Much Ado About Coding and Socializing

Hi all! Sorry I sorta put aside this blog, I guess I had too much to do. I have written before just how much I love coding and how much I love sharing this passion with friends. While others may find it boring and tiring, for me it is a bliss to code. I love it when the result lives up to everyone’s expectations!

However, though I spent most of my days in front of a computer, I’m still aware of what’s going on in the world, too. These coronavirus times have been anything but easy. Although it is possible to contract the virus by touching surfaces and then touching your face, the virus is mainly transmitted through saliva droplets or discharge from the nose when someone in your vicinity sneezes or coughs. In other words, close person-to-person is the main known route of transmission for now. As a consequence, the corona outbreak meant reducing or severely restricting out social gatherings. And for someone like me who mostly codes or does freelance jobs from the comfort of my own desktop, this hasn’t been too difficult to cope with.

Many in isolation around the globe have picked up coding. I have been keeping myself busy with it as well. However, I do sometimes get lonely because of this lifestyle. I notice that I even started buying more stuff to cheer myself up: I ordered some new chandeliers, then got myself a modern tankless water heater (btw, if you ever decide to do this, it is wise to look at these reviews from Greg Mattson as choosing the right model for you can be tricky). To tell you the truth, initially, I was even skeptical about this virus, and I didn’t even understand what the whole fuzz was about. I mean, I kept thinking that there are also other viruses out there, the flu also kills a lot of people every year and yet we don’t have to stay at home because of it. But then a cousin of mine who works as a nurse contracted it, and she barely made it. She finally got well a week ago, but it was a slow and difficult recovery.

So yes, I understand the risks very well and I understand we should be responsible and avoid meeting each other, but total isolation is really not something I would like to do for one more year, which is more or less the time that scientists are saying that it would take to get a vaccine. I honestly hope it will be quicker than that, I look forward to socializing a bit more!

Who Says E-books are Boring?

Sometimes I take a short break from coding and programming to take freelance jobs. Recently, I was hired to write an e-book on self defense for a security company looking for an interesting promo they could send to business prospects. It was interactive to involve readers in the subject and prompt them to want to take martial arts courses or at least to learn more about products for the average person such as stun guns, pepper spray, tear gas, collapsible police batons, brass knuckles, and body alarms.

I started the book with a basic introduction to the art of self defense and covered the different martial arts one by one. As a whole, the term refers to various combat styles and systems used to defeat assailants or opponents. (By the way, Mars was the Roman god of war.) I offered a brief overview of the history of the fighting technique going back to ancient times and of course, China. It was interesting to me to learn that there are five categories including low-impact, weapons-based, grappling, hybrid sports, and striking styles. Among the more well know types are boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Karate, and kickboxing. Secondarily there is wrestling, Judo, Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, and Tai Chi. It took pages and pages to illustrate each. Presumably the reader would imitate the poses.

Further into the e-book, I added material on famous people in the world of martial arts such as Itosu Anko, the “grandfather of Karate.” Now, there’s a cool title. There is also Helio and Royce Gracie, Dr. Jigoro Kano, and no book would be complete without Bruce Lee who popularized the self defense subject throughout the U.S. due to his movies and TV series, The Green Hornet. He was a skilled genius and true innovator who founded Jeet Kune Do.

I had to keep a reign on my research since the book was getting to be too long, but it was difficult when I kept finding resources like A quick and complete guide to self defense for beginners has to be easy to read, which means short and to the point. To round out the material, I covered pepper spray and Tasers. These are popular with the average person but they don’t know how to use them or what effects they have. Neither are fatal but they will do the job of stopping an attacker in his tracks. Both inflict pain and suffering, but you don’t have to feel guilty about it. You are the victim after all! It depends whether you want to cause burning to the eyes and nose or knock the person down to the ground. There is always some risk that the aggressor will rebound, but generally it takes a half hour to forty-five minutes. I like these methods when compared to jabbing the face or poking an eye. I would have to be severely provoked to do this kind of damage to another human being. Self defense is extensive and can be designed for each individual.

