Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting Four Screens Hooked Up to a Laptop

I love lots of screen real estate. With my new dell laptop I got two extra monitors working directly from the upgraded docking station, but I wanted more. The solution was to install Synergy on my laptop and on a second computer and use a monitor from that second computer. With Synergy I can use the same keyboard and mouse for my laptop and have those inputs sent to the second computer so it feels like four screens.

On my left-most screen, the tiny laptop screen, I always have Outlook open and use it for mail and calendaring (is that a word? - it should be), my second screen I use for Visual Studio, the third for Unit tests and Emacs, and the fourth screen has a browser since it really doesn't connect to the laptop.
Synergy is a pain to configure, and sometimes cuts out, but for the most part it works quite well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photos from Austin Dot Net Jan 9, 2012

Josh Arnold spoke to the 120 attendees about client-side Continuations. One of the most impressive things was Josh's mastery of the keyboard and shortcuts.

Brandon Satrom gave the main presentation about HTML5, which was well received.
The slides from his presentation are here on github.
My Random takeaways:
Pressing F12 in IE9 will give rendering for older versions of IE of the current page.
jQuery.corner.js is a good polyfill for getting rounded corners in older browsers.
jQuery.Visualize is a simple way to create HTML5 charts from tables.
The excanvas.js polyfill does replicate most of the functionality of the Canvas element, but not all, be careful.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Photos from Agile Austin, Jan 3, 2012 - Kanban System Design

Julie Chickering, an Agile Coach with Rally Software, presented to 90 people an introduction to Kanban Tuesday night. Here's a few pics of the evening.

Many in the audience were using Kanban and had good comments. One person talked about using swim lanes to ensure that technical debt was actually done, so they had a lane for the usual features and a lane for technical debt that according to their policies had to have something in it.

I know nothing about Kanban. My (probably misguided) takeaways:
Kanban not as perscriptive as scrum
Kanban Focus:
1. Visualize workflow
2. Limit Work In Progress (WIP)
3. Measure and maximize flow of work
4. Make policies explicit
5. Improve the process

A Goal: move work through in predictable sustainable manner.

Advantage of Kanban is you can start where you are. First step is to visualize work flow.
Where does work demand come from? what frequency? what size?
WIP Limits are the number, not the size of tasks.

In the daily standup, walk the board from right to left and see what it tells you. Anything blocked? Unlike scrum, not everyone needs to talk.

Metrics: first one is to measure cycle time.