Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Archive for December, 2008

Blogging on 3G

I’ve replaced my gargantuan cell phone with a shiny new toy that gives me fast German internet on the go. I had planned to only use the phone’s internet connection on my laptop, but I’ve found myself surfing on the go more often. As much as I’ve missed email access at home, I haven’t missed the countless hours spent clicking the refresh button. I’m now using my phone to turn dead time into something marginally more productive. The tram ride to work and the walk to the grocery store are now my prime emailing times. I make a few more typos, but I stay connected while keeping my household emailing to a minimum.

I’m also using google reader to fill that dead time. While entertaining and informative, RSS feeds are my biggest online time sink, so a lazy tram ride to work is the perfect time to clear out a few posts.

I’m going to give up the 3G internet access once I have good old-fashioned wireless internet again, but the convenience will be missed.

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The past month and a half have been a whirlwind of progress. My first paycheck made its way into my new bank account. I have a cell phone contract with an internet plan. I managed to get my cell phone to share its sweet, sweet intersphere with my laptop, so I can finally facebook from the comfort of my own home.

I should actually have my own home soon, maybe even by Christmas. I’m trying to get my hands on a German driver’s license, and if my German lessons keep going well, I might even be able to read a German driver’s license soon.

But the hardest adjustment has been learning to live without the internet at home. For the past month, I couldn’t translate cooking instructions, find directions, send email, phone friends and family, research programming questions, or watch Comedy Central. It hasn’t been all bad, though. After a week of painful withdrawal, I found new ways to pass the time. I’ve rediscovered how much fun it is to watch TV with the roommates. I’ve read a small book’s worth of Paul Graham‘s essays (downloaded ahead of time, of course). If you’re thinking about starting a startup, or just looking for a good read, then you should already be clicking.

I’ve also done an obscene amount of programming. I started writing a simple 2D game creator in 2007 to build my portfolio and try new aspects of game development. I’ve worked on it in spurts over the past year or so, but I’ve probably accomplished more in my first internetless month here than I did in the last two semesters of my degree. I still have a lot of work to do, but my little hobby has started to turn into something I’m rather proud of.

I might even follow in my mentor‘s footsteps and release the damn thing.


Austria 11 – Back home

October 1, 2008 

A flight back to Germany, a series of trains, and a handful of levels in FFIV.  An uneventful day, which was just what the doctor ordered after a week and a half in Austria.

I definitely didn’t expect the surprise birthday party. I think that I could grow to like it here.


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Austria 10 – Last Day

September 31, 2008

After a day of hiking on a mountain, a day spent walking around town is child’s play in comparison. For the record, child’s play is becoming increasingly difficult for us old timers. We attempted another geocache, designed by young scouts for young children. We wandered in circles in the woods for 30 minutes before deciding that the cache was lost and that our search was futile. Several days later the intrepid young scouts confirmed that the cache was where it should be, and we were in fact just very old and dumb. Those scouts should learn to respect their elders, and keep that racket off my lawn.

Our spirits crushed and energy drained, we headed out for some tranquil, relaxing rock climbing. I should really look into picking up the sport. It’s certainly more legitimate than Parkour, although the shoes hurt a lot more. The pictures are less awesome, to boot.

Two days of rigorous exercise had put us in the perfect state of mind to enjoy the culmnation of our trip: all-you-can-eat sushi. With surprisingly little sushi.

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