...take a break

Sweet Setup

I have been sitting here this evening in my family room, on the couch, watching the hockey game (Leafs look like they are going to win which they had to do to keep basically any hope of a playoff spot alive) working on my laptop. I have my main development machine running in the basement and I am using Remote Desktop Connection through my wireless network to do some work on an app I have been working on for a few months now. My productivity might not be the best but I've been having trouble lately finding the motivation to actually do some coding during the week.

Over the weekend I had some time to make some pretty good progress on my app. That little bit of progress opened up some interesting challenges for me and now I find myself wanting to solve these challenges. I am getting to the point where I can personally start using the app and I think after a minor amount of tweaking I should be able to open it up to a few users as a very limited alpha release. It feels good to be in this mode again. I haven't been this charged up about coding/development for awhile mostly because the culture at my day job doesn't allow for a whole lot of ownership.

Oh, and the Leafs managed to pull off a win, 5-3 almost 6-3 but the last open net goal was about a second after the buzzer.
category: Development posted on Tuesday March 07, 2006 at 22:34:52 by: 0xCC

Running into issues...

I have been trying to do these concentrated development sessions over the last couple of weeks. Today is the final session that I have booked off my day job.

Last week I also took Friday off with the hopes of getting some good development work done. Instead of getting some good development work done I spent most of the time getting WinXP installed on my development system because the adware/spyware crap that was infesting my W2k install was driving me nuts. So now I have XP installed on my development system and things have cleared up (for now).

I have run into a roadblock with respect to RaceAnalyzer development. I have changed the way I have the wxFrame set up in the app. Now I have a wxPanel inside the wxFrame. The problem with doing this is that I don't know how to pass file/filename information from the wxFrame to the wxPanel so I can get the file contents dumped into the wxTextCtrl that lives on the wxPanel. I am going to try a couple of ways to do this later today/this weekend so I might have some more status to report later.

Later I also want to comment on how this experiment with these concentrated development sessions worked. There were a couple of reasons I wanted try taking some time off my day job to do these development sessions. One reason was just to see if I am actually cut out for independant work or if I really need the structure of going into an office and working with other people. Another reason was that I just wanted to get moving on getting something developed and I had a couple of ideas (RaceAnalyzer is one and I am still working on getting a new website launched) that I wanted to devote some time to.

Anyway, I will continue these thoughts later today or over the weekend.
category: Development posted on Friday October 28, 2005 at 11:59:49 by: 0xCC

Not quite as planned

This past weekend didn't quite go as planned. I was expecting to have m's family over for Thanksgiving (which is in October in Canada) on Saturday and then on Sunday go to my family's house. What ended up happening was m's family came on Monday and we spent Saturday getting ready for Sunday and Monday (as well as Monday morning). So the net effect of this was that I lost one of my planned concentrated development days. I am going to see if I can pick that up this weekend coming up.

Today was the first of two days off for me this week and was also the first development day of the 'weekend'. As I did last weekend I planned to spend 5 hours (7 am to 12 noon). I did about 50-60% of what I had hoped to do. The weekend activities really took a lot out of me and I basically needed a day to recover. So I did get a little bit done but not as much as I had hoped.

I am starting to think that I might drop wxPython for Race Analyzer. I can't seem to figure out how to do what I want to do with wxPython (although this probably more than likely an issue with me rather than wxPython). I can't figure out how to pass information from a wxFrame to a wxTextCtrl on a wxPanel. I know this must be possible but I have yet to figure it out.

Anyway, things didn't go quite as planned today (or this past weekend for that matter) but I still managed to get a little bit done. Tomorrow is another day off and I will be trying really hard to stick to that 7am to 12 noon timeline. I think I will be spending more time on the new website (and maybe even this one) tomorrow and I might even drop some hints about it here tomorrow depending on how things go.
category: Development posted on Tuesday October 11, 2005 at 15:24:51 by: 0xCC

Round 1 complete

So I finished the first 5 hours of my plan. I made a little bit of progress on Race Analyzer but I also sort of broke what I already had (which wasn't much). I need to understand the relationship between a wxFrame and a wxPanel in that frame in order to get any further on that front.

