Updated Avatar

Yesterday I've updated my public avatar.

It had passed quite some time since the last time I had a good reason to do so, and I finally found a good picture that would illustrate my state of mind at this moment.

The new avatar features my baby child Miguel and myself during the baptism party of a cousin's newborn baptism that occurred this past weekend. It's also one of those rare situations were I get to wear a tie so the photo itself reminds me that sometimes one needs to set loose from the work ties and give some attention to the family.

This kid has been a blessing in my life and I can't avoid making a smile whenever I look on the pictures to remind me of how lucky I am for having this kid and the respective mother on my life.


Step 1 for a new life.

Well.. today I've got the confirmation of what I've been waiting for a long time.

My current employer authorized a prolonged absence from work that will last the next 6 months until the end of January 2010.

This means the first 6 months of my life without a single salary for the first time in a decade but at the same time I simply couldn't feel happier at this moment as this change also means 6 months living a very desired goal in my life and fight for a chance to improve my work quality as the results are already visible.

On a financial level, things are sort of stabilized for the moment. I've reached my income saving objectives and gathered enough resources to sponsor my own education costs which will be substantial during the next 2 years.

Still missing to figure how to provide my own subsistence in the U.S. without spending these savings, guess that a bank loan is in order but I'm leaving this option as the last resort since life after the studies won't be easy either and each saved coin will count to balance the monthly expenses.

But so far so good.

It's kind of scary to see everything falling into the correct position as if this is ordered like a huge puzzle. A lot of things are in motion and a lot of things can still go wrong in the future but I'm trying to live with all doors open in order to face any possible obstacles as they come along.

The last and perhaps most ubiquous decision will be the penalty imposed by my employer in case I decide to move away after the 6 months. But if things really go well (crossing my fingers here) then I won't certainly regret my decision.

As always, time is short for everything but somehow things get balanced.

Life is fun again.


My first LOC counter

Yesterday I've completed my first LOC counter.

LOC stands for "Lines Of Code" and the basic purpose is to count the number of valid lines of code that were written for a specific program.

First of all, in order to be able to count anything - you will need to specify a coding standard template.

This template is a small paper with all the rules regarding the way how code should be written for a given task. For example, avoid excessive capitalization, split each logical statement onto it's own line, assign meaningful titles to variables and so on and on.

My first attempt at designing a LOC was fairly simplistic. It simply stripped away the comments or empty lines be done with it.

But this wasn't a very realistic view of the true LOC.

As mentioned by the teacher, adding tags to the code would be more productive (even thought not mentioned in the task requirements) and so I did.

The results couldn't have been better.

I simply add "//TAG:X" (where X is replaced by the code of the category where the code belongs) and it will count all valid lines until the "//finished" tag is found.

Very simple but also very effective. This way I'm capable of truly counting the lines of quality code between what has been added, modified or recycled.

The PSP also requires to count deleted lines so I've made another tag "//DELETED,15", where 15 is the number of deleted lines.

This sort of software is really interesting, in the past I'd simply count all lines from top to bottom, most admit that this is a substantial improvement.

Unfortunately, all these modifications and all the troubles of moving away from the Azores made my fall behind schedule to deliver the assignments. I better start working to get back on track..