Louthrax for hire!

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By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

12-05-2017, 19:44

Hi all,

My consultant contract with my long-time US employer has ended in April (they decided to get rid of external consultants in 2017, not sure if that's Trump related or not), that's why I had time to finish SofaROM and other MSX stuff, but I now need to get back to work!

There are lots of jobs in software development available, but I'd prefer continuing working from home. I just started updating my profiles in IT jobs sites, but maybe MSX.ORG can be a good entry point too (I know we have many professional developpers here).

I've worked a long time in the gaming industry and created 3D & physical engines. As mentionned, my latest position was full-time software consultant in the embedded / calculators world for a big US company. I've worked on iOS / Android, MacOS, Windows, Linux platforms, using lots of different languages (C, C++, assembly, Java, Python, Lua...).

Don't hesitate to PM me if interested.

I'm also interested to have feedbacks from persons working remotely in the IT / computer world. Does it work for you on the long term, are there many opportunities in your country (I estimate that to only 2 or 3% here in France)?

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By Grauw

Ascended (8384)

Grauw's picture

12-05-2017, 20:40

Louthrax wrote:

I'm also interested to have feedbacks from persons working remotely in the IT / computer world. Does it work for you on the long term, are there many opportunities in your country (I estimate that to only 2 or 3% here in France)?

Two years ago I worked remotely for a Swedish gaming company, they were great people and the company culture was really good, also a very flat organisation so everybody had a lot of say in the matters. Also the quarterly trips to Sweden were fun, and the total absence of commute meant I had a lot of free time. We communicated with eachother via Google Hangouts, Skype and email, the company needs to be built to accommodate for it I think but we made it work quite well.

However for me working from home fulltime was not a good fit in the end, I started to feel a bit like a hermit being home all the time Smile. I can imagine matters are different if you have a partner / children, and also it depends on the person I imagine, but in the end I left and joined another company for that reason.

In a way I was lucky I kind of rolled into this company, I don’t think there are many set up that way.

By hamlet

Scribe (2467)

hamlet's picture

13-05-2017, 00:55

So, thanks to Trump we are able to enjoy SofaRom.
Ahhh, I would like to see you as an professional MSX developer with adorable income!

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

13-05-2017, 12:01

hamlet wrote:

So, thanks to Trump we are able to enjoy SofaRom.

Next release will be labeled "Trump edition", with an orange Sofa Smile

hamlet wrote:

SAhhh, I would like to see you as an professional MSX developer with adorable income!

Yeah, that's a nice dream... I guess developers here can make some pocket money with games, but I've only released tools (and I don't want to sell tools, they must benefit to everybody). I started coding several games, but usually lost interest after the main part of the engine was done (level design and game play fine-tuning is a lot of work !).

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

13-05-2017, 12:20

Grauw wrote:

Two years ago I worked remotely for a Swedish gaming company, they were great people and the company culture was really good, also a very flat organisation so everybody had a lot of say in the matters. Also the quarterly trips to Sweden were fun, and the total absence of commute meant I had a lot of free time. We communicated with eachother via Google Hangouts, Skype and email, the company needs to be built to accommodate for it I think but we made it work quite well.

However for me working from home fulltime was not a good fit in the end, I started to feel a bit like a hermit being home all the time Smile. I can imagine matters are different if you have a partner / children, and also it depends on the person I imagine, but in the end I left and joined another company for that reason.

In a way I was lucky I kind of rolled into this company, I don’t think there are many set up that way.

Strangely, living on the country side gives you more social life once you know people in the neighborhood. My wife is also partly working from home, so I was not feeling too much like an hermit (funny thing is that my home, an old forest-guard house, was historically named "Ermitage" Smile) !).

Like you I had trips every 3 month or so (to Dallas TX), ideal to keep links and socialize with online workmates, and quite exotic compared to our forests here. I was also supper happy to retrieve nature and calm after each trip!

Agree with you that this "remote working" setup stays unusual (kind of weird when you think of all the fuss made about work revolution and new ways of working Smile), but I'll keep trying, at least for 2 or 3 months.

By ren

Paragon (1219)

ren's picture

13-05-2017, 12:42

Louthrax wrote:

I started coding several games, but usually lost interest after the main part of the engine was done (level design and game play fine-tuning is a lot of work !).

Perhaps you 'should' team-up then? Wink

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

13-05-2017, 14:14

ren wrote:
Louthrax wrote:

I started coding several games, but usually lost interest after the main part of the engine was done (level design and game play fine-tuning is a lot of work !).

