image

My workplace.

Tools

On the right is a panasonic headphone. They are pretty cool and I like their vintage aviator looks. Good for some late night gaming and coding sessions.

Then there is standard microsoft mouse. I don’t play as much games as I used to play back in the days so this mouse probably symbolizes that.

On the left is a scale on which ‘S7’ is imprinted. You can’t see from here but its there.

Then there is a nokia X1 which I still use. And an ipod 3g.

I have clipped a stack of graph pages on a board. This is where I (mainly) sketch my user interfaces.

Here is a sketch from my current project :

image

Then  there is a razor blackwidow keyboard underneath the desk (you can see the light) and the cover of my ipad on the left.

Other than that, I have a custom build pc on the right and a shitty router on the left.

I hate to say this but in my hometown there is no decent library. Most of my time scourging through books is spent online.

Over time, I have read many quality books on programming in general. This is one list I wanted to share with you since a long time.

General

Coders at work by Peter seibel

This one is more of an interview book than an actual programming book. Peter gathers twelve of the greatest programmers of our time and shares their experience with us.

The passionate programmer by chad fowler

This book is pretty awesome. Chad fowler tells us this share of experience in the IT industry.

The nature of code by Daniel shiffman

Available for free, this book starts of with simple game physics 101. Before you know, Daniel shuffles off into hardcore territory by explaining genetic algorithms, neural networks and the like. Best of all, it comes with lots of code example, all done with processingjs so you can see it in the browser.

Management

Getting real by 37signals

Steve jobs would have loved this book. The ideas contained in this book may seem a bit radical but they are all practical and useful nonetheless.

This book is available for free.

Rework by 37signals

This books is essentially an extension to Getting real but with more panache.

The 10 day MBA by Steven silbiger

I have heard that many wannabe entrepreneurs are recommended this book. Whether you are involved business or not, this one is a great read.

Programming books

The art of programming language by Donald knuth

This is the holy bible of all great programmers. It contains lots of hardcore algorithms which may confuse all but the most passionate programmer.

And speaking of which, this book is big. In fact, it is so big that they had to divide it into a group of smaller(but still big) books.

Why’s poignant guide to ruby by Why

I will be frank here, I don’t really like ruby that much. But what makes this book different is that Why(he is really mysterious) made it with so much passion that it feels that sometimes a mad man is teaching you to program using a series of cartoon stripes(but in a good way)

This book is available for free.

Javascript books

Because most of my work is on javascript, I will recommend some good js books.

Javascipt: the good parts by Douglas crockford

Written by javascript’s leading authority, this books teaches some pretty cool tricks and tells us how to write better code.

Javascript design patterns by Addy osmani

This book is probably the best reference book on js. Not for beginners, this book contains lots of design patterns along with great code examples.

Best of all, this book is available for free.

That’s all for now folks.

My vacations are nearly over and college will start from 1st july.

As in all my vacations, this time I am making a webapp which is a cross between forums and instant messanging.

This is how it currently looks in ipad mini :

This is a bigass project and it may take a couple of months to complete.

But the login page is a nice start.

Its been a long time since I have updated this blog. Exams, work and other stuff have been taking my spare time away from me.

Me!

College

Exams are over and I am going out for my vacation. Thank god about that.

Work

I am making a map for cs 1.6

The color palette of this map is red/rusty red with white highlights. It looks pretty cool with its industrial style.

Other than that, I am working on a webapp on nodejs again. Its supposed to be a cross of forums and chat groups. Essentially, public chat groups.

Debate

The future of web apps

I honestly believe mozilla is going to lead the future of web apps. A future where you will only download the required files to be able to run apps, games, etc on your browsers. And as browsers get faster, webapps will get bigger and better.

The only problem which is my personal opinion is that this is going to take a lot of time, possibly four years for webapps to go mainsteam.

And also on the success rate of firefox os.

ios7

The buck won’t stop here. I know apple redesigned their mobile interface and every well known designer is screaming blood. But they need time to adjust their ui/ux. Give them a couple of months and they will polish their interface.

Skeuomorphism vs flat

This is not actually a debate. There was never any rivalry between the two groups. Both have their advantages.

