The Old Nerd Corner

So. With my excitable nature, and after getting a general consencus (spl?) from across many blogs, i’m starting to take photos. With a digital camera no less. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway. Here’s the first.

It’s my workplace. Where I delve into the dark, dank, dangerous dungeons of development.

That’s a lot of D’s.


Be sure to note the many work enhancers.

  1. There’s a Bundaberg Diet Ginger Beer bottle. That’s refreshment.
  2. Then there’s the Diet Coke bottle behind the lcd screen. That’s for addiction … i mean, concentration.
  3. Simpsons figurines are bluetacked to the edge of the table. This was a (failed?) attempt to maintain some version control. Although John’s Shoebox idea is cool.
  4. The Dell Inspiron 9100 (which doesn’t have an easily findable webpage … probably cause it’s a couple of years old) is a beast. Still. Even though it weighs half a metric tonne (I’ve got big brawny shoulders for hard labour), and even though the power supply can give you third-degree burns on contact (or proximity), and EVEN though it occasionally gives me grief on startup … it’s the bomb.

    I can fire up a bunch of stuff all at once. And I push it. It runs a bunch of apps at once, with servers running, and lots of browser testing, app testing, guis … etc, and I even tested it by running World of Warcraft with stuff open … still works fine. This thing is beautiful.

    Of course, it’s getting the absolute snot thrashed out of it. Considering all things, it allows me to get done the work i need to, with the power baby, power.

  5. Last, and most assuredly not least, are the little boxes in the background. I mean … those machines that gave us joy as kids. Well … not so much me … I had to get my joy from watching other kids play, as we didn’t get pocket money growing up ( … I don’t have any issues … whatchoo talkin bout?).

Anyway … we’ve got a pretty sweet setup down here … it’s very conducive to development. Which enables us to do what we do.

More Decay .. I Mean Change

There are a lot of little changes going on. So many that I’m having trouble keeping up.

Although anyone reading won’t be able to see it, we’re now using the excellent Wp Tiger Administration plugin by Steve Smith. Awesome stuff. Changes the entire administration process, very easy on the eye. It’s funny, cause it’s Mac/Apple, and I’ve almost exclusively never used the other side to the force. I mean … Brett, don’t get angry … It was a joke … hey, put down that bat! …

But anyway, kudos to all the peeps that are giving out their work into the webnet. It’s an exchange of information/ideas that makes this a very exciting time to be in development.

The Smelly Winds Of Change

Dev Dawn has had a massive visual overhaul.

Big shouts out to the following:

Paul Stamatiou really opened my eyes to just what can be done in the world of the interweb, blogs, and ‘net stuff. Plus, it’s his mod on the K2 theme that i’m using. Deviance.

The K2 Theme rocks. Simple. It’s very cool. Thankyou to the Binary Bonsai boys.

Lastly, I’m using a few new plugins. They are:

Brian’s Latest CommentsFeedburner PluginGravatarWP-ContactForm Ha ha, this was already plugged in. Silly me.

Thankyou very much. Everyone.

Especially WordPress. Without it, I’d still be beating my head against a wall trying to get Joomla to act like a simple blog. Heh.

‘Nuff Said.

About DevDawn

Where to begin? Well … at the beginning. If we lived in the world of The Princess Bride, then we would be Vizzini.

No. That’s not right.

If this were Joss Whedon’s Serenity-Verse, then we would be Mr Universe.

No. Again, not right.

Dev Dawn is about Ideas.

That’s better. More to the point. Ideas are what we are about. Not just having them, but doing something with them. Dev Dawn has purpose. There is much of it that isn’t known yet … but what is, follows.

Ideas are the life-blood of development. But they are only the beginning. You need a foundation. You need planning. You need the excitement to get an idea from fragments of words in space to released production. This is what Dev Dawn is about. Putting forth ideas, moulding them, fleshing them out into constructs of reality.

There is more. Community is a big part of it. Establishing a library of information that will help people to better understand what Development is. How to take an idea and transform it, make it a worthy goal.

Again with the phrase, the summation, the mission statement … Information :: Conduits Of, Interfaces To.

keywords: Ideas. Purpose. Development. Planning. Excitement (Fervour?).

