* Posts by Derek Clarke

21 posts • joined 16 Mar 2009

Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

Derek Clarke

Re: On the plus side on holiday cat feeding sorted.

Just install a Dash button by the cat's bowl and it rreally can order the next batch of grub.

Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick... Hang on. They're back

Derek Clarke

Re: Church of Agile and Evangelists

Hear hear brother!!

Gov must hire 'thousands' of techies to rescue failing projects

Derek Clarke

Have you encountered code rot? Where a previously working set of code is badly altered so no one understands it any more? I've seen Agile projects where the code has rotted before the first delivery.

Derek Clarke

Re: Wagile or AgiFall

How to convert one failing project into hundreds...

Derek Clarke

Re: not a chance

Without realising the financial consequences of having to look for work again after every project...

Derek Clarke

Re: IT degree?

I wanted to be an astronomer before I got hooked on programming at school and went on to do a CS degree.

This was so long ago that any old degree would get you a programming job, but CS still gave me an invaluable grip on the essentials.

Except how to debug other people's code...

Derek Clarke

Re: IT degree?

Yes, I concur on the software engineer front.

As far as project failures go, they simply pick the wrong people to do the job. The large consultancies make their money by supplying mediocre but cheap talent at enormous prices.

To actually make a project work you need small hungry firms who are far more likely to have technical talent.

Of course Government IT projects are also notorious for having endlessly changing requirements...

Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

Derek Clarke

The multiplexed serial ports

As a keen QL owner, I suggested to the company i worked for that they would make good cheap programmable serial terminals for testing our X.25 PADs.

So they got one in. Unfortunately every time we connected a QL to a PAD terminal port, the PAD crashed.

We quickly worked out that the multiplexed serial ports worked by asserting hardware flow control off each time the other port was using the hardware. Unfortunately this happened at 50Hz, and our poor PADs couldn't cope with that many interrupts a second!

Still, there's a silver lining to every cloud. When the company was taken over I was in charge of a project they canned, and so was I. However as an informal consolation they gave me the QL so now I have two :-)

Microsoft, Xamarin give Visual Studio a leg-up for... iOS and Android?

Derek Clarke

How to make money

From open source to $999 per developer per year. Monetising Mono seems to have worked, so perhaps PCL being open sourced won't be such a bargain either.

Borland's heir Embarcadero says one dev tool can rule them all

Derek Clarke

Re: @petboy

None, for who'd buy one of those? :-)

Moving from permie to mercenary? Avoid a fine - listen to Ben Franklin

Derek Clarke

Re: Here's a tale

Did you fill in the form that tells them you're leaving the country?

If not, then I'm afraid it was self-inflicted!

Derek Clarke

Re: Sorry, being a yank, I'm missing something...

1) IR35 only catches you if you have a limited company where you own more than 5% of the shares and do the chargeable work yourself. In other words in your terms if you incorporate but don't conduct your business as a business.

2) If you're caught by IR35 95% of the receipts of your company are deemed to be income and you're charged income tax and National Insurance on them. If you're not caught by IR35 you can pay yourself by alternative methods which attract less tax and NI.

Derek Clarke

Re: Looks up, checks calendar.

Unfortunately none of those things mean you pass IR35.

The real contractor has multiple concurrent clients, does everything as fixed-price work packages rather than by the hour or day, and doesn't listen to the slightest thing the client tries to tell him what to do.

Of course this means the real contractor gets fired a lot...

Enterprise storage: A history of paper, rust and flash silicon

Derek Clarke

Re: Magnetic Drum Memories!

I worked on a power station system in the 70s that used a pair of mag drums totalling 640K. They took all morning to back up to paper tape..

Derek Clarke

Re: Downside

The most enduring tapes weren't paper but mylar.

I've often considered an enduring data storage medium would be holes punched in gold plates, but that has the snag that the barbarians wouldn't think of decoding the holes before they melted it down!

I wonder what data density you could get from etching bar codes using acid on granite?

FAIL - the most incompetent IT pros

Derek Clarke

Re: Government. Giant Consulting Company. What could go wrong.

x++ is another term in C for x=x+1

The extra x= makes a big difference as x++ is a postincrement and returns the value of x before it is incremented


x=x++ means

t = x (t is a temporary)

x = x+1

x = t

Laptop computers are crap

Derek Clarke

My current laptop has 1TB of disc and 6GB of RAM, but I didn't buy it like that.

Just because it's a laptop it doesn't mean that you have to be satisfied with what the manufacturer installs.

I never own a laptop without upgrading the hard disc and RAM at some point in its life. The most complicated one to change was a Sony where you had to remove the keyboard, but most modern laptops have one or more handy hatches on the bottom to help with this.

Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

Derek Clarke

And wave power is lethal!

If one were to treat the substance necessary for wave power with the same respect as those necessary for nuclear power, a 20 mile evacuation zone would be set up at all coasts!

So many people have died over the years thanks to the sea, this horrendously dangerous substance should be banned forthwith!

April Fools Day's Finest

Derek Clarke

Exactly how.

You simply advertise for a wunch.

Be prepared to pay a LOT of money though, let alone the bonuses...

Sony embraces ePub for eBooks

Derek Clarke
Thumb Down

Book DRM is counterproductive

There are a number of brave publishers out there who have been in the vanguard of ebook publishing, have published ebooks for years and don't use DRM.

Guess what they found? "Piracy" is a free marketing tool.

One publisher (Baen) even offers free ebooks from their authors, and every time they release a free ebook, sales for that author increase!

Why is this?

It's simple really, in the book trade author recognition is all. Shops will order books by authors they know in preference to ones that they don't.

So the only chance an author has of becoming known is to have copies of their work out there and gaining brand recognition. Someone can easily pick up a free copy of one of their books, then go out and order the rest of the series.

So those publishers that practise DRM are stiffing their own authors.

Skinny, curvy Asus Eee inspired by MacBook Air

Derek Clarke

Lithium Polymer battery

No user replaceable battery? Are they mad?

I also agree about the port flap.


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