What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Have you ever worked so hard that you literally fall asleep at the keyboard? Well, that was me this past week. In the wee hours of the morning I awoke to the uncomfortable feeling of the “A” key pressed into my cheek. So what spurred me into this fanatical desire to work myself into a stupor?

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It all began with an idea. Ideas are very dangerous things and normally should be avoided at all costs but in my case I made the mistake of letting my idea germinate. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I took the next step in my journey into oblivion….I picked up a pen and sketched on a piece of paper how the idea could theoretically be built.

The problem with this stage is the idea was really beginning to take shape. This of course made my singular focus even worse as it became an all-consuming fixation of seeing it come into reality. In some-ways it reminded me of Victor Frankenstein prior to throwing the switch to seeing his creation come to life.

I’ve said this to the ParkLogic tech-team and I’ll write it here. There’s nothing more dangerous than a person (ie. me) with some rusty old tools, a plan, and a vision. So I dusted off my programming skills and got to the work of breathing some life into my idea.

Like any great undertaking everything hinges on the strength of the foundations…..but they are so boring to build. You spend ages mixing the programming cement, belting together functions and working out the overall architecture. The result is more of a Picasso looking house with all of the bits seemingly in the wrong spot.

For me I, I made the fatal mistake of showing off my strange edifice to Roselyn (my wife) so she could fully appreciate the nuances and clever little bits that I’d built. After being somewhat polite she asked a really dumb but however smart question, “And this does what?”

After being somewhat flummoxed with the response towards my brilliance I ushered her out of my study with the promise of a nice cup of tea. I then returned with renewed fervour as I moved the programming bedrooms out of the garage, attached them to the hallway and made sure the toilet flushed downwards rather than upwards. All really important details that I’d neglected to finalise.

This is when I entered that state of being that many programmers only know as “the zone”. This is a point where you have a singular and intense of focus that can only be described as astonishing. The previous chaos of bits and bytes suddenly seemed to gain a sense of order as I plied my herding skills to the code. I glanced at the clock and casually noticed it was 4am…..how time fly’s when you’re in the zone.

I dragged myself away from my desk, climbed into bed and was asleep in about 3 seconds to the comforting feeling of dancing HTML and PHP code in my head. A few hours later I was back working on my regular tasks and at the end of the day I resumed my vision. Things were really beginning to take shape and I had not just a home but a castle!

So it’s now the end of the week and I’m thoroughly exhausted…..but what a week’s it’s been! For those of you that have any programming experience you’ll fully appreciate the euphoric bliss I’m talking about. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing something come into being that wasn’t there before. It’s an act of creation, built from a vision and powered by passion.

I honestly wish that I could show to you what I built…..but that is for another day. Right now I really to reintroduce myself to Roselyn, and then get some sleep that doesn’t involve a keyboard.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Recent Comments
vanclute
This is all too familiar! Personally my favorite is when I look at something I've built and all I can think to say is - how the h... Read More
27 November 2016
mgilmour
Gotta love "the zone".
27 November 2016
vanclute
Some people can "switch off" faster than others. Sounds like I'm more like you... when my brain is running that fast, it's extrem... Read More
27 November 2016
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Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Starting a new job, project or business can be one of the most exciting and most stressful times in your life. It just so happens that this evening I’m about to do exactly that….I’ve decided to take on a new job as a bouncer.

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For those of you that have met me, you will undoubtedly have great concerns about by intended new vocation. My physique is not particularly suited for the job as my fingers are more used to typing on a keyboard than rough handling a few delinquents out the door. But, I know I can rise to the challenge!

At some stage in most men’s life, circumstances thrust you into making difficult decisions and whether you rise to the challenge or collapse under the burden is up to your attitude. Tonight, I intend to be triumphant in my ability to become the best bouncer that has walked this planet….so watch out!

I know this is my first night on the job but I seemed to pass the job interview pretty well….even though I'm a bit stressed knowing the success or failure of the event largely rests on my shoulders. I’ve been told that imagining various scenarios can help alleviate my stress, so in an effort to prepare myself I’m practicing my witty bouncer comeback lines. I'd be interested in your feedback...

Partier: “So why are you throwing me out?”

Me: “Because your domains really suck and you have fraudulent traffic! That’s why!”

Or how about…

Partier: “Who the hell do you think you are?”

Me: (with Dirty Harry’s voice – of course): “I bet you’re wondering just how much traffic I have left? Can I really unleash a torrent of hell down upon your website? Well, feeling lucky punk?”