Would You Know the Difference?

What do geeks care about? Almost everything related to programming and computer technology. We delve into how things work. As for me, I love different code languages. When it comes right down to it, I crave innovation. It can be about anything that populates the digital world or it can be some simple addition to progress. Take the cosmetics realm. Recently, I read that manufacturers are expanding the range of realistic materials including hair. This is used to treat baldness for one ailment. Hey also make hair extensions and false eyelashes for those not well endowed. I particularly appreciate the effort to make wigs for cancer or alopecia patients, including kids. You would be surprised how many children are totally bald. Technology to the rescue.

Kids can be born with alopecia areata, a disease that prevents hair from growing anywhere in the body including the eyelashes. Many afflicted adults wear false eyelashes and they are very natural looking. Would you know the difference? I wouldn’t. The quality of these extensions is amazing in spite of the faux material. Together with a wig, people sporting the lashes can look normal which is their goal. I support companies that provide this blessing for certain members of mankind. It is not vain to seek help for alopecia. After all, it is a legitimate disease. While women wear false eyelashes for a glamorous look and to take on a flirty demeanor, other people need basic help. Let’s not draw unfair conclusions.

The cosmetics industry is vast and has many products with a wide variety of purposes. Who knew that eyelash extensions, glue, and remover would be best sellers? If you want to invest in a growing industry, buy cosmetic company stock. You are sure to make a profit. There will always be demand for everything from makeup and lipstick to eyelashes and removers. Go to any drugstore or specialty shop and you will find an array of choices. You can even get vegan and cruelty-free brands.

We live in a celebrity culture and there is a constant craze to emulate their every move. You see selfies of people like Kim Kardashian and her false eyelashes are in evidence. Young women want to look like her and they rush out to buy extensions or have them put on in a salon. It is a big business. The world revolves around appearance and wearing the right attire. It doesn’t mean that typical garb is attractive. Witness the ubiquitous torn jeans and tees. We love to see the celebrities walk down the red carpet, but we don’t want to do it ourselves. But we do care about our eyes. Women do not want to look naked. They feel odd after they wash off all the goo. They use eyelash extensions that last for weeks, even to bed. A touch of mascara simply won’t do. Ladies, you can easily avail yourself of this innovation. It is not earth shattering, but it affects multitudes.

Go Far: Learning HTML

Learning HTML

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is one of the most common universal computer codes that are used today.  The purpose of HTML is for the creation of webpages and is actually read by web browsers so it is classified as a markup language instead of a language of programming per say.  HTML knowledge used to be reserved for the computer technological professionals and a select few average people who took it upon themselves to learn the language but more and more, it is becoming a language that is recognized and studied by many computer users.

If you are a writer or own a website, it is conducive to learn HTML.  You will want to embed it in your site or use it to take your writing to a higher level.  The reasons to learn HTML are becoming more abundant than the excuses not to.  If you are very involved in anything concerning computer, you have most likely run across a good reason to learn HTML.

HTML opens doors.  It allows you to do more with your writing, more with your content and much more with your website.  If you don’t know HTML and don’t wish to learn, there are others who specialize in it and you will no doubt need to employ their help.  Or, you can take advantage of HTML programs that do the work for you like CoffeeCup.  But you will for sure have the need to know it or know a person or program who does.

Tags are commands that are put in a document that tells how it should be formatted.  It is a command.  Tags include the use of HTML or another language.  When giving such a command, sometimes a program is limited.  You will have much more control over these command instructions if you are at least familiar with HTML.

Not only that, you can read the HTML codes that come from others’ sites which can be informational and educational.  You can learn much about the site by doing so and can even add to your own collection as you can use them yourself.

HTML is not difficult to learn.  It is simply a code and when you learn the code, you have learned HTML.  Furthermore, you can go in and look up what you do not know and try to remember it for the next time.  It is good to learn the most common, basic HTML codes even if you do not plan to pursue leaning it as a whole.

