually good at this. Like - we could launch another startup while not breaking a step at the current one.
We’re overly optimistic I know!
If that wasn’t enough, we decided to move. Yep, when turning your life upside down it’s best to do it thoroughly. Paying obscene attention to detail, we’ve planed the moving date to coincide with the due date.
I know, perfect!
For those of you obsessed with everything David (and those of you not answering your phones!), the codename for this one is Percy. Got that? It’s David’s idea and if you don’t know who Percy is (hint: think locomotives with human faces) you do not have kids, are not around kids, do not like kids and shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway. Now the only officially stable aspect of my life is my job.
Don’t worry – it’s under consideration!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Teh Bugz

Despite utilizing the latest and greatest development methodology, being agile, unit tested (Oops - test driven!), aspect oriented, interface based, source controlled, continuously integrated, FXCop-ed, NDepend checked and NBenchmarked, service layered, RESTed and KISSed on a regular basis - there’s this tiny little bug…

You see, David has no problem putting this puzzle together on his own. Gathering the right pieces, get them correctly aligned and oriented and popping them in. It’s just this one piece he keeps getting the wrong side up. Every time.