Updates on technical wanderings

A few things that I’m pondering and working on to various forms and flavors…

– Several of us at work pitched in to get an Oculus Rift (DK2).  We rotate through, so each member gets it one week of every 6.  Geeky fun.

– Working with the Rift usually involves an Unreal or Unity game engine interaction.  I’m not likely to built out a full scale game, so I’ve instead been looking at Javascript interactions: see Babylon.js or Three.js, both of which can apparently interact with the Rift, albeit on different browsers / via different means.  Skipping the game route altogether, one of the guys and I are working up a viz project which could be ridiculously cool and useful as a way of letting users deal with lots of views of lots of data.  But it’s a side project for both of us, so we’ll see how far and how fast it goes.

– I’ve started a new project at work.  Key elements involve Java REST services (RESTEasy versus Jersey versus..), authorization and authentication (Spring??  Java security policies??  something entirely different??), and maybe Docker.  Maybe even a bit of OpenStack.  Hitting a few MeetUps of late…  Some are better than others.  But that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

– I’ve still got an ongoing project at work that involve NLP and Neo4j (graph database) and trying to figure out how our infrastructure scales with and/or on top of it.  And how to spend limited hours being useful to that project, both because of my new project and because of budgetary concerns for the existing project.  (And because the primary developer is doing a pretty decent job – just mostly needs a sounding board and sanity check here and there, as well as a bit of customer engagement mentoring.)

– Oh, and a little bit of business development related to healthcare and some repositories of information available at the NIH.  Product vision kinds of discussions, possibly leading to SBIR grants or other means to actually, you know, pay for someone to develop a good app to access data in a meaningful way.

– I’ve tried a bit of c9.io and codio.io to see if I can do some Minecraft extension development in a virtual environment.  Objectives are two: see if I can build something cool for my kids (cool being both interesting to them, and potentially a spark to get them trying extensions on their own) and see if I can build up some sort of class lecture for use at a girls in computing kind of event.  So far c9 is winning, in terms of usefulness, though that’s mostly for my Rift oddball project.  Haven’t tried to run Minecraft on it as yet.  Maybe that’s my next thing while I wait for laundry tonight…

Things I haven’t done of late: anything with Arduinos or Furbys.  I’d still like to go back and figure out how to solder my connections to the Furby, and maybe even to a circuit board.  Also interested in trying to redo the example with Firmata/Johnny5.  But the project list is long, and the free time is always short.

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