Saturday, February 07, 2015

How Governments Secretly Borrow from Employees

While talking with my Dad about his time in the Air Force, he mentioned that during the Vietnam War, wages for pilots were a fraction of what commercial pilots earned. He said the understanding was that the pay was low now, but you can retire early with a great pay in 25 years.

Friends who work for the city of Austin echo this sentiment as well - the pay for city employees is lower than the private sector, but the retirement is great - good monthly checks and subsidized health care.

What the government is actually doing is covertly borrowing money from its employees.

Promising hefty retirement benefits for low pay now is bad for because it masks the true cost of the government, so people don't know how terrible the public finances are.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Estimating Sprint Story Effort with PlanningPoker.com

For our next sprint, our Argentinian developer suggested we use Mountain Goat's www.PlanningPoker.com to do our story estimation. To my surprise, using it was very easy. I had an account in 30 seconds (thanks Ken for not making me retype my password when creating an account - that always annoys me - if I mess it up I'll do the "forgot password" link). I emailed our team members the link that PlanningPoker gave me and we were off and running.

I was a little skeptical that it would be worth our while, but estimating was easier using the tool.
I'd recommend it.  We didn't create a story entry for each story, just used the first one and then overlaid a list of stories entered into emacs on the webex screen, everyone discussed the story and we re-voted on the "original" one.  The stories will then go into Jira with the estimated effort.
Best of all it's free.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

MacOS Finder Window Not Refreshing

I'm running MacOS 10.10.1 Yosemite and the Finder window is not refresing to show new files I programmatically put in the directory.
Switching to the parent directory and coming back didn't work. Closing the Finder window and re-opening did not work.
Finally I had to open a terminal and entered "killall Finder". This finally worked.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Windows 7: Getting a Black background with White Text

A normal Windows 7 screen with a white background and black letters is way too bright for my tender eyes. After a while it will give me a headache.

I've tried setting the Theme (right click on desktop background and select "Personalize") to a HighContrast black. This works to a degree. Microsoft Word acts correctly, but many products do not look at the theme colors to display text.

And I've used Firefox's excellent "Blank Your Monitor" plugin to change websites to a different color theme. The major problem with this is that some commands on a page are drawn in such a way that you don't see them at all.

I've starting using Microsoft's Invert Color program. It's similar to the Mac's invert color (Control-Option-Command-8), but a little clunkier.

To invert the color you have to run the Magnify program by pressing Windows and "+" key, then unmagnify by pressing Windows plus the "-" command (you must release the Windows key in between). Then the real command is Ctl-Alt-i to invert the colors. Then everything is beautiful.

One issue is my favorite background image is reversed colored which looks awful. The solution? Fire up Paint.Net, grab you favorite image and invert its color. Then save it and use it as your background.

You get bonus points if you can identify the picture shown below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In Firefox 34 Error Console Popping Up All the Time

Ok, for a few days now whenever I launched a new Firefox window on my Windows 7 box, I'd get the Error Console window pop up. This was tres annoying.
The "All-in-One Gestures" add-in was being too helpful. I disabled that and used FireGestures instead.
Now the Error Console only shows up when I enter Ctl-Shift-J.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Pictures From the Austin .Net Users Group Dec 7, 2014 - Iteration Zero by Jeffery Palermo

Jeffery Palermo from clear-measure.com spoke to 55 attendees about Iteration Zero. Here's a few pics, in case you wonder what an Adnug meeting looks like.

Iteration Zero

My random jumbled notes to jog my memory in the future:
Architecture are the non-reversible decisions like language, platform,
Dependency management that are really hard to redo.
Jeffery Recommended a book, Configuration Management Best Practices , By Aiello and Sachs
Iteration Zero - goal : Developers can get and submit source code, automatically have it built on a CI server, deploy and test Adding features is and assembly line, Iteration Zero is setting up the assembly line.
Version Control System - Git has won.
Choose branching strategy - Git Flow most comprehensive strategy http://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/comparing-workflows
GitHub teams does feature branching with auto deployment if it passes tests
Never go home with code only on my machine, checkin to your branch
Do most things in dev, and then push to Release
Atlassian Source Tree - free gui tool for doing branching Jet Brains TeamCity free to 10 or 20 build definitions
How to put together a VS solution?, look at dependencies Dependency Management - Think about how to do dependencies
Build scripts
 Iteration Zero from GitHub has the template that Clear Measure uses for starting new projects.
Jeffery recommend people download it and use it to build products.
(clear-measure does lots of projects so it forces them to spend time designing the proper solution layout)
 Database upgrades are in the Update directory and applied alphabetically, 0001_VisitorTable, 0002_AddColumn
ScriptFile is a table containing the scripts run on the database
Modern process is now Agile with batch size of 1
Trello current favorite for tracking

Summary: "Getting started well is so, so important."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Using Perforce P4V with Windows "High Contrast Black" Theme

I use the Windows "High Contrast Black" theme to make all the backgrounds black with white text - it's much easier on my eyes. With the "High Contrast Black" theme Perforce's P4V GUI interface, like many Windows programs, shows white text on a white background, which is not all that helpful.



I contacted Perforce about the issue and got a very fast response with a work around. If you add a blank file named "p4vstyle.qss" to the directory "c:\program files\perforce\P4VResources", P4V will use the local Windows theme on next startup.



Now my retinas are happy with the cool soothing black background. Thanks Perforce.