Sunday, July 27, 2014

ScreenStudio: How it works

My latest project, ScreenStudio, is quite fun to work on.  From time to time, I do publish some videos on Youtube about the new features I'm adding and how to use it.

Here's the latest video where I explain how it works from the source code.

ScreenStudio: How it works #2

Here is Part 1, in case you have missed it:

ScreenStudio: How it works #1


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Managing pain, 24/7

You may have seen some references to the famous Dr. House from time to time in my social network posts.  I do enjoy the TV series like many people around the world but I also have something in common with the main character:  I'm in pain 24/7...


Yeah, you read it right!

After a simple surgery, 6 years ago, I started feeling pain in my left leg.  Actually, the pain is located in the lower part of my belly, on the left.  It is a sharp and persistent pain that irradiate down to my left leg, foot and toes.

I've tried many things, seen many doctors, even got an exploratory surgery to find the source of the pain.  Nothing shows up on X-rays and scans...  It is basically a dead end...

This post is not about me complaining about my situation.  It's about sharing some tips and tricks that I've discovered over time.  How to handle the pain without going crazy...

The first years were tough as my mind was focusing on the pain.  My doctor had prescribed me drugs to be able to manage it but it wasn't working very well.  In fact, it went really bad as the mix of narcotics and anti-depressants got me in a confused state.  The narcotics to lower the intensity of the pain when it was too high, the anti-depressants as an alternative drug that was supposed to help with chronic pain.

After 2 years of pills, I finally met a chiropractician that helped me a lot.  I don't know if it was by pure coincidence or if he had the magic touch, but after the first session, by back made a loud cracking noise as I was reaching for something at home and the pain almost completely disappeared.  I was mesmerized...  Finally, I was free from pain.  Almost as on rainy days, the pain would come back for a few days and disappear again.

The, I took a big decision:  think of the pain as just a signal and ignore it.  No more drugs, no more pills.  Just keep in mind that this is a false alarm and move on with your life.  It took a while for my brain to believe the concept, but it worked.  As I was almost pain-free for a year...  And it came back, 24/7...

Nothing happened in my life, no accidents, no stress, it just came back.  But I had time to focus my mind on ignoring the signal.  When it was too much, I had to walk again with my cane, as I did for the first 2 years.  All along, instead of being sad and angry, I just considered the pain as a part of me, as a shadow.  Instead of cursing it, I would simply ignore it.  Some people have diabetes, others cancer.  I have pain...  


The worst that can happen to someone having chronic pain is to make it the center of his life.  That's the biggest mistake as pain will eventually take all the place in your daily routine.  Here's a few rules that I've discovered and followed:

- if you can't run, just walk
- if you're exhausted, take a break for a day or two
- if you need a cane to walk, get one that looks great
- accept others helping you
- do not be afraid to say to your friends and family that today, you need to rest a bit
- take a bath with Epsom salt.  I don't know why but it works
- learn to relax and lower the stress 
- do not think about what you can't do, think about what you can do
- focus your mind on something instead of the pain... You know, like Candy Crush ;)
- smile, even when it hurts
- ask others to not talk about your pain each time they see you.  There is something else to talk about...
- pain is just a signal, nothing else...  Just ignore it!
- just laugh about it.  My favourite joke is:  Hey, I'm handicapped only when it serves me

Just so you know, Dr. House's personal story is not that fictional.  Believe me, it can go as bad as we've seen on the TV series.  But the good thing is that it is possible to live a normal life if you put your mind to it.  

Pain can make your life miserable if you focus on it.  Put it aside...
LIVE your life, not your pain!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Making cash online, part 2

A few weeks ago, I started an experiment about filling surveys online to find out if it was possible to make some money out of it.

Of course, I hadn't in mind that I would become rich overnight but I was curious about it.  I opened an account with PaidViewpoint and followed their instructions to the letter.

Basically, you start by filling daily surveys that will earn you 0.03$ a piece.  They say that they will pay out when you've accumulated at least 15.00$...  At this rate, it should take a while to see some cash.

At some point, I finally got more rewarding surveys from 0.25$ to a full 1.00$.  So maybe it was a way to make some money just by answering a few questions once in a while.

In the last few weeks, daily surveys became weekly surveys.  And they do not worth a lot (0.03$/each)...  I currently own around 8$ and I still need at least 7$ to claim my due.

The idea is probably to get you to fill surveys until you get tired of it and actually never reach the magic 15$ reward.  I would not call it a scam, but it surely does look suspicious at some level.

Anyway, I will keep answering the surveys for a while to see if it will change by the end of the summer.

One thing is sure, ads on your website/YouTube videos do pay you more than filling surveys. Forget about surveys, the payout is really not worth it.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Having fun with projects...

Developing software is a serious business... Or maybe not...

I had the idea to promote my project ScreenStudio by creating small trailers, like the pros.

Enjoy!




Monday, May 26, 2014

Are you a project creator?



If you a developer, there is a good chance that you dreamed about creating the next Facebook or the next Candy Crush Saga.  For sure, it's fun to think that maybe your next app will create a buzz around the next.
In real life, the chance of becoming the next superstar of the software industry is quite slim.  Does it means you have to forget about your dreams?  Not at all.

Every project starts with an idea.  Whatever is the source of your inspiration, it doesn't matter.  Try it anyway, believe in yourself and who knows, you may create something that a few thousand people will appreciate.

Even if your project does not get any attention, you will learn a lot of things in the process.  It's not just about being famous, it's about learning
and becoming better overtime.  The more you learn, the more you have a chance of succeeding.  In my personal history, I've started many projects on the web, just for the fun of being creative:








  • NWE-00X Mp3 Manager (Reached 6000 download a month)
  • Symphonic (listed on some Linux distros, the natual evolution of NWE-00X)
  • WebcamStudio (Started as a simple idea to be able to display my desktop in a virtual webcam)
  • JapelServer  (Trying to stream videos to my iPhone)
  • Crombz.com (Trying to create a social network based on GPS location)
  • followme.crombz.com (Trying to create a web Find My Friends in pure HTML5)
  • mcpe.crombz.com (Exploring the idea of sharing your online games)
  • ScreenStudio (Going back to stream/record your display in an easy way)

Some projects never took off.  I learned a great deal in the process.  Other projects became famous to a point I would never expect (WebcamStudio, NWE-00X Mp3 Manager)

Overall, I learned so much with these projects that I am proud to list them in my resume.  They all prove one thing:  I am a project creator!  

... And sometimes, I get it right...




Go ahead, try, test, explore!  You can be a creator too!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Balleux and Ellis: WebcamStudio Masters!

While creating an event for the release of ScreenStudio 1.0, Karl Ellis and I got together and has a great chat about the history of WebcamStudio. (Hosted by DirtyPenguins)

Have a look:


ScreenStudio: http://screenstudio.crombz.com
WebcamStudio: http://code.google.com/p/webcamstudio/