Friday, 26 May 2006

5 to 7 Years ?

The following is a quote from an ex Microsoft employee. I don’t think this experience is in any way unique to Microsoft. You could substitute the word Microsoft with any number of company names. It’s not about the company, it’s about the experience. I can really relate to this, I have experienced something very similar more than once.

‘You scramble, dash, pump yourself full of caffeine, and get into it! You do this again after the project fails, and again after the project changes, and yet again after a major reorg. You keep that energy up, you keep contributing. You are a good Microsoft citizen doing your part for the greater good.’

‘You do this for between 5 and 7 years.’

‘One day, however, there’s an epiphany. On that day you realise that your lawn is three feet high and you have a stack of unopened bills. Change sets in.’

‘You start to notice that you are more opinionated at group meetings. Schedules, feature sets and direction are questioned more. A caustic tone creeps into your speech.’

‘More changes set in.’

‘Your patience is a little thinner in other aspects of your life. You see things more clearly now and you’re more forceful in doing what is necessary to make plans a reality. You want things to happen faster, cheaper and more efficiently. You do not have time to waste time with people who cannot keep up.’

‘You will hear from your significant other that you are a demanding person. You will hear from others that you are opinionated, strong-willed, difficult and demanding. In every situation you will push others to their extreme, and you will achieve a measure of success.’

“If you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now, quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” - Homer Simpson

Google Syntax Elements

Google allows use to use specific syntax elements to enable you to further target your searches. The following words should all be followed immediately by the text that you wish to search for. Syntax elements can also be mixed within the same search string.


For example “visual studio” filetype:ppt
This will search for Visual Studio Powerpoint presentations.

Try “visual studio” filetype:ppt
This performs the same search but only against the domain.
Full explanations for these Syntax Elements can be found by searching Google

“Have you been up all night eating cheese?” - Marge Simpson

5 Minute Google Tutorial

Many people don’t realise that there any many options to Google that can help make your search far more accurate and useful. Below I have listed some of the features that can be used through the standard web interface.

'I'm Feeling lucky' gives the Number 1 ranked result.
Boolean default is AND.
To search ALL words enclose them as a PHRASE "to be or not to be".
Google is NOT Case Sensitive.
use OR or Pipe (|) ie: "James Bond" (Aston OR Lotus).
The OR should be in CAPITALS.
To exclude use the MINUS (-) symbol immediately before the word: ie: "James Bond" Car -Lotus -Aston.
STOP WORDS are not Searched: a I and the of etc.
To include STOP Words use the PLUS (+) symbol immediately before the word.
Tilde symbol (~) includes synonyms. ie: ~bike (motorbike, cycle etc.)
Synonyms will be Bolded in the results page.
Number ranges ie: 3..5 Megapixels.
Minimum ie: 100..
Maximum ie: ..100.
Google implicitly uses Stemming, ie: Dietary gives Diet and Diets.
* is the full word wildcard.
10 word limit to Google searches, not counting the * wildcards.

Currently Reading: Microsoft in the Mirror by Karin Carter

“I know you’ve been through a lot, Ma’am. But we need you to stand in front of the burning house and say ‘Channel Six is Hot Hot Hot!’” - Kent Brockman

Thursday, 25 May 2006

10 Steps to Guarantee Failure

Have a look at this ‘10 Steps to Guarantee Failure’. See how many you are guilty of ... Me, I’ll keep the results private ...

“History’s like an amusement park. Except instead of rides you have dates to memorize.” - Marge Simpson

Six Steps for Learning Quickly

Check this out. It’s an interesting, short, article on one persons opinion on how to learn difficult subjects quickly.

Marge:”We can’t afford to buy a pony.”
Homer:”Marge, with today’s gasoline prices, we can’t afford not to buy a pony.”

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Thought of the Day ...

We know exactly where any untaxed car is located amongst the millions of cars in Britain ... Be we have not got a clue as to where thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located.

Maybe we should put the DVLA in charge of immigration ...

Barney: Hello, my name is Barney Gumble, and I’m an alcoholic.
Lisa: Mr Gumble, this is a girl scouts meeting.
Barney: Is it, or is it you girls can’t admit that you have a problem?

Saturday, 13 May 2006

Visual Studio Snippets

I was playing around with Visual Studio 2005 today and I found a neat little facility they have included called ‘Snippets’. Basically a Snippet is piece of pre-defined source code that does a very specific job. So, if for example you wish to send an email from within your VB.NET source code, and cannot remember the syntax, you can right click, select Snippet and you see options similar to the following:

Collections and Arrays
Common Code Panels
Connectivity and Networking

Selecting the ‘Connectivity and Networking’ Option will give you options similar to these:

Determine if the Network is Available
Create an E-Mail
Download a File Using HTTP

Selecting the ‘Create an E-Mail’ Option puts the following text within your source code:

Dim message As New MailMessage("sender@address", "from@address", "Subject", "Message Text")
Dim emailClient As New SmtpClient("Email Server Name")

Thats It ! All you need to do now is alter the arguments with your own specific values and call the procedure when necessary.

I like Snippets, its a good, simple, fast, high productivity enhancement to the Visual Studio development environment. Cool !

“I guess one person can make a difference. But most of the time, they probably shouldn’t.” - Marge Simpson