I was going to write about why needing an app isn’t a good way to try get into business. (Hint: It is very expensive, if you can’t code it yourself.) However something else popped up, namely I am trying to sell off two domains: justcheckers.org and justcheckers.net that I own. These were for the justCheckers project, that I’m essentially shutting down. Anyways if you are interested in buying them off me, feel free to contact me.
I will say that the experience so far has been interesting. Thankfully there are some good resources for selling a domain or site. I’ve looked at two companies that handle the auction and transfer of these things Flippa and Sedo. Both are quite legitimate, but there were some bad reviews and some people claiming to have been scammed. I’m trying out Flippa first since it was founded by the fine folks at SitePoint, who I quite like for other reasons. Anyways, I’m hoping that I can find a good home for the domains.
While I was working last month (and last year), I had the need and opportunity to setup Linux properly on my laptop. Windows simply did not cut it for remote development. After a bit of fighting with some graphics issues (yes, I got bitten by the switching between the Intel and Nvidia GPUs) I managed to setup my Linux system fairly well. Yes, I am missing out on some of the nice, new hardware features on my laptop like the fingerprint reader. Nor can I get a nice boot experience due to the combination of a strange widescreen resolution, using the proprietary Nvidia drivers and the plymouth splash screen. Running full-blast with the Nvidia graphics card does not help my battery much. But I can live with that.
The experience with using modern Linux and KDE can not be understated. Not having to fight with your system when setting up development environments helps too. The icing on the cake, was my most recent experimentation with Wine. Back in the day when I started using Linux, getting any Windows program running nicely under Wine was a minor miracle. An update could change that in a hurry. Getting a 3D game running smoothly under Wine… just did not happen.
Now imagine my surprise when I tried to use Wine on my most current install. After using winetricks a few times, and a tiny bit of experimenting I managed to run nearly all my Windows games under Linux without too much difficulty. Nearly all my Steam powered games worked, including Deus Ex, Half Life, and Myst. Even Microsoft games like Freelancer and Halo ran with very little work. So did Risk and the original Homeworld with very little effort. And yes Uru Online which is my favourite of the Myst series runs really well as well. What makes this great–beside not having to reboot to play a game–is that old games will run with little extra effort without keeping some ancient version of Windows lying around. Also important to note is that none of the games lagged under Wine, just some minor sound stuttering and weird cursor grabbing. So one can enjoy most of one’s Windows games under Linux without needed to reboot necessarily.
Happy New Year to all my readers! 2009 was quite an emotional year: the first batch of my close friends got married, a death in the family, the ups and downs of dating, professional life and all that jazz. Last year I’ve felt I’ve grown like no other year. I started work in 2008. But 2009 was the year that I feel I kicked off the sneakers, t-shirt and shorts laid-back attitude of a university undergrad, and donned the look and feel of a professional. I definitely feel the change was for the better. Also last year I rolled up my sleeves and told myself to do the things I wanted to do, but kept on putting off. True, I came up with some grandiose plans that I couldn’t of finished realistically. Still I managed to tie up most of the loose ends of previous years. My projects moved forward by a bit. My organizational skills improved, and I no longer procrastinate on tasks for months. I still leave things off, but only for a few days. At most a month, if something is a bit more complicated or delicate. Come to think of it, most of the tasks that hang around are ones that will take hours to do.
Now the new year, nah new decade begins. I feel I’m a better professional, writer, programmer, businessman, outdoorsmans and well… man than a year ago. Ditto for 10 years ago. So whats next for 2010? Lets hope no massive shift in society occurs (and that I fear more and more is a possibility to no-one can simply ignore) and God willing that nothing crazy happens in this upcoming decade. I’d hate to live the life of a Snake Plissken, Mad Max or an Afghani. Assuming that nothing happens, my new years resolutions come from a modified version of last year’s: (Which yes stems from goals of 2007…)
- Become a Senior Software Developer/Consultant
- 2009: Learnt the Spring MVC framework, EJBs, AJAX, ExtJS and other Web 2.0 technologies.
- 2009: Advanced in my skills in databases and Python scripting.
- Learn and become a Qt/C++ developer.
- Learn to manage risks, estimates, costs and client expectations as a consultant.
- Become a Published Writer
- 2009: Started work on a number of novel ideas. In total wrote about seven or eight separate chapters.
- Finish and publish at least one novel.
- Read a finished piece at The Totally Unknown Writers Festival 2010.
- Publish my university articles in novel or series form.
- Start a Masters in HCI Design
- This is a blue skies idea. But I do plan to go back to university and start working on a Masters degree on HCI (Human -Computer Interface) Design.
- Become a Libre Software contributer
- Continue work on justCheckers. Possibly create and release the mythical version 1.0.
- Get involved with the KDE or Maemo projects.
- Build out my stealth mode start-up
- 2009: Created a business plan and strategy. Now I just need to execute on it.
- Build an initial product offering, that will fund future development.
- Add finances into the mix.
- Get a full driving license.
- Date that awesome girl. (Ladies a bit of help with that one? You know who you are.)
- Get more involved with outdoor sports.
