Monday, April 05, 2021

Dotnetrocks, a Comment, Pull Requests, and Music to Code By

On September 24th of 2015, I got my first comment read on the Dotnetrocks podcast show #1201 that resulted in me receiving the coveted Dotnetrocks' mug. Since then, they stopped giving away coffee mugs and started giving away the podcast creator Carl Franklin's set of Music to Code By songs.

Well, in addition to getting the mug I recently got the Music to Code By set from having a comment read from show #1639 on show #1732 just a few weeks ago. Here is my comment:

Another great show guys! When considering home automation or any new technology in one’s busy life the challenge is to not make the customer alter their habits and lifestyles to make the technology work but rather to have the technology work for them in their current life habits. Carl was correct when he stated, "now you're imposing rules on your lifestyle to appease the technology."
I think this is the crux that most mortals face when considering a new technology. Of course, they are thinking, “Why should I have to change just to take so-called advantage of something new?” This is the primary challenge for home automation specifically and technology in general.
When implementing our ideas, how do we accommodate our users’ existing lifestyle patterns and habits? There is also the social aspect of home automation and tech. Carl's mention of using the song Freebird as a weapon is a prime example! Moreover, the only way that we can make home automation and tech with less friction is trial and error. In short, this topic has others when considering the customer is complex and not easy to navigate.

What was funny was that I was up early on March 25th ready for my run. I got out on my home street in Covington and rounded the corner heading east on Martin Luther King Drive and I hear my name mentioned as providing that show's comment!

At first, I was thinking, there cannot be too many other Mark McFaddens out there, but you never know. As I listened to the comment I realized that it sounded very familiar. When the cohost who normally reads listener comments, Richard Campbell, stated: "...the song Freebird as a weapon...." I knew that was me. Sure enough, when I got home and checked the messages on the show's site, I found a message from Richard that he used that comment on the show.

In any event, the show featured Microsoft's Mads Kristensen, program manager on the Visual Studio team who is an avid extension writer, with over a hundred published extensions to the Visual Studio Marketplace. During the show, Mads and Carl mentioned how nice it would be to have a Music to Code By extension for Visual Studio where you could press a button and start playing the music. Since listening to the show, I have received and downloaded the Music to Code By MP3 collection. 

A week later I ran across the Microsoft Visual Studio's Youtube channel's Writing Visual Studio Extensions with Mads - Music to code to by video! I love it when a plan falls together! After a quick search, I found the GitHub repo from Mads as well as the extension.

Next, I then forked Mads' repo created a topic branch entitled "add-get-next-track," pushed the local branch to my forked GitHub repo, and then 
submitted one Pull Request (PR) to add the ability to skip to the next track. After that, I created a PR to skip to the previous track as well as PRs to update the README file and associated extension screenshot. The PRs were accepted by Mads no later than the next day and merged into the master branch.

Finally, above is the latest history from my local master branch after syncing with the extension's GitHub repo. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Tech CEO's Imagined Congressional Hearing Statement

I found this both informative and humorous. 

Mark Levy of Wired imagines what a statement would look like if they reflected what the CEOs were really thinking during yesterdays congressional hearing: 😉

Greetings, chairpeople, ranking members, and just plain rank members waiting to trap me with yes-or-no questions. Thank you for the opportunity to come to the land of Move Slow and Don’t Fix Things to appear before your committee....


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Digidog or Analogdog (a.k.a. Lady)


Wired Magazine's website had an interesting article entitled, A New York Lawmaker Wants to Ban Police Use of Armed Robots. In essence, the article discussed the concern of using unarmed robots, such as Boston Robotics’ Digidog, and how that could escalate to the use of weaponized robots within law enforcement. While it is a necessary discussion, I thought about my analog dog, Lady, and how she compares to Boston Robotics’ Digidog. 

Concerning protection for our family Lady would as soon lick a stranger than even bark at or attack them. Here, if my home is broken into and I need a dog to protect us, at least by intimidating the intruder, Digidog is the go-to. 

However, when we went to the local dog rescue to get a new canine companion, it was not for protection. When it comes to hanging around in the living room, watching TV, or even working from home, the Analogdog is the choice. Moreover, both of our sons love her and she is great with the grandkids! 

Perhaps if Digidog would snore like our Analogdog and then let out a big groan as it wakes up (if in fact the Digidog ever goes to sleep) it might be OK. Yet, I doubt that its design, being built for function and efficiency, would be as snuggly as our Lady.