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What I'm Up To - Week 24, 2019

Hi! Welcome, this is my weekly post where I talk about what I did over the course of the week. This week was another fairly easy week, because I took a mini-vacation


Langton's Ant (Map)

Early this week I continued work on the Langton's Ant experiment I wrote about last week. I decided to keep running with the "landscape generator" idea and made some big changes. Namely, the use of Langton's ant got restricted to one or two lava sources, and one or two water sources. To keep the idea of terrain generation going, after a lava source tile is 'placed' by the ant, it evolves naturally over time and in reaction to stimuli.

I'm a bit fatigued from this weekend's activities, and the project is nowhere near "complete" (if there is a "complete"), so I'm not going to go out of my way to post a screenshot. But the repository is now public, so you could easily download what I'm calling "Langton's Map" and run it yourself to see.


Numu Tracker

Two weeks ago I mentioned creating a new Numu Track beta for TestFlight users. It seemed weird to have a new version but basically no new real features, so I tried to think of something else I could do. I realized that I feel way more comfortable with UIKit and iOS development than ever before, maybe I should try to create a "proper" iPad version of Numu? And besides, Apple's requiring it in 2020 (or at least I thought I read that somewhere and can't find it now).

Long story short, doing so was pretty easy! iPad apps seem to have a really low bar these days, so it is really just a scaled up iPhone app, but it does look a lot better. I also implemented a SplitViewController for the Your Artists screen, which looks really nice! You can see it in action by joining the Numu Tracker TestFlight.


Motorcycle School

I went to Motorcycle School this weekend! It was part of my mini-vacation. My girlfriend decided she wanted to buy a scooter, and wanted to go to motorcycle school, so I went with her for fun. It was a lot of fun, so much so now I'm considering getting a motorcycle. I ended up recommending taking the class just for fun to a guy working at a sandwich shop near the range!

I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun challenge. Riding a motorcycle is surprisingly complicated and it's given me an even greater appreciation of what motorcyclists are going through out on the roads. Even though I want a motorcycle now, the idea of riding it out in traffic (especially in West Los Angeles where drivers are especially aggressive and impatient) sounds absolutely terrifying.

I join some other people I've heard who suggest that everyone who drives a car should have to take a motorcycle class, just to gain that additional appreciation and awareness of motorcyclists.


That was it for me this week. I'll see you next week!


Well hello there!

My name is Brad Root and I'm a software engineer, music aficionado, and occasional unicyclist.

In my spare time, I build open source software, and write about my experiences as a programmer here on this blog.

You can also find me on Twitter, GitHub, and LinkedIn.

If you enjoy the apps I build or articles I write, please consider supporting me by becoming a patron.

Support these projects by becoming a Patron
Numu Tracker

Numu Tracker can keep you up to date on music by the artists you love the most. Part to-do list, part reminders and alerts, Numu gives you the tools to ensure you never miss out on new albums.

View on App StoreView on Github
Life Saver

Life Saver is an implementation of Conway's Game of Life as an abstract, colorful, highly configurable Apple TV app and macOS screensaver that should please designers and nerds alike.

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Gamebook Engine

Gamebook Engine is an iOS app for creating and playing gamebooks, a type of interactive fiction where the player gets to make decisions that influence the story.

View on TestFlightView on Github
Aeon Garden

Aeon Garden is an abstract artificial life toy for iOS, tvOS, and macOS. A virtual fish tank for all your screens, watch creatures evolve to generative ambient soundscapes.

View on Github