workBLOGS . smasn and FX

Filed Under (Random.links, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 15-05-2004

One of the ways I measure how busy I was for the past few days is by the number of unread rss feeds this reader of mine is getting. And with 128 feeds to monitor the pile is indeed that huge sometimes. Good thing I'm already over with that 'I-have-to-read-them-all' syndrome and with this rss reader, I can set them to remain there forever organized on folders so I can just return and scan things if time permits. That's a big IF these days but hopefully hopefully hopefully... in the future, I'll find some time.

It has been a really busy two weeks (nCount('busy', line) = nCount('busy', line) + 1), spanning to four visits on three different clients. The latest was yesterday (since it's already 2AM... again) where I have to install the Integrated Library System I'm working on for the past eight months to its third client. The school and the ambience of the place was nice which reminds me of my high school campus back in Davao, but it is the travel that was a little hard compared to the other client visits.

We have to wait for almost two hours for the FX Taxi to fill up before it decided to move its arse. That was quite a long two hours spent hoping that the humans passing that part of the place would have a same destination as mine or some family of ten would show up which would automatically fill that FX. It even come to a point where I was exercising mind control on some humans hoping I could make them ride the FX and fill the vehicle up so we can start moving. And another point where I was hoping Godzilla would appear out of nowhere.

Sometimes I wonder how some humans can tolerate systems that makes you wait doing nothing except exercise mind control and call on the gods of thunder and speed. How I wish in the future there will be a networked system that can make you monitor the departure and arrival of these vehicles even if you're at home so you can choose to watch a lame show in TV instead of doing nothing. For now the only thing I can do in line with that is to store in my photo-mem the frequency they use in their radio communication systems.

The travel back home was even harder, especially for qs who always come with me during client visits. Unlike me who can ride virtually any vehicle available in this country, qs can't ride some of them without having to protect her contact lens, her pearly white skin, her hair, her pair of levi's, shoes... to a name a few. These are the days we wished the old driver was still here and could accompany us on our client visits just like he used to.

Tomorrow's client visit was re-scheduled which means I can have more time to relax and do some blogs.

... and exercise this dormant mind control powers of mine hoping it would work the next time around.

[initialize.random.links]
The rise of interface elegance in open source software
Canon PowerShot S60
Archaelogists claim discovery of the library of Alexandria
[terminate.random]

article . VFP and OpenOffice.org

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 14-05-2004

Oh... this is great. VFP Automates OpenOffice.org

downloads . VFP and May newsletter

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 13-05-2004

A new batch of Visual FoxPro 8.0 Samples and Visual Foxpro's May 2004 Letter from the Editor is out.

workBLOGS . Your system…

Filed Under (work.BLOG) by WildFire on 13-05-2004

If you're a programmer/systems developer visiting one of your clients, be sure to program yourself and the tasks you would do there first. Plan. Scribble things on paper. Live up to your work. You can't consider yourself a programmer/developer creating systems and programs for somebody else's company when you yourself are not systematic and organized to begin with. It's like talking peace and having a rocket launcher on your shoulder, a combat knife on your left hand and hand grenades around your chest.

Simulate things. Create folders and dump all the databases and files there. See every possible problem... every possible 'hole'. Test on different OSes. I remember when I was creating the APIs for Project Sophieia, after doing and testing things I was jumping in joy... 'I have conquered API! I have conquered this API!'... only to be dragged down when I found out that such API won't work on Windows 2000. So I researched, tweaked and customized further, lose quite a number of sexy neurons and fats until it worked in all the units of the client's internet laboratory.

I was so delighted that I even offered to present it on the upper management of that client. It was too late when I realize that she's using Windows XP. Boom.

Test and test... and test once more. Acquire old PCs if you can and install different OSes. Dual boot if lResourcesShortage = T. This is one of those reasons why software development comes a little expensive compared to other things.

Be sure though that the product you are developing is worth it... and would stand the test of time and the fierceness of my fire-breathing pet dragon in case it comes within inches of your project.

art . shadowelement cataclysm 001

Filed Under (GFX) by WildFire on 11-05-2004

Here's a collaborative artwork between me and ShadowElement. Expect more variations in the weeks to come.

NF . random quickie blobs

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 10-05-2004

And a late random quickie blobs.

article . Coder to Developer

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 10-05-2004

Mike Gunderloy's Coder to Developer (from Joel Spolsky)

There's something weird about software development, some mystical quality, that makes all kinds of people think they know how to do it.

article . Problems of code reliability

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 10-05-2004

Problems of code reliability in Microsoft Visual Foxpro.

workBLOGS . plant and hard disk

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 10-05-2004

Last Saturday, after two consecutive days of another batch of client visits, I found myself in a crowded mall with a three feet plant in my right hand. While others are carrying their shopping bags, new shirts, shoes or whatever thing they have decided to waste their money on, I was carrying a plant.

The feeling is weird and surreal that not even Tim Burton taking a hallucination steroid can portray it.

