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What I Do When I'm Stuck

A quick little post today on my routine that I go through when I'm stuck. Let's say that I'm programming and I'm hitting a wall, maybe I'm getting frustrated that I can't figure something out, and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Despite being a supreme genius of the universe, this happens to me all the time. Now I have a little routine that I go through systematically, and eighty percent of the time or so it gets me moving again.

The first thing I do is I clean up my desk. I hate to admit that I'm influenced by such trivial things as desk clutter, but a nice empty clean desk has a real calming effect on the mind. Sometimes I even wipe it down with soap and water so that it's really clean. This sounds a little bit crazy, but I've noticed a consistent improvement in motivation when I do it. I also clean anything in front of me. In the RV, that's the two front seats and whatever's on the kitchen counter beside me.

Next I drink about sixteen ounces of water, even if I'm not thirsty. Left to my own devices, I drink very little water unless I'm at a restaurant, so I use frustration as a cue that I might need more water. Sometimes I have tea cold-brewing in the fridge, and I might drink that instead. Being even moderately dehydrated brings on feeling of fatigue, which can be confused with (or a part of) not being able to concentrate. Drinking water doesn't always have an effect, but sometimes it wakes me right up.

After cleaning and drinking some water, I play my violin. You can substitute anything left-brained here, like sketching or playing piano. I have theories about why this helps-- maybe it spins up the left brain and starts using it to tackle the problem at hand, maybe it gives the right brain a break to recharge its chemicals, or maybe it's all placebo. Regardless, I find that a good portion of the time after I play some music, I'll think of a totally different solution to the problem that I hadn't even considered before.

Augmented Reality by Siamak Ashrafi & Mobile Energy Consumption by Frank Maker

On DROdio

I attended a great Android Meetup tonight by the Silicon Valley Android Developers Meetup (which, amazingly, has over 1,800 members).  There were several presenters tonight.  The first was Siamak Ashrafi, who talked about Augmented Reality and described the differences between Augmented Reality with GPS Markers vs. Fiduciary Markers.  You can find his presentation slides here.  The slides also have a few great videos showing AR off.  This Android group has recently created a forum for Android developers in Silicon Valley.

Frank Maker then gave a talk about Mobile Energy Consumption and ways to use software to decrease energy consumption.  That video is also below.

Siamak Ashrafi Augmented Reality Video:

I attended a great Android Meetup tonight by the Silicon Valley Android Developers Meetup (which, amazingly, has over 1,800 members).  There were several presenters tonight.  The first was Siamak Ashrafi, who talked about Augmented Reality and described the differences between Augmented Reality with GPS Markers vs. Fiduciary Markers.  You can find his presentation slides here.  The slides also have a few great videos showing AR off.  This Android group has recently created a forum for Android developers in Silicon Valley. Frank Maker then gave a talk about Mobile Energy Consumption and ways to use software to decrease energy consumption.  That video is also below. Siamak Ashrafi Augmented Reality Video: Mobile Energy Consumption by Frank Maker:

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