Just found out today that my work has changed the proxy that they use – so now apps that don’t use an embedded IE, or other “MS ISA Approved” methods of accessing the net work again!

So now I can post directly from w.Bloggar while I’m at work! 🙂
[Listening to: Another World – DJ Shog – Bump 13 Disc 2 (05:46)]

General Internet/Links Music


Firstly, I’ve been meaning to link to Isabella’s blog – called “She’s a flight risk”… cool story, even if its not true…

Speaking of “Bliss”… Daniel Bjørnbakk has some funky XP Bliss backgrounds.

And onto other blissful matters – Mugg & Bean had an ad that said something to the effect of “without caffeine, a place is just not civilised”. But IMHO, until there’s a “Seattle Coffee Co.” or “Starbucks”… caffeine is just not that great.

Today I wandered down to the mall nearby, and found out that the “Seattle Coffee Co.” there has finally opened! Pure bliss… so I’ve now got my “frequent buyer” card, and a travel mug… Which was immediately used for a Grande Vanilla and Cinnamon Caffé Latté, followed by a stroll around the exclusive books next door. My day has been made complete, I can’t wait for my next trip to caffeine heaven. 😀

Then I wandered around and saw some awesome new restaurants that will be opening… I also found a cool crafts shop with excellent stuff there, perfect for lots of christmas presents.

Then I stopped off at CNA and bought Bump XIII, which is excellent – possibly I’m appreciating it more because I’m buzzing with caffeine… but I’m not complaining. 😛

Back to work…
[Listening to: Tu Es Foutu 2004 – DJ Costa – Bump 13 (02:48)]

.Net Stuff Development Geek food

A quick blog before bed

Today, MS South Africa ran what they call “Microsoft Connect” – basically a replacement type event for the old Dev Days. For ONCE, the architect track was actually REALLY good! The last Dev Day’s was about 2 yrs ago – a few months before VS.Net was originally launched. At that time the architect track had none of their demo’s work, and they spoke about concepts that nobody really understood yet (well I can only comment on the 1st two sessions, I moved to the Developer track after the 2nd session in a row was a total failure)

Today was different, we had Kim Midgley and Peter Munnings from NewSolutions, who did the “FootBall247.Net” demo. We got DVD’s with all of the session’s on them (as presented by the guys who made the demo, from Microsoft EMEA), and the DVD’s have a whole bunch of Patterns and Practices PDF’s on them. (Exactly the stuff I’ve been trying to read for a while now).

And to top it all off I won 2 books and a T-Shirt during the day (for questions asked, or answered). I got a white Visual Studio t-shirt (I really wanted the black ones, coz they have the funky .Net blocks on them), a MS Press book (“Application Architecture for .Net: Designing Applications and Services”) which is basically a printout of one of the Patterns and Practices that I started to read a few months ago, but never finished, and a REALLY cool book called “Writing Secure Code, 2nd Edition” which has a quote on it by Bill Gates which says “Required reading at Microsoft”… so clearly it means something to the guys up there in Redmond, so I guess I should try read it too.


And I’m busy finally writing a few small apps that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I’m probably about 20% of the way through one app which has cool things like “multi-threading”, image manipulation, getting extended properties out of files, and interfacing with digital cameras. I’ve written most of the “work” code in some or other form already (except for the image rotation, and display code), and I’ve got the basics of the application UI up and running. It has 3 main sections, and I’m probably about 90% through the 1st one. I have about 5% of the code for the 2nd section already written, and the 3rd one will be totally new. So you could probably say that I’m actually about 31% through the app as a whole. I’ve already had to get Threading working which is really cool… now I just need to do the image rotation and 2 sets of display code, and I’m done. I’m not sure if the code could be used by anyone else out there, but once I’ve finished it off I’ll post it here. I also think I’ll write out some kind of overview/tutorial on various bits of the app and post those to SADeveloper.Net (a cool South African Development community (focussed on Microsoft Technologies).

Anyway, I better get to bed.
[Listening to: Elysium – Gladiator Soundtrack – (04:18)]

Development General

Thoughts on work…

I was wondering… are developers, or more accurately “coders”, the replacement for the factory workers of the industrial age? Albeit we’re paid more, have more rights, better working conditions, etc… Even with the better working conditions we have health risks – back problems, carpal tunnel, RSI’s. In the overall scheme of IT companies, a new “coder-only” is the lowest paid… Well, as far as I’ve seen its actually the new “techie-only” that’s the lowest paid. By “coder-only”, and “techie-only”, I mean the grunts that are just paid to do what they’re told. Nothing more.

