Sadly alcohol was involved

2011-04-10 Sunday | 10:50 pm

I used to live nearly Horley - I didn't think they were this mental:

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Writer's Block: Cold turkey tremors

2010-02-26 Friday | 02:56 pm

What is the longest, uninterrupted stretch you've stayed offline (without mobile access either)? How soon did you suffer withdrawal pains? Did you find it liberating?

Apart from the 18 years before I first got Internet access (at university), the longest stretches would have been various holidays, the last one being a week in Morocco in 2004. I still had mobile phone coverage - a recruitment agent called me to talk about a job!

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Debug It : Find, Repair, & Prevent Bugs in Your Code

2010-01-24 Sunday | 02:41 pm

bellanna's former colleague Paul Butcher has written a book all about debugging software. While some of the tips may seem obvious to those with even a few years experience (you do use some form of source control, don't you?), Paul not only helps find bugs after they have occurred but also before with tips about automated testing, the use of asserts, logging, etc. Reading all the obvious tips written down in one place helped me remember that all is not lost when trying to debug the thorniest of issues. While many of the of the code examples are Java, other languages are not forgotten. There is some Python, Ruby, and C and C++.

In the section on Anti-Patterns, Paul gives advice and tips on office politics, for example dealing with Prima Donnas and issues of code ownership. The tools section covers a wide variety, not just focused on digging out bugs, bug tracking them and, just in case you don't, source control.

The book is written in a very easy going style and I can imagine a talk by him being very well received at conferences like ACCU.

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Writer's Block: You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

2009-12-22 Tuesday | 03:47 pm

Are there any classic holiday movies or TV shows that you look forward to watching year after year? What are your all-time favorites? Are there any you simply can't stand?

There are no classic Christmas movies or TV shows that I look forward to watching year after year. I much prefer shiny new movies and TV shows, like Doctor Who :-)

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WLK 1.5 USB-IF Test Certification ID Check

2009-12-01 Tuesday | 12:15 pm

Are you having trouble passing the new USB-IF Test Certification ID Check introduced in Windows Logo Kit (WLK) v1.5? Hopefully I can point you in the right direction.

First, you need to read which will explain why you need to get USB-IF Test Certification and what it might cost. Part of the "why" is WHQL requirement CONNECT 0093 - USB devices must be certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) to receive a Windows logo. This requirement also applies to the unclassified Windows Logo Program for devices.

Once you have your USB-IF Test Certification ID you need to go to your submission in the device console, right-click on the test, edit the test parameters, replace the Test ID zero with your Test ID, and then schedule the test.

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Before the storm

2009-11-14 Saturday | 07:12 pm

The country is taking a bit of a battering with a wet and windy storm, so here is a calm and relaxing photo I took a couple of weeks ago:

imgp9966 - Sunset
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Advanced warning: Red Dwarf and Doctor Who

2009-04-05 Sunday | 02:19 pm

Advanced warning: Doctor Who Planet of the Dead will be on BBC1 at 6:45pm on Saturday 11th April.

Meanwhile, the new episodes of Red Dwarf start on Dave at 9:00pm on Friday 10th April.

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Why Are Thin People Not Fat?

2009-02-03 Tuesday | 11:20 pm

I've just watched the fascinating BBC programme Why Are Thin People Not Fat?. They gave all sorts of reasons, and then concluded that fat people shouldn't feel discouraged about losing weight as even a little weight loss is good for your health.

I am fat because

I eat too much
I exercise too little
I have the fat gene
I have the fat virus
I've been fat before and those fat cells are itching to fill up again
I can't leave food on my plate
I don't know when I'm full
I have a sweet tooth
eating helps me feel less bored/sad/depressed, for a while
the doctor says my thyroid is out of whack
the doctor says some other medical condition (no need to go into too much detail in a public forum)
- Tick this option if you are not fat, i.e. normal or skinny


I have watched the the show
I have not watched the show
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New Doctor actor to be announced

2009-01-03 Saturday | 04:18 pm

New Doctor actor to be announced

I wondered why there was another Doctor Who "Confidential" (the behind the scenes show) on BBC1 at 5:35pm tonight. The TV listings guide says it's a retrospective of the 10 Doctors so far, so I'm guessing the announcement will be right at the end ...

For my friends not able to receive BBC1 live, I'm sure the news will be splashed all over everywhere (except bellanna's journal because she doesn't care) within seconds of the name being said.

Edit: It's Matt Smith.

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Steak Diane and Mandarin Cheesecake

2008-11-22 Saturday | 09:23 pm

imgp7741 - Mandarin Cheesecake
Mandarin Cheesecake

Yesterday Sandi and I watched Gordon Ramsay's live cookalong on TV. It had a vague 70's theme, starting with prawn cocktail. Today for dinner we made the main course of Steak Diane and dessert of Mandarin Cheesecake. The steak was nice, though there were a couple of bits we would tweak for next time, for example the shallots needed to be softened more. The cheesecake was very straightforward to make and very tasty. Yum!
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