Planning the Spontaneous

It's more than just a blueprint.

One More Bite…

Posted by Robert Chow on 07/02/2010

I’ve been up in Manchester for the last few days, playing it out being a student again. And honestly, it’s felt rather good.

I signed for a house the first day I came back for the next academic year, and had a look around. It’s a pretty nice place; and thankfully, I didn’t have to do a single thing to find it! So I’m pretty grateful for all the hassle my future housemates went through to get the place – I’m sure I can find a lot more calming activities to do!

I’ve also just got back from the most amazing all-you-can-eat ever! It’s a Brazilian steakhouse called Bem Brazil in the northern quarter of Manchester. 12 different cuts of meat we managed to scoff down, ranging from the absolutely gorgeous beef fillet steak down to the little chicken hearts, which I wasn’t too particularly fond of.

I’m in Manchester because I’m going to a conference on Tuesday in Birmingham, and thought I’d take a long weekend at home since it’s only a couple of hours extra on the train. It’s a software developer’s conference about mapping software – hopefully something I’ll be touching upon later in my placement.  The link for anyone interested is

The plans for the future are a bit up in the air for the time being.  Now with Renderer nearly finished, I am currently looking at spiking Grapher, and then after that, to possibly start on Mapper – hence the conference.  However, a lot of ideas have been proposed for Grapher, and it’s come to the point of it might be best for me to develope Grapher versions 1 and 2 during the rest of my placement and to do Mapper in the Summer if I am given the chance to come back.  My intentions are to try to do as much as possible – I want to, and if I don’t deliver, not only will I be annoyed and disappointed at myself, I’ll also think it’s a real shame that I am unable to bring to the table a good set of components usable in the next program.

The last few weeks I haven’t been blogging as often as I’d like, and that’s because things are just taking longer than the usual.  And it’s not like as if we have numerous time-consuming talks about health & safety to blame either.  Time after time after time, ideas come and go.  Try one out, and you end up in a dead-end, so you’re forced to try another.  It’s not until after 4-5 attempts do you quite get it right sometimes, and even then you’re not necessarily happy with the result because at the end of the day it’s not very good code.  So you have to try again.

My supervisor’s been telling me to come up with more than a few ideas before trying them out.  But I’m not much of a planner; I like to get stuck into it as soon as possible.  I guess I would like to become more of that planner type person – it’d also mean one more step in the right direction for personal development.  If you get it right and plan well, you do save yourself a lot of time from not having to implement all the wrong ideas.

Heck, even that bit of this blog wasn’t planned.


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