I am very thankful that I learned C.

One of the reasons I have learned C was because of the job opportunities.

My prediction came true.

Recently, I went to an on-site programming screening. After I did a survey on my career background, I was given test…

…s. Though my specialty is on back-end programming (working with Delphi, Java, Python, and so on), the range of skills I could do had the supervisor, instead of choosing 1 test that best fits me, concluded that I may do every test I could. I think that I am allowed to say this because I am not mentioning the specific company or exercises, but one of the tests was back-end, another was networking & databases, and another was website scripts.

Unfortunately, after I left my attempt with coding Re-Hoard in JavaScript, I forgot JavaScript. There was also a problem with JQuery, a library that I did not know that I would need to learn. A few problems dealt with more abstract or hardware-related aspects of networking. However, the remaining problems involved the two computer languages that I had been learning: C and SQL. Sure, I made a mistake in an SQL problem by writing “IFNOTEXISTS” instead of “IF NOT EXISTS”, and the C exercises may have actually used C++ or, at least, a version of C that is later than the one used in the 1st edition of The C Programming Language (because the exercises used void), but the exercises not only made sense but sometimes became easy! I did not work on every C exercise, though; one required knowledge of a character set. Another I did half-done; that exercise required me to parse a stream and print a webpage. In that exercise, I did what I could, mostly focusing on the webpage, but that exercise seemed to be intermediate-level. Never the less, I was very thankful over and over because of my knowledge of C and SQL.

I got a “proper” interview scheduled.

I did not attend this blog recently because, other than health problems, I was busy learning Ruby. I wonder how far that language would take me.

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Shifting gears

I spent 2 years working on Re-Hoard (and Reckless Abandon) without any workable product.

Half of that was laziness and lack of direction. Half of that was struggling with inadequate programming languages.

While I get used to working with DevKitPro, what would I be actually producing in the meantime?

In light of these facts, I shall temporarily suspend work on Re-Hoard and Reckless Abandon.

Instead, I have something else coming up.

I returned from my vacation.

Strangely, the day after I wrote that the desire of making my game returned, I petered out again. I decided that I would be better off keeping quiet on the situation until I war fully ready.

I worked on the game again today.

Surprisingly, I have trouble recalling just what made me stop. I mean, I know that was the patrol protocols, but they seemed very approachable today.

Comi-Con may be fun…

…but I think I would get more enjoyment from being a seller instead of merely a buyer. The networking opportunities would be better that way, plus the experience would be more comfortable. I also would have a reason why I would stay over 2 hours.

Either way, I would go to Comi-Con next year, if I could. Even if I would just be a buyer, the experience is so great.

I guess I answered prematurely…

After I woke up today, I got the urge to work on Re-Hoard again. I did… but got “enough” after a few hours.

I guess I just needed a slower pace.

However…

…I got that same feeling when I was working on my Master’s Project 2 years ago. At that point, not only was I “running on empty,” but, after the trimester was over, I could not do any work until a month later.

Paralyzed Progression

(I though Homework Paralysis Syndrome only happened with homework…)

These days, I had a lot of difficulty progressing in development. I can only really focus on one thing at a time, but if that one thing feels difficult, I get stuck and repelled. I have difficulty even changing to a less obstructing task; even when I do, I feel compelled to do that task that gave me the difficulty in the 1st place.

I have got to break out of that mentality.

These few days, I essentially wrote the A* algorithm a 3rd time. Then again, the1st time was because I wanted to learn how to do the algorithm, the 2nd was because I was actually putting in the algorithm in Re-Hoard, the 3rd because I not only had difficulty in understanding this version but also because I wanted to take account the structures that were already in the game. (Al of them are in an experimental cartridge that is separate from the actual cartridge in GitHub.) Before that, I ended up taking months (not including the hurricane-induced blackout) in transcribing 2 songs in WarioWare: DIY because the task was so difficult, but I knew that this was the best way I could study the songs that inspired me so.

…then again, I did spend that time looking at entity-component systems that would make an excellent fit to Re-Hoard. I also looked into how to make my games using C++ and Libretro. I guess I was doing less obstructing tasks after all…?

I’ll test the code tomorrow. After everything works, I should implement the entity-component system then push those changes in the actual cartridge in GitHub. Meanwhile, I should try to compose the main song in Reckless Abandon.

A Fallen Infrastructure

Since my last goodbye, I was absent from this blog for a month. I should explain how difficult things were in that time.

One important thing of note is that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is extraordinarily old. The most important and relevant aspect of this is that the newest parts of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid dates to the 1990’s. From this, Puerto Rico has rightfully been compared to “poor” countries. In fact, Puerto Rico only appears rich because of all of the aid and exports the United States of America gives Puerto Rico. With its “poorness” comes all of those problems that hit “poor” countries: infestations, diseases from poor sanitation, bad roads, and so on.

When Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, that infrastructure collapsed horribly. Even now, there are still so many places that still do not have at-home access to water or electricity, much less access to the Internet, and would have to actually go to rivers and maybe the beach if they wanted to get water. Hotels ended up being makeshift shelters. People managed to prepare beforehand; Hurricane María just happened to be incredibly strong. The odd thing is that the hurricane hit Puerto Rico unevenly: cement houses in Orocovis had their roofs torn and flown off, whereas wood houses in Mayagüez survived. There are many people in San Juan who had not yet to begin recovery even when I am writing this, even though San Juan is the first municipality that got help. I can blame some of that on the Mayor of San Juan, though, who seems to be blocking access to supplies that are meant to the rest of Puerto Rico. However, even if she was completely willing to help others, the poor condition of the roads there plus all of the debris that had gotten in the way on those roads made that task very difficult anyway. Puerto Rico is a country that is full of vegetation, which means that that vegetation would pile on the roads. Puerto Rico’s electrical posts are above ground, which means that, if the electrical cables do not catch them, they fall on the road, too. I even saw an electrical post that blocked part of a road!

At least there is a boat port in Mayagüez.

A result of that mess is that the Puerto Rico government imposed a curfew from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Though the curfew made sense in keeping overtly curious people from hurting themselves, and the end date was pushed forward to 7:00 pm, then 8:00 pm, then 10:00 pm, then midnight before the curfew got repealed, this curfew was terrifying in concept. Usually, curfews are the stuff of dictatorships! This had me worry on the fate of Puerto Rico! On the other hand, the United States President lifted the Jones Act which required that anyone who wants to ship to Puerto Rico has to go through the United States of America, first… even if that “anyone” is the Dominican Republic, which is so close to Puerto Rico that illegal immigrants managed to take the trip by themselves there! The Jones Act was, lifted, though, because of the emergency situation which required Puerto Rico to get all of the supplies Puerto Rico could get.

Only goods could come to Puerto Rico, though. Because of the fallen infrastructure, a lot of people, including those related to travel, could not do their jobs. Anyone who had the misfortune of being here when Hurricane María struck the island was stuck here for weeks. (Exchange students here from Perú had to had taken a special aeroplane that took them out of here.) The goods themselves took a lot of time to go here though; before FEMA made the situation much more bearable, there were about kilometer-long lines of people lining up to gasoline stations! Someone would have needed to come extremely early and wait literally all day, and that is not taking the curfew into account! Another instance was getting your own generator. Getting to a shop that actually had a generator or even parts in the first place was an obviously difficult task.

The passage of time was a little creepy. Of course, when our electronics already had charge, the first few days went fine, except for the television repeating the same clips all day. I knew that I had to economize my charge, though, despite my basing my experiences on the quick recovery Puerto Rico had after Hurricane George. The first spooky point, though, was the curfew announcement, which had me want to stay inside all the time. The second spooky point was seeing the houses that were once alight with generator electricity running suddenly be off. Another kicker was the uncertainty of how long hospitals could run only on generators. I mean, I saw news of a hospital whose chefs had to work essentially in the dark! I could not even help myself when I got distressed over how hard the aftereffects were and how much I consequently wanted to leave.

Recovery progressed, nevertheless. First, roads got cleared. I could get out of the house and see things myself, at least. People rushed to not only the gasoline stations but also the fast food places which happened to stay open with their own generators. Then, satellite service returned… slowly. First Claro came, then accessing international Claro through roaming was enabled, then AT&T came, then T-Mobile. First, we got merely a signal, then we could make calls and messages, then, after the signal grew to 4G LTE, we could get actual Internet data from cellular signal. Data from WiFi had to wait until someone got electricity, yet even that is not a guarantee; only Claro’s posts managed to survive because they had some of their cables under ground, a tactic Liberty plans to do when modernizing its service. In the meantime, ATM machines allowed withdrawals, the amount allowed increasing. Newspapers were printing again. Malls opened, though not all at once. Some other businesses followed suit, though some were quick to point out that they did not have ice, generators, or other stuff that they may need. Banks then opened. Streetlights replaced policemen when the electricity returned to mayor commercial municipalities. Stores were actually advertising their having electricity. MREs started coming. People managed to clean up their houses. Then, educational facilities were scheduled to open up, though most of them did not have any electricity at the time of their scheduled return date… only to get electricity later.

Puerto Rico has yet to recover fully, but things are a lot more comfortable now.