Finally, my epic coding sessions are just about finished, and I can get back to travelling and blogging. It’s not that I mind coding; in fact, along with travelling, it’s one of my favorite things. But it does get a bit intense at times.
Making a few changes here and there is no big deal, but doing something major involves keeping large amounts of design and code in your head. Sure, I could make notes, but that would get very time-consuming, and by the time I’d finished with the notes, I’d still want to get it all back into my head. And once it’s in my head, that’s pretty-much all I can think about. Even in the middle of the night! So, basically, the last few weeks have been kind of crazy.
Now; it’s time to find all the bugs. They’re in there. They always are. And it takes time to find them. I hate checking my e-mail and finding something in the “Support Forms” folder. Normally it’s spam, but a couple of times a year a user uncovers some “anomaly” as we like to call bugs. I much prefer to find them myself, before I submit the apps to Apple and Google.
Now, the nice thing is, the only way I can find the bugs in this app, is by travelling. Kill two stones with one bird. Or something. You see, I do use my own apps, especially TRiPi(tm) my Tripmeter app. When I was travelling with the Road to Mandalay Rally in February, TRiPi was in constant use. But it made me realize there was something missing. I either had to keep swapping between TRiPi and Google Maps, or use two devices. Normally it was the latter, but it was a bit of a challenge keeping everything visible, and charged. So, I thought, TRiPi needs maps. And now TRiPi has maps.
Well, it has maps; plus it shows you where you are, provides a trace of where you’ve been, and drops little arrows on the map every time you tap a tripmeter button. But I can’t test that sitting on my buns in my office. So, I think Ms. Chuckles, Bert and I will be travelling a lot with TRiPi over the next few weeks, until all the bugs have been squished.
So far, I’m quite impressed. The iPad’s GPS sensors are so sensitive they can even tell which lane I’m in. And you’re probably thinking “Good boy… keeping to the left” but the fact is, the majority of Thailand’s drivers sit in the right lane on any kind of expressway. Which means having to move left to overtake. There’s no point asking “Why?” … like most things, it’s just they way it is. Although I do have a couple of theories. Big trucks tend to make the left lanes uneven, so the right lanes give a more comfortable ride. And, really slow vehicles, like the local buses or songthaew do keep left, so you can avoid them by keeping right. But they’re just theories. Anyhoo…
Talking of bugs, it’s been hot here in my part of Thailand. Well, all of Thailand. And, soon after I moved here, I kept hearing the most incredible racket outside. An insanely loud buzzing sound mid-morning and early-evening. It seemed to be coming from the trees, so I assumed was being made by thousand of … well, something. Bugs, I assumed. If you happen to be close to the trees, the noise is almost deafening.
So, I wondered if they knew the time, and I started making a mental note of when I heard them. Hmm, 10.05 one day, 10.55 the next, then 11.10. Not exactly on schedule. Same variation in an evening. So then I wondered if they knew the temperature, and checked the thermometer every time I heard them. Ah ha! Yes, they do. They start-up their racket at 28 degrees. They’re at full volume by 28.5, and tail off at 29 degrees. And reverse the sequence in an evening. Amazing.
But I haven’t heard them for several weeks. Why? Because the temperature hasn’t gone down to 28 degrees in several weeks! Well, maybe at 5am, but I’ve never heard the bugs during the night, although perhaps a combination of the aircon and my snoring blocks them out. The latter would block out a low fly-past of the Red Arrows!
But by the time I get up at 6-ish, it’s already 29 to 30, and has been hitting 37 to 38 degrees mid-afternoon, dropping to 30 by midnight. I haven’t lived here long enough to know if this is unusual, but it certainly wasn’t this hot last year. In fact, early mornings were way cooler than where I lived in Malaysia. It was pleasant – 20 to 25. Now, it’s not. It’s hot! And talking of aircons, I’m not looking forward to my electricity bill, as 24/7, there’s at least one of them running.
I guess that’ll be another good reason to go travelling. Give the aircons a rest.
Anyways, about the bugs, the noisy ones I mean – I Googled and Wikied and learned they are a type of cicada. One type does indeed buzz at 29 degrees, so I guess my thermometer is slightly off, or the cicadas are. And, yes, they are loud. Up to 120db. In fact, one “singing” next to your ear can deafen you. Yes you, not me. Having spent what seems like half of my life hanging over a pit wall at a race circuit somewhere in the world, I’m already half deaf. Well, it serves as a good excuse for blocking out people I don’t want to listen to! And why don’t the cicadas deafen themselves? Apparently they have a way to turn off their hearing while they’re deafening everyone else. I know several people with that ability!
So, there you have it. I’ll leave the bugs at home, while I go looking for bugs.