A Jukebox?

Before Spotify removed their app platform, I was a regular user of PartiQ which allowed users to queue up music on a central Spotify computer from their phones.  They wanted to create a platform independent of Spotify when apps were discontinued, but unfortunately it did not come to fruition.

I am currently working on an app that replaces PartiQ by using Spotify’s unofficial local API.  It replaces Spotify’s queue and allows for mobile apps to queue up songs (currently via socket communication, but a web based tool is also in my plans).  You can check on my current progress on GitHub now (yeah it’s open source)!

Can I Beat Procrastination?

I have a paper due today at 5pm.  It is currently 12:22am.  Why am I writing a blog post (especially considering it has been nearly a year since my last one)?  Well I like to tell myself that I am helping myself get into the mood of writing.  Am I actually?  Maybe, but we all know I am just finding something else to waste my time on instead of writing an essay on realism in Victorian literature.  Am I worried?  A little.  Not as much as usual, though.  Instead of defining the deadline as my deadline, I have decided I will finish this paper before I can sleep tonight.  I had the whole day to write it, but I am not letting myself write it tomorrow (or later today, depending on how you look at it).  Ideally I would have set this artificial deadline earlier, but what can you do.  It’s a step in the right direction.

Hopefully this will mean I will have some time to edit it before I turn it in instead of turning in a sloppy mess…  Well back to writing.  Will update when I finish or something…

Almost 18…

…and as always, I really don’t know what I want for my birthday.  I mean there are some things I want, but nothing that I really want.  So now I’m trying to write down anything I feel like buying, so I can actually tell people what I want if they ask.  So far the list has been fairly short and boring.  There are some things I’d really like to get, but they’re far too expensive to ask someone else for.  It’s the little things that matter, anyways.  Like Pilot G2 pens.  Easily the best pens out there for the money, I just don’t want to spend it 😉  But only the 0.5mm and finer ones, none of the 0.7 or 1.0mm nonsense.  I’d also like a Trevor Project shirt or hoodie, because that’d be awesome.  The more expensive stuff that I would like include some really nice headphones (Audio Technica ATH-M50x), a Microsoft Band, and a new head unit for my car (the lack of bluetooth is driving me a bit insane).


That said, all of that stuff would be nice, but at the same time I’m perfectly content without it.  I felt the same way at Christmas and I’m not really sure why.  Maybe it’s a good thing.  Well, until next time.

Livestreams? The Trevor Project?

I’m going to try my best not to break my “don’t make promises” policy with this post, so remember these thoughts/ plans are still works in progress!  That said, I am considering doing more livestreams.  Possibly even weekly.  I haven’t decided on anything for sure, but will try to solidify my position after my next livestream.  Why am I considering this?  Well hopefully you tuned in to my livestream on the 24th, but it’s okay if you didn’t.  Even though there weren’t a ton of people watching (I think the most concurrent viewers was 7 or 8), it was insanely successful (in my eyes) towards my charity goal.  While I love playing games and livestreaming, my main goal was to raise money for The Trevor Project.  My goal was $64 – though that was a long term goal, not just for this livestream.  We raised $112 at the end of the day.

After that, I feel like I can’t stop now if there is a possibility of repeating that.  Hopefully, I can only gain viewers with each stream I do and consequently raise even more money for The Trevor Project.  The next stream I will set our goal to $250.  I do not necessarily think we will achieve that goal, but it will give us something to aim for moving forward.  Can’t donate, but still want to help?  You don’t need to donate to watch the stream!  Just watching and/or being in the chat is enough.  If you want to help a little more, encourage your friends and family to watch and donate.

So what will the next stream/ future streams look like?  I don’t know.  99% sure they’ll be a similar format, me just winging it, playing games.  Next stream will likely be Kerbal Space Program and/or Minecraft.  After that, who knows?  If the next stream goes well, I think I’ll buy a new microphone so my voice quality is a little better.  I might add a webcam in the future if I can find where mine are in storage.  When is the next stream?  The next stream will probably be on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014.

Want to learn more about The Trevor Project, why I’m helping them, or donate?  Check out parkerreno.net/trevor.


Final thoughts:

  • Finally have a new profile picture, it only took 7 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days (240 days) for there to be another good picture of me.
  • I’m eating a M&M’s chocolate bar.  It’s a chocolate bar with M&M’s inside of it…

What Am I Doing?

