Now that I’m temporarily (hopefully) unemployed, I have a bit more time to actually do stuff while I’m over here. The Japan trip was planned but I added on a few days in Hong Kong on the way back. Why not?
Japan was amazing, I primarily went to the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka which was an awesome experience. I also got to do something I wanted to do when I was a teenager and visit a Pokemon Center. I imagine the one in Tokyo would be bigger but still, it was a nerdy dream come true. I ended up sitting next to a bunch of Americans at the GP which was helpful. The number of people that could speak English in Nagoya was very low. Getting to the track on Saturday morning was a hell of an experience. Next time I will be more prepared.
Suzuka Ferris Wheel
My loot, including Pokemon
Hong Kong was something I decided to do after my short stay in Japan, I caught up with an old friend while exploring the city, did a bit of gambling and visited the Big Buddah on the way home. It was such a different experience to Japan and the city was such a contrast of buildings. I would definitely like to spend more time in both places
View from the peak
Now I'm trying to get back into a regular routine. Hopefully be getting back to training for my 5km run and working on a couple of personal projects. My programming has been a little neglected lately. Oops.
I really need to get into a habit of blogging more often, currently I need to boot into Windows to use Live Writer but I think that’s nearing the end of it’s usefulness and I’m thinking about switching to a markdown editor. But anyways, I'm making good progress on my bucket list this year. The latest being jumping out of a plane at 14,000ft on Sunday. Here's a video of the jump and my ruined face on the way down. It was amazing, it's something I think I will definitely do again in the future.
I started this year by quitting my job and moving to Australia which is something I never thought I would do, and now I'm now looking to extend my stay. I expect to be staying another 12 months. I still plan to be in the UK next year for Eurogamer in September and visiting home. I’m going to be staying on at ninemsn leading some of their interesting upcoming projects hopefully will be able to have something to show in the upcoming months.
Next up is Japan for the Suzuka Formula 1 in a few days then in November a week in Malaysia followed by the Colour Run in Melbourne. Time to get training I think!
Here is my ruined face;
Hell of a view, the sky was clear and I could see for miles;
Interesting transportation for the weekend;
Gorgeous beach in Wollongong;
This was the second project for Carling completed and much like the first was a touch screen interface designed to be deployed in music festivals on Surface and iPad devices. This time the objective was a draw an apple on the touch screen. The app displays an outline that the user has to memorise and then draw using only their finger.
A further requirement which came out of the original project was to develop an on screen keyboard for the surface version because of the difficulty they had with the built in surface keyboard.
- HTML5 Video
- Application Cache
This is a project which I completed last year was to recreate an existing flash application using more modern web technologies. The application is for The Open University and is now live at http://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/science/physics-and-astronomy/astronomy/virtual-planisphere.
I was allowed to define the solution and technologies for this so I went for SVG. Originally I was going to develop just the Planisphere map section as SVG and the rest as Html and they could just iFrame in the whole thing but I decided pretty early on to make the entire thing one interactive SVG file. The images and data sources has to be reverse engineered and made to work in the new SVG version.
While I had some SVG experience this was the first commercial application I was creating with it. The final result came out well, it was supposed to look the same as the existing flash application hence the slightly retro design.
The difficulties were finding a way to create a printable version which works cross browser, Firefox being the most difficult to achieve, and dealing with the loading of potentially large image files. All in all a pretty successful project with 0 issues being raised from UAT.
This is the current live version running directly from the OU website (warning, fairly large images)
Another project completed, the brief was to develop a touch based quiz/competition for Zest. The idea was to develop a smooth web application that runs in IE10 and on iPads (Screenshots from the iPad version) with a lot of focus on the animations. After playing a short advertisement the users are prompted to answer several random questions before being given a score and then being asked to enter their contact details. The application is to run at festivals on a 1080p touch screen to gather contact details and was delivered in a very short timeframe.
- CSS Animations/Transitions/Keyframes
- HTML5 Video
- Touch Events
- Application Cache (Cache manifest)