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Herbie Smith Dr Herbie Not dead yet.
  • Beagle 2 found on surface of Mars after vanishing for 12 years

    What's astonishing is that it was 12 years ago.  12 Years?!

  • Drawing Trusses for Windows Store Apps

    If you're using vector graphics (lines and rectangles rather than hand drawn lines), then there is the Canvas container in WinRT -- this is much like the traditional windows system where you use coordinates from the top left.  WinRT also has built in affine transformations which can be used to track user manipulations of vectors. 

    Although it's targeting WPF (desktop) rather than store apps, this article shows a canvas used as a diagramming system and should give you some starters for the XAML involved.  I expect the majority, if not all, of the code will translate to WinRT.

  • So what should I blog about next?

    The blog is at https://codingatthecoalface.wordpress.com/ if you want a flavour of the things I blog about. 

    @cheong: I'd rather blog about not getting into those situations in the first place ... I'll think about that as a topic, thanks.

  • So what should I blog about next?

    I have a small blog where I write about broad, generalised topics in software development in the context of real life coding; subjects like architecture, design patterns, design philosophy, etc.

    But I'm struggling to think of the next topic. Perhaps it's just the short day-lengths but I just can't settle on something to espouse.

    Any suggestions?

  • Advice

    @RamblingGeekUK: I would also publish something (OSS, Phone App, WIn8 app, whatever).  Doesn't have to be big, just make sure you do a good job.  You can then reference this on your CV and they can take a look and see that you know how to code. 

    Writing articles can also help -- publish some small, useful code fragment you're come up with on Code Project or somewhere like that.  If it gets slated, do another one until you get one that gets good reviews.  Then add the good one to your CV but leave out any that didn't do so well :)

    Showing that you know how to code it better than having a qualification with the ink still wet.



  • Interesting Items from CES

    , elmer wrote

    Introduced at CES


    For taking selfies of your butt.

    If it was April-1 I'd laugh, but there is apparently a market for this...

    Ah, the fall of civilisation -- I knew it had to start soon.


  • crazy anti-cop culture.

    My take on this is that people generally see the police force as representing "The System" (be that the government, the status quo or the military-industrial complex).  When we are in times of austerity (as we currently are) people become more frustrated and tend to target their frustrations at 'The System' which manifests itself as an increase anti-police sentiment. 

    When times are good, people tend not to notice the police so much so there is no balancing positive state.  This means that the average is negative.


  • A decent, incremental online backup system

    I'm using Carbonite at home: it doesn't care about file formats, only file sizes.  I'm happy with how it works; if I've deleted it from my PC then I don't care about backups being removed.  I also don't need a full disk image; I back up all the documents and everything else can be re-installed. My main reasons for making backups are in case of theft or disk failure so I'm not really concerned about file history.

    If you are thinking of any on-line backup system make sure you have a decent upload speed. I get about 9Mb upload which is fine, but even then the first upload took a long time to finish.

  • Visual Studio 2013 remote debugging on home network

    I haven't done this for a while, but I do remember having to run the debugging tools on the tablet (an original Surface RT in my case) as an administrator -- then the remote logging just seemed to work.  I also had to add the admin user details from the desktop when debugging.

  • Cyber warfare and Hollywood cowardice

    , JohnAskew wrote

    Come on, guys, the FBI has fingered NoKo... "with some outside help" - Russia, Iran...

    Sony is just another free speech platform getting shut down by those who are more powerful than it or it's slack - uncle sam.

    I think uncle sam needs to blow back - hard.


    1. Sony is not a 'free speech platform' it's a multinational media company that produces films for profit. It is not their place (or their desire) to stand up for anything and they're certainly not going to take any risks with anybody's lives - that's for governments to do.  Oh, and Sony certainly don't stand up for the 1st amendment or 'The American way of Life'; being a conglomerate of Japanese origins it's rather silly to call them 'Un-American' as some people in Hollywood have done.

    2. Uncle Sam can do what about this exactly?  North Korea may have been proven to be the source (as the media in the UK claims the US Government has now verified), but what exactly can the US do that they're not already doing? You think the US are not already involved in cyber attacks on competing ideologies?


    It is disappointing that a film is withdrawn due to threats, but we cannot blame the media company who are just trying to mitigate their risk and losses.  Blame North Korea all you like, but you can't blame Sony for being what they are.

    I thought Sony's declaration that they will never release the film in any format ever was a mistake, though.  They should have kept their options open.