Tag Archives: allegany college of maryland

Back Into The Swing

It’s been so very long since I’ve devoted my attentions to my writing. Whether it was because of having a job, general laze, or even boredom, my stories have really suffered.

I just started school again, and while that would be another source of constant distraction in regard to my writing, I’ve used it in a completely opposite fashion. A little background first.

I am a Computer Science major, and have been going to school off and on again for 6 years (holy crap, has it really been that long?). I’ve been taking high-level programming courses, as well as the general requirement courses. I’ve finished all of the general requirements, and am working on getting through the courses needed for my Associates Degree. I switched focuses from Programming to Web Development, and with it has brought a few more credits needed in other areas, and has pushed some of the courses I took before to electives.

During this whole time, I somehow failed to take the Computer Science 101 course, which is required of all incoming Freshmen in any curriculum. Well, as I’m getting back to school now, I am having to take this course. While I could easily test out of it, I decided that because I’ve been out of practice for so long, it would be good to sit through a class, do the assignments, take the tests, and get an easy A.

I had no idea how bored I would be in this class, and with that boredom has come the opportunity to sit in one place for 1.25 hours with a pad of paper sitting in front of me. Now, the old me would be tooling around on the PC while the professor talked, but I’ve decided against that approach. Not only is it disrespectful to the instructor, it can be distracting to other students, and ultimately, it would be a waste of time on my part.

I’ve been mulling around the ideas for Dimenxia for longer than I can remember, and I’ve done very little to get things going in that respect. Now I have the opportunity and means to sit and actually put some ink on paper and get these ideas out to the world.

I’ve written 6 college ruled pages front and back (I write pretty small), and have layed down a pretty solid foundation for the completion of this tale. I’ve not digitized it yet (see, I pay a little attention in CS 101), but I plan on typing things up once I have this section of the story pegged down.

It’s amazing to get back on the horse. I feel like I can really start to do the story justice, and I’m very excited about finally being able to have someone sit down and get through the narrative that is living solely in my brain at the moment.

A quote that I’m sure I’m going to butcher that has stuck with me, but I haven’t really fulfilled:

Half of writing well is just sitting down and writing something.”

Like I said, I’ve probably butchered it in my mind to the point where it’s not recognizable anymore, and it must be so, as I haven’t been able to find a reference to it through Google. That’s OK because it holds all the same with me, whether the words are exact or not.

Moves in the Right Direction

Posting has been very sparse lately, as I’ve been working on signing up for classes for the Fall semester at Allegany College of Maryland. While I only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, I’m hoping to find a full or part time “normal” job in order to try to round out our income for the rest of the month. We’re still a good bit away from being able to stay completely afloat while avoiding credit disasters, but everything seems to be moving in a better direction.

Speaking of moves in the right direction, or at least the general direction of right, Mozilla Labs has released a video of the Ubiquity Firefox Extension. Ubiquity brings to Firefox and the web what Quicksilver and GNOME Do have brought to the desktop in terms of productivity and time-saving methods of computing.

Ubiquity makes sharing things on the web, and more generally, getting things done much easier. As shown in the video, let’s take an idea and run with it. Say I want to meet a friend at a restaurant in town, the easiest way to show him the location of said restaurant would be to email him a link to Google Maps. That takes things way out of the context we want to have, and ends up proving more work for not only me, the sender, but also for my friend, the receiver.

What Ubiquity allows us to do is take that change of context and throw it out the window. It provides an easy interface for you to include a Google Map right in your email, as well as many of the other open API sites that could be easily used to provide relevant information. This allows us to send a full-context email, in which the receiver gets a map, reviews, a shared calendar, basically anything the sender can think of right in the comfort of his email client, eliminating unnecessary legwork which would need to be done in order for all of that information to be at his hands on the standard web.

This is an amazing step in the right direction, allowing plain English into an application to accomplish tasks that only Mashup gurus were able to do in the past. If you are interested, view the video here:

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Thanks to Merlin Mann over at 43 Folders for pointing this out.