Re: Hardware Upgrade Fund

2001-01-20 Thread Greg McCarroll

* Paul Makepeace ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
 
 Building reliability is probably your best aim: does it have a UPS? does it
 have a RAID 1/0 config? Dual PSUs? Tape drive  backup policy? Those things
 are way more important than a faster chip or RAM.
 

your right of course, however all of those things are more expensive
and in some cases involve disgarding existing equipment

and at the end of the day its a hobby machine that currently is lucky
to have an average CPU usage of 0.1% per hour

-- 
Greg McCarroll  http://www.mccarroll.uklinux.net



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Rob Partington

In message [EMAIL PROTECTED],
Piers Cawley [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
[snip]
  And table football's no fun if you're playing with
 yourself. 

Maybe if you kept your hands on the table football...?  gdr
-- 
rob partington % [EMAIL PROTECTED] % http://lynx.browser.org/



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Roger Burton West [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:24:24AM +, Piers Cawley wrote:
 
 The vision I have is of a team (or teams) working in *our* premises,
 with customers working with us.
 
 (side-rant)
 The customers _must_ be kept isolated from the developers. This is
 the single most important thing the customer-interface people
 (whatever you call them) can do. Inviting the customers into your office
 will drop productivity by 30-50% because your developers can't talk
 honestly about what's going on.

That's exactly wrong.

And the XP book explains why far better than I ever could.

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Consultancy company was [Job] BOFH wanted was: Re: Red Hat worm discovered

2001-01-20 Thread Redvers Davies

 IIRC, Sim City is one of Ken Livingstone's favorites.

There can't be the option to revoke all bird feed sellers permits.



Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

"Paul Makepeace" [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Y'all might find this excellent piece interesting,
 
 http://joel.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$287

It's down to greed. I worked with a guy who easily filled his 200-odd
day working year with 1k+ a day gigs (motivational speaker). But he
soon realised he'd maxed out. So his blinding flash of the obvious
was:

"How do I make money while I sleep"

Two years ago, the answer was: "build a web site".

Wonder how he's doing now?

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Piers Cawley

Roger Burton West [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:24:24AM +, Piers Cawley wrote:
 
 The vision I have is of a team (or teams) working in *our* premises,
 with customers working with us.
 
 (side-rant)
 The customers _must_ be kept isolated from the developers. This is
 the single most important thing the customer-interface people
 (whatever you call them) can do. Inviting the customers into your office
 will drop productivity by 30-50% because your developers can't talk
 honestly about what's going on.

One customer. On site. Full time. Absolute honesty. Get them on your
side. The are the people who are *paying* for this, they deserve
nothing but your honesty. Tell 'em about any problems and tell 'em
early. Tell 'em about successes and tell 'em early. Get the customer
rep onside and you have an advocated. Treat the customers like a
mushrooms and you don't get repeat business.

-- 
Piers




Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Roger Burton West

On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 10:28:13AM +, Piers Cawley wrote:

One customer. On site. Full time. Absolute honesty.

Nice idea if you have customers who can take the truth, and who know
when to shut up and let people get on with things. I'd like to see
it working, but I haven't yet.

R



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Andy Wardley

  Agreed - why work in London - what about telecommuters ?

 I'm *really* unsure about telecommuting. 

For me, telecommunting is fine for maybe 50% of my week, but unless I'm 
working on a very singular project (i.e. running in deep hack mode), then
I need to have the human company gained from being in an office environment.

Having said that, I do very little "real" work at work, instead 
spending my time reading/writing email, chatting to people, playing 
table tennis, having meetings, and doing other brain dead tasks.

But I suppose that's the point.  Allowing myself to kick back a little at
work gives me the balance to work flat out at home.  The annoying thing,
is that there are some packer types at CRE who see it the other way.  When 
I am in the office, they think I am "working hard", but when they don't 
see me, they assume I'm doing nothing.  sigh

I am in the exceptionally fortunate position of working a 10 minute drive
away from home.  I typically work the morning at home doing "real work" 
then go into the office for human contact, email, chit-chat, brainstorming,
etc., in the afternoon.  Then back in time to pick up ickle Ben from nursery
at 6.00, bath him, put him to bed, etc., then relax in the evening reading, 
hacking, watching some TV, or having fantastic sex with my beautiful wife.

