Archive for September, 2010

Looking for nice bug-tracking solution

If anyone has any good experience with a free PHP/MySQL based bug-tracking system please let me know in the comments. The best I have found so far is MantisBT. It’s a nice clean install, but to be honest I think the UI is butt-ugly and would prefer something cleaner. I have used FogBugz in the past and quite liked it, but I don’t want to pay the subscription required.

Not interested in Perl or Python solutions, thanks :)


Update: Am going with FogBugz for now, as it turns out they have a free “startup” version for poor independent developers like myself :)

An Atheist Creed

We don’t believe in Gods,
And that’s about it.
If you want our manifesto,
There ain’t one; tough shit.


Inspired by the frustration of reading David Penberthy’s recent article lumping anyone who dares to mock or disrespect religion into the largely media-created “new atheist” camp. What a lazy hack. Please God spare us from the paternalistic self-hating “moderate” atheist.

Another Beautiful Thing

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

(You should watch it full screen in HD if possible)

Then and Now

Here is what a Wild West themed video game looked like in 1980 (Outlaw on Atari 2600):

And this is what one looks like in 2010 (Red Dead Redemption on Sony PS3):

Holy Crap!

8 Memory Lane

img_1344-128.jpgSo. It looks like this blog is 8 years old already. I started it just after my 30th birthday. Wow. It feels like I accidentally sat on the fast-forward button of my life sometime in 2005. So far 2010 is not quite as I imagined… Aw who am I kidding, it’s exactly as I imagined. I’ve always known I’m crap at being my own boss.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s occurred in all that time…

  • Moved a few times, including to New Zealand and back. Now living south of Sydney in a lovely house that’s costing me more in rent than I can really afford right now.
  • Three different relationships– in total I have probably spent about half of my 30s partnered. I still have very positive feelings toward all involved, and try to maintain contact, although logistically can’t really see any of them in person since all currently reside in New Zealand. Two out of three I met though online dating, which on one hand bothers me hugely but on the other where the hell else am I going to meet anyone? – Unless I go back to university, which at this point I would say is exceedingly unlikely.
  • One major job, some miscellaneous contract work and one start-up misfire. I’d say I’ve been in some kind of employment for 70% of the time, which is similar to how I spent my 20s. I don’t really blog about paid work for the same reason most people don’t; it just feels inappropriate. I will say that I have been very lucky to work on things that are wayyy more interesting that the majority of programmers get to do in their day jobs.
  • Racked up a huge tax bill by not paying the tax from my earnings as a contractor… with interest and penalties it came to around $40K (I hadn’t filed a return for almost 7 years) At least part of the reason it got so bad was because of the next point. I am now debt free but rapidly pissing away my savings.
  • Got really sick a couple of times, was hospitalized the second time and actually got proper medical care which allowed me to avoid getting sick again. The first time it hit me badly was around 2003, and I was never properly diagnosed, which basically meant I lost about a year of my life for no good reason. I was blogging at the time, but as far as I can tell I never actually mentioned it then, probably because it was just too depressing to talk about.
  • Changed my hair color a bunch of times… I still have no clue what to do with it though, it always irritates me no matter what color or length. Although I like that as I get older simply having hair starts to become more of a draw ;)
  • Gained a bunch of weight– having cleared the aforementioned illness my body became much more efficient at turning the food I consumed into flab. I am in the process of losing it again but it takes a lot longer coming down than going up. When I moved back to Australia I was over 106kg, now I am down to a more acceptable (but still higher than I’d like) 97kg. I’m hoping to eventually get back down to 87 or so…
  • Gave up smoking, took it up again, gave it up again, tried e-cigarettes etc… in fact today marks one week without smoking, again– I really have to make it stick this time.
  • Neglected projects like JujuEdit and Drivey like I still can’t believe. JujuEdit actually predates this blog!
  • Created some minor buzz when an idea I had for an atheist symbol was mentioned on PZ Myers’ blog. I still have to update the mini-site I created for it with some photos of tattoos that people have gotten.

On the blog specifically, it’s all starting to feel a bit old-fashioned now. Since it’s been going this long I don’t see myself chucking it in any time soon– at least not til I’m 40. Do people start blogs anymore? I stopped keeping track of visitors and stats ages ago, and am glad of it (one less thing to angst about) but I guess the current readership must be somewhere between 10 and 1,000,000.