Twits and Such for 2007-06-28

  • wishing I could blog more… #
  • had one of those energy drinks with logs of Korean Ginseng, still dog tired #
  • for the past couple days I flirted with what was almost a cold (my second), but it just went a way (hooray for immunity) #

Twits and Such for 2007-06-25

  • Feels weird to be doing Ruby Quizes as part of “work” #
  • Thank goodness the IMified RTM widget is back #
  • I wish Twitter had a view where I could see the twitters of another user’s friends #

Sorry About the Closed Comments (They’re Really Open)

Sucks that I have to turn this into a post but I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I re-installed my blogging software so I accidentally have the comments set as closed. I’m using two computers so I need to change it back on the other. Once that’s done it should be okay. Sorry for all the confusion.

I was wondering why nobody left comments anymore!!!

A Week in the Life of a Newly Minted Programmer

Since I really don’t have time to chase news or write an opinion piece I guess I might as well as write a diary. Last week I started my new job as a programmer. I’ve still got some time before my official project starts so I’m basically on my own looking up APIs and polishing skills. It’s pretty much everything I was doing as a hobby only getting paid. The thing is when you’re surrounded by other programmers it’s a whole different experience because you’re more focused (no goofing around on the internet) and so are others. It’s funny how being in the same room can have such an effect.

The company is an interesting company in that the development division is being bulked up to do in-house development. Right now the main source of revenue is reselling blog licenses with original design and SEO thrown in. We actually have a large sales department cold-calling people to sell companies blogging software. I actually like this because the sales people all wear sharp suits and are always cheerful while the IT department is laid back as can be. The IT department is also full of a bunch of people new to programming in general which is cool (because they’re willing to take a chance on me) but worrying a bit at the same time.

The thing is after staring at a computer and coding as much as I can for more than 8 hours a day, I really can’t use my mac the same way I used to. I suppose that will change once I get used to it but until then, I’m going to be on a light blogging diet. Might try to sneak in a couple posts here and there but it’s kind of hard seeing how we have an open floor plan and I use a medium-sized Apple Cinema Display.

However, I still want to work on that personal project I’ve never got the chance to polish up (only gotten started) and a bunch of other things. For now I unwind on Tetris DS by playing the world via wi-fi.

Twits and Such for 2007-06-24

  • just added all my followers. Nice. #
  • why don’t twittervision profiles link to the REAL profiles??? #
  • The rain is misty and looks like a heavy fog. Welcome to rainy season in Japan. #

Tetris Makes You Smarter?

Tomorrow I start a new job as an entry-level Ruby on Rails programmer. I’ve got a three month probation to prove that I have what it takes at a small Japanese startup. It’s been a long process of reinventing myself from an arts type to becoming a programmer. One of the things I swore off of a long time ago was video games. The last console I owned was a Sega Saturn. Yeah, I thought it was better than a PlayStation I.

I loved all kinds of games and wasted my childhood on Super Mario Bros. (the original). No one ever thought these games did us any good. It was just fun and that’s all that ever matters to a child. It doesn’t take a genius to know that clearing Super Mario Bros. wouldn’t get you an A in English or math.

In fact, deep down inside I thought games made me stupid, albeit an idiot with good reflexes. Seeing the video game arcade wizards so pale, skinny and expressionless doing wonders with the joystick while struggling to have a conversation or making eye contact didn’t help either.

I must say the Nintendo DS is a clever coup for adult naysayers. The entice “good adults” with game titles like Brain Age that alleviate our fears of continued mental decline as the internet makes every thing a mouse click away. Brain Age was the only game I owned for the last couple of months. Then the other day I splurged on Tetris DS since I landed a new job.

Playing people from around the world through DS’s wi-fi functionality was a shock of fresh air. Suddenly, I was a child playing my best friends in my living room competing for high points. I never touched Brain Age for a whole five days since getting Tetris.

You can imagine my shock when I played Brain Age to document my mental decline only to set a new record playing “Calculations x100” by clocking a new personal record of 1 minute and 12 seconds. Fighting competition on Tetris enabled me to enter a state of flow where my logical mind would constantly interfere with irrelevant thoughts.

Although I’m sure that if I didn’t play Brain Age for a couple more months that my score would really drop, maybe having a little fun is not only a way to relax but also good for you mind as well. As the first adults to grow up on video games, we need to keep an open mind. Brain science still has a long way to go before they can ever provide conclusive evidence that games really are bad for you.

Who knows, maybe Tetris will make me a better programmer?