2011 Focus

2010 is gone, here comes 2011!

Professionally:

This is going to be a fun and challenging year for me.  I have several areas of interest that I will be focusing on in 2011, the first and foremost is web 2.0 patterns (as is Matt) and techniques, and to follow, getting them to work seamlessly in the Eclipse and Lotus Notes client, ie. project Vulcan.  So you will continue to see various web-client integration patterns using things like Open Social API’s, Dojo, and more. The challenge will be mixing web and Eclipse based technology in a seamless and re-usable manner.  Many have already seen the attachment viewer, which was my first stab prototype at the concepts.

On the personal-professional side (ie. my hobby), I am still diving on WordPress, JQuery, MySQL, and PHP.  I always “play” in other areas that are either opposite or compliment my job at IBM.  This gives me a slightly different take in technical debates.  I always fall back to Sun Tzu – “know your enemy” – well, that’s probably extreme but I am sure someone I work with would call JQuery the enemy!  I also plan on reviewing a few books this year so I am looking for suggestions in that space.

Personally:

Lot’s of stuff going on at the home front.  With Kim and the girls fully moved in, the house is finally starting to settle; but that doesn’t mean its not somewhat chaotic on a daily basis.  With four kids in sports and with me coaching one of them it gets a bit ugly but its fun.

Got the kids into animation!

Today I sat down with my eight year old and showed him a little bit about Blender.  After the first video he immediately took interest and I also showed my two oldest kids the video and pointed them to the YouTube tutorials by Super3Boy and Blender site so they could play around if they wanted.  In the end, Nathan came up with the animation below.  I helped by doing the actual work but he pretty much directed the entire animation – which was cool.  He seemed to have a pretty good interest level.  You can do a Save As on this link if you want to download the blend file.

Kids writing games with XNA

Bradley Jones has two great articles for programming XNA (XBox games).  I really like XNA and played with it for quite a while.  I think it is the perfect tool set and framework to get into game programming.  The framework hides a lot of the dirty details with video, sound, and synchronization but also allows you to really dig into the concepts at a fairly low level.  Check out these two articles and when you mix the tooling with other freely available tools like GIMP, Blender, Audacity, and ImageMagick.

Development with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and XNA Game Studio

Moving Items with Microsoft Visual Studio, XNA Game Studio and A GamePad

Happy Holidays!

I love kids!

Coaching flag football last night (5-7 year olds). Started working on the defense and the different positions. One of the new kids (Nicholas) to football was put at line backer and I tell him how he has to follow the ball and get the flag from the person with the ball. I emphasized on “watch the ball!”. The center hikes the ball to the quarterback and Nicholas runs right at the quarterback – almost like a blitz. The quarterback turns around and hands it to the left back – it was a sweep right. Nicholas just stands there looking at the quarterback. After the play I say “Nicholas, what happened? You were supposed to get the flag from the guy with the ball”. The kid looked completely stunned at me and says “yeah but he tricked me and gave the ball to someone else”.

I love it.