I've spent the last three days filling in my performance management review form. Not sure I'll ever get the hang of all the corporate jargon.
I wrote 1507 words in total, which is probably a little overkill but self-analysis is what I'm good at it. It is kind of ironic that I gave myself a low rating on communication but spent 429 words explaining why I thought that I'd done badly communicating ideas this year.
So much going on means I'm having to juggle several things at once and it is a difficult job to keep all the balls in the air,
I have my end of year accounts to sort
One final piece of software to install for a client before I close my company
My full-time job to do (which adds several extra balls of its own to the juggling act)
The WDevs server to sort as bits keep falling over
Get up-to-date with all the latest web-tech for my full-time job
Get to grips with VS2005
Hopefully by the end of Easter, I'll have myself back on an even keel and get myself back on-course and start moving forward again
I've made the decision to give up working for myself. I started thinking about it about a year ago, but thought I'd give it one more year.
Well the main one being it is getting harder for a single developer company to compete with bigger developers and that old bug-bear of Indian outsourcing has cost me work too. (Not that I mind the competition, but even I can't get my costs down enough to compete)
Secondly, I never enjoyed the sales and marketing side. I'm just too much of a geek to really do well at that.
Thirdly, I want a change of focus. I want to be more involved in managing multi-peerson projects, architecting larger solutions. I want to find somewhere I can get experience of the above. To see if my own experiences and skills will scale well in a more enterprise environment.
Finally, I've really enjoyed the past few months, working along side other IT people daily. I've said before how much I missed being part of a team. Having the shared experience of working together to develop solutions.
It'll probably take me a while to find just the right position to suit my new career path but I'm looking forward to the new challenges.
Since my graphics card died in my main desktop PC, I've been toying with the idea of buying myself a brand new PC.
I fancy the Dell XPS 600[^] as I want a state-of-the-art machine.
I originally intended to wait until Vista was released, then I could have been sure that the machine was able to cope with the new OS. It's been 4 years since I last bought a new desktop PC and it is awfully tempting to buy one now.
I think I'll sleep on it though... for a couple of nights. I want to avoid buying a new PC just for the coolness factor.
Some pretty nice stuff there, the books list with Amazon integration is very cool. My own MSN space has laid dormant for a while now. It was originally created to keep people in my MSN contact list up-to-date with cool bits of news and technology or my own personal thoughts on subjects. Most of the contacts (not being blog people) never read it, so I lost interest.
The feature list and general coolness of MSN Spaces has certainly given me food for thought about the direction of WDevs.
* Finish the WDevs open-source hosting code and get it tested
* Refresh the WDevs look and feel
* Find a web-designer who can build CSS for use with ASP.NET applications at a reasonable cost
* Rebuild the littlecatdevelopment.com site to match the new focus of the company
* Work on the Lx Framework
* Learn about Analysis Services and Cubes
* Look at replacing the current WDevs blogging engine
* Open source the Littlecat TAPI libraries
* Build the SQL / Web / Desktop app documenter tool
That should keep me busy this year in the few non-working moments.
My littlecatdevelopment domain has been down for the last 36 hours... but it is back now and the email has started flowing in.
206 of the messages were spam to the email address I used in the Industry contacts here at CP. I've known for a while this address had be farmed from the CP page, but just let the spam get filtered into the junk-mail folder of Outlook.
Most of the emails are complete garbage, unreadable rubbish. 206 in 36 hours is a little excessive though, so I guess it is time to expire the email address. I didn't use it for a lot anyway, I just need to change my website's backend to use a different address in the email script.
All the presents are bought and wrapped. The tree is up... even if it only has the lights on at the moment. I wasn't in the mood for adding the other decorations.
I've got a busy week ahead. Lots of work to be done before I take a Christmas break. My contract has been extended till the end of Jan now. (Or at least that was what I was told in a drunken conversation last Thursday night)
I'm looking forward to having a break from going out to work. I've got some ideas I want to add to my LxFramework (workflow/state machine driven input forms). Plus I've got a lot of WDevs coding to catch up on.
Nah. It was very drunk dancing, but I was too wasted to really care. Still had plenty of beautiful girls to dance with though, so I couldn't have been too embarrasing.
Paul Watson wrote:
Amen. Now, please tell me when it is Saturday so that I can open my eyes.
I've left work early. I'm going back to bed for a bit.
I'm starting to recall in more detail my exploits of last night. I'm really glad Christmas parties only happen once a year. Luckily my friend was pretty wasted too, so she doesn't remember the things I said to her... but least I stopped short of proclaiming my undying love for her.
I can't stop playing Madonna's latest album. I don't buy much music anymore but this one was well worth the purchase. (Actual cold hard CD rather than buying in a pure digital form online)
It certainly gets my coding juices flowing. Whilst 'Hung Up' is the star of the CD... ripping off Abba is always a good thing, the rest of the album is very good too. It certainly bears up to repeated plays other the course of a day without becoming stale.
Civ 4 hasn't proved as addictive as feared... apart from one Saturday night a couple of weeks back when I had a bout of 'just one more turn' syndrome. To be honest, the game is very good but I've just been too busy with work to really get into it.
