3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 14 2016

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Saturday 2 April  2016
Saturday - Another nice day.

Yard sales with friends in the morning. I picked up an old Milwaukee brand planer for $20. I didn't really need a planer, but the price was right...

Lunch at the newer Mexican place.

I found a link to a slightly better PNG compression algorithm, Zopfli, that might result in 10-10% improvements in space, which will let us bundle all the artwork in the app - right now we're over by about 10MB, and that will only increase as the final artwork and added media get added in. If not, no big deal, they can download it later.

Friday 1 April 2016
Friday - Another beautiful day, warm even, spent mostly inside.

I really wanted to get the new logic done, and it's in and working correctly now, as far as I can tell. Next week I'll start on the new levels themselves I think.

Not much else going on. The tooth still hurts, it takes a day or three for the AB's to kick in.

Thursday 31 March 2016
Thursday - A nice day, that I spent inside programming mostly.

A design decision from last year came back and bit me on the butt. In the app we match targets against a clue card. Sometimes we want to match, sometimes we don't want to match. The operation is decided by using the sign of the value of the clue, "-" means the target and clue should be different, "+" means they should be the same.

So my clues run from 0:11, this being a "c" based language.

Turns out that a "-0" is really a "+0"....

I did get out to go to the dentist, who took an x-ray and gave me an prescription for AB, but told me that the root cause (heh) was probably a botched root canal from 15 years ago or so, and that their expert was unavailable for the next month.

The AB should have an effect in a couple of days, in the meantime it's ibuprofen by the handful.

Well, that's not all that long, given how long it's been bothering me.

The other clinic never called back for the foot thing.

I was fiddling with the Windows 10 HP laptop. It's not a very impressive user experience. Microsoft has moved stuff around, mostly for the sake of churn, removed some important stuff, and some stuff doesn't work properly.  Settings, for example, sometimes just won't open. I'm not sure why, but there it is. Setting the default location for a Terminal window is still hard. The color scheme is low contrast pastels, hard on my 60yo eyes. And so on.

Another odd thing, and maybe not Microsoft/HP's fault, is that the HDMI cable overrides the VGA cable for the Samsung monitor. I had planned on leaving both laptops plugged in, but if the HDMI cable is plugged into the monitor  (and the laptop only has HDMI out) then the VGA can't be used. This is true whether or not the laptop is on.

The HDMI port is so close to one of the USB ports that you can only use one at a time. The Mac Book has the same sort of issue.

And laptop won't recognize Bluetooth mice - I tried three, no luck. I'm stuck with an ancient roller-ball mouse.

It also won't run in "external monitor only", it leaves the laptop screen on. Again, to be fair, the MacBook has the same issues from time to time.

It's 2016, you'd think basic functionality would work. I suspect all the real attention at Apple and Microsoft is on ways of stealing information from users, identifying them and tracking them for advertising revenue, and trying to lock users into their respective ecosystems.

The QC department is probably minimal, and considered a monetary "sink" by the managers and executives.

On the plus side, when I was trying out an external keyboard the only one I had available was the old Mac keyboard, that had stopped working last year. It worked fine with the PC, so on a whim I tried it on the MacBook again, and it works fine there now. So, whatever Apple broke with their mid-year Yosemite update they fixed for El Capitan.

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Wednesday - Working away on things, not much going on.

Except that the old tooth abscess us acting up again. Sigh. I'll see if I can get appointments for that and the foot.

Book #22 was Son of the Black Sword, by Larry Correia. It was OK, though not stupendous. I'm not sure whether it's set in a fantasy world, or whether there is sufficiently-advanced-technology in play during the novel.

Tuesday 29 March 2016
Tuesday - Cold and windy. I actually had to turn the heater on midday, as it was still 59 in the house!

Not much to say, just working away on the app. Making progress.

I was thinking about my work habits.

I tend to have a cyclical or helical work flow, doing something, then going over it and improving it, and repeating until done. My friend Dave tends to do things once, after a lot of forethought and preparation.

But we come from different engineering environments. I did software, which is impossible to get right initially, and requires multiple passes. Dave did civil engineering, which meant things have to be nearly perfect from the get-go: one can't rebuilt a dam or install a new sewer line five times!

Monday  28 March 2016
Monday - Kind of cool and windy. The blossoms are gone from the tree's and they are leafing out (except the apple tree). I already need to mow again. I think I'll make some spiked aeration sandals before I mow, so that water and fertilizer can get in.

I need to get some help to turn over the planting beds too.

Working on the app, getting the Settings page updated.

I took the time to burn to DVD backups of the app and pictures for this year, so far, and web pages.

Book #21 was Gatefather, by Orson Scott Card. This was the third in the YA series and, honestly, a bit odd. What started as sci-fi/fantasy sort of segued into a strange made-up religious thing. Card is to be commended for showing the moral hazards of having great power but the way the 'final boss' was overcome was strange.

Sunday 27 March   2016
Sunday - Easter Sunday.

No grocery shopping in the morning. The larder was reasonably full still, after last week, so no need to go out with the Easter crowds.

S gave me a little Easter basket of cookies and chocolates, which are very tasty.

There really isn't much going on.

The neighbor across the street was being a bit noisy, felt the urge to blare his offensive music from time to time. I guess Mom wasn't around....

       "Got my Ar-15, Got my AR-15"
       "Got some extra clips, got some extra clips..."
       "Gonna F*** you up, gonna F*** you up..."

and so on.

Happy Easter pal.

I didn't do any computer work, giving my hands a rest, and not much in the yard either.

I finished a couple of books. I didn't really realize that they were YA (Young Adult), they weren't shelved as such, but so it goes. Orson Scott Card is a good author - he wrote Ender's Game, which was recently made into a movie (that I haven't seen, actually).

Book #19 was The Lost Gate, by Orson Scott Card. Book #20 was The Gate Thief, by the same, the sequel. Not bad.

Picture of the Week

clouds above the grand canyon
Clouds threatening rain above the South Kaibab trail.

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