May 2014

Shatter.js Image Shattering

Shatter.js – Make things explode in JavaScript

Sometimes I feel the need to break things.  We all get that feeling sometimes after a rough day at work, or after a day of dealing with pushy clients, or maybe your cat threw up on your face while you were taking a nap. The point is, we all need to release some steam and take out our frustrations sometimes.

Now, you could pick up the flower vase sitting by your computer-you know, the one that’s been sitting there with the dried out remains of a dead plant in it for the last 2 years-and toss it across the room. But then you have to deal with little shards of glass all over your floor and you’ll have to explain to your roommate that you did not, in fact, just have a psychotic episode.

Aside from that, we now live in a digital world. I imagine most people wake up in the morning and their first instinct is to go straight to the bathroom…and take a picture of themselves in the mirror to post to facetwitgram before they post their daily half eaten breakfast photo.

So what better way than to break stuff digitally? And with today’s hottest new technology, JavaScript!

Shatter.js is a small little library that can help you do just that! Use your JavaScript programming skills to add and image to the dom, give it to Shatter.js and it will return to you your image all nice and shattered and packaged up for you to do with it what you will.

“That sound’s incredible! But, wait, how much is this going to cost me?”, you say.

Well, that’s a great question, and my answer to that is that it’s completely open source and free! Do with it what you will! It’s licensed under the MIT license and available on Github for you to download, fork, branch, pull, push, rm -rf, or whatever you desire!

Check it out on GitHub or view the examples on the project page.

What I found interesting this week (May 18th 2014)

WTF? Forms – A nice bit of css for some common form controls.

Digging, Debugging – This talk is loaded with great tips on debugging with Chrome devtools.

CCNA Training Videos – 88 videos covering CCNA training, crowd funded through Kickstarter and now available to stream free on YouTube.

Littlewargame – HTML5 rts game, amazing performance for an HTML5 game.

And there’s this: Cats and Dogs dressed as people, 100 years ago.

How I tricked myself into being productive

It was Friday night, I just wanted to relax, but I have a 11 day streak going on Github. I think to myself, it doesn’t matter, I can take a day off.

I look at the bugs/feature requests I logged in github for Shatter.js, and realize, well, upgrading Phaser won’t take too long, and at least I’ll have done something productive on it today.

So there I am, upgrading the code and fixing the example. Something I’ve needed to do for awhile, and I got it done when otherwise I was going to settle down with a glass of whiskey and let my brain have the night off. I successfully tricked myself into being productive.

Sometimes just getting started is all I need to get motivated. I know once I get started on something that I’ll work longer than I intend to and I’ll enjoy it. The hard part is just getting started.

The procrastination beast has it’s hold on me all the time, keeping me from starting anything. I think it will take too much time, or I find a million other little things to do with my time and all of the sudden it’s way too late to make any progress on my project, so I’ll do it tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow I’ll work twice as long! Yeah, that’ll happen for sure!

I don’t know what my apprehension to get started is. I feel like my brain knows it’s not going to get instant gratification so it tells me I need to read a couple more articles, or browse for more things I can add to my read-later or do-later list. I often look at all the things I want to do and get overwhelmed, and do nothing at all.

Since I started trying to keep up a streak on Github, I find myself working a lot more, and a lot more consistently.

I think to myself, well, let me just get one or two commits out of the way so I can relax the rest of the night. Maybe tonight I’ll just update some documentation, I’ve been needing to do that for awhile. I start to update docs, and next thing I notice a couple hours have passed and I’ve re-factored code and added some functions that I’ve been meaning to add for weeks.

I fool myself. I know once I get started I’ll enjoy what I’m doing, but it never fails, every time I think about getting started there is this apprehension, something holding me back. But I’ve almost never come out of it afterwards unhappy that I did it.

Occasionally I’ll have some really unproductive coding sessions. Maybe I only end up updating some documentation, but at least I showed up. The more often I manage to show up the more often I’m likely to show up again.

After a few weeks I realize I’ve almost completed this project. It’s not nearly so enormous and insurmountable when I tell myself I’ll just make a few commits a day. What’s really perplexing is that I know this already. I know iterative progress is how to get things done. I’ve known all these tricks to get yourself started. Like the 5 minute rule. Tell yourself you’ll do something for 5 minutes and you end up going a lot longer once you get started. I’ve read tons of ‘productivity hack’ articles and books. But the problem comes when I know that I likely will go longer that 5 minutes, and decide to put off the 5 minutes b/c of it. It’s like double procrastination. My procrastinating brain to too clever for these parlor tricks. I know you can’t expect to build something of high quality quickly, yet I still expect to be able to pump out a bunch of great projects, but at the end of the day/week/month/year, I realize, I barely did shit. I was too overwhelmed with the scale of the projects I want to complete, and the amount of knowledge I need to learn to get there.

I’ll just take things one commit at a time.


What I found interesting this week (May 11th, 2014)

Interesting things I read/watched/listened to on the web this week.

Everything is about execution. Dreams and visions are free. Implementation takes place in the real world where friction and inefficiencies exist.

A great answer on quora on life lessons.

While playing guitar I remembered an old site I learned quite a bit from: Unfortunately it’s no longer around anymore. However, it’s still available on archive.og.

Found – A great well organized and easy to navigate reference guide for web api’s. Much easier to find and browse information than most of the official specs.

Watched this very funny animated short: Johnny Express

Feast your eyes on a live hd view of the Earth from the ISS.