Sunday, September 11, 2011

Early September Venture Update

iPad wordmark.
It seem like the iPad loves to eat my best prose, generally with an assist from some Google product, in the latest case that product would be the new iOS blogger app that I wrote about in my last entry. This is yet another reason I'll very likely be going with an Android tablet when I'm ready to replace the iPad 2. I don't really want to reward Google for their recently lousy iOS support but I'm heavily invested in Google's tools and at the end of the day I just need to be able to reliably get stuff done.

Speaking of Google tools, I have a scheduled Google calendar event that reminds me to talk about the part time venture I've mentioned here before. It's a way of holding my feet to the fire to keep making progress but my need/desire to keep most of the details under wrap for now makes it difficult to say anything interesting or meaningful. If I don't at least make the attempt though I improve my odds of dropping the ball. It's much easier to lose focus on something when you aren't publicly on the hook for it.

I did have a significant setback recently when I realized that a lot of the data I'd collected was bogus due to a bug in my code. The section of code where the problem occurred was actually taken verbatim from some example code presented in the documentation for an API I'm using. I suspect the code in question may have been deprecated recently and I did find one source on line that seemed to indicate that was the case but I haven't been able to conclusively confirm this or come up with a work around yet. In the meantime I've changed my sampling methodology and fixed the data I'd already gathered so that it no longer includes the bogus information. Quality is more important than quantity but it was a frustrating experience.

I'm still working on getting up to speed on a number of different technologies and this is the price one can end up paying when that is the case. The Internet is a highly dynamic environment and its difficult enough to keep up with the things you know. A related problem is that the finish line is constantly receding from you when you're learning something new and it's not unusual for online documentation and resources to be grossly out of date. This is a big part of the reason why skilled developers make so much money.

I've been doing some preliminary research on what kind of cloud/hosting services are available in case this thing works/takes off. Amazon, Google and many others all have products in this general area and evaluating what technologies make the most sense for me to pursue has been fun but a bit of a distraction. I have decided to go with Google's data storage solution for now. Seventeen cents a gig per month seemed like a reasonable price to me. There may be cheaper options out there but I'm confident that Google's going to be around for the forseable future. There are additional charges if I ever want to retrieve that data but I'm fine with that. I have local backups so the Google option is just insurance. I do need to automate the process of sending backups to Google but that likely won't happen for awhile. It's not that painful to do manually for now.

Image via Wikipedia
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