An Exciting and Busy Week

Hey Guys,
Steve here.
Last week went by so fast, despite the fact that I was counting down the days until I could go to D Now. This year, D Now was very exciting, mostly like it’s been the last 3 years I’ve gone. However, there were some differences: we stayed at a camp this time, and there was not a game in the afternoon, and there were two mission projects. Still, I had a lot of fun.
First of all, we got a hilarious, speaker! For those of you who ever get bored in church, I promise you that if you were at D Now last weekend, that wouldn’t have happened. He had the croud busting out laughing every minute it seemed. Despite that fact, I got a lot out of the messages he preached.
I also enjoyed the worship services. The combination of a loud band and the fact that everyone around me was singing eliminated all hesitation I had to sing.
Besides the messages, which there were 4 of, I spent the weekend making friends and enjoying myself. I definitely look forward to D Now next year.
I was pretty tired after D Now ended on Sunday, and spent a few hours relaxing, before I returned to my home church for a Valentines dinner. Since it was a 3 day weekend, my friend came home with us, and spent the night. So as you can imagine, I had quite a busy weekend.
Moving on, I’ve done a lot of programming over the last week, except for the weekend of course. I’ve downloaded inform7, a language speciffically meant for coding interactive fiction games. This language is unlike PB, because the sintax is very close to that of human english. Check out this example of inform sintax:

[this is a comment. the end of comment is marked by the right bracket. But here we’re going to create a hallway.]
A coridor is a kind of room.
[we want to create a hallway. and saying that a hallway is a room is just a bit weird…]
the Hallway is a coridor. “you stand at the end of a lengthy coridor. It is relatively dark here, only a small percentage of the numerous lightbulbs dotting the cieling actually in working condition. Several unmarked doors line the carpeted walls, a card reader on each one. Save the occasional mysterious sound coming from one of the rooms, the coridor is completely scilent. At the far end of the coridor is a heavy looking shiny metal door. On the wall beside the door looks to be a key pad, but it’s too far away for you to clearly tell what it is.”

The first sentence, as said in the comment, defined a kind of room. The second one created that room, and the text in quotation marks represented the description that the player would read upon entering it, that being why I had to be so descriptive.
So even for a non-technical person, learning inform wouldn’t be all that hard. It’s harder for me, however, because it resembles no language I’ve ever worked with.
In other news, I downloaded BGT (Blastbay Game toolkit) a couple days ago. I’m not exactly sure why I did that (I was just a bit bored), but going back and looking at the manual from a semi-experienced coder point of view, I discovered that it actually makes some sence now. So who knows, I might learn that just so I have something else to use for coding games.
Of course, I did some coding in good old purebasic. I started to rewrite sQuad word, as the previous version is so buggy that there’s literally no way to fix it without dissecting all the code and reworking countless procedures and such; it would take much less time just to redo the thing. After coding on it for about 45 minutes I was able to create a fully functional file and edit menu, with all of the most basic of the basic features of a notepad. I added an autosaving feature as well, and got it up and working, bug free, on the first try.
That’s all for this post. I’ll blog again later. Also, since I was unable to do it this weekend, I’ll record the podcast for this week soon.
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,

Great news and a busy week

Hey guys,
Steve here.
As the post title implies, I’ve got some good news to tell you guys about. It might not affect you as much as it does me… but I figured I’d share it with you, this being my blog.
Remember that Spanish exam I talked about in last Thursday’s update? Well I figured two good things about it:
1. Turns out, that won’t determine whether or not I fail or pass Spanish 1. It’s the semester averages combined, not the semester exam scores as I previously thought. And judging by the fact that my grade in that class has been passing all year long, that answers the question of whether or not I’m done with Spanish 1.
2. The test has been moved back a week. So even if there were a good reason for me to be panicking, I could give my nerves a rest for about another week.
Oh man, you wouldn’t believe how relieved I was to learn that. I’m not terrible in Spanish, though I’m not the best either.
Moving on, also mentioned in the title, I’m having a rather busy week this week. There’s been church, concerts, and will be more church, and even… I think a family get together on Sunday.
To start off, we went to church twice last Sunday, as we normally do. On Monday, my sister had an orchestra concert, followed by my choir concert on Tuesday. Tonight, we’re going to church, and Friday night fellowship will be this Friday at our church. And finally, on Sunday, I believe we’re having a family get together.
Monday will be memorial day, and there’s nothing planned that day. I think I might spend Monday programming, because I haven’t done much of that in a while. Come to think of it, besides playing games and doing a late podcast, I really haven’t done anything productive in the world of technology in quite some time.
Moving on, but still kind of on my previous topic, there are only 11 days of school left, one of which will be Tiger Bash, a day of fun and absolutely no school work. And, the last days of school will be early release days. I guess after that, until June 23 when I go to church camp, I’ll have plenty of time to program, Skype, blog, and podcast; so if I’m not blogging a lot now, just remember that I will when school lets out, because I’ll have plenty of free time.
Well, I guess that about wraps up tonight’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I promis to blog more often.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
P.S. Episode 23 of the Steven D podcast hasn’t been forgotten. I’ll get with danny and we’ll record it together.

