Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...

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The contents of this blog are my own comments and opinions and do not reflect those of my family, friends, colleagues, clients, employers, or anyone else I may know. Additionally, their comments and opinions are not a reflection of me or this blog. Any links contained in posts are maintained by third parties and are not under the control of this blog, and as such, this blog is not responsible for their content. All links are provided "as is" with no explicit or implicit warranty of any kind.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Press Any Key To Continue -- Except Q...

I worked Friday night and all day Saturday to do software upgrades for one of the products I support working for Vertafore, called AMS 360. At the same time, a couple of other engineers performed upgrades on the Sagitta product. While I got to go home and return the next day after a few hours sleep, Tim and Tim, the Sagitta application engineers, stayed all night working on the Sagitta upgrades. They got to go home after nearly 16 hours total work, with only about an hour break.

Sagitta upgrades, as it turns out, are more tedious than the upgrades I did. Tim and Tim had to wait for a prompt to appear and "press any key to continue".

Now, in my opinion, when working on a mass upgrade affecting multiple databases, mundane tasks like pressing keys on a keyboard should not be necessary. In fact, it's stupid. But that's another story.

The odd part was that at some point, the Tims were asked to "Press any key to continue". So, by chance, Tim#2 pressed the "Q" key.

Evidently, "Any Key" does not mean "Q". Because hitting "Q" will "Quit" the process and kick you back about three steps.

Why would you place the message "Press ANY KEY to continue" in a software upgrade, and NOT realize it MIGHT kill the upgrade, to the point where you have to nearly start ALL OVER AGAIN? That's insane!

Software developers, in general, are not a user friendly bunch. But this is beyond that -- it's piss poor programming. How hard is it to make the software respond only to one key.

Sorry to all you decent developers out there, but I've run into too much piss poor code to let it slide. Keep up the diligence -- someone will learn from you...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Time for Change

No, this is not an Obama rant. I simply changed the name of the blog a little bit to "Knight Time".

Same blog, different name...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hayden's Good News

I had the kids again last night, and when I picked them up at their mother's house, Fliss talked to me about Hayden's recent visit from the physical therapist from the State of Texas. Hayden still needs a few things to get his physical skills advanced. He's getting up on his knees now, trying to crawl, but he uses the back of his hands, like a gorilla, to push himself up. When he attempts to go forward, he rolls forward and goes back to crawling using the Army Crawl technique he's mastered the last few months. So to fix this, he'll need hand and wrist braces and hand wraps to flatten his hands.

While this was progress, I was more interested in her comments about his mental progress. While the therapist talked with Fliss, she put Hayden down to watch television. He sat and watched an entire 30 minute cartoon show. I've seen him do this, but never thought much about it. He and Alex watch TV together while at my house often, so it was no surprise to me.

What did surprise me was that this is not a 2 year old skill. Watching television for extended periods of time is an advanced skill -- 2-year-olds do not hold typically their attention for that long. The therapist also noted that Hayden laughed at the parts of the show that were funny and did not at the parts that were not. This is another skill that 2-year-olds don't have. These skills are done by older children.

I was not surprised, but was very happy to hear this news. It simply reinforced my beliefs that Hayden will turn out just fine in the long run. We'll just have to be patient, and let him develop on his own.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. Deville...

So today, Vertafore sent a film crew to the Data Center in College Station to film us doing over everyday work. The AMS User's Group will show the film at the annual conference in Washington DC later this month.

All day I avoided the camera. I worked at my desk, left my desk when I saw the cameraman coming, and stayed away as long as I could. Until the end of the day.

I was asked to "run into" one of my colleagues and make something up. At first I came up with a billing issue but that turned out to be too negative and we shook our heads negatively. That was bad, apparently, so I came up with a backup that would arrive at a customer's site ahead of schedule, which was positive and our heads nodded positively.

So that was my Hollywood moment. Thrills!