Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A Flat World

It's one of those flat sea days we all occasionally get but I tend to have only when I'm between ideas. I've just finished writing an eBay app for a friend and my own programming has come to a bit of a halt. The Gag Machine is finished, as are the other little tools I wrote for myself. Yesterday I used my bank holiday to tinker with the Wordpress API and manage to retrieve my blog's listings and post test articles (in draft) via code. However, there are too many pieces of quality software out there that do that sort of thing. I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, even if I might learn a few things along the way. I'd need my version to do something different and I can't see a novelty to make it worth my time. The ocean just looks flat from where I'm standing.

In an ideal world, I'd like to level up my programming skills by moving towards C++, which is probably the purest computer language out there. It's the language that allows you to do the most with the hardware but it's also the hardest to learn. Yet I'm also in a comfort zone with C#. I'm at the point where people can ask me for software to do a specific job and I can put together a rough but usable program in a couple of hours. It's rather dull stuff, basically forms and data manipulation, perhaps interacting with an online API. C# is also the language of Unity, so I can also write basic games but, really, there's so little point.

If I had the time (and finances) I'd like to move towards C++ and get my teeth into the Unreal engine and do some  more work with procedural generation which really interests me. However, I can't so I probably won't.

But it means I'm currently a bit stuck between projects.

As always, I'm happiest writing but I promised people that I won't waste any more time writing books and, really, I shouldn't even blog. I'd like to do a podcast but I'm pretty deflated about them, though, I guess, I'm feeling deflated about everything. It's the nature of this flat world, I suppose, that 100,000 people will watch James May make a fairly dull Shepherd's Pie on Youtube and laud him for it but the rest of us are lucky to get a scrap or two of feedback despite our best efforts. There's nothing complicated about the reasons. It's the same motivation that makes people write me long, laudatory emails when they believe I'm Richard Madeley. When I point out the fact that I'm not Richard Madeley, they can't even be bothered to thank me for being so honest. Work or jokes that were 'good' before are then less than nothing. Context is everything.

The problem is that it makes it difficult for a man to know quite where he stands in terms of quality and his own sense of worth. If that sounds like a gripe, then it isn't. It's simply a statement of where I am on this flat Tuesday in spring.

I noticed last night that Steve Bell had done a Cameron with a lamb cartoon, so always eager to get hits on the blog, I put a link back to my throwaway cartoon, drawn late at night whilst my brain was in slowdown. His had Sturgeon. Mine had Farage. Nobody liked mine. I don't know what to think about either. I feel just lost without a compass. Which way is land? I'm just following the seagulls

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