Shawn Driscoll's Tech Blog


Stuff That Happened in the Past

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

3D-Coat 4.8 Released!


Read video description for new discount pricing. Free download for existing customers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Popular GUIs and Programming Languages


I know that trends, researches, and studies often mean nothing. So there's probably more of the same shown here. Some of the data does makes sense though when used in a calendar setting, when looking back in the past.

These charts were created from data kept on Stack Overflow's BBS by entering tag names. 
The tags used above were programming languages that I have run into in the last 20 or so years. Languages like Pearl, I consider to be as dead as COBOL, FORTRAN, and BASIC. Ruby is headed in that direction. Objective-C is obviously on the downward trend because it had been canceled after Swift's introduction. Go is still going along. I forgot to add Rust to the tags, which would be crawling behind Go.


Above, we have GUIs being charted. Technically, they are decorated widgets for our OS's default GUIs. I started with X Windows, and obviously Mac before that. But the NeXTs and SPARCs got me interested in designing by own GUI for Microware's OS-9 Level II, which ran on the TANDY Color Computer 3.

Gtk was an ugly version of that GUI I made when I first saw it in Python's built-in library as tkinter, which is only becoming popular because Python is becoming popular. I've tried wxwidgets, and have made videos about how clunky it is. Kivy looks like a modern/contemporary GUI. What you see used on most hand-helds these days.

Qt (pronounced as either "q t" or "cute" still) had a great start coming out of the gate because of its professional design and clean look. And it has remained the easiest GUI to write programs for.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

There Are Better Programming Languages Than C



I just read an article, called Are All Programming Languages Based On C?, that says basically what I been saying about C since 1984 (maybe even earlier). That C is a programming language one uses to make much better programming languages with. People used C, back in the day, to avoid programming in Assembly code (aka ASM languages, or HEX code). So, C was a welcome programming language at the time.

ANSI C was kind of a big deal. For it allowed C code to run on any computer that had a C compiler. C programs ran much faster on computers that were usually programmed using BASIC or Pascal. And since C was so closely tied to the Assembly code it could produce, many programmers wrote hardware drivers using C. Even Operating Systems could be written in C.

Anyway. Thirty-plus years later, I still see people learning how to program a computer using C. Today, it's C++ or C# programming. But it is still the same thing. Basically, it's people writing typo-filled code and trying to compile and debug it. The code is clumsy to type, hard to look at, and is harder for others to follow through one's logic. This is what the schools are teaching though. It's like they want to keep computer programming as complicated as possible so that students think they are getting their money's worth out of a class.

As I said earlier, C is used to write much better programming languages. And there are a lot of much better programming languages available. And since nearly all programming languages are free now, it is much easier to access them for trying out.

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Couldn't Sleep

My first Django-powered page.

In my feverish state, I've been following a video on YouTube that shows how to get started using Django 1.4.22 with Python. I'm surprised it works with Python 2.5.4.

The video is using the usual newer versions of everything. But that is ok by me. I even got virtualenv 1.9.1 installed and working. Another program oldie.

This is what happens when I can't sleep. I do historical programming. Actually, I prefer Python 2.5 over later versions because it's closest to being the spirit of what Python was created for.

I'm curious what happens in the next video.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cosmology: Andromeda's Rotational Velocities Can Be Explained By POND


I wasn't really sure which of my blogs to post this topic on. It sounded tech enough though to enter it here. My dad wrote an article explaining how the Andromeda galaxy's rotational velocities can be explained by POND.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"DD" Damage

Today I decided to add "Damages" to my Skill Check app. This is an app I wrote that performs die rolls for Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition game sessions. I don't use it much because I have dice right here on my mousepad (within reach). But some people own zero dice. So maybe this app comes in handy for them?

Technically, I'm not sure if I can even release this app. So it may just be me using it for awhile.

So anyway, version 2.0.0 (beta) now has a Damages section. I had to shrink the bar graph to make room for that new area, rather than increase the footprint of the app. I haven't decided though if I should rename the app to something else, now that is does more than just task checking for Traveller. But, we'll see.

I still need to design what the Damages section looks like, as far as what die roll buttons to place in it. By the way, damages are the dice one rolls to determine how much damage a Traveller does on something or someone (or both). For now, I'm testing the new DD die rule from 2nd Edition for scaled-up damage against vehicles and ships. So far, so good.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Windows Techs Need Our Credit Card Numbers (as if)

Everyday for a little over a week now, I've been getting a call from a "Windows" tech company regarding my Windows computer. Today it was some guy named Alex, with a hindi accent, who wanted my credit card number, etc. I just tell them I don't have a Windows computer and they hang right up.

This has been a thing now all summer I'm finding out. And my name is coming up on their "to-call" lists now it seems. It's weird that they call me everyday at 10:30am. I guess I'll be expecting another call tomorrow from them.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

These Dice Aren't That Bad on the Eyes

AKO makes dice. The quality is iffy though. And the colors are not standard. Standard, as in, a standard Traveller color scheme. So I made some virtual ones to play around with for apps I've updated to work with Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition that's coming out soon.

Anyway, I didn't realize just how quick I would get used to reading the numbers off the faces after a roll. Now if only someone made these dices for realz.