I guess each industry, and each company has its “factory workers”, but I wonder if any of them see themselves as such, or if they grasp the implications of that… and if they don’t are they really prepared to look at the problem, or will they (as with so much else in this “instant” generation) simply ignore it, because it doesn’t suite them, or because they are afraid of what they might find. So why exert the effort when you can just drink another sip of the pre-packaged, “ready to drink”, meal-replacement life?

I guess the big difference now days is that we are more able to learn and progress. It may take time, but a house-cleaner or a person at the checkout counter at a grocery store could study part time towards their desired career. But how many do? Do you? Do I?

Do we even see beyond where we are, and what we’re in, to where our hearts want us to go, and who we were made to be?
[Listening to: This Is Your Life – Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown (04:18)]


Weekend re-cap – Part 1


I found out that my site @ the new hosting company was finally 100% functional
  – First there was a patch from WebAutomation (the makers of HELM, the control panel) which broke some ASP.Net stuff on their servers, then there was a bad technical support guy (who soon got replaced), then the site moved to a new server (before the server went live).
  – On the new server I couldn’t access its control panel (problem with my ISP), and then it seemed that they moved all the rest of the sites over from their old server and in the process moved a copy of my old site. So now there were two copies of my site on their server, and the server decided to take me to the old (non-working) copy whenever I tried to view the site. (The joys of virtual hosting on IIS)… I finally figured this out on Friday, and mailed them to suggest that this could be the cause.
  – So at about 3am on Saturday morning I thought I’d check if the site was working, and it was. AND I could access the control panel. … It seems that my ISP doesn’t like you going to view a website that has no domain associated with it. So I setup a subdomain of DigitalTinder that pointed to the control panel’s IP, and I could finally access it.
  – I then spend another 1.5 hrs changing my domain entries, and moving new changes to their site… finally got to bed at about 4:30am.
Music School
  – It was the last morning for the music school, and a number of ppl weren’t there… I only had classes for Ear Training, Keyboards, and Arrangement & Composition… Ensemble was cancelled because there were only 2 pupils present.
Sean’s do
  – Sean turned 24 on Saturday… 🙂 He had his party at the clubhouse at La Viale (where Shaleen, Natasha, and Christie each stay) I’ll put pics up on one of the galleries at a later stage…


Weekend re-cap – Part 2


  – Trevor and Julian have written an awesome song, “Glory in the Highest”.
  – Singing BV was cool, always stretching, but I think its getting better. Candice is awesome and always willing to help, advise and encourage, which makes my mistakes more bearable. 🙂 (its kinda cool singing with a professional singer)
  – Ash inducted/appointed about 40 odd deacons… a great thing, coz it will really streamline a lot of things, and let the eldership touch a lot more people.
Lunch @ the Seymours
  – Christie’s grandparents came for lunch at their new place, so I was invited. I’d been hoping to have the afternoon to myself to sleep and generally veg at home… but spending the afternoon with Christie and family (while not my original plan), was great. 🙂
Odd thoughts on service
After church in the evening, Sean and I stopped at KFC for supper… they were clearly VERY busy and there were quite a number of people either waiting for orders, or waiting to order. We waited some time for our food (they had run out of cooked fillets, or something like that.. ) But while we were waiting, some shmuck came inside and stood looking like he was waiting to place an order. Eventually he got to the front of the queue, and he started blasting the waitress because he’d gone through the drive through and ordered 10 pcs and 4 burgers and he was still waiting. He’d waited in a queue to get to the till for about 5-10 minutes. (During which time, the KFC staff had delivered the food to his car) Needless to say he was looking a bit foolish, coz had he just stayed at his car he would have had his food 5 minutes before his little outburst. But on his way out he proceeded his angry rant, swearing as he left the shop saying something along the lines “I had to wait this long and you call yourselves a take away”.

His anger was really not necessary, nor was his swearing… but his last line kinda made me laugh… If he’d said that they call themselves a “fast food” place, then perhaps his comment would have been valid, as “Fast Food” does not imply that you’d be waiting. But “Take Away” implies nothing about speed of service, it simply means that you can take the food away with you. (which is exactly what he did) So not only did he waste his own time by leaving his car (thereby delaying recieving his food for an extra 5 minutes), but he also made himself look thick with his stupid outburst, and lack of logic. In fact, had he had the decency to observe the situation, he would have seen that he wasn’t the only one waiting, and that the people behind the counter were doing their best to keep up with the sudden and (fairly obviously) unexpected influx of people.

