For those of you not familiar with Extra Life, it is a gaming marathon to support Children Miracle Network Hospitals®. They are having their marathon this year on Saturday November 2nd to Sunday November 3rd, and I will be participating to support Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island. During this marathon I will be giving away a pair of Turtle Beach PX3′s to one lucky supporter, and I also plan to live stream the whole event. Anybody who supports me (minus family) is eligible to win the headset, just make sure to include your name and email address in the message to fundraiser, and check off to display it only to the fundraiser. If you would like to donate feel free to go to my Extra Life profile here, or if you have any questions before donating, please feel free to contact me.
At the request of missing_an_eyebrow on the pebble subreddit, I have started creating a set of watch faces based off of the show Game of Thrones, I actually had begun reading the books last week so this was a nice little project. I have created two of the houses thus far and will be creating more over time. I plan on adding Baratheon, Lannister, and Targaryen next. If you have a house you would like to request feel free to leave a comment here or on the post on reddit. Also be sure to checkout the watch faces, they will all be available to download here.
Now that summer has come I have released an alternative version of my Gate Watch watch face for the pebble which features an Alteran font. This is essentially the same watch face with a new font which should look familiar to anyone who watched SG-1 or Atlantis. And for those that did not watch the show it is quite easy to learn how to read the watch which I feel is one unique thing about the font. You can check out the font here if you would like, and feel free to download my watch face here, or scan the qr code below.
With the semester coming to an end I chose a bad time to decide to do stuff with the pebble, but that seems to be how it always is, too much work and not enough time. Being the geek that I am, having a Stargate themed tattoo, I thought I would complete that with a Stargate inspired watch face for my pebble. It features an image of the gate with the time in the center, and supports both 12 and 24 hour formats. You can see a mockup of it here (as there is no way to take screenshots). I plan on making a version with an “Ancient” font for those that are major geeks and fans of the show.
For today’s post I wanted to discuss something a little different from my previous topics: The Ruby Programming Language (Cue the trumpets). I plan to cover a bunch of different programming languages as time goes on. Ruby just happens to be where I will start. Why Ruby? Because its a consistent language, has a lot of power, a nice interpreter, has been increasing in use since the creation of Ruby on Rails, and I love it. Let me make sure to stress this first though. Ruby is NOT Ruby on Rails. Ruby is a programming language, Ruby on Rails in a web framework. While I may cover MVC frameworks in the future, actually, that’s not a bad idea, this post won’t cover it. First I’ll go into a brief explanation of the language, and then we’ll dig into the fun guts of things.
After waiting for countless months to get the pebble smart watch which I backed on kickstarter, I was extremely excited to set it up and start receiving notifications. For those of you which are not familiar with pebble, it is a watch which connects to your phone using Bluetooth in order to send notifications to keep you in the loop while your phone is still in your pocket. Although this doesn’t seem like a necessary innovation, it has been a surprise to me how useful it actually is. Below is my review of this smart watch: Read more
Although I did not do a writeup yesterday on day two, it was not because I did not attend, it was because I had low battery on my phone, and by the time I got home it was already 1:30am and I did not wish to stay up later. So I will be squishing all of day 2 and 3 into one, and doing my best not to forget anything. Read more
As many of you know I work at a computer repair store, this gives me a unique opportunity to diagnose problems across various models. In a recent windows update (a platform update for windows 7 SP1 and server 2008 R2 SP1) KB2670838 many Dell Vostro 3450′s have begun to get constant blue screens of death. In order to fix this you must uninstall this update (either through a system restore or through the uninstall updates window). Then once you have it uninstalled, hide the update that way it will not be reinstalled later to have the issue come up again.
The Blue Screen error code you will be getting if this affects you is error code 50, page fault in a non-paged area. So if you are getting this issue and have a vostro 3450 which just installed updates, you may want to check if this is the issue.
Recently I have been working with a new coworker/old friend. And I must say there are a lot of things about writing code that I thought went without saying for any quality programmer. But I suppose “quality” is the key word there. In any case I have decided to start writing some posts about how to write clean code, how to design databases, and perhaps some ways tweak performance and other things. We’ll see how it goes. Today we start with code clarity.
So what makes me such an expert on code clarity? Well, in order to put myself through grad school I worked as a teaching assistant for many different classes. I worked with everything including intro to programming with java, databases, computer graphics, even compiler design. I think anyone who has to grade programming assignments will tell you two things, copied code is really easy to spot (REALLY easy) and writing clear code is extremely important. When you are writing code for coursework only one or two people will read it; but when it is for a job, that code could stay around for a long time after you have left the company. People will need to review it, maintain it, improve on it. It could be looked at by a lot of people and it is fairly ridiculous to expect people to have to sit and decipher how your brain worked each time they want to make a change. So I have created a few rules to make it simple to remember. I’ll try to hold my tongue on speed and quality improvements for a later post.