Happy Birthday Commodore!

I loved the Apple II that we had at school and it was great, no doubt, however I have to say that this was my real true love starting out. I learned programming, wrote games on it (one based on the old TV show V) and even my own BBS. I also learned how to talk to the modem sending hayes commands back and forth. I made my own controllers for it after a friend showed me one he made with mercury switches. I also played all kinds of games from Infocom stuff to Miner 2049er.

However, I think that one of the under appreciated aspects of this computer was the friends I made as we were all trying to figure out how to do things, like make sprites!! :^)

This computer laid the foundation of my career.

Thanks Commodore!

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Need more input! – Reading List for the New Year

I realize I don’t read nearly enough. By nearly enough, I mean, almost zero. I read mind you…in the sense I read code and things on the internet. That said, I am wanting to expand.

I have read the Lord of the Rings. Hitchhikers Guide, some Star Wars books, and 7th Son (shout out to +J.C. Hutchins ), and Infected (shout out to +Scott Sigler ) however I am looking for more.

I asked my G+ followers for a list of reading recommendations for myself based on some of the things I read before (listed above). I will be reading these during 2011 and posting my thoughts here on my blog and on G+. Perhaps a virtual book club is in order with Google Hangouts.

Here is the list of what I got.

  • The Stand: Stephen King
  • The Shining: Stephen King
  • Salom’s Lot: Stephen King
  • Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek: Annie Dillard
  • Double Dead : +Chuck Wendig
  • Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom: Cory Doctorow
  • Going Solo: Roald Dahl
  • Inheritance Cycle: Christopher Paolini
  • Wheel of Time: Robert Jordan
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Snow Crash: Neal Stephenson’s
  • Good Omens: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen
  • Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card
  • Jennifer Government: Max Barry
  • Last Chance To See: Douglas Adams
  • Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective Agency: Douglas Adams
  • Good plan: +Nikolai Tkachenko
  • Foundation Series: Issac Asimov
  • Dune: Frank Herbert
  • The Past Through Tomorrow: Robert A. Heinlein
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz: Walkter Miller (Avoid Sequel)

Also Recommendations for any works from the following:

  • Terry Goodkind’s works
  • Cory Doctorow’s works
  • +Paul Cooley’s works
  • Max Barry’s works
  • Neal Stephenson’s works
  • Philip K. Dick’s works

Want to follow along? Watch my blog and other places for posts. Got something to add to the list? leave a comment.

Books are not objects but ideas

My mother will gift my son and other kids in the family with books when it comes to birthdays or Christmas, which is fine by my wife and I. My son reads a good bit already, so books are welcome. However, it is pretty evident that not everyone does read or appreciate books as much as they should.

Recently, my son had a friend over to had out one afternoon and my wife had told them that they couldn’t play on electronics the whole time, but had to do something else. A little while later my wife checked in on them and they had several books open and sprawled out on the floor, with notebooks and drawings, as they were planning on how to Survive a Zombie Attack!

My wife emailed my mother to tell her how much her books are appreciated here and how they were used that one particular day, and this is the reply my mother gave.

I can’t thank you enough for sharing this story.  The reason I like to give the boys books is that they meant so much to me as a child.  We didn’t have money to buy books but I used the school and later the children’s libraries as my sources.  I can’t recall my parents ever taking me to a library or a book store but I had wonderful teachers who inspired me.  I think I would be a very different person if I hadn’t had books back then.  I became extremely curious and envious of the world outside my experience.  I found beauty when there was precious little in the mill village where we lived and I was able to participate in someone else’s imagination, which still is an insatiable hunger in me.  So, to make a long story short, I would have loved owning books when I was a child and I think every child should own them whether they choose to read them or not.  (Books are not just objects but ideas!!)

By the way, the friend that was over admittedly doesn’t read much, however his mother called the next day to get the titles of the books they were using because he wanted to go to the store and get them too.

Facebook the new Email?

Today I logged into my Facebook account and I see that when I went to the messages area I was  greeted with a pop-up that said that Facebook now offers email addresses. It prompted me to set up my email address and they took a guess that I wanted my email at Facebook to match my username.