One good HTML command that is excellent to learn is how to create a link.  This is useful to writers, website owners and to almost everyone who uses the computer.  You can take readers to a whole new window or open the link on the same page.  These are the kinds of options you will have at your fingertip when you learn the basics of HTML.  Pretty awesome, huh?

You can also add an email link to your copy by using some very simple HTML.  Or apply a text anchor to allow your reader to go down the pages.  You can add in photos or videos with an HTML link as well.

If you want to experience new heights and possibilities online, learn HTML.  You can take a course, actually learn it in a brick and mortar college setting or use a program that will assist and teach you.  HTML is the language of the here and now and of the future as well.  When it comes to doing anything online, HTML knowledge will get your far.

Computers Against Cockroaches

Bugs, creepy crawlers, insects, flying pests and other menaces are all the same to me. They are things to be eradicated in any manner possible, as long as it is safe. I have lived in too many places that were invaded. Fumigation was a matter of regular practice. Sure, pest control measures are more modern, less harmful and toxic these days, and fairly cost-effective. But is there more we can do? Can computer technology enhance treatment and prevention? Can it help keep those dirty cockroaches at bay!

The world runs on eco-friendly fuel (at least it wants to) so we have to consider this fact in weighing the various modes of insect repellence. DDT had its short day and we don’t want a recurrence. Think about how much better it is to use sound waves or vibration-emitting devices to deter unwanted intruders. Some critters are necessary in the garden because they eat their enemies, which helps plant health and therefore growth. So you have to decide when, where, and why you want to exterminate.

A great benefit of technology is looking for signs of termites. You can see their castoff wings at times, but they can also be undetectable with the naked eye. They can be buried in nooks and crannies in walls and floor–anywhere there is wood. Experts in the field have gone beyond traditional inspection methods with thermal infrared imaging. Here’s how it works. Termites emit infrared radiation from their metabolism, even though they are cold blooded like most insects. In other words, the subterranean pests release carbon dioxide as a byproduct of their digestive system. In fact, they produce more carbon dioxide than any other living organism. Now that is news!

The technician will carry a highly-sensitive programmed infrared camera that will sense active colonies. They also detect temperature variations caused by high moisture areas that are likely infestation locations. The screen on the camera will show darker or lighter areas that are the tip off. These are the warning signs of what is hidden in walls or underground.

Technological advancement thus helps many ordinary life problems, sometimes in rather exciting novel ways. Thermal scanning is the “smart” way to detect what lies behind concealed areas. It is a superman kind of process that warms the heart of geeks everywhere. There is also a new area of pest control software that deals with the business end of the industry, further evidence of great creative minds at work. Staying on the crest of technology will help fight the competition and keep an enterprise up-to-date and productive. The programs keep accounts and inspection reports at close range of servicemen and customers alike. As a consumer, you understand more of the process and where your property stands in the fight against insect evil.

I think a good club idea would be “Computers Against Cockroaches” as an umbrella term for people who want to get started inventing new systems for pest control research and practice. I venture to guess that a lot more can be done in this area to keep one’s habitat insect free.

Computer Technology: Opening Doors for Writers in All Areas

How has computer technology changed the way that writers write?  In the course of my life alone, it has taken on a totally new life.  While once writing was reserved for those who wanted to work at the newspaper office or on television or even for those who sought to write books from a remote cabin, the world of writing has taken on a life of its own in the recent years and it is now in a wide open boom.

Thirty years ago, the future did not look quite as bright for the average writer.  It took much longer to physically write out material and sometimes even longer to type it up in proper format and mail it in to be considered for publication.  It was not uncommon for hopeful authors to spend a year or better on a book project that would ultimately be rejected.

The Writer’s Handbook was widely in place in those years.  Inside the expensive and very large hard copy book was the keys to the kingdom when it came to being successful in the field of writing.  Magazines posted what articles they would consider for publication, how much they would pay and what subject lines they offered.  Publishers gave much of the same information as well.  Addresses and contact names were also available in the book.

