Wisconsin Northwoods

I’m my past post I forgot to mention just how significant distraction can be to keeping projects from getting finished. Well, a bit ago I got Atmel’s [AT90USBKey]( and last week, while up in a cabin in Wisconsin’s northwoods, I indulged my sentimental side and started reading Thoreau’s *Walden*. I’ll plan on getting back on the wagon, just not right now…

The Developer’s Dilemma

People always like to quip that “real artists ship,” as a quick one-liner I guess that’s pretty good, but as with everything else… only sorta true. Anybody familiar with creativity has to admit that an end result of any quality usually requires a great deal of quantity in the background. Photographers will take hundreds of pictures in the process of producing tens of photos. Films emerge from hours worth of additional footage thrown in the waste bin. Graphic Designers build copious numbers of mockups to produce a final design.

We developers are in the idea business too and, although I feel wholly unqualified to say this, the *good* developers are the ones with lots of ideas. In my experience as a mediocre programmer I spend a lot of my time hounded by ideas of my own creation.

I found this great passage in an [article]( by [Richard P. Gabriel](

John’s world is a world of ideas, a world in which ideas don’t belong to anyone, and when an idea is wrong, just the idea – not the person – is wrong. A world in which ideas are like young birds, and we catch them and proudly show them to our friends. The bird’s beauty and the hunter’s are distinct.


Some people won’t show you the birds they’ve caught until they are sure, certain, positive that they – the birds, or themselves – are gorgeous, or rare, or remarkable. When your mind can separate yourself from your bird, you will share it sooner, and the beauty of the bird will be sooner enjoyed. And what is a bird but for being enjoyed?

Every creative would love to claim a monopoly on divine inspiration, but since we can never quite manage that we settle for just hiding away all those half-finished, not quite thought-through, potentially embarrassing ideas of ours – and it’s a really nasty habit.

For developers, we have trouble kicking things out of out our ~/Projects folder and sharing them with others because they’re “just not done yet.” Doneness is a dangerous idea – especially for perfectionists. It is always so tempting to keep polishing this or that project until you can really say it is done. Or worse, putting something pretty good to the side and promising to come back to it later to finish it off.

I’ve without a doubt fallen into that trap, granted I’ll make an argument for school getting in the way, but the truth is I’ve been sitting on a whole lot of “not done yet” projects for no great reason at all. Now that I’m nearly out of school, with new-found time on my hands, I’m resolving to drag them out of the closet, give them the once-over and throw them out for others to have – done or not.

I Can Has Job?

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Hooray, my final semester has already arrived and is on its way out. With ~8 weeks of class remaining, I’m closer than ever to leaving university and being out in the job market.

And, while I’ve gone around to the usual suspects, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I am most definitely not the usual suspect’s kind of material. In light of this, I figured I’d make some kind of announcement here.

So what kind of thing am I looking for? Well… naturally, I am looking to work building things loaded full of 100% pure AWESOME. After that here is an unordered list of:

1. A product that I can fall in love with.
2. Work that requires things to be beautiful — inside and out.
3. Work where broad interests are a good thing.
4. A company filled with groovy people.

And of course that list’s important counterpart — what I can do:

1. Cocoa programming, if you found my blog this is probably why.
2. Web programming, CSS, HTML, and Javascript are good friends.
3. Java programming (i.e. backend of a webapp).
4. “Better than average” sense of design and usability. There really isn’t any objective measure of this but I think it is safe to say I’m pretty good.

I’m not terribly interested in publishing personal information of me or others here on the world wide web, so I’ve only published a reduced resumé here. If you want the full document email me directly and I’d be happy to give it to you.

Traffic Widget

Things have bee a little quiet here in my little corner of the blogosphere (though I assure you real life has been far more eventful). So today I thought I’d liven things up a bit with a post on the maintenance update I did for [Traffic]( a few weeks ago – Exciting!

First I updated the default quota to 2GB, (up from the 750MB, which cause all sorts of problems when listening to [SomaFM]( for days). Then switched things over to using the [Apple classes]( And, well, that was it. Enjoy the rest of your day.

It’s all about the Brackets, Baby!

Obj-C hands picture

With [C4\[1\]]( starting tomorrow (which I, sadly, won’t be at). It seems apropos that I put out my graphical rendering of Rentzsch’s Obj-C sign from C4[0]. There you are!


Repos. and updates and such

I’ve been really happy to see my code has found its way into so [many](*%5C*) hands. As such I see it as incumbent on me to provide a bit more infrastructure around the code than I have thus far.

And so, over the weekend I put together a [page]( (with all the requisite frill) for each of the projects. Now that there’s a good central location with code repositories and feeds and all, I hopeful that keeping up to date with the development will be much simplified for everybody involved.

I should also mention that I’ve committed some changes to the source as well – [CTGradient]( will now do fills clipped to a path and will also do elliptical (instead of strictly circular) radial fills. [CTBadge]( has had a few tweaks to bring it further in-line with the canonical badges from Apple.

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