At some point in time, I intended for this blog to be regularly updated (I probably even blogged about it).  That obviously hasn’t been happening, nor will this be a post about how I am going to start.  I slap my website on things (linking to it on my twitter, slapping it on my resume, etc) and when I put it on the end of a video today, I felt the urge to post a quick little update.  So, without further adieu, what have I been up to?

Well, the last time I updated this blog was in May.  That means you missed the end of the school year, the summer, and the beginning of this school year (well really about a third of it).  The end of my junior year was stressful, but pretty much uneventful.  Finals didn’t end up affecting my grades (even though I took a few of them early).  Why did I take them early?  A vacation to Europe?  Nope.  I did not want to push back my Microsoft internship a week, so I decided to push the end of school forward a few days.

The Microsoft High School Internship was a truly amazing experience.  I suck at writing, so I do not think I can properly articulate what the experience was like.  I worked in Global Foundation Services (the group that powers Microsoft’s datacenters) and more specifically Manageability Services Group (when I left, part of the group was moving to Azure).  What does MSG do?  They write the software that keeps the datacenters running smoothly.  I got to work with a countless number of amazing people in my group including my managers, coworkers, and fellow interns.  I experienced a new side of coding, where you have to make sure your comments are clear, your code is clean, and when you check into version control your edits are reviewed by other people.  It was truly eye opening and great fun.  While working full time might not sound like an amazing summer to many teenagers, I loved it.

After the internship, I was left with about a month of vacation that I spent hanging out with my amazing friends.  I also went to the Carnivores Tour concert at the Gorge (Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, and AFI) – which was unbelievable.  I really do not know how to describe it, but I’m sure there are some videos on YouTube, so just imagine it being about 100x better than any video can portray.

I’m doing my senior year a little different than 9th-11th grade.  Instead of taking classes at my high school, I’m taking classes at a local community college through a program called Running Start.  Not only will I be earning credits towards my high school diploma, I am earning transferable credits for a college degree.  My first quarter is already over and I have finished up English 101 and Calculus II, plus a C++ course.  Next quarter I’ll be taking general engineering physics, calculus IV, and PE.  The way my classes are structured gives me time for some more personal projects.

I have shelved Homework Check for now (sorry, class websites have been changing too often, maybe it’ll come back later).  Right now I am lead developer at Fundify Charity Search, which should be available soon at searchfundify.org.


That’s the summary of the past few months of my life.

See you guys next blog post!

Homework Check and Color Coded

I have a habit of talking about things in the opposite order they are mention in the title, so I think I will continue that here.

Color Coded is a new game that I am developing for Windows Phone and is currently being ported to Android and iOS.  You can expect it to be available on Windows Phone within a week (if it passes certification without issues) and I am aiming to have it on Android within 2-3 weeks.  I still need to get together some money for the Google Play developer account and a lot of money for the App Store developer account.  The Windows Phone version is done and Android/ iOS is about 30-40% ported to LibGDX.  The main obstacle for Android was getting the 2D layout to scale well to all screen sizes, but I think the algorithm I have implemented should work well.

What is Color Coded?  It’s a simple concept, there is a 4×4 grid of colors and the goal is to clear them as quickly as possible.  The game tells you which color you can click and you must empty the board as fast as you can without mis-clicking.  I could not have finished this game without my friend Jake George (I have nowhere to link to, sorry!).  He has helped with the concept for the game, testing, and the various algorithms.

Want to download Color Coded?  It will be on the Windows Phone Store today, and you can check the website for when it does go live, ColorCoded.us.


Now for Homework Check!  I planned to have a beta out soon, but school got in the way (funny how that works).  I hope to work on it over the next few months the iron out all the bugs and have it ready for next year.


Tomorrow I will be speaking as a panelist for Microsoft’s YouthSpark summit!  I am extremely excited for the opportunity and cannot wait.  I even managed to get some khakis (not exactly used to dressing up, I wore a t-shirt and jeans to my Microsoft Interview).  I really hope I can help represent YouthSpark and TEALS and show how important Computer Science education is.  Even though a lot of my computer knowledge is self-taught, IB Computer Science made programming much more approachable and understandable.  The TEALS program has provided invaluable support by providing TAs to our class and really has made our class the optimal learning environment!

In other Microsoft related news, I will be working as an intern during the summer.  I do not know how much I’m allowed to say right now, so I’ll just leave it as “I’m excited.”

Coming soon: a new game for Windows Phone and Android, iOS coming shortly after, if possible.  I still need to work out developer fees for Google Play and the Apple AppStore, but I’m trying.