When you've been spoilt like that, it's very hard to consider giving that 
up to spend valuable hours of your day sitting or standing on a train.
And I'd rather have trees, fields, peace and quiet around me than be 
working in a big, dirty and crowded city.  There's more to life than work.

But I must admit that I have a peculiarly low tolerance for city life.
Must be my fragile consitution... :-)

 And I like central London because (whatever else is wrong with it)
 it's relatively easy for everyone to get to by train no matter where
 they live. Trekking out to (for example) Guildford wouldn't be good
 for me.

Agreed that Guildford wouldn't be everyone's ideal location, but I was
thinking more of the "in town" vs "out of town" location.  You can get 
a much larger, much nicer office building somewhere in the green belt 
than in central London, for the same kind of money (not that I've looked, 
though).  OK, that tends to assume that more people travel to work by car 
rather than train, or live in the surrounding area.

So come to sunny Guildford and have fantastic sex with my beautiful wife!

(No, I *am* joking, really)


A




Extreme Programming (was: Re: Consultancy company)

2001-01-20 Thread David Cantrell

On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 12:24:24AM +, Piers Cawley wrote:

 Now, I freely admit that I have partaken of the Extreme Programming
 Kool-Aid, and dammit I want to do it.

I want to try it too.  I'm not convinced by all of it - pair programming
for example - but so much of the other stuff seems damned sensible that
I want to give it a go.  Including pair programming.  I'm trying to keep
an open mind on that fucking stupid idea.

-- 
David Cantrell | [EMAIL PROTECTED] | http://www.cantrell.org.uk/david/

   Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Robin Szemeti

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001, you wrote:
 
 One customer. On site. Full time. Absolute honesty. Get them on your
 side. The are the people who are *paying* for this, they deserve
 nothing but your honesty. Tell 'em about any problems and tell 'em
 early. Tell 'em about successes and tell 'em early. Get the customer
 rep onside and you have an advocated. Treat the customers like a
 mushrooms and you don't get repeat business.

sounds great ... when do we start.

Seriously XP sounds like it should work .. I read the books I was
convinced.

The only thing that occasioanlly worries me about it is that my current
client is still working his way up to being a mushroom. Apart from that
the client has a total staff of 5. I cant see them sparing 20% of their
workforce in order to sit and keep the developers comapny. Worse still I
have not yet had a decision on anything in less than 24hrs. I think that
would haold true even if they were on site too.

So I am really keen to do an XP managed project ... if it really does
work then that sfantastic, best result I could ever have. I suspect that
it fails, just in different ways to other project managment systems.

obvious ones:

The client doesn;t send Big Chief to sit with the designers, instead they
send Useless Minion.   UM is positive and helpful and gives quick
decisions ona whole variety of topics.  And a week later turns up with
changes handed down by Big Chief overiding those decisions. worse still
the decisions handed down make no sense because he hasn;t been with the
team and doesn;t undrstand whats going on.

Client has no concept about what software development is like and within
a week or two cancels the entire thing 'some of those guys spent a whole
week working and half the time couldnt even get it to run, by the end of
the week all they'd done was write some strange "library" code and even
that doesn;t seem to do anything'

but hey .. next person organising a XP based project that needs a junior
perl hacker .. gimme a shout .. 

-- 
Robin Szemeti

The box said "requires windows 95 or better"
So I installed Linux!



Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Leon Brocard

Paul Makepeace sent the following bits through the ether:

 Y'all might find this excellent piece interesting,
 
 http://joel.editthispage.com/stories/storyReader$287

Pretty darn interesting. Fogcreek sounds like a pretty cool place to
work. I'd suggest that if we were thinking of doing something similar
we'd need to build a product, or concentrate on a product or something
like that. Do a MySQL or an AxKit, and get a couple of companies
interested right from the start or there's no point. Hmmm.

Leon
-- 
Leon Brocard.http://www.astray.com/
yapc::Europehttp://yapc.org/Europe/

... All new improved Brocard, now with Template Toolkit!



Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Aaron Trevena

On Fri, 19 Jan 2001, Greg McCarroll wrote:

 
 As for working at home, i believe the optimal week is mon,tue in
 the office, wednesday at home, thu,fri in the office. YMMV
 
 however - if you were building a company their are other concerns
 beyond productivity, the establishment of a team/company spirit
 and bonding for instance. also the discussion of strategy on
 non-IT matters in the company, building a company as has been
 discussed requires buy in to issues beyond perl hacking.

I don't see why you can't have a mix - it would be good to have a core
group of people who always (nearl) work in the office so that if you
usually work from home but need some face 2 face there will be people
there (or in a pub nearby). things like IRC and email provide good
communication about what is going on and can be used to acounce when and
where people are.

If you know what proportion of home/office people you have you can design
the office accordingly. For instance I quite simply do not aarive at work
before 10 am due to th physical impossibility of moving from a to b in
west london between 7 and 9 am.

Other important factors are eating your own dogfood - ie not only use our
own software but analys the needs of your own organisation and keep your
house in order - it gets you into a better habit and methodology - things
like document management, documentation, online admin, internet and stuff
most of which can be reused for clients, and keeping the work interesting
productivity is highest if the work is interesting - always make sure you
have enough people and time to develop more than you firefight - this
means your develop better software as you have more resources and aren't
sick of the project and you have to firefight less and less avoiding the
vicious circles that many companies fall into of firefighting all the time
and losing morale and inetrst and producing shit code which needs more
firefighting.

A.


-- 
A HREF = "http://termisoc.org/~betty" Betty @ termisoc.org /A
"As a youngster Fred fought sea battles on the village pond using a 
complex system of signals he devised that was later adopted by the Royal 
Navy. " (this email has nothing to do with any organisation except me)






Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Robin Szemeti

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001, you wrote:

 I don't see why you can't have a mix - it would be good to have a core
 group of people who always (nearl) work in the office so that if you
 usually work from home but need some face 2 face there will be people
 there (or in a pub nearby). things like IRC and email provide good
 communication about what is going on and can be used to acounce when and
 where people are.

thats true enough .. although it doesn't fit in with the XP model that
well .. but there is always MOTWTDI  ..  the basic problem is that
'office' workers see 'home' workers as a bunch of idle slackers who only
pretend to work from home and really spend the day gardening, and 'home'
workers see 'office' workers as bunch of people who;d rather spend the day
arseing about and chatting than actually doing something .. 

Break down those totally incorrect stereotypes and you're on the way to a
flexible poicy that allows you to retain the very best staff in
conditions they enjoy. Shurely one of the driving decisions behind
setting up a mutual business is not just financial success but also good
working conditions and more freedom. I gladly trade lower income for
better working conditions any day (to a point anyway). My basic break
even is at about 30K a year .. once I get to that poijt I start taking
holidays. Money is great, but chilling out by the pool is better and
skiing is better still [speaking of which its Chamonix again in 2 weeks]

just my $1 / (2500^0.5)

-- 
Robin Szemeti

The box said "requires windows 95 or better"
So I installed Linux!



Re: Extreme Programming (was: Re: Consultancy company)

2001-01-20 Thread Dean S Wilson

-Original Message-
From: Aaron Trevena [EMAIL PROTECTED]


I did a little pair programming at emap - I probably wasn't doing it
right
tho'. even so we did get thru the hard bits quicker and could split
up to
do the easy stuff. I think it made a difference but then I was mostly
being a backseat coder so either we did okay or stuart was very
tolerant
indeed.


How did you establish who would make good pairings? Was it done by
trying to place two equals or was it done more on a mentoring level of
a very experienced coder and a less experienced one? (I've not read
that much on XP)

Has anyone who's used XP had a client that was willing to make an
employee available pretty much full time or was it more they come in
for a chunk of the afternoon three times a week? I have an issue with
the fact that clients will be willing to pay a member of staff to
spend all day in the consultants office in case they need to be asked
questions. I'm not saying its a bad thing to have someone on hand, I
can see its uses but from the clients point of view why not just have
contact by phone/email. That was the liaison has access to everyone in
his base office so he can resolve issues faster with more authority
than if he were in your offices. Also you have a paper trail of
requests, questions and responses.

