Saturday, April 21, 2012

Comp Maintenance: No Good Deed

Almost 2 months ago...

I was cleaning/fixing a 12 year old dell machine.
And forgot to bring it back.
On a whim, I tried to pick up a replacement (at walmart of all places), emachine for $300. It was about time for a newer comp anyway.
All went fine setting it up until trying out the internet. Weirdly it wouldn't load most webpages, really only google would load.
I tried using network tools, pinging worked for some, it was just confusing.
I brought it back home, tried on my network here (check if different from the dsl network) and all was fine.
So I went back and tried it again.
This time there was a different network issue, had to reset the modem because of changed security.
Afterwards, same issue, could not connect to some sites.
I hooked up the old dell machine on the network and it worked, everything worked.
So in the end I gave up on the emachine and brought it back, and I'll never buy one again. 
And the old dell would have to do for a bit longer.

Almost a month ago...

I picked up a refurb compag desktop off newegg for a great price (better than the emachine),
fast shipping and it has worked great since, no issues.

Weekend - tertainment

saw hunger games in the cinema this weekend
it was pretty good, and although i haven't read the book myself, it seems to follow the story well
the districts reminded me of the timezones from in time, segments distancing the rich from the poor
my only real complaint is that it felt unfinished, which is to be expected as the first in a trilogy

although i'm not a big star wars fan
i picked up a comic tag and bink and book darth plagueis from the library
looking forward to getting back into some reading

fringe is in high gear with lots of reveals and drama
with alter lincoln's death, broyles being revealed, and more insight into jones and his plans
i can feel the end of the season coming, and hope for atleast another partial season to follow

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PAX East 2012

Here's a rough overview of my weekend in Boston:

Arrived late Friday missing keynote and Q&A (after walking from hotel)
played minefield in classic arcade
played the secret world in expo
saw the natural selection setup in expo (awesome since i remember playing it as a halflife mod back at lan parties)
lunch at flour bakery, grilled tofu sandwich (limited selection, usually only 2 vegan items)
played my last night on earth in tabletop (basic die z die scenario)

Had my thai vegan for dinner on Friday and Saturday (all vegan, but service was lacking)
Stayed at hyatt regency, close enough to walk to BCEC but thankfully got rides with shuttle/car since weather was chilly

Saw Penny arcade draw a strip and Q&A (barely made it after walking to get breakfast at flour bakery)
played more minefield and bosconian in classic arcade
played primal carnage in expo
played more last night on earth in tabletop (escape in trunk scenario)
caught second half of concerts with jonathan coulton (re your brains!) and mc frontalot (epic dubstep wubness yellow lasers version)
played zombie dice

And lots of wandering around checking out the other setups/games in expo, cosplay outfits, 8bit music, rockband stage, etc.

Had to head back early on Sunday so missed this day

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lingering Defect

I like debugging code and solving defects.
And I like reading someone else's code and understanding it.

So these two come into conflict when the defect is in a black box system (from my view).
I interact with the web service, I have integration tests against it, I have ideas on how it should work.
And so when these are all raising red flags to me, I raise up the issue, since sadly I can do nothing about it.
All I can do is provide evidence of the bug as best I can.
Response comparisons between environments, screen shots of views using the service, etc.
And hope for another developer to investigate, and prove me right or wrong.

But it doesn't always work, and can lead to meeting after meeting, to just point fingers (ie "not me, must be you").
Am I mistaken? Is it my client code? What did I change? Can't I see it's working?
Which is all together frustrating.
Really what I want to do is just look though the code myself, but I cannot.

And I imagine a manager's perspective is not the best for discussing a specific defect.
With no personal knowledge of the code or of recent changes or a developer's secret "fix" that may break another part of the system,
a response like "nothing has changed" would be expected.
And I'm sure completely wrong. Code is always changing, or we would be out of a job.
(I know these are sweeping generalizations, this is purely ranting)