Sometimes I wonder if we get too angry to quickly… and sometimes I wonder if we accept too much bad service without any complaints.


Long day!

Its well past midnight, and I still have stuff to do for Music School tomorrow. I’m thinking I’ll just go to bed soon and skip the composition stuff.

A brief synopsis of today:
New hosting finally sorted out
  – Yesterday it dawned on me that perhaps their new server might have two sites which are setup to serve “” and “”. (They had re-created the site a week ago, so perhaps the old site was for some reason left on the server) Which would explain why I kept seeing the old site when I tried to get to
  – Today I got an e-mail saying that their control panel was not in synch with the server, and once they’d updated the server with the latest details, it was all working. (So I’m assuming that I was at least partly correct)
Slowly progressing at work – concurrency checking done
  – I finished the concurrency checks for updating records in the DB, now I just need to throw a meaningfull error from the middle tier if there are problems, and interpret the error on the front end to display the offending records to the user.
  – I also cleared out the code a bit to make it a bit easier to read, and a bit more efficient
  – I need to still add concurrency checks for deleting records from the DB
  – As usual I was slowed down by all sorts of odd errors, and plenty of delays in loading and processing data. (unfortunately its just the startup data processing that takes some time, but since I’m testing code as I write it, I keep having to start up the app, so I keep getting the delay)
Girlfriend & family moved house
  – Christie sms’ed to tell me that they moved today – a week before they were scheduled to move. Which is great, because next week would have been very close to her final exams, so now she won’t have the interruption of moving house in the middle of her studying.
Got a new printer
  – This one’s a bit odd… I needed to buy new cartridges for my old HP600c (I bought it in 1996, so its 8 years old now). Unfortunately to buy a colour and a black cartridge would cost me about R450, whereas a new bottom of the range printer (which is MUCH better than my 8yr old printer, and comes with a black and colour cartridge included) costs just under R520. So for R70 more than buying 2 new cartridges, I could get a whole new printer. (and a much better one at that) So I did. 🙂 I now own a new HP Deskjet 3550.
  – You might be thinking “but why buy the bottom of the range printer”… well, I only really use it to ever print out text, and its usually not for any important reason, so if the quality is not that of a laser printer, its not a problem. My last printer was probably 20% of laser quality… this one (in terms of DPI) is about 50% of laser quality, it prints MUCH faster than my old one, its way more silent, and looks MUUUCH cooler (nice rounded edges as opposed to the ugly box-type look of my old printer).
Went to a home-cell leader’s meeting
Once a month Ian meets with the leaders in the home-cell… It usually happens on a Saturday morning, but for the past 3 months I’ve been at Music School from 9am to 1pm on Saturday mornings. (Tomorrow’s the last day for the Music School) So I’ve missed 2 sessions already, and would have missed the 3rd if Ian hadn’t made the meeting tonight, instead of tomorrow. It was good to be there again… I haven’t been to one since Megan and Rory joined (as leaders), so it was great to hear their input on things. There’s lots of news from the meeting, but I can’t really say anything until its “official”. (Hopefully by the 4th of November I’ll be able to spill the beans… :-))

Tomorrow is Sean’s birthday! (for those who don’t know, I live with Sean and Francois) I printed him a card on my new printer, I hope he likes it. (the card, not the printer) … (the printer really is SOOOO much better than my old one, the card looks WAAAY better than they used to)


What did I learn today?

You know how sometimes thoughts just hit you?

Well, I’d been thinking about how to improve my life… or rather, how to enjoy my life more. You see for the past while I’ve pretty much been busy, non-stop doing things that I kind of want to do, But often I wanted to do them for fun, and they’ve turned into time-sucking nightmares. And, understandably, I’m therefore not enjoying these things quite as much as I hoped.

So every now and again, I keep thinking “what is it that really makes me happy?”. The kind of thought that usually is associated with older depressed people, who have had 3 marriages, 8 kids, have 5 loans to pay off, and have just bought a gun. Fortunately, that is not why I’m asking the question.

In my 26 years of life, I’ve seen a number of people who are working away at jobs they really don’t llike, or involved in activities, social groups, programs, projects, meetings, etc that really just suck them dry and leave then empty and unhappy. So last night I was thinking about these things, and about the fact that I hardly ever do things that *I* want to do… or perhaps I should say… if I do get to do things that I want to do, often they’re characterised by great compromises to make other’s happy, and often they just don’t happen at all.

