Common Sense is Not Common

Not everybody has the same common sense as everybody else. Many people grow up in different environments with different experiences and knowledge learned.

I though that was common sense, but I guess not.

(This can even be extended to my favorite comic strip: Ten Thousand by XKCD)

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Brand Marketing: Free T-Shirts

When doing a free t-shirt promotion, it is better to make the wearer look good rather than make the brand stand out the most. Then, user will wear the shirt more in more prominent places.

Thus, it follows that more brand promotion will occur if it makes the user look better. So, if you have the money to give away free t-shirts, then spend a few extra dollars to ensure that initial batch of t-shirts gets used well.

Caveat: The uber-fans will wear anything.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Lost Money

Imagine that you used paper money, what if you wrote a "lost" message on those bills:

"I"m lost, please return to ________"

~ Danial Goodwin ~


My Migration from Dual-Boot Win7/Win8 to only Windows 8

1. Meticulously back up data
2. Download full Windows 8.1 iso to burn to disk
3. Refresh myself on how to factory restore and install new operating system (OS)
4. Factory restore computer
4. Popped in the Win 8.1 disc and with that I deleted all the partitions before installing 8.1. This was a really great experience! It was very fast. Also, the start-up process for Windows 8.1 from nothing was tremendously faster than what I was expecting. Got Windows 8.1 installed
4.1. During the setup process, I also created two addition 50GB partitions separate from Win8 so that I could experiment with different OSes with ease.
5. During setup I logged in with my MS account, and in the Start screen I noticed that my setup was saved from my old Win8 setup. Even the desktop wallpaper carried over! And the position of the Taskbar vertical on the left side.
6. Bug found. During the entire setup/install process, I had my second monitor plugged in. Now, the OS only recognizes the second monitor. I hope a restart without the second monitor plugged in will fix this. (Update: Yes, restarting fixed this problem)
7. Went through all of the Windows settings and personalized it to my liking.
8. Used Internet Explorer to install Google Chrome (plus Java plugin).
9. Add my important files from before the wipe.
10. Install programs
  • Common Tools
    • Notepad++ (with ZenCoding plugin and Compare plugin)
    • Paint.NET (with Photoshop plugin)
    • VLC Media Player
    • Microsoft Office
    • Adobe (unfortunately) and/vs Foxit
  • Specialized Tools
    • AutoHotKey (for creating macros)
    • FileZilla (for FTP)
    • Audacity (for music editing)
    • 7-Zip
    • Git
    • Inkscape (for editing vector files)
    • Skitch (for quick screenshots with overlays and fast getting a link to share)
    • Putty
    • WinSCP
  • App Building Programs
    • Android + Eclipse + Java SE Development Kit (JDK)
    • Visual Studio 2012 + 2013 + Azure
    • Construct 2
  • Others
    • Dropbox
  • Programs NOT installed this time
    • iTunes (mainly because I haven't used it in awhile and Apple installs way too many separate things along with it)
11. Fixed bug where everything seemed blurry. Windows required a graphics card driver update and a restart. There was no need to limit DPI scaling anywhere.
12. Set keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl + Alt + c = Calculator
  • Ctrl + Alt + p  = Paint
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P  = Paint.NET
  • Ctrl + Alt + n  = Notepad (Very rarely used)
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N  = Notepad++
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F  = FileZilla

13. Reassign file types. E.g. Make sure TXT and XML files open with Notepad++. Here's a Windows Command Line Prompt Cheat Sheet.

And, now I finally have a brand new clean system that I can work efficiently on. Later I will be customizing each of my programs again, to my liking.

It could have been worse. But, there still has got to be a better way of doing all of this...

There's about 100GB of programs and data I've added to this computer that I need for my different work/projects. And, that doesn't even include any of my music, videos, pictures, or 35 extra gigabytes of data from Db which I will be downloading tonight, or maybe not this time. Also, these programs I've installed in the beginning are just most of the ones that I have used in the past month and will need to use within the next month.