Even still, it was a bleak process. Very few manuscripts actually made it into the hands of the powers that be and the volume of solicited manuscripts far outweighed the need.

Enter the computer age.  With the dawning of computers came the opportunity for writers to be self-published.  They could submit their writings to websites and also create and publish their own e-books or even go through employment sites like Fiverr or Odesk in order to ghost write for others.

Not only did it make it more possible for writers to get published, computer technology made writing the skill to have.  Website owners need writers for fresh content and need them often.  Blogs, social media and companies wanting to create informational e-books open the doors even wider.

Today, the field of writing is in full swing.  If you are very active online and don’t possess your own skills in writing, chances are you incorporate the help of someone who does.  It’s difficult to expand very much online without the ability to write.

If you have knack for writing, you may want to pursue your gift.  You can study up online by taking a general writing course that will clue you in on such subjects as blogging, keyword usage and you can even learn about book writing techniques, both fiction and non-fiction.  Put your creativity to use by signing up for a gig on Fiverr or joining an online employment platform or, venture out on your own if you so desire.

Writers, both technical and creative, are experiencing opportunity they might not have had available to them not so long ago.  The computer age has changed everything when it comes to writing and has definitely done so for the better.  Interesting enough, computer technology has even opened up a whole new language, the writing of codes.  There is no limit where writing can go when it comes to the future and computerized technology.  It has indeed opened up a whole new world.

On Desire

Many of us have no desire to become a computer geek, until we have a reason.  It was in becoming interested in animation that many have grown in their knowledge of computer technology and often without ever setting out to do so.  They just wanted to learn animation.

Animation is the art of making cartoons move.  It is used for commercials, for fun and to get a creative point across.  It can be actually considered an art as it is a creative expression such as drawing, painting or writing is.

There are some great simple programs like CrazyTalk and GoAnimate.  They allow for relatively simple execution of cartoon animation.  Many use these programs or programs like these to achieve their animation goals.  Still others get to a point that is not accommodated by these simple programs.  They may want to expand their characters, props or scenes beyond the real offered or include special effects that are not available to them.  This is usually where it all begins….with a dream.

Another reason one might take animation to the next level is to create their own characters for gaming.  Or, they may want to go so far as to create their own games.  Both require a little more than just accessing a simplified program.

Iclone 6, both pro and regular, are programs that allow for the creation of characters, scenes, games and so forth.  This program and ones similar to it offer support and tutorials but also enable users to generate material that they could not do on a really simple program.

You can find a good bit of freeware, especially if you are not wanting to use it for monetary gain or for commercial use.  Another great way to see if a program is for you is to try it before you buy it.  There are programs that you actually purchase and others that you basically rent the right to use.  If you purchase a program, study the requirements before doing so.  Many advanced programs, such as Iclone 6 pro, require quite a bit from your computer so it is best to be on the safe side and check it out first.

Then there are the even more high tech creations.  You can take courses on developing your own software or using available software to achieve such goals.  There are schools you can attend and you can even get a degree in the field.  Animation is something that can always be taken to the next complex level and just when you think you have learned all there is to know about it, there will always be more to learn.

Whether you are wanting to learn animation as an amateur or for a profession, there is a great demand for it.  Individuals and businesses will always require the services of those who possess the knowledge and creativity it takes to do it.  Why not unleash your imagination and learn the wonderful world of animation?

Going Places with Computer Coding

Computer Coding

The first time I really “got” the impact of computer coding and the influence it has in the world around us was when my friend, a computer geek who works in the field as well, said that if he had to choose, his young children would learn computer coding over learning the English language or any other language.  Why?  Because it is universal, it is the wave of the future and…it is THAT important to learn!

My friend’s young children are a little older now and don’t worry, they are becoming pro at the English language.  But, they are learning the language of computer coding too.  In fact, they are excelling in it with the quickness.