My current "employeer" is proving to be a late payer, taking the 30 days to the limit and then beyond, so I haven't had chance to buy an MSDN subscription yet for VS2005. But as Microsoft seem to have used the same marketing strategy as the XBox360, it probably won't be March till I can't find somebody to supply me with the new Visual Studio.
Lots of work to be finished by Christmas, my current DBA role has turned more into DBA/Developer/Report Writer and all round get it sorted guy. It is a lot of fun and the kind of thing I do get off on. Very tiring though. I need to work on getting a better balance of paying work vs personal projects.
Despite my reservations, I've placed a Google Adsense block on my WDevs blog. More as an experiment really. The WDevs server is costing me more and more in bandwidth and I need to try and offset some of the costs. I'm reluctant to place advertising on other people's blogs but may need to try and see if Google ads on the WDevs main page and the open-source hosting pages bring in any revenue. I need to get a solicitor to look at the terms and conditions first though. I just need to get some money together first. I've got a lot of things I want to sort out on WDevs before the New Year, but finding the time is difficult due to a heavy workload elsewhere.
I've also been trying to dig through the mire of open-source licencing, trying to find one that suits my needs but can co-exist with the GPL'd MyXaml, the free version of SandBar not to mention numerous controls that I use from CP. Any advice would be welcomed.
Going out to work everyday is taking up a big chunk of my time at the moment. I'm behind on my WDevs projects and my day-to-day administration of the site has slipped a little.
But I'm going to have to get caught up in the next day or so, because I can foresee a lot of time-wasting happening in November.
First Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith DVD gets delivered on Monday. I only got to see the movie once at the cinema so I want to watch it once again on its own and then do the full 6 movie marathon and see how my perceptions of the story change. And also see all the parallels between Anakin's and Luke's stories. Somebody told me that the position and movements of Padme calling out to Anakin in Anakin's nightmare are exactly the same as what Luke does at the end 'Jedi' when he's being toasted by Sidious and that is what finally makes Vader save his son. I look forward to seeing if that is true because it wasn't something I picked up on when I saw the movie earlier this year.
Then the biggest time-waster of all is out in early November, Civilization IV So I expect that will take up a lot of my free-time.
As I signed out on the fire-log today at work, it suddenly struck me that I've been working 10hr days for the past three weeks. No wonder, I've felt so tired.
I think I'm going to have to cut that down by a couple of hours, otherwise I'll never get anything productive done at home.
Both WDevs and my LxFramework projects have remained untouched for the last few weeks too. I really want to get on with these but by the end of the working day I'm too brain-dead to even start thinking about them. I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of going out to work everyday.
I see CP has been hit pretty hard by trolls and troublemakers. From the Lounge to the poll's alternative answers. I feel sad about it. We have a great community here that has policed itself well for so long now. I've always been proud to call myself a CPian and so this kind of behaviour really does disappoint me.
I feel for Chris and the team having to try and clear up this mess of the past few days.
I need to have a think about how I can start posting some more positive content to the Lounge to try and drown out some of the noise. Working fulltime on-site has meant that I don't get to visit CP as often as I used to when I worked at home. But only the community can beat the troublemakers, so lets see what we can do.
Yes, Michael, CP has taken quite a hit in the last 3-4 months. Now we have a troll posting with other people's names, a couple of idiots littering every post of theirs in the Soapbox with profanity, a coward who votes a number of posts a 1 and doesn't bother to leave a comment, massive flame wars, and a surge in programming questions in the Lounge. I miss the old days.
Paul Watson wrote: Apart from in the fx dominated scenes what are the production values like? 554m is a bit much for me to download and then find crap production values.
The production values are pretty good. It suffers a little from being a foreign language film. The parody is well observed but you'll need to have a good working knowledge of 'Trek' and 'Babylon 5' to get all the jokes.
Well almost nothing. I'm really enjoying going out to work again. It's nice to be working alongside other people again. Even if there internal development processes make me want to cry. (i.e the complete lack of them)
However, the one thing I do miss is being able to listen to music whilst I work. I'm sat here, with my WMP going through the songs and music I haven't listened to in the last 30 days. Happily coding away to some my more diverse elements of my eclectic collection of songs, movie and tv soundtracks.
Its a real buzz to be writing some C# for the first time in about 9 days. SQL is okay but I'm still a software developer at heart and not a DBA.
I've been busy working a lot this week and so my visits to CP have been restricted. I've just been trying to catch up with this week's 'lounge' postings.
Damn. The forum has gone down hill really fast hasn't it. What happened to the good old CodeProject spirit and etiquette. I hope it was just a one off, otherwise CP will start to lose its appeal very quickly.
It contains one of my all time favourite bit of film, Let's go to Birmingham[^]. A wonderful first person view of riding on a train. The film is sped-up so that the entire journey takes only a few minutes. Well worth a watch.
Things were looking black for me. I thought I was going to have to close my company down.
I've just had a phone call offering me some DBA work... not really my cup of tea but right now a job is a job. May only be for a month or two, but it'll give me a chance to put a little more money into my bank account.
I did something telephony work for this company two years ago. Two years is a long time and whilst it is still the same people that I used to work along, time changes people - so I'll probably feel out of place for a while probably more so than if I didn't know them at all.
Still, I'm looking forward to having people to work alongside again.