Chromecast Review

This is not a programming post be warned. for my wedding i got a staples 100 dollars gift card and i thought i would use it to buy a ton of pictures printed. Then my xbox 360 account ran out of its subscription and i started thinking that the only reason i pay for the subscription is to use netflix.

Yesterday i went to staples and i had to get some outlet multi plugs while being there had about 50 dollars left on my gift card saw the chrome cast next to the register and did an impulse buy after all it was technically a gift.

Here are my thoughts on it so far.

The good
Integration with HULU and netflix is tight
Quality of items in the screen pretty nice
Setup is incredibly easy.
Casting browser tabs might be useful
Good range on the device

The bad
The electrical cable is too short
You have to leave your device on while casting
The flow after a movie end of making you have to go back to your app is kind of clunky
Loading takes more than loading just in your application.

Whats next
I want to try out the api see how good is the device for hacks.

Conclusion i think its a cheap and great one purpose device that seems to have a future for expansion via its api. Also it saved me from buying an xbox gold subscription.

Link to the product
http://georiot.co/3FLs

I survived burnout just barely

Hi blog readers I have recently read a bunch of posts regarding Work life balance. Starting with people trying to achieve it:

http://501manifesto.org/

http://www.hmans.io/2012/04/23/the-501-developer-manifesto/

Followed with some tips to survive the burnout and detect it:

http://www.codingninja.co.uk/logout-before-you-burnout/

And quite a few who don’t believe is an issue an most of us talking about this are a bunch of whiners.

I’m just going to state this I did not believe in burnout, it happened and I almost did not made out of it. I see there are two types of engineers in big companies those that make programming their lifestyle and those that just see it has a skill they have for work and two earn money. To the second kind I really can’t tell you much about burn out since except for the last 4 months I have never behave that way.

To the first kind listen if you want even though has you read it its probably going to sounds has rubbish since you know better Smile. You are not going to see it coming unless someone lets you know. Second its not about the time you spend in the office but about the time you are in the office but the time you spend connected to the problems that you need to solve. Especially those that drain your energy (In my case solving political or build issues).

So how does burnout feel. You know when you have those days that you look at the screen and no code wants to come out and your mind is like lets go look at reddit for a few more hours is like that but 24/7 and your mind seems to want to stay consuming instead of producing.

So how do you get to that point. First and foremost its your fault. In my personal case I was having confidence issues because I had tried to move to another team in the company and got rejected and decided to try to improve myself. If you feel at work that you have something to prove that is one of the early signs. Second things start getting overcomplicated and you can’t really justify it therefore you try to fix (this is normally not a real problem talk to your boss). Third you feel like you need to be in this job since getting out would be admitting failure at this point I would say that you know that you are in trouble. 4th very close to the end I felt like everyone was doing something wrong around me(Normally I never think that).

So what happened next I stopped functioning got to the point that I could not do anything and decided I had to quit.

So how did I get back on my feet quite a few things:

  • Family and gf support -Can’t say how important this was
  • Changing my lifestyle to focus on financial security
  • Watching tv for 3 whole weeks.
  • Reconsidering my career choices and if being a developer was a good choice.
  • Last but not least getting to work in a place where i was able to work in the part that i enjoyed of the job without all the other ones(This is the one that is hard to find).

    If you are wondering what im doing forward to avoid a repeat I will tackle that in a following post later this week since its rather lenghty. The one thing I would like to mention is that is all in your control burnout has nothing to do with bosses or what not in all honesty people should not have much power over you if they do. The first thing that you need to do is fix your living situation to help avoid burnout. Hopefully this experience helps some people out there. If there is anything you guys want to discuss let me know.

    New Year And Interesting Changes

    The new year came in and few things have changed in my life for once. I decided to resign at Microsoft to take care of some personal issues. At the moment i ‘m still dealing with the change of moving from the workforce into a more personally driven situation.

    In part due to my new found time I have been taking a look around at the new technologies that are coming and I’m convinced that this year is going to be the the year that html 5 blows up our minds. Perusing the web I found this two web sites and they did just that.

    http://www.kevs3d.co.uk/dev/
    He shows his 3d library and creates some interesting demos is worth looking at it.

    http://apps.nahklick.de/cnc/
    This one on top recreated c&c in html 5 showing off the possible gaming capabilities of the environment.

    Seeing this type of technology advancements have made me question two things
    First – What the heck have I been doing in this last couple of years since it made me realize I’ve been not contributing much.

    Second – As software developers we might actually be a bit out of focus with what is needed to advance society. We are spending our time creating software for advertisement, games and advancing it day to day but leaving behind  many fields like infrastructure creation, economics , resource distribution , medicine with only a few advancements.
      In a lot of cases when we have approach this field due to the constraint of money we have become part of the system. Like in medicine a lot of the Emr or bi systems are not for the betterment of the patient or to help the provider make less mistakes. But to enforce that correct billing is being done to the Insurance companies.

    Which brings me to the point maybe for the next year computer engineer / scientist should spend at least some of their time helping another industry that is not their own Smile

    Best of wishes on the new year.

    Alfredo

    What To Do When Inheriting A Code Base: Part 2 Understanding The System

    Alright Last Article we got the code base working and now we are ready to actually understand what our system does. The first step that I take is to not look at the provided Diagrams for the project. Why you may I ask because I have found that most of the time they are not completely correct which only causes confusion when you don’t know the system. So what would I do:

    First check if I have a functional environment that I can thinker with. If I do then I try to figure out what is the main point of entrance for the main function of this system and what is the output the orange boxes. After Identifying that I try to find Where does the workflow happen and this I what I really care about.

    image

    By Watching the Workflow happen slowly either debugging or reading a log in verbose you can get a pretty good picture of what goes on in the system. This is really easy to do on WCF service and SQL in particular. In SQL people have a task table which is a common pattern well lets place the profiler to see the changes then make sense of what all that means. On the WCf service watching the messages come in and the responses it gives should give a fairly clear idea of what the routing it looks like.

    After you understand the system routing is easy to dissect what happens in each component in a need to know basis.

    Normally after I understand this I look at the documentation and see how close it is to what I understood from analyzing the system.

    To understand the support system to me is important to isolate them and see them individually to be able to gather the reason for them and not just the side effects they cause or the support they give.

    This is a really time consuming action and you should document everything you find during this for your own sake.

    -Alfredo Out

    Update:What’s going on

    Hey guys and gals,
    Not sure who actually reads this. Lately i haven’t posted much because i was on vacation :D. I’m currently in tech ed so i still don’t expect many posts this week(the conference has been pretty fun and the ineta talks have rocked).

    So what do i have coming soon in terms of post and work:

    -Update my article about making textboxes with some other approaches to solve the problem and answer the question of how to expand the text box.

    -Update there is no place for gnomes i have gotten some feedback and i want to roll and update before the end of month

    -Create the cross of the south my gaming and media company (yeah right now is just a baby).

    -Work on the new game aussie puncharoo.

    -Hopefully read a book porgramming related feel like i haven’t done this in awhile.

    I will see which one of these turn into post. Like always if you got any questions feel free to post and i will try to respond in a timely manner.

    Alfredo