Anyway, the plant's not mine though I don't mind owning it after carrying it in that mall. I made a different purchase that day, which includes a brand new spankin' 80GB 7200 Seagate hard disk and one 128MB DDRAM which I am currently using in this PC.

I have moved my old WindowsME into the primary slave slot and installed WindowsXP on this new drive. While others might cringe and scream when they hear the word WindowsME, I on the other hand have only good things to say about it. It has been with me for almost two years and 20+ database projects. So it stays there as a primary slave disk so that I can simply switch drive slots in case, God forbid, something goes wrong with this WindowsXP of mine.

I haven't had a major crash while WindowsME was holding the steering wheel. The WindowsXPerience so far has been good though. Hope it remains that way until Microsoft releases the second service pack for Longhorn.

NF . CD Rot

Filed Under (alien.invasion, Random.links) by WildFire on 10-05-2004

This CD rot thing is scary. So at three in the morning after compiling some database programs I spent some time randomly picking old CDRs and raising them up against the light looking for any signs of constellations and alien life forms.

So far this home-made Hubble hasn't found one. I can now sleep well.

I have had bad experiences with generic CDRs before and I have learned my lessons.

Importance(Data.Security + Media.Reliability) > CD.Price

This, my friend, is applicable in any constellation this universe holds.

workBLOGS . 2AM

Filed Under (GFX, Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 06-05-2004

Before today... make that yesterday, since it is already 2AM and I have just decided to call it a day in terms of database-related works, it was a consecutive three day client visits for me. It is quite a busy start for this week. And it will be busier in the days to come since I'm targeting to complete most of these projects by the end of May.

Haven't done much surfing lately too so I can't give you interesting links for now. What I do these days is copy the links that my RSSReader grabs for me and save this batch on an Excel file which I will later copy and paste inside HTTrack for some midnight-to-morning 'pulling'. So far I haven't read those articles yet.

I'm also planning to take some time to do some updates at pixelcatalyst.lair which I have been neglecting these days. PixelWorkz, the site from where pixelcatalyst.lair was derived will turn five years this 19th of May so probably I'd be uploading some stuff which I haven't had the time to upload for months already. These would include the artworks I submitted to DepthCore during last month's Submergence release and something related to the on going collaboration between me and ShadowElement. Add a batch of tutorials and some stock photos.

OK... this feed just came in: West Wind Html Help Builder 3.25 released.

article . a new generation

Filed Under (Random.links, Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 03-05-2004

From the Editor: The Birth of a New Generation by David Stevenson. .NET Rocks! interviews DonXML.

Beware of sasser. Rumors claim that it can cause baldness and irritation of the skin. More info and helpful links here.

NF . random quickie-mind blobs

Filed Under (Random.links, Random.scribbles, Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 02-05-2004

Random quickie-mind blobs.

  • If you can't afford to buy your dream house, create them in photoshop. Better... make them look edible.
  • PixelPalooza winners from Icon Factory. I have this 'thing' for desktop icons. I strongly believed they are ewoks or some other cuddly character from Star Wars before they were reborn in this era.
  • Who needs Albert Einstein and education when you can measure the speed of light using marshmallows..? Oh you can even eat the marshmallows after the experiment.
  • With Google Inc.'s S1 filing comes a lot of things. I won't even include a hyperlink this time. The news is everywhere in the 'net for the past few days. From news to analysis to estimates on how many machines Google is running to their quirks that makes you love Google even more.
  • Geek humor: If you take a close look at the form Google filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the exact value of its planned offering is $2,718,281,828 dollars, which some would immediately recognize as the mathematical constant e.

    E, for those not blessed with a Ph.D. and a job at Google, is Euler's number, which is used as the base for natural logarithms.

  • Fibonacci is everywhere. It's even in the pattern of Elmo's underwear.
  • The latest from mind control technology, eh? MY relationship with my pet pterodactyl uses a technology two steps ahead of this one. But I don't have any plans of sharing it for now. Besides I'm not sure if it is error-proof already. I haven't seen my pterodactyl for three months already. If you see one with a barcode in it's neck that reads '0987253251129' please be kind enough to inform me. Just be careful not to touch the mouth part... the pterodactyl's saliva is equivalent to superglue.
  • May 2004 issue of MSDN is out. It even has a downloadable .chm version.
  • Ever wondered why Microsoft settled with Sun? Well that at least is according to Tom Yager.

Hmmm... seriously, anyone have any ideas how to track that pterodactyl of mine?

NF . movie physics

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 01-05-2004

It's about time someone wrote about the 'Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics'. But we can't deny these 'inconsistencies' are worth watching.

THOUGHTS . competition

Filed Under (Random.links, Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 01-05-2004

I think I need a pause button too.

In a different note, I was thinking about matters related to competition this afternoon. Something that deals about not being afraid of one, but instead using it as a means to improve yourself and your craft. I'll elaborate later. Right now I'm amazed at what coffee can do these days. There's even a can that could 'self chill'.

I'm looking forward to a drink that would teach my imaginary pet tiger to code in between meals.