And in things not about sheep - Tactical Ninja
Feb. 11th, 2013
09:07 am - And in things not about sheep
Based on my dreams last night, I now know two things. One, scythes work better when they are sharp, and two - Dr Wheel looks much better in a lab coat than he does in an animal onesie. Especially a blue terrycloth shortie animal onesie. Just saying.
My performance review went really well. I was expecting a good one because I've done some good work this year, but it was actually the best one I've ever had. I'm hesitant to talk it up too much here, but my job's been in flux for the last year or so, and now it seems to be coalescing. It looks like I'll have the option of choosing between two directions, both of which are steps up from here, and both of which involve more money. Meanwhile, I have a new job title and probably a payrise coming my way. I'll talk more about this when it's more solid, but let's just say "Gosh that went well and now I'm all O.o at the possibilities."
Apart from the sheep, I had a quiet weekend of pottering about at home. Yesterday afternoon I finally got to sit down with my gadgets and fiddle with them. This is the start of the giant learning curve that goes along with the Brainfart project. I wanted to play with the Arduino, but the other thing I have to do is learn some C++ first, so it was a bit of gadgety-fiddling, followed by a lot of reading and a teeny-tiny bit of baby coding.
Things I learned:
How to read a resistor
What data hiding, encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism mean.
What a compiler does (don't laugh at me, they weren't a thing last time I did programming).
How it's not straightforward to dl and install a compiler!
How it's not straighforward to use a compiler either.
How the lack of straightforwardness is not necessarily because I'm an ignoramus, and more because the latest version of the recommended compiler doesn't play nicely with XP. Why am I using XP? Because the eventual plan is to do stuff with Arduinos and Socrates (my netbook) is portable and has XP*. Also the need to have the computer in the same room as the place where crafting type stuff will take place. And Socrates also only has 1G of RAM so is more likely to let me know when I'm getting too ambitious. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Anyway, in the end my google-fu overcame my complete lack of knowledge or any handy brain to pick, and look!
And then I learned how my compiler is actually called an IDE because the one I'm using doesn't just compile. Why are you not just using the Arduino IDE? I hear you ask. Mostly because I'm a raw beginner and the tutorials I'm looking at recommend other ones, and I figure once I have the basics I can transfer those skills readily enough, but while I'm new at it, seeing an instruction that says "Now push the red button to make it do *thing*" and actually having a matching red button to push, is really handy.
Anyway, a lot of what I read and did yesterday was around the structure of a program and I was struck by how similar it is to what I do already in my job (or, in my job before it became something else). The structure of a program is more or less the same as the structure of a unit standard, and that makes the type of thinking required to construct one a bit easier. Hopefully that means I'll pick this up fairly quickly. *crosses everything*
* Dr Wheel suggested that installing Linux on Socrates would make for a leaner environment, and he's probably right. I'm in two minds because then I'd be learning a new OS and a new language at the same time. Or it could be just better. I've used Ubuntu before and that seems straightforward enough...
One thing I've noticed is the amount of conflicting information out there, particularly wrt recommendations. It seems everyone's an expert and they all have different opinions. Just google 'recommended compiler for xp' and see what happens. ;-) In case you're wondering, I ended up with Code::Blocks 10.05, because the latest version didn't play nice with Socrates. It works, I'm happy.
It seems someone was trying to get hold of me desperately on my work phone yesterday. 8 missed calls between 3:10 and 3:45pm, all from 'Unknown number.' No messages left. Wut. Telephone solicitor? I got one of those on my mobile the other day, from Greenpeace. Way to make me not want to give you money, Greenpeace.
 There are now so many people on my flist that are doing LJ Idol that in order to read all of them and vote, I'd have to dedicate more time to it than I did to course readings for uni. In light of this, I won't be. Sorry guys, it's just too much.