Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Memrise: A new spin?

I've been having trouble as of recent with learning vocabulary (especially in German). Many people recommended to me Memrise, a site which enforces learning by repetition.

In the past I've used Quizlet but personally I'm prefering Memrise at the moment. It seems that I'm picking up vocabulary far quicker than anywhere else.

The rank system is an interesting yet fun way to keep track of how you're learning (for the record I'm a Memgineer).

As well as learning German I'm learning all the capitals in the world (there was a time when I could do this) and learning Latin Vocab. All in all I say that in combination with Duolingo, Memrise is a great tool for learning languages no matter what your level. Like many other sites I believe it strikes a good equilibrium between learning and gamification.




Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ubuntu to move to Python 3

In around 10 days Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be released. One of the major changes? Python 3 preinstallation.

Hopefully this'll put pressure on a few modules to port to 3 and for 3 to be adopted as a worldwide standard.

Sorry for my lack of posting, I've been very busy and not able to post as much as I'd like to.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Change Ninite's install directory. (or any other programs for that matter)

Like many other people I was troubled by this post on Ninite's website stating that they won't support custom install locations. "BUT WHAT ABOUT MY SSD!" Was the general thought :)

However there is a little hack around that will help people who have multiple drives.

1. Open regedit (open start and type regedit)
2. Browse to these keys: (If you're running 64 bit Windows there'll also be a (x86 version of each)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

3. Double click these entries (2 for 32 bit users 4 for 64 bit)
4. Edit them to where you want programs to be installed.
5. Reboot your computer for these to take effect

And there you have it! A simple workaround that will save you hours in the long run and allows you to use the ultra simple Ninite installer.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

My monitor's picture is shifted too far to the left

A quick fix for anyone who might have the annoyance that I had for a long time.

Simply go to your monitor settings and click auto adjust (it's probably under settings).

There. It should be fixed.

Now this will be archived somewhere in the web until someone who needs it finds it.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Crash Course on How to Use a Hashtag

I'm not the ruling authority on how to use or not use hashtags however they were created for a reason. Since the spread of hashtags to Facebook, I am appalled to see its poor usage. So I proclaim to you...

Internet 101: Hashtags


The ideal purpose of a Hashtag is to associate your post with a theme so that it can be searched via a hashtag. Like if I was to say:

"Free bottles of water in Sydney", using standard convention it would be appropriate to tag that post/tweet with #water #Sydney #freebie

That post would not be suited to a hashtag like #imsothirsty or #wasteofmoney .

Really, if you think about it if someone was to search the hastag #wasteofmoney they wouldn't expect to find details about how to get free water. Instead they might be interested about the government's latest stimulus packages.

I guess people won't change using terrible hashtags, but I hope that someone finds this post and changes their ways.


Friday, 3 January 2014

First look at Stonehearth Alpha 1

Due to my relatively large pledge on Kickstarter, when Stonehearth's Alpha came out I was one of the first invited to try it out.

This game was created by a few Silicon Valley developers who decided to quit their jobs and make the game of their dreams (and one of my dreams), Stonehearth . Not to be mixed up with the also emerging game HearthStone, Stonehearth is basically Sim City on AntiSteroids. The shrunk down version has a lot of potential I believe and I can't wait for saving to be added (it's not present in Alpha 1)

I've played around with it for a few days now and am ready to release a verdict and quick review.

First of all, I, and all the developers emphasise that this is a work in progress. Many of the screenshots that I've taken below are bugs (in fact I think all of them are :) )

Before I get into some of the bugs I'd like to thank the developers for aiming (and succeeding) in a December launch. Having it delivered on time means a lot to a player.

The soundtrack and sound effects are great- exactly what I thought they'd be like if not better. The voxel based art is also (dare I say is) cute...

All the foundations are perfected, bugs just need to be squashed - although I know patches are being released almost daily through Steam and Humble Bundle.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is the UI which fits very well. In the screenshots below you can see aspects of it.

Ok. Now onto the bits which I don't like. BUGS. Here I've decided to post a few screenshots and hope that some of the Radiant Crew stumble upon this post and fix them.

However wacky this may seem, the beds seem to be able to form a black hole in between them with glitchy pixels.

 This person also seems to have fallen through a bed

 Documented by the team but further found here, the Stonehearthians love building themselves into corners (or having others build them in for them). This happened very frequently to me as well as the workers walking through walls.




 And finally I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong but the citizens don't seem to like sleeping in the beds made for them.

Overall, however it's probably one of the best alpha's I've played. As I said before can't wait for save functionality and more features. I'd urge you to hop onboard if you haven't at www.stonehearth.net

Opinions on Codeacademy and the Wrong way of learning

A few months ago I would've wholeheartedly recommended CodeAcademy to any aspiring developer, no matter what language or intention they had.

However nowadays that's all changed for me. I will outline my reasoning later but I really think that CodeAcademy may be good for crash-coursing on syntax, but perhaps no so much on grounding programming concepts into one's mind.

You see, despite how people like Ellen DeGeneres say that they learnt coding overnight through a service like codeacademy. What I don't think that people get is that coding isn't just about learning the theory, it's about applying it. As much as if you can recite an entire Latin dictionary, you aren't necessarily going to be able to translate the Aeneid. Yes it might  will help, but without actually putting your skills into practice it doesn't mean anything.

I've been programming in Python for 3 years now, Web for 3 and Java for just this year and I still haven't mastered any of the languages. Learning a programming language is the same as learning a conversational language- it's not going to be learnt overnight.

Likewise how languages are evolving (for those German speakers out there, the inclusion of many English words - think shoppen), programming languages are too. For example, despite not being formally adopted yet, Python 3 is not backward compatible with 2. This means that if you've rote learned the syntax for 2 you're going to have a bad time when moving onto three. If your learning, however, evolves with the language itself, you're going to be able to adapt to it (and other languages better in the long run.

So to conclude today's rant, Codecademy may be good for syntax and basic programming concepts, but programming isn't all that. It's a blend of that and problem solving- how to do this and that efficiently. Code Golfing is extremely hard for this reason and focuses intensively on problem solving.