Podcast and programming news, and a brief update

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Since I posted here on Tuesday, I’m going to try and keep this short. Also, instead of presenting you with the pole again, I’ll instead advise that you visit the post from Tuesday and fill it out; I’m sure you don’t like me posting it at the top of every post. But if you’re wondering, it’s a close battle. 3 people voted in favor of a home page, while 2 others voted in favor of keeping the blog posts on the front page. We’ll just have to see what happens. So if you haven’t voted, please do. I need all the feedback I can get on that pole. And remember, just 6 more days, and I’ll quit all this pole talk.
Moving on to what this post is mainly about, let’s start off with software news. As of now, I still don’t yet have a Patton for my software. This is a pity, because sQuad word is now ready for release. That’s right, it’s actually ready! With all the features necessary for a note pad application implemented, and now that I got the visual aspects of the program usable, I feel it appropriate to say that, sQuad word version 1.0 is ready to go! Another feature I want to add, however, is the ability to recover documents you haven’t yet saved. I think how I’m going to do that is first, when the program launches, checking to see if the file tempfile.swd exists. If it does, an alert box will pop up asking you if you would like to recover the previous unsaved document. If you hit yes, it will recover the tempfile.swd file, allowing you to edit and read its contents. If you hit no, however, it will delete that file, and create a new temporary file, and bring you to the editor, where it will proceed to save your work in the tempfile.swd file every 30 seconds until you hit save as and specify another file to put your current work in. After you hit save
as, it will delete the tempfile, since it’s no longer needed, and auto save will work as normal on the new file you are working on.
This is useful, for example, if your computer unexpectedly dies or shuts down, and you haven’t yet performed save as on the document that you’re working on.
This feature will be possible to implement, though it will take a bit of tweaking on the code. I guess I have time to do that before I get my Patton and permission to release it.
Besides that, the only thing standing in my way is, that Patton. Well now that I have something to show for my work, I’ll show my dad and tell him about what it can do this weekend, and hopefully we’ll then get a Patton.
Also, while still on the subject of programming, Trash is still being worked on. It’s not an abandoned project; I want to play it as much as you do, so I’m still working on it. Unfortunately, there’s still work to be done on that, along with a lot of thorough beta testing before it can be released.
Besides that, I have some good news for my next podcast episode. I’ve been holding it off until I can find a place to record it without that annoying chirping (you listeners of the podcast may be accustom to hearing small chirping/beeping noises intermittently throughout the podcast. That is my smoke detector, its batteries are running low). However, I’ve found a new place to record the podcast, where the obtrusive beeps and chirps will no longer occur. Good news… right?
In other news, as you know, I probably will not post to this blog again until late this weekend or next week. But on Saturday, one of the days I won’t be posting, Danny’s 17th birthday will occur. Danny, if you’re reading this post, (I know you are), Happy birthday!
Besides that, I have a positive future ahead of me for the time being. After this long, boring day at school, I’ll go home, and then tomorrow will be that Firewheel fieldtrip! Thus, I’ll end up missing all but part of first period, and I think part of 6th period and all of 7th period. And after those are over, it’ll be the weekend. As for next week, we have that beginner orchestra festival I briefly mentioned in Tuesday’s update. In case I didn’t tell you, that’ll cause us to miss all but first, part of sixth, and all of 7th period, kind of like Friday’s field trip. In addition, also mentioned in Tuesday’s update, we’ll have a concert Tuesday night.
Completely off topic, we’re expected to get some storms on Sunday afternoon and evening, with the passage of a cold front. It appears that the strong cold front will collide with warm moist air, so there is the possibility of some severe storms. I’ll let you know if we get any though. Note, however, that as seen last week, severe weather situations can evolve at a last-minute notice, so I’ll be watching that.
Well okay, I’ll admit this post probably wasn’t as short as it could’ve been. But on days like today, I tend to have lots to say, which is weird, since I blogged like two days ago. Well, thanks for reading this post. I’ll talk to you guys later.
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,