- Deepen my faith and my knowledge of the world around me.
- Learn to use a “freaking” calendar, rather than ignoring it.
- Clean up the mess that is my home computing system.
- Regular exercise and fitness.
And thats about it… Time to take on 2010. I’m disappointed by the general lack of robotic servants, flying cars, jetpacks and moon bases. Still I’m thankful for no nuclear war, giant mutant predatory creatures wandering the streets, grey goo accidents or human-unfriendly singularity AIs too. So 2010 probably won’t mean a radically different future for humanity. But that doesn’t mean we don’t all have something look forward to this year. 🙂
Looks like my recent cry for help with the justCheckers project, was heeded. I got about 12 responses, and now I’m in the process of picking the core development team. The developer mailing list is up and functional. And thanks to Dmitry Platonoff, who I used to work with, gave me a helpful hint to maintaining my sanity. While I’d like to get as many developers working on the project as possible, I want to be able to coordinate things in a manageable manner. Also I’m really picky when it comes to code quality. So I think I will let people submit patches for now, before I start handing out commit access. Still I’m impressed with the progress.
An update from the justCheckers website:
2009, November 17 – 18:02 — Dorian Pula
It took a while. A much needed upgrade, some changes to bring this site back into the larger multi-site effort I’m involved and some re-integration work back into SourceForge… and justCheckers is back! Finally there are no more blockers to getting back into coding, and hopefully moving this project forward. The plan is to finally get around to implementing the work I’ve meant to implement for so long.
So justCheckers is open for business… and is seeking new developers.
And some other updates:
I’ve restarted work on my stealth project as part of the “larger multi-site effort”. In addition, I’m almost caught up on responding to everyone’s e-mails and messages. I should be free enough to restart my writing and work on other long-term projects. I’m really excited with the progress I’ve made, and I hope it continues this way.
Today I realized I need to get a move on. I realize now that I must capitalize on the opportunity that is justCheckers. Originally I set up as a project to learn and advance my skills in programming Java and project management. I learned a great deal from that project. And after the project’s stalling, I assumed that no more real opportunities arose from it. Today I realized I was wrong. There are a multitude of possibilities that I can exercise in either this project or a similar one. I’m debating what would be the better move, but I’m leaning towards working on justCheckers for now.
Also I planning some rather massive work on this blog too. I have plans, and I see clearly how I can capitalize by achieving them.
Today marks the first day of getting back to my old schedule and routine. The transition turned out smoother than I imagined. Hopefully, no new quirk will appear and I get back to working on all my overdue tasks. As things stand:
- Writing the first part of the first chapter in the novel. Had tweak it a bit to avoid a plot hole.
- Working out the plan of attack to restart justCheckers development. I’m woefully unfamiliar with bzr and Eclipse integration is not working well.
- Some initial plans for the new justCheckers website theme. Again, new to Drupal theming.
- My consulting work is back to a regular, sane pace and my own expectations have fell into place.
- My expectations and goals in general are more aligned with reality and my own position in it.
- Small urgent tasks keep on stomping on my larger plans, which is a bit trying. Hopefully this will all settle down soon.
I’ll continue blogging in short irregular bursts, until my projects start moving forward under their own momentum.
I love my WordPress powered blog. For a blogging site, WordPress is the way to go. However there are site that require me to step beyond the paradigms of a blog.
Back in the day, I used to hardcode all my sites using XHTML & PHP. I’d make them elegant, minimalistic and W3C compliant. I also wasted a good deal of time doing so. So now… when I need to set up a site, I reach for Drupal. Now thats a fun application to work with. By no means is Drupal “simple”. It is a freaking CMS for crying out loud. Simple and CMS don’t go together. And it does have its weaknesses. Getting an image gallery set up in Drupal 6 is non-trivial. But once you know where things are and how the components work, then you are all set.
I’ve found myself recently writing considerable amounts in my diary. I’ve had many a thought, that I felt compelled to write down. But such thoughts were fairly private in nature, so I will discuss or hint about them here. One of thought that I would like to share, is my temporary withdrawl from daily blogging. I’m trying to concentrate on writing my novel, A Collection of Shards. And I’m concentrating on reviving the comatose justCheckers project. Post daily updates to my blog just add more overhead to my day. And I’ve so precious little time and so many tasks to complete… So I’m going to take a break, and update this blog when I feel like it.
After listening to my backlog of FLOSS Weekly shows, I’ve been thinking about my involvement with my own project. Naturally I want it to succeed. But I also want to use it as a portfolio of my work. On one hand, I’d like to hack everything together by myself. On the other hand, I simply don’t have the time or inclination to do everything. Especially if I think about it… my skills in PHP might not be as interesting as showcasing my work in developing justCheckers and working as a team lead. So I’m think about setting up Drupal, and maybe do some additional integration work… I’m just not that sure that anyone really cares about my XHTML/PHP/web development prowess, especially with some many powerful tools that are around.
I’ll probably do that… set up Drupal, integrate a justCheckers look and feel into it (showcasing my web designer side), import all the data, setup a team again and move the damn project forward.