Perhaps you 'should' team-up then? Wink

Yeah, maybe one day. I was not expecting that first, but developing tools is quite interesting, and I still have lots of MSX tools to finish or even start Smile

By PAC

Guardian (5236)

PAC's picture

14-05-2017, 00:11

Louthrax wrote:

Yeah, maybe one day. I was not expecting that first, but developing tools is quite interesting, and I still have lots of MSX tools to finish or even start Smile

Great to hear that. As I suggested time ago, maybe one those could be a Multimente-like tool. Personally I have no complaints, it does the job very well being a reference until today but I'm sure you could bring us something new and fresh adapted to the present MSX moment seeing the innovative Sofarun concept, your knowledge about the new mass storage devices and the ongoing support from the community.

Anyway I hope you will find that work you are looking for soon. First things first! Wink

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

14-05-2017, 21:00

Thanks PAC Smile

I'm not sure yet on how to evolve SofaRun in a file manager / MultiMente direction. I added basic Copy/Paste/Delete functions a while ago, and they are enough, at least for me, in most "gamer" usages (copying directories from floppies/CD/SDCard to another drive, deleting directories, etc...). Maybe something like "marking" individual files by a long press before doing a Cut/Copy/Paste could be interesting. Or displaying some details about the files in the browser (like the date, that's sometimes missing me when I inspect files and am not sure about the version). Let me know if you have feature suggestions.

One thing I'll do for sure is an MSX 2 80 columns option for SofaRun (not a revolution but should not be too hard).

Another not too hard improvement would be to use SofaROM as an external tool for SofaRunIt to flash the special MSX-DOS1/Disk Driver ROM required to run disk images. For now this ROM is stored in normal RAM, and lots of tricky tricks are used by SofaRunIt to make MSX believe it's in another slot, and also restore the memory mapper pages. That new approach will be way simpler and stabler, I just couldn't do that before because I was missing a "universal" flash tool.

By PAC

Guardian (5236)

PAC's picture

15-05-2017, 18:31

I don't know what would be the best approach for you, to evolve SofaRun in a file manager or a file manager with SofaRun embedded. Currently it's focused on games mainly so a good direction would be to add more features for general purposes like you did with copy/paste/delete options or the text editor and ZIP files support. Also a graphic viewer, a music player (if possible) but I think this would be only feasible with the concept of using external .COM tools due to the different existing formats.

40/80 columns mode, custom color display, also the possibility of using individual or separate window for each drive at the same time like M File Manager. And all of this easily configurable by user.

I know that there are many people who are using Multimente basically as default, they don't know that many things can be configured. Maybe a file manager ready to use (I mean with the main needs already implemented) would be nice. Anyway I don't want that you start something if there is no a clear demand of course, people should contribute with their ideas-requests too.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

15-05-2017, 21:43

PAC wrote:

I don't know what would be the best approach for you, to evolve SofaRun in a file manager or a file manager with SofaRun embedded. Currently it's focused on games mainly so a good direction would be to add more features for general purposes like you did with copy/paste/delete options or the text editor and ZIP files support. Also a graphic viewer, a music player (if possible) but I think this would be only feasible with the concept of using external .COM tools due to the different existing formats.

So that's already available (check the SR.INI file), you an associate extensions with exectuables:


####################################################################
[EXTS]
####################################################################

# *1: internal ROM (ROM image) handling
# *2: internal CAS (tape image) handling
# *3: internal DSK (disk image) handling
# *4: internal COM (MSX-DOS executable) handling
# *5: internal COM (MSX-DOS batch file) handling
# *6: internal BAS (MSX-BASIC file) handling
# *7: internal ZIP (zipped file) handling

# %s: SofaRun directory path (e.g. A:\SOFARUN\)
# %f: Selected file path (e.g. MYGAME.ROM)
# %c: COMMAND2.COM path (e.g. A:\COMMAND2.COM) 

ROM=*1
DSK=*3
CAS=*2
COM=*4
BAT=*5
LDR=*6
ZIP=*7

MIG=%sMIGVIEW.COM %f
VGM=%sVGMPLAY.COM %f
TXT=%c %sAKID.COMT %f
INI=%c %sAKID.COM %f

#MID=A:\BIN\SZMMP.COM /U1 %f
#MID=A:\BIN\MIDIPAC\MIDIPLAY.COM %f
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