Category Archives: Fun

Error’d: No Thanks Necessary


“I guess we’re not allowed to thank the postal carriers?!” Brian writes.   “So, does the CPU time mean that Microsoft has been listening to every noise I have made since before I was born?” writes Shaun F.   “No problem. I will not attempt to re-use your error message without permission,” wrote Alex K.   Mark B. writes, “Ah,

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Finding the Lowest Value


Max’s team moved into a new office, which brought with it the low-walled, “bee-hive” style cubicle partitions. Their project manager cheerfully explained that the new space “would optimize collaboration”, which in practice meant that every random conversation between any two developers turned into a work-stopping distraction for everyone else. That, of course, wasn’t the only change their project manager instituted.

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CodeSOD: A Pre-Packaged Date


Microsoft’s SQL Server Integration Services is an ETL tool that attempts to mix visual programming (for designing data flows) with the reality that at some point, you’re just going to need to write some code. Your typical SSIS package starts as a straightforward process that quickly turns into a sprawling mix of spaghetti-fied .NET code, T-SQL stored procedures, and developer

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The Little Red Button


Bryan T. had worked for decades to amass the skills, expertise and experience to be a true architect, but never quite made the leap. Finally, he got a huge opportunity in the form of an interview with a Silicon Valley semi-conductor firm project manager who was looking for a consultant to do just that. The discussions revolved around an application

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CodeSOD: Impersonated Programming


Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I got contracted to show a government office how to build and deliver applications… in Microsoft Access. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. As horrifying and awful as it is, Access is actually built with some mechanisms to actually support that- you can break the UI and behavior off into one

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Error’d: Unfortunate Timing


"Apparently, I viewed the page during one of those special 31 seconds of the year," wrote Richard W.   "Well, it looks like I’ll be paying full price for this repair," wrote Ryan W.   Marco writes, "So…that’s like September 2nd?"   "Office 365????? I guess so, if you’re sure, Microsoft…" writes Leonid T.   Brandon writes, "So is it

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CodeSOD: Changing Requirements


Requirements change all the time. A lot of the ideology and holy wars that happen in the Git processes camps arise from different ideas about how source control should be used to represent these changes. Which commit changed which line of code, and to what end? But what if your source control history is messy, unclear, or… you’re just not

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The Defensive Contract


Working for a contractor within the defense industry can be an interesting experience. Sometimes you find yourself trying to debug an application from a stack trace which was handwritten and faxed out of a secured facility with all the relevant information redacted by overzealous security contractors who believe that you need a Secret clearance just to know that it was

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CodeSOD: Questioning Existence


Michael got a customer call, from a PHP system his company had put together four years ago. He pulled up the code, which thankfully was actually up to date in source control, and tried to get a grasp of what the system does. There, he discovered a… unique way to define functions in PHP: if(!function_exists("GetFileAsString")){ function GetFileAsString($FileName){ $Contents = "";

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Rubbed Off


Early magnetic storage was simple in its construction. The earliest floppy disks and hard drives used an iron (III) oxide surface coating a plastic film or disk. Later media would use cobalt-based surfaces, providing a smaller data resolution than iron oxide, but wouldn’t change much. Samuel H. never had think much about this until he met Micah. The Noisiest Algorithm

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