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.

been a bit distracted recently

Yes, I admit it, I’ve been a bit distracted recently. Not posting, and not even tweeting much. I can now explain why. I haven’t been able to say anything, as most of my time, energy, and planning was focussed on a certain question (and I needed to keep this planning secret too). Last Thursday (25th November) I managed to become a very lucky man – and in the words of my lovely lady “find the only way to turn a U2 concert into an anticlimax”.

After a lovely brunch and walk along the beach in the sun, I got myself down on one knee and proposed…..and luckily for me, Naomi said yes to being my wife. It was a total surprise for her, as I had managed to keep anyone (but especially her) from being aware of meetings I’d had with her parents, or any of my preparations. Even the friends that were meeting at mine later thought that was just to be as a wind-down from the U2 concert – they soon discovered otherwise.

The days since then have been a bit of a mission of phone calls, texts, and driving around the countryside visiting family to let them know the news. I’m back to work today, and now the next stage of planning begins ready for engagement party, and then figuring out wedding plans too.

what am I doing??

I haven’t really posted for a while. Been manically busy, so only updating via my Twitter for the past few weeks. Been having many visits to the oral surgeon and orthodontist and am now booked in for my jaw-break operation mid-October. Just sorting out the nitty-gritty details of finance at the moment, as my health insurer changed the coverage rules part-way through the process (I started back in 2006). Bit of negotiation going on there. Also, had to trash my room finding documents that had been filed away in 2006/2007 for health cover. Turned out that a “helpful” family member had moved them elsewhere for safe-keeping; hence my inability to find them where I had put them (stress much??!!??).

Also had my car die at the same time as discovering that health coverage may not be there. That was not so pleasant, as the initial thoughts were that the car was a goner. Turns out is was fixable, and relatively cheaply (praise God!!).

Also been attempting to get some work done on sqwi.sh to update it with oAuth for auto-tweeting; and I want to get some statistical features up and running too, to enable analysis of what your sqwish’d link has done.

Along with all this, been keeping my head into the ongoing job hunt. The stats aren’t helping at all, with the US having it’s highest rate of unemployment in the IT industry, and New Zealand’s industry consolidating. The 3-5 years experience barrier has now been bumped to 5-7 years experience as there seems to be a flood of experience being down-sized and made redundant. Who’d hire a recent grad when they can get someone with 7 years experience? I’m still being positive and applying with my best foot forward though. Also pushing on my web and software projects, ‘cause it could be one of those that nails it and gets me a job or becomes my job. I did a photo-shoot for Auckland Uni Science Faculty on Friday for a profile on recent graduates, me being specifically a recent graduate of the Computer Science department (and the Information Systems department of the Business School).

Grrrr, so that all sounds like doom and gloom, it’s not. On a positive note, I got an iPad for birthday/graduation present from my folks, and I’m loving it. Still torn over whether I want an iPhone4 too (money precludes this at present), but iOS and the app store are bringing a smile to my face. I’ve mainly gone with free apps, but I have also bought a few after watching review trends etc. I’ll be doing a post shortly about my favourite apps, free and paid, based on consistent use over the past month or so. First use reviews are great, but I find knowing how the reviewer feels after a month of use (if they still use the app after a month!!) is essential to being able to make a well-informed decision. Also, following on from my previous post, I have tickets to U2 on 25th November!! So I am a happy Cameron. And tickets to Bon Jovi on Dec 5th.

That’s enough for now, but I will be back to blogging properly now. WordPress iPad app here I come.

Amazing Ukrainian light show

No words, I’ll let the video speak for itself

quick update – van front wheel wheelie

Just bumped into this on YouTube and it has to be shared:

quick update – U2 coming to New Zealand in November

The rumours are true!!! It has been confirmed this morning that U2 will be playing one concert in New Zealand on November 25th at Mount Smart. The U2360 Tour is coming to New Zealand!!

All that big stage goodness and wonder, here again. Money is not an object here, I will be going. Front of crowd, directly in-front of main stage, that’ll be me.

Tickets go on sale September 3rd at all usual outlets.

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quick update – re-discovering dial-up internet

Ah, the good ol’ days when 128kb/s was fast, and 56kb/s was normal. I made a boo-boo last week; not realising that our data plan had been changed, I happily sat around downloading new operating systems, software, and all sorts of stuff to build a new box as a media center. Ignoring the fact that I probably had all the software on HDs somewhere, I pulled it all off the intrawebz again. BIG mistake, BIG!!

The glories of New Zealand are such that we pay ridiculous sums of money for our internetz, and even pay at all for our mobile data. The new plan for my house (as it’s just me here at present) turns out to be fixed price, but once your hit your cap you move to dial-up speeds. WOW!! I had no idea dial-up was so slow! Seriously, if broadband hadn’t come about we wouldn’t have e-commerce. It takes me forever to load my emails, and forget about just normal browsing if you have anything else to do that day. iTunes doesn’t even realise I have internet OK, slight exaggeration), or at least it times out every request it makes.

This is not a bitch and moan session, it’s just that having dial-up only has made me realise:

  1. how much I use the internet
  2. how much everyone else uses the internet
  3. how much our daily lives are dependent upon the internet
  4. how AWESOME an advance broadband is/was

So, for those in New Zealand still demanding all sorts of cost/benefit analysis reports on whether ultra-fast broadband is a good plan for New Zealand, go read Chris Barton’s feature. I tell you what, I agreed with him anyway, but revisiting dial-up gives a whole new perspective to what the internet does for communication, commerce, and pretty much everything.