Its just  that in this digital age where screen size is precious, people are ditching skeuomorphism in favor of flat design. But flat design is harder to make because you need to double the amount of work to guide the user.

Oh well, just when box shadow and radial gradient was getting compatible ….

College education sucks?
Well it does
Read on.

Class test

So I was giving a test online on java when a question popped up like this:

8) System.out.print(“finally”);

What will it print?

Options:

  1. “Final”
  2. Shows up compile error
  3. Runs successfully

My reaction : Dafuq!?

So I called the faculty to ask what the question means. She said it won’t print and exit because the you didn’t put that statement inside the main function.

I seriously wanted to bang my head on the desk that day.

Some people

At college, I help out quite a lot of people. Now, during our innovative assignment week, everyone had to make a simple login system.

They asked me from where to download templates. I told them html templates suck but they should try building sites from frameworks like bootstrap or zend.

A few days later, my friend asks me to help out with his code. And he shows me this:

<b class=“text_underline_white” >

Also, later on

<a style=“text-decoration:none”>

</a>

Keep in mind that all a tags in all the html pages were made like this.

AARRGGG.

I refer to the last three weeks of my semester as ‘assignment weeks’ and this week was one. Other than being boring, I also suffered from coder’s block.

But the one thing which doesn’t stop me is reading. Aside from playing games, that is.

Good reading resources

  1. Coding horror’s blog posts
    I love coding horror but this time, it looks like I am going to read all blog posts by the end of this week.

  2. The nature of code by daniel shiffman
    This e-book is free for online reading. The book starts off by teaching various game physics concepts but by the end of this book, you will learn topics like neural networks, cellular automata, etc.
    Really great stuff.

  3. Paul graham’s essays

  4. _Why'g poignant guide to ruby
    I never had the time to complete reading this wonderful book. Really, this should be the K&R book for ruby.

  5. Lurking on Dribbble

  6. Lurking on behance

Other than that, its a boring week :(

Sound is an underestimated medium in user experience. Think about it; your facebook tab is open and you are in the next room. Someone gives you a message and a sound plays signifying the message.

Now that’s sound user experience.

Where can I use it?

Most notable applications are webapps. You hear a delicious sounding click when you refresh tabs in summly. Tlk.io uses it to notify you of new messages.

The applications are everywhere but don’t go overboard. Place an option to decrease or better, mute the sound. Also, play quality notification sounds, not something like ringtones or such crap.

On the web, there are some interesting apis like the audio api and the new notifications api which can help you.

Some recommended uses.

Who says you can only use sounds in apps?
In battlefield 3, the game starts minimized because loading takes time. Till then you are free to browse. When the game loads, it automatically maximizes.

The developers could add a sound because you may have gone for a pee break or have to attend a phone call.

Even in dota 2, the game could detect if it is minimized and play a sound if the match starts telling the player to maximize the game.

Anyways, sound is an unexplored territory in user experience, especially on the web. It is interesting what the developers make of it now that we have powerful apis to play with.

My mom thinks hacking is illegal; you could go to jail for that.
My friends think hacking means hacking facebook or google (or any other social networking site)
And the world thinks hackers hack bank accounts, credit card systems, etc.

So is it just me who thinks hacking is something elegant like poetry?

My turn now

The first time I was enlightened by hacking was by reading the book hackers, heroes of the computer revolution

Then I read about Richard stallman and Edsger djistra.

Then as I learned about neural networks, digital art and design patterns, I saw that there was an entire generation of people who regarded hacking as something holy, something which is done together and alone, something just …. aarrggg, I can’t put it into words; it is overflowing me.

And then, in the real life, there are all these people who are misunderstanding hacking. Hacking is a skillset, something acquired over time when passion and hard work mix.

And the …

hackers are passionate people who care deeply about what they do. Its just that some people use their talents for causing destruction. Such people are known black hat hackers or simply, assholes.

Then we have a bunch of people who actively try to find out who the bad guys are using their skills. They are known as white hat hackers. I have seen young hackers getting recruited by the police for their IT and cyber crime department.

And then we have people like you and me, people who hack away just for the sake of it. Right now, I am coding a webapp with nirvana blasting in the background, oblivious to what is happening around me.

Ah.