Summer Stories

So this job (I may have mentioned this about a thousand times, but my job is to write a scheduler/database for dog groomers across the street from Taylor. I get to work from home, make my own hours, and the offer is pretty high.) is finally getting off the ground. I had another client meeting, where I, with all the doohickeys and tactics my dad taught me, presented a “functional document” and demonstrated a bit of the technology I was planning on using. I had originally thought that I would have to write a C# application on the front end, but it turns out that Access has a thousand different report and form dealies, so there’s built-in GUI. It, unfortunately, uses Visual Basic, which is probably the crappiest language I’ve learned yet (but then again, I can count those probably on one hand, so it doesn’t mean much).
Now, I am, of course, foremost a java programmer, and have come to love and hate many of its features, though more of the former. By now, a lot of it is pretty intuitive for me. VB is something completely different. First, methods have been split into two kinds: return and non-return. For all you java ppl, it’s the difference between
void methodName(){}
return-type methodName(){}
VB has sub-procedures and functions shown as
Sub methodName()
End Sub
Function methodName() as returnType
End Function
A nifty little thing about it, though, is that, as far as I can tell, you don’t worry so much about overloaded methods; arguments can be declared as “optional”, being instead set to a default value if it isn’t passed. Cool.
Two, when you declare variables, you don’t necessarily have to declare what they are. You reserve the space in memory for it (actually, you sometime don’t even have to do that much, depending on the settings) with the command “dim”, and then follow it with “as type”, with the second part being optional. Of course, you typically do give it a type, but that seems like a case for ambiguity that is a bit unnecessary.
Three, syntax is weird. In java and c++, spacing isn’t so important. Statements are cut apart by semi-colons. In VB, you have to put ” _” at the ends of lines to instruct it to keep reading. And as you’ve noticed, there are no braces: you have “then” and “end” instead. And parentheses around arguments aren’t necessary either. Anyways, enough about VB.

After 3/4 of a year, I finally beat Half-Life 2. It’s not so much that it was hard, but I wasn’t very dedicated. Well, slowly but surely, I’ve finally worked myself to the end, which was just as terrible as everyone’s been telling me. The game was so-so; I thought a lot of the lvls were very monotonous, but there were some genuinely spooky moments. Not the freaky, horror moments, but just the “I know that something bad’s going to happen, I know that manhacks are going to swarm me while Combine soldiers with pulse rifles are lining up behind me” moments. Regardless, the visual effects and physics were just as impressive as reported, and the story progressed okay. I guess it’s just one of those, “if it does a good job, then you’ll never notice it” sort of games.
With that out of the way, however, I need another one to slowly move through.
1) Morrowind, which I’ve been meaning to give a real try, but haven’t. I’ve played some of the beginning, and it’s just been real slow and boring, but I figure it must get better eventually, if it’s gotten this much attention. Besides, I’ll play Oblivion at some point, and background never hurts.
2) No One Lives Forever 2, which is pretty awesome. I’ve gotten somewhat through it, but it takes me forever, because I feel like I need to maximize my gaming, so I’ll play the same situation 3-4 times so I can escape with perfect health and grab all the items.
3) Freedom Force, which got rave reviews. I thought I was a super-hero, comic-enjoying, RPG-loving sort of guy, but this one never really got off the ground with me either.
4) Medal of Honor:Allied Assault, which I got about half-way through before I hit a really nasty sniper-lvl, and just got really cheesed off at. That one is good, but that darn sniper lvl…
5) X-Wing Alliance. I like the series, but missions are kind of a bore to do, and the graphics don’t work quite right on my gfx card.
6) Myst 3: Exile. I got more than 1/2 way through this game with only one tip, of which I’m immensely proud of, but then I just kind of stopped. I’ve been out of it so long, I don’t think I could force myself to figure everything out again.
I’m asking for your input, but no one will, so, with exactly 6 games, I’ll roll a dice on it. Thanks.

Another random thing I’d like that ungiven input on is another story plot. I really want to get into writing again, but I’m not particularly proud of any of my work since “Dixon Dills”, which I’m only semi-proud of. If ‘neone comes up with a good background, or some type of plot hook, please drop a line. I’m desperate for ideas.

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