Posts Tagged ‘Work’


December 9th, 2005 No comments

I’ve found my own, personal, Holy Grail!

Basically, everyday at work, I open my applications in a certain order, that way I know how things are organised, and they are sorted so that the things I use the most frequently are positioned in the middle of the taskbar (Power User!). Anyway, if something ever crashes or I close something by accident, I need to restart it, but then that stuffs up the order on the taskbar.

Today, I’ve found two applications that solve this problem for me!

Task Commander, and Task Arrange let you rearrange the order of items on the Windows Taskbar. I’ve tried both out, and Task Commander isn’t really that good (and automatically sorts all items into alphabetical order when you start it up, with no way of changing it back!), but Task Arrange is just about perfect (it features an “Apply” button, miles ahead of Task Commander). It’s definitely going to stay in my collection of tweaking applications.

If you are like me and are fussy about where you applications sit, I would recommend you give it a try.

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Are You A Psycho – Part 2

November 18th, 2005 No comments

So Richard has managed to confirm what I have always known – he has psychopathic tendencies. Apparently, my boss is a psycho too. Nice! (I’ve moved my chair a little further away from hers now).

The answer to the question is quite simple: She killed her sister in the hope that the guy will be at her funeral too.

My first and only solution to the question was that the man was her sister’s new husband/boyfriend, or something like that. Everyone else who I gave the question to, seemed to come up with a similar answer to me, so at least I’m normal!

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Life And Death Balances Around the Letter E

August 30th, 2005 No comments

OK, so I write software for a living. I’ve always known that there are people out there who write some very critical software (e.g. Hospital heart monitors, Aeroplane control systems, etc, etc), but I’ve stayed clear of that so far, and instead my stuff is fairly non critical.

On Thursday of last week, I wrote a recursive procedure for something. We don’t use them very much on our project as there isn’t much need, but for my purposes, it suited it to a tee. I’d spent ages working on it, to make sure that it did eventually reach a base case, and therefore it wouldn’t end up looping infinitely.

Unfortunately, when I ran it, it blew up the database (to be more precise, the “Before Image” of that Webspeed Broker reached the maximum extent – for those of you who know Progress 4GL and Webspeed!). I eventually tracked it down to an error in the procedure which was causing it to loop infinitely. I was quite annoyed as I’d spent ages making sure this wouldn’t happen.

Anyway, I tracked down the bug to one line. Instead of checking if a date was greater than an input date (“GT” operator), I had checked if it was greater than or equal to the input date (“GE” operator). It’s amazing how much effect that one letter has.

Today, I was thinking, “Bloody hell, I blew up a database with one letter. What if I’d been writing Aeroplane controls. I would have killed several hundred people.” I know that those kind of software projects are formally specified, and have code reviews, etc, etc, but the potential is still there for this sort of thing to happen. Hopefully, this would have been found in testing, but things do slip the net (and quite frequently).

I’d better learn to type more accurately…..

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SSH Clients and Tabbed Windows

June 12th, 2005 5 comments

I was thinking the other day about “tabbed” programs – like Firefox, etc. – and how they make my life sooooo much easier.

As an example, I need to look at at least 4 web pages to do my work – if I were to use Internet Explorer, that 4 more windows I need open and taking up precious room on my taskbar (counting quickly in my head, I usually have about 12 windows open at any one time).

The one thing that I really need though is a tabbed SSH client for Windows (and a good one at that). At the moment I used PuTTY – it’s brilliant and I cannot fault it, but it doesn’t do tabs, and it would be so much better if it did. I’ve noticed that it’s in the task list for it to be done, but they are a bit edgy about it.

I did a quick search on that crazy new “internet” thing, and I found out that Apple developers are embracing it well, it’s just Windows developers that don’t want to make the leap (whimps).

Anyone have a any ideas for a Windows based, free (as in beer, but if it is free as in speech too that would be perfect), tabbed SSH client that is stable and useable? Email me, or drop me a comment.

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Back To Work

May 31st, 2005 6 comments

It’s back to work for me this moring after a nice long weekend in the New Forest.

Lots of stories to tell, pictures to upload, that kind of thing.

Interestingly, I managed to find a pair of those sandals with the bottle opener in the sole, and took a couple of pictures, which I will try to upload. When I showed all my friends them in the shop all of them had the same initial reaction: “Wow, cool!”, and then some of them realised, and some of them I had to point out, the fact that it would just pick up all the crap that you walk in. They were rather expensive as well (£35), which I would rather just pay for a good pay of shoes, and the green and yellow ones are nasty (although they did do a nicer colour – a sort of dark khaki brown).

Anyway, I’ll post more information when I can be bothered/have the time.

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Fed Up of Word

May 24th, 2005 1 comment

Word Up!

Enough of the puns, I’m getting fed up with Microsoft Word. Actually, no, scrap that. I’m getting fed up of people giving me crapply formatted documents made in Word.

We’ve just started using formal specifications where I work, and the team that produces them upstairs, obviously don’t know how to properly format a Word document to make it play nicely. I can’t help but think that LyX and LaTeX would be helpful for it’s use, but I doubt that the company would go for that.

We leads me back around to thinking about “Slate”, an app that Richard and I started thinking about just after we left University, as we were a bit fed up of the horrible interface of LyX. Look, it even gets a brief mention at the bottom of Richard’s Applications page.

Wadda ya think Richy-boy? Time to dust off the old Java tutorials and kick some arse?

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Biblical Programming

May 11th, 2005 No comments

At work, we have an error log that holds all of the errors that our programs produce, and we can also put messages into it so that we can debug our programs.

Today, whilst looking through, someone has obviously taken a near-biblical slant on debugging:Hello anybody there?
In the begining
Let there be night!
And man looked apon the darkness
And the darkness was good!
pre syschar900
post syschar900
So end’s the first book
Each one of those lines has been hand typed, in that order, and so must mean something to somebody!

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