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Twittering.. what's the point?
I recently started twitting again.   @sunjeevgulati

I'm not a twitter guru.  I believe my stats right now are:   16 tweets, following 4 people, 3 people following me.  The three folks who follow me all know me in person.   One is a buddy here in Louisville, one is a former coworker from Ames, and the other I met at a conference.   I tried following some other folks for a bit, but wow they talked a lot.   A LOT.  I felt drained reading their stuff.   I didn't even know them in person.   So I let that go.

What's the point?

For that, I need to go back to my high-school days, in Bong County, Liberia, West Africa.

I would spend time at school just dreaming about what I was going to code that evening.  I would draw things out on graph paper.. oh the magic that I would make happen.  I would got off the bus, rush into the house, and ... play with the dog and ride my bicycle, because we didn't have electricity, not till 4pm (due to diesel shortages for running the generators).  But!  at 4pm, the electricity would come on, and I would have a sacred 4 hours to:

a) type in my program on the TI-99/4A
b) get it debugged
c) run it
d) possibly save it
and then, the lights would go out again.

I wrote space chasing games, I wrote simulators of planetary gravity, i wrote an amazing 64 pixel x 64 pixel graphics engine that let me draw aribrary lines on the screen..  The universe was wide open for me.

Now, mix and match - about the same time, I got to play with a C=64, and a TRS-80 Model III.   I knew that programming was where I wanted to go. 

Through my college years, the technology changed - VMS and VT340 terminals, Sixel graphics, and OMG! a Unix account ... vi ruled.  I had a PC as well, and Turbo Pascal was my friend.  Graphics got better.  I wrote programs to auto-run the console to a Net-hack-like game, so that I could roll the dice till I got a good character, and then auto-save the character.  I wrote programs to mine dictionaries for patterns of natural language, and then use that to generate a tome of possible names of rpg characters.   

And then I found LPMud's, and everything went to a whole new level.  We're talking realm generators, natural language reponses, email clients, automatic monster dueling tournaments to deduce monster levels...

Then I got employed.  My day job - pretty boring - Clipper programming, but it was a nice language.  At night: I worked more on the mud. We wrote a sea-world with ships (thank you Quag).

Several Job changes later - more boring stuff.  I still worked on fun programming at home.

Then something changed.   I think.. life got pretty hard.  There were financial things going on, there was.. stuff not relevant to this post.  But, what happened is, i stopped coding at home.   I just coded at work.    I was still current.. being a Perl hack at the time.   Later, moving to C#.  But, it had started - I only learned so that I could solve problems at work, I did not do any coding at home, no side projects.

8 years later - I submitted my resume to a company, and I heard back: "Sorry, but you're just not current enough."   I, who used to be THE Hack.  Who got three offers based on my reputation, without people seeing my resume.   

But they were right.  The company I was working for, were not the most current in their technology, and I was just doing what I needed to keep my day job working smoothly.

I made a decision that this would change.   
I made a decision to make "coding for fun" a part of my weekly schedule.. currently at two evenings a week.  
Important enough to put some other hobbies on the shelf for a bit.
I decided that maybe my little idea (secret!) is worthy enough to code into a real application that maybe I could derive an income stream from (even if its very little).

And wouldn't you know it - I get approached by a bunch of guys doing a startup (the same core guys I used to code on the MUD with 20 years ago), so I have that whole project that's starting to ramp up.

So.. what the twittering is:

Its my accountability to myself that I choose to be fresh.

So if I investigate something interesting.. a concept, a technology .. I'm going to tweet it.
If I accomplish something in any of my geeky aspects ... music, running, martial arts, etc... I'm going to tweet (& facebook) it.

And I will not be stale like that again.


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