Like, uh, whatever, I guess


  Monday, July 19, 2004
    [8:46:15 PM]

Nice Banksy stencil

Spotted just by the National Film Theater and snapped with my new phone

    [8:34:09 PM]

New sneaky Google "Release"

Due to my new job being rather strict on downloading software from the internet, I haven't got the Google toolbar installed yet. Instead I've been going to google.com and searching from there, yes indeed how archaic is that? If I hadn't done that I wouldn't have seen a link to some photo editing software called Picasa that they're offering for free. Seems that they've made an aquisition and are opening up the newly aquired wares to the public.

No idea if it's any good or not (doesn't run on a mac), but here's the link: http://www.picasa.com/google/?promo=hpp1

  Wednesday, July 14, 2004
    [10:08:15 PM]

Now here's a challenge!

From the google blog, an image of their latest engineer recruitment campaign:
Google Billboard

  Monday, July 12, 2004
    [1:14:48 PM]

Some documents that may or may not be interesting/useful, but sound it:

> * Function Points: Numerology for Software Developers (http://www.hacknot.info/hacknot/action/home)
> * First, Do No Harm: A Hippocratic Oath for Software Developers (http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=158)
> * A Review of Studies on Expert Estimation of Software Development Effort (http://www.simula.no/photo/expertsubmitnovember2002_copy.pdf)
> * Measurement Theory for Software Developers (http://www2.umassd.edu/SWPI/curriculummodule/em9ps/em9.part3.pdf)

  Thursday, July 08, 2004
    [8:13:05 PM]

Tips for reading code

Now, I haven't actually read this yet, but as I'm going to be supporting an application I know nothing about in the near future, written in a language I hardly know (C++) I reckon it should come in handy. Of course we all have different techniques for getting up to speed with other peoples code, and I'm sure they all work well. This is what I tend to do (wonder how it'll compare with the article I'm posting...):

  1. Get the code into a place where you can mess with it without affecting anyone else (this might involve getting access to dev servers)

  2. Find out what the code does, at least what it's supposed to do (this is second on the list as the first one sometimes takes a while, it's good to set that process in motion)

  3. Get everything you need in order to build and run the code (this might involve third party components, or access to other dev servers and databases)

  4. Have a look at the code, see where the main areas are, and what they tend to do

  5. Run the code in debug mode, and if possible step through it whilst doing something typical (speak to the business if you don't know what a typical operation is)

  6. Concentrate on one area at a time, don't try and understand everything at once. Find the main areas of code that deal with that specific "thing", follow the trails to what that relies on. By doing this you'll start to get an understanding of the overall architecture

  7. Repeat the last step for each main area/"business function"

Oh, and if there is documentation available, read it !

Article: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TipsForReadingCode

    [8:04:47 PM]

Running beta code on production machines

Not generally a good idea, especially for support hair count! Check out this for a good rant: http://www.larkware.com/Articles/TheDailyGrind409.html

Here's the jist of it:

"On my Windows XP machine I am running GoodApp and GreatApp. Everything worked fine until I installed the Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 this morning. Then I started having the debugger come up every time I try to run GoodApp, and GreatApp won't load at all. Any ideas?" People, this is a BETA. As in, NOT PRODUCTION CODE. As in, DON'T PUT THIS ON THE MACHINE YOU ACTUALLY DO WORK ON. It will break things. It will keep you from doing your work

  Tuesday, July 06, 2004
    [9:16:52 PM]

New kit !

Today I took delivery of a brand new second hand iBook !

Now, I've never had a mac before (actually I only bought my first pc a year or so ago) but so far so good...

In order of installation (the little beauty picked up the wireless network without a hitch):

  1. Firefox: www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

  2. Gmail notifier: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~natan/gcount/

And actually, I probably don't need all that much else, as this is purely a little "have around the house browsing tool", to which is it very well suited, and I'm stil using Bloglines as my aggregator ... Now, I just need to get used to where all the goddam keys are, and why there's no right click ;-) ... and where's the delete key !

  Thursday, July 01, 2004
    [8:12:04 PM]

Royal College of Art

I popped over to the Royal College after work today to have a quick look round at this years exhibition, and very impressive it was.

Tom Vaughn's stackable chairs and stools looked great, as did Will's very cool chain-link seating structure, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for when they go on sale.

There was too many things to mention here, but this model really took hold of my imagination: a motorbike/go-kart/cool transportation device... I wonder if any of these will ever be on sale? I hope so.


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