Archive for March, 2007

Mar 31 2007

A utility bill worth looking at?

Published under Technology

Here in Dardenne Prairie, MO (a suburb of St. Louis; see what WikiPedia has to say about it) our electricity is supplied by the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative. CREC surprised me this month with a genuinely informative addition to the data on the bill: a graph of usage over the last year. My expectations of […]

2 responses so far

Mar 31 2007

Ruby GUI Toolkit Talk: Notes and Audio

Published under Presentations

On March 27th I gave a talk at the St. Louis Ruby User Group about Ruby GUI Toolkits. As with my last few talks, there were no slides, but rather a handout. The original handout fit tightly on a single, two-sided printed page; I’ve expanded the materials slightly and pasted them here. I also recorded […]

8 responses so far

Mar 20 2007

Dear PayPal, My Thoughts Do Not Fit In 40 Characters

Published under Business

I recently closed a PayPal account. During the closing process, and again thereafter, I was surveyed as to why I closed the account. Predictably, these surveys offered a few choices for why I didn’t want the account, with only a tiny field if I wanted to explain in more detail why I closed it. I […]

One response so far

Mar 15 2007

Google Tech Talks

Published under Technology

Google, a mecca for top notch programmers, attracts many top speakers to give talks on (generally) technical topics. They graciously record these talks and upload them to Google Video. You can get a list of most of them by searching video.google.com for “engEDU”. Think of these as virtual user group talks, but usually with bigger […]

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Mar 11 2007

Faster TortoiseSVN

Published under Technology

I’ve used SVN and the TortoiseSVN client for most projects recently. The combination works well (and contrary to my initial expectation, I’ve found a shell-integrated source control tool quite usable), but sometimes causes annoying slowdowns in Windows Explorer.  But with the help of a post in this anonymous “Professional Blog”, a few minutes of configuration […]

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Mar 07 2007

How Not To Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Change Control

Published under Business

As anyone with experience in a large firm knows, change control procedures (and “change control boards”) are a common fixture. Change control mechanisms (such as requiring extensive documentation, signatures, meetings, checklists, approvals, etc.) have obvious benefits, but they also add inertia, increasing the cost of change. This refers to both dollar costs (meetings aren’t free), […]

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