Category Archives: Coding

My adventures in various computer code endevours.

Holidays and After

What’s  going on? Well, holidays, that’s what. 

I’m also learning more about the javscript libraries that I’ve been avoiding as hard as I can. Reinventing the wheel is fine, but some angles I’ve come to need more immediate smoothing.  More importantly,  it will smooth making a chromeOS  application,  which is a newish concept for me. So far, Ember and PouchDB are looking like my new code-related BFFs.

Speaking of BFFs, mine just got a part in Jesus Christ Superstar out in her hometown area. So excited for her. If you’re in Concord, NC when they go, see her sing.

My life has been less exciting, but a little stressful. We’re finally settling in to trying to have a baby, and as adoption is our probable and long favored method, there’s paperwork and soul plumbing  involved. The questions you have to answer! Half-Vulcans (joke!) like me just don’t have those depths. Want child. Love child. Well… that sounda more like the Hulk, really, but whatever.

Even though I’m an adoptee, myself, I’m also a nerd. Therefore,  I started googling and reading all sorts of sources about it. I never felt specifically different. I never didn’t know I was adopted. I’ve never felt bad about it. 

Even infant adoptees seem to be negative about it. There is SO MUCH NEGATIVITY out there. Sometimes I feel like the very devil herself for wanting a child, for thinking about an international adoption,  for not wanting to make a child feel an outsider inntwo families. I can only speak for me, and I know that,  but if it’s possible, my child will be happy and part of her ‘real’ family for ever, and want for nothing.

So, North Carolina… don’t forget to cheer them on.

The Work Database.

I found a clever work around for my work database problem. 

The set up for the netbook that is in our shop doesn’t allow for an office program or a proper data stream as it stands, not being on the cloud.  I don’t have a lot of time to monkey with the machine,  but now I’m looking at something pretty adequate.

Chrome will let me write a text stream and force/allow a save to a given name/type.  I’m mobile right now, so consider this an insert code here. 

I’ve made a small library that parses out the string into a .js file,  and then read it back into the array. That works almost well enough. It doesn’t work on Firefox, but it DOES on Chrome, which I’m limited to. For once, a blessing. Hijacking the unload event, and tagging a few other functions, I’ve managed to make updating the files a no brainer, which is necessary for my tool smart/ tech averse coworkers.

There’s a certain satisfaction in building my own virtually ground up system, but I know that I’ll never be able to properly explain to my workmates. I’ve got an idea that it’ll be a good band aid while I research the better method. Fast and furious and portable into the next iteration of the shoehorn of DOOM.

Working Over the Company Website

One of the tasks I was lucky enough to get offered was to go over the compamy website and try to find more ways to make it work and be the place to go for  metal work and fabrication. We aren’t yet ready for online ordering, but that’s because of the simple fact that labor is a big factor. What I was able to implement was a preliminary estimate based on materials alone and automate emails with their attachments and requests in it.

I’m sure there are a lot of canned methods, but I had time and I like to largely build my own bits where I can.  In the end, I used a canned method for handling email attachments and for one of the text hiding effects, although I restyled it and merged it with the grid system I designed with.

I really quite like the grids.  It took me a while to adjust to the idea of using the extra files,  but it was easy to ignore and just used the functionality provided.  I like the ease it gave me in modular design.

I used the Simple Grid responsive grid.  There are some things I found less than ideal in the transformation to mobile formats, but I have yet to think of a better way to do it.  For the estimate page’s purposes, I would have liked it if the grid blocks didn’t jump down on mobile devices, but I think some work can fix this– at least for the one instance.

For the hide-show methods, I started with the Show/Hide Content from DHTML Goodies.  It’s more obviously meant to code for q&a sections, but it “connects” a visible and conditionally visible div and that was my initial goal. I wanted to keep things compact and simple for people using the form.

I tried to go simple with the menu, but ended up using java script for the screen sensitive menu. I borrowed a snippet..

I also used available customizations for the slideshows, and learned quite a lot in the process.

My goal was a sort of flat design, but I didn’t have a lot of embellishment leeway.

Primarily, my boss wanted an email form that could also take attachments, I found one that handled them without uploads, before I knew what kind of server space he was using, and I might change now, because the current set up seems not to like very big attachments.

