OT: Windows 7 Maybe?

I use a Mac for my personal work and a Windows XP machine for gaming and a few PC-only apps. I never thought twice about upgrading Windows to Vista, but I am certainly thinking about going to Windows 7.

So what brought about the change of heart? I set up a new computer for my mom last night, a HP slimline...wow, is it shiny and kind of cute, which came with Windows 7 Home Premium on it. My first experience actually driving Windows 7, and I came away really liking the changes and polish added to the OS.

The graphics are nice and shiny, looks like they took a page from Apple's design book, the speed is there, and the features and improvements really look like someone cared about this release of Windows. The improvements in searching alone are a big plus in the pro column on the go-and-get-a-copy list.

Many of the features I like about OS X, the speed, the graphics, Finder and Spotlight, are pretty much all there on Windows 7. Just one question: will it run Civilization IV? ;-)

Just maybe a trip to Micro Center is in order this weekend...

CF Code-Fu Atrophy

It was bound to happen.

I no longer get to code as often as I would like, so when I got the opportunity to make a quick fix to help bring my company's software up to CF 9 snuff, a problem with nested WDDX packets, I decided to keep the task to myself. A short time later I had the solution, wrote the necessary code, checked it in the browser, and then committed the file to source control feeling the old coding euphoria set in.

This morning, however, one of our developers called over the cubicle wall saying something was not right. Yep, I made a syntax error. My sense of accomplishment withered into feeling like a newbie. I made a mistake, one that I often coach others on: I did not sufficiently unit test my code change.

Once I got over the blast to my coding ego, I made the (small) code fix, unit tested again, and committed the file to the repository.

My lesson learned is two-fold:

First, never overestimate your own coding ability. There is always room for improving and refreshing both your language knowledge and your development practices.

Second, find time out from designing software to actually write some code. Do not let your code-fu wither due to disuse.

MDCFUG Presentation on Zip Files

Last night I had the opportunity to speak at the Maryland CFUG about working with zip files in ColdFusion. Since this was my first time speaking outside of the office environment, I admit I was a little apprehensive. I spent some time worrying about everything that could go wrong: getting stuck in traffic (not a problem, it was a federal holiday so traffic was light around the DC metro area), my presentation and code getting corrupted (MDCFUG asked for a copy of the presentation ahead of time), Connect not working (OK, there were some lag issues there, something about Macs and Adobe Connect, but nothing major for me).

When it came time for me to start, however, all of those worries were gone. The folks a TeraTech run a good meeting, even small CFUGs. The turn out was light, most likely due to the holiday, but I wasn't talking to an empty room. Thanks to everyone who came and asked questions. Overall, the experience was positive and I will be looking for opportunities to speak again.

A New Look

The title says it all. I recently started a new job so why not celebrate with a new look-and-feel. I should have more time and brain cells to write in the coming weeks too.

Open Office XML an ISO Standard?

I guess it was unavoidable. Open Office XML looks like it garnered enough votes to become an ISO standard. Open Office XML is Microsoft's document format of choice that is used in Office 2007. Those .docx files...OOXML. Time to get started on that ODF (Open Document Format) CFC I have been thinking about. :^)

189 Days

Nothing like a new job to help distract me from keeping my writing promise to myself. Ok, so that is not a good excuse, but I'm sticking with it.

Keep tuned, I have plenty to blog about.