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2018

Nightly Code Binge Result #1

Image of a whiteboard

So with the wonderful amount of time I have allocated during the summer. I get to do some things that I would not normally do on a school day.

Note… It’s like one in the morning so…

HMMM

Hmm indeed. I have been coding something to do with Anime and some other cutesy things. Though anime is a niche, I plan on expanding it onto other stuff. Then I can just integrate with like 5 apis for ex (YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, etc…….)

What did I code today?

Looky here -> Github Link

I’ll have a prototype out later this week. (I think)

What will happen tomorrow

Probably more coding. I’ll also start working on my more serious app. More detail on that tomorrow

See ya next time.

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Highschool So Far

So high school has been pretty interesting so far. I would like to say that I would like to get out of here and soon as possible. That feeling is greatly enhanced by that fact that I have one year left of high school. So in this article I’ll just go through the rundown of some key things that happened each year.

Freshmen

  • Took classes
  • Joined clubs
  • Coded

Sophomore

  • Took classes
  • Kept doing clubs
  • Coded
  • Virtual Business

Junior Took ½ classes + Spark

  • Spark is just more coding
  • Quit some clubs joined new clubs
  • Experimented a bit and then cut off sketchy friends

Senior

  • IDK

Within all of these years of high school and public education so far. I would have to say that my Junior year of high school has been the most valuable to me. The stakes were higher with exams like the ACT. Some classes I took were extremely interesting as well. Especially Government and Crime and Law. With how I’ve been taking classes, hopefully, senior year will not be that bad :D

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How I organize my tasks for the day.

Organizing my tasks

So I started utilizing a system that I haven’t used since Summer Break started and I thought that I should share it. It’s quite simple (I think)

The System

I use this text editor on occasion called Emacs. Within Emacs they have special modes/plugins. One of the modes are called org mode. With in Org Mode you can do you can write notes/agendas/todos and so much more

How is this system used

Everyday when I wake up in the morning (and have the energy), I create a new agenda file. This agenda file is a simple checklist file that has tasks separated into several categories.

Categories?

Yeah categories.

Like What?

The categories that I have setup right now are

  • Work
  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual (i.e Buddhism, Philos, etc)

By dividing all my tasks into these categories I can maintain a productive level of energy without burning myself out.

And sys.exit(1);

That’s it for now. I’ll modify this post with links tomorrow…

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Game Dev Log for April 16

Game Devlog

Alright I’m tired. It’s 10:30. Whatever.

I’ll talk about the progress of the game I’ve been building for the past couple of weeks

Here we go

Story

The game, Rodnova, is a game where you are Rod. Rod is a young scarf wearing Novian who was made fun of because he wore a scarf. The games main purpose is show that regardless of who people tell you, heros can come from unlikely sources and should not be underestimated. Rod goes on a journey to prove his strength and save his village from the 4 demons of the apocalypse. That’s the story I have in my head so far.

Level Design

The levels are split into 6 sections.

  • Tutorial
  • Grasslands
  • Firelands
  • Waterlands
  • Airlands
  • Village

Each of these sections have 4 levels except the Village stage, and the Tutorial levels.

Each set of levels is intended to present Rod with new challenged and new game mechanics.

I have not designed many games before hand so the level design still needs much work

Today

I finished up most of the Airlands levels. I just have to creat the boss level for Airlands and that is it for that section.

Tomorrow, I will complete the Airlands boss, and begin working on the Village levels

Other updates

  • Turned 17
  • Building web application in Spark
  • Eating, Sleeping, High School, Coding

Game will come out within the following weeks
Stay tuned!

– Mecha

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Project Management of Software and the Like.

Software can be troublesome

Especially when most of the time your experience is lone wolf coding. So for some reason, I decided to take a leadership position in a team project of 8 people.

I don’t know how to manage people

So how do you manage that many people and try to build a product in eight weeks?

Trial and Error my friend.


Getting everyone on board

Alright, you starting from ground zero. How do you start getting to work?

To start you need to:

  • Understand each member’s strengths/weaknesses
  • Create basic understanding of overall functionality and look of application
  • Look at end goal and work backwards

Each of these help advance the project in some way.

Understand each member’s strengths/weaknesses

Being able to gain a simple understanding of each member allows for better collaboration and team productivity down the road

Basic understanding of look and feel of application

With every team member on the same page (hopefully), the application development will become less difficult as less adjustments will have to be made

Look at the end goal and work backwards

Looking at the end goal and working backwards allows for the project to be broken into tasks and user stories. This will aid in the next step which is task delegation.

Task Delegation

Task delegation is one of the most crucial parts of project management. Without it, everyone would be working on the same features.

A good tool to use for task delegation is a kanban tool like Trello. By using such a system, each member knows exactly what to work on and when it needs to be done.

Clearing/Preventing Misunderstanding

This is a multifaceted issue, so I will try to offer what has worked for me so far.

