Sleepy Saturday

Woohoo! I cooked dinner last night and it was great (I didn't poison indychick!!). We had Chilli, made with Quorn mince (veggie substitute – Indychick doesn't eat meat), kidney beans, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, onion, peppers and garlic. I got the amount of "Lazy Chillies" just about right… kind of a kick to it but not enough to burn your mouth out 🙂 It tasted amazing and I couldn't quite believe I cooked it.

This morning I am in some kind of weird "awake but asleep" mode. It's nearly 11:30 and I'm still sat here at the computer wondering what I'm going to spend Saturday doing. I'd love to get Sendmail working on the Linux computer, but don't really want to prat around with it until I have an ADSL router for the network (yes, I am sad and have a network at home).

I was reading about Mandrake (the Linux distro people) on the web yesterday lunchtime – appears they are in quite a bit of trouble with finances. It's making me wonder if I should start looking around at other distro's… I guess that could be my mission for the day. Redhat is a bit too corporate and boring for me, so it will probably be a weird one.

Aaaannnyyyway – I can feel the coffee pot calling me 🙂


It’s Valentines Day!

It's valentines day and I was planning on leaving an hour early to pop into town and pick up some flowers and ingredients for tea… except my project manager has just veto'd that. How "jobsworth" is that? I suppose I should resist having a complete rant in case the offending idiot reads this.

One lousy hour… and after all the times I've stayed late to do things. The official reason is that we need to ensure help desk cover. Crap isn't it.

Therefore I have to either leave here at lunchtime, buy everything, bring it back to work and then take it home again, or race home and buy the last crappy flowers in the shop…

I should shut up before I really start…


Calendar Feature Added!

I just spent most of the evening adding a calendar feature to the script.

It has meant the script is now nowhere near as simple as it once was – because a multitude of options have to be catered for according to what the user has clicked on.

Hopefully the code still makes sense though, and the BLOG homepage has the ZIP file with the changes in it for download.

The calendar itself was quite interesting to code – I've never done one before and it turned out to be a lot easier than I expected.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave any comments here!


Opening the Source

I finally did it – I opened up the Blog script to the community.

This morning (while I'm supposed to be working on commercial stuff) I had a crisis of conscience, and re-wrote a lot of the PHP behind BLOG to ummm… urrr… make it a bit more professional and stable.

Some of the code to do with having no entries has not been tested, but I'm sure people will tell me if there's anything wrong.

It's strange to put a script out as "Open Source" – a new experience for me. I'm so used to working in the commercial "closed source" world.

I suppose the next thing to add to the blog system will be a calendar with dates hilighted that have entries…


How Many Hits?

Since opening the source code for this noddy little bunch of scripts last night, I've been somewhat taken aback by the number of apparent visitors into the page.

I had no idea hotscripts was such a popular site – that so many people checked it out every day (or perhaps I was lucky?). It reminds me of when cool site of the day listed ThoughtCafe a couple of years ago – 3000 hits overnight.

Today was a bit of a nightmare actually – trying to reply to questions about this while also getting on with my normal work. A couple of the other developers in the office took a look and pointed out some shortcomings that I knew were there but hadn't bothered to code properly yet 🙂

I guess by the end of tonight the Blog scripts are going to be pretty solid if I pick at them. What's really needed I suppose is some good documentation and version control from this point forwards…


Tired and Bored

I'm sat at my desk this afternoon after being in and out of the office for the last few days, and I don't really know what to do next…

It turns out, after a mad scramble to get several of the projects out of the way that I am now effectively free from any specific work until late March… figure that one out.

I have to admit that when I first found out my mind immediately jumped towards making my own workflow or document management system. The reasoning behind this goes back to the last few projects I've worked on – when we wanted a particular level of functionality, but to do it we had to have complete overkill.

It's tempting to start work on a workflow solution in the same way that it's tempting to work on a chess engine – it's a deceptively simple piece of programming that becomes incredibly complex under certain situations.

Aaannyyyway – Darth Vader just turned up at my desk with the CD of a new version of some software to try out. I can't see it being a problem, but you never know…

I'm bored. I'm tired. I want to go home.


Dead on my Feet

After pulling a late nighter working on my website last night, finally getting to bed at about 2:30, the tiredness has really hit me this afternoon.

It's like somebody has suddenly hung very heavy things off my eyelids or something.

The ThoughtCafe website appears to be doing quite well (shocking!). I sent the newsletter out last night – the cause of the late night. It went to just over 2000 people. I had to switch off Norton Antivirus because it blew up while recieving the piles of outgoing emails.

Actually, I was a bit annoyed last night – I was planning on doing the newsletter in Adobe Acrobat format (printing from PagePlus). It decided (like Windows programs do) to blow to pieces every time I tried to print to Acrobat. Finally at about 1am I gave up and did the newsletter in HTML format.

The temptation to run around on the green outside the house shouting obscenities about Microsoft was sorely tempting.


Forging Ahead with TC

After a week of concentrated effort, the new ThoughtCafe site code is becoming more stable, and the bugs are falling out as I work on it.

It's nice to finally be working on a running project with Linux, MySQL and PHP. The difference in stability and performance over Windows cannot be measured – we were getting two or three server failures a week with Win2K, and so far we have not had a single problem.

Tonight is going to be fun – the domains have moved around for both TC Evo and the old ThoughtCafe site. I wonder how long it will take (with ADSL) to move everything…


On-Site and using the web…

Today has been a long day already.

We finally got to bed last night at about 2am (again), and I had to get up to catch the 7:15 train out of Marlow to visit a client site. I woke up with the alarm at about 6am, then tried desperately – in vain – to slow time down.

I finally got up and just got out of the house in time to catch the train. Arrived in Swindon a bit early, so grabbed a coffee from a place near the station before arriving on-site.

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive today – the customer has screwed their system, and I am here to fix it. The blame is pretty squarely at their doorstep, but how do you tell them that? You don't. I was presently surprised to find everybody welcoming and congenial – made the whole day a lot better.

It turned out they really had screwed the system, but weren't about to admit to it. I therefore just went through the motions of checking everything and putting things back how they should have been… they appear grateful at least.

Now I have to test the system out throughout the afternoon and see what happens to it…

God, it's going to be 9 oclock before I get home…