 Or….and now I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Partier (Bill Paxton whining Aliens voice): “Party’s over man, party’s over.”

Me: “It is for you. I just caught you attempting a domain hijacking. You’re outta here!”

So what do you think? Do I need to improve some of them? Please provide me with any suggestions to help me through my first bouncing job……as time marches forward I’m starting to feel a little nervous.

BTW, I should also mention that tonight is my daughter’s eighteenth birthday party and me (ie. Dad) is the bouncer of choice. So it’s with great relief that it looks like my new job is more of a contract appointment that will be finishing around 1am. Who knows, if I’m any good I may launch another business……I just need to buy the domain for that!

Have a great weekend and thankfully, I'll see you at NamesCon!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

When I attended the recent Domain Conference in Florida I had a few copies of my science fiction book, Battleframe, to hand out as giveaways. It provoked a lot of discussion about scifi and one of the members of the Godaddy team ended up telling me about a book called “Read Player One”.

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Ready Player OneBy the time I’d finally returned to Australia I’d completely forgotten the conversation until I received an Amazon delivery with a copy of the book inside. For a start the cover intrigued me, it had a picture of a young man climbing a stack of caravans……so I thought I’d give the book a shot and started reading.

What surprised me was the fact that the central theme running the whole way through “Ready Player One” was everything about the eighties. Computers, board games, computer games and music were all fodder for creating elaborate puzzle clues that the protagonist had to solve.

To be quite honest with you I cared less about the plot (which was a little simplistic) and more for the fact that it was a personal journey through time. Trash 80 computers with 16K or RAM, cassette loaders and Atari 2600 game consoles were carefully weaved into the overall story. I loved it!

My first computer was a Trash 80 clone and it sites under the stair in its box to this day! My second computer was a Commodore 64 and the games the characters played were straight from my childhood. Including Joust, Zaxxon, Defender (I loved that game) and the D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated) module “Tomb of Horrors”. I’d played and loved them all!

In fact, at one point I was desperately hoping the author would actually mention some of the games that I programmed…..but sadly no. The original “Lord of the Rings” and “Mugsy’s Revenge” weren’t mentioned. Maybe in book two JI can only hope!

Was it the best thing I’ve ever read? No. Was it just good mindless fun? Heck yeah! It managed to keep me up to the small hours of the morning which is all you can really ask from a book.

I would like to thank the entire Godaddy team for inspiring me to read “Ready Player One” and to the particular team member that sent me a copy of the book. I’ve already passed it onto my closest friend who is also one of the characters in Battleframe (Bosk).

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg & Lieberman

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mgilmour
And we mustn't forget Galaga :-)
14 November 2016
vanclute
I know you weren't an Apple guy, but for those who were... remember Karateka? First example of rotoscoping in a computer game as ... Read More
13 November 2016
mgilmour
I remember Karateka, it was awesome! Although I didn't really do much on the Apple II (couldn't afford one) I did mess around with... Read More
14 November 2016
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Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Yesterday, I crossed the line of no return. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could somehow undo what happened but then, with a smile on my face I really don't want to. You see, yesterday was the day when our youngest daughter turned eighteen and in Australia, became an adult.

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I remember like it was only yesterday when I held her in my arms for the very first time. The wonder in her eyes as she looked around the hospital delivery room and then she finally fixed on my own.

We both soaked in each others features, I her father and she my daughter. So yesterday I looked at not a little baby but a beautiful grown women, full of life and excitement for the years ahead. An almost mystical spark of love sprang between us.

When I look at her today, she seems to continue to look innocently around at the world in wonder....and then our eyes meet. Like eighteen years earlier, the bond of love between us is as strong as ever. I'm her father and she's my daughter.

But I’ve crossed a line. I no longer have children who are children but children who are now adults. Somehow, though all of our life’s ups and downs my wife and I have watched as three babies transformed into adulthood…..and now our last is no longer a child.

I'm so proud of each of my children, for the adventures they're going on, devouring life with a ferocious appetite. If life is a theme park, each of them are definitely riding the rollercoaster rather than playing it safe on the merry-go-round. You only get one shot at life, so you may as well enjoy it.

So when I looked at Elise yesterday, I found I had conflicting emotions. Happy for her but sad that those childhood years are now behind us. So rather dwell overly long in the past I begin to think of the future and the possibilities it will bring. Grandchildren! It was then that a smile spread across my face…..the cycle of life continues…..so maybe there was no line after all.

