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Jerks. They email me Christmas Eve to tell me that they hired someone else. They crushed my hopes and dreams. I thought maybe that guy from WVU would fall through at the last moment. But it wasn't meant to be.
It's a long shot, and I don't know if I'm really qualified, but I just applied for a job as the head football coach at the University of Michigan. Should be pretty sweet if I get it.
I work on computers all day. So do my coworkers. This morning, I came into work and found someone had left some papers on my chair, which seems to be universal for "You should look at these". I, naturally, assumed it was something reasonably important. Perhaps some security form I needed to fill out.
It turns out it was a printout of a sixteen page SQL stored procedure which my coworker printed just so he could highlight the 8th and 9th lines of the first page and write a little note informing me of something I did not ask to know, need to know, or want to know.
He had a bunch of options here. The first one, and my preference, would have been to just not tell me at all. The world would have continued to turn.
Second, he could have emailed me the stored procedure with a note in the email. That would have been fine. He could have come by my desk this morning and said, "Hey, open up that stored procedure. See this line? I changed it. It works better now." I would have even been sort of okay if he'd printed out the first page only and made his notes there. An unnecessary use of paper, but not egregious.
Anyway, now I have to recycle this stack of papers. All so he could notify me of something I never needed to know.
Actually, yes, I am piling on Microsoft. Microsoft deserves it.
Work just upgraded Outlook web mail last night, and the new and improved version only works in IE 6 or "greater" (their words, not mine). What this means is that Microsoft decided (Again) not to play along with all the web standards to which everyone is supposed to adhere. Instead, they'll introduce some proprietary garbage that only works properly with their own ideas of what people should be doing with their computers.
I imagine they get around monopolistic anti-trust violations by continuing to support the old version for other browsers, but exploiting legal loopholes is hardly what I would call being a responsible company.
Anyway, those of you who come to this site in Internet Explorer, you've probably noticed the site doesn't render properly. Some of you may make the argument that it doesn't really render properly in any browser, and I would tell you that I'll redesign when I'm good and f'ing ready. But I won't make sure it works in IE. If you read at work, and don't have a choice in your browser, I apologize. But if you're using IE by choice, then I have no sympathy. IE is not only an inferior way to view a web page, it is also actively making the internet worse.
And please don't tell me to buy a Mac. They're just as bad as Microsoft (In some ways worse), they just have prettier cases and better marketing.
In March, I moved from a web development project in Java to one in ASP.NET. It was a good opportunity to get some more experience and more responsibility, and I had been on the old project two years.
So here I am, programming in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. And let me tell you, it's a piece of crap. It continues in the long Microsoft tradition of assuming that users are stupid. Go search for solutions to problems in .NET. Almost every single tutorial relies heavily on the Visual Studio GUI.
A good analogy here, for those of you who aren't coders: Remember back in school when you were learning math? You probably learned how to do long division on paper, and you probably hated it. If you're like me, you no doubt complained about it. Later, you got to use a calculator, and then things were more or less okay.
Imagine, however, that you had never been taught long division. More than that, you were never even told that long division even existed. Instead, you were handed a calculator and told that division means hitting one number, then the division button, then another number. Not that doing that would tell you the answer, but that doing that was what division was. It wasn't a shortcut, a convenience. It was division.
Sure, you'd have the answer. You'd be able to divide any number by any other number. But you wouldn't understand division.
This is what Visual Studio does. It assumes that, if you end up with a working web page, then the fact that you have no idea how you got there is not important.
Now, I don't mean to say that Visual Studio doesn't have a lot of nice features that save you time. I use the code completion features all the time. But seriously, Microsoft. Stop treating me like an idiot.
You know that sound they play in every Western ever made, when the bad guy is staring down the good guy? I can't describe the noise, but you know what I'm talking about.
Anyway, some clown down the hall from me at work has that as his cell phone ringtone.
I'm not going to do it, but let's just say, hypothetically, that the phone rang for a third time in the last half hour, and I hypothetically removed one or both of his arms and beat him with it/them. Hypothetically.
Do you think I would do any jail time?
