Feb 242015

I finally sprung for a Raspberry, thought the form factor was pretty neat and with what it seemed possible to do with it, just thought it was time to check it out. I bought mine from mcmelectronics.com and with it being so new I was put on the waitlist for 12 days and then it was shipped. Well, that time has come and gone and I have since received it. I have been amazed that something that small could do as much as I have seen it do. I have used berryboot to allow my PI to have 3 operating systems at its disposal on boot, which is awesome! I have one Linux for tinkering, one RetroPie for gaming, and one XBMC Media Center for making it an entertainment center later. I cannot wait to try Windows 10 on it, when it comes out. It plays many different Roms out of the box in RetroPie, although n64 seems to not work very well, but it does play MAME, NES and SNES very well. I just need to spend some more time on the PI so I can get used to it and see what can be done. I have plans on making my old weather station start to work again by reading straight from the devices instead of through the console which has been failing.

The specs as posted on a site are as follows:

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is the second generation Raspberry Pi. It replaced the original Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ in February 2015. Compared to the Raspberry Pi 1 it has:

  • A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
  • 1GB RAM

Like the (Pi 1) Model B+, it also has:

  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core

This device seems like it is just about perfect for just dabbling around with Linux and maybe messing around with home/weather automation eventually and can even become a central entertainment hub in your living room able to play games and stream video and music fairly well and considering it has built in HDMI plugs straight into your TV. This thing is awesome!

Feb 182015

I have been developing for a very long time, I started writing code in Visual Basic 5 before .Net was a thing. I knew one language basically VB, I had learned Basic about 10 years before in High School and thought how great it was to start writing programs for Windows. It was awesome, I could make utilities to do a lot of different things. I had no idea that I was in a very small club of developers, those that were using VB, everyone else was writing C++ or Visual C++ and they were able to write some awesome stuff, compared to my little cheesy stuff, you could only write games and the like in one of those C variants, which I only knew existed.

Fast forward 10 years or so, I was starting to write VB.Net apps and ASP.Net stuff, and thought I was a great developer and that I was marketable. Started looking for a new job and found there was little to no call for VB still everyone wanted a variant of C although it had become C# so I realized I needed to do something that I had put off for a very long time, learning new languages. I started by trying to expand my web languages into PHP and javascript, I realized I had all but shot myself in the foot by learning VB/Basic, I was having a very hard time getting the language mechanics of both of them, but kept on trying to learn them. PHP was awesome and powerful like a C language seemed it could be and Javascript allowed me to start doing some of the more funky things in ASP.Net that the company I work for had not yet started to do. Then I started to hear about jQuery, I noticed it had a much simpler way of doing things and you really did not need to know as many of the little nuances of each browser engine and you could really start to do some really amazing things, like manipulating the DOM and doing some AJAX stuff which is amazing and really took my ASP.Net stuff to a new level. During this learning I guess the languages I was writing started to make it easier for me to learn new languages. The company I work for decided to use Dundas for dashboards, which made it possible to really customize the dashboards, the only real hurdle was it used C# and I had yet to learn it, but it seemed kind of easy to pick up, I am guessing it was the PHP, javascript, and jQuery programming that made it easy to start to pick it up. Now I have been writing C# code within Dundas for over a year and have actually created a couple of apps using C# in Visual Studio and now it feels so much easier to learn the new languages, not like it was 10 years ago when looking at C code made me think it was a foreign language.

Using these languages when I could have just as easily stayed a VB/ASP.Net developer has allowed me to become a much more valuable member on the development team and to become very important to the team, which is never a bad thing. I believe it also will have made me more marketable although I am still a little scared to try to get a C# job and I am also a little scared to try a PHP job as well. The only other thing I wish I would have learned as a young developer is graphic design, not to become a designer but just so I could make my apps or webpages look better and more marketable. I highly recommend young developers to learn as much as they can and to maybe start with a C language, which will make it easier to pick up other languages. Those devs should probably also try to learn some design stuff as well, that is almost a requirement now. Broaden your language horizons so that you may be much more marketable and this will definitely help you in the long run.

Later for now.

Feb 172015

I used to love getting Entenmann’s danishes, they were reasonably priced and pretty good, I was always partial to the Cheese and the Raspberry danish. I have been getting them for quite a while and they were of decent consistent quality. Well this seems to have changed, it seems they have made some changes to their recipes and quality. I bought a Cheese and a Raspberry danish yesterday and has a small piece from the middle, of course, where the “good” danish should be hiding with the cheese or raspberry. The raspberry was ok, although I though the danish was a bit dry, the filling was pretty tasty. The cheese on the other hand, just felt like it was just making the danish wet and was not very good tasting, I have always really liked the cheese flavor, but this time it had very little flavor. I am not sure if they are changing the recipe or if it was just a bad batch, although seeing how everyone is trying to cut costs and trying to make more money I would think they have found a way to make a larger profit, not really caring about the consequences. It always amazes me how companies will cut the amount or lower the quality and raise the prices, doesn’t anyone care about the consumer anymore. Everyone does it so I guess they think it is ok to just do it themselves, no it is not just Entenmann’s, it is everyone…Tropicana makes the jug smaller and raises the price, glad lowers bag count and raises price, and really they just keep it all secret. The bottle size is now in tiny little letters that I cannot see even with my glasses….ARGHHH!