Computer coding is a language all its own.  In fact, there are teachers and schools that are trying to get it recognized as a foreign language and to encourage the teaching of it as such.  Codes actually allow a computing problem to be executed.  It is written in one of a number of coding languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, Smalltalk or JavaScript.  It is designed to not only make the execution possible but to do so quickly and efficiently.

When it comes to coding, there are those who program it in.  There are also those who implement it and there are those who create it.  Then, there are us who use it every day even though we may not be aware of it.

Computer code is much easier to learn and access than it has been in the past.  There are courses, sites and programs available to the general public that can help you understand and become good at it.  There are also schools that teach it in depth that are especially great for those who want to pursue a career in the field.

If you want to learn coding, start by doing an online search to see what is available to you.  If you just want to get your feet wet, you can do so cheaply or often, for free.  Many are willing to share their knowledge and you can glean from them.

When learning the language, it is helpful to think of it as exactly that…a language all its own.  It can be exciting to learn and it is very useful as well.  It will open up doors for creativity and practical uses as well.

Where to begin when learning computer coding is a question many have.  First of all, you will want to choose which language you want to learn.  You may do so due to what they specialize in or then again, you may go for one that is the most popular to use in hopes of reaching a larger field of options.

Then, you will want to decide the way in which you want to learn it.  Do you function best doing tutorials, in a classroom setting, online, in person or perhaps through the experience of doing it yourself?  Whatever way you learn best, that is usually the smartest option for you as an individual.

Don’t waste any time.  The sooner you can learn, the better.  As with any foreign or different language, it is best learned at a ripe young age but if you are older, don’t dismay.  Determination to learn will compensate for much.

As you learn it, practice makes perfect.  The more you employ it, the better you will get with it and the more you discover the possibilities of what doors knowing computer coding can open up for you, the more inspired you will become.  Motivation to learn, taking action to learn and practicing what you have learned will get you where you want to go with computer coding which is…everywhere!

PIC: The Sky is Now the Limit

PIC, or Peripheral Interface Controller, microcontrollers have come a long way since their discovery and unveiling in 1976. Early models were only available in read-only but these days, that has all changed and all models use Flash memory which has opened their use up for professionals and hobbyists alike. PIC allows you to write memory into these programs.

Made by Microchip Technology, PIC microcontrollers are more powerful than ever. They come in models that to by pit-count including 12, 14, 16 and even 24 bits. Of course there are low powers available as well as high-speed ones. Each has their place and purpose so which you choose will depend on what you are using it for.
So much has changed in the world of technology concerning PIC. Now you can find easy instructions on programing them. It is said that amateurs can now do so with easy. Is that for real though?

Say you are wanting to program software for use on Windows. You can do that and fairly simply. You no longer have to be a computer tech to do so but the more knowledge you do have, the better, of course.

There are actually kits that are available now. Yeah, imagine that. Once reserved for professionals and serious geeks, the general public can now access technology at their fingertips. You can program, debug and even employ a logic analyzer and/or a tool used for serial communications called the UART.

If you are a fan of open-source software, you may have a special interest in the use of PIC microcontrollers. Their use will allow you to reach your goals and to develop your own, off the grid, programs. Oftentimes open-source software is desired for security and privacy or to reach a level that is not available yet to the public.
In addition, there are different techniques and software that are used to accomplish the goal. There are tutorials available too that will guide you step-by-step. Some of these methods are super simple and others are more complicated but all strive for the goal of being able to create and control what can be accomplished from the finished product.

Whatever the reason you are wanting to use it, the good news is now you can. Information from others is made readily available along with easy instructions and kits for assembly. Yes, times are changing fast and remarkably, it is becoming easier and easier to not only keep up but to get ahead of the game as well and it’s all done through PIC microcontrollers.

If you have a dream, a program you want to employ, a group you want to share services with or even an open-source project you wish to launch, you will need the help of a PIC microcontroller. It is fortunate for you that you need little more than a basic knowledge and a desire in order to make it happen. What a freedom to be able to expand in a way that was not possible for the average person before. So, live the dream, get in there and put your best foot forward. There is no telling how far PIC will take you.