December 14, 2012
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
This is goodbye. This is the last post to beernut.ca. I've moved everything over to blogger under the blog j-i-m-s.blogspot.ca. The first post was written by a very different Jim than this last one. There have been weddings, funerals and births. Life has gone on and I've been riding the wave. I'll still be surfing, just at a different beach.
Thank you for reading.
December 10, 2012
Should I say or should I go now?
I keep on debating about moving this blog. Closing the door, putting up a sign with "forward mail to...". I like writing a blog. I don't like mucking around with the markup, or thinking about backups, or deleting spam. I hate blog spam and I get it all the time. It's getting sneakier too.
Blogger has an import function, but I think that it's more of a "export from blogger, to blogger" process. I'd have to look into it. I feel the days that I'm posting to this site are numbered.
December 06, 2012
Q: Light speed, too slow? A: Yes, we're gonna have to go right to ludicrous book speed.
I enjoy a good book now and again. I don't feel that I read them that quickly but sometimes I surprise myself. I find it harder to tell with digital books because it's missing the heft and visual clue that tells you "yes, this is a lot of words".
I bought a bundle of books which included Old Man's War. I enjoyed it. A couple of weeks later I bought the sequel on a Sunday. I finished it on Tuesday. Hum. Well, it must not have been too long a book. A couple of weeks later I bought the third book on a Saturday. Again, finished it on Tuesday.
I was starting to feel that I wasn't getting my money's worth. Then I checked how many pages those books have - 384 and 336 pages respectfully. Well then. Maybe I read faster than I thought. This is perhaps how I went through The Wise Man's Fear in a week.
Auto go away
I have a gmail account that I got back when it was really hard to get an invite. Waaaay back. Like the summer of 2004. So I have a nice and simple username. Which makes anyone afterwards with a similar name to me get a similar email account. Which means I get that person's emails sometimes. Most of the time it's a quick reply with "sorry, you've got the wrong person. Remove me from your address book. Best of luck". Most of the time.
I keep on getting emails from people at Virginia Tech. An email to several people, including one that gets into my account. So I reply-all right away with my standard-ish message. Then someone replies continuing the original conversation... to my message. And there is another reply. Anger level increases. They are now wasting my time. I like being helpful, but only to a point.
What do I do for things that annoy me? I try to automate it. Apparently with google labs you can auto reply based on a filter with a canned response. So, I set up a filter for anyone from @vt.edu going to the wrong email (same every time). They get a custom response and the email gets deleted.
Boo freaking ya.
December 05, 2012
Where have I been, #5
The new normal
Now we are both back at work we have a new normal. It's a very different schedule than we had 13 months ago. I no longer wander into work at the crack of 10. Now I'm there at ungodly o'clock. I'm sure it'd be an okay time to be at work if I lived in Lisbon, but you know... I don't. I no longer stay at work hours after everyone else has gone home. I have an alarm on my phone that rings, and I leave work. But I have not really had to use the alarm because I've been watching the clock for the last hour.
I want to go home. I want to see my little girl. It's not only that, but now I have to be going home so that I can pick her up. No dragging my heals and doing "one last thing". When it's time to go home, I leave. This is new to me. I've not worked this way since... well, ever.
Now that it's getting colder it's even more of a challenge to get out of the house. It was easier when she was small. Bundle her into the bucket car seat (where it's warm), dash to the car, click it on, zoom!! Well, at the time it didn't feel like "zoom", but compared to now it does. I have a theory that car seats are designed so that you're never 100% sure you've done it right. I keep on checking, adjusting, fiddling. Even going for walks can be a challenge. At least right now she's not good at fighting us too much.
I think that I'm blathering so I'm going to stop, but not before I leave you with a pic.
November 30, 2012
Stupid waste of time - code comment formatting
I'm pretty pissed off. I was ranted at today over something that I find stupid and a waste of my time - the formatting of code comments. We use eclipse and use the code formatter and "save actions" so people don't have to waste their time doing something that the IDE can do for them automatically. The behaviour in question is that the person would spend (apparently) a lot of time formatting their comment with indents and when the save actions would kick in they would lose all of this formatting.
I typically use the // style of comments, even for multiline comments. Why? Because it's easy with ctrl-shift-c. Boom, it's done. The other person insists that they use the /* */ style comments. Why? Because that's what they've done for 15 years. And they told me that there was nothing that I can say to change their mind. I, and the other 40 developers, had to change how we do things. Quoting years of doing something a given way as a reason for continuing to do it is a really shitty reason. It's a wonder how we as a species ever moved out of the trees or caves.
Now, I was pretty ticked at this point. Why? A number of reasons, but # 1 being that they didn't even want to discuss things. It was black and white in their head. End of story. Full stop. (I don't think that they actually said this, but that's what it felt like.) Aside: if someone says "end of story, full stop" it usually means that they are 1) a jackass and 2) wrong.
The best part about the whole thing? Perhaps the only good thing actually: I learned something new about java today. I learned that if you do slash star dash like: /*- NOTICE THE DASH! */ it will keep the indents. Who knew you were supposed to write java code like that? Apparently Sun / Oracle.
So, here I am probably like 10 hours later still pissed off. Still wasting my time thinking about it. Which pisses me off. Loop.
I love helping people, but gods people help yourselves first. It's fine to come to with a problem. Ideally come with proposed solutions. Come to rant, but not to rant at me. But don't come to me with a closed mind. I can't fix that.
November 23, 2012
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Well it's been (almost) a whole year. Been barfed on, peed on, pooped on (I think, but I think that I've repressed that memory). Been smiled at. Laughed with. Punched in the eye. Made to look at things totally differently - mostly from the floor level. Had a blast.
It's been a very good year.
November 22, 2012
It's like a very long cat...
I love analogies. I usually explain concepts using them. I find them fun. Today at work I listened to someone a handful of levels above me say that "We will move to IPv6. For the upgrade we just have to add more numbers to the IP address". My instant reaction was one of ridicule. Then I paused. And then I thought that it was a good enough analogy for the level that person needs to speak at. Of course it's way more complicated than that, both the concept, tech, and the transition. But if the problem is we're running out of addresses globally, we need to move to something with more addresses. Like 10 digit dialing for phones from the 7 digit.
It's still not as good as the quote that's attributed to Albert Einstein:
You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
Is the simplistic explanation almost nothing like the problem and solution? Yes. Is it good enough for the current purposes? Yes as well. Sometimes you have to dumb it down until there is no cat.
November 11, 2012
I've got 99 inconveniences but a baby ain't one
This last 12 months has been very difficult for a lot of people that I know: friends, family, acquaintances or even friends of friends (and thus my friends are going through a difficult "support role"). It's been hard for a lot of people.
When I think about our problems they pale compared to the things that these people are going through. So much so that I realized that I don't have problems, but inconveniences. Hell, I don't even have 99 of them. I find it helps keep my blood pressure down when I think about that. It makes me feel lucky. It makes me want to reach out to the people that we know to give a helping hand. Some times we can't even do that, but we can be there to listen. It might not be enough, but it's something.
In the times in between I'll just continue to play in our tent.