Thinking about October goals

October 3, 2012

I didn’t do much in terms of coming up with any goals for October Monday or yesterday – for one thing, I wanted to give myself a break after an eleventh-hour drive to finish most of my September projects! I did keep up with some good time-slice stuff, including editing ‘Children’ for style and grace, (Holly Lisle’s revision lesson 18,) and doing some cleaning in my bedroom.

But I’ve been brainstorming for the to-do list this evening, and the list is even longer than usual, which is not necessarily a good idea. But partly inspired by the Goals versus Expectations philosophy, a lot of these are very small, almost baby-steps goals, that I know I can achieve if I put the time in…

  • Finish lesson 18 for HTRYN
  • Start lesson 19
  • Read GMC
  • Come up with idea for Nano novel
  • Start working with ‘Drawing on the right side of the brain’
  • Spend 10 hours cleaning/tidying
  • Read and critique novel RFDR for critters workshop
  • Spend 3 hours organizing files on the desktop tower
  • Finish polishing ‘Husk Funeral’ and post to
  • Start writing a new short story
  • Spend 2 hours cleaning up formatting and updating existing files
  • Read 4 short stories
  • Finish adding features to iPhone version of project tracker
  • Start iPhone version of song rater
  • Keep up with ML duties

So, am I crazy? Which of these goals, if any, do you want to hear more about as I strive to succeed?

Tech geeky update

August 17, 2012

Well, I’ve been indulging in some geeky stuff lately, so I thought I’d share just a bit of it with you.

Droid grocery list update. Had a breakthrough since the last time I mentioned this – I think I talked about the approach of trying to take the App Studio iMenu control, taking away its absolute position, and putting it inside a classic HTML table layout. This turned out to be easier than I thought – the iMenu control doesn’t have absolute position hard-wired into it, it’s just a couple of css directives. I love my new droid grocery list and have been using it instead of the iPhone version ever since:

I’m looking forward to doing something else with this hybrid approach to developing for Droid, but not just yet. Part of the problem is that the Eclypse’s keyboard isn’t as spiffy as it looks. It’s great for text entry, but there’s no navigation buttons, so you still have to tap on the screen to work with the GUI. Very quiet sigh.

My new geek project has to do with my old Toshiba Satellite M70 notebook computer that I got back in 2006; soon after I started doing Nanowriye writing. It’s been bogging down more and more, and I’ve been using the Acer Aspire One notebook more and more as an everyday around-the-house laptop, but I didn’t want to consign the Satellite to tech oblivion, especially since it has a few good features – great big comfy keyboard, wide bright screen, S-video out port. On the con side, the hard drive is none too roomy, (58 gigs,) the onboard RAM is limited to 512 megs, and 1.6 gigahertz Intel CPU.

So, I’d been thinking about what I wanted to do with it. I copied all the important personal data off the hard drive, figuring that I’d want to pave over the hard drive and reinstall something fresh, be careful about installing anything that could slow it down. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to stick with windows XP or try Xubuntu.

And then inspiration hit – I’d try both! Dual-boot that puppy.

Getting started was the hardest part. I found the Toshiba restore DVD, and spent hours fooling around with USB sticks and BIOS settings because I thought the optical drive wasn’t up to booting off. And the BIOS was somehow stuck in some weird display mode that showed up neither on the attached LCD or the S-video out. (I’m wondering if my S-video cable might need to get replaced, actually.) Once I got the display stuff sorted out, it became clear that the BIOS wouldn’t support booting off USB – even after I tried a BIOS update, which made it almost impossible to hit the setup key in time. But booting off the optical drive didn’t turn out to be a problem.

I’ve got the basic Ubuntu install done, though I’ll need to go and upload patches and software updates to both OSes soon. The hard drive is partitioned more or less like this:

20 gigs – windows C drive, NTFS, (co-mounted on Ubuntu as /windows/c)
10 gigs – Ubuntu file system root, EXT4
2 gigs – Ubuntu swap partition
26 gigs – FAT32 partition, E drive on windows, /share on Ubuntu. All documents and media files, particularly those that can be used on both operating systems.


