I’ve been staring at the same bug report for 6 days now, unable to get started on it. I often have this strange hesitation to start big projects. (Actually, it seems like it’s mostly anything that’s going to have a “main” method in it.) Fortunately I usually snap out of it and start making good progress as soon as I’ve figured out the whole thing in my head. Usually this process of figuring it out goes on while I do other stuff, like spend 6 whole days doing nothing but reading email and usenet, surfing the web and playing Palm Pilot solitare.
I shudder at the thought of having to explain this process to my boss some day. “Why yes, you did pay me $HUGENUM to play solitare for 4 days, but you got your money’s worth out of it. Honest.” Fortunately it’s never come up. And I’ve had a few little projects or things where I’ve had to help other people. Sometimes I say “Ok, that earned my pay today” and go back to checking my email, and other times I say “Damn, why can’t I get started?” as I hit refresh on Slashdot for the 18th time this hour.
Plane & Pilot magazine is having an on-line poll for the best aviation related PDA software. As some of you already know, I’m rather heavily involved supporting my favourite piece of aviation related PDA software. Of course, CoPilot is free so it can’t win against software that actually buys advertising in the magazine running the poll, but it would still be cool if they actually report the vote correctly. So if you don’t mind on-line votes, I’d appreciate it if you’d go in there, select “Other” in the drop down, and put “Laurie Davis’ CoPilot 4.3” in the “please specify” box.
Ok, I’ve been thinking blogs are a pain in the ass because you have to keep checking everybody’s blogs to see if they updated it recently. And then today I discovered RSS feeds. Actually, I’d heard a little about them in the past but never paid any attention to them. I kept wondering what this “Syndicate this site (XML)” link was on my own blog. And I wondered about Simon’s BBC News app and how it worked.
It suddenly all came together, and I discovered that there are RSS readers that you can use to subscribe to a number of blogs and news sites, and it will tell you when they’re updated. Sweeeet.
I googled for an application. NetNewsWireLite is the first one I found that was free for OS X. It seems ok, although I’d like the option to poll the sites more frequently than once every 30 minutes.
I’ll have to find one for Linux as well, so I don’t have to spend all day at work hitting refresh on Slashdot, Linux Today and The Register.
At work, we had an operation that was taking too damn long. Looked at the code, looked at the query it was generating, and it was pretty horrible, but I don’t see any way to avoid doing it. Then used the SQL “explain” on the query. Hmmm, it’s doing a sequential scan on two different tables. Hmm… Put an index on one column on one of the tables. Suddenly it’s only doing a lookup on one table. Ran downstairs to the big 30-plex test machine. Did the test once. Took 1:31. Added the index. Ran the test again. Took 0:08.
I’m a fucking genius.
I’m still working on the flying club web machine. I’ve put together a main page for them to look at. Basically I think the machine is functional as it is, but I want more.
Continue reading “Still working on it”