2011-10-08

Long time no posting

Silly of me not to update this blog more often. Since i last posted (and was active on this blog) i've completely changed the direction of my company, basically i had plans to make a Java Bytecode-> C compiler to enable game companies to port their J2ME games to various platforms. Then the iPhone really gained traction and most people abandoned J2ME game development (not negative really!), i also heard from some friends at a company doing some similiar tools about how their time is mostly spent on support (i went on my own to be able to focus on doing products and not support/consulting in the long term) and then Oracle happened (no need to elaborate on that) and that was the final nail in that coffin.

During the time since the last blogging i've also been on leave with my kids and spent some time trying to figure out what to focus on. In the end the most sane choice (even with all competition) seemed to get back into actual game development and try to make some money.

During this time i've made a few game prototypes i'm now in the process of porting one of them to the iPhone. The link to the playable Ant General prototype is here (the performace is sadly bad on FF3 but it should work pretty well on most modern browsers).

2009-03-25

Bureaucracy

My companys first fiscal year ended in August last year, that means that i must submit a fully audited financial report to the government within 7 months or face a fine. As this was my first time doing this it took a while to get it done and when i finally came around to submitting it the auditing firm about a month ago they apperantly were short staffed due to sickness. Finally i got a call on monday where they said that they'll be finished this week.

Still i'm only one week away from the final submission date and as the agency(Bolagsverket) is warning about a 5 day "handling" time i'm really on a short limb here. After reading up on the rules regarding online submission i really wasn't sure about how they do things as it seems like incorporated firms must use various kinds of software to generate files in some kind of format, so i decided to call them up and ask about applies if you don't want to spend money just to send something (or by some ideological or other choice would be running an operating system that doesn't have these apps).

The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi, i'm wondering if i could submit a scanned PDF through an authenticated service instead of sending in papers? (Afaik everything will be scanned to pdf by them)
Lady on the phone: Hang on a second It says here that you have to have this program..
Me: yes, i read your page but is there a specific reason you can't accept a scanned document for an incorporated company but you will accept it for private business?
Lady on the phone: um... um.... um.... well ... umm ... umm.. well because you have to use one of these programs.
Me: <*sigh*> Ok nevermind

I don't think that this type of behaviour is an exclusivly Swedish thing, but i suspect it's more common here due to labour laws and the way the Swedish government tries to subsidize cities that looses jobs due to big companies shutting factories or the government closing down things like military bases.

Now before any politically correct Swede comes around and accuses me of being a "big-city-slicker", i'd like to point out the fact that i grew up in a small town in the northern part of the country (Haparanda) and i actually belive that you can make a financial case of moving many service jobs out to smaller towns with lower living costs.

But as with everything you actually have to have a plan and do stuff properly, the Swedish model of providing a job to people to keep them employed for the sake of employment and reducing unemployment numbers doesn't help ANYBODY the slightest bit.

2009-02-19

Late, but better that than never.

When i initially "started" this blog i was kinda swamped with my creating the reports for my previous fiscal year, so the promised post didn't show up. And after finishing that i've been sick and had to catch up a bit on other work. Regardless of that, here's my second post.

24hour business camp has passed (yeah it passed when i wrote the first post) and i gotta say that it intrigued me in several ways.

Partly as someone else already commented it did remind me of the demoparties i used to attend, people comming together and grinding out something before some arbitary deadline. Many people (i'm a prime example myself) tend to have this idea about doing stuff really well and forgetting that stuff needs to be out to be relevant at all. The counter argument is usually that you might end up with other headaches such as supporting buggy behaviour,scaling and such, but before you release you really don't know what those problems are going to be.

As for the sites people released at the event i gotta say that it was quite a mixed bag in my opinion. It wasn't that exciting to see a bunch of me-too that were some of the first ones i spotted. The other thing that saddened me was that some people were just there to get publicity for rather generic sites.

On the upside there was a bunch of really cool ideas and some sites that weren't original but certainly filled a niche that given time, exposure and luck oughta be profitable. I've actually forgot what ones i voted for but 2 of them were tampongdax and barnamun simply because i think they should be able to turn a profit big enough to sustain themselves. I think i missed the point of 90sec when voting earlier but i would definetly say that it goes within that same category.

I think Voicly was the truly most unconventional idea of the entire camp and somehow i wasn't surprised that one of the authors was Fredrik Berglund that also was in on the initial idea of Squace. As cool as the idea is i don't think it'd ever be truly successful, but i for one would be glad to be proven wrong as Fredrik is a cool guy.

Of all entries for 24hbc my definite favourite idea was SiteGuard. I don't know if it tells more about me or the crowd voting at the 24hbc site that SiteGuard was actually in the absolute bottom.

Malware and spam on the net isn't going to decrease, on the contrary at the same rate as more customized software(webapps and sites) is deployed on the net there are going to be exploits targeting those. Already today spamming and malware scripts targets most login sites and sites protected with captchas, providing us with a situation where you will end up with nasty things on your pages regardless of the measures you put in. Also as a developer you always don't get exactly the view of your site that your customers do most of the time, it's quite common to find problems with sites during off-hours just because you're in a more "common" environment when surfing from home for example.

Because of these reasons i feel that SiteGuard has the potential to protect the site that your customers see, saving both manual effort required to remove things and embarassment when you do miss things that your customers get exposed to simply because they work as an external resource. The main problem of SiteGuard is that the site doesn't work(?), the site is also very light on information about what malware is detected and finally there seems to be a total lack of customization for your own site. F.ex. it would be a good idea to be able to provide a sample-login for the scanner to be able to access the "inner" site. Regardless of all this, the idea is brilliant.

PS: I'm at full speed working on my first public product, i'm hoping to release more information and a beta soon.

2009-01-24

A blog?

I've not really considered making a blog before, but various events colluded me into starting one (atleast temporarily).

Most importantly my company starts comming closer to actually producing things so having a forum where i can communicate things with the world feels like a good idea. So this will help me to announce things, offer help on common questions, giving out interesting code snippets and lots of other things without complicating things too much.

Running a company has also provided me with many new insights on how the Swedish society works, i'm not gonna go too closely into details here but sometimes you do get an overwhelming urge to write long rants. In this same vein i've also taken a keen interest in entrepreneurial subjects (my second post will actually be about this).

I recently also became a dad and there is always lots of great things for a fresh parent to tell about, but i'm still not sure if i want to communicate about him too much in public as he doesn't really have any say about things at this age.

And well all the other great or not so great reasons for starting a blog.

Now let's get this thing rolling...

ps: the "old blog" that was at this address was actually a test of the systems we had at Squace when i was contracting for them.