The Droid Groceries saga so far…

August 7, 2012

Warning, this post gets kinda geeky and technical in places. 🙂

I shared with you guys a few details about my first few forays into iPhone programming with NS Basic App Studio. It looks like I never told you about my favorite iPhone ‘app’ that I made myself: a simple grocery list program that I use all the time. There are other to-do lists and grocery story management apps available for free, but I love this one because it’s streamlined to exactly what I need – it’s easy to add new things to the list, and to mark them off when I’m shopping.

A few months back, I got a Droid LG Eclypse from work, to replace the ancient Blackberry I was issued years and years ago. NSBasic App Studio is supposed to work with all versions of Droid as well, so I was excited to get the Grocery app working on the Eclypse. This didn’t turn out to be so easy. The screen is slightly smaller, and I really wanted to be able to use the slide-out keyboard when typing into the list, which means showing the screen in landscape view. So I played around with a few different layouts, and thought I had a version that would work great in portrait view. Here’s what it looked like in Chrome on my desktop: Read the rest of this entry »

An NS Basic List App

August 20, 2011

Well, I’ve been doing a bit more NS Basic App Studio work lately, and I like my newest program – it’s a very simple to-do list that I can use for grocery shopping or that sort of thing.

There are lots of grocery store apps in the app store, but that’s the problem; there’s too many to really look through, and most of them seem to be way too complicated, with built-in lists of possibly groceries or what have you. I didn’t even need all the bells and whistles of the Palm to-do program when I used that for groceries. All I really wanted was this: Read the rest of this entry »

What have I been working on lately?

May 23, 2011

I thought I’d bring all of you up to speed on a few things.

  • The ‘Request for dedicated readers’ that I answered at is going fairly well – I’m up to around page 125 out of 184, so more or less on track for finishing by the end of the month. I’m liking the story so far, and hopefully I’ll have some helpful feedback to share with the author.
  • New smartphone apps! I’ve been learning some good tricks with NS Basic App Studio, and have completed little apps for date calculator, (figuring the difference in days between two dates or the date result of offsetting an input date by a particular number,) and a data collection front end that feeds into a web application back end. I’ll post some screen captures in a few days if I remember.
  • The Straight Dope Message Board short fiction contest went well, though I didn’t win in the voting. But I really like my story, which actually took the character of Lisa from Chatterboxes, which is fundamentally a speculative contemporary sci-fi book, and put her into an urban fantasy scenario, learning sorcery from a teacher who isn’t quite what she expected.
  • I’m a little behind on my goal of submitting a story a week this month – I’ve done two, and I want to make a few more revisions to the Landing based on my critique tracking results before sending it out again.
  • I’ve nearly finished the second out of three fandom chapter updates I wanted to make in May – this one is ‘Children of the Molecule’, my Roswell/Doctor Who crossover, which is finally drawing towards an end.
  • And I’ve written a new scene for ‘The Long Way Home’, with Naveli getting Ereyu as a pet ferret.
It actually looks somewhat impressive when I type it out in a list like that.

My first iPhone app! (Kinda.)

March 3, 2011

One note – I’m really excited that people (two crusader people so far, but hey,) picked up on my passing reference to National Novel Editing Month – so I’m probably going to try doing a big series out of my NaNoEdMo journey this month. So watch this space.

It’s off-topic Thursday, though, which means no more talk about editing. Instead, I’m going to share screencaps of the first program I wrote for my iPhone.

This isn’t an iPhone app in the conventional sense, written with the iPhone SDK on a Mac… because I don’t have a Mac. But back in November, I was offered an opportunity to be in the beta test group of a cool program called NSBasic/App, which lets windows users write little HTML5/Javascript apps for iPhone, Droid, and the latest touchscreen Blackberries. I did my best to provide a little useful feedback to the NSBasic people just around the same time that I was writing like crazy for NaNoWriMo, and jetting out to San Francisco for the Night of Writing Dangerously, and they gave me a licence to the full tested version once it was ready.

It’s a nice little development environment so far, though I haven’t done anything really clever. Just a little Hello World app that tells a bit of a story as you click on the button, which I will show through the following Chrome screencaps:

Read the rest of this entry »

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