Anyway, over time I’ve had some “great” ideas as to what I could do with my life, but never followed up on them. There have been things that I love doing, but I’ve not continued doing them. There have been amazing people in my life and I’ve lost touch with them. So I was left wondering “Why? Why don’t I do what *I* want?” and, of course, “What do I want?“.

And then toda, while walking through Woolies in Centurion, getting lunch, I got to the till and in the middle of paying for the goods (and having a great/happy/positive chat with the lady behind the till), it dawned on me… it went something like this:

I need a holiday.
But where?
Just imagine a nice tropical beach somewhere, with no stresses, no people, perfect weather, everything taken care of for me, where I could stay forever and not have to worry about work, money, cars, friends, or other people. Then I’d relax. (people could be there, I just mustn’t be stressed by them in any way)
And then?
I’d keep relaxing, and enjoying it…
Wouldn’t you get bored?
Maybe, after a while, yes.
So what would you do?
Something that made me happy.

So now my plan is to think about that, picture myself in that situation and wonder – what would really make me happy. Not just a fake, outside only, type “happy”… but a genuine fulfillment, true, and deep happiness. Kind of like answering the question “What was it that God made me for?”… “What purpose did He put inside me, that defines me? (or is unique to me)”

I’m guessing you’re thinking “So what’s so great about that?” – well… what’s great about it is that while I knew the theory of trying to find what you like doing, I didn’t have quite such a graphic understanding of it. Of course, it doesn’t really bring me all that much closer to finding an answer. But it does give me a few guidelines, in terms of what kinds of things I enjoy, or what components would have to be in place for me to enjoy what I’m doing. I’ll try explain in a later post.

The second thing I realised (later on in the afternoon) is that I always have the chance to choose what I want in reaction to things. For example: if Bob organises an event, then at the last minute changes his mind about the day that the event happens on, and then says “The event is now on the 12th.” – I would usually feel incredibly obliged to be at the event, even if I had other things planned. Especially when Bob’s event, and my other plans were both things that I wanted to do. I’d get caught up in worrying about which would be the more “seemly” thing to do, which group of people I should spend time with based on who I’d seen recently, and what the “right thing to do” would be (for everyone else, and also for myself). Now while that’s all fine and well, its a recipe for disaster in terms of never actually feeling like you’re doing what you want to be doing. But if I actually say to myself “what is best for me?”, choose that option, and choose not to regret my choice, then things would be much better.

Well… much better for me. I’m not sure how Bob would feel. But also, if I choose to do X because X is good for me, and then someone else invites me to do Y, I need to choose to either go against what I wanted to do originally (X) or choose to give up Y. AND I need to choose not to re-hash my choice later. As a good friend of mine (who I haven’t seen in a while) would say “You have to know that at that moment, you made the best choice you could with the information at hand. You could not have made a better choice.” – usually with an tone/attitude that said “So stop worrying about it. because in the future, you will remember your previous choices and you will remember their outcomes. So if one was worse, you’ll make sure you don’t go down that road again. But what on earth can you do to reverse decisions taken/choices made in the past? Nothing – so stop worrying about it”…

Its well after 12 midnight, and I should be sleeping.

[Listening to: Take My Hands (Praises) – Newsboys – Adoration: The Worship Album (04:23)]


First post!

Somehow, I think this should be something momentous, or otherwise “special”… as the first post, I’d hope it was at least kinda neat. So far, I have nothing life changing, or life altering to say.

Why did I start the blog?
Cos I like the idea of writing up my thoughts to the net – the big unknown, nobody really cares about what’s posted here, and I get some way to write out the thoughts and ideas that are running through my little head.

I’ve liked the idea of blogging for a loooooong while, but haven’t really found a tool that works. I’ve had a Blogger account for ages, but preferred to use my own blogging tool… That way I could use my own offline tool to add content to the site. So I tried writing my own, its quite simple, but to build a cool UI that I can use on my PC was going to be a nightmare. Then I found w.blogger, its really cool. Unfortunately it doesn’t use all the newest features of Blogger, but it does pretty much everything it needs to, and it also works on stacks of other blogging tools out there.

So here’s hoping this works!

[Listening to: Unite – The O.C. Supertones – The Supertones Strike Back (03:08)]