I Wish For Time

The problem with being able to dream up lots of different ideas is that you have to manage them. Especially once you get them out, and other people depend on them. Because then it’s a lot harder to "shelve" a project, once it’s reached an audience. A client audience.

One of the visions of Dev Dawn was to enable new projects to be developed. A platform. This is still in the early stages, but as I continue to experience the realities of software development, both at my Job, and with my own Software, it becomes clearer to me that I need to note down the learning/experiences that occurs, so that we might be able to collate these into some kind of knowledge-base. Of course, I would think this is standard practice within a programming team, but it’s all new for me.

Being a new-Be to this world, I’m discovering elements to blogging that at first weren’t apparent. This is all going into a series of articles on my experiences with blogging. But anyway, to be successful (not necessarily numbers-wise, but truly vision successful) you need to have clarity of your purpose. Exactly what do you want to do with the blog. It doesn’t matter that you don’t put up content like all the other blogs you read … what matters is that you stay true to your vision (which can change) and be consistent in that vein.

There’s a lot more. It’s a complex field … one that I’m learning new things about all the time. And it’s changing too, which is awesome.


Merry XMas

Because of Futurama, everytime someone says Merry Christmas, i instantly reply with "I’ll be back when you least expect, NEXT XMAS" … classic.

To everyone who visits, have a wonderful christmas, and may your new year be full of growth and joy.



Forestry Management (Tree Health)

Premise: When you are deep within a great forest, trying to get to the other side, it is very easy to get lost amongst the trees. The leafy canopy, the dark moss on the ground, the hairy spiders attacking you.


Let me start this article by transporting your mind with a song. Picture your favourite musical, or that episode of the Simpson’s where Mr. Burns sings "See My Vest".

If you go down to the woods today,Be sure it is with a goalIf you code down in the woods today,You’d better get in control

For every time you push further in,And forget to take a moment outWell that’s the day that you project comes to eat you

Ahem. Again.

The idea (and title) for this article came directly from a conversation with Bill. I’m deep within a project at the moment, coding like a maniac, and realising (slowly), that it’s not good enough just to code. Just to port across the old code, or even transform the old code into new. That’s good, but only part of the picture.

Development, done properly, is really hard. Your brain has to not only be code orientated, but also global-direction orientated. And probably a few more directions as well. Definitely.

That is, when you are deep in the midst of coding a window with half a dozen different windows underneath it and some very complex logic to calculate certain values, calling a few more different procedures/functions, it is very hard to pull out and check the direction.

Let’s get serious. Most development is about creating a solution to a problem and/or need. There are a bunch of rules that drive the project that don’t have anything to do with the underlying code. That is, because we are the best at what we do (heh heh, Ego), we can get the code to assimilate whatever Rules are thrown at us.

This is good. But it’s easy to lose sight of those Rules. Especially in a complicated project.

So how do you do manage these two poles?

I think the answer is easy to realise, but much harder to implement.

It requires great discipline of mind. Well, to start with. Then, hopefully, like some, it will become almost second nature. To be able to split your mind and make sure that as you are thinking through the coding functionality, and even the low-level Rule functionality, that you are maintaining a grasp on the high-leve Rules.

There is more to this. It’s not just about thought processes. You have to do the unthinkable, stop coding, and test the sucker.

This applies to the developer doing a project on their own, and the developer who is part of a fifty-man team working on the next Duke Nukem, Hail to the King Baby! (Sidenote : What’s going on with this? I want to shoot pig peeps!). Every project you develop, or part thereof, is your own little kingdom, even if for only a moment. Make it your own.

Testing. It’s like drinking coke after years of diet coke abuse. Urggg.

But it has to be done. And you gotta change your palate to accomodate and make it part of your total development package. If you follow case-studies, or something similar, and add real data to your project as you code it, then you will come out the other end not only with a far more polished product, but also a better developer. Because you will pick things up, and evolve your development brain.

We have to grow our development brains. They are what is going from project to project. Own the project, for sure, but it’s gonna go. Until we leave this mortal coil, and probably a little before then when the mental faculties start to break down, our development brains are what gives us our vocation. So feed them, nourish them, work them.

As always, writing this article has uncovered other things. I wanted to talk about not losing track of the Rules of the project when in DeepCode, and discovered a further Dev Dawn purpose. Or rather, a development in the purpose of Dev Dawn.

The Development Brain.

More later. Thanks for showing up.