Mid-life crisis and electronics!

My normal way of tackling hobbies is to dive head first into something (electronics, game programming, wood working, paper craft, robotics, leather working, …) and pour my heart and soul into it… for about 2 weeks.  Then my enthusiasm wanes and something else catches my mind’s eye and I go “Ooh shiny!” and I’m off pouring my heart and soul into something else.

The life-long result of this is that I’ve passionately dived into learning a LOT (and I mean a lot!) of fun things, all of which I’ve spent a life time saying I’d eventually finish or at least make a name for myself in.  The reality of it is that I’ll be 48 this year and I’ve made a name for myself in none of them.  I have literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of games I’ve started and never finished.  I’ve gotten into game programming more times than I can remember and never finished writing a game.  I’ve gotten into robotics many times and never finished a robot.

Well, I’m tired of it.  I think I must be going through a “mid-life crisis”.  In the past week or so the fact that I’ve spent my entire life diving passionately into one thing after another and never sticking with any of them has started to seriously bother me.  So I’ve decided to do something about it.  I need to pick something and stick with it and just accept that most of the other hundreds of interests I have will have to be ignored.

I’ve given a lot of thought as to what I want to focus on and I’m leaning heavily toward electronics.  This allows for several of my interests to come into play, such as robotics, microprocessors, programming… I also need to make sure I have projects to work on.  Too many times I’ve dived head first into learning something just for the fun of learning it; but Mushroom.Lampwith nothing to apply what I’m learning to it doesn’t stick when the next two-week passion-wave comes along (“Ooh shiny!”).

So I’ve picked a project to start with.  I’m going to make some cool battery powered LED mushroom lamps.  I got the idea from this video on YouTube.  It should give me some starting experience with soldering and it really looks like a fun and fairly easy project.  I’ve already ordered the LEDs and resistors I’ll need and I’m pretty sure I have the rest of what I need.  I just need to establish a work area that can stay dedicated to my electronics adventures.  Wish me luck!

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Back of the brain…

This is going to be a living post.  In it I’ll keep a continually changing and morphing list of things I’ve ran across that I want to dig into further and research, learn, play with, etc. Continue reading

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Sorting C# Enum.GetValue(…)

This one caused me a bit of frustration.  Enum.GetValue(…) returns a non-generic Array.  I tried all manner of ways to sort it (short of writing my own quicksort).  If I typed Enum.GetValue(…).OrderBy, there is no OrderBy. Continue reading

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The 32-bit version of Visual Studio Remote Debugging Monitor (MSVSMON.EXE) cannot be used to debug 64-bit processes …

I’ve gotten used to manually starting IISExpress instead of using [F5] in Visual Studio 2010 to start a debugging session. Whenever I need to do server-side debugging, I manually attach Visual Studio’s debugger to the IISExpress.exe process Continue reading

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Feeding Time at the O.K. Corral

They all ate together for the first time tonight with no hissing, no growling, no chasing a kitten away so their food can be Continue reading

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Lazy and Productive day…

If you ask the cats, it was a lazy day today.  Salem has finally accepted the two new annoyances… er, I mean kittens.  Smokey (in the middle) and Storm (on the right) are still shying away from human touch, but they’re starting to warm up to it. Continue reading

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XAML Tags and .NET Types

One concept I had to get my brain wrapped around when learning WPF was the tight relationship XAML tags and .NET types had.  I’ve done a lot of desktop development in the past (GDI/GDI32, User32, WinForms …), but I’ve done mostly ASP.NET development the past couple of years.  They are very different frameworks in a lot of areas (statefull vs. stateless, procedural vs. declarative, etc.).

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