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This tag is associated with 15 posts

PacMan at MoMA – Interaction Design

One of the benefits of ditching cable and going to internet streaming TV is that I’m watching more TED talks for a mental stretch break. True, I’m missing half of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but I catch stuff like this from Paola Antonelli, on bringing video games to New York’s Museum of Modern Art … […]

KM Overcomplicates: Heisenberg Impact on a VBA Quickie

Got a simple request from one of the folks in Operations; we’re sending out Excel spreadsheets for some quick data gathering, might we do a little basic input validation before they send in garbage that needs to be scrubbed? This person is very sharp, knows a decent bit about what is possible, and this is […]

Hacking the Google Chart API from Excel

a bit of code on a Saturday night … I’ve written before about a simple way to measure and report IT value to the business – quantifying alignment with strategic initiatives  project spend in context. It all culminated with a single, simple slide – numbers, with some Tufte-esque Sparklines thrown in. Well, technologies come and […]

Agile Methods in a Waterfall World: Speaking In Code

Starting up a new project, and I’m definitely having fun with it. At first glance, it looks like a fairly small, departmental application, but it is actually part of a web of disconnected processes and local databases (ie. “a mess”) that support some fairly important master data. Also, the folks I’m working with are much […]

Data Visualization: ‘Life’ of Open Source Projects

Part of the “art” of communicating IT and business abstractions – technical challenges, project roadmaps, budget performance, customer relationships, IT effectiveness – is landing on the right visualization. A picture tells a thousand words, and if you can draw the picture well, your target audience will grasp these concepts quickly, and (potentially) get insights that […]

Thoughts on Why Tech Folks Need to Sweat the Administrivia Details

As I’ve noted in the past, it really helps to understand the techies‘ way of thinking, especially when trying to get work done on tasks that are decidedly non-technical. Here’s two more recent stories from work, both hinging on the common desire to just “git’er done“. Why do we waste time removing obsolete code? Just hide […]

Is there a Design Pattern for “Update else Add”?

They always say data conversions are a labor of love – you pour your heart and soul into the program, to get the most data converted as possible, and then, when you actually do run the code in production – it’s a one time event; toss the source files in the bit bucket. Well, that’s […]

Preventing Image Hotlinking – What, How, and some Hints

A few months ago, I saw this post on Coding Horror, describing a problem that I’ve noticed in my own traffic reports; a rather large amount of traffic from odd sites. Diving into the details, it became clear that some folks are hotlinking (aka inline linking or direct linking) to the images on my server. […]

Code Mover / Transport: Managing source, environments, and deep-diving into multiple technologies

I remember a meeting from earlier this year, at my old employer. We were reviewing a custom-built “Code Mover” that managed a fairly complex number of environments (Development, Test/QC, Simulated Production/Volume Test, Training, and Production), all on multiple servers (we implemented a middle tier of load-balanced telnet servers so we could insulate the database processes […]

Fighting with MS Access and version incompatibility

I’m working on a nice little reporting tool to smash together some management information from a number of weird places. (Not quite as bad as this gem, but interesting nonetheless). The adventure started last weekend with an attempt at a direct connect from Access to Lotus Notes, using good ol’ ODBC. That driver was slower […]