On learning (Calvin and Hobbes, the ACS and digital natives)

Digital natives learn differently. How do we take advantage of that? The funny thing is that right away, I’ve written this from an external perspective, when I’m probably in a mixture of both camps. Feel free to consider me in either camp as you read this. At TechEd Australia this year, the keynote was from Anne Kirah. She talked about the concept of the digital native. That’s someone who has grown up in a technology culture, and therefore thinks differently to someone who has grown up in a non-technology culture and come into it. I was born in late 1974, … Continue reading On learning (Calvin and Hobbes, the ACS and digital natives)

What’s wrong with IT?

To a large degree, it's the perception of experience. The IT industry has so many things wrong with it. It tends to be 'governed' (I don't know of a better word for what I mean there, 'run' would be wrong) by people in their 50s. It's also full of Cowboys and Indians (and I don't mean 'people from India' here, I mean 'people who will work for a pittance'), and this means that some degree of governance is actually quite important. My blog post about "How they know you know" really is a much bigger factor than assessing a candidate … Continue reading What’s wrong with IT?

"Blog" misspelled!!?

I have Firefox 2.0 installed, with its built-in spell-checker. Now apparently when I say 'blog', it thinks I must've meant one of log, bog, slog, clog or flog. I've added it to my dictionary (which is "English (Australian)", by the way). I also have American and British installed, just like I have the English keyboard layout installed as a spare, so I can easily switch and type £ quite easily. 🙂

Javascript’s getYear() function, and other IE headaches

Someone I know came across this gem. I guess it's well publicised, but if you haven't come across it before, it could easily catch you out. The interesting thing is that IE will give you 2006 for getYear(). That's wrong. It should give 106 (as per http://www.w3schools.com/jsref/jsref_getYear.asp). The correct function to use is getFullYear(). But of course, if you develop for IE primarily, you'll find this and think that other browsers are wrong. Then you'll put stuff in place to detect which browser you're working on, so that the 'buggy' other browsers handle the JavaScript correctly. Then some future version … Continue reading Javascript’s getYear() function, and other IE headaches

ACS SA Branch Committee member now

I am now a member of the ACS Branch Executive Committee for South Australia. Hopefully I can influence things in some way, for the good of IT, the ACS and Adelaide. Of course, I have a few thoughts on what needs to be done… but I won't list them here (at least, not yet).

The horror of daylight savings (sorry Perth)

I have friends in Perth, who I have always envied for the fact that they don't apply daylight savings there. For anyone who somehow has no idea what I'm talking about… because the days are long in the summer, many countries in the world apply 'daylight savings', to effectively shift an hour of daylight from the morning (when people are typically still asleep) to the evening (when people are still able to work). When winter comes around again, they adjust back to 'normal', and have a day centred around noon again. Personally, I wish the world would just say "Hey, … Continue reading The horror of daylight savings (sorry Perth)

Faster binary converter – where do your solutions come from?

Mitch Wheat is a great guy. He really is. And he's clearly a mathematician. I mean, I did a half-major as part of my BSc, doing a handful of 3rd year Pure Maths subjects (which I got HDs in too – I wasn't just sleeping during class), but Mitch… he thinks like a mathematician. You can tell when he comes up with a solution like this for converting numbers to binary. Makes me wonder if this is something he came up with, or something he read in a book. Knowing Mitch, he came up with it himself. I'm in a … Continue reading Faster binary converter – where do your solutions come from?

Simple recursive CTE

I like CTEs. Mostly because it lets me have a derived table that I can refer to multiple times. I don't often use the recursive features of it. But when I do, I repeatedly feel amazed at the power available. Today I had a challenge to produce a nice SQL way of converting integers to binary.  So I pulled out the CTE. 🙂 with ctebins as(select num as num_orig, num as working_level, cast('' as varchar(max)) as binvalfrom nums_binunion allselect c.num_orig, c.working_level / 2, cast(c.working_level % 2 as varchar(max)) + c.binvalfrom ctebins cwhere c.working_level > 0)select num_orig, binvalfrom ctebinswhere working_level = … Continue reading Simple recursive CTE

ActiveSync to a new Exchange Server

This week we had a few hassles with our Exchange Server. I don't know the details, but I know that we moved to a new Exchange Server. From an Outlook perspective, this was fine. From a Windows Mobile perspective, it wasn't so great. The new Exchange Server is in a different domain, so I had to use a different set of credentials to sync with it. I installed the root certificate, did all the right things to get it working, but got an error saying: Synchronization failed due to a device software error. Contact your network administrator. 0x80004005 Not good. … Continue reading ActiveSync to a new Exchange Server

ACS SA Branch Committee

I've been nominated for the ACS SA Branch Committee. I've been a member of the ACS for a few months now – a Senior Member even. But it hasn't really meant a lot so far. As I want to be an influencer, particularly in regards to promoting IT in Adelaide (it's where I live, and I figure that if I can help develop IT as an industry here, then that's good for both me and anyone else who lives here), I had toyed with the idea of joining the committee. Nominations close this Friday, and after checking with Roslyn about … Continue reading ACS SA Branch Committee