I haven't written anything in the last week because I have been slammed at work. I moved to a new team and I am doing more development work. This is good because eventually I want to be a full time programmer. Right now I am working in the high level languages like Perl and Python but I do have C training and I think I would like to do more lower level stuff.
I also am getting my first taste of what it means to be a programmer. Being a system administrator is fun because you can program when you want to - if I ever got bored of a script I was working on I could do something else. Its another story when your primary role is to write that script. Getting bored? Too bad finish it.
My first project is a Perl script about 2,000 lines long with lots of mySQL interactions. This also marks the first time I have worked with databases in any meaningful way. Took me about three or four days to get to the point where I was comfortable writing SQL queries. The Perl DBI layer makes a lot of this easy.
I am also now writing code that other people depend on which is a lot different from the system administrator scripts I usually write. Now my code needs to do the right thing under a variety of circumstances. I am making liberal use of Perl's eval statement so I can have some sort of deterministic behavior.
Recently I read a Damien Katz blog entry called Error codes or Exceptions? Why is Reliable Software so Hard? which really spoke to me on my current plight. I am doing a combination of his three error handling styles - including the travel back in time one (I have rollback queue that gets poplulated with the actions to undo a step, in the case of an error I just run through the queue and have gone back in time)
Writing a Perl script this big has really made me appreciate Perl more in its flexability but has also made me yearn for Python more for its cleaner syntax and excellent exception handling.
At this point I am on the fence whether I want to be a full time programmer but this experience is a great way for me to get my toe in the water without jumping in.
On the advice of a friend I picked up a new DVD player this weekend. Up till this point I have been using my PS/2. I recently downloaded some videos from the internet and and a heck of a time transcoding them to DVD. I tried twice on my PC and finally succeeded on my MAC.
My friend at work explained that new DVD players could play PC/MAC videos burned on a disc.
I got the Toshiba SD-3990 from the evil empire (no not Microsoft - Best Buy).
Sure enough it played everything I threw at it:
Well today marks the third week since I started exercising six days a week. I only missed two days (Monday and Tuesday of this week) because I hurt my back last Saturday.
Well so far it is not getting any easier. I still have to will myself out of bed and I still don't want to exercise every morning.
I am still going to do it of course but I really thought it would be automatic or habit by now.
Been playing Oblivion most of the weekend since I hurt my back Saturday morning. Wow this is a great game. I play World of Warcraft for a while but stopped because I didn't like having to team up with people to do certain quests - of course the $13.95 a month after paying $50 for the game was hard to swallow as well. One thing I miss from WoW was exploring and fighting creatures in the wilderness. You never knew what you were going to find. Oblivion, for me, is like WoW offline. Its perfect for me. Recently my character was bitten by a vampire and so now I am one. My face has changed, I am stronger and faster, I can't be in the sun without taking damage. I keep having nightmares about "feeding". I am really impressed with this game. Though I said I didn't lilke Morrowind due to its look and feel I think after oblivion I am going to give it another try. I have the gold edition and one of the exansions lets you be a werewolf! The down right sexy engine of Oblivion pulled me in but its the great gameplay that is keeping me there.
If you like RPG games at all you must get Oblivion.
Oh, I am about 6 hours into the game and I have only done the first part of the main quest which by itself is like 40 hours.
Tonight I setup my Linux box to be a Tor server - a network of virtual tunnels to aid in anonymous internet use. I encourage you to do the same if you have some spare bandwidth (you can rate limit).
I am about two hours into the game. It is still fun but not as fun as I hoped. There is a lot of repeat play such as:
Avoid these guards by sneaking (over and over again)
Keep seeing monsters but the narrative keeps saying "Something strange is going on..." - Yeah like your seeing monsters
Have about 100 rounds of various ammunition but no gun
Hear the AI speak it's three or four phrases (over and over again)
This weekend I had to watch 80's action movies so I went DVD shopping. I picked up
I finally got Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth but not from EB Games. The game was supposed to be release March 27th. Then March 31st. It is now pushed back to April 17th and there are rumors of it being pushed back again until May. Since the developer is basically going out of business I personally think it might not be released in the US at all.
When I saw it got pushed back to April 17th I started hanging out on the forums and reading about people playing the game already - seems it was released in the UK earlier this month for the PC (the developer is in the UK).
So I decided to order from a UK game site, game.net, and got it last night.
The game looks fantastic. I just started so I can't comment on the play as of yet but will in the future.
I shut down my Tor server this weekend. I ran it for about 10 days. More than anything it was really messing with my interactive performance when I worked from home so I guess I couldn't spare the bandwidth.