HELLO

こんにちは

THE TIME IS NOW

F80 M3 BUILD LOG
It's been quite a while since I've had a spare moment to post on here. I've been insanely busy with work and various side projects, not to mention, an abundant amount of family events. Much to my pleasure, and amidst the insanity, I managed to complete one of my biggest goals in the past few years.
A few months ago, I picked up a brand new 2018 F80 M3: Competition & Executive packages, plus a few other goodies. This massive purchase, admittedly, was largely attributed to the brilliant marketing schemes embedded in Mission Impossible 5 (2015). Ever since I saw the movie in theaters, I had almost immediately made the decision to get the car. A few years later, that dream has finally come true. I've never been happier or more obsessed with a single car, and I'm so glad I waited for this year's model. I was a bit worried about the next model G80's physical appearance, so I intentionally grabbed the last of the F80s.

And... to the point of this post... I'm going to start a simple build log for the car. I've always enjoyed reading about other peoples' builds, and although I don't really consider myself a car enthusiast like them, I still have a few additions that I intend to apply to my car. Why not share it with the zero people who read my website every year! Click on the banner image to view more.
RAIBLOCKS WALLET
RaiBlocks is one of the many crypto currencies that seem to be exploding right now. My brother has enlisted my help in developing a RaiBlocks wallet mobile application.
Wireframing is already done (won't be displayed here), and development is underway. We hope to release this within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
HALO WIREFRAME
Here's a snippet of a somewhat detailed wireframe that I had created for NugenTech's Halo mobile application. My 'wireframing' philosophy is such that if I have content prepared, I'm going to include it from the beginning. Most wireframes are very primative compared to what I have here. I'd say, in many cases, mine might be also. It really just depends on the current dev environment, timeframe, assets available prior to UX design planning/research, etc.
I gathered inspiration for this wireframe design from a few examples that I found online. Everything was created and templated in Illustrator and Photoshop for resuability. I'll try to upload more later.
INTRODUCTING HALO
I've been pretty busy with projects this past year, one of them being my current job over at NugenTech, Inc. As a result I haven't had much of a chance to make updates or post in a while.
I can't go into to much detail about this project, but it involves a large amount of product and interface design. I happen to be the designing all UI/UX related content for the mobile and web applications, along with the product's physical design, through 3D modeling. It's been an extremely arduous journey, working on this project, but we've been making good progress and hope to release early next year!
UI/UX PORTFOLIO UPDATES
I just uploaded some more UI work to my portfolio.
I'll slowly be adding more of the work I've done in the past 5 years, as nearly all of it has been stuck offline due to my busy schedule.
OH YEAH, I HAVE A THEME SWITCHER
I've had the theme switcher in effect for a while, but never really announced it, or told anyone how to use it.
First, you need to have javascript enabled (this is usually already enabled on most browsers). Then, simply click the half-circle to the right of my main website title (TIMOTHY P. KRAY) to switch do a darker theme. Clicking the half-circle on the right will not switch, as it represents the current theme. It's stupid, I know. You really should just have to click something without any attention to accuracy.

Sometimes I prefer to view the web in a 'dark mode' to ease my eyes. This is just one of those pointless features I've decided to valuable spend time on.
PROJECT: ULTRA-X (A TENTATIVE TITLE)
It's Friday! I got a bit side track today and started brainstorming for a new retro-platformer idea:
The title isn't set yet. I wanted to name it something that we can pump out countless sequels/spin-offs for, while drawing inspiration from the many Japanese titles involving the words: SUPER, HYPER, TURBO, ULTRA, MEGA, X, NEXT, PLUS... Ultimately, it's just an absurd naming scheme. This title will be developed under Planar Form LLC.
YET ANOTHER PI?! WELL, NOT EXACTLY
I've been a fan of the Raspberry Pi ever since the RPi2 Model B. Although I've primarily only used it for retro gaming, minor GPIO projects, and a little bit of exploitation practice in Kali, the possibilities of projects using SBCs are endless. I even ended up purchasing the slightly more expensive Odroid XU4, as the hardware capabilities of the almighty RPi3 were just not cutting it with my standards. The XU4 is nice, but the form factor was just a slight bit off, from that of a Pi. Being plagued with a touch of OCD, this has always caused me an irrational sense of anxiety, as the Pi Model B was by far, my favorite design. That's when I came across this beauty, the ASUS Tinker Board:
This is what I've been looking for. A gorgeously designed PCB, with moderately powerful specs, for an almost decent price. It's about double that of a RPi3, but to be honest, the cost isn't really a factor for me on these sorts of things. It's the enjoyment I get out of working with a beautiful piece of hardware that keeps me hooked.

