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Sunday, May 17, 2015
Windows Mobile 10080 – A hot mess

So, I rolled back to Windows 8.1 using the Nokia Recovery Tool, as the latest Windows Mobile build is actually worse than the previous one.

It did add Office.  That was nice.  Kind of. 

The continual inability of it to ‘acquire licenses’ while trying to update things like the MSN apps meant that the start screen was usually unavailable.

But what really made it unusable to me was how the continued inaccuracies in touch on the Lumia 1520 meant that in OneNote, it couldn’t figure out how to place the cursor, often causing it to select an entire block of text.  Which on at least one occasion caused it to delete.  Which you can’t undo, because OneNote doesn’t have an undo.

That just won’t do.

So, waiting for the next build to have a usable start screen, which I hope is soon as the look of the UI itself is pretty fantastic.  The new start screen, once configured, and for the 10% of the time it actually would display, was phenomenal.

posted @ Sunday, May 17, 2015 11:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Friday, May 15, 2015
Windows 10 Mobile 10080 - Blank Start Screen

So, it took me a while to figure this one out.... I installed the latest windows mobile release, everything was fine (well, the install was a bit messy but whatever), started installing apps and then....nothing would show on the start screen. You could show the notification settings, but no apps.

I could hack around by launching Cortana and it would launch some apps that way, but not others. What is going on is that the store (not store beta, the original) is still downloading apps. If it stalls, the start screen will come back for a bit. Apparently, it needs to finish installing everything that is queued up (which for me requires a WiFi connection, I'm away from home so don't have one at the moment) for the start screen to come back for good.

Weird bug, but there you go.

posted @ Friday, May 15, 2015 3:58 PM | Feedback (0)
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Wittgenstein on Family Resemblance, or why I don’t like base classes

This is largely a through-away notion, but there is a point to it.

Wittgenstein talks about something called ‘family resemblance.’  Very, very generally speaking, we talk about things as being similar, as fitting within a common ‘concept’, but they don’t share a single defining feature.  The stock example is that of a game.  Hockey is a game.  Tiddlywinks is also a game.  You cannot define a common defining feature.

Sometimes, when talking about code, there are people who want to do everything in terms of base classes and subclasses.  This is natural and understandable, but there are many times when it is mistaken.  Just create separate classes.

posted @ Sunday, May 10, 2015 12:23 PM | Feedback (0)
Friday, April 24, 2015
Self-blame?

I had no idea that was a word.

Anyway, although you certainly should design your apps so that they are easy to use, pretty much if you can’t do it on the computer, it usually is your fault.

Sorry.  But, that’s okay.  It isn’t a moral judgment, it’s a skills assessment.

posted @ Friday, April 24, 2015 12:15 PM | Feedback (0)
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Breaking news: Relational databases are no longer needed

I wasn’t aware of this:

It's not a relational system and, frankly, relational systems simply aren't needed any more. The whole concept of normalization and relational "thinking" for lack of better words came about because of disk space (I was a former DBA). SQL databases are very good at what they do, they succeed because they stick with ACID and are quite fast; I don't think it has anything to do with how good they are at relational theory.

But, he was a former DBA (apparently he isn’t a former DBA anymore), so he must know what he’s talking about.

Good to know.

posted @ Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:52 AM | Feedback (0)
Friday, April 17, 2015
Chasing the Latest Shiny New – Software Design as Fashion Design

Rob is in loveHe’s been in love before, he’ll be in love again.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Love is cool.

Related (sort of), I was talking to a recruiter/vendor today and they wanted to know if there was any word that they could utter that might make me interested in moving to a new job.

I think they wanted me to say something like “Knockout” or “Angular” or something.  A few years ago, it would have been “Rails”.

When you don’t have an interest in the end result of the work, or at least only a passing interest, then I imagine I might have some words in mind.  But I don’t.

There’s nothing wrong with being a fashion designer, not at all.  I could never be one.

For a lot of people, they want software because they want it to do something.  And they prefer people who will stick to the doing something, and not continually lose interest because it isn’t the latest shiny new.

But it sure can be fascinating to watch.  You know, if you are into that sort of thing.

posted @ Friday, April 17, 2015 1:59 PM | Feedback (0)
Repost: XKCD – Code Quality

posted @ Friday, April 17, 2015 12:47 AM | Feedback (0)
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Quick Impressions of Windows 10 Phone 10051 on a Nokia Lumia 1520

Ok, so I didn’t really read the release notes much.  I was out of town at a funderal and just installed it.  Generally not the smartest way of doing things, but I am a trained professional.

