Ramblings of an IT Consultant

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Juggler

In Just for Fun, Uncategorized on September 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Oh how I wish I could juggle!  Not that I would like to be in a circus, although sometimes I feel like I am.   It’s only Tuesday and I feel like I could do with tomorrow being Saturday.  Today has been one of those days where my plans flew out of the window.  I have a website to get finished for one of my clients that I need to have complete by 10am on Thursday.

So my day began trying to clear all of the small stuff off of my desk, only for new stuff to arrive.  Then people started to arrive for a little chat or some help with their work. I gathered my thoughts and carried on through the workload, only to receive an email about something I should have done but I hadn’t, not because I forgotten to do it, but I had not received the original email asking me to do the thing I hadn’t done.  I could see the closing straight at about 5 o’clock and thought only 3 more jobs and a blog to write.  But then the phone went with someone needing something done in a hurry.  Helped them out and the phone went with someone wanting some programming advice, only for the phone to go again with the original person needing more help.  In my job, everyone else thinks their work is more important than mine!

My wife came home to this stressed out wreck in the corner!  So I need juggling lessons or maybe I need to learn to say I am too busy.  Who knows but its been a long day!  Everyone thinks that working for yourself has its perks but I can’t find any.  The thing is, would I change my life and get a job?  No!  Why not?  Well, although it’s stressful, I like my job and the feeling of achievement with the ability to help others.  Now . . . where did I put those juggling balls?

Recursive function links Lightswitch and IPad with an @parameter

In Apple IPad, Technology on September 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm

So here we are at week number 2 in the land of blog!  I thought blogging would be a drag but I am quite enjoying it.  Hopefully others are finding it interesting too.  I am getting on average of 20 readers per day and have been told thats quite good.  So I would like to thank my mum for checking my blog at least 19 times a day for comments!  Here is the weekly roundup:

04/09 – First Look – Microsoft’s LightSwitch

Since my first look I have had a few comments in my email saying my review was not very constructive.  Not sure if this is true but you can be the judge of that.  I have been reading a few blog posts on Lightswitch and it seems to be an either love it or hate it product a bit like Marmite.  I will spend some more time over the coming weeks on evaluating Lightswitch and see if I can build an application and report back.  Some useful reviews can be found at http://www.lightswitch.be

05/09 – ASP.NET 301 Redirect simple really

I have used the 301 again since writing this article.  I had a website that needed to be separated into two.  It was a online shop www.foodshack.co.uk and the Halal meat products had to be redirected to www.halal-meat-online.  A quick check against the database to see if the product was Halal when the page loaded was all that was needed to trigger the 301 to the new website!

06/09 – When only an @parameter will do! (Part 2 of 2)

I have helped a few people with parameters since this article.. However I think this article might be worth a re-visit sometime soon.  I am still changing my sql to parameters everywhere I come across them and in some systems its quite a big job.  But you know what they say if a job is worth doing its worth doing properly.

07/09 – SEO and Link Building – The Dilema

Well I am pleased to say that if you type Gallagher IT into google it now appears on the front page so not bad for two weeks online.  My next task is to get high rankings via keywords.  Hopefully my articles will start to help.  Any pounters would be much appreciated.

08/09 – The art of repeating yourself

The use of the recursive function is not a daily requirement.  The main reason for my article was to let people know that you can create a function that calls itself but highlighting the risks.  A collegue of mine still beieves his server has never been the same since I sent him some code that ran a function within a function with no means of escape.  I think that function should have been called mission impossible!

09/09 – Apple IPAD a gimmick or a business tool?

Still not really used my IPad for business but the IPad continies to be the top gadget in the house.  I even used mine to help me cook dinner yesterday.  Before you ask it did not sprout arms and legs and take over the chopping, but it was a very useful tool when searching for an alternative basic curry base. 

Apple IPad a gimmick or a business tool?

In Apple IPad, Applie IPhone, Just for Fun on September 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I love technology and as soon as I knew the IPad was coming out I wanted one.  The odd thing was, I never bothered to find out the actual date it was coming out.  Even back then I could not workout what I wanted one for.  I have an IPhone and every time I looked at the IPad to me it looked like a large phone.  So I think I must have put the IPad to the back of my mind.  My Friend Janine contacted me a few weeks before the launch to let me know that she had pre-ordered hers, she was so excited about it.  Still I had this nagging in my head that I had to have one but still could not justify it and put it to the back of my mind once more.

A couple of weeks later my wife came home and casually mentioned to me that the IPad was released.  From that moment I had to have one.  I knew that I would torment myself until I had brought one.  But I had a stumbling block…..  The wife.  We had only been married a month and to be honest I had no idea how she would be about such a large and seemingly pointless purchase.  She was great and asked how it would be used as part of my business.  I had no real idea but thought it could be used with demonstrations of websites I work on as well as emailing.  To be honest even I knew I had no real use for it but I wanted one.  My wife left for work and less then 15 minutes later I was hot on my heels to the Apple Store.  Once there the sales guy asked if I wanted a demo.  Obviously I said no and left 10 minutes later with my new 16gb IPad with 3G.

Later on that evening when I got it home I had a little play with it but instantly the better half had hold of it and was surfing the web.  She had some work stuff to sort out and rather than fire up the laptop she used the IPad.  To be honest for a week or so afterwards it just sat on the coffee table unused and unloved.  Then after a while we started to use it to look things up that we had seen on the TV.  We both like reading books and we started to download Ibooks.  We then set about uploading our wedding album onto the IPad and then took it around to the family so they could see the photos.  Then we progressed onto games that would could both play together, we got quite competitive about playing draughts of all things!  So all in all we can both agree its a great toy to have on the coffee table.  We even took it on holiday with us and found it useful when looking up places to go.  The thing is we could have done most of what we do with the IPad on the IPhone but the IPad makes it so much easier.  Even my wife admits its one of the best things we have bought since we got married.

So what about the IPad in business?  You know what, I really don’t know.  I have used it twice when out and replied to emails and read a few documents, but thats as far as it goes.  I have installed a remote desktop connection to my home PC and to my web servers and am convinced it will be useful one day.  My friend came in today and tried to make me agree that the IPad is not a business tool but and just a gimmick.  It struck me that I still could not agree to that. 

So what do you think?  Are you still trying to convince yourself that its not just a toy or is their a real business need for the IPad?

Black Widow eats 181 chicken wings in 12 minutes

In BBC, The Daily Telegraph on September 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

The daily telegraph have written quite a funny article on this read it here.  I have also heard this on Radio 2 thought this morning.

My initial thought when I saw the times article was that we was talking about the spider.  Now that would be an amazing thing to see but then how fat would it be and maybe on some sort of steroid!

It does amuse me that people actually want to do these things.  Me on the other hand I don’t really like picking at meat so would rubbish at this challenge!  What would your eating challenge be?

BBC Website Errors – What is causing it?

In BBC, Technology on September 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

So there I was catching up with the latest on Dragons Den and the BBC website says it has too much traffic and technical difficulties…. I wonder what the is causing that…. have the government planned to increase the TV licence by 100%?