  • About 7.5 GB of program installers in my Downloads folder
  • About 1.0 GB of data on my Desktop
  • About 0.3 GB of data in my Documents folder
  • About 43 GB of data in my Developer folder
That's about 52 GB of data out of ~95 GB memory used. So, 43 GB used for programs.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Google Search Answers

For some search queries, Google displays an answer at the top or right of the results. In order to get these results Google usually has to scrape content off of other sites. So,

Is it possible to scrape Google's answers off their search results page, which they have scraped off of others?

I'm sure it is. I just don't just have time to look it up, so that's why I'm sharing.

Have fun,
~ Danial Goodwin ~


Idea: Reusable Fast Food Bags (Problems Solutions, and More)

There is a lot of waste coming from every purchase of fast food - bags, boxes, wrappers, etc.

What if, instead of throwing everything away every time, we could use a reusable bag, just like the trend is starting at grocery stores?

One problem with this is that the bag may get dirty over time from the french fries, grease, and other materials.
Some solutions:
 - Recycle the bag after it has been used so many times.
 - Wash the bag.
 - Have better wrappers for food put inside of bag.
 - Make it a self-cleaning bag. Read more.

The above handles at least the to-go bag.

Another problem is the wrappers and boxes that the main sandwiches/hamburgers go in. Even if they are made out of paper or cardboard, they are still thrown away. So, how do you make a reusable box if it keeps getting dirty/soiled by the sandwich.

Solution: Add a super hydrophobic and/or another non-stick surface to it. Here's one example for superhydrophobic. As for non-stick, I've seen a few videos of ketchup (and more things) not sticking to the insides of bottles or other places with the added non-stick surface.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


My Notes on Albert Einstein Ideas (As Presented by This Documentary)

(In this post, I talk about different ideas I have about Albert Einstein's thoughts. These ideas either expand Einstein's thoughts or tries to poke holes in them. This comes from my not unlimited knowledge, in that, I am unsure if others have had the same ideas as myself. Some places I don't add my ideas, but just reiterate what the documentary said.)

Albert Einstein Documentary on Youtube

Notes: This is in the early rough draft stages and is not really about the film. I could write at least 5-10 times at much for all the information I know and can think of for this particular topic of space-time. The main purpose for mentioning the film is because it is a great source of mostly unbiased knowledge and it doesn't try to push misinformation. I watched a NOVA video after this and it was full of misinformation, seemed like it was published just for naive public and to generate hype/views.


Terrible User Experience - There's Only One Major Application I Know That Does This

Perhaps the most terrible example of all user experience (UX) an application/program can give to users, is to shut down the program when the user is in the middle of working. Case study: Windows. I just got auto-updated.

In Windows 7, there is a small window that pops up that says the computer will restart in 15 minutes, in order to install updates. After that message is postponed, it doesn't pop up in the front any more. In my multiple monitor setup, I don't always pay attention to all of them. There is just typically one main monitor I work with. My current work involved having about 20 tabs in a browser open and a few more large RAM-hungry application, so I didn't want to have to re-setup my workspace. So, I was able to postpone the auto-update a few times. But, when I was really into my work on one monitor, the auto-shut-down prompt I assume was ominously counting down on my other monitor, behind everything. In the middle of typing, sudden the document disappears. There goes all the work (if I was working in a program without autosave).

I am a UX designer and have many recommendations to improve this "feature" in Windows 7. I'm glad my biggest recommendation is taken care of in Windows 8: Make the death prompt more visible. Just having that one change would save me from more trouble.

I understand where Microsoft and other companies are coming from. They want to make sure that updates are installed so that users are protected from even worse virus/malware attacks. I'm sure they've done their research to learn that many people unfortunately don't install the updates in a timely manner, if at all. So, in order to protect users from worse troubles, Microsoft has by default decided to be more aggressive in getting the updates installed.
I had to throw in that "by default" in the last sentence because I know there is the option to disable all automatic updates. But, good UX and good customer service wouldn't put the blame on the user/customer. If the user does something "wrong", then it is only because the application allowed the user to do so.