life and programming updates

Hey guys,
Steve here.
I’ve been wanting to write this post all day, but since my school recently got a new website blocking filter, wordpress has been blocked, thus eliminating the possibility of that happening at school. And when I got home this afternoon, I was far too tired to produce anything better than a sloppy, short, rushed life update post.
Okay guys, I’m really sorry for annoying you… but it’s really important to me that you vote on the, you guessed it, pole that will be presented below. Unfollow me if you wish… but I need to get your opinion. If you can just bear with me, this will only stick around through April 16, but until then, here you go.
[polldaddy poll=7937065]
So you want to know what’s up with me lately? Presumably, seen as how you’re reading this post. Well Since last Wednesday, much has happened in this life of mine. So where do I start? Well I guess how about Thursday and Friday. Yes, I’m sorry, the most boring days of my last week.
Since that severe weather day post was posted on Thursday, you could gather that we had another severe weather outbreak. The day was still rather uneventful for me; all the storms stayed north of us, and I spent the evening practically attached to my radio.
As for Friday, nothing much happened then either, and besides goal ball and my favorite weather (rain), Saturday was the same.
Sunday, however, was a good day, right from the moment I woke up. Sunday morning was one of those rare occasions when I get to wake up to the exciting yet comforting sound of thunder. And when I got up, I had a wonderful breakfast of eggs and sossage, then it was off to church.
After church, and a little bit of house cleaning, something really awesome happened. My brother Justin, whom I hadn’t seen in 3 years, came over for dinner! It was nice, but shocking, to finally get to see him again. Man… he’s already 20, and has a job. I still remember those days when he was 15. And, the day I last saw him was April 12, 2011, just 9 days before I started this blog!
Anyway, after the excitement of seeing my brother again, Monday and today were normal. I didn’t even have to write a Monday’s musings post last night; I wrote it on Saturday, and scheduled it to appear on the blog last night. That’s another neat feature of word press :).
As for the future, I’m going to miss school on Friday. My o&m teacher is taking my sister and I, and I think some other kids, to the firewheel town center. I’m not sure exactly what the field trip is for, but I’m looking forward to it. Since I don’t know exactly how the day will go, I’ll be sure and blog about it.
Besides the field trip, the beginner Orchestra Festival is next Tuesday. Basically, my orchestra class will be going up to a high school, where we’ll practice our songs (I might be wrong), but then we’ll come back in the afternoon. And at 6:20 Tuesday evening, we’ll have to be right back up at the high school, where we’ll be performing our music.
I guess that’s it for future life events.
Moving on, I did mention programming updates in the post title… right? Well here’s why.
As a programmer, you know I couldn’t stay away from my code for too long… so I didn’t. Last night, I decided to start working on sQuad word once again, and messed around with some of the code. By messed around with some of the code, I mean adding autosaving (never worry about your work being erased), and majorly tweeking the configuration. It used to be that, if say you wanted to show the version number in the window title, you’d have to check that option in the options menu, restart the program, then it would take affect. But now, it will automatically do it, no restart required. This is the same for the word wrap option.
And while on the subject of software, my dad and I will look in to getting a Patton (I think that is another word for software license) soon. If we get that, I’ll publish version 1.0 of sQuad word. But remember, I still have some visual testing to do, to at least make sure the thing works for you sighted users.
As for Trash, that will require a bit more tedious code work. Thus, I’m not even going to bather with that until I get the patton.
Well I guess that about wraps up tonight’s post. I hope you enjouyed it. Have a good night all of you, and try not to get bored to tears by the end of this workweek. Believe me, I’ll take that advice myself :).
Thanks for reading,
type you later,

