Friday, 29 July 2011

Week in Review - 2011-30

A friend pointed out this article to me which says in summary:
"No matter how much you try, you can’t stop people from sticking beans up their nose."

Its well worth reading, especially if you continually see crazy things happening at work, and need a way to deal with it.

In a similar fashion, I've also stumbled across a couple of comics which happen to describe (too accurately) most of the real world: and PhD Comics. And lets not forget Dilbert. At least we can laugh about it.

I've been having trouble with my MythTV install. I've installed 2 tuner cards (one is a single tuner, the other dual) and when I reboot they seem to be randomly assigned to /dev/dvb/adapterX - I finally started looking into it, and found this reference which has helped me permanently assign the first card - which should be consistent across reboots. However, I've still got to set up the second card, and test properly.

An article (from 2007!) pointing out how Ron Jefferies failed to build a sudoko solver using TDD sparked a very interesting conversation in which we debated the usefulness of tests. It also sparked an interesting tangent, because it appears that most people think the second D in TDD stands for design (it actually stands for DEVELOPMENT). It also seems to be thought that if you do TDD you don't need to do any application design (a feeling that maybe Ron Jefferies sudoko posts perhaps promoted). I certainly prefer to work on a project where the high level design is mapped out and everyone understands (for example, mapping out the subsystems and how they interact). I like tests and I will continue to write them - I believe it improves the design of my CLASS, test-first where appropriate, but I'll admit that its not always easy. It takes a bit of skill to write good tests, but I think developing this skill helps improve your production code as well. Its a state of mind, and spirit+passion is important.

I currently have an old pre-paid phone. I use an iPod touch to listen to podcasts/music and play the odd game. It would be nice to shiny new Android smart phone so I could do this all on one device. So, looking around I was stunned to see so many phones running Android 2.1 and 2.2!! It seems like there are not many 2.3 devices out there. If I did get a new phone, I'd want to tether my laptop - so the minimum Android would be 2.2. I spend $150 p/y on my pre-paid phone, and theres another $150 p/y if I use my prepaid 3G broadband modem for internet access on the go. So the Garmin A50 on a $19 plan looks competitive but there is no indication of the Android version. I think that's done on purpose to make it hard to compare and to generally frustrate customers ;-). The next feasible ones would be on the $29 plan if they ran 2.3 but alas: LG Optimus (unknown version) and Samsung Galaxy S (2.1). Sigh, too hard. Anyone know why these phones are crippled with old software?