Summer's End

I’ve spent the last three weeks having a classic vacation, i.e., going off someplace sunny to try and enjoy some time at the beach, traipsing around a bit and then coming back and trying to catch up with various chores and clear out some junk and paperwork in a kind of belated spring cleaning.

It was a mostly bipolar affair, with me spending the last few hours in Lisbon (prior to actually leaving) task-switching between reverse-engineering some Java code and hacking at ffmpeg to get it to run (albeit slowly) in ARM, then spending a week and a half with little more than a Kindle, an iPad and utterly lousy connectivity.

Ah, that reminds me: never, ever stay at this hotel if you need peace, quiet and connectivity - the mobile coverage is awful, they have some obscure Wi-Fi provider with insulting pricing, and somehow seem to believe people enjoy having some idiot play loud music in the courtyard nearly until midnight - my kids, whose target bedtime is 9:30 PM, simply couldn’t get to sleep, and as a result we all slept poorly the whole time there.

We then spent a few more leisurely and quite pleasant days somewhere in Alentejo, and finally returned home to run errands, clear out closets, and whatnot.

With beach, plenty of family and extra outings, the kids obviously had a great time (even though it cost me a pair of glasses and other assorted physical and psychological damage), but I feel like I need at least a month to pull myself together and the only interesting thing I’ve been able to do since I got back was setting up Windows 7 and Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone - I kind of like it, actually, and having spent years using Microsoft development tools in the past, it’s interesting to see how far things have come.

Developing for Windows Phone seems straightforward enough to warrant spending more time on this setup (even though the emulator is a dog), and the results are quite a bit more pleasant than, say, your average Android app. Had I the cash, I’d probably get a Mango device to fool around with, given that I have a few app concepts I’d like to try out.

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