Jul 082016
 

Well that mind map doodle I put in place of a spash page is clearly dated. For one thing, I’m not 35 any more! I’m 39. There’s whole parts of my brain now mapped out with a bunch of new stuff – Chinese, R, Ingress, Elite Dangerous. A whole bunch of spiritual junk! A serious amount of bicycling and swimming. Half a hundred books or so, mostly fiction but all kinds of things really. To say nothing of life and pets and plants at Brighton Manor. I’m going to have to find a marker and update that photo. But before I do, it would be prudent to tell you about the latest stuff I’ve decided to dump in there, which is:….

Development of VR Projects in Unity3D with C#. Sound cool? Well, believe me, it is!

After playing around with the Oculus DK2 for the better part of a year (but not really knowing what I was doing, mostly just playing space sims and watching the odd demo), I upgraded my HMD to the new consumer models that hit the market this year. The HTC Vive and the Oculus CV1. Just as 2008 was the year of the Car in China, 2016 will be remembered as the year of VR, for planet Earth. Well, *I’ll* remember it that way at least.

I have a fantastic life out here in the promised land. I spend my days slogging through tutorials on development of VR experiences with the current state of the art development tools. Which are fantastic and actually kind of a pleasure to use. Everything I hated about macs and x-code, it’s all in the past. You know I give praise to the Apple cult, but honestly, it’s nice to remember why I loved Apple in the first place. Remember the II-E? Totally open. Could run whatever you wanted on it, if you could find or copy the floppy disk. No fighting with me over could keychain passwords. None of this walled garden bullshit. I love my iPhone, and I’ll be happy when I can jailbreak it again, but to be developing on a normal gaming PC makes me thankful that I can be here and do this.
I’m learning how to do some amazing things, and I look forward to the day where I can show them to you, in a context you may not have experienced before in your life!

Most of my time funnels directly into the Make School VR Track, at their space in SOMA. I’m working through the program with 16 other developers, and the school is home to a hundred plus more campers, doing more of the stuff that I messed around in in 2009, when I did a few intro courses on iOS development in xcode with objective C. Though the objective C isn’t terribly distant from the C# that drives most of our Unity projects. (In fact, the nice thing about Unity is that it’s friendly to a variety of languages and scripts to accomplish goals. Everything I’ve been done so far could probably be accomplished in Javascript) And, on the build end, Unity apps can be exported into DAMN NEAR ANYTHING. SteamVR, Oculus, GearVR, whatever, there’s probably a way. So I feel good about the engineering and stylistic choices made by my teachers, who are a very sharp bunch of developers associated with Upload VR. I think of Upload VR as the Jedi Council of the VR Revolution. I’m a big follower of their feeds and rely on their knowledge and expertise big time to get an understanding of this ridiculous new market that’s about to drop like a bomb on the technological state of the entire planet.

Those of you who know me and have been close to me over the past year know that I’ve been pushing through Data Science courses online through Coursera, and through that I’ve gotten some competence in programming in R – which is an incredibly flexible and elegant language for statistical analysis and data visualization – but absolutely useless for anything else. Free, Open Source, huge developer network supporting piles of plug ins and modules that probably already do whatever it is you want, just waiting for you to piece it together. Object oriented, but still a scripting language. R’s cousin, Python can be used for a thousand things!!! But guess what, topics like Statistical Inference and Exploratory Data Analysis, while interesting in their own way? Do not excite me the way VR does as a medium.

Oh, and while I was in China, I got briefly obsessed with Android (because of Ingress) and started an online course to develop for Android in Java. But my old clunky laptop could barely grind through it, and I had a lot of distractions in China, which I will happy tell you about one day soon over some beers. I wrote a lot of blog entries in my journal, so maybe I will polish a few off and see if they’re worth sharing. A lot of it’s crap though, sorry.

OK, there’s your basic State of the Union Update, thanks for listening, now you should: follow like share upgrade link star like comment, do it all!!!

 Posted by at 2:29 am

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