Archive for the ‘Computers and Internet’ Category

Crazy Driver 1.0

You know how it is.  You’ve got your to-go cup of coffee and you’re blaring KBPI on the radio.  Things are going smooth until you’re out of the neighborhood and down by the post office.  Then you see him behind you.  A big old pickup racing up behind you.  Apparently poor planning on HIS part BECOMES your problem.  He SLAMS on his brakes.  DUH!  We’re at a stoplight you dumbass.  The traffic slowly starts moving again right past the Walgreens.  Yeah, they’re EVERYwhere, aren’t they?  And just as you expect, the guy behind you cuts over and passes you in the right hand lane that just opened up.  But of course HE didn’t see the other guy pull out up ahead.  I’m expecting this.  You HAVE to expect this.  And he swerves into MY lane.  I glance at his license plate “DUMBASS”.  OK.  That’s NOT what it said, but it SHOULD have.  Or at least ID10T.  You raise your hands and yell some obscenities.  They’re GOLDEN.  But nobody heard you.  The guy in front of you is already flicking his cigarette out his window and has swerved back to the right.

That’s when it hit me.  I want to push a button on my phone and through the Blue Tooth integration in my stereo the radio mutes and a digitized voice comes across the speakers.  “This is Crazy Driver, what would you like to rant?”  I say “License plate D-U-M-B-A-S-S.  Ranting why the hell did you cut me off you idiot?!”  The app thinks for a second and then fills in the appropriate fields and parses out the tweet “Why the hell did you cut me off you idiot #CO_DUMBASS #CrazyDriver.”  I glance at my screen and the tweet is scaled up so I can read it on the tweet tile.  I’m good with that since I don’t feel like stopping at the next light to add the question mark and five exclamation points (remember the disclaimer?).  I hit the tile and it’s sent.  I feel better.  Not as good as activating a 0.50 caliber machine gun on my roll cage and blowing the guy off the road, but better.

So after signing up with Microsoft’s 30 Days To Launch event I got a free developer account and was able to publish Crazy Driver.  It didn’t take a whole lot to build, because I was able to find code on the net that did the tweeting.  But there was still some learning curve.  If I got my application to certification by a certain date then I could have won a new Windows Phone, but that didn’t happen.  I have a regular development job and I was working on Mass Effect 3 too.

Not bad for my first Crazy Driver blog post.  I’ll post what I’ve learned and where you can find the oAuth code since the first snippet of code that I found didn’t work and I had to Bing again.

Kinect Driven Projectors

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a Kinect emitter on projectors?  No?  Ok.  So let me draw you a picture.  The Kinect emits a series of dots and the processor in the Kinect hardware can detect distances using those infrared dots.  So why couldn’t the projector that is toted around from conference room to conference room have a TRUE auto-adjust feature.  You’d push a button and the legs would move to adjust the screen size and height based on un-interrupted wall space.  The keystone could be measured along with any other rotation that would be needed.  At the push of a button everything would work in harmony to produce the BEST possible picture for the wall that you want to display on.

C’mon Microsoft, get with the program!  Where’s Johnny when you NEED him?

I LIKE this font.

THIS font I like. See how it reads like book? Now doesn't that feel like
you're reading a legitimate article?

So here's what I did. I ended up editing one of the old articles that converted
from the MSN Spaces. I switched to the HTML view and took the various styles in
the tag and pasted it into notepad. I compressed each span tag into one
and saved it into my blog.html template file. I closed out that file from
notepad and dropped it into the Visual Studio 2010 that I was running at the
time. C'mon. WHO uses notepad to edit HTML anymore? Really? Sure, in a
pinch. But there are MUCH nicer editors out there. I'm not saying that VS
2010 is the BEST, but it's what I'm used to.

Technically I'm using Word as my editor right NOW. But I'll paste
this into Studio and look at the HTML Word generates, which is a whole lotta
crap and stuff that Word Press doesn't care about and will just confuse it. I
tried that already for the previous article and it just wouldn't do it for me.
So I'll use Word for that red squiggly spell checking that I'm used to, that's
about it. THEN paste it into Notepad to strip out all of the bloated HTML
that Word puts in.  Copy THAT from Notepad and paste it into Studio
to check out the HTML and make sure that WP doesn't throw up all over it and
convert my post to something that looks like crap versus what I'm seeing now in

So if the planets align correctly then you'll be seeing this post in Times
New Roman and slightly grey. See? THERE! So now I can get on with
converting a few of my game reviews out of Outlook and post them here.

I hate THIS font.

Yes.  The font you’re reading.  I HATE it.  I’m fine with the font used for editing this post.  The font I’m using right NOW is a nice serif font that looks like Times New Roman.  I like that.  It’s pleasing to read.  It looks like a book or a “real” article.  And it makes me feel like a “real” writer.  The other san serif fonts look like something you’d type up in Notepad.  Something temporary.  Like a GUID (goo-id) that you have to remember for a download so you paste it into Notepad and then save it to your desktop (or not).  And then your machine crashes during the initialization process and you had WISHED you had saved it.

See the font that’s used in the Mixed Case post?  THAT’S the font I want to use.  THOSE posts came over from the MSN Spaces and were converted straight over with the font preserved.  Maybe I have to upgrade my Word Press account in order to JUST change the font on these posts.

Why even HAVE that “Visual” tab up there if what I’m seeing NOW while I’m typing isn’t going to be exactly what’s posted?  If I were Word Press I’d change that label to “Approximate Visual”.  I even created the post below in Word.  Then saved it as HTML so I could paste it in exactly as I typed it in.  No such luck.

Unfortunately for now…  When I post this article, the font will change and it’ll look like crap.  Sorry about that.

I figured it out shortly after I posted this. Check out the LATEST article.

Let’s Hope The Mayans Were Like Programmers

So we all KNOW that computer programmers are just plain lazy.  “Oh, I’ll fix that later” is a common mantra.  Look at the Y2K problems.  Trying to save space for dates knowing full well that SOMEbody would have to fix it later.  That SOMEbody was certainly not THEM.  So the end of the world was coming at New Years of 2000.  Hmmmm.  Didn’t happen. Even now we’ve got dates in databases that will only last until 2037 because our computers aren’t big enough to handle a date since the beginning of time (AD).  “Oh, I’ll fix that later” or more to the point “I’ll be at a different job when THAT finally breaks.”  So let’s HOPE that the Mayans were like programmers and meant to fix their calendar BEFORE they were wiped out.  I mean c’mon, it’s ONLY a bunch of dates right?

And if you’re like me then you’ve already done some digging to find out what the calendar REALLY means and it just measures a cycle.  And cycles are rather nice because they just start over.  Just like a year or a day, you get another one right after the one you’re on cycles on by.

Cool Spaces

So I’m only marginally cool…  I’m using dark grey instead of black for my text to match the margin text color.  I guess I just like to get my point across without causing too much eyestrain and headaches.  Don’t you hate sites or spaces that change the text color to be only three lumens different?  I mean can you read this without selecting it with your mouse?  Because if you do that, then you’re reading ultra-high contrast text on your selection background.  So if you want to get your point across, why not just use Word so you can catch the majority of your spelling mistakes and adjust the contrast of your text to be complimentary to your background.  Give us all a break instead of a headache!