3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 41 2016

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Saturday 8 October 2016
Saturday - A nice day, doing various things around the house in the morning.  A shortish walk, then lunch with friends.

I'd picked up another James Asher vampire story at the library earlier in the week (though really his wife, Lydia, gets the most time in these books).

Book #45 is therefore Darkness on his Bones, by Barbara Hambly. It was OK, but again, broke zero new ground in the series, except to play up the fact that Hambly has yet to decide if vampires are supernatural or just some sort of weird virus survivors. We do learn a bit of back story about Don Simon, the "good" vampire...

Friday 7 October 2016
Friday - A nice day.

Sadly I wasn't feeling well, and didn't make the best use of it.

Still struggling with some app programming issues.

The good news is that the Cape, and Florida in general, dodged a bullet.  I guess, technically, the bullet dodged them.  Had Hurricane Matthew not stayed offshore and had hit Cape Canaveral it would have been disastrous for the USA space launch process.

I did go by the library and pick up a couple of books on C#. I also looked at recommended books at Amazon for the same, but don't have any need to buy anything just yet.

found cd black jack
Another "Found CD".  A tutorial for playing Black Jack, in Spanish?
Thursday 6 October 2016
Thursday - Nice again.  I ran the swamp cooler for a few hours in the afternoon, but it wasn't needed for most of the day and night.  The electric bill should look better next month. I'll take the window a/c units out when November rolls around.

I was invited over to watch a student try the app, very interesting.  He had many of the behaviors that we've been programming for/against, though S says he's much better than before.  Indeed he performed well on one of the very hard levels.

The mother was there and was amused to recognize my voice from the app prompts when I said "No Butterflies" at one point: "Hey, that's you!"

 I also brought over the switch and showed S some of the possible approaches with it, and we had a good discussion about how to proceed.

Hurricane Matthew is approaching Florida.  Cape Canaveral is designed for Cat 1 & 2 levels, Cat 3 will damage it, a Cat 4 or 5 will devastate it.  We'll see.  The Rocket Garden may not survive, though many of the rockets have guys attached.

Apple's push notifications about the iOS 10 update are getting annoying: multiple notifications per device, per day.  I am going to update my phone and main iPad, but only after a couple of weeks of other people testing it out.  Jerks.

I went in and reset all my Yahoo! passwords the other day.  I haven't decided on whether to keep the accounts or not - it's obvious they can't be trusted to 'do the right thing' but it's a real hassle to redo all the sites that they are linked to.  They also admitted that they scanned, in bulk, all of the email contents (not just metadata) of every user account for the NSA or FBI, which is supposedly illegal. Wow.

About 2am I was woken up by the sound of construction noise, generators, hammers, power tools.  I went out in the street and looked around but it wasn't too near - probably some sort of emergency work over at the college or the sub-station at the nearby park.  I didn't walk over, being in slippers, but just put my earplugs in and went back to bed.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Wednesday - Nice weather.  Fall is here, I can probably start taking sunshades out of the south facing windows. The cats are already finding and laying in the sun puddles from gaps as the suns elevation declines and sunlight enters the house through the windows again.

Working away on the app.  I haven't been very productive, as in lines of code per day, because I'm kind of scattered attention-wise, dealing with several things.  Time to prioritize and get stuff done.

Midday it got very noisy outside.  I went out and discovered there were four sheriff helicopters in the air, and their plane.  A burglar had shot a sheriff less than a mile away, and was still on the loose.  The college was locked down -  I received some texts from someone locked inside a classroom and kept them up to date on what was happening.

Eventually they caught the guy - a parolee - but the sheriff, who seems from the reports  to have been a great guy, died from his wounds.

I've been looking at ways to create versions of the app for Android and Windows.  There's native programming language and library programming, which would involve learning JAVA and C# for respectively, which is time consuming. 

There was also the possibility of using Objective-C and (hopefully) versions of the Foundation and Cocoa libraries and doing cross platform programming using:
  1. gnuStep - maybe, though it seems its LGPL and there might be license issues.  Also kind of 90-ish looking UX, though not a big deal.
  2. Cocotron - website broken, gitHub not updated in a year, abandoned? MIT license, which is good.
  3. Apportable - website broken, project abandoned? Looks like gnuStep dependency as well.
Alternately I could switch to programming in C# and use various things, most likely
  1. Xamarin - looks fairly complete and like it's a healthy product.
I don't need to figure it out today.

My C++ work dates from around the turn of the century, btw. It's evolved a lot since then, so C# or C++ would be about the same amount of work at this point.

M$ has actually bought Xamarin, which is a point for/against, I suppose.

Tuesday 4 October 2016
Tuesday - A little warm, but not crazy.  We've had high winds occasionally the last week or two - the wind howling under the eaves on occasion.

The Bluetooth switch charged overnight, and after a bit of fiddling, I got it to work in step/scan mode, and with auto step, on a few programs, including some I wrote myself last year.

Still looking at the UI Picker.  The more I look the more problems I see.  Starting to try some programming with it.

Monday 3 October 2016
Monday - A nice day.

Doing bills, organizing paperwork, and so on in the morning.

Working on the app in the late morning and afternoon.  This is switch stuff.  S wants to try a UIPickerView so I was reading up on that, and trying to find my Bluetooth adapter and switches.  I texted her that I knew they had to be in the office, but in fact they were in a box I'd moved out of the office during cleaning last week...  Ah well.  She said to try an app she knows of that uses switches and pickers, so tomorrow, when my switch has charged up, I'll see how it works.

I have to say that the UIPickerView, at least when used in an advanced form, doesn't see quite ready for Accessibility prime time, looking at questions and comments on Stack Overflow. We'll see.

I need to grind out a couple of bug fixes and UX things too.

I meant to strap down my water heater this weekend, but didn't get around to it.  There was an earthquake swarm down at the Salton Sea, the southern terminus of the San Andreas a few days ago which reminded me.

I did buy a 3/4" SharkBite fitting the other day, so I can cut off the excess pipe from the wall and more easily plumb the hot water side. It's difficult to solder 3/4" copper in a two story house because it takes forever to drain and dry the line.

Tim cautioned me to leave enough room at the wall to insert the fitting removal tool the if necessary.  I think 1/2" gap or so should do it.

Sunday 2 October  2016
Sunday - Cool and pleasant in the morning.

I did a bit of grocery shopping in the morning, the usual items.

I used Talcum Powder, purchased during the week, for yesterdays walk, BTW. At S's suggestion I checked that "baby powder" from CVS was indeed Talcum, and not Corn Starch.  The stuff I'd tried before (still on a shelf in the garage) was in fact corn starch, as she thought.

My walk was cut short, at 8 miles (rather than 12), because my friends wanted to go to lunch, so they just picked me up as I was walking back to the house. I was out by the Catholic Cemetery on 70th west (coming back from 90th).  So I can't really attest to effectiveness of the powder. I did get a small blister on my little toe, but was only using the powder between the sock liner and wool sock (and I have run out of 'toe separators').

We had a pleasant meal at Famous Dave's, though we are seeing a lot of substitution of more inexpensive items on their featured lunches.  I don't think they are being evil - I assume they are battling hidden inflation, just like everyone else.  Despite it being the first of the month there wasn't a lot of business.

I didn't do much of anything in the afternoon and evening, when I exercise or work the tooth throbs.  I need to get some antibiotics for that next week.  It very negatively affects my programming as well.

Picture of the Week

Cayucos beach scene
A Cayucos beach scene from earlier this year

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