Bonus: Here's a copywriting tip: Never have long chunks of words/paragraphs.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Thoughts I Think-Thank-Thunk

(See post for some new ideas, start with #3 of 11)

First one, subconsciously thought from The Grinch, maybe, "stink, stank, stunk".

Another title I was thinking of was, "Thinks I Thought" instead of "Thoughts I Think". In modern American language, this is okay, enough.

3. How bouncy would a bounce house be inside another bounce house?
3.1. How bouncy would a bounce be if you bounced inside a bounce house inside a bounce house...?


Construct 2: Landscape Bug Fixed for Windows Phone 8 Export

A few days ago, I submitted a thorough bug report for Windows Phone 8 apps made from Construct 2 not going to landscape mode when it's supposed to. But, thanks to the great developers of C2, this bug has now been quickly fixed for the current beta release r155. So, this saves you C2 developers an extra step.

Get Construct 2

~ Danial Goodwin ~



Today's post will just be pictures of things that I haven't seen before. So, I'm sharing the knowledge:

Albert Wine-Stein (Einstein)

Toilet-Time Golf

Fun puzzle, full of roses, reminds me of my potato chip puzzle like this

Fun*2 jigsaw puzzle, full of the same candy cane, over and over

I've played 3 person chess before, but not a 4-way.

Just a big wine glass holding a lot of aerators. But, I guess I could call this a large decanter also.

~ Danial Goodwin ~

ps - These are from 16 December 2013


C2: [Bug Fix] Windows Phone Export Doesn't Go Full-Screen or Landscape Mode

So, in my quest to create 100 Windows apps, I'm finding more solutions to bugs/issues/problems with the export of Windows Phone from Construct 2.

Problem: No Fullscreen. Here's how to fix it:
1. After you have exported the app from Construct 2, open MainPage.xaml
2. Find the line that says:

And, change it to:

Problem: No Landscape Mode. Here's how to fix it:
1. After you have exported the app from Construct 2, open MainPage.xaml
2. Find the line that says:
SupportedOrientations="Portrait" Orientation="Portrait"

And, change it to:
SupportedOrientations="Landscape" Orientation="Landscape"

That should do it! =]

UPDATE: The landscape mode problem has now been fixed! (2013-12-19)

~ Danial Goodwin ~

Error: The Windows Phone Emulator wasn't able to ensure the virtual machine was running

Here's just another problem that I experienced while trying to create a Windows Phone app. It didn't come up last night for my last app. So, I figured out that I was running too many things at once for my 4GB RAM laptop. Or, should I say, Windows was running too many things? The one differentiating factor between last night and tonight was that tonight there was a "Windows Maintenance in progress". But, it wasn't too bad. I just closed out every other program I had open, including the Dropbox sync and I was able to continue opening the Windows Phone WXGA emulator so that I could take screenshots for the store.

Here's the full error report:
[Window Title]Windows Phone Emulator 
[Content]The Windows Phone Emulator wasn't able to ensure the virtual machine was running:
Something happened while starting a virtual machine: 'Emulator WXGA.danial' could not initialize. (Virtual machine ID C3F3456A-1234-ASDF-87GH-ABD23456GG90)
Not enough memory in the system to start the virtual machine Emulator WXGA.danial with ram size 1024 megabytes. (Virtual machine ID C3F3456A-1234-ASDF-87GH-ABD23456GG90)

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Construct 2: Exporting To Windows Phone Part 2

So, part 1 of issues isn't enough. The next issue happened when trying to create screenshots for the Windows Phone upload. A screenshot size of 768x1280 is required. Unfortunately, my Windows Phone 8 (Lumia Nokia 820) only takes screenshots at 480x800. Also, I'd rather not scale up the images that much, making them possibly pixelated and not as pleasant for viewers with devices of high fidelity. So, I learned that the default emulator also captures screenshots at 480x800.

Here's what I missed:
- I should have chosen the WXGA emulator, not the WVGA emulator. Just a slight difference there.

Now, everything's all good. I should have anymore hiccups as I publish this Windows Phone app made with Construct 2.

