Archive for the ‘Life: Work and Techy’ category

EBuyer – up to date machines

July 7th, 2007

Have a quick look at the Netcraft report of the web servers which are running the computer supplier eBuyer – on the 15th, 17th and 27th of June they were running on a 48k ZX Spectrum (cool) and in between those dates they alternated between a Commodore C64, CBM Pet, MSX Toshiba HX-10 and a CRAY (which was a really fast machine back in the 80s).

Memories…. Sigh
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Free Directory Enquiries

June 19th, 2007

Continuing on my theme of free phone thingies (ok, this is only the second post out of what looks like to be two), I just thought I’d let people know that they can get free UK directory enquiries. Yes, apart from the BT Online DQ service and services such as, you can also get free directory enquiries over the telephone. Just call 0800 118 3733 (aka 0800 118 FREE) and listen to the short advertisement and then just ask the nice automated service for the number you require. It’s operated by 118118 so your mileage may vary….

Coding: Less Code Is Better Code

June 7th, 2007

Rich Skrenta (he of Open Directory Project fame) has blogged how code is our enemy. The following phrases in particular: “The more code you have, the more places there are for bugs to hide….The longer it takes a new employee to make sense of your system. If you have to refactor there’s more stuff to move around.”

These sound so true to me and I agree with Jeff that Smaller Code Is Better, but I’d prefer smaller, segmented re-usable code with comments over a large bloated undocumented mess any day!

Top 10 Lies told by clients

June 3rd, 2007

And from Evolt, there’s the top 10 lies told by clients – which my old workplace especially will recognise. Handly, it also provides some advice.

  1. Do this one cheap (or free) and we’ll make it up on the next one.
  2. We never pay a cent until we see the final product.
  3. Do this for us and you’ll get great exposure! The jobs will just pour in!
  4. On looking at sketches or concepts: Well, we aren’t sure if we want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk to my partner/investor/wife/clergy.
  5. Well, the job isn’t CANCELLED, just delayed. Keep the account open and we’ll continue in a month or two.
  6. Contract? We don’t need no stinking contact! Aren’t we friends?
  7. Send me a bill after the work goes to press.
  8. The last guy did it for XXX dollars.
  9. Our budget is XXX dollars, firm.
  10. We are having financial problems. Give us the work, we’ll make some money and we’ll pay you. Simple.
  11. and from a commenter there: We’ll pay you less than you are asking and make it up as royalties on the product.

Coding: Six ways to write more comprehensible code

June 2nd, 2007

From IBM there’s the Six ways to write more comprehensible code – How to keep your code from destroying you. Usefully it provides examples for:

  1. Comment like a smart person
  2. Use #define a lot. No, a LOT
  3. Don’t use variable names that will mock you
  4. Do error checking. You make errors. Yes, you
  5. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.” – Donald Knuth
  6. Don’t be too clever by half.
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