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Rants

Rant Author

Sloooowww Glenn

Glenn

2014-08-20 19:24:36


Hello, world! I apologize for being slow Glenn the last couple weeks. I managed to burn myself out quite a bit. But! Interesting things abound in the world, so I'll try to cover some of them.

Recently I've been learning about AngularJS. I've used jQuery templates and Knockout extensively and from what I've learned so far Angular is just a combination of the two, plus some really cool utility functions. If you haven't tried the CodeSchool online "class" for AngularJS, I highly recommend it. The "challenges" let you live-code an example website, which gives you instantaneous feedback about how well you've memorized the syntax they teach you. Once you get to the third module, however, the programmer didn't do as awesome a job as they did in the first two; half the time it doesn't accept perfectly good JS code (especially if you use some of the cooler/less common techniques) and the other half you have to just go to a new line and press "Enter" for no reason to get it to accept your code. Like I said, the first two modules' challenges are coded beautifully, so try some cool things to your heart's content! And the videos are great at showing the evolution of the code, so you can focus on what and why you're coding particular things.

TwitterBootstrap is also in my learning queue as of late. What's great about it is that they do everything I've been doing with CSS and JavaScript for years. Additive classes, media queries, icon fonts, CSS3 transitions, etc etc. The annoying thing is that they've done so dang much of the stuff. You never know if their classes and custom JS+DOM binds are going to play nice together, so you just have to try things in a hundred combinations until it works right. In some ways it speeds up my website development. CRUD pages have never been easier. Add in Angular's easy-as-pie data validations and I can code forms in no time flat. But in so very many ways also, Bootstrap slows me down. I always know how to code what I want - but instead I have to Google-Fu around for half a day trying to find out if "what I want" is implementable through Bootstrap's JS/CSS/DOM-manipulation quagmire. Eventually I'll know where the line is drawn in the sand for writing custom code vs using Bootstrap to do it for me. Until then... so much research...

- Glenn

Rant Author

A Man of Many Games

Seth

2014-04-09 14:15:01


Some days there just isn't enough time to get everything done that you want to get done. Write for Edge, play Starcraft, write on my book, play some 3DS, work on my programming project, play some Diablo, write something for my blog, play some more 3DS, read Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (which I highly recommend), play some FTL on my iPad. Some days it takes all my bloody self-control just to put the controller down and get the work done I need to get done on the many other projects that demand my time.

Truthfully though, I want to be gaming. Some days I just need it. And today I'd like to talk about a few of the things I'm playing (and trying to finish) right now.

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm (PC)

Lets face it. This is the gold standard of RTS (real time strategy) games. The Starcraft series is everything I want and crave in a RTS and if you haven't played it you should... even if Blizzard will keep you waiting until you're old and gray for the next one.

Mario and Luigi: Dream Team (3DS)

Ok, I probably never would have bought this for myself. I got it for my birthday and was very surprised at just how much fun this title is! I understand that all the Mario RPG's are interesting and fun, but I never really believed it. Nintendo really does know how to get the most out of their hardware, and this title makes it shine.

Bravely Default, Flying Fairy (3DS)

Weird name, awesome game. Ladies and gentleman, if you love the Final Fantasy of old, this is it. Square-Enix really did a good job on this, from the story (classic FF) to the amazing visuals and music. You'll want the soundtrack to this game. I'm also a big fan of the mix and match job system that it employs. Another title for the 3DS that I highly recommend.

Etrian Odyssey (3DS)

Yeah, its another title for the 3DS. Look, if you don't have one of these and you like gaming on the go, you should get one. Yeah, your phone can play Angry Birds but it can not match the awesome that is the 3DS. Anywho, Etrian Odyssey is an old school dungeon crawler that uses the bottom screen to let you map out the dungeons. This might sound like work, but its actually a ton of fun. Mapping out a level, marking the mining points and the hidden short cuts is really satisfying. The character customization is also top notch. It is not for the faint of heart though, as the difficulty curve is SUPER steep.

Pocket Trains (iOS)

Don't judge me! Look, that game is CRACK in the palm of your hand and it goes every where with you. Its just a casual time management game, but so help me, I just can't quit it. That and TIny Tower. Nimblebit is a purveyor of digital heroin and they need to be stopped; them and their adorable little bitizens.

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

First, yes I have a Wii U. Second it is actually a great system, for all that I play any console aside from my 3DS. Could Nintendo be doing better by their flagship system? Yes. Is it as bad as PS4 and XBox fanboys make it out to be? No. You should all know what Wind Waker is. What you may not know is this game is freaking beautiful in HD. I love playing it just to look at it on my big screen. The music is also a joy to me. Yet another soundtrack that I need.

So, yeah, I'm juggling a lot of things right now. In fact, my 3DS is probably done charging, so I'm going to go play some Dream Team. There's many other games to talk about, but we'll save that for another week. Maybe I'll start working on a list of great things on the 3DS that I've already beat.

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