This is Why You Need to Understand Technology!

There is a winery in Baraboo that I go to periodically. The guy who runs it is a small time operation. He put together a mailing list of people and started sending out emails. However, the way that he did so was by creating a group email list, which means that any time anyone contacts him for any reason everyone who is on the list gets an email.

So every minute or so I get bombarded with emails from strangers asking to be taken off of the list. The longer this continues, the more often people are sending unsubscribe emails and the angrier they are getting. I got three different emails from the same woman who is typing in all caps “UNSUBSCRIBE ME FROM THIS LIST!!!!!” One guy said in his subject line that if he isn’t taken off this list immediately he will never visit the guy’s winery ever again (I am thinking it is likely that this is a person who only went when he had a Groupon).

I feel for the guy. He has a small operation and he isn’t a techie. He just wants to make his wine and he’s drinking the social media Kool-Aid. He probably has some young relative who is telling him he has to do this in order to reach out to the tech savvy generation. Unfortunately he is alienating the people he is trying to attract.

I hope that he is checking his email or the group listing to see that he has a small mess on his hands. I hope he can do something to rectify the situation with the people whose emails he has inadvertently leaked.

Injuries Suck!

I was going to pair program with another student today, but I forgot that most programmers aren’t up at 7:00 am, so I was waiting around for a while before I figured out that it was going to be a while.

Unfortunately, on my way to our meeting place I tripped on the steps and I hurt my wrist. It was already a little fragile, but putting a bunch of weight on it as I fell really did not help it.

I wrapped it up and soaked it in hot water while I took a bath. It feels slightly better. I can type some now. It hurts to pull things with my hand. I tried to uncap a pen and I cried out in pain. This is the Universe telling me to give up on non-digital forms of note taking.

I feel pretty good about my Java project. I think I dotted my “i”s and crossed my “t”s, which means that there are probably a billion errors I have not encountered yet.

I am still in the beginner programmer bad habit of writing all my code before I compile and debug it, so I am sure I am in for some fun tomorrow. I have found that if I wait long enough to debug my code it is less hurtful because it stops feeling like yours. It is just some random code that came from somewhere and it’s a treasure hunt to fix it.

I am sure anyone reading this read the last paragraph with their face buried in their hands moaning, “God no!”

It’s my mess and I will deal with it as I like!

Second Day of the Weekend, First Java Project Part 2

Hit a small snag this morning. We are required to complete this project on a Virtual Machine. I have been having some difficulty with my VM. When I tried to install it the first time it would crash no matter what I did. We eventually determined that the VM was only allocating something like a byte of RAM to the VM and it was being starved to death. I also have a retina display Mac and there is a setting to do with 3D rendering (I think, this was a month ago) that causes the VM to crash.

Anyway, this morning I tried to log into the VM and it froze. It was unresponsive and wouldn’t do anything. I was afraid that I was going to have to reinstall the VM, which would be a massive pain to deal with, especially since we had to install Ant manually rather than using the Synaptic Package Manager.

I restarted my computer, but apparently I needed to restart the VM. Happy that the husband was home. He maintains these for a living and he helped me get back on track.

Generated my documents for the testing. Forward ho!

Second Day of the Weekend, First Java Project

Yesterday was not as productive as I had hoped it would be.

I hate shoveling snow! I noticed that when I go outside to shovel the snow it irreparably ruins my ability to focus on programming. It also bothers my wrists. Right now the right wrist is in a brace because it hurts a lot. Hopefully it will feel better later in the day. I can still type, but it is annoying.

I am doing the shoveling because my husband goes to work all day and I really don’t think it is fair to make him do a lot of the chores just because I have trouble focusing. Plus he does all the lawn mowing during the summer. I refuse to do that because last time I tried to mow the lawn the grass clippings gave me what I can only assume is an asthma attack. I was laying on the lawn gasping like a fish. I don’t care to repeat that experience.

I am going to take a different tack today. We are learning about test driven development. As far as I am aware, we have tests that we run on our programs to see if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and contain what they are supposed to contain.

I am going to save the work that I have already done/been given in another place, start from scratch, and try to complete the project that way. Rather than having my focus scattered over a bunch of disparate classes and pieces of information, I will have a single focus on a single problem at a time that I can solve rather than trying to put a puzzle together without a picture and any corner pieces.

I am holding onto the work I have done and I can integrate it back into the project, so it isn’t exactly starting over again, it is just taking things from a different angle that will hopefully allow me to focus.

I feel like my focus is light wave going through a prism. I am hoping that by giving it a focal point my focus will be white instead of a rainbow going in all different directions.

Word Press Eccentricity

In one of my previous posts I was trying to use an example of a PHP script declaration. I was perusing my posts and I noticed that what I typed did not show up! The site saw the declaration and processed it as PHP.

That was unexpected.

Unfortunately, I am not using PHP as much as I would like, so I am at a loss as to how to solve this conundrum.

I tried using pre tags. This created a solid block in the middle of the page with no text. So that doesn’t work.

I tried to use an echo statement with single quotes, which is supposed to not interpret any code between the quotation marks. This did not work (it came back with the closing tag, but not the opening tag.

I tried using escape characters, but the code did not print, only the black slashes did.

I removed it for the time being, but I will discover a work around this issue! Mark my words!

Will follow up when I determine the issue.

Randall P. McMurphy

95% of Nothing is Still Nothing

[the inmates are playing cards and betting with cigarettes]
Martini: [rips a cigarette in half] I bet a nickel.
McMurphy: Dime’s the limit, Martini.
Martini: I bet a dime.
[Puts the two halves onto the table]
McMurphy: This is not a dime, Martini. This is a dime.
[shows a whole cigarette]
McMurphy: If you break it in half, you don’t get two nickels, you get shit. Try and smoke it. You understand?
Martini: Yes.
McMurphy: You don’t understand.

Ahh, those magic words that are the saving grace of most students: Partial Credit. You tried. You got most of what you were supposed to understand. We give you a consolation prize. Better luck next time!

That does not work for programming an application. Nintey-five percent of an application does not give you an application, it gives you a bunch of weird looking text.

An application either works or it doesn’t. It is boolean. It is either YES or NO.

That is a hard thing to process when you are a student. You are used to getting a C if you just show up a few times a semester. Most coding teachers will give you some credit for trying, but you know in your soul that if you don’t get your program to work, you don’t get most of a program, you get shit.