Is the Monday night meeting still on for those of us who can't make
the lunch time one?

Dean
--
Profanity is the one language all programmers understand.
   ---  Anon




Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Greg Cope

Piers Cawley wrote:
 
 Greg Cope [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
  David Cantrell wrote:
  
 
  That should read there's too many distractions at home for me  (or
  you as the case may be).
 
  I am about 150% more productive at home - 25 % because I save the
  journey, and the other 25% due to not having to go to meetings /
  going for long lunches / the chat that turns into a tangenical
  discussion on XZY / some Luser or PBH asking a stupid question that
  they could have worked out themselves if I was not there / insert
  any other activity that takes me away from the task in hand.
 
 The vision I have is of a team (or teams) working in *our* premises,
 with customers working with us. We avoid pointless meetings. The
 customer is there because they know what we're supposed to be doing
 for them, and they know what's important. When you're only working a
 35 hour week (40 tops...) then you should have enough free time
 outside work that there's less inclination to piss off for a long
 lunch. And the whole point about setting this up is to get rid of the
 PHB.
 
  Sorry the above turned into a rant, I just get a bit pissed off with
  closed minds that assume that having people in an office =
  productivity.
 
 *Ahem*. Were I to be the sort of person who takes things personally,
 I'd take that personally. Or something.
 
 Seriously, I tried working from home when the trains were up the
 spout, and for a couple or three days it was great. However, one or
 two points.
 
 1. As a sole developer, working from home is/can be good, especially
when your head is down and you're turning out the code for a
particular bit. But working from home means you're away from the
customer, and the customer is the only person who can make business
decisions about what your code is supposed to be doing.

I've never said that I do not meet customers on a face to face basis
arround once a week.

Working as I do means that the customer and I focus on the specs, and
iterative developement - as they need to be clear that I know what I am
supposed to do.

 
 2. You are away from the team. Again, sole developer, this is not a
problem. Consultancy where we're supposed to be doing the synergy
thing, not quite so good. Time you spend away is time in which you
aren't plugged into what's happening and (and this is *really*
important), time spent away is time in which you aren't doing the
mentor thing. I strongly believe that, in a joint consultancy deal,
it is *really* important that gurus help to enlighten students,
otherwise how do we get our partners up to speed so we can go out
and get more fun work and make more fun money?

Agreed that if you need to teach - guru and student need to be in the
same place.

 
 3. Every time I need to ask you something and you're not there and I
have to phone you, there's a chance I'll think 'ah fuck it' and not
bother. And there's a chance that that will be a *really* bad idea.

But if you are confortable phoneing (|emailing|irc) me then you would -
as that is how we would need to comunicate.  I've wasted so much time
being in an office being asked and asking lame questions just because I
am next to someone. 

I have much less distractions at home.

 
 I'm not saying that offices (especially client offices) don't suck.
 But they don't have to. If we're going to do this, lets do it right.
 
 Now, I freely admit that I have partaken of the Extreme Programming
 Kool-Aid, and dammit I want to do it. But dammit again, it makes
 *sense*. Also bear in mind that when I made the decision (having tried
 it) that I'd rather commute in and be near the customer rather than
 work from home (in my *very* comfortable home office...) that meant
 adding another 4 hours (count 'em) of travelling time to my day. If
 I work from home I work too long. If work too long my code starts to
 suck. If my code starts to suck I get embarrassed and my reputation
 starts to slip. I want to work with copilots. I want to be able to
 *have* that tangential conversation that'll turn out to be useful in
 six months time. And table football's no fun if you're playing with
 yourself.
 
  Yes there are advantages to working in an office - i.e the team can
  be greater than the sum of its parts.
 
 This is *so* important.
 
  But working from elsewhere also allows idividuals to be productive -
  often alot more.
 
 How are you measuring productivity?
 

