So it's Saturday morning and I'm listening to "Friday I'm in Love" by "The Cure" and it suddenly occurs to me: I haven't updated my website in awhile. Oops. That does happen from time to time doesn't it? Nevertheless, here I am. So a lot has happened over the last four months as I'm sure everybody knows. Donald Trump is now president. That's a thing now. Apparently Climate Change isn't though. Of course I will tell you that I didn't vote for the man, as if that actually matters. I slithered on my belly into a voting booth and voted for Hillary despite massive reservations about her. The alternative of Donald Trump was enough of an impetus to force to me to violate my "I don't vote for Republicans or Democrats" statute. Ironically had Bernie Sanders been nominated I would've broken that rule as well but for a much better reason.
On a different topic I've decided to forego my yearly laptop upgrade. Anybody who knows me knows that every year, like clockwork, I upgrade to a new laptop. The reasons driving the upgrades vary however and this year I don't believe that I'm going to find one. Moving entirely to Linux and away from dual boot scenarios and virtual machines is a large part of why to be honest. I few years ago I dipped my toe into the ultra book pool by purchasing a 3rd gen Lenovo X1 Carbon, which now belongs to my wife after I upgraded to a Lenovo T460s in the following year. Both run Linux as their primary and only operating system.
This has been further assisted by the fact that personally I'm beginning to move away from focusing on Windows as my primary ecosystem target, at least when it comes to development. Microsoft has been a day late and a dollar short on everything web development related for years now and that trend doesn't appear to be changing. Sure .NET Core "supports" Linux now but the reality is that it only supports a handful of specific distributions and that when things break you will be up shits creek for an indeterminate amount of time. That's not a situation that I want to place myself or my clients in. So while for the moment I'm still a professional .NET developer (and will be as long as I work for Paylocity), my transition to greener pastures has begun.
What are those greener pastures? Likely Go at this point. The announcement of Gogland by JetBrains was enough to put Go over the top. I started messing with Go a few months back and I loved it. My only problem was the lack of a real IDE in Linux. Gogland appears to have solved that problem. In fact I'm so excited about that (not to mention Project Rider as that is by far the best non-VS .NET IDE around now as well) that I went ahead and signed up for a full JetBrains subscription. I've already gotten some real mileage out of that due to my use of PyCharm while developing my own set of tools for managing my recently acquired Pi-Top. Though let me be clear: I don't like Python. I didn't like it before this project and I like it even less now. But when it comes to scripting tools for Linux, it and bash are at the top of the list and I'll be damned if I was going to write a bunch of bash scripts.
Speaking of Pi-Tops, I have acquired two Raspberry Pi 3s in the last few months with another on the way. One of them obviously powers the Pi-Top that I bought for myself as a Christmas present. I had a lot of fun with the Pi-Top though sadly its really not suitable for day to day use. This is partially because the low amount of RAM on the RPI3 makes web browsing difficult but also because the keyboard on the Pi-Top is kind of crappy. That's a real shame too. Nevertheless it was worth the purchase. The second Pi is a RetroPie box. The third Pi will be another RetroPie box only it will be setup in the living room rather than my office. I will also set it up so that games, save states and battery backups are automatically synced between the two devices. This will allow me to start playing a retro game in one room of the house and transfer it to a different room. Which is freaking awesome.
Oh I can hear the detractors now: But Jay, don't you already have a ShieldTV and a Shield Portable? Couldn't you do the same thing with those? Well yeah I could but here is the problem: The Shield Controller has a crappy d-pad which severely detracts from the experience of a number of Retro games. My RetroPies can be paired them with Wii U Wireless Classic Controller Pros and everything pretty much just works after initial configuration. Those controllers have what might be the best d-pad around. Sure Android is pretty flexible about what game controllers it allows, but the reality is the Shield units are designed to be used with Shield controllers not just in apps, but throughout the system as well. Not using a shield controller presents a new problem in and of itself in this scenario.
Oh and here's another tidbit: I hate Final Fantasy games now. Except I don't. I played and finished Final Fantasy XV over Christmas vacation and was completely sick of it by the end. The open world portion of the game was great, the part after it was not. Still I was so sick of it that I started to reconsider my entire approach to gaming (this is an ongoing process). A week after I finished the game, I fired up Final Fantasy III on the NES (with an unofficial English translation applied) and finished that last week. I'm now gearing up for a run at Final Fantasy IV now. What a vicious cycle. That having been said, I made a New Years resolution to not buy any new games in 2017. I have more than enough games, and it is probably long past time that I indulged my back catalog a bit.
Well that covers just about everything that I wanted to cover. See you all in another four to six months ;)