Increasing the Touchpad’s Volume

I just submitted my first homebrew webOS app to the PreCentral.net feed!

It isn’t actually an app, it’s an extremely simple script which just tweaks the boost so that the Touchpad can get louder. If you’re reading this on my actual site, you’ll notice a new “webOS” tab up top, that’s for supporting this, and what I hope will be many more apps in the future.

Now for the fun bit, I wanted to talk about my experience getting the script out there. The webOS Homebrew community is absolutely amazing for many reasons, but I just want to mention two:

  • They are consolidated. Unlike similar efforts on other platforms and projects, there’s very little community fragmentation here. The webOS homebrew community is entirely centered around webOS-Internals, with their awesome wiki being the number one knowledge repository outside HP’s own developer center. Their wiki, their git repositories, and their irc channels are open to anyone. They have systems in place for outsiders to immediately start making contributions, and while they are vetted and might be rejected, they always try to tell developers what needs to be fixed for inclusion.
  • They are approachable. While trying to figure out how to package this script for distribution through Preware (wOSI’s Homebrew App and Patch installer), I hit a few dead ends because of my lack of knowledge of the homebrew distribution system and how it differs from HP’s own, and what the limitations are for different methods. No problem, I just dropped into their IRC channel and every time, within a few minutes I had solid info on a better direction to look into.

Anyway, I’m in now–the badge next to my name on the PreCentral forum says “Homebrew Developer”. I’m pretty proud to have that badge, even if it’s for something so simple.

Settled! Somewhat…

Hello all! Things are finally settling down from the move, and while my work has of late been pretty crazy, I wanted to take a minute to post, so that I don’t end up falling off the writing horse again.

My webOS adventures are moving along–I got my hands on an unlocked Pre 2, which is a terriffic phone, to test some of my stuff on. I found that my favorite app idea, a WordPress App, has already been done fantastically well in Poster, and with a bunch of features I hadn’t planned on putting in mine, so I’m going to keep plugging away at my other ideas.

As I mentioned, my work life has been pretty nuts lately — I had done 58 hours this week before I stepped into the building this morning — so I’ve stepped out of my d&d group for the time being. It’s sad, my character in this particular game is a totally awesome assassin-mage, who, while I originally intended for him to be a quiet, stealthy poisoner, has turned into a rambunctious swashbuckling lover of all that is flashy. The other group members are a lot of fun to play with, too- the youngest is actually only 11, but she’s the strongest fighter in the group and was the only person to get my UMass CS binary tree shirt. Yeah. She’s about as cool as it gets. I could go on about the other players, and our DM, but let’s just instead say I’m really going to miss playing until things cool off at work.

Anyway, I left off work at a reasonable time today and saw Sucker Punch. I thought it was good, but Mikah didn’t. So we made another mistake. We rented The Last Airbender.

Now understand, I expected it to be bad; I expected it to break from the show in pretty dumb ways. But I never would have expected a movie featuring marial arts and elemental magic could ever be so exquisitely boring.

Apparently Shyamalan can’t event make a magical war interesting. It could have been just about any other director and this movie wouldn’t have been a freaking lullabye.

This is enough, I think, for now. Until next time, then!

A Little Trip

This week in the War on Sloth:

So I didn’t do as much productive hobbies this week, though I did learn the chords to the main theme from Legend of the Seeker (the show somewhat loosely based on the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind) on the guitar, and later on piano.

Really, I spent my time here:
Harper's Ferry WV

This year, since leaving taking a 10 day vacation out of the country isn’t an option given the craziness going on at work, Mikah and I decided to take a jaunt out to West Virginia to celebrate Valentine’s day with a weekend at a nice B&B. Mikah found us the Hillbrook Inn in Charles Town, a place which is exactly as it looks in the photos–remote, secluded, gorgeous. We spent most of Saturday wandering around Harper’s Ferry, even exploring a Flea Market.

We were there only two nights, and I wish we could have been there longer, but I feel greatly refreshed, and am glad to have had the time to reset myself.

I did briefly stop at Micro Center and took a look at books for getting myself into a new development skill. I’ve been talking and talking about several things, including 3d game development, and mobile app development, specifically for webOS. Game development is very different from my actual development path, and it would almost certainly take a long time to learn to use the tools of that particular trade; therefore I decided a few weeks back to work on making an app for webOS. Now I’m running into some rough patches with that, because, while I can easily get through the various tutorials I’ve found and get some pretty pictures displaying on the screen, I don’t actually know certain best practices for code organization and, well, mainly, how to fetch new information from an outside server.

This is certainly something that, with a little more time and patience, I could learn from the documentation and from reading through more examples, but to assist me on the path, I was thinking of buying a book on webOS development. Unfortunately, Micro Center only had one which had very low ratings online, so I left it. I’ll just have to keep looking, and reading.