I tested it out and it worked well, and was fast. I see options for reporting something as Spam, Deleting, etc…just as you would come to expect for an email account. Facebook also pointed out that under Messages there is an ‘other’ folder. This seems to be a container for other messages like notifications from Groups and announcements.

I’m not so sure I need another email address.I am pretty sold on my Gmail account and have had it for years now…but I guess it could come in handy at some point. Anyone else see this?

Update: Apparently this isn’t new. I just don’t check my Facebook Messages page often enough to know that this was new to me. 🙂 That is what I get for using my Phone more than the website.

Training for a 5k Starts Monday

The title is a little narrow for what I am trying to do, but I’ve had it. I am ready to shed the weight and get myself together. To do that I have a plan and I have a goal. I’ll lay it all our here in this post and chronicle my progress on the blog as I move along…the ups and the downs.

A little background on last year. I purchased P90x back in early 2010. I started in January and finished the entire schedule with a few missed workouts here and there. I felt amazing as if I were some super-human about halfway through it. My endurance was up and I could run without sucking wind afterwards…something I hadn’t felt in years.

I started revisiting P90X after a week or two of finishing the first round but I didn’t stick with it. Quickly and before I knew it time passed and then the holidays came and the food with it and I just let myself go. Yes, after all that hard work. I am at that point now where I feel that enough is enough and I am ready to go back again. I believe in the P90X program because I have seen my own results and that is why I am going to hit it again.

I am going to lay out my high level goals first and then break it down into smaller goals that I can accomplish as I go forward. Additionally, to keep myself honest, I will be regularly blogging and updating my stats. I have a P90X spreadsheet on my Google Docs that you can view and follow along with my progress. (I may do a blog post just on the spreadsheet alone.)

Weight: I want to get to 175 or as close as possible. Currently I weight 210, so that means I need to loose 35 lbs. I am not sure I can get that far due to my body type. If I can’t I will be happy to get to 185 lbs. I also know that as time goes on I will be gaining muscle mass which will offset my weight goals some.

Endurance & Fitness: I plan on running a 5k with my Dad on August 27th, 2011. This is the high level goal that I need to reach and my motivating factor. To get here I will go through P90X and during the Phase III start adding some running to my schedule ramping up and continuing till the 5k on the 27th.

To make these goals I need to break them down into smaller goals that seem easier for me to concentrate on and achieve.

First Goals: Finish week 1 of P90X, loose 2 lbs, and blog or podcast about it.

Again, check back and see where I am at each week. You can leave comments here or follow me on Twitter to track my status, cheer me on, or do it with me.

By the way…I want to thank Annie Fulkerson for finding me on Twitter the first time I did P90X and provided encouragement. Hopefully she will be around for this time too. Follow her…she is awesome.

My Presentations from Create South 2011

These are my talks that I did at Create South 2011. I know I told everyone that I would have these posted by the end of the day on Saturday when Create South was over, however with the storm that blew through Myrtle Beach  that night it made the hotel Internet act up so I am posting these today.

Photography Hacks [link]
Additional links for this talk

WordPress: Security and Backup [link]
Links from this Talk

My Half Life

Today I turn 42. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Just a year older than last year. I still feel the same as when I did when I was 40, 30, even 20 something still to a degree. I don’t think I have changed a whole lot, I still get excited that I can buy a six pack of beer.

Age hasn’t really bothered me before…actually that isn’t *entirely* true. When I turned 30 I thought things had peaked, but in reality it was just the page turning and another chapter of “The Big Adventure”. I bought my first house and got married at 32, had a son at 33, bought my first real new car (I never shied away from used.), helped run my first new business, and eventually got a new full time job. It seems that every year has had its challenges.

I didn’t think much of 40 but now as 42 is here I can’t help but focus on the number and I know why. It’s because of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It is one of my favorite series of books and in the story the number 42 has a significant part, and now that I am turning 42 that number is sticking in my head. That said, as I am trying not to think of my age, people also like to point it out. I guess its an attempt to feel better about their own chronological disorder, and say “it’s not how old you are, it’s how young you feel.” Well, I still feel young and stupid, so let’s see how far that gets me.

Time marches on, and me along with it and that is okay. I wouldn’t say I was worried, or scared about the future or even death…more like weighted concerned. There is still a lot to be discovered, and a lot to still get excited about.