My first year of university was in Arts and Sciences. I had planned on following in my brothers footsteps, but I missed the deadline for engineering. I wasn’t wasting a year, I was still going to take some classes that would count toward an engineering degree. I took two computer classes that year. It was 1998, the first year the U of S taught Java. I was lost, the method of instruction left a lot to be desired. I passes the first class, but didn’t really feel like I understood anything. I dropped my computer class in the second semester after only three weeks of classes. I also struggled through my math class and feared going into engineering with my weak math skills. Now I think that a big part of it was the six years between high school and university that gave my math skills plenty of time to oxidize.
The next year I took many English and History classes and the year after that, I enrolled in the college of education as an English major with a History minor. I still loved computers, but I just couldn’t imagine writing code.
Now I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been busy learning PHP/MySQL. After reading PHP and MySQL Web Development by Welling & Thomson, I realized I needed to make something if I was going to remember anything I had read. I started making a little app that I’m calling The Balancing Act. It stores records of expense and income into a database. So far it’s sortable by date, amount and category. I can add, edit and remove entries and categories. I’m having fun thinking of things that could improve the usage of The Balancing Act and then learning the PHP or MySQL needed to do it. It’s simple but i’m having fun doing it.
I set up a Movable Type site for my parents to post their photos. I set it up so that it would be very easy to use. The description went into the Entry Body and the name of the photo went into the Extended Entry. After I showed them how to use it, I realized that it might be too difficult for them to use, and I needed a new project.
A day later and all my parents have to do is upload the photos along with a thumbnail. If they want a new album, they just create a new folder. Folders that start with an underscore are ignored so that I could place functions and other included files in a folder. All other folders are listed on the index page with the name of the album and number of photos. There are no comments or descriptions. It is supposed to be simple, and it is. I may yet add the ability to read a text file from each folder with a category description, but I should just keep it simple. I do need to fix the paths. Right now the function file contains a variable that sets the home directory. I know I should be able to change it so that it just works.