The immediate ‘show stopper’ is that Office isn’t included.  I tend to use OneNote a lot.  Oops.  Wunderlist appears to be a useful enough substitute for the few weeks I have to wait for whatever build puts that back in.

It is most definitely a work in progress with varying degrees of fit and polish (or lack thereof).  The most immediate things to worry about are the apps that simply don’t work.  They start to launch, then exit.  I’m looking at you, Netflix. And the new Outlook mail and calendar apps look nice, but the unified mailbox is gone, which I definitely miss at the moment.

But the biggest negative difference that I’ve noticed is the sudden drop in battery life.  It’s hard to quantify without testing it, but it appears to drain 2 to 3 times faster than with its official 8.1 counterpart.

If you can deal with that, it’s worth a look.  As long as, you know, you don’t need Office.

posted @ Sunday, April 12, 2015 10:49 PM | Feedback (0)
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Simple Sample Visual Studio Post-Build Event

del C:\Code\Deployments\$(SolutionName)\$(ConfigurationName)\$(ProjectName)\*.* /f /q

xcopy /y $(ProjectDir)\bin\$(ConfigurationName)\*.dll C:\Code\Deployments\$(SolutionName)\$(ConfigurationName)\$(ProjectName)\

xcopy /y $(ProjectDir)\bin\$(ConfigurationName)\$(AssemblyName).exe C:\Code\Deployments\$(SolutionName)\$(ConfigurationName)\$(ProjectName)\

xcopy /y $(ProjectDir)\bin\$(ConfigurationName)\$(AssemblyName).exe.config C:\Code\Deployments\$(SolutionName)\$(ConfigurationName)\$(ProjectName)\

posted @ Wednesday, April 08, 2015 11:13 PM | Feedback (0)
It’s ok to like different things: Sine Qua Non and other things

I was reading this and it touched on something that had come across in totally different subjects/genres/whatever, and since there’s a clearly correct answer, I thought I’d mention it here.

From that article is this:

Critics, of all people, have an obligation to take a stand, and if you truly adore the subtlety and elegance of La Tâche, it is impossible to believe that you can derive equal pleasure from wines like Krankl's The 17th Nail in My Cranium (it's a Syrah that weighs in at around 16 percent alcohol). These are wines that offer completely conflicting notions of balance and quality – and, no, it doesn't matter a bit that they are made in different regions and from different grapes. In fact, I'd say that any critic who gives whopping scores to SQN and then turns around and does the same with DRC is not really a critic; he's a shill or – worse – a cynic, deliberately not coming down on one side or the other for fear of offending his audience or costing himself potential readers/subscribers.

You don’t have to know anything about wine to get the general idea, and by pointing to similar examples I’ve heard in other places, it’s clear to point out the fallacies involved here.

While writing this post, I read another article that touches on a similar point, but from a slightly different perspective:

I often wonder what I would call the “average” wine consumer thinks of the ongoing battle for hearts and minds that pits advocates of ripeness and richness against champions of restraint and low alcohol. It is a battle that has insidiously worked its way into a good many aspects of contemporary wine culture. It would be easy enough for the interested, but inexperienced, wine drinker to conclude that there are essentially two models for wine and that they are as bipolar as bipolar can get. The rhetoric gets downright caustic at times, and friendly discussion has given way to monologues of extremes wherein the vast middle ground is ignored…..One thing I have learned over the years is that there are wines of great beauty to be had in an extraordinary range of styles; beauty easily missed when dogma and polemic rear their heads.

This is the perspective that I am more inclined to share, from a deeply philosophical perspective.

That is to say, there are, in fact, quite significant differences in how wine is made, and the characteristics of the resultant product.  These differences and characteristics are not ephemeral, they are real, grounded in the real world.

However, this is nothing to say of what one prefers, where ‘one’ can mean both ‘the general public’ or ‘any specific individual.’  I might like one thing at one particular moment in time, and another thing at another moment in time, even when those things are quite different.

This applies, of course, not only to wine, but also to many other things, like music.  As I’ve mentioned before, I like Colbie Caillat, and yes, I know that is creepy.  I also like King Crimson.  It is difficult to imagine two more different things.  But, I might, at some particular moment in time, prefer to listen to one rather than the other.

Now, it is natural, in this situation, to ask “But which is better?”  To which I would say, “Better in what way?”  In almost every possible respect, I suppose I would say that King Crimson.  Unless I want to listen to mindless pop music that makes my toes tap (so to speak).  King Crimson pretty much sucks at that.

“But which is better?”  I know, it’s tempting to ask that question.  But, if you really think it makes sense (and I think it probably does), how does it make sense?

posted @ Wednesday, April 08, 2015 11:57 AM | Feedback (0)