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Developing Workflows

Workflow on the PC

I'm still fiddling with my tooling and at this point I am trying to finalize some workflows for content creation. It becomes more and more clear to me that creating content and the related design work are fundamental to web development. So, I am not skimping in this area of my studies.

Open Camera app for android

I spent a good bit of time studying about photo/display resolutions and camera settings. After looking around a bit, I grabbed this app from the play store to replace my native LG camera app. This one will allow me to play with ISO and f-stop. It took a bit of work just to learn the app and get it to save the pictures to my external SD card.

Dual 27 inch monitors

As my workflows grow in the number of steps involved, I am finding it challenging to manage the open windows on my monitor screen. Using my laptop monitor as a second display is a bit awkward and I find it hard to change focus from the 32" TV to the tiny laptop screen. Dual 27" pc monitors would be much better.

49 inch monitor

This 49 inch curved monitor would be even better. However, it is around $1000 right now... too rich for my blood. The two 27 inch monitors currently cost about $175 each and would provide the exact same size and resolution for a total of about $350. That seems quite a bit more practical.

PC building website 1

Running two external monitors is not an option with my cheap laptop. This led me to contemplate my next workstation PC purchase. I don't intend to spend any money that I don't absolutely have to right now. My current setup will suffice for perhaps the next year. However, I figured I should educate myself about what the next steps will be when the time comes. I found this awesome site.

PC building website 2

Not only does it give guides for typical PC builds, it also lets you tweak the parts list and checks for compatibility of components. It also shops each part for the best price! I will definitely build my next PC using this tool. "Modest Gaming Build" is about where my web development and content creation needs fall. My budget will be around $1,200 including monitor(s) and that will get me a very nice setup.

My dual monitors

Alright, for the time being my setup is working well enough for me to accomplish what i want to do. I played around with display settings to make the laptop screen more useful. I set the display to 125% and pushed the brightness up to make it more readable. I find myself working mostly on the larger display and using the small screen to navigate file explorer windows. Good enough for now.

Virtual desktop

What helped a lot was that I spent some time figuring out how to make use of the Windows virtual desktop feature. It is a little quirky (for example, if you open more than one spread sheet they both have to be on the same virtual desktop). Also, the "other" desktop is always out of view. But, switching is pretty quick with a keyboard shortcut if you can keep everything straight in your head as to how you have set up the layouts.

What is GIT?

Moving away from the more tangible concerns, I am also currently covering some esoteric topics. One is version control. The stuff I am doing at the moment is pretty easy to keep track of, but more complex projects will require more careful tracking of changes and distribution. GIT is a widely used platform for this so I am learning the ropes. It will be easier to develop these habits early on rather than waiting until it becomes more necessary.

Browsershots

Here is another area that becomes more important later on. I am not too concerned about it at the moment, but i thought I should at least familiarize myself with the relevant considerations. Any widely used web or computing device functionality has to be tested across many platforms. Also, understanding market adoption of each technology can minimize potential incompatibilities.

Apache server with SQL

The web pages I am creating right now are static and do not require any server manipulation. In fact, they can be run on the browser from files on your local computer (much like a spreadsheet or other document you might create). Creating dynamic applications and interacting with databases requires some programming or manipulation on the host server. This software allows me to run a server environment on my machine as if it were a remote server.

Learning SQL

Currently, I am using it to refamiliarize myself with SQL and database administration. This is in part because it will become part of my web development activities at some point soon. But, it is also an area that I will need to be able to demonstrate current proficiency in for the particular Amazon job postings I am most interested in pursuing in the coming months.

Snow 1

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful. And since we've got no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"

Yeah, I've got no place to go... it might as well snow.

Snow 2

It has gotten a bit chilly here (for us, anyway) over the past week or so. I've been getting by in the house with just a couple space heaters set very low. I am cozy enough in bed for most of the week. Over the weekends I wear extra clothes to stay comfortable. On New Year's Eve it has started snowing! It is only barely freezing outside...

Snow 3

The snow did stick for a little while. The temperature in the house is about 58 degrees (with one space heater running in the living room) which is not brutal, but I thought it would be nice to burn a fire for one night. I used up all of the firewood last winter and did not bother to get more... I'm so lazy.

Firewood

I scrounged up a small amount of wood that is safe to burn from the scrap pile. It is actually a pitiful amount. I am going to try and burn it judiciously in order to milk as much useable heat from it as I can. I am also going to see if these pitifully useless textbooks will burn. For what they cost, they should heat the house for pretty much the whole winter.

Fire

Delightful.

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Happy New Year!