Tag Archives: hosting

iOS Meal Tracker - Brad Ormand

05.04.2015 – Job, Meal Tracker & Wood stuff

I have been immersed in my new job, lately.  I spend a lot of time writing and debugging code all day long, but it’s inspiring.  It has also sparked a resurgence in me researching new software development methods on my own time.  Things change in this industry sooooo quickly!  And, I have to keep up.  I have been intrigued lately in several dev areas – mainly in graphics and animation.  Mostly graphical UI as related to application development, but I have been trying to borrow concepts from video game menus and sci-fi films.  So, most of my time lately, on and off the job, has been spent writing code.  I’m on kind of a rampage right now, as this is where my interests are leading me.

About a year ago, before I started this Project Log, I left behind a halfway-finished personal project that I was calling: “Meal Tracker”.  The name and domain have been pretty much taken in industry, so I’ll choose something different once I get a beta going.  I wrote the app for iOS in Objective-C and used SQLite and Cocoa.  It was a tool similar to MyFitnessPal for tracking calories and macros, but I had it tracking micronutrients, exercise, moods, and sleep, as well.  I have been revisiting that.  I went back and forth whether I wanted to dev it in JS and wrap it with Apache Cordova to deploy on multiple platforms, but ended up starting to port it over to Android separately with the Android SDK, because I had wanted to work with Java FX 2.0, since the newly revamped version looked so excellent.  But, that’s about where I stopped.

iOS Meal Tracker - Brad Ormand

And, now I want to develop in Swift, Apple’s new programming language.  I also want to try to build with Ember JS – we’ll see what happens, what I choose to go with.  It’ll be awesome either way – and a good chance to put together a good experimental UI.  And, I have a secure PHP backend written and nearly ready to go.  So, I’m picking this back up to try to see what I can do, here.  Right now, I’m just going to make my first commit and push to Bitbucket and make some progress toward a first version.

And, related, I am currently tracking my calories and macros in MyFitnessPal (as I work on getting back in the shape I was in last Spring 🙂  One of my goals is to run a 5k in 24 minutes by October…  the one I “ran” yesterday was almost twice that time!  (I walked some – ha)  I used to pop ’em out at about 30 a piece.  Got some work to do, but Anywayyys…. ). MyFitnessPal is great, actually, but I’m just wanting to go a little further as far as data accuracy and with more metrics to track.  I think it would be cool to have these extra non-nutrition-related features to get an overall picture of what’s affecting what in life – sleep, moods, weather, etc.  The extremely hard part with rolling my own app will be the nutrition database – especially getting restaurant menu items from everybody out on the planet to drop into the tracks..  Whew!  (not really feasible).

I have found many discrepancies in the data coming from MyFitnessPal, though – I think the users create them themselves and then share them.  The titles are sometimes all backwards and sometimes part of the nutrition data is missing or just wrong.  It’s ok, though.  It’s a great app, don’t get me wrong, but I was considering having something that was “official” for everything.  I was thinking of using the comprehensive USDA database and designing a way to provide estimates, but I am still doing research on it right now.  Also, I’m still investigating the licensing, too.  I just don’t know, yet, what’d it take to use…  But, there will always be the ability to create *user* profiles, so I’ll have a path there if I needed to somehow create the data myself.  It’ll take a few years.  But, I’d be willing.

W O O D W O R K I N G

Unsanded Wood Blocks

Woodworking has been on my mind a lot, recently.  As I get more and more involved with crafting wood items, the need for better, more precision tools is emerging.   I want to start adding to the equipment in my workshop.  I’ve got a router, a jigsaw, and a belt-sander, but I’d like to have a circular saw and a lathe one day.  And, maybe a lathe that could also double for cutting aluminum stock as well, I don’t know.  I could make my own PCB cages and standoffs, special bolts and nuts, etc.  That’d be fun.

I enjoy this type of work immensely.  And, if I could ever get to the point to where I had a stable production line of electronic modules for lighting coming out, I’d be all set up to create pretty much anything on a small scale.  But, also, I’d need the *time* to do it all, too.  Ha. (I still have to etch those SMD boards…)  I have my hands into a lot right now.  Still…  it’s about enjoying the process and exploring these new avenues as I enjoy them.  This project log helps me see where things change and what trends emerge, and helps me look back on what I was motivated by and when.

Brad Ormand - Dog Portrait (initial sketch) of Mickey

12.05.2014 – Host, Job & Painting

Well, I’m much better today after recovering from the Thanksgiving bug.  Whew!  Still have a little bit of a sniffle, but I’m pretty much back to normal.  I have been doing work for my job pretty much every day except that one hardcore sickday, but I’ve been taking it a little slow all week.  Today, things needed to be wrapped up and since I was doing better, I have been busy at work all day with stuff – helping to get ready for a new phase of research and development over there.

On my end, I got a temp site up and running with the host, I repaired a chair, and I did more drawing and painting the last few days while I wasn’t feeling well, during the high points.

