So, this is a small summary of some things I did today (after all blog stands for web log):

  • Progress on the Java front. The book reading goes slowly, but even the boring chapters about Swing help to jog my memory. As a result today I was able to write a small app, without Googling all the time on how do I do this, how do I do that, and so on. The app is supposed to ping my various virtual machines at home. I have a script that is taking them down, backs them up and then brings them up again. But sometimes that last part can go wrong... so I'm going to use the app I wrote (eat your own dog food!) to ping those hosts. It's one host per line, if it starts with http then it's going to try to access it as a web site (http request), otherwise it will just try to see if the address is reachable.
  • My learning itch is manifesting in other ways as well, the approximately once per year "need to get certified" itch. This was spurred by a Twitter conversation about the Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications 070-486 exam. I almost bought that book actually; good thing I checked first to see if there is an alternative upgrade path for me (MCPD Web Developer 4 since 7th of May 2012) :-) So in my case there are two exams I need in order to upgrade this certification: the Exam 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (I've been doing a whole lot of that lately) and the Exam 70-492: Upgrade your MCPD: Web Developer 4 to MCSD: Web Applications. Another item in my to-do list :) But first I'll try to finish the book I'm reading on about Java, I don't want to be hopping from one thing to another (focus!).
  • Another thing I found today was a .NET 4.5 attribute CallerMemberName. I actually found it while searching for the .NET equivalent of something I read on the Java book I'm reading (property change notifiers). Apparently this attribute can be used to do some magic with optional parameters of a method, filling them automatically with the name of the code element that called that method. The example on the link makes more sense, have a look!
  • Running, weight lifting and - most importantly - cooking is still my number one activity. As far as tracking my runs, I am going to give another app a try, namely Runtastic. I've been using Endomondo for the past 5 and a half months (I am constant as the northern star!). 99% of the time it just works. I had a couple of annoyances, e.g. it is frustrating to run 10k for the first time only to discover that the application had crashed at the first 5'. But that happened less that 10 times perhaps overall. One other time, I accidentally clicked on the ads it displays and the content was inappropriate (soft porn). Also, I see that more of my friends are using Runtastic, so I'm curious to try it myself.
  • Flickr. Did you know it gives you 1TB of space for your photos? That seems plenty. I'm a bit cloud-o-phobic but it sounds like a nice solution for backing up photos and sharing (some) of them. I began uploading a few, setting them to private by default. The UI it has for the slide-show is quite attractive. iPhoto has built-in support for publishing to Flickr, also handy since all of my photos are in iPhoto. I'm going to give it a try also as a replacement to Instagram. Instagram is popular but I never really liked that it reduces the resolution of your photos. The filters are nice, but I only use a few of them. In the end, when I'm sharing a photo I typically share it (via Instagram) on Facebook where the low resolution of the photo makes it look ugly. So I'll give Flickr a try and see how it goes.
  • Over and out!