Daily Update: My technological life Part 4

During the time I was on the Vantive team I finally got a new home computer (and went through three different ones). I also set up a web server that I hosted my father’s website on as well as my own. I did some work in Adobe Flash. That was fun. I’d always written code. I’d never used a WYSIWYG editor. I saw the early HTML editors and the code the produced was bulky, clunky, and ugly. Pretty much all of my personal websites have all disappeared due to non-use. I still have ofgnomesanddwarves.com and jrmurdock.com, but pretty much everything else I’ve let go. I think I still have backups of all that old code.

One thing I failed to mention yesterday, most of the web work I did on the vantive team wasn’t just HTML and JavaScript. A large amount of the heavy work on the back end was from java Servlets. Java had been the next programming language that I’d picked up. Of course in this time HTML had gone through many changes and now there were CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to deal with.

I don’t have a good eye. Even though my eyesight is poor, I don’t have that eye fro style. I’m not a look and feel type of programmer. I’m a dig into the guts and make this thing work type of programmer. I like the nuts and bolts. So even though I’ve learned how to use CSS in my pages, I’m still struggling with how to make pages look good. Sure I can make them do darn near anything you want, but when it comes to looking good, well, I trust other people for that.

After leaving the Vantive team, I started with the group I’m currently with. Yet again it was starting over, but at least I knew some good coding techniques. I now had to learn Cold Fusion. It’s a markup language with some ties back to java and I was able to pick it up quickly enough, but it was different enough that it caused me some stumbling blocks along the way. I started with a few smaller apps that grew into bigger apps and got moved on to some higher profile projects. Through sheer dogged determination and help from fellow developers, I picked up on Cold Fusion, Fusebox, and started getting into jQuery. Frameworks, layouts, styles, and of course back end processing.

The pages I’ve been working on are cutting edge. It’s fun work because it’s not the same cookie cutter work day in and day out. My team is spread across the country so I work from home a lot. I’ve learned how to sit and work at a computer with little to no human interaction throughout a given day. Going through the years in chat rooms and building web pages has allow me to enter into a world where I type code all day and interact via instant messenger with my team. I produce far more code than I used to and I do it in a much more efficient manner. I’d like to think that this is just something that happened one day, but it’s not. This has been a very long journey that, much like my writing, has had many stops and starts. I’m proud of where I am today and hopefully more will come of it in the future.

Where will I end up in the coming years? From what I can tell, the team I’m on now is a safe and secure core group of some great developers. It’s a highly supportive team and I really enjoy working with this bunch. That’s not to say that the teams I was on before didn’t have its share of brilliant people. It was just an environment that I saw was time to move away from. I’m still in touch with many people from my previous jobs and previous teams.

So this evolved into me talking all about my job, what about other techy stuff?

My first cell phone was a dumb phone. You dialed a number. It remembered up to 100 names and numbers. It was the hottest thing on the market. Each year I progressed through a series of cell phones. One of my favorite was my Motorola Razor. It was a great phone for a few years. Combined with my Dell Axim (not sure of the model) was a great device. It held a 2GB SD card and a 2 GB Flash memory. I put on an expanded battery (with larger door) and read many ebooks on that thing over the years I had it. I loved reading on it. I had borrowed a friend’s palm pilot and couldn’t stand the black and white only screen and loved my PDA’s color screen. It wasn’t a touch screen, but I quickly adapted to the stylus.

I knew there was a point when PDAs and Cell Phones would merge. It was only a matter of time. Eventually I got my Motorola Atrix and the PDA was retired. I love my current phone. I also own a Motorola Xoom tablet. Both of these devices combine are a one-two punch that’ll knock out anything else I’ve seen on the market. You can have your iPhone and iPad. I’m very happy having devices that I can do what I need to do.

For work I’ve had a number of laptops. I’ve had Dells and HPs. I’m not finicky with the laptop I use for work, but when it comes to peripherals, I’m picky. I’ve gone through several mice over the years. Each time I get a new one, the old one goes to the home computer. Being that I spend a majority of my time working on my work laptop, I felt I needed a mouse that warranted as much time as I spend at the computer. Price was a sticking point at first until I thought that I’d spent a large amount on mice over the years. Why not spend money on one that was worthy of the amount of time it’d be in my hand. So I picked up the Cyborg M.M.O. 7 gaming mouse. You can read my earlier posts about this mouse, but I’m in love with this time.

I also have my Razer Nostromo. This is a gaming keypad. I also get use out of it, but not as much as I get out of the mouse. I’ve said before that I love each device for different reasons and the longer I’ve had them the more I’m using them. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I really start to put both devices to the test.

Beyond my cell phone, my tablet, my laptop and peripherals, I also have a netbook. I had bought this a couple years before me tablet. It doesn’t get as much use as it could, but I use it for recording and writing when I’m out of the house. It comes in handy and it’s small and portable. At some point I’m sure I’ll pick up a keyboard for the tablet and then I’ll be dangerous.

Just like with work, what does the future hold for me? I’m not sure. I love my toys (as I call them) and I use them just as much for work as I use them for play. I still remember the first hand held games I ever played like my little frogger arcade. I even remember trying to figure out my brother’s Matel hand-held football game. He loved that thing. I even had a hand-held noise maker. My grandma got me that to drive my mom nuts I’m sure. I think I’ll go see if there’s an app for that. I’m sure there is. Heck, I wonder if there’s a speak and spell app. That thing taught me how to spell. Something I still struggle with today. I wonder if it’s the toy’s fault. Hmmm.

I’m off to go use some technology for other means. Like getting some work done. Or maybe some writing. We’ll see. I’ll even use it to download some pictures of ducks.

Until Tomorrow!



Posted on July 22, 2012, in Daily Update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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