Have a great weekend!

PS. I should mention, that my wife Roselyn and our two daughters will be at NamesCon in January…..we look forward to see you all then!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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mgilmour
She will always be my little girl LOL!
07 November 2016
mgilmour
Sadly, they don't have much of an interest in domaining.....but my son, Timothy, has written a book and is looking to publish it n... Read More
07 November 2016
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Saturday Musings - What Does it Mean to do Good?

Saturday Musings - What Does it Mean to do Good?

So many of us in the western world believe that if we do “good” then things will be all right now and hopefully in the afterlife. I’ve been contemplating this concept of doing good and to be quite honest with you I’m a little confused.

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The problem I’m having is that “good” is a subjective term and something that is good for one person may not be for another. Each one of us views the world from our own perspective and cultural background and this taints our perception of what is good.

An extreme example of this is ISIS. They believe they are doing good by blowing up archaeological sites, beheading infidels and bringing their own unique brand of Sharia law to the masses. It’s clear that many people agree with their position and are even willing to put their lives on the line….but does this make ISIS good?

Maybe if you reach a critical mass of individuals that believe as you do, then could you regard what you’re doing as good? If that was the case, then Stalin, Hitler and Mao Zedong would be regarded as saints as they had millions of people following them while they slaughtered millions themselves. I’ve concluded that doing “good” isn’t at all about populist opinion but something else entirely.

Over the last few months I’ve been watching the presidential election unfold in a most astounding manner. Each candidate firmly believes they are the one that will do the most “good” for their country…..this is despite the fact they seem to be trying to prove the other candidate is evil. So maybe a person can be defined as being good by doing less evil? Now we have the conundrum of defining what is evil…..so essentially the flip side of the coin for “what is good”.

Then we have terms such as; “you’re a goody two-shoes” and you’re just “holier than thou” as vain attempts by one individual to try and redefine a person’s personal view of what is good through ridicule. There is essentially a clash of values that has denigrated the conversation to low levels of disrespect….just like in the presidential debates.

There is a liberal way of thinking that has encroached into society that says, “I don’t care what you do as long as it doesn’t impact me.”

It’s an isolationist view of society that builds gated communities, high walls around houses and neighbours who are strangers. At its heart, people who subscribe to this world view have relinquished their right to define what is good and bad until it directly impacts them. Society can be in complete anarchy as long as their walls are high enough and if they are encroached these people will typically define good at the end of a gun.

The problem I see with people defining their own view of “goodness” is that it will vary from one individual to another. Some people will believe its fine to prop up the stats of a domain name with purchased traffic prior to selling it while others believe it’s fraud. Who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation? This forced me to look to the law for some sort of definition of proper behaviour and hopefully “goodness”.

Sadly, the law spends a lot of time defining bad behaviour but not good….in fact, it is largely silent on what’s good. If a person robs a bank, then that is regarded as bad but if you help an elderly person across the road you don’t get some sort of reward from the government.

There is some hope in the law. The mere fact that the law is defining what is bad would suggest that it has some basis in what is good….even if it is silent. Where did the law get its views of right and wrong? This is where I’m forced to acknowledge the fact that the western law (and many laws around the world) largely have their roots in a faith or faiths. In the case of the west, it’s the Judaeo Christian world view.

Whether you are a person of faith or not, one of the fundamental structures of our society has its roots in faith……the reason for this is because it was through faith that our forefathers defined “good”. This means that each day we are all acknowledging there is an external authority that defines good and has defined goodness for each an everyone of us…..WOW, now my heads spinning!

I’m also faced with the fact that most of us seem to be able ascertain what is good through our conscience. Forgetting the outliers in the statistical distribution (eg. ISIS etc.) we seem to know what is good when we see it. But how did this happen and where did our conscience come from? Did it, like our laws, come from a divine authority? I will leave that for you to dig into in your own times of contemplation.

What the basis in the law and our conscience have in common is a bedrock of perceived “goodness” that is not defined by individuals who have differing world views. Goodness is locked down by a spiritual perspective on a common definition of good. This is a great comfort as it means when I’m doing some business with a person there is a clear way we should conduct ourselves. In fact, in business there is a term, “bad faith”. This is when a person is not behaving in a “good” manner to increase their own personal advantage.

I know for certain that I will be thinking a lot more on the topic of “What does it mean to do good?” I hope you also feel challenged in reading this article on your own personal views.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

 

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