In another entry, I’ll cover some of the ways and work arounds I got into making it all go just right and transition to mobile devices.

Workywork

I’ve  pretty busy balancing my work,  my personal life and projects and freezing.  How bad had this Winter been, anyway? 

I’m finally coming back together.  I don’t know I’d it hurts or helps that work has involved coding, too.  I gave the work website a thorough and ongoing work over, including an interactive estimates page. Based on that,  I also made an android app to user mobilely. Haven’t tried my hand at an IOS version, yet,  but I was also told to work on a desktop version.  This has me back on OOP. I’m learning a lot,  and it’s keeping me busy.

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It’s also made me think about my “own”work,  the CMS and RPG social platform.   I want to work on roar, too. 

I’ve been picking up the practical engineering that I was only competent at about 15 years ago. Lots of reading up and finding some great sites that help me through.

Also being less neglected is the writing: this blog,  the stories. 

Mental and physical fitness are also on deck.

All of these deserve their own entries and will get them, soon. My word.

Each of ther things deserve their own entry and I’m going to try. 

Review: Dr. Sleep

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book, I liked.It’s about as far from the standard ghost story of The Shining as you can get, and I am not complaining.  Honestly, it didn’t even need to be a sequel, but it made good use of the story of Danny Torrance–light, but good. It savedus a little backstory and bought just enough extra emotional investment to pay off.Dr. Sleep takes place, for the most part, decades after The en Shining, and we spend a lot of time with adult Danny mulling through existential puzzles and helping to save the day of his “student,” Abra Stone.  This time it’s a fairly fascinating species of vampire that he becomes mixed up with. They prey on people with shine. They have a long history, and sometimes I wondered how they managed as long as they seem to have, without record of real resistance. Nevertheless,  they arw a credible threat and an interesting one. King lays it all out in front of you here and I was still interested in seeing what happened.That, right there, is so, something that will have me reading someday again. I would love to learn to do that, to be in protagonist and antagonist brains and still keep people interested in the plot.  Total transparency is hard to keep up, and I always find it tripping me up when I tell a story. King’s ladies remain bright and interesting.  Bedchel Test… mostly passed. The women do seem to mostly lead separate lives, and have male sidekicks or teachers. Still, it’s beating a lot of things I have been absorbing lately. it doesn’t matter if you loved, hated, or never read The Shining, Dr. Sleep shines on its own.

View all my reviews

Goal–not Resolutions

Home safe from the Christmas trip,  I’m ready to state some 2014 goals.  I’m trying to work from small, action items… for my own good.

● The serial that my friend and I are working on. Edit what we have and record some of it in January.

●Finish my personal WhoScarf

● The Practical-Magic-Fight-Club-Supernatural story, get at least into the second act by March, via 250 word-per-day chain.

●design my craft-styluses

● get a design outline on my productivity suite by February

●Design the web app for work

● be judged ready for parenthood.

● get my office straight at home

● Find the right furniture for the front room, couch, shelves, hall tree.

It’s a longer to-do list than I thought I had. Well, I still aim for them.

Sometimes I don’t know if I don’t have real ambitions or I still haven’t found them quite yet. Or if just existing has gone on too long and I can’t quite feel them the same way. I know this: there is a lot of joy and imagination in me and more than just a sidekick in my soul. I have been given a great gift in the past year, coming home, meeting lovely people, finding a job, having some clarity again. The future is so very open and I am excited to meet it.

I do I hope everyone who reads this finds at least as great a blessing as I have in 2014.

Thanksgiving

Been working really hard on a semi-automated estimatepage for work. Not as straightforward as I had first thought, but fun. Now,L though, I’m just about to the make-it-pretty part. I am least confident of all in my decoration skills. Even when I look at lots of inspiration and example, I feel like my work looks somehow incomplete. 

Anyway, I’m excited to be doing it. Code is my favorite craft, and ironing new wrinkles is engrossing.

In other news…. snow. Last weekend we were all but snowed in, and its been sub – freezing ever since. The tough shop guys at work think I’m a wuss, and they’re right. They work so hard. Crap. I’m pretty grateful for my job. It feels like a good fit. At least for me.

