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No good eclipse pics; restarted old Twitter account; new Tumblr account; news of Astroblahhh Desktop

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11/4/2013 - No good eclipse pics; restarted old Twitter account; new Tumblr account; news of Astroblahhh Desktop (Journal)


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No good eclipse pics; restarted old Twitter account; new Tumblr account; news of Astroblahhh Desktop
Monday, November 4th, 2013
00:36:48 GMT


This morning, I was outside waiting for the solar eclipse almost the entire time it was ongoing. The sun finally emerged from behind the trees around maybe 7 AM. I took numerous pictures, but, the sun doesn't look eclipsed in any of them. None of them are interesting enough to post right now.

Around perhaps 7:05 AM, I and a relative even got a piece of paper, poked a pinhole through it, and shined the sun through it onto another paper, but, even that didn't look eclipsed.

On Oct. 23rd, I restarted my old Twitter account: Apollia.

And on Oct. 16th, I started a second Tumblr account:


The difference between that and Eryss.Tumblr.Com is - Apollia.Tumblr.Com is more wordy, and I might someday post personal things like pictures I took, and there, you can even submit questions and other things to me, for possible posting.

Eryss.Tumblr.Com is less wordy, and more devoted to mostly visually nice/nifty things, though sometimes I reblog amusing quotes there too, for the sake of variety. And sometimes music.

I'm currently totally obsessed with updating Astroblahhh Desktop. I've been making it into a PHP-GTK* desktop app (which will run nicely using Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK or Astroblahhh PH-GTK)... while also keeping it fully functional as software that runs in your web browser, with surprising success.

Someday, I will probably use massive parts of it in a new CMS (content management system) I might write someday. (Or, perhaps instead I'll call it a WRS - website revision system.) Once that's done, maybe I'll update my websites more often.

Or maybe I should just install an existing CMS (or WRS). I checked out a lot of different ones a while back, maybe early this year, and I think the two I found most interesting were Concrete5* (seemed pretty intuitive and user-friendly as well as powerful) and ModX* (complicated/confusing, but interesting).

I tried to figure out Drupal*, but, unlike ModX, I found it complicated/confusing in a way I found frustrating rather than intriguing. But, Drupal is so widespread and popular, I suppose it might change a lot and become more appealing to me someday, so I will eventually check out newer versions.

Someday, I should release the stable version of Astroblahhh Desktop which I haven't significantly changed since maybe Sept. 2012. I'll call that Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0. Then, the hybrid PHP-GTK/web version will be Astroblahhhh Desktop 3.0.

Astroblahhhh Desktop 3.0 is already far better-designed than the previous versions. It's a lot more object-oriented now, and I find it a lot easier to understand.

The redesigns were inspired in great part by what I learned from the wonderful programming book Code Complete* (2nd edition) by Steve McConnell. The redesigns were also inspired by how horrendously unmanageable Astroblahhh Desktop was getting as it grew.

Astroblahhh Desktop prior to 3.0 is a lot like a big ball of mud* and spaghetti. It's actually amazing it works as well as it does. (Praise be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster*?) Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0 is horrible under the hood, but works well enough that I've been mostly happy to continue using it until Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 is ready to use.

The website, and the PHP-GTK2 Demystified ebook sold there, have been invaluable resources.

Without them, I probably would have been stuck in the Stone Age, barely able to figure out how to do anything with PHP-GTK.

Another incredibly useful thing has been the free, libre, open source concept mapping software VUE (Visual Understanding Environment)*.

Even though Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0's object-oriented design is easier for me to understand, it's still easy to get lost in, and maintaining a VUE map of its parts, functions, etc. as I code has been giving me a very useful and detailed overview.

Still another incredibly useful thing has been the free, libre, open source virtual machine software VirtualBox*. Running Astroblahhh Desktop inside a VirtualBox with no internet connection, I no longer am as paranoid about the possible privacy/security issues which Astroblahhh Desktop (and/or my server software configurations) might have.

But once the PHP-GTK version of Astroblahhh Desktop is done, I won't even need to run Astroblahhh Desktop inside a VirtualBox anymore. However, I will still probably keep running VirtualBox a lot anyway, because that's the best way for me to run my favorite code editor, Notepad++*, which is still for Windows only, unless I'm mistaken.

Frustrated with how convoluted Astroblahhh Desktop still is, I experimented a little with the renowned Emacs* editor to see if that might possibly help me, and I suppose it might, someday. It's another thing that's complicated/confusing to me in an intriguing rather than entirely frustrating way. But, I still don't feel like investing that much time/effort into learning about it, so, I've just been continuing to use Notepad++.

Yet another thing I've found helpful (but which you have to pay for) is MOG*, the online streaming music service. All you can eat music for about $5 a month (or about $10 a month if you need it on a mobile device, which I don't). It helps me code.

I think MOG might be the cheapest but most satisfying, highest-audio-quality way for me to hear an immensely larger variety of music than I've ever heard in my life. (Though I don't stay continually informed about music services and their respective quality levels and prices, so, I could be wrong.)

You might think YouTube* would adequately fulfil that craving of mine, but, actually, for years, I've avoided listening to much music on YouTube because I've often been unsatisfied with YouTube's audio quality.

I'm still probably pretty far from finishing Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0. I'll be surprised if I finish it before the year is over, but I hope I will.

Anyhow, I guess there's not much else I feel like saying publicly about my life, it's pretty boring.

Things are less bad financially for now, but I'll never be totally at ease until I figure out some way to reliably make adequate amounts of money. I hope I can figure that out someday. But, figuring that out (especially in this economy) is often difficult even for people who, unlike me, aren't shy, have no sleep issues, and who don't mind selling closed source stuff instead of (or in addition to) free/libre/open source stuff.

But, at least my chances are much better than they used to be, because I've come quite a long way since Sept. 2007, when I first started learning PHP.

Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 will be the most easily-installed, and probably easiest to use version yet. So, perhaps people might actually use that version, and perhaps like it enough to donate or, better yet, buy something from me. (I still probably ought to look into selling physical items through sites like Cafepress*, Zazzle* and/or Lulu*, perhaps featuring some of my own abstract art, or photos.)

Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 will also be some proof of my greatly-improved coding talents, especially when contrasted with Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0 and before.

And I'll be able to use parts of it in all sorts of different projects.

OK, that's all for now, I guess.

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