sailing the NorSea


WEEK 44 2014

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Saturday 1 November 2014
Saturday - Not much to say. Did various not computer things around the house.

Sadly there was an in-flight failure of Spaceship-2 yesterday, with an explosion and the loss of the vehicle shortly after ignition of it's engine. One pilot killed, another bailed out and survived. It seems that the "hybrid" engine may be to blame, though it's too early to be sure.

Friday 31 October 2014
Friday - Boo! Another Halloween over at Roger's place. Though a front was coming in, it's actual arrival was just before dark, without rain, just wind. The wind itself died down in an our, and it was relatively calm, and we had trick-or-treaters. A fair amount, though not in the numbers of a few years ago. A lot of Princess Elsa's!

Roger had his usual over the top layout, but because of the loss of a couple of big shade trees earlier in the year he had a too-well-lit yard. He solved this by creating a tunnel with a large tarp, near the door.

All's well that ends well. I guess, it was pretty dark and spooky in there.

After midnight it rained, but I was home in bed by then...

Thursday 30 October 2014

Thursday - A nice day, though they say there is "weather" coming, just in time for Halloween. R won't be happy, what with his dozens (hundreds?) off objects d'art scattered about his house. His wife says he does most of his setup at night (makes sense) and has been sleeping during the day. Appropriate for the holiday I guess, to live like a Vampire.

Went to the store and picked up a little tie-line for Jimmy. I wonder how he'll react? Also some wire mesh to make an open top for the fish tank, so I can put a heating lamp and UV lamp up for the turtle.

Mostly it was app, app, app. I added more sound prompts, level logic stuff, modularized a bit, and so on. I keep flirting with about 3,000 lines of code, but take the time to modularize and simplify when it gets to that amount. It's at least half white-space and comments, so it's not as bad as you'd think.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Wednesday - Got up, put in a couple of hours at the computer lab, bummed lunch off my friends. I didn't actually have much to do in the lab, so I borrowed a book on Adobe Illustrator from S and just started going through the lessons in it. I'm more interested in Maya 2014, a $5,000 program on the machines there, but Illustrator is actually what I need to practice...

R is spooling up for Halloween on Friday. He's got heads and skulls and demons and whatnot scattered all over the house...

Suzy occasionally comes to visit me. She's become interested in the computer monitor, and will sit next to me, and we companionably watch the little black insect move about the screen together...

At least that's what she's doing. Her world has the same physical objects as mine, but different concepts. Cursors are bugs, desks are rocks, carpet is grass.

I ran across a link to an interesting article about cats the other day. I've seen and thought of some of this before, but the article puts it together nicely.

You are a huge, unpredictable ape

You hear the unmistakable sound of claws on couch. You snap, shout, squirt water, and maybe even throw a pillow. It’s all futile, because eventually he’s at it again. Your cat isn’t ignoring you, Buffington says. He just doesn’t know how to connect your negative reinforcement with his behavior. This is because cats evolved as solitary hunters with little need for reading social cues, especially those for behavior modification.

“How the hell is your cat supposed to know that you’re yelling at him because you want him to stop scratching the couch?” Buffington says. Without the cognitive ability to connect your outburst to their scratching, cats see only chaotic aggression. “To the cat, you’re this crazy primate who is attacking him for no reason,” he says.

As someone else said, it's like cats have Asberger's Syndrome, they just don't get it. And after all, why would anyone care if a cat is tearing up some carpet leaves?

Tuesday 28 October 2014
Tuesday - Not much to say. Worked on the app, pretty much fixed all the levels logic and stuff, took a walk. Kind of a boring day.

Monday 27 October 2014
Monday - Class again. First we watched a movie on fonts, called "Helvetica". Then we had our first test of the year. It was pretty easy - and four people got F's, just as the instructor predicted. Every time he covered something in his lectures that was going to be on the test he would tell us to write it down. Then, last week, he had the test in hand, and read out each question and the correct answer! And four people still flunked.

Me? I forgot to describe an Illustrator anchor node as a "square" node and just called it a "node" and just got a 96. S, naturally, got 100%. Bah.

I suggested to the instructor that my loaning him my pen to grade the tests should should have been worth, just picking a number out of the air, say, 4 pts - but he wasn't having it....

We didn't do lab because it was a madhouse. Wednesday or Friday will do.

We did talk to someone at Apple about upgrading our developers license to the correct corporate type, so that's now in process.

In the afternoon I worked on the app. The game page is mostly done, but I'm inserting some graphics and animations. For example, if the choice the student makes is wrong, the stamps should move around to the correct location. I had a beautiful little logical routine that I wrote to move stamps to the correct cards...then realized wouldn't work, because we don't always use the same number of stamps. Sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes one, depending on the level. Bah.

In the evening I streamed the first few episodes of "Sleepy Hollow". It was OK, though for some reason I thought that the guy who played "Walter Bishop" in Fringe was going to be in it, and he wasn't. John Noble pretty much stole the show from the leads in Fringe. Partly because he's good, and partly, I suppose, because the writers enjoy writing for a juicy character (see Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory).

Sunday 26 October  2014
Sunday - Nice, but windy. I'd considered going out to Red Rock again, dark of the moon and all that, but it was blowing at 27mph out there...

I did a bit of shopping, and a few chores around the house, but not much. Vacuumed, much to the distress of Suzy.

Time-Warner has now canceled all the free "broadcast" stations over their cable. I think they were only required to do it for a few years after the digital transition, and clearly that time is up. So, no baseball playoffs and no NFL for me. I miss it a little, but not $100/mo worth of 'miss'.

I did bills, and a bit of app work, but tried not to do too much, to let the hands recover.

I'd an odd error, an inconsistency in the layout of some items. I finally realized that I'd created, but not initialized and allocated, an array - and then used it. I'm astonished that the compiler Apple uses would permit such a thing without a warning.

So, doing an alloc and an init fixed it.

All I can say is that in programming, as in anything else computing, cut-n-paste is your "frenemy".

Picture of the Week
Red Rock landscape
Photo Notes: A Red Rock Canyon landscape.

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