ScratchThat2

While I continue never-ending work on my photography website and machine learning.. err… learning, I had a bit of time to revisit an old friend. That’s right: SCRATCH THAT HAS BEEN REBORN. I’ve rewritten one of my very first web apps for a brand new generation (…). Originally, I had built it in Rails because that was the framework that I had gotten my start with and was ultimately more familiar with but, despite my best attempts to utilise Rails 5’s new action cable feature, I caved and completely did it again from the ground up. Not that I wouldn’t have been able to do similar stuff in Rails, but it really needed an overhaul anyways and I just love how easy Meteor.js makes it to get a real-time app going (even easier if you git clone my meteor quick start repo :).

Feature-wise, it’s very similar to before, only now it’s real-time and anyone can search for and submit songs without interrupting the playlist. I’ve used it at a party already and it’s pretty fun (mainly because it pulls directly from SoundCloud so you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get when you search for a specific song title).

For the time being, ScratchThat isn’t live anywhere—mostly because I’m too cheap to pay for hosting at the moment—but you can download it here and run it yourself if you’re wanting to try it out.

Of Montreal, Of New York

From the top of the Empire State Building… that’s pretty darn tall y’all.

I’ve been travelling a lot lately, mostly by choice, sometimes involuntarily. But it’s a pretty decent time of year to be going in and out of Toronto for the most part. You don’t really want to be travelling when it’s super cold (especially when it’s also a cold place you’re going to) and you don’t really need to travel when it’s already super warm, so I generally reserve Spring and Fall for my vacation zones in order to get the most out of it.

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Some long overdue spring cleaning…

If you haven’t already noticed, I finally got around to cleaning up around here. I’ve made the overall UI much cleaner (which I really should’ve done sooner since it’s basically what I do full-time now) and fixed a lot of the loading/caching issues (which were admittedly caused by the super huge image sizes I keep uploading). So, wipe the tears of your mobile data plan away, this site should be much better optimized once I get a few more new posts on the front page.

I’ve also removed the writing section completely as it’s not really a good reflection of where I’m at career-wise anymore. Of course, you can always visit that page here if you want to relive those memories and I’ll continue to post anything major if I feel like people might find it interesting *cough*.

With this new redesign, I’m also committed to posting more often! So here’s to new beginnings and new content!

MidwestJS 2016: The Dark Knight Returns

I can’t believe I did this write up back in September and then proceeded to never post it! So here’s my MidwestJS 2016 report, about half a year late but possibly entertaining for those who enjoy reading this sort of thing:

And thus the saga continued. After greatly enjoying my first adventure into the midwest in 2015, I decided to return for round two and see what the next iteration of this Javascript conference had to offer.

For the uninitiated, the conference was broken down into several streams—so you could either stick to one particular framework or subject area for the entire conference, or take a more scattershot approach at exploring the various talks. I decided to mainly stick to the Angular 2 stream as much as possible as it was the framework that I had the least amount of experience with (I had only done some Angular 1 stuff but then I had heard that they had changed a significant amount of the syntax etc that it was almost an entirely new beast).

So, after figuring out which of the talks I’d be dropping in on (and visiting the Purple One’s stomping grounds), I was ready for my second year at Midwest JS:

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Harry Potter and the Brothers on the Wall

Behold, my first Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) effort: “Harry Potter and the Brothers on the Wall“. I purposely didn’t create a description because I didn’t want to give too much away but here’s what I ended up attaching to the Fanfiction.net listing:

Barry Little has always dreamed of becoming a wizard. But he lives in a rundown suburb in the middle of America. With a little creativity and a lot of help from his friends, the group manages to complete the journey from hood to Hogwarts—where the Triwizard tournament has just wrapped up and students and professors alike are still reeling from the death of Cedric Diggory…

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I’m constantly revising both the novel and the cover art (still finding spelling/grammar things here and there and also improving the flow in some sections) but all the changes from this point onward will likely be very minor.

Enjoy!

Belated Tales from CES: A Photo Report of Sensory Overload

CES, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is a strange beast. On one hand, it’s massive, never-ending, and home to some of the coolest gadgets and future tech that likely won’t be seen by the average consumer for many years. On the other hand, you really do have to dig through a lot of *ahem* bullshit, to get through to the gems of the conference. Such is the nature of any trade show though.

Sunny Las Vegas, home of gigantic Ferris wheels, strange worldly replications, and other things that might make you question whether you really knew the true America, is where this tale of gluttony takes place. Though the sunny exterior may be inviting, do not be deceived by what is actually a Dorian Grey like reflection on the darker side of humanity…

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Midwest.JS Weekend Report

midwestjs-logo-400It’s been a while since I’ve given you guys an update on what I’ve been up to (Left Foot Right M is still forthcoming) but in the meantime, I figured I’d post this weekend report on a programming conference I was at recently.

Back in August, I had the opportunity to travel out to Minneapolis, Minnesota for a programming conference called Midwest.js. I’m not going to lie, the conference’s incredible name was about 25% responsible for my decision on attending. But one of the other major draws was its price, at $300 for three days including a full day workshop, it was probably one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) conference in North America, especially considering what you got out of it. Speaking to many of the other attendees, this was also one of the main reasons they were attending. Who wants to spend $2000 to learn languages from Apple in San Fran, when you can get a much better taste of the current wave of Javascript frameworks for a fraction of the price?

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