Enough of my rant for now!


 Posted by at 7:04 AM
Feb 162015

I have been running Windows 10 on my tablet now for about 2 months or so, and must say, I absolutely love it. Am I saying this because I am a Microsoft or Windows Lover, no! Even though I do love Windows I have not been a fan of everything that Microsoft has done, yes I own a number of Windows machines and use quite a few Microsoft apps on those machines, I even have used Windows phones consistently since Windows Mobile 3 or so including Windows Phone 7 and 8, but I am not a blind Windows follower, I have tested Linux and Iphones and Android, which have not made me as happy as windows has, I do not like Iphones at all, they do have their merits, but they are just so….dumbed down. I guess enough of that tangent, I have been very happy with Windows 10, I love the new Start screen and how it does not go completely full screen and I love the more desktop feel of it. I have noticed quite a few issues, but it seems MS is fixing a lot of them as time goes on, the new style of releasing builds constantly is awesome and makes you feel you have a say in what is being done. Of course you have to believe they are reading the insider posts and addressing the things users are posting. I cannot wait for my phone to be able to get a build, and hopefully they fill some of the missing features that other devices have in the future versions.

Windows 10 is NOT perfect, hopefully yet, it has a fair amount of issues, like touch keyboard is not consistently popping up on first click of toolbar button and there are many screens that are not easily readable due to some rendering issues, there are also some metro apps that when they go full screen they are not able to be closed via the close button or controlled in any way without pressing just about everywhere on the screen to find something that works. That being said, with Windows 10 being this early in the release window, it is still quite usable as a main O/S and I am looking forward to using it for many years….hopefully. And on top of that they will make it free to Windows 7/8 users for the first year? Yes please!


Later everyone.

Feb 162015

I am not really a blogger by any sense of the imagination, sure I will write the occasional post about something that catches my eye or aggravates me, but I really never set out to become a full fledged blogger. Now, I am not sure the current email course I am reading will change any of that, although it would be nice to start earning some income, if that is at all possible via the knowledge I do have after being a developer for around 25 years. The course in question is one put out by John Sonmez or the Simple Programmer. The email course about blogging can be signed up for by going to the following link, devcareerboost.com/blog-course. No I am not being paid to send you to the link except maybe through the knowledge he is giving me. He is also a writer that has written a good book on development “Soft Skills: The Softwares Developer’s Life Manual”, which sadly I have not yet read, but will just as soon as I finish the final Game Of Thrones book, soon very soon. Anyway, he writes and shares a lot of very good information that he has gathered over his years as a developer and most of it is very beneficial to other devs.

The email course lesson I received today talked about how to create traffic, which is one thing I have been having a very hard time generating being a very private developer and not having the networking, meeting people and using them for the people they may know, ability that many people in the IT field. I have always struggled in this aspect of getting myself out there. This course seems to have a lot of good ideas on how to generate traffic, and it all seems like it is very helpful in getting me traffic so I thought I would share it with you and maybe get some traffic coming from his blog, and hopefully someone will get something from my blog when they do in fact find it. I do have a couple of posts that have received a couple thousand views over the past few years they have been posted, like how to use a domain name with a dynamic IP, which is by far my most popular post. I hopefully will get some more traffic due to this posting and small review. Hopefully you will find his email course useful to you as I have and hopefully you will get the blog that you have always wanted with the traffic to show you are doing it right.

The email course so far have covered what makes blogs fail and the theme of the blog, how to get started and how and where to host, what to write about and how to get ideas, how best to get your blogging feet on the ground and what you should do to make it successful, and then today’s which was how to generate traffic. I had previously created my blog and luckily had done the first 2 lessons correctly, or at least close enough, that I really could start with the 3rd lesson.

For my part I think I will start to post some stuff that I have learned during my development time, maybe some code and maybe some other things steeped in development. Hopefully, I will start to find some loyal followers and I will be able to help out a few people in my blog.

Again, if you are looking to learn quite a bit of good information about being a dev or about what it takes to be one, check out The Simple Programmer or read his book “Soft Skills: The Softwares Developer’s Life Manual”, if you want to learn about blogging and how to establish yourself and your blog then sign up for his email course devcareerboost.com/blog-course.

Later all!

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