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my mind's eye

concerning stuff...and things...

8/29/08 09:41 am - So much to catch up on...

I haven't even THOUGHT about this blog in a very long time. There's a lot to catch up on. Most significantly I'm at a new job MUCH closer to home. Even more most significantly our second baby girl is due sometime in September. Let's see...what else? I guess that's it for now. Maybe I'll start posting here again. That would be novel...

4/24/08 02:32 pm - Automatic properties in C# 3.0

Ran across an article on new features in C# 3.0 today, and one of the features listed is Automatic Properties. The general gist is that it's too much trouble for some people to implement a field properly, so the compiler supports a lazy way to do it. This:
  private string name;
  public string Name
  {
    get { return name; }
    set { name = value; }
  }
Can be written like this:
  public string Name { get; set; }
So that's good, right? I'm not so sure. How is this any different from just exposing the private string in the first place? Like this:
  public string Name;
Of course all of this is moot if you need to do anything more advanced in the property than just returning or setting the value. For example, logging or range-checking or limiting the visibility of the setter more than the getter. Something like this:
  private string name;
  public string Name
  {
    get
    {
      Log.Write("Name retrieved: " + name);
      return name;
    }
    internal set
    {
      if(value = "this string not allowed")
        throw new ValueNotAllowedException();
      name = value;
      Log.Write("Name set to: " + name);
    }
  }
So, is it a big deal? Probably not. But it may make draft code faster to write, therefore it makes bad code easier to write because you get into bad habits.

2/1/08 08:18 am - How walkable is your neighborhood?

I ran across an interesting site, today. It's called Walk Score and it works like this:


  1. Enter your street address.

  2. Click the Go button.

  3. Watch while it finds "stuff" nearby.

  4. Get your Walk Score.
    ...

  5. Profit!



I'm not sure exactly how the user profits from this exercise or how many intervening steps there are, but I do know that walking is a good way to exercise. Who knows, maybe you'll discover a nearby restaurant or movie theater that you didn't know about.

What's your Walk Score?
Mine is 55.

1/28/08 09:20 am - Long Live Lego!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Lego "Automatic Binding Brick" patent in 1958, according to an article on Time's website. The prolific Google users among you may have noticed that Google's home page logo is made of Lego bricks today. Hmm... Lego... logo... brilliant! Lego Logo was a special Lego kit that provided a simple computer and programming interface to control motors and lights and such built in to special Lego bricks. Robotics for kids - and kids at heart. I think it's called Lego Mind Storms now, and has evolved over the years, much like the basic 2x4 stud lego brick, which was pure genius!

Happy Anniversary, Lego!
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1/22/08 11:18 am - I officially rule!

So, the other night I decided to just play a quick game of Tanks! (part of Wii Play) on the Wii. Not expecting to do exceptionally well, but just to have fun. A little while later I had destroyed all 84 tanks in the first 20 levels and earned a Gold medal! I really AM the Tanks master!

I am now on a mission to go for the Gold in all nine of the Wii Play games.

1/15/08 11:02 am - Global Thermo-Nerf-ular War

Ok, so I know I haven't posted in a while, but this was too good to pass up:

USB Webcam Rocket Launcher

Everyone should have one of these. Just think how much harder you'd work if you thought your boss might peg you in the head for slacking off! Or, you could use it to remotely monitor and defend your home from burglars! The possibilities are endless.
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10/18/07 01:13 pm - Lonely times last weekend

Spent last weekend home alone. H and P went down to Florida to visit the grandparents, leaving me to play video games and ponder the secrets of the universe.

On the gaming front, I made some good progress on Twilight Princess. I put in 5 hours, though 2 hours were lost due to a glitch I found in the game. view glitch details...Collapse ) Long story short, I had a lot of fun. But it was a pretty lonely weekend.

9/18/07 04:50 pm - A New Development

According to the dictionary, a sentence is defined as follows:

a number of words forming a complete statement

Ironically, not a sentence...

Anyhow, the other day, I heard Penelope form a complete sentence for the first time. She very clearly said,

I want my momma.

Notice, if you will, the presence of subject (I), verb (want), object (momma), and adjective (my).

Later the same day, I could have sworn I saw her filling out college applications out of the corner of my eye...
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8/22/07 02:42 pm - It's a feature!

As a QA engineer, I'm often told by various developers that the unexpected behavior that I reported to them is not, in fact, a "bug". Generally, these cases fall into one of two categories: "undocumented features" and "user error".

By and large, these are just excuses for poor programming practices, but I digress.

Apparently the news that some "bugs" are "features" has not escaped the notice of the proud owner of the Volkswagen pictured here:



The astute observer will note that this particular feature is not currently running.
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7/26/07 10:21 am - It's the Little Things...

So, one of my favorite pastimes is spending time with Penelope. There really isn't much that she does that isn't interesting. Crying is one exception, because it gets old pretty quick when she wails every time I try to change her diaper - she hates lying on her back because it limits her mobility, and I can't change a diaper on a moving target - but in most things, she is a very interesting person to observe and interact with.

This morning Penelope woke up earlier than usual and was awake while I was getting ready for work. She looked at me with the strangest expression on her face. I don't know how to explain it, exactly. Anyhow, it seems like every day she does something new and different that surprises me. Just a few months ago, she was a floppy baby that stared around kind of blankly. Now, she's a real person that will truly engage you.

I often find myself wondering what she's thinking.

I can't wait for her to learn some real words so she can tell me what's on her mind.
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