Does your office have a water dispenser that takes one of those giant jugs of water?Â The kind where you have to take the top off the jug, lift it up, and flip it over to refill the dispenser?Â Our office does.Â I've been here not quite two months and I've refilled the dispenser about five times.Â I know I'm not drinking that much water.Â Plainly people are choosing to not get water rather than refill it.
I understand it's tough to refill.Â But I can do it, and therefore most of the rest of the office should be able to do it, also.
Honestly, a better solution would be what we had at my old office, which is a filter for tap water.Â That would solve this problem, and be better for the environment.
But, since that isn't going to happen, it would be really cool if the other people in the office would just do their share of the refilling.
I've been having some problems at work.Â It's a really long story that I won't go into because it's not that interesting, but the end result is that I need wireless internet access for my work computer.Â I did some brief research, and decided that online reviews suggest that Sprint has the best internet service.Â Corporate tech support vetoed Sprint.Â "We would prefer not to use Sprint", they said.Â Whatever.Â Verizon was pretty expensive, and they have this really cool reputation for selling "unlimited" access and then cutting off service for people who use too much bandwidth.Â Plus they're trying to kill Vonage over some ridiculous patents (Search Techdirt if you want more info), which makes me salty.
Anyway, we went with Cingular.Â The only other option was TMobile, and everything I've ever heard about them suggests that they are the Hyundai of mobile phone providers.
The Cingular card has been basically unusable.Â I tried to download a large text file today and the connection cut out.Â I tried to remote login to our server back at the main office to tweak some settings and the connection cut out.Â I can't talk to my wife on GTalk because it keeps signing me in and out.
To top it off, I need the wireless number attached to the card to even be allowed to speak to tech support.Â I don't have that because I didn't buy the card, work did.Â And work tech support took the day off today or something, so I couldn't get the number I need.
In any event, I have my work laptop at home, and I'm seriously considering doing some work from here, where I have a reasonable internet connection.Â But we're going to have to figure this out, because I can't work from home all the time (Not that I would mind).
So, Cingular, your tech support will get its chance to try and help me, but if you tell me to reinstall the connection software, I will seriously come to your house and do something really awful, like use your restroom and leave the toilet seat up.
The number of people who travel 90 minutes to work â€” deemed an â€œextreme commuteâ€ by the Census Bureauâ€”has doubled since 1990, reaching 3.5 million.
I can tell you from personal experience that my commute stress level has gone from below average to nearly nonexistent since I stopped driving and started Metroing to work.Â I had a 25 minute drive, very pleasant as DC Metro area commutes go.Â Now I have a three block walk, 25 minute Metro ride, and then 2 minute walk to work.Â I've only been at this new job since March 26th, and I'm reading my third book.
Currently, actually, I'm reading Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert Putnam, quoted in the above article.Â I'm still trudging through the 150 pages at the front of the book where he reels off statistics, but I expect to get to the good parts soon.Â
As an aside, if you ask anyone who knows me, you will find that any amount of statistics that I find excessive is REALLY EXCESSIVE.Â I enjoyed Bill James' Baseball Abstract in my early teens.Â This is, for those who don't know, the book where you can find out who the backup third basemen for the Pirates was in 1967, and what he hit on Tuesdays against left-handers in his home ballpark.
The point here is that these commutes are ridiculous.Â As usual, I don't know what the solution is.Â Better public transportation would certainly be helpful.Â I mean, I've taken my commute, which used to be a total waste of time, and turned it into nearly leisure time.Â Not everyone has the flexibility to be able to move near work, or the willingness to live in a "transitional" neighborhood in the city to be near public transportation.Â But there has to be some middle ground.
I don't have permission on my new work computer to even change the desktop theme from the stupid Windows XP theme back to the "Windows Classic" theme that I much prefer.Â I'm not sure how anyone is expected to do a job on a computer without admin access.Â Certainly there are people who don't know computers well enough to safely be granted that sort of power over their machine.Â However, I think that computer classes, not ridiculous restrictions, are the answer there.
I honestly can not do my job on a computer without admin access.Â I just can't do it.Â Even if you forget about the convenience issues of being able to install the helpful software, there are real roadblocks that can not be overcome without admind access.Â It's ridiculous.
I can't even use the Windows calendar because they have no "view only" mode.Â I just want to see whether May 13th is a Saturday, but I can't.Â
And I have to use Internet Explorer.Â The horror.