b3ta.com user S tr app y
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Wow, I've out-grown B3ta. Who'd'a thunk it.

Recent front page messages:

It's Friday, it's finished,
so I'm posting it.

Bigger version (1.4mb) here with less optimisation, etc.
(Fri 19th Nov 2004, 18:29, More)

Best answers to questions:

» Job Interviews

But I'm too young!
Best ever interview was when I was 16 going for a glass collector job at the local caravan holiday park. Turned up and said hello to Dave the manager. First question was, "Can you pull a pint?"

"Yeah, reckon so", I replied.

"Go on then", he says and points to the bar, "pour whichever one you'd normally drink".

I did and remarkably, as it was my first time using a proper beer tap, pulled a pretty near perfect pint.

"Nice one", says Dave. "You start behind the bar Monday night."

"But I'm only 16", I pointed out, "I'm too young to work behind the bar."

"Yeah but you look 18, if you don't tell anyone then neither will I. Now, are you going to drink that pint?"

Worst interview was probably when I was contracting and arrived at the client's office to find the agent had told them a totally different story about my experience than
I'd put on my c.v. We ended the interview agreeing that the job wasn't right for me and I wasn't right for it, only for the agent to call me and say, "they're really keen, I think
you've got that one" 30 minutes later...
(Fri 21st Jan 2005, 19:09, More)

» Scars with history

I have the usual collection of small, insignificant scars
that you collect on the way through life, the pick of which include a small one on my thumb that proves you shouldn't rush grape-picking when using rusty secateurs, a patch on the back of my hand where I was closing a gate and trapped my hand between the gate and the rough stone wall and several small ones on my middle finger where it broke when my brother pulled out the deckchair support "for a joke" and crushed it as the chair collapsed. I also have a birthmark on the back of my neck just under the hairline that looks like a scar, so much so that once when having a haircut the barber insisted that I'd been hit with an axe, "'cos I know some dodgy geezers and they've got scars like that".

The best has to be these ones though.

They mark the place where two screws were inserted and then removed from my ankle following a particularly nasty break at the end of August last year. You may notice there is still some swelling and bruising around the ankle; I'm reliably informed that this could take 12-18 months to go away.

And, if you're particularly interested, you can see what it looked like at the time here. (Linked as it's not safe for the squeamish.) I still have the scar halfway up my leg and a collection of small ones around the break, where the skin looks slightly "older" than the rest of my leg. Oh, and I've no feeling in the skin on top of my left foot thanks to the damage done to the nerves in my ankle. Apparently, if the bone you can see pressing on the inside of the skin had broken through they would have removed my foot rather than try to repair it, which is comforting to know.
(Mon 7th Feb 2005, 12:28, More)

» I hurt my rude bits

Back in the days when I was at university,
myself and my young lady companion of the time were amusing ourselves in bed. She was on top, bouncing rather enthusiastically upon my... well, you get the idea. Unfortunately, one of those bounces took her right off my old chap and as she came crashing back down things didn't quite line up properly. Instead of carrying on merrily, my old chap was folded in half - completely flat. For a moment or two I honestly thought it was going to be ok, and then I realised that I'd be walking funny for a couple of weeks and not be ready for action for a little while longer.

The extensive purple bruising was quite impressive though. Take away the pain but leave the swelling, indeed.
(Thu 13th Jul 2006, 22:52, More)

» The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

Computer programmers...
For those programmers who think it's a dirty secret to not comment or otherwise obfuscate your code? Thank you. It's an amateur mistake to think that this is a secret.

All you've done is provide real programmers with the justification to extend the contract by several months in order to re-write the code, "as it's clearly in such a mess". Even the most tech-illiterate IT manager, when confronted by such a mess of uncommented code, finds it hard to argue otherwise.

Real programmers include comments and indent code properly. Those comments, however, may only be of use to someone who's familiar with the program flow and its position in the overall system being developed. Thing is, showing code like that to anyone else gives the impression that it's easy to follow and full of helpful comments, until they try to modify something and it all falls over.

As for over-estimating timings, that's a standard practice. Again, if you think that's a secret, you're deluding yourself. Take the time you think it'd take to do the work and multiply it by 2.5. That will take into account all those disturbances like people talking to you about other work, fixing the little niggly problems that take so much time, changes to the specification, etc. It's not a secret, it's effective time management.
(Fri 28th Sep 2007, 9:36, More)

» Best Graffiti Ever

University of Sussex, 1997, Boiler House Hill.
It was a road leading out of the university, going up quite a steep incline. Of course, there was a dashed white line running up the middle.

To which someone had added a pair of scissors signifying where to cut.
(Sun 6th May 2007, 22:44, More)
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