It's Sunday… yet I'm still excited

Hey guys,
Steve here.
It’s Sunday, the day before the long stressful week starts, however I’m still in as good of a mood as I would be on Friday. First of all, it’s the start of the week of my birthday, and second of all I’m seriously almost done with Trash.
To start off, let me tell you what I mean by “seriously almost done with trash.” I don’t mean that it’s almost ready to beta test–it’s still too buggy to play; I mean it’s in the process of being tested, and almost all bugs have been eliminated.
Since I last posted, here’s what I’ve implemented:
-wild card. What is a card game without a wild card? So far, you can place the wild card on any position that doesn’t have a face up card already in it, however the computer can not yet utilize the card. When this is complete, I plan to have it where you can move said wild card around. Why you ask? Say you have the wild card in the second position, and you draw a 2. Say that then you still need a 5. I want you to be able to replace the wild card in the second position with the 2, then put that wild card in the 5. See what I’m saying?
Moving on, but also on the subject of software, I didn’t get a chance to test the visual aspects of sQuad word on Friday, because Luke, the friend I’m testing it with, decided it would be a great idea not to come to school. Oh well… we’re not in a hurry with this, are we?
Also, something that happened to my sister gave me an idea for another feature. She had almost finished a, I think 50, question test, when her computer shut down, causing her to lose her answers. So, I decided, as that has happened to me before, that I would implement an autosave feature. Thus, I think this will further delay sQuad word’s release… but you can rest assured that your documents won’t be erased should your computer unexpectedly shut down.
Completely changing topics, I had quite an awesome weekend. I spent both nights Skyping Danny, beta testing his snow boarding game for the blind with him, and programming and testing Trash. As for yesterday during the day, I had to get up at 6:00 in the morning, because my sister had some test, and then her, my mom and I were going to north park mall with one of our vision teachers, MS. Kristie Smith. I’m not sure why we were going, but it ended up being fun.
So after Libby’s test, we went to the mall as expected. There were other blind and visually impaired kids there. While we were there, we went to the apple store (I got to test out an iPhone 5, and an IPad air). Ever notice how light an iPad air is compaired to other apple products?
Anyway, after that, we went to build a bare, and just for the fun of it, I made a white bare and named him “bob.”
Afterward, we tried out tea samples, something I wasn’t a big fan of, since I’m not a tea person. And after that, we tried out some lotion samples, then ate ice cream.
When we got home, I crashed for about an hour and a half, before eating lunch… and spending my night talking to Danny and all that stuff.
Today was a more relaxed day. The only thing worth blogging about that I did was going to church.
Well that about concludes today’s post. I’m ending this so soon because next Sunday is 5th Sunday singing, and I’m going to the church at 5:30 to practice a song I’ll be singing… and I have to get ready. That, and I don’t have much else to say.
So, I hope you look forward to steve eve, and the day of the best. Also, don’t forget to stay in tune for the Monday’s musings post tomorrow night.

