Archive for the ‘Geek stuff’ Category

“When it’s done”

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

The Nokia N9 is finally out in the public! This is where I put my blood and sweat in the last three years, and it’s been quite a ride. I’ve met and worked with a lot of great people and some not so great ones, had my hair turn gray, seen and made a lot of mistakes and – I hope – learned a lot. This has certainly been the hardest job I’ve ever encountered and right now I feel that anything else after it will seem easy, if not a little boring.

Was it worth it? Hell yeah.

P.S.: Coming next: Flexo for N9…

New year resolution #2: start an open source project

Friday, July 30th, 2010

OK, my first new year resolution didn’t go very far, and partly the reason is that for the last few months I moved my attention to “resolution #2: start an open source project”.

The project is called “Flexo” and is a time tracker application for N900 written in C++/Qt, you can read more about it here. I started it to learn something about the environment in which I work every day (and where I hardly have the chance to get anything concrete done), and also to reacquaint myself with that old passion of mine, programming. It’s been lots of fun and working on it reminded me why I got in this business in the first place.

I was also quite pleased with the tools offered by Nokia for the purpose, although still a bit rough around the edges they are very usable and well designed (and they work on Mac, although you need to jump through a few hoops to set everything up). There is plenty of links and blog posts out there in case you are interested, so I won’t get started here.

I wish I could work on it more, but “new year resolution #3″ (more like “new decade resolution”) is approaching fast and won’t leave me much time to do anything else…

Weekend project: (over)time tracking application

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Warning: this is going to be a geeky post.

I spent a rainy and grey weekend hacking a small application to help me keep track of time at work. I tend to exceed the regular office hours more often than I should, and I’m not always disciplined enough to mark down all the extra hours I do (which I’m supposed to claim as free time at some point, though that moment never seems to arrive).

The idea is simple: I want to “punch in” when I arrive to work, be aware of how much time I have spent in the day and how much overtime I have collected. I can check out and check in again multiple times during the same day, for example if I go to lunch or continue working from home in the evening (which is sadly the case sometimes)

I mainly did it to learn a bit of Qt, the cross-platform application framework owned by Nokia. It was a pleasant experience, starting from scratch and with my rusty C++ skills it took me two afternoons to put it together. The next step is, of course, getting this to run on the N900.

(note: I lost the screenshots thanks to my sloppy webmastering)

I’m not publishing the code here because it’s, ahem, rather ugly, but I’ll do it at some point.

P.S.: after I started doing this, I realized that Stefan had created a somewhat similar application for the iPhone called FlexTool. Stefan, if you are reading this: I didn’t copy your idea! Although I did add the “checked in” and “checked out” texts after seeing a screenshot of FlexTool.

Myths from my childhood part I – Game programmers from the 80's

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I was drawn to computers in the early 80s, when my father introduced in our household a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. All of my friends had a Commodore 64, and we endlessly debated about which one was better (I can admit it now: it was the C64). Later I moved to the Commodore Amiga. Then like now, most of the attraction was the ability to play videogames.

Unlike today’s overbloated videogames industry, most games at the time were made by single individuals, two at most. Thanks to magazines like Zzap64! (known in Italy as Zzap!) I knew them by name and worshipped them like rockstars.

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It's out. And it rocks.

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Find out more in the Maemo website!

Christmas came early this year

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

I’ve been lusting after Macbooks ever since I got my first Mac, but never found a good enough reason to buy one.  Finally the announcement of the latest aluminum models convinced me, and I took the dive. What can I say, I love it!