Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Computer Setup

Recently entropy caught up with the Home Computer, and resulted in a reformatting and a replacement of the old 32 bit operating system with a new 64 bit operating system.
The strategy has changed to use virtual machines for specific purposes instead of installing everything on the physical machine.
So, now, this is the setup:

  • Physical machine: 64 bit laptop with 64 bit operating system, with:

    • 7-zip

    • AVG Anti Virus

    • Emacs

    • Google Chrome

    • MiKTeX

    • Mozilla Thunderbird

    • TortoiseSVN

    • VisualSVN Server

    • WinDirStat

  • Virtual machine for development, with:

    • AnkhSVN

    • Firefox

    • FxCop

    • NUnit

    • SqlServer

    • TortoiseSVN

    • Visual Studio

  • Virtual machine for tests and games.

Is it better? No.
Is it smarter? No.
Is it new? Yes, for me it is!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

History Based Estimation

Recently I started on a new programming project in my spare time. I call it History Based Estimation. It features a website to handle recording the elapsed time for tasks and using that to estimate future completion dates.

It is inspired by Joel Spolsky's Evidence Based Scheduling, which I've wanted to use since I read about it more than a year ago.

On my job we started using BugTracker.NET half a year ago, but that doesn't fill my need for the scheduling/estimating part. I started to write a web site in ASP.NET (web forms) three weeks ago, and open sourced it on when I had something that looked like a start.

Features of History Based Estimation are currently:

  • Recording of projects, issues and tasks.

  • Prioritizing issues.

  • Recording estimates and time spent on tasks.

  • Chart with probability of completion dates.

  • Analysis of statistical average remaining time per issue.

  • Download of analysis in Word, Excel, and Latex formats.

  • Choice between English or Danish user interface.

  • Chart with historical task statistics (estimated time versus elapsed time).

  • Tracking of 'days off' when the person will be on holiday etc.

I think it is lacking in, at least, the following: There is no notion of person in the system. I.e. although it is possible for more than one person to use it, there is no authentication required and thus the system does not know who does what, who estimates what, and who has spent the time recorded.

Therefore, I hope to get more time to implement these features:

  • More than one person: I.e. record who is working on what and extract estimates per person.

  • Authentication linked to persons.

A technical note:

  • the web site is written in ASP.NET Web Forms

  • the business logic is written in C#

  • data is stored in a SQL Server database

As mentioned, the code is open source:

so if you would like to take a look at it, please follow the links. If you would like to give me feedback, or maybe even work on the code, please contact me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Article about parameter passing in c#

I found this article about parameter passing:
Parameter passing in C#

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cafés / restaurants with vegetarian dishes in central Denmark

We visited Grenå (on the tip of the nose of Denmark) this week. We were pleasantly surprised to find a café there called ØkoCafeen (ecological café) with a vegan burger on the menu card.

How many places do you find that in Denmark? (We know restaurant Pihlkjær in Århus with an ecological/vegetarian menu.)

In ØkoCafeen they sell ecological food, do wellness, and also have a small catalog of music and movies from Fønix Musik. I noticed a movie called Peaceful Warrior with Nick Nolte, which Eckhart Tolle recommends (according to the brochure).

They call the concept Living Nice, and have a web site here with info about the café and also a blog: Living Nice.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Learning and Living

"To live is to learn."

"To read is to live."

Or maybe it is "Living is living" and "I am".

The last three months have meant some changes to how I work:

I now use source control for code related work: Subversion with TortoiseSVN in Windows Explorer and ankhsvn in Visual Studio. This has given me a feeling of greater security that my work is properly backed up, more speed in development since I don't have to manage (copy) revisions manually. Any new experiment I do can only destroy the changes I've made since the last time I committed changes to source control. Therefore I commit changes every time a piece of a task is completed. In addition to the code change itself, to each commit I add a short description of what has changed. This means that I get an overview of what has changed on a given project by reading the repository log.

Joel Spolsky says, among other things, that Daily Builds Are Your Friend. By setting up a build server I now have a system that, for most of the projects, will compile the code and test it. By using CruiseControl.NET I automatically get feedback when commited code breaks a build.

An extra benefit from the above is that I have learned how to write build scripts using NAnt. So now, after making some small code change, I can run a bat file and the solution will be compiled and the installers packaged for the consultants or for grabbing via ftp from a remote server.

This week I set up BugTracker.NET which seems to fulfil our requirements about a system that we can use internally for tracking bugs, issues, and requests from customers. I appreciate the work of Corey Trager and other people who release their private work for public use.

So now I'm about half-way through The Joel Test, and I don't know where this will end...