To some extent, I treat my life as a video game. It helps me overcome obstacles more easily.

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Image by Alemko Coksa from Pixabay

A few years ago, I started applying a new philosophy of life. I don’t have it from books. I came up with it myself for my needs. It helps me manage my failures better and make decisions faster. To a certain extent, it is an abstraction of the real world into a simplified vision, which I can more easily explain and justify.

Life The Game

Imagine you’re a character in a computer game in an open world ( role-playing game, RPG). In the beginning, you were given certain talents (such as intellect), as well as certain shortcomings (such as shyness). You were born into a certain environment. Someone got lucky and pulled out a card where he was born to wealthy parents, and he wasn’t stupid either. …


I’ve spent much of 2020 thinking about what I wanted from life. I will start making the following changes this year.

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

For me, the new year usually begins with my birthday. Whenever I’m a year older, I evaluate where I’ve moved over the past year and think about what to do next. However, 2020 was very different. So much has happened that I have decided to evaluate the calendar new year as well.

Work projects

Apart from COVID, the year 2020 was extremely successful for me. After two years, I see how my business is starting to grow. I already have several projects on my waiting list, where people are willing to wait a few months for me. You may have noticed that I haven’t written a single new post since August. Not that I don’t want to. I even realized how much I missed writing. However, I was so busy that there was no time left for other things. …


Porting a low-level library to a new platform isn’t easy. Let’s take a look at how I proceeded.

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Image by andreaurpi8

Porting software to new architectures or platforms has always appealed to me. Imagine that the software that was not written for your device suddenly runs on it. I’ve always admired people who develop emulators for older (but also new) game consoles, do reverse engineering, or write software on the console without access to the devkit.

Specifics of the Arduino platform

My task was much easier, but I still learned a lot. I had to bring the C library, written for Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms, to the Arduino platform. The library’s authors mentioned that porting to new platforms, including microcontrollers, shouldn’t be difficult, but Arduino is quite peculiar. Notably, Arduino is not just another instruction set architecture. It is a framework, which supports multiple development boards across different CPU architectures — MIPS, ARM, RISC. The authors have also defined the essential functions that you must use in your programs, when you code using this framework. Otherwise, you will not be able to print “Hello, world.” into the console. …


Transferring a conference to an online environment is not easy. I recently attended one as a visitor.

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Image by Lynette Coulston from Pixabay

I recently wrote about the challenges our speaking club faced in moving to the online environment. And today, I attended the first online training of incoming Toastmasters club officers. Organizing a speaker meeting for 15 people is one thing, but a virtual event with 120 participants who participate in various workshops in parallel brings several new challenges. And these need to be addressed. Let’s see how the organizers did it.

Organization and hosting

For the first time, the training of leaders from Slovakia and the Czech Republic was combined. However, we also had a few guests at the conference who only knew English.

Meeting language

Some participants knew only Slovak, other Czech, or only English. In my opinion, the organizers chose an unusual approach by trying to address all groups. Czechs and Slovaks understand each other thanks to their linguistic similarity. …


What do you need to train people over the Internet?

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

At the beginning of May, we chose new management in our speakers club, Toastmasters Košice. I didn’t run for the position anymore because I wanted to focus on other things. However, the question before me was how to train my successor, Roman, as effectively as possible.

When I was the newcomer a year ago, my predecessor Janka explained my work basics in about an hour. However, it took me several months to gain the necessary experience and knowledge for my work. And I want to pass them on so that my successor does not have to learn from his own mistakes. …


The COVID crisis brought unexpected challenges, our club found itself at a crossroads.

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Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

It was March 9, 2020, and the officers of the Toastmasters Košice club had its meeting. It was only a few days after I organized a successful event with a guest from Bratislava. I have been monitoring the COVID situation in China for a long time and evaluating the risks for myself. At the meeting, I announced a discussion on corona virus as the first item on the program.

“Hello, I would like to inform you that I will not be attending the next club meeting in person. I have been monitoring the situation closely for a long time, and I do not want to take any more risk, which is even higher for me because I travel by train. …


If you want effective PR, you need a strategy.

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Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

I’m not a professional promoter, and I don’t have many opportunities to practice it. Thus, when I had the opportunity to promote the Toastmasters Košice club meeting with a special guest, I took it.

It was the end of January 2020, we had a club officers meeting, and one of the program’s main points was our guest’s educational event from the Bratislava club, Matthew. He had work duties in the east of Slovakia, and on this occasion, he offered to come and see us and prepare a lecture on a topic. What topic, though? We needed to solve that.

We came up with six topics and had our members vote on them. Although not everyone was involved, I sent the results to Matthew. The winning topic was “Why go into club management,” and the runner up was “What can Toastmasters give you?” Matthew liked both, but he chose the latter. He said: “I can include leadership in that topic, too.” We agreed on the date of his speech at 03/02/2020. …


My patience with my bank ran out today.

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Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Foreword to my English readers

I wrote this post out of frustration. After I had one too many bad experiences with my bank, writing about it was my way of coping with that. When I published this post in Slovak, I was very surprised by the positive reception. What was a painful experience for me, many of my readers found amusing.

If you read this post, you’ll hear the story of leaving my bank. Most likely, you never heard of them. However, I believe that you experienced some of these situations, too. Just somewhere else. The firms don’t differ that much in the core if you think about it. Perhaps you’ll find some of the anecdotes funny too. …


Why should you find a mentor?

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

The word mentor comes from ancient Greece, Homer’s mythological Odyssey. Mentor was a friend of King Odysseus of Ithaca, and since Odysseus considered him wise and prudent, he entrusted him with his son Telemachus as he went to the Trojan War. Telemachus treated Mentor as his father, and Mentor had a tremendous influence on him. To the extent that his form was taken by the goddess Athena when she wanted to say something important to Telemachus. Today, nobody thinks about the deeper meaning of the word mentor, and I think that’s a mistake. …


Eight posts in a month. It’s time to try a new approach.

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I’ve been actively blogging for about a year, and I started taking it seriously sometime in December last year. Until then, I was trying to figure out whether I enjoy writing. It turned out I do. Now I’m looking for ways to take my writing to the next level. I get inspired by other authors on Medium, and also I experiment. What I’ve been struggling with for a long time is consistency. There are periods when I publish two articles a week, and there are periods when I don’t write anything at all in three weeks. …

About

Vladimír Záhradník

Mobile & Embedded SW Developer interested in #startups and #OpenSource.

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