Marius Gheorghe

Building software : make it work, make it good, make it fast

Powershell help quick tips

The first tip is about upgrading your powershell help files so it will be up to date. For this just run :
update-help
Second tip is about searching for useful cmdlets when trying to achieve something with powershell. For instance if you are interesting in looking at the event viewer entries (for instance), you can run :
get-help *event*
and get back all the cmdlets that let you interact with the event viewer.

More books minireviews

The golem and the jinni


Very nice, very different from the "typical" fantasy novel. The genie in the past bits were the best, i'd gladly read a full novel with those parts.

 

The Night Angel trilogy


It's enjoyable. A much more "typical" fantasy series with good world building and character development.Most of it presented from a stealth assassin perspective. Towards the end , the narrative kind of stumbles a bit , but overall a enjoyable read.

More Drizzt books

   

First 2 are the last books from the Companions Codex trilogy while the last if first book from new Homecoming trilogy.
First 2 books are fine, they reminded me of the old school Drizzt stories, even the cast of characters are very.....familiar. The last one is pretty bad though. The entire books is used as a setup for the cooler things to happen next.

The (inhouse) software development equation

It's a simple equation with 3 variables : time (and implicit money),  set of features/bugs ratio  and code quality. For best results the trick is not to overemphasize one over the remaining 2 and just keep all 3 balanced. Sounds simple but sometimes it feels like the hardest thing in the world.

 

Non functional requirements

Non functional requirements are just as important as functional ones. Yet not much thought is given to them (especially at the beginning when writing the specs for a new "system"). For instance everyone, obviously,  wants a secure application (also security is a bool, it's either secure or not, there are no intermediary steps) so a new application will not be released if it's insecure no matter how many functional requirements are implemented.

 The idea is to always keep in mind non functional requirements when designing a new "system". Some of the non functional requirements (like capacity/performance or security) can even have a direct impact over the functional requirements.

Dust and Shadow minireview



This is basically Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper. It's one of those Sherlock Holmes novels which aren't written by Conan Doyle . Overall i'd say the book is decent but the identity of Jack the Ripper was a bit of a letdown for me.

The first law minireview

first
"The first law" is a fantasy trilogy that goes off a bit from the beaten path. I enjoyed the writing style and the fact that some of the characters are not what you expect to find in a fantasy book (The Glokta character is especially "different"). The ending was a bit of a let down but overall it's a pretty solid "package". Recommended

After the main trilogy , there are 3 additional books that continue/reference some of the characters from the main story. I've only read the first 2:

Best served cold
best served cold cover
This is the book i enjoyed the most from all 5. It's a simple revenge story, dialed up to 11. Recommended.

The Heroes
the heroes cover
I actually really really disliked this one. I appreciate the idea of the book but i think the "execution" of that idea was downright
terrible. Not recommended


Firefox 64 bit version is out

Finally the 64 bit version of Firefox is out. It works side by side with the 32 bit version (by default 64 bit version is installed in \Program Files instead of Program Files (x86)) but i really recommend everyone to just install the 64 bit version and ditch the 32 bit version (just make sure you back up your profile before doing this).


Overwrite default font in Firefox

If you're using Firefox there's no need to use the crappy fonts "designers" use for their pages. Install your favorite font and set it as default :

Just uncheck "Allow pages to choose their own font" .

Shopkeeper update

There's a new Shopkeeper update (v2.6.2) . Grab it here

Change log :

- few small fixes

- added "Edit" button in product details page that redirects to the edit page in administration area. Button is available only if you are logged as administrator.

It's just a binding failure

A GitHub extension VS bug caused some serious damage for some dude. It was very sad to see the actual cause of the bug though. A frigging WPF checkbox binding failure case GitHub projects to always be created public.
It's funny because a lot of people who do XAML figured out that MVVM/binding is the wrong way to tackle UIs of a reasonable complexity but on the other hand it's still sad to see it fail so miserably.

Universal Windows apps - risking the quality of the apps

I've played around for a bit with a Lumia device which run the latest Window 10 mobile. To be honest the entire switch to "Universal Windows apps" doesn't seem to great from a user perspective.

The main thing is that not matter how great the API is, it is HARD to make a app "work" from a 4 inch phone (using touch as input) to a Xbox One running on a 70' TV using a controller for input. Different device sizes and different input methods are usually handled differently so "hiding" all this under a API won't necessarily make the apps great.

Just look at Android, even after all these years you can still find apps which suck when are running on a tablet (they don't make proper use of the entire screen estate). Nevermind the fact the the OS still doesn't support basic features like running 2 apps side by side (never mind the Samsung hacks, that has his own share of problems).

To me, with the universal runtime , it seems Microsoft is risking to have more apps which are mediocre on multiple devices rather than fewer apps which run and work great on each device type. Windows Mobile /Windows 10 won't compete with Android / iOS regarding the number of apps anytime soon (if ever).

Is it worth risking the user experience for "many apps" ? Personally i don't think so.