Programming break – vidlist for Palm

January 19, 2012

So, I’ve made some headway on my programming to-do list, and thought I’d share some more details about it – I’ll try not to get too deeply into the techy stuff, since this isn’t a programming blog, and describe a bit of what it’s like to write a program for an old-school Palm handheld.

So, at my windows computer, I start the NS Basic for Palm developer program. I’ve found this to be a great line of products, giving me a lot of freedom to make programs that do what I want them to, for many kinds of machines, without having to get deeper than I like into the guts of what’s going on inside the machine. Though the programming languages for the different NS Basic products are different, they’re all pretty close to the Visual Basic and VBscript that I use in my day job.

Inside NS Basic, the first job is using the graphical form designer to figure out the interface layout – where the entry fields, labels, buttons, list boxes, popup list triggers, and other things go on the palmpilot screen. With vidlist, I was originally thinking of having a really tall listbox on the left that only went a little over halfway across the screen, but quickly figured out that with the kinds of things I was going to need to store in it, it would be better to have the list wider than it is tall. (You can page through palm lists using the little arrow icons, but can’t page or scroll them side to side.)

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Taking a little programming break

January 13, 2012

Between trying to keep up with the Holly Lisle lessons, my JanNoWriMo writing, reading for critiquing, working the slushpile, and my other daily targets for the calendar, I’m starting to feel a little bit creatively exhausted. And I’ve got a good idea for something else that I can do this weekend to give myself a bit of a break and recharge my batteries.

It may sound a bit weird that I love to write my own programs in my spare time, even though programming is what I do for most of my day job. But being able to pick my own objectives and work with different software environments and device types makes a lot of the difference.

Here’s my list of programming goals that I want to start working on this weekend:

Dana-specific:

  • Manual for MultiCounter
  • (Any changes that seem necessary in order to write a sensible manual)
  • Manual for AlphaFiles
  • (Any changes that seem necessary in order to write a sensible manual)

Song rater:


A self-introduction for my campaigner friends.

September 1, 2011

Hey there, I’ve noticed a few people already dropping by from the Platform-building Campaign. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make the rounds myself until I’m back from Dragon*Con, so I’ll be starting around Tuesday, but I thought I’d say a few things about myself so that fellow Campaigners, especially my group-mates, will be able to get a sense out of who this Chris Kelworth guy is.

I’m Canadian. I get a steady paycheque for programming field service technician websites. I write science fiction and fantasy, for middle grade through adult readers. I’m trying to focus on rewriting my collection of short stories and submitting them to publishers.

I’m a huge fan of many things: Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Doctor Horrible, Doctor Who, Star Trek. I love to read Diane Duane young wizard books, just about anything by Larry Niven but especially Known Space, and also Madeleine L’Engle, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books, and Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series. I’ve recently discovered the fun of going to fan conventions – which is what brings be to Atlanta this coming long weekend. (Never been to a convention as high-profile as Dragon*Con before, though.)

I have created fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos. I have a fairly impressive collection of portable digital electronic devices, and love to write my own apps for them when I can. I’m love National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and several other online writing challenges, and belong to a few local writer’s circles and critique workshops. I love playing games of many types, though I’m not a serious gamer in any particular type, such as console or tabletop RPG.

Thank you so much for dropping by. If you’re a campaigner, please use the ‘follow that blog’ widget or the NetworkedBlogs box to subscribe to the Kelworth Files, and leave a reply telling me something about you!


Job

April 12, 2011

J is for…

Like a lot of other writers, I spend a lot of time at my day job – eight to four, five days a week. Week in and week out, I guess it’s the second thing that occupies most of my time, after sleeping – and not as much fun. But in general I have a good job, and I’m starting to value it more after listening to other writers talk about ‘Day Jobs for Creative Professionals’ at Ad Astra this past weekend.

I work as a web application developer. That is, I help to make websites that work as computer programs, instead of static displays of unchanging information, (and most websites are interactive programs on some level nowadays,) specifically to help companies with field technicians keep track of what’s going on in their business.

I’m not going to get too much into the technical details of my job today, but instead to focus on what it’s like in a more personal way. I work with a small team from day to day: six of us, including management, the development team, systems administration, and sales – and all of those areas overlap somewhat.

I’m never really sure what’s going to be filling up my days at work, as priorities change, but I think I’m a bit more comfortable with that than being stuck on a long and involved project for months at a time, and website programming is a creative challenge in a very different way than writing is, which means that each can help recharge my batteries for the other. The lead developer has been in that spot for less than a year at this point, (he was one of the programming team before,) and he’s been pushing us to do our projects in different ways recently, which means learning new skills, and often arguing about the best way of accomplishing a particular task, which is another way of keeping the mind sharp.

So, what’s your day job like?


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