I wanna speak on it


I’ve been doing a lot of interesting stuff at work, causing trouble, fixing trouble, and just having fun. There’s one little nugget I’ve been dying to share with y’all but I don’t know if it’s cool to talk about. Y’see way back in December is when the nonsense began. What started as an innocent precursor to the holiday season turned into a couple of dumb ideas which kinda have been crreping their way into our product by my overactive imagination. Let the story begin.

We (myself and a couple of my buddies at work) were looking to decorate the tree for ol’ St. Nick when someone noticed there wasn’t a star on top. So then we (myself and these two “cool as steel” buddies of mine) decided to use our company’s logo for the tree topping. What a better idea than the MapQuest star, right? Well my coworkers were at a loss because for some dumb reason we couldn’t find any replication of the star outside of the little icon from the home page that got distorted when you blew it up. So I whips out my favorite graphics toy, Xara, and I goes to work. I’m no graphic artist, far from it. But that’s the beauty with this toy. You don’t hafta know nothing about graphics design. It’s dirt simple to use and makes even the night time janitor look like Picasso. So exactly 15 minutes later (my manager had allocated exactly 15 minutes for this non-sprint emergent task) we had s rough replication of the company logo. It was far from exact and off by a certain order of magnitude but it looked good for a fifteen minute effort.

Flash forward to the actual Christmas holiday when everyone else was jingle belling I started playing with TTS (that’s Text To Speech or the funny audio word reader software that people like to play with on the Mac from time to time) in an effort to demonstrate Test Driven Design and the Maven build system all at once. I put together a speach component that I later would embed in a web application (still available today as an Easter egg on the company domain but I’m not giving the address). I had too much fun over the Christmas holiday.

These two ideas grew mature in a short period of time and will eventually merge in my pea brain as I bring you yet the most non-productive waste of time to ever hit “the internets” in the near future. More on that idea in the future. Today both crazy ventures have found a place in our software. I wanna demo the first idea but it’s still kinda early. I’m not quite sure how I’ll put it out but when I do you’ll know. It’s a few months early but keep checking back and you might see my new buddy show up.

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