An assumption on real hours worked - i.e when I was in London I was ever
working more than about 6 hours a day (on a long day) due to lost time
... At home I regualarly hit 6 hours on a day that is 4 hours shorter. 
I have not measured this as their is no use benchmark qw(:gregs_time);

  Why not combine the two - i.e have a day a week where everyone meets to
  brainstorm / ask questions / do what needs to be done to take advantage
  of a group.
 
 Because groups don't work like that. All of a sudden I'm taking notes.
 And trying to 

Re: Consultancy company

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Robin Szemeti [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Client has no concept about what software development is like and within
 a week or two cancels the entire thing 'some of those guys spent a whole
 week working and half the time couldnt even get it to run, by the end of
 the week all they'd done was write some strange "library" code and even
 that doesn;t seem to do anything'

Doesn't happen with XP. "Least necessary". You have the scheme of the
library in your head, agreed by the team, but you're coding visibly
from the outset.

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Extreme Programming (was: Re: Consultancy company)

2001-01-20 Thread Aaron Trevena

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001, Dean S Wilson wrote:
 How did you establish who would make good pairings? Was it done by
 trying to place two equals or was it done more on a mentoring level of
 a very experienced coder and a less experienced one? (I've not read
 that much on XP)

We both were fairly experienced but from different backgrounds and I just
happened to be waiting for stuff to come thru on the project I was working
on and leo reckoned we should work on some stuff together, I think it
helped. From that I'd guess that pair programming can definately work.
 
A.

-- 
A HREF = "http://termisoc.org/~betty" Betty @ termisoc.org /A
"As a youngster Fred fought sea battles on the village pond using a 
complex system of signals he devised that was later adopted by the Royal 
Navy. " (this email has nothing to do with any organisation except me)






Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Leon Brocard [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Pretty darn interesting. Fogcreek sounds like a pretty cool place to
 work. I'd suggest that if we were thinking of doing something similar
 we'd need to build a product, or concentrate on a product or something
 like that. Do a MySQL or an AxKit, and get a couple of companies
 interested right from the start or there's no point. Hmmm.

Talk to Gunther. This is what Extropia tried to do.

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Extreme Programming (was: Re: Consultancy company)

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

"Dean S Wilson" [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 -Original Message-
 From: Aaron Trevena [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 
 
 I did a little pair programming at emap - I probably wasn't doing it
 right
 tho'. even so we did get thru the hard bits quicker and could split
 up to
 do the easy stuff. I think it made a difference but then I was mostly
 being a backseat coder so either we did okay or stuart was very
 tolerant
 indeed.
 
 
 How did you establish who would make good pairings? Was it done by
 trying to place two equals or was it done more on a mentoring level of
 a very experienced coder and a less experienced one? (I've not read
 that much on XP)

The latter. You mix skills. And the second isn't idle. He's coding up
the test cases.

 Is the Monday night meeting still on for those of us who can't make
 the lunch time one?

Oh, yes.

Leon, are you acting as scribe?

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Hardware Upgrade Fund

2001-01-20 Thread Michael Stevens

On Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 11:42:52PM +, Greg McCarroll wrote:
 * Paul Makepeace ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
  Building reliability is probably your best aim: does it have a UPS? does it
  have a RAID 1/0 config? Dual PSUs? Tape drive  backup policy? Those things
  are way more important than a faster chip or RAM.
 your right of course, however all of those things are more expensive
 and in some cases involve disgarding existing equipment
 and at the end of the day its a hobby machine that currently is lucky
 to have an average CPU usage of 0.1% per hour

But when we start using it for the web site and the mailing list and
that jobs thing I think jo is working on we're all gonna get really annoyed
if it breaks...

Michael



Re: Extreme Programming (was: Re: Consultancy company)

2001-01-20 Thread Leon Brocard

Dave Hodgkinson sent the following bits through the ether:

 Leon, are you acting as scribe?

Yes. Don't expect a masterpiece though.

Leon
-- 
Leon Brocard.http://www.astray.com/
yapc::Europehttp://yapc.org/Europe/

... All new improved Brocard, now with Template Toolkit!



Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Leon Brocard [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Dave Hodgkinson sent the following bits through the ether:
 
  Talk to Gunther. This is what Extropia tried to do.
 
