August 21, 2008


Attention to detail is not a strength of mine; the opposite by all accounts. I try to change, but most of my efforts meet with failure. My last attempt was a small, black Moleskine in which I still occasionally write. I have never successfully kept a regular journal (or blog, for that matter). Five months is my best attempt to date, excluding a LiveJournal, which was basically a misguided and whiny return to adolescence in my last year of college.

Regardless of any history, my current focus is the details of my profession. Despite having worked in the industry for four years I feel unskilled when compared to many of my peers. My roles and environments have changed several times over that short period, so specialization at work has been impossible. It is left to me to choose a focus on personal time.

I've always shied away from game design. I shouldn't. I very much enjoy all aspects of it, from story development and pacing to programming. It's challenging and math intensive, but those have never been deterrents; I'm not sure what put me off in the past.

My programming adventure of the week was unrelated, though. I set up IIS, PHP and MySQL on my development machine. I know purists will blanch at the idea of PHP and MySQL on a Windows machine, but I'm saving the full LAMP experiment for my next old computer. My previous experience with MySQL was limited to interfacing with it through PHP scripts and PHPMySQLAdmin. Needless to say, I hated it. Having access to the command prompt has completely changed my mind.

With my newfound love for MySQL and a D&D campaign starting next Wednesday, I'm creating a database and corresponding pages that will allow me to better manage character information during the game session. It'll be nice to have their character sheets available on my laptop in an interactive form instead of scribbled notes in my notebook or reading a converted PDF. The opportunity to expand my knowledge of database administration and design is a good one, too. I issued my first create database and alter database commands; I relied on the Windows-provided GUI until yesterday.

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