Unfortunately, the board was temporarily retracted from sales (Apparently, it was released a bit too early by a retailer in the UK). Furthermore, the lack of software support in its beginning was almost embarrassing. Very little of it's features had actually worked out of the box, and there was no official website for the board until later on. Even then, it was lacking. Thankfully, ASUS seems to be working on a proper release (Possibly by the end of this month), which I suspect should fill in most of the holes that we've seen thus far. I just hope the guys over at Retropie (or any alternatives), decide to provide support for this beast.
A NEW HOME (PAGE), COMING SOON
I haven't had much of a chance to work on the site in the past couple of weeks. Today, I figured I'd push some minor changes, along with a preview screenshot of what I'm currently working on. See below:
I'm not quite settled on the Work in Progress (WIP) addition yet, but it did give me some nostalgia. The same goes for the chat box feature. Thinking back on my old website in high school, it used to contain both, however, in a much more primitive implementation. The chat box was written in PHP, and I had a simple image displaying my most current WIP (as we used to call it in the 3D dev forums, back in the day).

Provided there are no distractions, I should be able to get these completed relatively quickly. I just have to determine which technology I'll go with, for the chat box. I'm still catching up with the latest web tech, as there have been many changes since I was heavy into web development. Spending so much time in mobile delopment and other distractions has, admittedly, caused me to become a bit rusty.

P.S. I know the design can be considered a bit cluttered, but I'm doing this mostly for the fun of it, and practice.
ILL, BUT STILL GETTTIN' STUFF DONE
I pushed quite a bit of updates to the website today, yet still so much more to go.

Features to be implemented:
  • Replace my placeholder header images for the portfolio and about page
  • Smooth page transition animations (JQuery/CSS): Fade out/in + slide out/in on page click
  • Custom chat box in the main page header (PHP/mySQL): So I can chat with myself
  • Blog admin utility (as noted in the previous post) (Python/PyQt/Bash): Will run locally for myself, as I have no desire for a web based admin panel
  • Portfolio item admin utility (Python/PyQt/Bash): Similar to the Blog utility, so I may just include them both in a bundled application
  • Optimize page runtime and compression
  • CLI for page navigation (JQuery/CSS): For those hipsters who love typing everything
  • I know I'm forgetting something!
Additionally, and completely off topic, I'm finally in the process of moving! The only issue is that I'm headed 30-40 minutes in the wrong direction! My current job is located in the heart of Santa Monica. This will be one hell of an experience. I mean, it already has been, considering the fact that I've been commuting for an average hour and a half, one way, since I started. Incidentally, for the past 4 years, I've also been stuck in excessive commutes. It just seems to increase every year. Anyway, enough of my rant, and back to work.
IT'S LATE AGAIN, AND I'VE HAD AN EVEN LONGER DAY
It's around 1:30 AM, and I'm feeling a bit under the weather. I managed to migrate most of my details over for the about page, however I still need to design the headers for the rest of the pages, besides this one.

I've never really worked on detailed websites for myself, but one of my principles has always been to never use third party frameworks/libs for my personal website. I just don't see the fun in using someone else's code to accomplish what can be so easily self written. That being said, I'll admit, for those out there that are into it, it does at least save time to model one's projects based on what's already available for use.

Note to self: I need to implement a 24hr time stamp to my future blog posts. Additionally, I still need to write a simple utility to automate blog formatting and propagate my posts to the web with one push, while maintaining blog archiving logic.
IT'S LATE, AND I'VE HAD A LONG DAY
I guess most people in this industry (software) could say the same, especially if they have projects on the side.

One of my biggest hurdles has always been, trying to find the time and energy outside of work, to work on my side projects. Whether it's building a custom headphone amplifier or designing and developing the "next great mobile app," I never seem to have the time to work on everything! Sometimes, I wish I could clone myself.

Anyway, here I am, in the dead of night, just working on filling up my home page with some content. Yes... filling it up with somewhat meaningless blog posts, to give my page a less lonely feeling. It's just to start with, anyway.
ANOTHER CUSTOM TERMINAL SETUP?
If you're into customizing your terminals & dev environments, you might find this interesting. This time, it isn't for Linux, but for Mac OS X, everyone's favorite, but still annoying kid on the unix block.
The other day, I was browsing the web, in my lifetime search for the most beautifiul flavor of Linux. During my travels, I stumbled across a few pages on DeviantArt, where a few artists were showing off some very pleasantly styled Linux environments. I had seen these custom setups in the past, but I never really had dug deeper than my pure admiration of the screenshots themselves. It was a particularly lazy weekend, so I decided to finally get down to business...

Interested? Click on the title to read more. (Actually, don't do that quite yet as I haven't prepared the content for that page yet! huehuehue)
A NEW LOOK, FOR THE SAME THING
So, I've finally developed this new website for myself. Well, sort of...

It's been about two years since I've last spit out a quick iteration of a web-portfolio. Prior to this design, it was just a quick and simple layout, written only to display some of the older work that I'd managed to save over the years. This time around, I decided to spend a bit more time in its design and features.

Despite my new found efforts, I still have to to work on the UI dynamics for mobile devices. It's not quite... ideal, yet. Will I ever find the time to finish it? Who knows... For now, you'll just have to deal with yet another incomplete rendition of my web-portfolio. At least I have a few more pieces of work to show off, from this past year.