Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Apostrophe Hall of Shame

The apostrophe in my name does cause a whole load of hassle.

Luckily for me, as a programmer, it makes me more likely to understand the frustration people must experience when they sign up on Internet forms and the thing fails.

These can include:

  • Validation errors kicking out my perfectly legal full name.
  • Database INSERT errors as the the apostrophe is the termination character.
  • Insufficient digits for my perfectly usable Andorran mobile number.
  • Messed up character when I enter the name of our house in the Pyrenees called 'Chalet Eché'.
Now living in Iberia with all the accents and other non-English characters, I can see we got a long way to go.

A lot of sites make it damn hard to contact them in any meaningful way so as a little helpful reminder here are some of the more annoying form breaks I've discovered as I surf the web.  I suspect a techie looking at the web server logs is more likely to pick up this post, rather than a customer support person who probably wouldn't know what I was on about.

Apostrophe Hall of Shame 

Instra.com


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Problems signing up Sony Xperia U and Google Account

So some hilarious problems trying to sign up Tanya with her Xperia U and google account. Not only is she forced to take a gmail account which she will never use, it then took me at least 10 goes at the captcha, see pic.

And the worse thing. It's not even over yet as there is a problem communicating with Google servers at this time, final pic.


Sent from my Windows Phone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why a programmer should not be interrupted

I've searched for this a few times on the Internet before, and found some examples, but none as clear as Joel who, as usual, has produced a hilarious article describing the issue.

It is amazing how true all this is, he worked at Microsoft, so I guess he's had plenty of experience.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html  Look at point 8.

I copy the funny part, but read the whole article as it contains other important steps any company should follow.


Here's the simple algebra. Let's say (as the evidence seems to suggest) that if we interrupt a programmer, even for a minute, we're really blowing away 15 minutes of productivity. For this example, lets put two programmers, Jeff and Mutt, in open cubicles next to each other in a standard Dilbert veal-fattening farm. Mutt can't remember the name of the Unicode version of the strcpy function. He could look it up, which takes 30 seconds, or he could ask Jeff, which takes 15 seconds. Since he's sitting right next to Jeff, he asks Jeff. Jeff gets distracted and loses 15 minutes of productivity (to save Mutt 15 seconds).
Now let's move them into separate offices with walls and doors. Now when Mutt can't remember the name of that function, he could look it up, which still takes 30 seconds, or he could ask Jeff, which now takes 45 seconds and involves standing up (not an easy task given the average physical fitness of programmers!). So he looks it up. So now Mutt loses 30 seconds of productivity, but we save 15 minutes for Jeff. Ahhh!



Thank you Joel.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What to bring as presents for people in India

Not being particularly good at spotting good gifts, here is a tip:  For people in India your old mobile phone is perfect.  Don’t forget the charger.    Any other old stuff like board games, plastic toys etc. will all be gratefully received.

Here are some pictures of our little home team.  Gopi, Anita, Anika and the little monkey Maheep.

http://goo.gl/maps/BwVtF  is the address.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

India then and now

So we´ve been in Vallabh Vidyanagar for over 3 weeks now, and just one to
go. This town, it seems was inaugurated in the late '40s or earlt 50s and
apparently the house where we go to work is a 60s building. But it is hard
to tell because even new blocks of flats and houses seem to age very quickly
in the climate or with the lack of maintenance.

I been trying to look for some old photos of the Anand region on the net but
can't find any.  Maybe it was called something different in those days, or
maybe all the sites are in Gujarati. There seem to be a lot of old photos
of Europe from say 100 or 50 years ago, but nothing I could find on the
'net.

I did find 2 pictures of Connaught Place which is in Delhi.

Thanks to these guys:

http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2012/01/15/the-biographical-dictionary-of-delhi
-homai-vyarawalla-b-navsari-gujarat-1913-2012/


http://www.liveindia.com/delhi/cp.html

What a difference!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

gangaman next door

This is the view of next door neighbours gangaman plot.  I wanted to take the capture the pic as he’s removed most of the plants and the camo netting.  The Google maps get updated once and a while so this is what it looked like when we  bought it.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

FW: Test Email camping!

You've gotta love spam.  I mean _what on earth_ is this spam message below supposed to illicit?

 

From: Mv Smtp [mailto:notify-id948336@mvsmtp.com]
Sent: 08 July 2012 00:05
To: bendecko@hotmail.com
Subject: Test Email camping!

 

Cheryl and all,

Below is the receipt for the January payment on the website. Also, our domain name must be renewed to keep it. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to. I have asked for help numerous times...to no avail. Unless y'all are willing to step up and start doing something, then I cannot see continuing. I just don't have the energy.

Tammy

 

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "service@paypal.com"
To: tblair417@yahoo.com
Sent: Fri, January 7, 2011 8:10:31 AM
Subject: You made an automatic payment


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2012.0.2195 / Virus Database: 2437/5117 - Release Date: 07/07/12

Monday, July 2, 2012

Can I use out of date drugs

The answer is “generally yes”. Apparently ‘tetracycline’ which is used as an antibiotic might not be so great after the expiry date, but 90% of other things even Insulin and drugs you need to keep in the fridge are OK.