Making an effort: develop it right

Even after so many years programming I still find it a shock to sit with someone and they immediately want to cut corners. Without the any immediate deadline and pressure to want to hack something out so it works then leave it to rot. It is maddening to come to a system that a buiness has spent a fortune redeveloping only to find it's no more maintainable than a legacy solution. There are a number of reasons why developers might be encouraged to throw a solution together:

It's a throwaway script


Dodgy service providers

It's been a while since I posted anything, one reason for this was my service provider. Back in 2008 I got a note from my service provider asking for more money. This was part the way through the year's contract. Their reasoning was that they were moving servers and needed to upgrade my package. Whichever way you looked at it, my site was using a fraction of the resources needed. So I declined to upgrade stating that the year's contract had some time to run yet. It had looked to me supiciously like the service provider was trying to get me to pay a portion of the server upgrade cost.


Hacking Additional Camera Features for your Canon

There is a community that has been taking apart canon firmware and adding extra features to cameras. So far they are mainly doing this on point and shoot cameras. So if you have an old IXUS you might want to try it: although it's probably not for the faint of heart. Loading the new firmware gives a number of features to your point and shoot that weren't there before such as:

  • Greater control over the shutter and ISO
  • Providing RAW if it wasn't there before.
  • Live histogram, visual indication of over/underexposed areas (Zebra mode)

12 Sites for selling your images

With the internet the demand for good images has increased and it has never been easier to sell good images. One way to get money from your images is to upload them one of the new sites that have sprung up to cater for these new demands. These sites attempt to look for quality images that can be resold. They sell images for cheap aiming to make money from many sales. Each site offers better returns for contributes that get many downloads.

The spectre of Tuberculosis

We in the Western world have been lucky over the past century for the not having to deal with Tuberculosis. The history of Tuberculosis (TB) and man has been a long one, mummies in the British Museum have been found to have traces of the disease in their spines, evidence exists that the neolithic people were effected by the disease. TB in the history of man has been a big killer. It was only through advances in science that it was almost wiped out. The bad news is it's back. Extremely drug-resistant TB is beginning to spread, a form which there are few if any treatments.


The Great Game and Afghanistan

I've been reading about the Great Game, a name that was given to the rivalry between the Russian and the British, that begun in the 19th century. As Russia was expanded south and east its lands encroached on the Indian subcontinent which was under British influence. The country where the two empires met was Afghanistan, during this game a great deal of the borders were defined, often to favor the British interest of creating a buffer state between Indian territory and Russia. Much of this history has a an influence on what is happening in modern day Afghanistan.


Reducing Internal Email Pollution

Email is so easy, but more often than not it is not the best way to communicate. As researchers writing the the IEEE Computer point out email volumes are set to grow. Email becomes less useful as traffic increases and inboxes are polluted: important emails get lost in mountains of dross. To limit pollution they recommend:

  • No more reply to all: They found this to be the largest source of pollution. Disabling the reply to all button causes thought of who to send the reply to.


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