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…


Tired and Bored

If anybody that reads this is wondering why there is such a huge gap between entries, it's because I've just been so damn busy!

I've just completed the principal development work for a contract at work, and need to test it thoroughly this afternoon (booooring). I've been working on it since just before Christmas, and I'll be pretty glad to get it installed (next Tuesday!) and see the back of it.

At home of course I have been working on the replacement for ThoughtCafe, and have imposed something of a deadline on myself of this coming Sunday. So far I've worked about 20 hours on it this week during the evenings… last night I was up until 2am.

It's so dangerous at the moment – every time I get past one section of the development, I realise I could have done a previous section a better way. I'm going to have to draw the line from this point until "go live" and just get it out the door – I can re-code things later.

Indychick just called to tell me the laptop at home has packed up – I'm hoping it isn't terminal. Sounds like an overheating problem (it froze), so finger crossed on that one. If we have lost it we can't afford a new one for a long time – we have too many debts at the moment.

This post seems very "bitty" today, doesn't it… I guess I have too many things on my mind.


Another Monday

It's another Monday and I'm back at work after a week off enjoying time at home decorating and working on the new ThoughtCafe website.

Somehow nothing managed to happen while I was away, and the one call I had to resolve was very quick indeed. Ho hum. I did find out though that I'm travelling to East Grinstead first thing tomorrow to visit one of our clients. Quite how I'm going to make my work there look like half a day is anybody's guess – and I have to evade the woman there who was rather too friendly last time. Guess I should be flattered really.

It must say something about my tired state that I cannot think of anything ludicrous or stupid to write about (normally I'm a fount of stupidity).

Off to surf the web for the rest of lunchtime I suppose…


Monday morning and I feel fine

It's monday afternoon and I'm sat here after having read a number of comments on my own blog from a rather colourful character who seems to have rather too much time on his hands 🙂

It really makes you wonder why some people choose to spend their free time in such a negative manner.

AnywayWhat a sad thing to have as a "skill" on your CV – "wallpapering".

You can see it in an interview now –

"What other skills do you have that you feel would help in the role of thin client developer at Fujitsu?"

"I'm quite good at wallpapering!"

Hmmm… I'm hungry. Food. I must have food.


I hate smoking…

It's been a funny kind of day today so far – I got up a bit later than normal and got a lift into work with my infinitely superior other half (IndyChick), then figured out that the stuff I had been scared about starting was nowhere near as bad as I had originally thought (yes that's right – I'm a software developer who is scared of complex stuff).

The morning passed by pretty quietly, then I went into town with one of my colleagues – who I cannot think of a pseudonim for in this diary (he has been likened to one of the Antyll mob from Penelope Pitstop, so if anybody knows his name let me know).

We went to the "Red Lion" for lunch and tried out their new StoneBaked Pizzas – amazingly cheap and tasted great too. I shall have to take IndyChick there soon. Apparently on a tuesday night they have two pizzas for the price of oneis people smoking. There should be some kind of law that if somebody wants to smoke in a pub they have to pay everybody in there some money to clean their clothes afterwards – because they make everybody stink… I didn't used to notice it very much but I'm slowly getting worse and worse. When I get home I have to change my clothes usually.

Then if anybody gets cancer from passive smoking in the years to come they can sue the arse off whoever they know who smokes. Quite why people blame the tobacco companies I will never know – it's the idiots that smoke that cause the problem.


First “Real” Entry…

I suppose "technically" I have missed posting an entry into this online diary for the first of January, because it took longer than 40 minutes to get the initial pieces of the PHP code working.

What I now have is technically okay though, so I'll slowly add to it over the coming weeks (when I get a chance), and maybe even publish the project on SourceForge as an open source BLOG solution.

I guess this will do for now. Obvious things that are going to be needed for the future are a "Cast of Characters", describing the various pseudonyms I'm going to use to represent people I know, and of course the facility to let people comment on the diary entries.

We'll see how it goes I guess.

Blimey – it's nearly 1am and I have work in the morning…


Bored at my Desk

It's the day after "New Years Day", and I'm back at work. I can't say I'm thrilled to be here, but at least the stuff I am working on is going fine.

I've been picking at this BLOG site inbetween doing my real work all morning – stealing things from my previous blog (which will soon be no more), and adding functions here and there. I think the only major thing missing is some shortcut buttons to navigate to current, previous and next blog entries. I'll probably sort that out tonight.

It's quite amusing looking through the blogs on the various diary sites around to see what people are talking about – and the range of personalities. Makes you realise that perhaps your life isn't so boring or bad after all. The amazing thing to me was how many women write online diaries – they must outnumber the men ten to one.

You would never guess that I'm just sat here typing this to avoid carrying on with my work, would you 🙂

Okay… if I'm going to waste time I might as well do it properly. What's on my desk?

Working from left to right, I have two plastic box file type paperwork holders. They stand upright and have about twice too much paper in each. Why I don't just bung 90% of it in the bin is anybodies guess – but then that would be hard work, wouldn't it.

Next along is the box for "Visual Cafe", and a pile of Java and Javascript books… we always joke about they guys on the front of the technical programmer books – they invariably have tight t-shirts with the O-Reilly drawings on, pot bellies, impressive beards and very thick glasses. It should serve as a warning to us all.

Atop the books stands a logic puzzle and Buzz Lightyear. Buzz protects the office from the evil Zurg empire.

Across the other side of my monitor (which is emblazoned with a couple of tatty sticky notes) is a pen holder with two pens, a ruler, and a photo of my better half wedged in it. There's also an action-man head we dug up out of the garden – I brought it in because it looks like my project manager.

On the far right of the desk we find one of those plastic stacking "in" trays. It looks something like a jumble sale – full of disks, various machinery like a stapler and hole punch, and ten or twenty CD-ROMs – some in their cases, some not.

Isn't my desk excitingLuckily we don't have a "clean desk" rule in our office, so usually mine looks like a hell-hole.

Oh well… that wasted another 10 minutes… better get back to work. I think I can hear my project manager poking around downstairs (he sounds like Darth Vader, and looks like Dracula).