I digress.  We dug out of the snow, and I hope that the rumors of more ice this weekend don’t pan out.  I hate winter– well, I hate cold weather.

I’m grateful for everything,  really, I have a great husband, great family, a great friend, a job, and I’m finally home where I can enjoy two out of three live action.   Sometimes I feel like I’ve become a cliche, but I’m crazy relieved in life right now. God is good. Even when I’m in iffier times, but I can’t deny that I’m especially glad right now.

I’m also making a new Doctor Scarf to keep. That’s that update.

Certifications and Languages

Watching season one of True Blood on HBO, I developed a brief, platonic love for Tara (brief for reasons that really belong in another post) when she discussed her education:

“College is just white people paying other white people to read to each other, I figured I could save money and read to myself”[paraphrase]

Sure, I went to college, I have a degree, but those words ring so true, especially after I graduated and while I was there and learning more from what people told me that made me want to learn more in classes than what I learned in half my classes (sorry, guys!).

This is not really a highly respected way to gain knowledge.  Oh, individual people are impressed by the manifestation of one’s knowledge, but in general, it’s not quite as certain if you say you know a thing as if you have a piece of paper saying someone else thinks you do.  Truthfully, that piece of paper doesn’t mean that much.  Crammed information dies.  Passion counts for something– or it should.

I’ve been looking recently into certifications (which I’d not bothered thinking about for a long time).  Yup, still expensive.  If I were to get a certification to get a job or better my chances… it would be nice if I already had that money.  On the other hand if I did, I bet I’d be using it for something else (rent, electricity, you know the spiel..).

This isn’t about whining, though.

It is kind of about the way I wish I didn’t see what the point of the pieces of paper are.  There are too many people these days with the skills and the need for work to just give everyone you like a try.

So… I’m thinking about which ones I might really want to get.    I’ve come up with a couple of articles that might help, especially if the prices are still accurate.  They’ll give me a starting point for thinking and budgeting, anyway.

Top 7 Programming Certifications for Web Developers and Top Three IT Certifications you can Get From Scratch.  Both articles are about a year old, but they have good information.   At least it’s a jumping off point.  Oddly enough, many certifications come from companies with proprietary interests in the properties involved.

Sometimes I still feel institutional education is a scam.

That doesn’t mean I don’t ache for more of it.

I totally want to get a MFA or MLS. (Unrelated to my programming aspirations… I need to focus and win the lottery.)

Working On Costumes and My First Sale

Well, starting of I made my first Etsy sale. It was one of the Jayne Cobb hats.
I am still just so proud that I got a sale. I annoyed everyone about it for the next twenty-four hours.  I hope it’s just the first. I’d like, at least, to sell a few things. Production has been down, though, because I have been working on outfits for Gen Con. My husband wanted to do Ant Man/Giant Man and Wasp, the original costumes, but then I fell in love with the Avengers cartoon Wasp, so we’re doing that. I’m a little disappointed with the booties I made riding down, but I might still be able to fix that.  Right now my costume is 98% done and his is 85%, but he decided to take on the helmet himself. I should be doing some test shots of the ensemble, soon, but I do have some process shots of the Wasp costume. I also have a finished (until/unless I also make a hakama) shot of the kimono I made for my neice, so she’ll have an outfit for the Legend of the Five Rings RPG event.

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I am pretty happy about how it came out, in the end, for my first strappless. I wish I had been aware enough to work the zig-zags in from the start, but not this time. Adding “Invisible” straps was ideal for just-in-case and to seamlessly attach the wings. The costume is far from perfect, but I had fun making them all. I still have Wonder Woman and Illyria costumes to finish sometime this year…. and some regular clothes I have on deck, too. The Underground Lair is such an awesome general purpose crafting room, now. I just wish the windows were bigger.

Also, in unrelated news, I did a minimalist, but nice redesign to www.electericneumann.com, my husband’s campaign website. He is just… so right for that job, I can’t even describe the passion he feels for justice and helping people, especially the younger ones who have so much opportunity for change, and he’s fallen in love with the scenery and potential of the area. For myself, I can’t say that the opportunity to be near my parents again (comparatively) doesn’t rock, but I also really feel like this is right for him and us in so many ways. I am praying every day.