I found a use for the 480x800 screenshot I took. ;)

~ Danial Goodwin ~

Construct 2: Exporting to Windows Phone

Windows Phone app certification requires games to have "Back" button functionality. E.g. Main menu should exit app and other pages should either go back within the game for navigation or bring up a pause popup.

So, using the plugin + strategy mentioned here, I was able to bring the Windows Phone app up to standards for publishing. There is a great function/event/action that can be called to intercept the back button presses so that the developer can do whatever.

Also, I didn't use the entire strategy mentioned at the above link, but that's the method I would recommend others to take. I took the harder method just for learning how the plugin worked and involves moving a lot of code around manually and breaks some of the functionalities in the plugin so that only `Back` works. But, eventually, I think I will share the specifics for learning about the C2 plugins.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Level Up! Applying Textures to Graphics

Before today, I had no idea how to apply textures to a picture, nor how long it would take. I now know that it takes less than five minutes once you have the graphics. And, this was my first time doing it! And, I didn't even look up how to do this texturizing thing. I had a lucky guess that just worked. My choice of graphics program was Paint.NET.

 Here's some screenshots of the work: A before, an after, and my final app that I'm producing for kids. Big kids too if you like. ;]

First, I put the texture (candy cane) in one layer and put the object in a different layer .

2. Use the magic-wand-selector to select the text. 3. Change layers. 4. Copy. 5. Paste in a new project.

Here's how it looks in the app, Help Santa!

+1 Graphics skill level!

~ Danial Goodwin ~

Bug Fix: Windows Phone Not Detected, Can't Connect To Windows Phone Developer Registration

The Problem:
"Status: Unable to connect to a phone. For Windows Phone 7 phones make sure the Zune software is running and the Zune recognizes your phone. For Windows Phone 8 phones make sure that the Windows Phone IP Over USB Transport (IpOverUsbSvc) service is running."

The Solution:
- What worked for me was just using a regular USB cable and plugging it in directly to the computer rather than going through an USB hub.

- For many other, what works is ensuring that "Windows Phone IP Over USB Transport" (IpOverUsbSvc) is running. How to do that? Here's an easiest way: Go into start, search "Administrative Tools" -> Click "Services", then find and double-click on "Windows Phone IP Over USB Transport", and find the start or maybe even the reset button.

~ Danial Goodwin ~

C2: Bug Fix for Windows Phone Orientation

Currently, in Construct 2 r152, there is a bug that always puts the Windows Phone 8 export in portrait mode. This can be changed after exporting and viewing in Visual Studios. Open MainPage.xaml, find the line that says orientation or portrait and change that value to landscape, or whatever you would like.

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Creating Windows Apps With Construct 2

I plan on creating 100 games with Construct 2. I'll be writing about all/most of my experiences of using the program. Originally, I was thinking about creating a separate blog for just this endeavor, but I already have too many blog concurrently. So, posts in this blog with be tagged "construct 2" and "c2" when they are related to this.

Goals for each game:
 - I must learn something for every game I create.
 - I must feel reasonably good about them. Though, they also may not be my best work.
 - These games should be publishable.
 - At first, the games will only be published to the Windows 8 Store and Windows Phone Store.

Why only Windows?
Mainly because it's currently the best platform to publish to. The Windows platforms may not have the largest market share, but they still do have millions upon millions of users. Soon, just about ever computer will be running Windows 8, and they will need apps to download, my apps. ;)

After goals:
After accumulating all the knowledge that comes from creating 100 different games. I mostly likely will update the most popular ones with more levels/features. Then, we'll see. =]

~ Danial Goodwin ~


Dan Vs Meatball Subs

Not sure if meatball sub or pizza sub...

I had a revelation today.

I thought I liked meatball subs that I got from sub places (e.g. Subway). But, as I was making my own homemade version, I figured out that the main reason I like it so much is because it is cleverly disguised as a pizza sub!

After-the-fact, this is now really obvious. A pizza in any form is still pizza, a delicious meal. Sub shops can sell two different names, but deliver the same product.


~ Danial Goodwin ~