Been a While

As I once posted I don’t seem to be much of a blogger. But then when I go to sit down to write a post today using Visual Studio Code it immediately hangs up the show by telling me I have deprecated extensions. Try to dismiss that notification led to hanging up Code. Wonderful. So when I relaunched Code I decided to see what notifications are deprecated. Turns out to be ones I either haven’t needed to use in ages or a couple that didn’t do what I wanted.

That leads me to wondering how anyone can get anything done as when they sit down to do some work the tool demands you wait until you update all this stuff that might not actually need to be updated right away. What is it? Some young engineer wanting to show off to mom and dad that their little feature just got in the app? Mostly so I think.

One of the things I like about Linux is the updates can be done when you want them to not when some engineer thinks you should do them. On Windows one dreads the second Tuesday of each month and I immediately go to settings and delay the update a week (or more). But then that allows me to do what I do in Linux, run the updates when I want!

What I really wanted to write about today was an experience developing a small simple web app that just didn’t seem to exist anywhere. First I did the app using .NET, yes on Windows because there is no Visual Studio on Linux though one can do .NET apps on Linux but I don’t think Microsoft wants to give Linux a real chance to take over the desktop world (Windows is a concept about 20 years out of date anyway).

Anyway that app needed an interface and for the fun of it decided to rewrite it in HTML because I could create an interface quickly with HTML. In this case it was a “drag ‘n drop” interface. This worked well and the rest of the code was JavaScript which I happened to have around so I made it an HTML/JavaScript app.

Turns out it worked slick so I posted it on my Vedic Astrology app website as a free tool. It became very popular. Just one problem: drag ‘n drop doesn’t work or work well on mobile. Now we know all the tech bigwigs want the world to go all mobile probably though some “carbon footprint” agenda.

However the parts of UI that allow drag ‘n drop on a desktop were hijacked to do scrolling on mobile pages. So I went back and redid the interface with a dropdown menu to select an item to be place on a chart and if you put it in the wrong place then just click on the right place and it gets moved there. Posted it and visits went way up. And app sales too.

Moral of the story: if you want more visits to your site put up some free stuff. That’s actually how I got started in the Internet age by posting a free Windows app back 1998.

Coda: I want to re-add comments to the posts but things need sorting out first. A mistake messed up the Discuss comments and there seemed to be no way to start over with those which seems a little strange. And then with Firefox for some reason I get an old version version of this blog when I don’t put www. in front of the domain. I know someone who also got that too so I may need to go have a chat with one of the web host engineers because I can’t see how it is happening.

The SimCopter Version that Never Was

The Video Game History Foundation recently released an article about the ill-fated Simcopter-64 project. I didn’t quite remember anything about as it was started right before I moved on from Maxis. But it is a good tale and well worth the read. Doing a 3D game like SimCopter on a game console at the time would have been hard to imagine. Unlike PCs they had limited memory space and SimCopter needed that. Enjoy the read (yes, I’m quoted in it).