HS Day [57 .. 60]

Some short posts, since I’m behind on blogging. Also because I’ve found there’s less to blog about on weekends. Maybe I should move to a weekday schedule?

HS Day 57: Dad Visit, Day One

Pretty much did nothing interesting on Saturday during the day – kind of a day off, feeling lonely after Greta left. My dad arrived for a visit around 7, and I picked him up at a bus stop in Manhattan, near Penn Station. It was cool out but not cold, so we took our time walking to the subway, back to Brooklyn. We ate at Nahm Thai Restaurant, which is just a few blocks from my apartment, and chatted about life, programming, my upcoming wedding, et cetera.

After dinner, I got a chance to play with my new Leap Motion, which I’ll post a review of on this blog eventually. We went to bed around midnight.

HS Day 58: Dad Visit, Day Two

My dad and I woke up around 10 and ate a slow breakfast at Dizzys, the jazz-themed ’50s style restaurant on the corner of the block my apartment is on. Good food, large portions, somewhat slow service. Took the train in to Manhattan, to the Museum of Math, and wandered around there a while. Since I had seen everything already with Greta, I didn’t have quite the same fascination with each exhibit that I did the first time, which I worry was to the detriment of my dad’s experience. We had a good time and both enjoyed ourselves despite that.

Afterward, we walked in light rain up a few blocks to the gaming store that Greta and I visited after MoMath, but it was closed – apparently it’s not open on Sunday. So, we kept walking, past the Empire State Building, to the 1 station at 34th street.  We got off at Houston st. and ate at Chipotle. We talked about my idea for a game that I wanted to make. I’d been carrying my sketchbook around all weekend, but this was the first opportunity we had to sit down and discuss it. It’s a little single-player game for android, which I’ll be writing in Java over the next week or two. More details to come 🙂

We took about half an hour to visit hacker school and fix my dad’s Steam account, which we’d been meaning to do for a while. Hopefully now he’ll be able to play the Steam games that I got him for xmas about two years ago…

We got coffee (tea for me) at a coffee shop near the bus stop, then he got on a bus and went back to D.C.. It was very nice to show him around my areas of NYC. (“It was good to see your NYC,” he said at the end of the trip.)

I spent the rest of the day working on various projects, playing StarCraft, and surfing the internet. I did get a potential freelance client, so we’ll see how that turns out.

HS Day 59: The Future and Android

Arrived at Hacker School around 9am today, to talk with Nick about Jobs. I’ve been contacted by a certain Golden, CO – based employer to do an interview, but I’m starting my job search earlier than I really should be. We talked for nearly an hour about jobs, as well as subway schedules (since he knows NYC a lot better). I’d include more about that discussion, since I’m excited about a lot of it, but I’m going to maintain silence about it while I’m still pursuing the aforementioned employer.

I started in on my Android game today, with little to no knowledge of what I needed to do. I downloaded Eclipse and read through a few tutorials. By lunchtime (Mahmoun’s Falafel), I had a working Android emulator which would load a skeleton app I downloaded.

I talked with Doron and Sunil for a while about Javascript – Doron is new to Javascript programming, and he was wondering the differences between Javascript, JQuery, and Node.js. I explained them, and he started in on a Javascript app – a multiplayer music sequencer which seemed pretty cool.

Later in the day, I helped Alex C. with an app written in Coffeescript, which I’d never worked with before. As far as I can tell, it compiles to Javascript. Neither of us spoke Coffeescript, so we were very confused, which was a lot of fun. He was trying to rewrite an existing app to send any input to a log. I ended up giving up and returning to my other projects, but it was cool to get a little bit of exposure to a new language.

After all that, I went with some other Hacker Schoolers to Jane Street, a quant trading firm. Derek and I chatted about my game on the subway on the way there. A woman with mental issues sat near us and made everyone a bit uncomfortable. On our way out of the station, Derek accidentially bumped into her, and they got into a verbal altercation (and almost a physical one – she punched him in the back of his leg.) It was almost surreal. The other Hacker Schoolers (there were quite a few of us) kind of surrounded Derek and walked away with him, while she shouted at him from the subway station.

Jane Street has fancy offices. They’re on the 33rd floor of a building overlooking where the Hudson meets the sea. Very posh. They had an on-site gym and massive glass-wall offices.

View from Jane Street Offices

View from Jane Street Offices

The talk was excellent. Stefan Karpinski, the author of the Julia language, answered audience questions while explaining the various features of the language. It seemed like a fast, fun language, and if I ever need to do data analysis, I’ll definitely check it out.

I took the R home and went to sleep.

HS Day 60: 

I missed my stop on my way in to Hacker School this morning, since I was engrossed in Malcom Gladwell’s “What The Dog Saw”, a compendium of his shorter articles for the New Yorker. Very interesting read, although reading that much Gladwell in a row, you kind of get tired of his formula. But what a great formula it is.

I spent most of the day working on my Java and Android stuff. Mostly Java – I figure I can write the game as an applet and port it to Android later.

I also helped out Alisa with a calculator project of hers – remember that if you’re using a large if-else or switch statement in Javascript, there’s probably a better way to do it using objects. I’m planning on doing a write-up of this idea for this blog soon. Maybe I’ll give a presentation on this as well.

After Hacker School I hung out for a while and watched Innovation vs Maru, which was super amazing. I also played cards with some of the guys, including some alumni. I lost terribly but it was a lot of fun.

Afterward I watched some more SC2 and played a few games. Ended up heading back to my apartment around midnight, where I found a doughnut from Levi (he works at a bakery) sitting on my desk. I ate it, which was actually a bad idea, since I ended up staying up later than I wanted to. Watched more Starcraft, went to bed.

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