good and bad news, along with current life events

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Yes, you read that right. Today is one of the rare occurrences of bad news on this blog… so I guess I’ll tell you the bad news right now just to get it out of the way.
You know Swamp? The game I’ve been addicted to for about a year now? Well due to the fact that there are so many hackers, attacks, and other unwanted things happening within the game, Aprone (swamp’s creator) is making it a paid game. I won’t have to pay for single player, but if I want multiplayer, that’ll be $24 per year.
I have a visa gift card, so hopefully that will work. If so, I might consider paying for swamp. But if not… well I’d better step up my game (quite literally) and program some audio games worth selling.
Speaking of audio games, the good news I mentioned earlier is about Trash, the card game that I am programming for the blind. let me tell you how much progress I’ve done on that.
-I completed the player system, testing it out to be sure it works. Now, you can draw, place cards at the desired position, junk, and draw from the junk pile.
-mostly completed the computer player system. The only thing I need to do for the computer player system is to add the draw from junk pile procedure, but I figure that’ll be easy.
-began the process of adding sounds. I’ve already added a deck shuffling sound for when you start the game and the deck is shuffled, but I don’t think I’ll add any more sounds until I’m completely done with all the other stuff.
Speaking of sounds, I found my flash drive of sounds, which I believe contains over 1000 sound affects. That’s good news for future games.
Moving on to my life, we’re well into spring break now. To start off the break, my friend Oscar from church came over to spend the night. It was another surprise my parents threw at me–one minute I was on the computer, chatting with Danny over skype, the next I was scrambling to clean my room and the bathroom so they didn’t look like a complete mess when Oscar came.
And three hours later, my mom and I picked up Oscar, and him and I spent the rest of the night playing wii, and hanging out.
On Saturday, I had goal ball practice, however Libby didn’t go because she went to the mall with the church youth group to ice skate (yet another event that I was going to, but didn’t figure that out until after my last update, I think). Anyway, Oscar came to goal ball as well, so he got to see my awesome skill!
Right after goal ball, Oscar, my dad, and I met up with Libby and the rest of the youth group at the mall, where I attempted, but failed, at ice skating. But hey, It’s not really about how good I was, it was about hanging with friends, (at least that’s what I hope). But seriously, even though I was ice skating along the wall, I still managed to slip 3 or 4 times, but luckily I didn’t fall.
Skipping ahead, after ice skating, we all went to in and out burger for lunch, before heading our separate ways and going home. Oscar got to hang out with me for a few more hours–and for dinner, 2 hours after we ate lunch, we had more burgers and fries. But hey, there’s no such thing as too many burgers or fries in my book :).
After Oscar left, my Saturday night went a little something like this. Lay on the couch, watching from the side lines as the rest of my family played Yahtzee on the wii, as my head pounded and throbbed, feeling as though someone knocked it with a baseball bat or something. I’m not sure why my head hurt so bad, but luckily it was gone in about 2 hours.
Besides church, Sunday was uneventful. And as for Monday, the only thing I did outside the house was go out for lunch with my sister, mom, and dad. And today, besides a lot of programming, I didn’t do much of anything.
But aside from getting out of the house, my last 3 days have been filled with Skyping my friends, and playing my games, all day, and until 2 or 3 in the morning.
Ah. Isn’t it fun to be a teenager?
Anyway, that’s about it for today’s post. I know you’re sad because you don’t get to read any more of my words at the moment, but you could always:
-read previous posts, like posts before you started following this blog.
-eagerly await my next post.
–but all joking aside, I hope you enjoyed tonight’s post. And remember last night’s Monday’s musings post–I wasn’t lying. I really do enjoy writing these posts.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,

A couple things to be excited about

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Since the last time I posted a blog update (not counting the Monday’s musings post), I’ve began to work on yet another sQuad product. As you know, sQuad word is about ready for release. I won’t say that again, because you’ve heard that, what, three times now?
Anyway, There’s still an annoying bug where when you have “show version number” checked, the version number will overlap the text you’re typing, so until I fix that and test it with my friend at school I won’t be able to release it.
Meanwhile, I’ve started on something else as was previously mentioned, a game for the blind. Now you sighted folks, I wouldn’t recommend playing this because I haven’t tested it, and probably won’t test it, with my sighted friends, because I want it to be an audio game. However, if you have a deck of cards and want to play it, or want to program it for sighted users, you can do so. The game is called Trash. But since I’m not too good at explaining stuff and don’t want to spend over half this blog post explaining the game, I’ll give you a link to learn more about it yourself:
I hope to get that game finished by this weekend or next week, but we’ll see. Also, as a last note on software I’m creating or helping create, I’ll hopefully release ultra pad if we can just get rid of that bug. I think it’ll be easy though.
In other news, I’ve been doing well the past few days. If I wasn’t programming, I was reading, eating, at school, in bed, or at church. And listen up fellow bloggers, you’re gonna like this. In the book I’m reading, though it’s about zombies, blogging is a pretty big part of society. You can get a blogging license, upgrade it depending on how good and experienced you are, and lots of people look to the blogging community, because we tell the uncensored truth.
Like even when the zombies started rising and attacking people, people looked to bloggers, because bloggers would tell them how it was. They didn’t have to lie or cover anything up.
As far as the future goes, it’s almost spring break. If I can just wait one day, it will finally be here. It doesn’t seem like it was a year ago that spring break last occurred, but I guess time just flies by sometimes. As for what I plan to do over the break, I have a few things planned. Chill, forget about school, program, Skype, church, and whatever else unexpected things my parents throw at me if any.
Speaking of which, that trip we took to the lake last weekend, I didn’t find out about that until Thursday night, when my mom brought it up in a conversation, as if she expected me to have already known about it. I was pretty shocked.
As for my birthday, I’ve decided I want a family dinner, because I’ve ran out of ideas for a party, and it doesn’t sound very appealing to me this year for some reason. I haven’t decided what I want for my birthday yet, but I’m working on that. As for your part, remember to mark Steve eve (March 25) and the day of the best (March 26) on your calendar. And for you readers who haven’t clicked the follow button yet (you’re still awesome anyway), Mark April 21 as well, because the blog will be turning 3 on that day, and I’ll be putting an annual report. And for you followers, though you’ll get the report in your inbox, you can mark that day as another milestone for one of your favorite blogs, and think back to the previous years and look forward to the next ones to come.
But we aren’t quite there yet, so we still have a few more posts to go until then.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,

