Monthly Archives: October 2006

16-bit code still alive in 2006

31 Oct 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

You’ll recall that back in 2004, a client asked that I develop some software for them….the big catch is that it needed to run on Windows 3.1, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.  It also needed to be easily deployable, so my choice was to
use Delphi.  Delphi was, and continues to be, one of my favorite development tools, but the idea of revisiting this code scared me just a bit.

So there I was, happily working in .NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005, when I get email from this client telling me that after 2 years, a bug developed in the software when they switched print drivers on the client systems.  My first reaction was “WTF?” since I used the standard printing mechanism in Delphi (open the printer, create a canvas, draw to the canvas, etc.)

They emailed me a log file so I could see where the application actually failed.  Turns out, there wasn’t quite enough logging in the particular area of the application that was causing the issue, so I added more logging, updated the version number, recompiled and sent it to them.

I’m still waiting for them to send me a new log file, but I have the feeling that this is gonna be a really simple fix.  They’ve also expressed an interest in having me re-develop the app in ASP.NET! :-)   Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Busy, busy, busy

11 Oct 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

I started a short-term gig in Detroit (Troy actually) on Tuesday.  I’m on-site Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until the 26th.  I get to work from home on the Fridays.

While I can’t say too much about the gig, I can say that I’m helping a group of consultants crunch numbers for an auto company.  The days are long — 10 to 12 hours each day — but the work is interesting.  Back to the basics….No flashy UIs, no ASP.NET….we’re talking Access 2007, Excel 2007 and Sql Server 2005.  Slurp the data from Excel and Access into Sql, crunch the numbers and dump back out to Excel.

I do have to say that I’m incredibly impressed with Office 2007.  For being a beta, it’s super-freakin’ stable, especially given the stuff I’ve been throwing at it.

I’m looking forward to getting home for the weekend though…

Why Open Source? – revisited

05 Oct 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

A couple weeks ago, I asked the question “Why Open Source?” and received some great feedback from Haacked.  Phil’s comments led me to revisit my basic assumptions about open source and the motivation for working on an open source

It seems that the primary motivation people have when working on open source projects is the sense of community and a hell of a lot less about making $$$.  It’s the idea that you can work on something you believe in with a group of like-minded individuals.  Unfortunately, the open source projects I’ve tried to join have been anything but organized. :-) Maybe I need to start contributing to Subtext and see if I have a better experience.

As for donations, when I see projects like NDoc fold because of a lack of donations, I have to ask “why not charge for the damn thing then?” but I think Phil nailed it when he said: “I used to do a big-brother like mentoring program. Found it fun and fulfilling. But we also had costs, so we asked for donations.”

I really wasn’t thinking about the cost of running an OS project (other than the time) and was simply looking at donations as way to “make money” and not just “cover costs”.  My bad. :-)

I’m not sure I’d ever start an open source project, although to be honest, I have considered it.  We’ll have to wait and see…it could happen.

New website

03 Oct 2006
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

In an effort to do away with fluff and BS, I have been working on my consulting website.  I removed all the “we” stuff I found.  I am also narrowing the focus of my consulting business.  In the past, I’ve tried to be all things to all people, but as everyone knows, that just doesn’t work.

The site may change again in the future, but as of today (October 3, 2006), the site reflects my current attitude about my business.  :-)

And yes…I am still taking on new projects, so if you need a new solution developed, help migrating a legacy application to .NET or would like me to mentor you or your team in software development practices, let me know.  Oh…I’ve also been enjoying my time in Subtext as well as DotNetNuke, so if you’d like assistance setting up, configuring or customizing either of those products, let me know