Thursday, 26 September 2013

Brain Facts 09: Aging

Just listening to episode 9 of the Brain facts podcast. It is like going back to my psychology A level. Something I really enjoyed. The beauty is simply in understanding the body as a whole. So many know a lot about the body but little about the mind. This is the same as knowing all about a computer but not the operating system it runs or a car but not the fuel and engine it uses. The knowledge is incomplete.

This particular topic on aging reminds us that the brain is there to be used as we age just as when we are young. There is no evidence that any decline is inevitable it is just that that is what normally happens. So all you really have to do is choose to use your brain as much when you age as when you are young. In fact, as far as I can learn from my seniors it is the experience you possess when you are older that enables you to out compete the younger fitter individuals. My plan is to keep my fitness while gaining the experience so I can have the best of both worlds when I am older.

Listening to this review reminds me of what I learnt so long ago. That is a completely achievable dream.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Moodle + Unity + AWS Infrastructure


In a sentence I have a plan to:

Create a single central system to store data, manage users and security. Provide a scalable backend for unity. Thus each unity app can connect its user to their common data.


What this means in detail is more complex. I work on Moodle and it’s core to education. I thus understand it well and can develop for it at work. It can provide an infrastructure unity can use for data storage, user and content management.

Amazon web services (AWS) provides a scalable cloud architecture. There is advice on moodle in the aws free tier and using moodle on aws. Including moodle in AWS Marketplace I think it's the right infrastructure for me. Something I can easily develop at work using Moodle as the web data infrastructure. I can do this at work as self development and promote openly. It is an excuse to learn more about Moodle.

This infrastructure will mean I have easy access to database data and so I can start recording data as I go. Either through unity or any other platform I choose. A new Moodle question type might be the first part of this that I develop.

Plan Cell Your Sole platform

Like facebook and twitter I want help understanding my cells and how to work with them. My Cell Your Sole blog is where I now talk about most of this. What I have always been in search of is a platform on which I can study my body or a virtual one more. This means having a network infrastructure. Combining a massively multiplayer online (MMO) tool like smartfox with scalable cloud computing like Amazon EC2. This would mean I could use my future Cell Your Sole apps on any device and let other people register and use them too.

I am wondering if I should start crowd sourcing my solutions. As usual KISS at first so I just want to crowdsource aspects of managing my life better. From tracking my body and my day through stuff like fitbit to finding perfect recipes and food for my lifestyle. The next step will be to set goals and achieve them. I will either find a suitable progress tracker or create my own. Then I want to see the possible effect on my cells. Have a place to share and discuss models, animations and theories.

I was inspired by reading Unity + Smartfox + Amazon EC2 = win and checking out the AWS EC2 calculator. I remember that smartfox is perfect as a central server as long as the ports are set to 80 so it works through firewalls.

For now I am just exploring this idea. It is not crucial yet but key to the future. EC2 is free for first year at the moment but I don’t have great need for it yet. I may just Just get smartfox running on home or work and use it to sync as required. I do need to figure out which MMO server I want because I could just use moodle in theory but I’d prefer a proper solution meant for the task.

At first I feel it could support the Moodle Unity Question Type