Monday, May 30, 2016

Transitioning your work station. Why suffer?

In my past life when I was a production supervisor, I always had a mix of walking around, working, and desk work.  As the transition happened and working from home on the computer became the norm, it was a knee jerk reaction to set up my work space for use.  I bought a small desk, used a couple monitors I had sitting around and grabbed a "good" chair from a local office store.  In my mind, everything was set.  Now, fast forward 5+ years and here is what I have learned and changed.  

First change for me was my computer itself, but the main change was the tower.  At first I didn't have a laptop and when under load I would hear the gentle hum of the fans.  I decided to build out a new computer with a mix of power and minimum noise level.  This meant a nice a Antek Quiet Case, only SSD drives, and the most silent fans I could find.  In build this, I was also taking into to consideration my next move that would eventually be a transition from multiple monitors to a large 4k tv/monitor. 

The second major change was finding a Samsung 40" 4k tv on sale at B&H Photo for a crazy good price at the time I bought it.  Since 4k hadn't been the scene long at the time, it was kind of a leap of faith as to whether it would be a good monitor.  I figured since I didn't really game on it, might as well try it since it didn't seem lag or ghosting would be a factor of the refresh rate.  This wound up being quite nice after hours of adjustments in what was then Windows 8.

The third change was one of those things you usually have half a dozen of, but usually only gravitate to one, the keyboard.  After years of an old Dell keyboard, IBM keyboard, and an Azio kb505u from Amazon, it was time to move on.  The latter was to replace the others and was actually quite terrible.  Almost unusable sticky keys even after trying everything known to man and actually made my fingers quite sad when using it.  After researching, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a Corsair Strafe RGB quiet keyboard and honestly, the thing is awesome.  

My latest addition was a Autonomous mechanical adjusting desk.  At just under $400 when compared to others costing over $1k, I bit the bullet.  So far so good and I am impressed in the quality of the desk for the price.  It's sturdy and looks quite awesome too.  Yeah, it's a little more than the cheap desk I originally had and has literally no storage, but the ability to stand, adjust it to my exercise ball, and line it up with my crappy chair, it's a win!

All in all I have come to realize, when I worked in the warehouse and I would spend $100+ on a new pair of work boots around every 9 months, yet somehow I was too cheap to pony up for anything when I transitioned out of that environment.  I would buy the cheapest thing I could find that had decent reviews and go from there.  The reality is and was that a lot of these reviews weren't from users who used them for their career, they were casual users at best.  My next step is to replace my computer chair.  I am on about my 3rd cheap one in 5 years and am particularly rough on my chairs because I like to shift around to all kinds of crazy positions throughout the day.  I cringe at the thought of buying an expensive chair, but the reality is that I've basically done it when I combine all the chairs I've bought and they break down quite quickly.  Most decent chairs have good warranties and the office store 8 hr chairs are really more like 4hr every other day chairs.  Hope this helps someone who was debating on biting the bullet for items in their work space, don't be scared, your body and mind will thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Internet outage got you down when using Chrome?

Yeah, I know, when you are trying to work, surf, or whatever and the internet is down, it's quite a bummer.  I found this Easter egg that Chrome put in, when you are on the "There is no Internet Connection" screen, press the space bar and enjoy a simple browser game to pass your time.  Maybe after a few games you'll have service again....maybe.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Google Star Ratings Rant

First of all, thanks to all of those supporting Slot Madness.  Due a growing number of users on my Slot Madness game it was holding a 4.65 star avg on 45 downloads and I was ecstatic.  I am approaching 200 hrs of art, sfx, and coding on it alone.  The app has been played over 170 hours this weekend!  This trumps any of my other apps for sure and only has reported 4 errors total since release and 0 on the current version.  My issue started yesterday until now, I have received 4-1 star ratings, 3-2 star, and 2-3 star ratings.  My beef is that only 1 of these actually left a comment.  I think Google should force you to leave a comment or else the whole review would be null and void.  For app mills that churn out apps with dozens of people working, it probably doesn't phase them, but those of us trying to do it on our own, it just sucks.  I comment on all of my reviews, good or bad because that's what we as developers need to gauge the experience and make it better.  In a world where everything is immediate, it's sad that someone can't take the 30 seconds to leave a written comment for a review of a free app.  It also makes me wonder if since it moved me way up in the search ranks if the bigger companies' don't just have people trash other apps, who knows...

What is a 1 star anyway, in my book if I open the app and it crashes or is unusable, that's probably 1 star.  If I open the game and suck at because I think I should already be in the top ten, that doesn't warrant a 1 star.  Sorry about the rant, just needed to blow some steam off.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Help me move up!

Well, if you were ever curious what 132 hours of art, coding, and audio look like in Android, check out v1.1 of Slot Madness.  It's FREE, fun, and features a leader board of the top 50 grossing players.  All the front end and back end was set up by me and everything I learned was from grinding out tutorials and years of watching mybringback and thenewboston.  Please check it out and rate/give any suggestions you want so I can make it the best out there, or at least try.  Thanks, Kenneth.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Math Class Free

I recently released an app called Math Class that I developed to help coax my daughters into studying their math.  One of my main objectives was to have it work verbally, visually, or both to help quiz them.  Without delay I wrote the program up and everything went without a hitch, until after I released it.  That's when my nephew said that he tried it and it doesn't talk.  This can't be, I tried it on a multitude of devices from every OS version and they all worked..  Hmm, after not much digging I found out that TTS wasn't included on every device below 4.1.  The bummer is that now I am having to spend time adding the ability for users to download TTS if needed.  It is always something isn't it.  Any way, I am working on a making the icon a little more revealing and an update for those that don't have TTS installed.   At any rate, enjoy the app and download Math Class for your Android/Amazon device.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Android Malware Attack

Recently I updated Chrome for my Windows 7 home PC that I develop on and got a little surprise with it.  I can only conclude that downloaded with it was a sneaky little booger called Mobile App Sync.  This appeared cause a malicious app called AppCaster to download to your Android device, which in return opened a portal for all kinds of nasty.  Every time I would plug my phone in and go to sleep, apps would download on their own.  No wonder why it is so hard to get traction faster in the market for small developers when some advertisers are using malware installers to boost their numbers.

So if you see this, delete it with authority unless you enjoy backdoor access to your phone!

Then find this on your PC and delete it.  Just as a side note though, this did not have an uninstall option on it and had to be uninstalled through the windows uninstaller.  Imagine that!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dialog/orientation change memory leaks...

Well, today I kept battling a memory leak in my opening screen for Perspective when rotating the phone.  A quick search yielded plenty of references to orientation changes when rotating.  There were quite a few work arounds, but I found a simple one that really made it simple for me so I figured I'd share.

To fix the problem in my PopDialog class that extends a Dialog, I added a

static PopDialog pd=null;  

Then I added this just after the onCreate


and finally I added this method

 public void dismissing(){


OK, that's the hard part.  Now in my main activity, I referenced it like this

 PopDialog popdialog;
 private static boolean opened=false;

after onCreate in that activity

popdialog=new PopDialog(this);

and finally in the onPause

protected void onPause() {
if(opened){ popdialog.dismissing();}

I forgot, add this to the button you call the Dialog from because sometimes it doesn't call onCreate.


This way when rotating, it always has the proper reference to the active dialog and calls to dismiss it destroying it.  I had to update it a bit by adding the opened in there.  This is won't let it call dismiss before the dialog is created.