I remember I broke this chair (I guess it’s really kind of a stool) when I stood on it to change a light bulb a while a go.  It was a piece of the top seat that cracked off – not the legs or anything.  I have been using it cracked for a while now, until, ironically…  I needed to change another light bulb yesterday and reached for my stool, and yup – that’s what spurred me on to fix it.

Fixing a broken stool - Brad Ormand

So, I reinforced the underside with two steel plates and attached the original steel plate on top.  I fixed it on my rugged pool table – I use it as a workbench sometimes, yeah.  Oh well.  I want to keep this particular one, since my Mom gave it to me when I left for college a long time ago, out of state.  It has a huge carving of Texas in the wood, where I’m from.  I love this thing.  And, I love living in Texas, so it’s kind of a symbol of pride for me…  Later, I think I’ll take it apart and try to “heal” the crack a little better or glue it, but for now, it’s stable, and I got the bulb changed. 🙂

Texas Stool

And, I ended up drawing a dog by hand on a small canvas that I am considering using as a template to paint over.  It was a quick sketch lasting a few minutes, and I drew it a little far down on the canvas (can’t really see it here), so I’m not sure where I’ll go with it yet.  I might erase it and draw it higher up, but I was liking how it came out so far.

Brad Ormand - Dog Portrait (initial sketch) of Mickey

Later on, I want to come up with a dog portrait that I can reproduce on many different canvas pieces about this size.  I’m going to do the same thing to that that I am doing with my moon painting.   I’m going to light ’em up with LEDs!  That’s right.  I was thinking about doing the collar and maybe some stars or something and then give them as gifts or sell them.  Also, I’d like to do some Halloween ones like Jack-O-Lanterns and skulls.  And, of course, if it goes well, I want to do musical instruments, too.

And, as well, I did some experimental stuff where I painted, let it dry halfway and etched thin lines with the end of one of the LED leads.  Not my best work, but it was a fun experiment.

Brad Ormand - Paint Etching Experiment

Wordpress Coding

12.01.2014 – Sick, Site & Host

Sick Site & Host?  No, I don’t mean “sick site”…  and this time, *I’m* the host.  Ugh!  …But, noooo – the title is interpreted this way, instead: While I have been working on the site’s pages and getting my web host configured for the launch, I got fucking sick – like the flu…  Shit.  Damn, man!  (haha – sorry for the profanity. I’m just playfully ranting, and smiling) – it’s from my outing on Thanksgiving Day, it’s gotta be!  My Brother, my Mom, and my friend (and me) that were there all have the same shit that started Saturday – sore throat, sneezing, congestion, and just pure shittyness feelings (I’m not sure if I am spelling shittiness right or if it’s shittyness, but eitherway…  it’s pretty shitty).  Alright, I’m gonna be honest…  Earlier I had the real thought of how long it was going to be before I turned into a warewolf!  No joke.  I’m not myself today.

Ugh, I have been lying on this bed and in my chair just trying to stay chill and notice the human body do it’s thing.  It’s pretty amazing.  Sometimes I wonder what purpose this serves, and kind of hope that a bout with the flu kind of “is part of it”, part of life, helping in a way.  And, I just got back from the T break, and gotta miss more work – Mmmm, just kind of not ideal.  Oh well.  I’ll be okay no matter what.

But, ENNyway….  enough about that.  LEt’s talk web hosting.   Media Temple is where I have wanted to lay my bit bags down for a while now – more recently since I talked to the (mt) reps at jQuery Con when they came to Austin.  And, I have a nice feeling about what I researched during that time.  Well, since now it’s time for me to change hosts, I considered them first.  But, of course, I looked really deeply into HostGator and A Small Orange and PowWeb and BlueHost – painfully considering each option, and they were great, and I’d be happy at those places, as well.  But, I like (mt).  Gut feeling decision made.  Let’s move in.  PHP 5.5, mySQL5, git 1.7 and svn 1.7, Apache 2.2, Linux and my choice of Plesk or cPanel – on a Virtual Private Server so I can do my thang my way.  I have used cPanel for years, but I really like Plesk, and I’m going with that, actually.  Gimme it.  But, I’m getting more powerful with the Unix command line since my Unix training, and I’d like to just be able to set up servers and secure and manage them like that one day – straight from the command line.  Okay, not today – one thing at a time…

I’m migrating manually, downloading FTP contents as I go.  In fact, I’m downloading now.  I had internet bandwidth issues at my place – a tech is coming out later from my ISP. We’ll get that fixed.

And, my current web host is self-destructing.  I kind of feel sorry for them (they’ll remain unnamed), but Bradster gotta go. U kno.  I was telling a close friend that breaking up with a long-time host is similar to breaking up with a girlfriend.  I mean, I just have so many memories and want them to succeed and still have a sentimental feeling about it.   …but, they’re not going in the direction of success, and in fact, it’s really miserable for me.  So, I go.

There’s not much else to say but that I felt like I was really back on track with my projects a couple of days ago, and now, nature has indicated that I need to chill out and get well, first.  So, I comply.  Life is still good.  Once I get through the fog, I’ll have a lot of good things waiting for me to bust out on.  🙂