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Today, as anyone who wakes up listening to 6music will know, is Wear Your Old Band T-shirt To Work Day.

So I am )

Anyone else?

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Very slightly over a year ago, I wrote:

So, for 2014: evaluate life. Work out how to fit things in to it. Learn new stuff.

At the end of March, I wrote my first quarterly report on the resolution, which decided that progress was, frankly, not brilliant.

Then I didn't write any more quarterly reports, which may give you a clue how things went overall.

This might be quite dull )

So, not a success overall, really.

Things to concentrate on this year:

Find the time )

Sort my knees out )

Plus, of course, I have a minor resolution of drinking nothing but water in January to raise money for WaterAid.
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Some time last year, I bestirred myself to look up what, exactly, is meant by the phrase "dog days". Wikipedia tells me that it "refers to the sultry days of summer[citation needed]". It seems we get this from the Roman diēs caniculārēs, the hot weather associated with the dog star, Sirius.

I don't agree.

To me, the phrase "dog days" always means this gap between Christmas and New Year. The dog days are the nothing days when everyone is sunk in comfortable indolence. In the past few days, I've heard a number of otherwise on-the-ball people ask what day it is. Because at this time of year, no one knows: every day is like Sunday, and we drift along with a vague idea that it might be the 29th today. Or the 30th? Who knows. Who cares?

Someone told me a few days ago that the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months of 30 days, and the leftovers are collected together in a vague dog end of a month which lasts for 5 or 6 days (depending on leapage). Disappointingly, due to their calendar being offset from ours, this happens around the beginning of September. But I think it's an excellent idea that we should adopt, a thirteenth month after Christmas; spare days that don't count, where nothing is expected to happen.

This year, I've run out of leave and am working 29th-31st. As a result, I'm just about aware that today is Tuesday. The office is quiet and sparsely populated, though, and my room has only me in it (and 9 empty desks). There's considerably more of a holiday vibe than there was in the frenetic, festive-jumper-wearing let's-go-for-a-drink days before Christmas.

I am not working like a dog. I'm getting quite a lot done, but in a quiet and lazy sort of way. I'm working like it's a dog day.
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In newJob, I am encountering the Djanog web framework for the first time. The biggest problem seems, thus far, to be that I can't type Djanog. This makes API calls fail, makes finding stuff online mildly annoying, and makes me look like an idiot in emails.

Bloody Djanog.
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I'm now just starting my fourth week in the new job. And despite the idea of a 45-minute Tube journey every morning being some people's idea of hell, I'm loving working in central London.

London! )
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On June 18th, I joined in with an LJ meme where I wrote about my life ten years ago, five years ago, today, etc. My employer has had a somewhat chequered history, but as I wrote in the 'now' section, everything was on "a reasonably even keel" and had been for a while.

Then there was the sort of low, rattling sound that the gods make when they laugh at the hubris of mortals.

On June 19th, we were abruptly summoned to a meeting, and given some rather unwelcome news about the company's future. However, we were assured, things were all set to continue on their upward trajectory and all was well.

All was not well )
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Grrr. Today I am updating some technical documentation. It is out of date, and very confusingly written. When I started, I thought it'd be about an hour's work.

That was yesterday morning.

I'd like to thump the idiot who originally wrote it.

Only, er, that seems to have been me :(
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Aaaargh! How hard can it be to get a new computer to shut up?

One of the first settings I hunted out when I got it was to set the Windows Personalised Sound Scheme (or whatever it's called) to "no sounds". Then I went back and found the extra ticky-box for "and don't play the bloody Windows start-up sound, either". Is wanting "no sounds" but still enjoying the start-up jingle really such a common use-case that you'd make it the default?

Then of course, I had to find the setting in Outlook to let it know that when it notifies me of an upcoming appointment, the pop-up window is just fine and I don't need the bingley-beep as well. I appreciate applications are different from the OS, but I still think Outlook could examine your system preferences and default to something more in line with expectations.

Anyway, having thus oppressed my laptop it is wreaking its revenge by sporadically ignoring the headphones. Despite them being firmly jammed into the socket, the wretched machine decides that it would rather play staunchly through the speakers. Which is why I treated the office to a good chunk of Rammstein's America a week or two back.

Following that, I got into the habit of checking carefully (low volume, start music with headphones not on my head) each morning. It didn't happen again. Until I got lax about checking, and the whole world got a nice burst of the intro riff to A13 Trunk Road To The Sea yesterday.

Bloody thing.

