Thursday, August 28, 2008

First p0st!

So, apparently one has to start somewhere. Might as well be here and now.

I figured it'd be a good idea to start writing a bit, just to see if I can get some stuff out of my head and work on my English skills a bit. As there's been a lot of reading of other development blogs (notably Steve Yegge & GameArchitect.net) I've felt a bit inspired. My life is also evolving quite a bit, as I'm shifting employment (and moving up a step or two on the career ladder), just had my 30th birthday and the relationship with my girlfriend is just getting better and better, in spite of the (not unexpected) pains of constant male-female miscommunication ;).

So, the headline tells, the following is what I (partly) plan to write about:

Software development

It's what I do, it's my job and I kinda like it actually.

I've programmed since I was 7 years old, started out on an Swedish Z80 computer named ABC80. 32k & a basic interpreter. Been doing C++ since I was 14 and have touched various languages since then. Lately I've been working on a quite wide basis (source control, build systems, web servers, web apps, graphics) and had had 'Systems architect' on my card for a while. It'll be 'Lead Developer' in a few weeks.

Trying to make the major part of my daily life easier is something I strive at. Thus I'll try to jot down some experiences on coding, software engineering & related stuff.

During my free time, I've hacked a bit on a Django application for the band. There are (unrealized) ambitions on contributing to good free software such as Boost, OpenSG & Python, to name a few. Hopefully I'll get somewhere.

Gaming

Well, as one might have guessed, I am a bit of a gamer. The good thing is that so is my girlfriend (albeit much less addicted). This means that we've got a PS2, PS3 and Nintendo DS. Yay! Too bad there's so few party games for the PS3 (We've got four controllers, but no game that supports them all).

Currently I'm playing GTA4 (not as funny as GTA:SA), SC4 (just started) and GT5:Prologue, plus TM Nations and Trials 2. Trials 2 (http://www.redlynxtrials.com/) is a fun finnish game that I've actually bought (after playing the demo, which is a life-first thing). I did play an earlier, 2d-graphics version of this back in .. 1998-1999 .. The physics are decent and it's good fun in small bits. (Even though you might get frustrated as hell on the harder levels... :)

Band life

I'm the bassist in seven piece cover band (70-90's rock/pop/funk) that's been going for about ten years, and we do about three to six gigs a year. Weddings, company parties and that sort of thing. Usually good fun and a great outlet for every musician's wallet's enemy #1, Gear Acquisition Syndrome. As everyone in the band has a master's degree (give or take), we don't need to pay the rent with our gig money, instead we spend it on getting More Stuff(tm). :) This means that we now have all the equipment we need for a small gig (a crowd of no more a hundred).

Also, given that there are seven of us, and two of the three guitarists play synth/keyboard on some songs, we do use almost all of the 24 channels on the mixer. This requires good equipment and we're getting closer with each gig. It's not yet becoming Too Much Stuff(tm) since we try to be sensible and make sure everything is transportable. Lots of cases help immensely, but we're getting worried about the weight.

I'm managing the band's wiki site (good for keeping updated info) and also working on a Django app for managing all songs (about 50 on last count) together with playlists, misc data (lyrics, tabs, who-plays-what, bpm, etc) as well as voting (it's not easy to agree on songs when you're that many, especially given our differences in musical preferences).

A band is also, I think, a pretty interesting social construct. A bunch of people are doing something together volountarily, just because it's fun and gives them some exciting moments in life. Our band is not really built around one or two people controlling and everyone else following (there are of course various levels of engagement) so it's a bit of a struggle trying to balance everything so that everyone is happy. But we've managed pretty well so far. :)

Random web links

Webcomics are fun, these are the ones I keep myself updated with. I'd especially recommend SinFest.

Conclusion

That's it for an introduction. The intention is that further posts will be more focused on a single topic, but now you'll (perhaps) know what to expect.
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