Things that make me happy

Since I haven't posted anything in a really long time, with the exception of the Press Your Luck post of a couple weeks ago, I thought I'd do a little list to get back into the swing of things. So this is just a list of thing technical/computery that have made me happy, to some extent, over the course of this year.

  1. Windows 7. I've preferred Linux for a long time, but I've got to say, Win7 is awfully nice. I fact, it's so good I'm actually thinking of dumping Linux on my main desktop at my next upgrade. And for reference, I haven't had Windows on my home desktop since 2002 - and I was dual-booting then.
  2. Subversion. Not that Subversion is that great in and of itself (although it is a perfectly good revision control system), but this year my team finally migrated from CVS to Subversion, and it sucks so much less! Yes, you read that right - my company was actually using CVS for new projects until the beginning of 2010. It's nice to finally step forward into 2005!
  3. The new versions of Opera. I've been an Opera user for a very long time, and version 10.50+ has gotten really nice. The updated UI is pretty nifty, Opera Link is a very handy feature I've always wanted, and I actually find Opera Unite really cool. I use it to access my home PC fairly regularly. I don't care how fast Chrome is, Opera's still better in my book.
  4. Not coding in JavaScript and HTML. Our new product at work is implemented in Adobe's FLEX. Yeah, FLEX is based on Flash, which sucks, but it's actually a pretty nice framework. Way more pleasant to work with than JavaScript and HTML. Even if you include jQuery, which takes most of the suck out of JavaScript, FLEX is still nicer. Now if only Flash didn't suck so much.... Too bad there's no viable alternative. (Silverlight doesn't have the market penetration and nobody with half a brain thinks HTML 5 is comparable. And yes, that implies Steve Jobs doesn't have half a brain.)
  5. Not using Web TimeSheet. Last year, our company was using Web TimeSheet for our time tracking. If you've never used it, suffice it to say it sucks beyond all rational belief. Seriously - I can't describe how bad it was. It took damn near 30 seconds to load the time entry form. And that wasn't even waiting for an HTTP response - it was actively loading a bajillion things during that time. Now, we're doing our time/task tracking in Jira instead. Sadly, Jira still sucks, but not nearly as bad as Web TimeSheet.
  6. I have a window. For the first time ever, I have a desk by the window. The president of our company left for another job a couple weeks ago, and since we're not replacing him, the CEO gave our four-man dev team permission to move into his office. It's just big enough for all four of us (only slightly smaller than big-ass the cube we all shared), and two of the four walls are all window. And I got the corner where the two windows meet. This is a far cry from when I was in public service and had the "cube" that used to be a printer nook and was exactly large enough to hold my desk - and nothing else.
  7. Whipping out SQL For Smarties. A couple months ago I actually had an excuse at work to whip out my copy of Joe Celko's SQL For Smarties and apply one of the chapters. I needed to store a nested folder structure in the database, so I turned to the trees and hierarchies section, did a little reading, and settled on the path enumeration method. One of my colleagues had suggested adjacency lists, which Celko calls "the most commonly used and worst possible" model for trees. I love that book - it always makes me happy when I have an excuse to use something from it.

Seven seems like a good number. Time to call it a night. I get up early enough to go to the gym and still make it to the morning scrum. Perhaps I can continue the list later.

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Comments #

    window seat

    Congrats on the window seat Peter! I, too, after over 11 years in public service, am expecting to get my first window seat after Jeni retires in September (the one where Sue Mc used to sit which was downsized after Jeni moved into it to make it the same size as the others). Note I said "expecting". I've been promised, but we all know that doesn't mean a damn thing until it actually happens.


    Yeah, having a window is really nice - I could get used to actually getting some sunlight at my desk. Here's hoping you get one too - you certainly deserve it. Actually, you probably deserve a lot more than just a window, but let's keep our goals attainable!


    I'm working on those goals - I start my Masters program in little over a month. Not looking forward to 20+ hours of paper/projects per week but if I keep my eyes on the prize (liberation!) I should be able to get through it.

    I know what you mean

    Yeah, there's a reason I've taken so long on mine - never seems to be time to work on it. But you're smart and persistent, so I'm sure you'll manage. Look at it this way - at least you'll have something interesting to work on. The county was never exactly a big source of intellectually stimulating projects.

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