I didn't get anything done on my other website. I spent some time trying to get some spyware off my home system. I used the beta version of Microsoft's spyware thing which seemed to do most of the job after about 5 reboots. So that pretty much cost me the first hour or so.

I think I got quite a bit done for the amount of time I spent on it. Hopefully I will be able to do a little bit more on the website stuff over the next couple of days.

Now I have to put the second part of my plan for these days off into motion. Excuse me while I get ready for my long bike ride.
category: Development posted on Friday September 30, 2005 at 13:44:14 by: 0xCC

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day off of a series of days off I have planned for October. I want to use this time to get through a few things that I haven't managed to get finished up in the last little while as well as work on the launch of a new website.

In order to ensure I do manage to accomplish what I hope to accomplish I want to have clear objectives for the days that I have off. As I mentioned in the previous post I plan to work for 5 solid hours.

For tomorrow I want to accomplish two things. First, I want to code up some sliders to see if they will work for Race Analyzer. I expect that this will take the majority of my time tomorrow. Second, I want to get the first rough design on my new website.

I will report back tomorrow.
category: Development posted on Thursday September 29, 2005 at 22:46:03 by: 0xCC

Mulling...

I have been thinking recently that if I want to be serious about getting a software product out there I need to block out some time to do it. Over the summer (while M was getting her much deserved summer off from teaching) I was thinking that having a large block of time off work could allow me to get over the hump of actually getting something out there. Taking a large block of time probably would have meant taking some unpaid time off, which I would have been ok with. However, I wasn't sure that I would be able to take full advantage of a large amount of time (I'm thinking on the order of a month here).

So I came up with what I think is a good compromise. I am making very weekend in October a long weekend. Starting this weekend coming up, I will be taking Friday off. For Thanksgiving weekend (the 8-9-10 weekend here in Canada) I am going to be making that a 5 day weekend (Saturday to Wednesday). It looks like we will be busy with family related things on Saturday and Sunday which will probably work out well, giving me Monday to Wednesday to plow through some stuff.

I know that if I don't have some fairly solid goals for the time that I have off I won't be satisfied with the progress that I end up making. My plan is to get 5 hours a day of fairly solid work done. I plan to be in my office from 7am until 12pm with only very brief breaks. Then I plan to have lunch and spend a couple of hours on the bike in the afternoon and after that maybe some work around the house. For the weekends with 3 days (3 of them total) I hope to do 2 days like that (probably Friday and Saturday). For the 5 day weekend I hope to do 3 days like that. That will give me a total of 45 hours of work (a little more than a full work week).

What do I plan to accomplish in that time? I hope to accomplish three things (which is probably optimistic). First, get Race Analyzer to a useable state (the most technically challenging of the 3 for me). Second, get both IntThree.com and my new domain (which I hope to do live with sometime in October) redesigned and to the level that I would be proud of (the most creatively challenging for me of the 3). Third, develop a training-log oriented blog CMS (the most involved and heaviest work load of the 3) with the objective of allowing very quick and easy training log entries. The frist version of this will be very basic and won't have much more functionality than a regular blog but I hope to be able to add features to it that will be very useful for endurance athletes.

I think this is fairly ambitious and I think that in order to get the most out of the time I am taking off I am going to need to use some evenings to make sure I have a good plan of action for the days I have off. I will also need to ensure that I have the resources I require before those days off. I hope to post a plan of action for the days off here the evening before the day off (which for most weekends will be Thursday) and I hope to post my status in the late afternoon of the day off.

So that's the idea. Stay tuned to find out how it goes.
category: Development posted on Monday September 26, 2005 at 07:11:41 by: 0xCC

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