Hack Days Are Awesome

Earlier this week, we had a “hack day” at work. Or more precisely, two hack days. I think the name is pretty self-explanatory–work on whatever you want, which can be something helpful to or completely unrelated to your currently assigned tasks, as long as it’s something interesting. Now, “hack time” is a pretty established institution in the software world, especially amongst the hip startuppy companies. I’m sure everyone has heard of Google’s “20% time” idea by now, and the story of Microsoft’s Xbox starting as a side-project. Proponents (especially those who are trying to pitch a business case to managers with varying degrees of pointy-haired-ness) cite building camaraderie, stimulating creativity, and increasing morale as some of the biggest benefits.

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IAP and Mobile

In-app purchases and the free-to-play model have long been anathema to self-declared “real gamers” everywhere, but the recent release (or re-release?) of classics like Tales of Phantasia and Dungeon Keeper seems to have brought yet another wave of angry discussion to the forefront. Understandably, people are very angry that their beloved classics are being turned into f2p “cash farms”, but personally I think saying the model is “destroying the industry” is a bit hyperbolic.

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Adventures with Mail.app Gremlins

Background

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CMD Misadventures - Codebase Size

After watching the wat talk and trolling my friends with the aneditor talk for about the 200th time, I decided to finally purchase one season of the Destroy All Software screencasts, despite the (IMHO) steep price tag and my financial destitution. (So far? Totally worth it. But a full review of the screencasts is neither here nor there.)

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Clojure First Impressions

After achieving some measure of familiarity with Scala, and with newfound copious amounts of free time, I decided I wanted to see more of what the functional world had to offer. The obvious choices were Haskell and Clojure; but while Haskell has the upper hand in functional purity and a crazy advanced type system, I like to think I’m a pragmatic guy at heart and Clojure seemed more practical. I haven’t worked with it too extensively, but my experience so far can be summarized by two words: Simple and composable.

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