Well, I wasn’t supposed to become a WordPress freelancer, but that’s what has been available lately. Perhaps it is a blessing and this is actually the pace I should be moving while doing my web developement studies… But to keep things moving smoothly, I’ve been using Asana to keep my projects organized — it’s free and simple!
I was introduced to Asana last year during my internship, but once that gig was over, I just had this useless app on my phone. In the current Android app (ver 6.21.2) there didn’t seem to be any way to change my workspace or organization.
So Asana languished on my phone for a bit, teetering on the brink of uninstallment, when I came across this thoughtful blog post by Josh Hrach, encouraging use of Asana for side projects.
I had to switch to the desktop site to add a new workspace (pictured below). Clicking on my top-right profile photo then clicking “More” and “Create new workspace” did it nicely.
But then when you need a new project task list and you are kinda lacking in the skrilla department for a premium template, you have to make your own. A task in and of itself!
Paper and Oats has a lovely blog post on how to do this, complete with a downloadable PDF task list. The post has aged quite well! But if you don’t need a huge, agency-sized task list (their items included “customer gift”,) you can use any old text list.
You already have a list — your deliverables, or even a paper to-do list! Just open a blank text file and copy-paste all the milestones/deliverables from your client service agreement, project proposal, or project contract. If you don’t have one, forget about Asana; go fill out one of these templates —
Once you have the major deliverables listed up, copy everything and Add new project in Asana’s left sidebar, choosing a Blank project template. Name it whatever you want…
Click “Create project”.
Now click the blue “Add task” button and DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE! Just click Add task, and then use CTRL-V to paste your clipboard contents (or CMD-V). Asana will make your text into separate tasks. Don’t worry if any popups appear, just paste.
If you mess up like I did, just go back and erase with TAB+BACKSPACE keys, or click to delete inside the popup dialog. Then paste again. Press ENTER on your keyboard and CTRL-V again to add more tasks.
But wait — don’t forget to set time goals for each task by adding Due dates. That’s it for a simple Asana project!
With Hurricane Lane approaching, sitting around eating snacks, I fully intended to work on Python all weekend. So how did I end up coding a wireframe? After spending a day figuring out how to install Python on my paid hosting server, I began to feel that a Flask web app at this stage in my learning, was like swatting a fly with a tank. I just need a basic, simple project to get going and to start the portfolio ball rolling, so to speak.
So I started searching for how to build a web app. I came across Sketch, then realized it was only for Mac OS. Since I’m not buying a Mac just to run one program, I started searching for alternatives. I found Adobe dx, but it doesn’t run on Win 7 (yes, I am running Win 7, downgraded a new Kabylake
laptop because I cannot STAND Win 10). A bit more searching turned up the lovely Figma web tool.
Wireframing in Figma
Figma is awesome, very easy to use and very fast. But after making a few wireframes, I had no idea how to code them. A search for “how to code a wireframe” brought me to Jesse Showalter’s series, “Design & Code a Responsive Landing Page from Start to Finish”. I thought it best to start from the first video. He pretty much did everything I had just done in Figma, only he used Sketch.
So the next day, I decided to watch it again, paused it, watched it, paused it MANY times to follow along and decipher what he was talking about.
I already had node and npm installed. Jesse uses GitHub but lately I’m trying out GitLab instead. It seems you can use GitHub Desktop with a GitLAB repository; just go to your GitLab project page and select “Create personal access token”, then copy-paste that https URL into GitHub desktop under the Clone tab.
Installing Gulp and Sass was also super-simple, and Jesse has the framework all set up and ready to use so it’s easy to follow along after deleting the previous project-specific code.
Gulp watches things and refreshes your browser for you!
Challenging if you’ve never used Java before, but still very illuminating for beginners who can keep up. Basically mimic what Bill Butterfield does in every step of his video, Android Studio for Beginners Part 2.
Just by pressing pause and rewind very often, I was able to follow the video and learn a bit more Java. Below are the screen caps from my version. I went with StartPage instead of Google, but other than that they are almost identical.
creating a second activity and a link which spawns a mobile browser
Browser opens after clicking Startpage button
My version of AS (3.1.1) seems a bit newer than the one in the video, which can be confusing sometimes because the screens don’t look the same.
In Part 3, Bill walks us through ListView and placing images.
Last week I downloaded Android Studio version 3.1.1. Playing around with an app builder for the second time ever (I’ve tried a couple of online app builders such as Andromo) I looked at a video called Android Studio for Beginners part 1, by Bill Butterfield, on YouTube. Was able to install it with few issues (except for making a donation to eclipse which turned out to be unnecessary, argh), then with much pausing of the video, drag/drop the elements of the practice app. Trying to run the app using an Android virtual device (AVD) was the longest part so far, it generated so many errors. I’m only halfway through the video!! Finally after getting the emulator to work, I’m now working on the part of the video where Bill writes the — wait for it — actual Java code. To be continued…
This time I’m posting in English because I think this will only be useful for Japanese-as-a-second-language folks. So I often use the Google app for drafting texts/email by voice in Japanese. This is because I’m much better at speaking than writing in Japanese. But Google doesn’t have any speech punctuation like it does in English. For example, if Ⅰ’m dictating a text message in English and I’m ending an interrogative sentence I say, “question mark” and the correct punctuation appears. But in Japanese, if I say “hatena” into the microphone, Google prints the word, 「はてな」which is really annoying. So I usually dictate the entire message and then go back and hunt through it to add the missing brackets, commas, periods, and question marks.
Swype keyboard with Star Trek skin. The microphone icon is a communicator.
BUT Swype wants a lot of permissions. I just switched off everything except Microphone. And I keep rotating my default keyboard in Settings, because they are basically tricky little keyloggers in my humble opinion.
The other problem was, I was saying the wrong words like “chon” for a period. nakamahalog also provides this handy chart of what to call all the punctuation marks when using Swype (and probably Google, whenever they get around to this functionality). I took the liberty of adding the yomikata below:
大かっこ開く dai kakko hiraku
大かっこ閉じる dai kakko tojiru
黒さんかく kuro sankaku
感嘆符／ビックリマーク／ kantan fu / bikkuri māku エクスクラメーション・マーク ekusukuramēshon māku