Making time

I picked up Happiness by design, The Organised Mind, Birth of a Theorem, and Periodic Tales a few months ago. To make time I have started getting up an hour earlier.

For the most part its been great (with the exception of Tuesday when I run with a friend). Its working well. Having read Happiness by Design, now I’m half way through The Organised Mind. The latter has taught me that I need to focus on one thing at a time – our brains not being designed to multitask.

Secure Android Development, project preparation, a cold and a new year

It’s been a mixed start to the new year. Watching what I eat for the rest of January, damn you Christmas. Back at work after three weeks off, achieved nothing and left by eleven. My ego got the better of me and I went for a run despite having a cold, so am now suffering. Need to shift it with the first cross country league race on Wednesday. I can’t help wondering why generic medicines are so much cheaper than brand names.

Finally got around to ordering a replacement Acer V3-112P screen. Replacement was straight forward. Like most avionics technicians, I breathed a sigh of relief when the LED panel lit up proving the fault. The old girl is now sitting running a million updates courtesy of Microsoft.

While many Linux advocates eschew Microsoft, I prefer Office (Home Use Program). Like current, I take the path of least resistance and I use Word and Excel so often I know them inside out. Linux is an outstanding development platform, I’m using it for TM470.

TM470 project preparation continues, reviewing both TM353 and TM354. FutureLearn is a fantastic resource with a course on Secure Android Development. Delivered by the University of Southampton, it started last week. I haven’t decided the tool chain yet, particularly versioning. I have used SVN and Bazaar, which I prefer as it integrates well with Launch Pad. I won’t be using LP though so should investigate Mercurial and Git.

Read Original Sin too – best Marvel I’ve read in ages. Like Murder She Wrote in space. A real page turner, I read it in one sitting.

Something that didn’t grip me was the Assassin’s Creed movie. It starts off quite well, with a similar story to the games. It suffers the same problem as earlier games though – the present interrupts more interesting stories in the past. What I don’t get though is why option a game as a property then try not to appeal to that market?

What I haven’t made time for though is the Nintendo Classic Mini. I played a little Ghosts ‘n Goblins – damn I forgot how hard games were then. I always thought as a kid that I’d somehow be better at them as an adult but I guess I didn’t factor in reactions.

Unexpected footnotes

I am reading “Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class” by Owen Jones. Borrowed from my local library, a previous borrower has made their own addendum.

owenjoneschavs

It reads “keep them out of mischief“.

There are lots of these. Some reinforce points (or disagree). Some are checking the author’s arithmetic. Why make notes in a borrowed book? There’s not enough time to read it twice and it is unlikely you would borrow the same copy (there’s a waiting list).

My favourite – “Hazel Blears” always annotated “Chunky Kit-Kat“.

Infinity Crate (November)

November’s Infinity Crate arrived this morning. It’s the best of the monthly subscription boxes I’ve received.
 
Captain America t-shirt is a nice design. War Machine Pop to go with the other Marvel. The Walking Dead cushion cover is a hit with my wife (I don’t care for the show). The “also ran” are a Jurassic Park sticker and a Harry Potter figure. Not bad.

Retro fun with the Nintendo Classic Mini

nintendoclassic2The Nintendo Classic Mini is available, at £49, mine arrived Thursday. A well thought out, well made, fun device. Straight forward setup – plug in and select a language. Only one controller but it comes with HDMI and a USB. I wish it had expansion – a missed opportunity not to have the top loader open and take an SD card. The controller is comfortable and responsive.

With 30 titles (listed at Nintendo), I’ve not got past Bubble Bobble. Each has four save slots, accessed by hitting reset. This is great – one of the worst things about modern systems is not being able to stop and pick up where you left off. There are three screen modes: CRT (scan lines); 4:3 (faithful); and “Pixel Perfect”. I found pixel perfect best with CRT looking blurry.

I’m not going to review the games, you need to take them in the context when made. Some are simplistic, some hard (Ghosts’N Goblins) and several are masterpieces. All attracted the family’s interest, leaving me a spectator!

It is faithful, even sprites flicker. Recommended and I hope Nintendo go on to release a Super Nintendo Classic. Now that would be reliving my childhood.

Word 2013 stopped saving

Wasted a good chunk of last night and today farting around with Microsoft Office 2013 after it decided to crash every time I saved. No idea what caused it, other than that it started after I had pasted some Python code from an editor.

Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features. Select Microsoft Office 2013 and click Change. Quick repair didn’t work but full repair did.

Nexus 7 screen not coming on

My Google Nexus 7 had a weird fault earlier, its screen wouldn’t come on – just what you need before a nine hour flight. I tried a reset – it appeared to be caught in a loop with some static displayed on screen. I thought I might remove the back cover, disconnect the battery and take it from there.

Glad I did – the battery connector wasn’t engaged properly. A piece of insulating material had got in the way, preventing the connector locking in place. It must have worked loose.

Since then I’ve seen a few threads on Reddit with people mentioning that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery had fixed the same issue. I wonder if this is something more common than I thought?

Happy Holidays

I’m at home with my family this year but lots of friends are not. My thoughts are with them and their family – I hope they have some time to themselves and a little peace.

So whatever your faith or philosophy, I hope you have a great time and that the new year brings you everything you seek.

Paranorman

Took the family to see ParaNorman the other night. I really enjoyed it (then again I love this sort of movie) – if you liked Coraline it’s along the same lines (its by the same people).

Its always a bit tricky trying to find something to watch together, especially as the kids get older but this had a good balance for adults, teenagers and younger children. There were a surprising number of people with very young children and I heard a few scared cries in the back of the theatre.

Check out the web site, the trailer is worth a watch and there’s a bunch of free downloads.