In the midst of an misunderstanding, it is best to figure out how the misunderstanding came to be and come to a common consensus with the team member of what needs to be done.

A good way to prevent this from ever happening is to have a workshop that goes over where all the resources, tasks, and information for the project can be found. This saves time and energy as you, the project leader, will not have to answer as many of questions of confusion.


Good luck

I hope I was able to shed some useful advice in this article. If I did, please be sure to like, follow, share. It is greatly appreciated :)

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2017

Alkonost version 1.0 released

Project Release! Alkonost: Another News Aggregation App

Alright. Alright. What’s the project?

TL;DR link to news app


So recently, I’ve been kinda annoyed with news stuff. As a result, I’ve been working on a news aggregation app in my free time.

It’s called Alkonost. You can use it here

What does it do?

Well right now. Not much.

Currently I have it setup to read some news from a select set of newsfeeds and categories. The categories are as follows

  • Business
  • Tech
  • Entertainment
  • Art and Culture
  • Lifestyle
  • Politics

I hope to implement more customizability in later versions.

Features to Implement

Here is the current list of features that I plan to implement for next release.

  • Add custom rss feeds
  • Add custom categories
  • Delete rss feeds

There is definitely a ton more I wish to implement, but I need to have a goal in my sights :P

Important Bugs

The current version of the app works. However, there are a couple of bugs. The main one is that

You can’t pull up the newsfeeds too quickly

What this means is that by switching between different news categories too quickly it could cause the app to glitch out.


That’s it for this post. If you enjoyed it please be sure to comment, like, share, and all that other fun stuff. Cheers.

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Implemented Medium Archiving

Just today I completed the medium archiving process. You can now view the archives at

/archive

How did I implement it?

I went over to medium. There I downloaded an archive of all my posts I wrote. They were saved as pure HTML files.

I put them all into a folder labeled “archive”

I then created a page that iterates through each page and links to it.

bad news: They are still pure HTML files :(

I would still mark it as an success

Please be sure to check out the archived posts at

/archive or on my Medium page

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Archiving Medium Posts

I recently stated that I would be moving off Medium and writing mainly on my personal website.

Main issue with this though is I have quite a bit of stories on Medium.

Solution?

So the solution to this is pretty simple actually. Medium allows writers to download a zipped archive of all their posts.

I will just have to create a page on a website that links to all archived posts. They will be viewed as unstyled HTML webpages.

I’m sorry :P


That’s it for now on this piece of development. I will update about this once it is completed.

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Building Alkonost: Aggregated RSS News Reader

Hello.

Overview

I’m currently working on this new project called Alkonost. It’s basically an web app that gives you news from a variety of sources.

I’m building it right now to help diversify my own news reading. Version 1.0 will have a set amount of connected new feeds and categories.

The initial categories for the app will be

  • Tech
  • Business
  • Sports
  • Politics

The tech

The application is mostly built with the ionic framework. It is a useful tool for building mobile web applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I highly recommend if you are trying to build hybrid applications.

I also have to write a RSS parser in the app. I found a library that does most of the hard work for me. However, there is still some kinks I need to work out.

Most of the tech for this project was built out 2 months back for a tutorial I created. I am repurposing that code and publishing it.

The main issue right now is the exerpts creation. A user should not be able to view the entire article within the app. Instead, they should only be able to view an shortened version.


I will write more regarding this project as it progresses. That’s all I have for now.

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Updated Website

Hey everyone. I’ve been focused on school and work related matters recently, so I haven’t had much time to work on the blog. Before I was about to start blogging, I realized I needed to make some changes to the website.

The main feature that I added to the website was a work page. I listed links to my Github, LinkedIn, and Product Hunt page. In addition, I also wrote an excerpt for notable projects that I have worked and am currently working on.

Next Steps

The next features that will be added to the website will be a category and archive page.

The category page is for organizing my several blog posts and content more effectively.

The archive page is needed because I still have quite a bit of blog posts from Medium that I need to move over.


Well that’s it for today’s developments. If you enjoy my work/writing please be sure to share or comment below. You can also contact me directly at mechasparrow@gmail.com

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Welcome

Welcome to the Blog

Hey. This is Michael. After several restless weeks of not blogging, I’ve decided to quit Medium. Instead, I will be blogging on my website mechasparrow

I feel that by blogging on my own website, I will have greater control of what I write about and the content I produce.


DevLogs

I will continue writing DevLogs. Expect those to be published weekly on Thursdays. New projects include an RSS Feed Reader, Cryptocurrent/blockchain, and a game! I can’t wait to talk about it these projects.

Poems and Creative endeavors

A couple months back, I experimented with alternative genres of writing. These mainly included poems and philosophical pieces. I will continue writing these type of posts as well.

Livestreaming and YouTube videos

I plan on creating course material and other types of content on platforms such as Youtube, Twitch.tv and LiveCoding.edu . I will post written post versions of these videos and courses.


I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post. If you did, please be sure to share, like, etc

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