What I done did in June 2020

The UK is slowly opening up towards the end of the month but I spent my time indoors being creative and hopefully next month I’ll be indoors because I’m busy.

Pokemon Isle of Armour came out

The first of the Pokemon Sword and Shield DLC was released and while it was short enough for me to complete it in a day it made me realise how much I would have appreciated the original release to follow a similar format.

Pokemon disappointed me

When the Pokemon company launched Isle of Armour they said ‘in a weeks time we’ll announce something amazing’ which immediately had me hyped for a potential Let’s Go set in Johto.

I anticipated this news making a trio of amazing game announcements being hot on the heels of both Pokemon Snap and Skate 4 being announced but unfortunately they revealed a new game which is basically League of Legends but with Pokemon.

Safe to say it was a disappointment.

I got my first PC in a decade

Since I was at university I’ve been a Mac user, starting with a G4 powerbook and pretty much having every type of Mac they’ve produced over the years (I really miss my 2009 Mac Pro, was a beast of a machine).

Recently with building my side project I’ve found myself realising how limited my Macbook Pro is, from a processing and storage capacity point of view so I decided to purchase something a little beefier.

I ended up getting a Dell Precision 3630 spec’d out with an 8-core i7 chip, 5GB Nvidia p2200 and 32GB of RAM, at least 4x the power of my Macbook Pro for less than it cost me when I bought it.

I got the p2200 as I plan to use CUDA for some of the work I’m doing but I also wanted a machine I can use for doing some more intense computing as I only every really used the Macbook for app development.

The PC is far from perfect, for starters it lacked onboard WiFi so I’ve had to settle for a terrible USB adapter I had lying around and it looks like Dell set it up with RAID instead of UEFI so Ubuntu won’t play nice with it, so I’ve settled for WSL2 for now.

I learned about text analysis and Machine Learning

The main reason for the aforementioned PC was that I’ve started learning text analysis and Machine Learning in order to make my side project more valuable to my eventual end users.

In order to learn this I read Applied Text Analysis with Python which was really interesting, although, while it claims to be accessible to programmers with little to no statistics knowledge I did find myself struggling with a few of the terms they threw around.

I’d say it’s a good introduction though as it not only explains the different techniques used throughout the Machine Learning SDLC but it’s also insightful into the different Python frameworks available.

While the book covers NLTK, SciKit-Learn and Gen Sim I also came across spaCy which offers a set of video tutorials and quizzes, which I think did a really good job of understanding the framework.

I’ll be having a play over the next couple of weeks to try and pull together a little toy project, mostly to prove out my side project but I think it’ll be a good topic to blog about.

I created two new TechnicalChipDeath covers

I had 4 days off work at the start of June so I decided to tick off something I’ve had on my to-do list for about a year, which was to program and record two additional covers of Technical Death Metal songs on my Gameboy.

I decided to cover Radiatus Generis by Cytotoxin and Fathom Infinite Depth by Archspire, both bands that I have on heavy rotation.

I’m happy with both although I feel like the Cytotoxin song is the more complex of the two, I had to build a proper means of programming triplets into my MIDI -> LSDJ tool in order to support some of the drums and guitar parts.

Was quite happy with how the melodic section came out
I’ve been told this sounds like Golden Axe

I spent a lot of time fleshing out my side project

June has been a month of sleepless nights fleshing out various ideas for my side project, which I hope to finalise the plans of before the start of July. I’d like to be in a position to start blogging about my experience while working on it soon.

I’ve iterated over the idea a number of times, first using Firebase for data storage, then moving to Couchbase to enable portability of the data and now it looks the best option is to allow users to store the data in their own cloud storage account.

There’s quite a tight scope on the MVP which should mean that development should only take a month but I think the business side of things will be the bottleneck.

I made some art

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Adobe Fresco is a massive improvement on Adobe Draw

At the start of my time off I sat down and did some drawing as I’d not done it in a while and I found out that my usual vector app — Adobe Draw had been discontinued but then I found Adobe Fresco which does a much better job.

I was feeling in a Count Duckula mood so I drew the vampire duck you see dissolve in the opening animation for the show both in his pre-pile-of-dust form and the animation of him turning into dust.

Count Duckula is one of my favourite shows

Written by

Technical Lead at BJSS. Interested in Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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