* Posts by redpola

13 posts • joined 6 Dec 2009

VMware 5.5: Plenty that's new and exciting... but what about the obvious stuff?

redpola

Re: An alternative hypervisor

I ran esxi (free- I can't justify the pay version because it's so unaffordable for small installs) for about a year. It was constant pain to administrate. Updates require a physical trip to the server and even finding the newest version of the administration tool was a pain. To this day I don't know what the software is called (vsphere? Vcircle? Vcloud?). Having to have a physical windows machine to run the client on was similar agony.

I switched to proxmox and all these problems are solved. Very happy.

1
0

Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

redpola

Whilst I think this action is ace, it doesn't address that the ™ was granted in the first place, which surely is an insanity of epic proportion.

1
0

Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

redpola

I think you missed a very important consideration also:

FM - requires very few freely-available and trivial components to receive

DAB - requires highly-developed and non-trivial silicone made by relatively few companies

Now, if I've invested many man-years of development time to research and manufacture chips to decode DAB then the least I can do to get some return on my investment is sponsor a political party who can push through completely dumb legislation which will result in me selling lots of devices.

10
1
redpola

Re: They'd be better shifting to DAB+

Our government chose DAB as a standard when DAB+ was already available and known to be an improvement. There was no reason for them to choose DAB, which by then was already obsoleted by DAB+ and DRM.

And so the madness continues.

6
1

Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

redpola

I've been recruiting software engineers on and off for 15 years. During that time the skill sets coming through and what we've heard from university graduates has changed significantly, and detrimentally to the employability of new graduates.

A good core working knowledge of C is absolutely vital for almost every programming job, and an applicant with C or C++ on their résumé will always float to the top over C sharp, java, ruby, python etc.

Programming in C requires serious rigour; and specifically rigour of thought, not just discipline. If you can program in C then you are already writing better code in other languages than those who learned to program using those languages. Note:- you may not have more experience, but a good C engineer is armed with the rigour to produce good quality code even in a language they recognise they are less experienced in.

When I hear that another university is dropping C or C++, my heart sinks and I worry for their students.

To summarise: great C coders are in short supply, and this situation has got much worse in the last five years. If you want to guarantee you'll be employed and command a great salary (and some of my staff earned more than I did), become great at C coding, It will *always be required* and will make you a better coder. Universities who drop it are doing their student a great disservice.

1
1

What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

redpola

Re: No time to refactor

Absolutely totally agree with this. If you're dicking about with a piece of code anyway, I as a manager trust your skills as a competent engineer to leave that code better than you found it. If we have to test it again anyway then fine. But start changing code that we've tested and is a known quantity and you're entering a world of pain. It's just wasteful, and wouldn't you rather be off doing new shinies than having a manager scowling at you for introducing risk?

5
0
redpola

Developers always want to refactor code. It's actually a developer's nature to move code about and fiddle with it - it helps to understand it and know your way around it. However, to a QA guy, code that's been tested has been tested. Any changes to that code erodes the money that's been spent on testing that code, which then must be tested again (so you're costing QA twice). Managers are trying to keep devs happy with new and exciting shiny things and also suits happy with new features. Managers also have to perpetually answer questions like "why are you spending time rewriting the thing we've shipped instead of adding new IP and value to the company?".

You could argue that refactoring code saves the company money by creating a new and "better" bedrock for future development. I've never know that to be the case in reality. Feature requests and road maps change so fast that you either generify your product out of existence or your refactor yourself down a dark alley.

Ultimately, apart from "but the developer likes it" there is no justification from any angle to introduce change for change's sake.

Even as a developer, it's a right bastard finding that someone moved your code around and introduced a cut and paste bug.

4
2

Gov: DAB must battle on, despite being old and rubbish

redpola

DRM+ please. DAB is pants.

1
0

HP exec: WebOS tablet will trounce iPad

redpola

Pity the poor fool.

What a crock. I began this with a reasoned bullet list of arguments but as I typed them I thought "this is ridiculous- it's just OBVIOUSLY rubbish". So my well- reasoned and intelligent rebuttal is this: Bollocks.

3
0

An introduction to static code analysis

redpola

C has no memory management?

Give me hands-on memory management over garbage-collection anyday.

0
0

Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD network TV tuner

redpola
FAIL

Stress the £18!

I just bought one of these and am hugely disappointed. The biggest failures are a) no HDMI (what year is this?!), b) No FREEVIEW HD! And c) The viewer app for iPhone is LUDICROUSLY expensive.

Honestly, this device stinks of stifled innovation and design-by-committee. The price of the iPhone app is unforgivable though. Impossible to justify, a matter of seconds to fix. Crap.

I'm probably returning mine to amazon purely on the strength that I never expected to pay more £ to use this device for the intended purpose.

Slingmedia joins my list of "professionally suicidal" companies.

Neil.

4
0

Three In-Car Wi-Fi

redpola

Zoom 3G travel modem plus dongle is better option

I have a 3 3G dongle @ £15/mth for 15GB. I bought a Zoom 3G Travel modem which works with the dongle and is battery-operated. That's my cheaper mobile solution.

0
0

Pure Sensia widget-running DAB radio

redpola
FAIL

Horrible horrible experience

I saw one of these recently in a local John Lewis. I actually walked over to it because it looked so interesting. After a moment playing with it I walked off with the impression that it was a pile of shit. There must be something seriously wrong with their business of it allows products this bad to actually make it to market in this state. I counted 8 seconds from me activating a text input area to the on screen keyboard showing up. Then another few seconds before it accepted input. The flick-scrolling is a joke. There was plenty of "I want to scroll this content but I'll just hold my finger down and make tiny movements until I've 'grabbed' the content" after which you may as well toss a coin to see if the scroll will actually happen, although you probably don't have any coins left because you wasted them on an unusable radio with pre-alpha firmware.

This reminded me a lot of the nokia n800. Great idea, but a UI that just doesn't give the user what they want. If you have an iPhone you know what works and what doesn't.

2
0

Forums