Saturday, May 24, 2008

Home Network with XP Home Edition

I asked our network admin from work if he would help me connect my two computers at home.

One is a XP Home Edition and the other is XP Proferssional. I have a netgear router hooked to the computer. The router is hooked to the cable modem. I want to share files between them and be able to get to the printer from both. He offer a few settings to look at. I ended up using only two tips to get this accomplished.

- Put both machines in the same workgroup. I think this is what allowed them to ping each other.

At this point I could connect from the Home Edition to the Professional. I could then get to C$ after logging in as a admin user of the Pro machine. I could not however, get to the Home machine from the Pro one.

- Go through the Network Setup Wizard on the Home Edition PC. This is found at Start | All Programs | Accessories | Communications | Network Setup Wizard. See Practically Networked.

The only catch is that I have to explicitly add folders to my SharedDocs folder on the Home Edition in order for them to be available on the Pro.

I dragged the printer I wanted from Home Edition to Pro. Now I can print from the Pro machine.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beyond Compare File Filters

I don't know why I did not know this before. I use Subversion and I always want Beyond Compare to ignore the _svn folder in my working copies.

Go to the Session\File Filters menu. Add "_svn" to the Exclude folders text box.

Now I never have to see_svn folders in beyond compare again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tab Delimited Results From SQL Server

Here is how you can export your SQL Server 2005 Management Studio results to a tab delimited file, including the column names.

Navigate to Tools | Options | Query Results | SQL Server | Results to Text

The settings only apply to new query windows opened.


Server Up Time

For a windows machine,

"The 'net statistics workstation' command will tell you the last time your
computer was rebooted."


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Improve My Software Delivery Commitments

In Oct 07 I first read about the Evidence Based Scheduling feature of FogBugz. I like reading Joel Spolsky because he seems to tell it straight regardless of the subject. This time, it stung. Software projects are chronically late. Most projects I have been on in the last 9 years are no exception. When I read this article, I took up courage to ask a co-worker about it. He was excited about using something like this.

Well we took the plunge. We tried FogBugz for a month in January and then bought some licenses. I recently got a new supervisor. She seems willing to try out FogBugz as our software project management tool.

From Evidence Based Scheduling,
Why won’t developers make schedules? Two reasons. One: it’s a pain in the butt. Two: nobody believes the schedule is realistic. Why go to all the trouble of working on a schedule if it’s not going to be right?

Over the last year or so at Fog Creek we’ve been developing a system that’s so easy even our grouchiest developers are willing to go along with it. And as far as we can tell, it produces extremely reliable schedules. It’s called Evidence-Based Scheduling, or EBS. You gather evidence, mostly from historical timesheet data, that you feed back into your schedules. What you get is not just one ship date: you get a confidence distribution curve, showing the probability that you will ship on any given date. It looks like this:

The steeper the curve, the more confident you are that the ship date is real.
Here is a 70 minute video Joel Spolsky made in Oct 07 that explains the Evidence Based Scheduling feature of Fogbugz.

Frederick P. Brooks in 1987,
Not only are there no silver bullets now in view, the very nature of software makes it unlikely that there will be any—no inventions that will do for software productivity, reliability, and simplicity what electronics, transistors, and large-scale integration did for computer hardware.... I believe the hard part of building software to be the specification, design, and testing of this conceptual construct, not the labor of representing it and testing the fidelity of the representation.... If this is true, building software will always be hard. There is inherently no silver bullet.
Fogbugz is not the golden goose that will solve all software development problems. As I persist in my discipline to use it, it will help me make more accurate delivery estimates.