Monday’s Musings 12: Is the world of accessible technology going backward, for computers anyway?

Hey guys,
Steve here.

Warning: If you aren’t in any way intrested in technology, don’t read this post. But I have some thoughts on it that I need to get out… so… I thought I might as well post this.
This particular subject has been bugging me since I was first introduced to Google, and it intensified once I got into using Windows 8. What I am here to muse about, as the title says, is the world of accessible technology.
You’ve seen a similar post from me before, however that one was me wondering why it has to cost so much. While on the subject of that, I recently found out about an accessible Twitter client, that someone is celling for $15. Crazy, huh?
Anyway, getting back on topic, let me elaborate a little bit. A while back, in 2009, google’s gMail was accessible right out of the box. However, through the recent years, it has come to a point blind users who wish to use it must first search for the “basic html” link, activate it, so they can get a basic accessible view. That is only one example. In fact, google in general has been slowly getting less screen reader friendly. Google sights, youtube, and google docs are just three things from google that have accessibility issues. Although youtube is fairly usable, some buttons and graphics are not clearly labeled, so it’s definitely not a site I would recommend to a blind person just starting out with computers. As for google sites and docs, the two products, as of the last time I tried to use them, are practically unusable if you are using a screen reader.
Google is not the only problem here. Let’s take Microsoft Windows, another product I use daily, for example. Windows XP, a version of the Windows operating system that is so old it will no longer be supported as of April 8, was the most basic, accessible verson I’ve used. Windows 7, released in 2009 or 2010, was pretty much just as accessible. However, Windows 8 introduced a whole new layout, one that I am so unhappy with, I will probably install classic shell, an application that will give windows 8 the feel of windows XP or 7. Why you ask? Well let’s just say this. The menues, and even task manager application, are laid out in a grid. The task manager, I’ll admit, is quite useful, and I like the way they did it. But the start menu… well not so much.
The reason, I think, has to do with the increasing popularity of GUI (graphical user interface). I think, that with new technology available, Microsoft, like most other software companies, google included, is trying to make their software more appealing to sighted users. And although Microsoft has worked hard on a narrator application that is better than it has been before, the overall look and feel of windows 8 is still hard to get used to. And to top it off, what is google doing? Even edmodo, a social media platform used by schools, what is that doing to make it more accessible?
Just to let you know, I’m not ticked off or anything. I believe that these companies lay out their software this way for a reason. And if I really want something accessible like that, maybe one day someware far down the road I’ll program it. And besides, to end this post on a good note, I can feel better knowing that there are people out there developing software for us. As long as there are people like that out there, I can believe that we are heading toward a future with more accessware, a future in which I will be included.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,

An exciting weekend coming up

Hey guys,
Steve here.

As the post title suggests, I will be having an exciting weekend. My friend has once again invited me to D Now, which if you remember I went to last year and the year before. D Now, for those of you who don’t know, is a weekend long event for kids… I think 6th grade and up but I’m not sure to worship god and do some other fun stuff.
I don’t know if it’s the same this year, but normally we have worship services, a scavenger hunt, a mission project, and basically just a good time. If it changed this year, I’ll let you know on my next life update.

In other news, SQuad word is almost ready to become a public beta. I haven’t done much this week, except exterminating bugs, and making sure it has everything it needs to become public. I’m not going to add any new features, even the font chooser, until I fix all the bugs (and to tell you the truth, there were only 2, but now 1 because I fixed one of them).
The bug I fixed had to do with closing the program and menu options. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but it used to be that you had to active a menu item like say, open file, more than once before the open file screen came up. And, you would have to click the close button multiple times before it actually closed. However, I fixed that bug by majorly tweaking my code on Tuesday afternoon.
Since then, I haven’t done anything on the word processer, just taking a little break for now. However, my friend discovered a bug yesterday when I was using sQuad word to type my Spanish assignment. For some reason, the text doesn’t appear to sighted people, meaning I’m going to have to change the height and width of both the window, and the editor, so you guys can see what you’re typing, and the window won’t be super tiny when it starts up as it is now.

