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WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

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Epic Articles And News Week 40: Falling From The Edge Of The Space

Welcome stranger, sit down by the fire and let us hear the epic deeds, the tales of joy, of woe and of note that occurred these past seven days.

Epic News

  • Super exciting jump of Felix Baumgartner from the edge of space breaking the speed of sound with a peak speed of 1,342.8 km/h and a free fall of 4 goddam minutes! Freaking awesome!
Felix Baumgartner sitting on the capsule in the Stratosphere just about to jump

Epic Articles

Epic Podcasts

I finished reading Five hundred years later so I had more time than usual to go through some nice podcasts:

Epic Courses

P.S: This morning just after my early-morning-programming-session-of-awesomeness I turned in the wrong corner and ended up in a strange place of the internet… XDD

1 minute readbarbaric-monthly-september-2012

Barbaric September: And So The End Approaches

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application, in this case a simple quiz game called quiz4couples, and releasing it to market.

Tomorrow it makes 1 month since I started this monthly project! It would be great to be able to release the app tomorrow but I am afraid it may take a liiiiittle bit longer. I have pretty much finished the core of the app but I need to draw some art and do some Q&A before the release. I have a bunch of things in the quiz4couples backlog as you can see below (I have been using sprint.ly + GitHub for my latest projects) but most of them will remain for future versions of the app.

Project dashboard for Quiz4couples

And here you can see the new look of the app (I have shifted from anime into cute-minimalistic-easy-to-draw theme XD). I think I have probably spent 50% or more of the total quiz4couples development time drawing the art, designing the different views and customizing the theme for the app. Definitely need to improve my Gimp/Photoshop skills though, perhaps I can devote another month in the future to doing just that :)

Quiz4couples Screenshot

Time to continue developing!! Cheers!

3 minutes readbooks

Barbarian Goat-Skin Reading Digest September 2012

Barbaric Goat-Skin Reading Digest is just a series of blog posts in which I review the books I read each month, be it literature, programming books or any other kind of treatises.

It has been a while since I wrote a book review I see… Why is that? You may be wondering and I shall obligue and be kind enough to answer your question. The reason is simple, the cause straightforward, I just have not read as much as I used to as of late.

Image of the front cover of The Phoenix Guards

Apparently, one of the reasons why I did not progress as much on my side-projects before, was that I spent an inordinate amount of time reading, yes! As you read it… and so, now that I am working on an actual project per month looks like all my reading is limited to audio books on my commute to work or at the gym, two of the few activities where I am blessed to be able to multitask.

Hmmm reading these last two paragraphs, and a study I recently wrote at work I would venture myself to say that I have been remarkably influenced by re-reading The Phoenix Guards, which is a wonderful tribute from Steven Brust to Alexandre Dumas and one of my favorite books of all time: The Three Musketeers. It has the same witty conversations, the swordplay, the courtesan intrigues and entwined plots, and, of course, the particular and colourful way of speaking of the nobility in the French court of the early 17th century (or so Dumas will have us believe). Way of speaking like this below, as when Khaavren (our D’Artagnan) and his party of six meet an invading Easterner army of thousands upon thousands (EPIC):

Khaavren talks to the leader of the invading Easterner army

“How? You cannot be here to invade, therefore…”

“But, my lord, why can we not?”

“Well, because as you have done us the honor to observe, there are six of us.”

“Well, and?”

“Therefore, you perceive, you are outnumbered.”

or when the group discusses about Khatana e’Marish’Chala and how she came to fall in disgrace with the emperor:

As Khatana first displayed a painting of a dragon she had been working on for years

“He felt it was too melancholy to be a dragon, and not fierce enough. The Baroness, I am told, wished to demonstrate that she knew as much about ferocity as did he, and removed his head with her broadsword in the course of demonstrating this.”

“And it was well done, too,” affirmed Tazendra. “I’d have done the same, only…”

“Yes?”

“I don’t paint.”

Great book indeed. I also had the chance to read Field Of Dishonor, the fourth installment of the Honor Harrington series, and I have to say it is probably my favorite book of the series so far. Because it is a great book of course, but also because David Weber is, if not as virtuous as Patrick O’Brian, great nonetheless in creating a bond between the reader and the characters, in this case Honor Harrington, that makes it a pleasure to anticipate and recognize Honor’s behavior and reactions and achieves the same effect as to make her as known and familiar to us as a close friend.

Wrap up

As customary and in summary:

1 minute readbarbaric-monthly-september-2012

Barbaric September: Expectation is a Bitch

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application, in this case a simple quiz game called quiz4couples, and releasing it to market.

A sneak peek of Quiz4couples

Yesterday was bittersweet. On one side, I did a huge sprint and advanced a great deal in the development of quiz4couples, moreover, the tiny app took such an interesting shape that I have even considered making it a paid app :O, go figure. On the other side, I was not able to finish it, not by a long stretch, I think it will take a good week to get it to a point where I will feel if not comfortable, at least not embarrassed releasing it. And therein lies the problem, I completely failed my own expectations and therefore rewarded myself with self-contempt and mental spankings.

Thank the sacrosant deities that I am a joyful and forgiving person, and this very morning I was so kind to forgive myself :). So moving on… I am going to extend the Barbaric September for at least one week, and we will see how it goes.

I am thirsty for shipping, so it won’t be long…

1 minute readbarbaric-monthly-september-2012

Barbaric September: One Week To Release My First Windows Phone 7 App!

Barbaric Monthly is my attempt at building/improving a coding project per month so that I can experiment with old and new technologies, learn ad infinitum, remain excited about the craft and nurture my passion for software development. This Barbaric Monthly is about developing a windows phone application, in this case a simple quiz game, and releasing it to market.

The word focus in a dictionary

The power of focus is absolutely amazing. I remember spending indefinite amounts of time exploring Windows Phone 7, learning every detail I could, making uncountable little exercises but never building anything for real.

A clear goal, a tight schedule and a near deadline later, I have my first app almost ready. It is a very simple app that is true, and I have cut scope like a maniac, but I think I will release it nonetheless and go iterating on it from there. It will definitely provide a nice foundation where to start from and continue playing with other different aspects of the Windows Phone SDK, WCF and Windows Azure.

That is all for now. Below you can appreciate a screenshot of this piece of mastery:

Quiz 4 couples application screenshot

Now I just need to bend time and space during this week to have something not to embarrassing to publish :).