Fantastic XKCD

We all know that every XKCD is fantastic, but this one just really tickled me:
self-referencing (XKCD)

There you have it.

tweet of the year

The lovely @five15design sent me a tweet earlier today that was full of flattery:

Why? You may ask, well here’s the reason:

I have to say I was feeling rather witty at the time!!

Microsoft removing support for Windows Vista SP1

Microsoft will stop support for Vista SP 1 on 12 July 2011. This means that after that date no further updates, e.g. security patches, will be made available.

Customers are being strongly advised to upgrade their Windows Vista clients to service pack 2 which is freely available from Microsoft. For more information about how to install service pack for Windows Vista please refer to Microsoft’s Learn how to install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 SP2 page.

today’s update

I checked in my first bug fix today! Slight sense of accomplishment when that happened. I’ve actually contributed something to the team. It wasn’t the most complicated of bug fixes, but it needed to be done and I got it sorted quickly and cleanly. Along the way I gained a lot of insight into the structure of the software and how it hangs. That said, I still know pretty much nothing about about the package (guys who have been here 11+ years still don’t know it themselves).

The main thing I think, was that I was able to show that I could understand the problem, then dive into some unknown code, find the “hub” and design and implement an efficient, effective solution without supervision. And, my coding practices seem to be in line with the other developers, which is definitely a good thing. After that I got to jump into a fix/update for our web client. This turned out to be extremely simple, and where I thought to go for “more aesthetic and dynamic” responses to user input I didn’t need to. So, by lunchtime I had committed my first two bits of code to the repository.

This afternoon I spent in the web client again, delving into greater depths. Most of what I was hitting up against was involving interactions between C# and JavaScript. I found a fantastic post explaining how to share dynamic variables between the two here, although I didn’t end up implementing as it was overkill for the requirements and we’ve established a more practical and elegant solution to that hurdle.

Off for my evening constitutional now, so more updating tomorrow.

my first code submission!!

I finally submitted my first bit of code to the main SVN repository today. Absolute feeling of accomplishment, even though it was nothing special and is only for automated testing of the product. I guess the main thing was that I finally feel like I have done something here, rather than just sucking and absorbing things. That was based on a completed tracking sheet, and now I’m onto my own tracking sheet from scratch. I’m hands-on, head-first into the source code now. In terms of this next task, the pseudo code is only four lines at most, but there’s obviously a lot more to it in the end.

First step is just getting into the code and understanding what is going on there. I had a good rummage around and then got stuck into making something happen (or not happen in this case – I’m wanting to prevent some events). It should have been a 15 minute code effort, however my explorations into the code itself took a bit of time as I hunted out the bits I needed to refer to as well as the best place to implement my code (ie at certain button events, or as part of the confirmation/approval of various requests).

That’s done though, with approval and submission tomorrow morning; but, I’m definitely a lot more into the swing now and feeling like I’m actually getting my head into it and about to start contributing properly in the future. The first week is always the worst, with volumes of information thrown at you and no context for it. This week I feel like the context is being provided, so the information starts to have relevance and a life of its own.

Testing WordPress app for iPad

Just a quick test post to check if my iPad WordPress app is logged and rocking properly.

New Year, new job, lots of new goings on…

I started my new role as Software Developer/Engineer on Monday. A very exciting start to the new year. A steady start to the pace with the first week or so set to be all about the induction process. I spent much of Monday and Tuesday meeting new people, going into meetings to get more information, and watching videos, reading PPTs, and reviewing LOTS of documentation. Today was more getting into looking at the actual product we make, and having an explore. Also starting automating some tests for it to get a bit of a handle on what it actually entails. So much to take in – not just the code (which I haven’t actually gotten into yet), but also the actually industry we are working for.

The company is Productivity Software, which supplies and supports a very large MIS for the printing industry. Most of my learning so far has been about printing, and the processes involved. All an integral part of understanding what we are trying to assist with and deliver for the clients.The office space I’m in great; it’s a big, open-plan, area with about 20 desks. Polished hard-wood floors, in an old warehouse-type building. Now it’s been refurbished and filled with advertising agencies etc. Very cool. I’m using a serious dev box, with a 64-bit OS running 8GB @ 2.67GHz on a 1TB HDD. The screen’s “only” a 30-inch widescreen LCD – hahaha!! Nice people to work with, very non-hierarchical and level, so anyone is happy to be asked questions and take the time to answer them. All-in-all a not unpleasant environment to be working as a developer finally.

Other than this excitement, I spent the last few weeks on Christmas holidays but stayed busy with planning and preparing for my upcoming wedding. It is absolutely amazing how fast the budget grows without even trying (and that’s just for the wedding itself!!), so if anyone wants to donate some cash this way it will be gratefully received [or stuff for the house too – I am more than happy to do a bit of product placement and “positive” reviewing here and anywhere else I can]. We’ve been quite well behaved and conservative with our planning and expenses for both the wedding and honeymoon (apparently we are running a wedding bill of between 1/2 and 2/3 of a normal wedding – depending on what a normal wedding costs…), and for kitting out the house, but it all still mounts up. Haven’t actually got a place yet, as there’s no point renting somewhere now, and anything we find now will be gone in a few months time (or if it isn’t, we don’t want it!).

Doing a bit of a surf on Etsy the last week or so also, and got very inspired to build some of our furniture myself; nothing too flash, but I’m going to be making some nice solid rustic bookshelves with concrete blocks and big slabs of kauri or other reclaimed wood, as well as some cute side tables for the lounge which will take a little of my wood-working skills to do (pics will be posted once made). One of these weekends I will be doing a bit of a cruise of industrial recycling yards to find some nice chunky units to refurb a little into side dressers and other furniture. I’m not just going for 2nd-hand, I’m going to be properly bringing them back to life – but they will definitely have character and a story to tell.

As part of starting the new year, starting a new job, and preparing for the next great adventure part of my life, I did a review of my eating and fitness habits (or lack thereof, ahem) and set myself some goals and some rules. For eating, I have got myself kitted out to take all the fixings for making healthy sandwiches at work for lunch (so much cheaper too!!) and I also have a supply of rice cakes for snacking, as well as finding some fantastic dried fruit bars that were also cheap (means I can have a week’s fruit supply without worrying about it staying fresh; and each bar is the equivalent of 2x minimum daily fruit intake requirement).

Also established myself a routine for walking at least every 2nd day, with plans to progress this to jogging/running pretty quickly [thanks to Rob’s blog post here -> @noozeeland]. Pulled out the weights bar, and setting up a dips block too. I’m definitely on a mission to get back to the old style lean Cameron – who knows, I may be actually able to be proudly flaunting abs on the beach soon.

I’ve got a few YouTube videos to post up as well, as I didn’t get any posting done while I was away – I really do need to get my iPad WordPress app configured ASAP – but I’ll do a separate post for them shortly.