A(rghhh!)ndroid

OK. I’ve finally purchased a recent desktop set-up and could take a serious look at the Android development platform. With a surprise, I discovered that Google made a interesting shift toward IntelliJ. Is this kind of a fish slapping dance? It doesn’t really matter who is who here, but Eclipse Foundation does not feel particularly well I’m afraid.

 

Anyway, this is not about an IDE war.

Let put it straight – what a horribly bloated environment is this! With simplicity on the user side, comes complexity on the developer desk. Isn’t it? Java and tons of XMLs. I never liked that couple.

But still, this is an interesting platform, to make money of course. And could be worth to invest few hundreds hours in it.

Is there an Android demo scene? A rhetorical question :)

 

 

MIST

I think I’ve seen this couple months back, but today it drawn my attention more successfully. So successfully, I put that thing on my wish list. This is not a critically expensive but 200 Euros is not 20, unfortunately. What I am talking about?

MIST

MIST is a successful project of two people. Till Harbaum stands behind the software (FPGA to be precise) part. Hardware was done by a hero of 8 and 16-bit folks – Lotharek. The board looks amazing. The casing is not so cool to me, but it was a price/value decision I believe.

It is very temping, to have a magic box that can be either an Amiga or Atari ST, by one SD card swap. I’ve heard that Atari 8-bit project is ongoing. How cool!

Alright. Where is my beer money…

Spring is coming (I hope).

March 15th. I would expect a completely different view outside, but it is what it is. Snow. Again.

Same applies to this blog. It meant to be a vehicle for my revival as an active programmer and coder, whereas… Silence. Again.

Luckily it is not so bad . The fact that I write so rarely here is a sum of various elements, but it does not mean I am dead yet. Neither literally nor figuratively. Which is a good thing. At least to me.

So called business requirements has changed and I had to abandoned Haskell. Since some time now, C and C++ refreshment took it place. Something useful for my work and hobby (yeah, Amiga) as well. It’s been a quite long time since I wrote my last complex application in C, so it will be fun for sure. Moreover, the C/C++ standards has evolved much. But it will be a potential objective for the future. Not something I worry about at the moment.

There is a common belief that every programmer has to learn a new programming language every year. What about brushing up something from the past? It can be lot of fun and certainly will perfectly work for your brain mechanics.

Remember Forth for example? Guess what I did use as a manual when I tried to explore it back in early 90s… No Internet, no professional books (yup, I was living on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain). Just Atari 130XE with a disk drive. The answer is – a disk monitor. If I am not wrong it was an app called Watson. It was a journey through hundreds of experiments, endeavors and hacks. Luckily after a month or two a local Atari paper magazine started a Forth course.

I never became proficient in Forth, like in dozen of other programming languages.  I believe however, that the attempts alone made my engineer soul happy. It just helps the ball rolling. Despite what your manager might say to you, work is not only money. Technology you work with should keep you smiling. Happy hacking.

Work and life balance…

It’s been a while since I made last note here. Despite plans and promises I’ve been making to myself, I failed again. Making a progress on coding (a general term, isn’t it?) and writing about it, is something I understand as crucial for self-development as an engineer. And what about that? Rather not much lately…

Work consumes too much from my 24/7 scheme. It doesn’t mean my work won’t let me to make any progress at all as a software engineer. Evolution and progress is an integral part of my profession and the role I’m currently in, no doubt. But is this the direction I see myself moving in a long term… Nah.

The bottom line is: I must book some time to do stuff that makes me a better developer, and I must do this on a regular basis. And it must be as important as work. Period.

Wish me luck.

Learning new languages is fun.

This is pretty interesting that one of the hobbies and no-work-related activities I’ve been able to find some time recently for is… Haskell. Don’t know if this is a constant trend yet, but it looks like I found a new Python. Not in a technical sense of course.

This is just the same vibe and feeling when I was discovering Python, around its 1.5 revision. Almost like Columbus and his New World :) With Haskell, both new language and new concept behind it, exercising your brain is for free. I hope I will be able to write something about the experience soon.

 
P.S.
And now, for something completely different. Recently I’ve been to a nice retro-computing event – “Old Computers and Games”. Although the blog post is in Polish, the photos should be pretty understandable.

The power of experiment.

When I were young, the time did not fly so horribly fast. This is for sure. I do not really remember whether I traveled with the speed of light or what, but apparently I had much more time. It was not so expensive as it is today. This is for sure.

Now, having family and regular work, it looks like I slowed down (or the world speeds up!) and it is hard to catch up with things I would like to touch somehow. Ha! The experts say you have to manage the time. Yeah. Easy to say.

I know this is not something unique to my life, though. Despite the fact that it does not help me at all, it could be kind of a solace however. Yeah… But I miss the point. This is not something I want to write here… Where were I…

The time flies. Yes, it does. What is the impact on my “Back to the code!” mission? Enormous. The very first thing I got hit by is that I do not have time to experiment! This important, crucial even, activity was something that allowed me to explore many different areas and become skillful. The experiment is something that has always been a flywheel for the science. For our civilization.

Now, with all the technology stack behind so called  web development, the demand is to do it now! See the damn frameworks. Although this is great stuff, it is just an illusion. Even though you got something at the very beginning, and for free, it does not give you a solution. To reach the goal, you would have to play with the whole stack of crap. And to get familiar with it. Means to sacrifice your precious resource – the god called Time.

Experiments are for free people. Be free is expensive then. Bummer… I have just thrown 30 minutes of my precious time straight to the trashcan called Internet. Am I rich man or a poor guy then?