# Tuesday, October 21, 2003

All of a sudden, the blogsphere is bursting with the study showing how much more productive having multiple monitors is. I started using this over five years ago and can't imagine going back.

I have to agree with ScottH that nVidia's drivers seem to be especially good for this task.

I've had a 1600x1280 and an 1152x864 running for a long time. I just added a new LCD monitor for 1280x1024 and expect to add the smaller 1152 back into the mix after building up a new system.

In my setup, I will have the hi-res right in front of me, the LCD to the left and the lo-res above, center for 'monitoring' apps - IM, ActiveSync, Process Explorer, etc. Outlook 2003 is in front of me with browsers to the left. While developing, VS goes in front and extras on the left (Snippet Compiler, nUnit, debugging apps, etc.)

With the price of video cards as low as they are and monitors getting cheaper all the time (even the LCDs), it's time for you to give it a try.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 2:16:42 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, October 19, 2003

I attended a wedding reception last evening. A young lady that my wife and I have known for probably six or seven years was marrying her beau of several years. It was wonderful to see them take the step.

As I was moving around the crowd of mostly strangers, I suddenly noticed a face that I knew. Charlynn, whom I had worked with for some time at InFocus, and her fella were there. In all the time that we had worked together, we had never realized that we had mutual friends. This just struck me with such fascination. I couldn’t believe that I actually knew someone so well at this event.

I suppose that it also reminds me of what a small world it is. It was great seeing Charlynn.

Sunday, October 19, 2003 9:08:12 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, October 11, 2003

I'm about two-thirds through one of my favorite activities - rearranging my office. Ok, that was sarcastic, but the benefits to my personal productivity should be substantial, so I had to go through with it.

My home office space has been laid out pretty much the same for about three years - the time that I have been attending school again. I finally have reached a point of frustration over many of the inconveniences and had to rearrange. I’ve got my cable modem, router, and WAP hooked up so that I can get online with my laptop, but it’s going to be a little while before I have the big PCs connected.

As a bonus with this move, I have all of the makings of a new PC. Of course, until I’m done, I won’t have room to assemble it. But then, I will get to build up the new one, repave my previous to be a Win2003 server, and build up a new Linux only box. My former server will probably end up in a closet or donation pile. The old PII 400 just hasn’t got all that much oomph.

I formerly sat next to the window and could easily glance out to enjoy the day. Problem is that I didn’t have a wall next to me to post a whiteboard. As electronic as I like to be, I still enjoy getting down and dirty on the old whiteboard. This was the biggest driving force for the change.

Well, hopefully, by later today I will be wired back up. Then I can place the rest of the room’s furniture and start bringing all of the books back into the room. My wife will be glad to get them off the upstairs landing J!

Saturday, October 11, 2003 10:41:02 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 8, 2003

I didn't even know this one was in production... how exciting!

The Mootrix

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 11:58:12 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]

We took a look at both enhanced requirements and Use Cases last evening.

Requirements need to be correct, specific, verifiable, and traceable. Some examples of BAD requirements would be:

  1. A useable system
  2. Lots of features
  3. The fastest performance
  • I'm not traceable

Requirements and Use Cases are not the same thing. A requirement is that correct, specific, verifiable, and traceable item in the list. A Use Case is more like a story of use. For example:

Use Case 1

The user chooses to add a new movie to a list. The system prompts the user for a movie title. After the user provides the movie title, the system searches its own db for the movie. If it is not in the local db, it requests the movies information from the "web service". Once the movie is found, the system prompts the user to verify the movie selection. The user then verifies and accepts the movie. Finally, the system adds the movie to the list.

Alternate Courses

  1. The movie is not found locally or through the web service.
  2. The web service is not available.
  3. The user does not accept the found movie as the correct one.

By no means is this a complete Use Case for the design that we are intending to do, but it provides some sense of how it should flow.

I was very pleased to see that the <<includes>> and <<extends>> concepts made it into the discussion. These can be invaluable in reducing the volume of information and the ability to comprehend the set of Use Cases in the system.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 7:21:35 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Here will lie my notebook for my Señor Project.

The project (currently) is a movie information source. I enjoy using the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), but find there are features that I would like to add to it. Also, it just doesn't work all that well in a disconnected manner.

In an effort to resolve these shortcomings, I will build a system that includes:

  • A web service that will acquire information from sites like IMDb, Amazon, YMDb, or others about movies and make that information available to clients.
  • A client that can connect to the web service and download that information into a local repository and provide features that I have not been able to find available through other means.
  • Possibly, allow the posting back of information to IMDb so that ones list of movies is available without the client.

There are many details to iron out over the next three months, but most seem quite achievable.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003 12:19:52 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]