Still, on the plus side, the file-renaming behaviour on Windows 7 is much nicer than on XP.
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Recently at work, I got a new laptop. The "ooh, shiny new hardware" is slightly offset by the usual round of tweaking all the settings to make it behave how I want. Not to mention a few days worth of installing software and copying data off the old machine. Of late, instead of actually working, I've been repeatedly running the Cygwin installer every time I discover another package I forgot.

This is quite dull and I advise you not to read it )
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Maybe staring blankly at C++ isn't that bad... thus far today in the pursuit of my work I have: rebooted my computer 15-20 times, sworn a lot, and vacuumed the board room.
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Huge thanks to all the lovely people who picked up the mundane monday idea and ran with it. Here (rather late, sorry) is mine...

I work for a company that provides a "cross-platform gaming solution". The easiest way to think of this is to liken a computer game to an mp3; if someone sends you an mp3, you don't worry about whether they were using a PC, or an iPhone, you just assume that your music player will handle it. We provide an analagous game "player" which means the file which contains the game will work on your PC, in your browser, on your Android phone, on your internet-capable TV, etc.

Monday wasn't actually all that mundane for me - I've just started work on a completely new project. I was also required to be in a meeting with our CEO as his technical demonstrator (which is something I only do around once or twice a month).

Geekery within )

So... all in all, not a terribly successful day!
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Dear Beko, please do not install extra dimensions in your fridges.

Milkpocalypse )
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Aargh. This afternoon I have been staring at a little spinny egg-timer.

I don't mean I've been waiting for something to happen, and doing other stuff while the timer spins.

I mean my actual job has involved me watching a little spinny egg-timer. Carefully. All afternoon.

(Mostly I'm hoping to catch it glitching, so I can immediately leap on it and investigate the logs to see why it did that. However, in the usual manner it seems that adding logging has changed a hard-to-reproduce bug into an impossible-to-reproduce bug. Bother.)
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At work, I am currently reviewing a big pile of technical documentation. Largely because no one understands it. Except the guy who wrote it, who understands it perfectly and doesn't see what the fuss is about. So I am reading, asking him questions, re-writing, asking him more questions, trying to explain to someone else, realising I don't understand at all, rinse, repeat. Everything he's written is correct, it just needs a lot more explanation and examples adding.

The writer's first language is German and, while he speaks (and writes) excellent English, he does occasionally use words in a way a native speaker wouldn't. In particular, several of us have been thrown by his describing certain objects as "contenders".

Contenders for what? we ask.

It turns out that in some cases, we might end up with conflicting objects. These objects are in contention. And a thing that's in contention? That's a contender.

Which intrigues me. A contender - one who contends - clearly is in contention. I can't fault the logic. However, I don't think that's a usage of contender which comes naturally in English.

Would any of you use contender in that way? I'm particularly interested to hear from people who might be writing (or reading) technical docs relating to things in contention :)

(I've changed it, since it confused at least three people here. I've gone for the rather more verbose "object with a conflicting ID".)

In any case, the net effect is that I have been singing Heavyweight Champion of the World on and off for two days. Which is slightly more fortunate than another colleague, who immediately associated it with Gladiators instead :)
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Fringe benefits of being on the university campus...

I guess we're near the art department then... )
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I have just spent several minutes looking at a (work) email from someone I will meet on Tuesday, wondering how on earth to even begin to think about attempting to pronounce their name. I was just coming to the conclusion that the only sensible thing was going to be to admit defeat and ask them, when I noticed the email sig.

Next to the name, it has a handy phonetic guide.

What a sensible, helpful thing to do. Hurrah.
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I don't post about work here much. But just for once...

I work for a company that's been building a cross-mobile (and indeed cross-device, should you wish to play games on an internet-enabled telly or a high-powered toaster) platform for casual games. And our game store is now up and running:

This is what our marketing department is calling a "soft launch", which appears to mean largely un-publicised. We support only a couple of phones[*] at the moment, and don't have a large range of games. But if you're willing to install a plug-in, you can pop along and try the games out in your (Windows) web browser.

Those of you who've heard me on the topic of work recently will instantly identify the actual bits I've actually been involved with :)

[*] Number of phones our software runs on: big. Number of phones our software runs on which have been properly tested and exhaustively verified and can be considered market quality: small.
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Today I have an unusual variation on The Monday Problem )
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So, when we moved into this flat last year, the central heating wasn't working. I googled around and found a small, local, family-run firm which specialises in Ideal boilers (a friendly plumber having advised that our particular model of boiler was a bit of a problem-child that might need a specialist). Someone popped round and fixed it under an hour, having produced the replacement part from the van.

Today they came to service the boiler )

The short version is if you live in West London and require Stuff done with your boiler, I highly recommend these people:


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July 2017



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