Besides sQuad word, I haven’t done much over the past several days. I’ve been talking to Danny, as he is one of my best friends and is helping me learn pure basic, and also I’ve been playing games. Speaking of which, I think I’m getting a relapse of my swamp addiction. At least that means I’ll be motivated to create campaigns for swamping with Steve, the series of “swamp let’s plays” I started on my podcast.

As a final note, I will try and squeeze in a couple podcasts. Now that Stranded is finished and released, and I don’t have a release date for sQuad word, I can set aside more time to do podcasts. Hopefully I can do them before Sunday, (this being D Now weekend and all), but if I can’t I’ll do them Sunday or Monday, because as I forgot to mention this will be a 3-day weekend. I hope to perhaps get a beta release of sQuad word out by Monday, but I can’t promise anything. I still have to fix that last bug, so the word processor will actually be useable for you sighted people. *wishes the world could be full of blind people*

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,

Stranded release and Monday’s Musings 10: My thoughts on how people should learn to program

Hey guys,
Steve here.

Stranded part 3 has been released! It’s called “the end game,” and has lots of exciting things in it! I hope you enjoy playing this gamebook! If you haven’t played stranded part 1 or 2, they’re available on the game books page.

Monday’s musings post:

Ever since I got into programming and computers, I always thought certain things about being a programmer:
1. you must know multiple languages.
2. To learn a programming language, you have to read the whole manual until you get all the concepts.

However I have figured out that is not true.
The main thing that got me into believing that was the manual for BGT (blastbay game toolkit), a scripting language for coding audiogames, or games for the blind. That manual basically told you to read a chapter until you completely got what it was talking about, then move on. But I have realised that’s not the case.
When I first started learning Pure Basic, even though it was just about 4 days ago and I still don’t know it completely, I figured out that language didn’t have a chapter book to read. No, it had basically a list of the commands, and how to code them in. So instead of reading all of those, I came up with a plan, that I believe people should always use when programming.
1. The reference manual is called a reference manual for a reason. It’s not there just for a good read or 2, it’s there in case you need help at any point while programming. So don’t try to read the whole book, Read what you need, and keep looking back on it as you go.
2. learn by experience. When trying to lose wait or get muscle, you don’t just watch the fitness tapes or just listen to what a fitness instructor says… do you? If so, you might know how to do all those exercises, but you wouldn’t have developed the strength needed to do them. It’s the same with programming. You can’t just look at the manual and expect to know the language, you need practice. My suggestion, program as you learn. take my word processor for example. I didn’t know a lick of pure basic before I began coding it, but look where it is now. I have gotten this far simpley because I thought of a feature I needed, and looked at the reference manual for assistance. Doing this has taught me file management, menu creation, using enumerations and procedures, and even a few other handy tools I’ll need to use when programming.
3. Experiment. Sometimes, you aren’t always going to find the answer to your questions in the reference manual. On the occasion that this should occur, use your knoledge and experiment with code you think would work. Move some lines around. Delete or add extra words or characters. Either way, you’re not gonna get far without experimenting.
4. resources. The reference manual is not the only thing you can go to for help. There’s always the good old world wide web. Think about a subject in school. Would you learn math only using the textbook? No. You need a teacher (in programming, you’re usually teaching yourself), yes you’ll need the book sometimes, and you might also need the web. But either way, remember that the reference manual is not your only answer.
5. And the final thing I’ve figured out about programming, is that you need to stay determined. Programming is not a skill you can pick up over night, it takes time. Get frustrated. Back away from your computer. It’s going to happen sometimes… but stay determined and motivated. Don’t let anything or anyone hinder you.

I hope this will help people is it did for me. And if you’re wondering how this qualifies as a Monday’s Musings post, I am sharing my thoughts on learning programming, and how I think it should be done.

So if you guys ever become a programmer, take in mind my advice–because it might just help you some time.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,