 Hey, Gunther was talking about this kind of thing at Apachecon, 

He had some very good opinions on this. I wish I hadn't been so
pissed.

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
  -



Re: Hardware Upgrade Fund

2001-01-20 Thread Mark Fowler

  [1] My first name is actually Christopher, but handily my parents changed
 
 [Oddly enough, same here. I'm Chris Paul ... It's an absolute pain in the
 arse. Note to parents: don't do this.]

I know a Andrew Christopher Jackson that's known as Chris.  So it's not
just Christopher that's shunned...
 
 128MB RAM and a K6 is quite enough to run a decently hammered mod_perl site.
 You only need more memory if you end up using a large database or doing
 something rash like install Oracle. Assuming you're not on an OC-12 backbone
 and you're not doing finite element analysis of an F15 jet per form
 submission, your IO bottleneck will be the net.

I would think that more RAM is a good idea.  This is because:

 1. It's cheap right now
 2. We're a varied range of people so will probably want to load a whole
host of modules in mod-perl.  This will probably make our httpd
rather fat and take up a lot of memory - much more if it was a simple
production machine.

 Building reliability is probably your best aim: does it have a UPS? does it
 have a RAID 1/0 config? Dual PSUs? Tape drive  backup policy? Those things
 are way more important than a faster chip or RAM.

Along these lines I'd buy another hard drive.  Having lots of hard drive
space is good for backups - most time data is lost not due to hardware
failure but the directory stucture it's in being trashed through
human/coding error.  Simply back up to another area.

Also if we keep the original drive we can simply backup to that
nightly.  Quicker and easier than tapes - and as we've said any long term
data should really be backed up by individual users anyway, so we need not
worry about things like state51 burning down (well, as far as the server
data is concerned)

For the record, my box, heavly used used by myself, Leon, Simon, Shevek,
and Magnus for 2shortplanks.com / astray.com / huckvale.net / anarres.org
is:

model name  : AMD-K6(tm) 3D processor
stepping: 12
cpu MHz : 501.143806

total:used:free:  shared: buffers:  cached:
Mem:  264376320 208822272 4048 47583232 25063424 128712704
Swap: 542826496 32563200 510263296

(Leon, thanks for the memory)

Filesystem   1k-blocks  Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda6821340164 816634860   3890812 100% /
/dev/hda115522  3540 11181  24% /boot

(actually, that's a lie - df very broke - it's only 18GB - but you get the
idea)

Later

Mark

(off to see the offspring)

-- 
print "\n",map{my$a="\n"if(length$_6);' 'x(36-length($_)/2)."$_\n$a"} (
   Name  = 'Mark Fowler',Title = 'Technology Developer'  ,
   Firm  = 'Profero Ltd',Web   = 'http://www.profero.com/'   ,
   Email = '[EMAIL PROTECTED]',   Phone = '+44 (0) 20 7700 9960'  )









Re: TPC5

2001-01-20 Thread Andrew Bowman

From: "Paul Makepeace" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Where you'll be consulting for a munitions firm? :-)

Nah, I don't know enough about encryption ;-)

But then again, ignorance doesn't seem to be an obstacle to most lobbyists
or salesmen! Reminds me of ye olde joke:

Q. What's the difference between a used car salesman and a software
salesman?

A. A used car salesman knows he's lying!

Andrew.





Re: TPC5

2001-01-20 Thread Andrew Bowman

From: "Nathan Torkington" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Timing in London is hard, because there aren't very many hotels
 capable of supporting such an event.  It's quite amazing to us, in
 fact, how difficult it has been to find a place to hold it in London.

What sort of numbers are we talking about then?

If you're prepared to consider locations a little out of central London
there are lots of large hotels around Heathrow that have sizeable conference
type facilities (also handy for the airport!).

There are also a number of large and large-ish venues in London offering a
variety of halls and facilities, e.g. Earls Court, Olympia, Wembley
Conference Centre[1], The Business Design Centre in Islington, The Royal
Horticultural Halls, Queen Elizabeth Conference Hall, Church House (or
whatever it's called) etc. etc.

HTH,

Andrew.

[1]  Possibly closed just now for redevelopment.





Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Paul Makepeace

From: "Robin Houston" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
   http://www.arsdigita.com/asj/managing-software-engineers/

I particularly liked:

"Your business success will depend on the extent to which programmers
essentially live at your office. For this to be a common choice, your office
had better be nicer than the average programmer's home. There are two ways to
achieve this result. One is to hire programmers who live in extremely shabby
apartments. The other is to create a nice office. "

This is so extraordinarily obvious (about aesthetic rather than the living
bit -- that's extreme) and hadn't yet occurred to me -- I look back at the
places I worked that sucked and they all were shabby  unkempt or tidy but
amazingly dull. Hmm. PS I *really* recommend going to a plant shop and
putting even just a few plants around the home  office. Maybe just me, but
it makes the environment so much more pleasant.

The whole "Turning good programmers into good managers" section was good with
its decoupling scheduling responsibility and review responsibility. Neat
idea.


 Even if that article is slightly tongue-in-cheek, it disturbs me :-)

Really? Why? Scary -- it mostly seemed pretty sensible to me! Eek.

The bit I disagreed with was more hours always equal more productivity. There
is definitely an upper limit I have. I can certainly sprint (and am best
probably at bursts) but above a certain point (200hr over a month or so) my
code quality and concentration declines. I'm sure this is broadly true of
everyone for different upper limits. Discover what works best and do that,
while trying to also continuously progress.

Having a life is important - I honestly think the brain works better if it
has to deal with something completely different for a while. Search for user
comments on the neurological effects of overstimulation.


Paul






Re: ArsDigita working practices (was: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- )

2001-01-20 Thread Chris Benson

On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 09:04:24PM +, Robin Houston wrote:
 On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 08:01:51PM +, Chris Benson wrote:
 
  Another link is 
  
  http://www.arsdigita.com/careers/
  
  They seem to be a very good model for a consultancy business 
 
 Personally I wouldn't like to work anywhere that thinks like this:
   http://www.arsdigita.com/asj/managing-software-engineers/
 
 Even if that article is slightly tongue-in-cheek, it disturbs me :-)

I suspect it is *not* tongue-in-cheek -- he wants only the best and does
expect 70-80 hour weeks ... during a project.  In some discussion I saw
about this he justified it two ways that I remember: (1) not everyone
worked on projects all the time and (2) if people did work full time on
projects they'd be getting about ~us$500k / year.  (Having spent the
entire 80's doing 70-80 hour weeks for less than gbp10k I'd liked to
have had the chance!).

There are also good bits there which have been mentioned in other threads:
quote
 The average home cannot accomodate a pinball machine. An office  
 can. The average home can have video games, which are very popular
 with young programmers, but not people with whom to play. The
 average home cannot have a grand piano but almost any office can.

Attractive

 A worthwhile goal is to have at least one thing that is extremely
 attractive about the physical enivronment for any particular
 prospective software engineer. Here's a possible list:
 * dog-friendly policy
 * grand piano
 * climbing wall
 * indoor garden
 * aquarium
 * koi pond
 * exercise room with fancy machines
 * pinball machine
/quote

I don't think I'd like to work for them though ... I'm getting old'n'soft
:-( and I find the attitude that comes over in Phil Greenspun's writing
rather (very!) arrogant.  And of course they use shudder TCL.

But the organisational structure and strategy/vision *is* interesting.

Who might come to PO on Monday night (with chqbook for the machine) to see
what people are thinking of doing.
-- 
Chris Benson



Re: Big Macs v The Naked Chef -- pitfalls of scaling consultancies

2001-01-20 Thread Robin Szemeti

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001, you wrote:
 On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 08:01:51PM +, Chris Benson wrote:
 
  Another link is 
  
  http://www.arsdigita.com/careers/
  
  They seem to be a very good model for a consultancy business 
 
 Personally I wouldn't like to work anywhere that thinks like this:
   http://www.arsdigita.com/asj/managing-software-engineers/
 
 Even if that article is slightly tongue-in-cheek, it disturbs me :-)
 

I could detect no tongue in cheekness about it ... he truly believes that
if he;s not pushing you to 70~80 hours a week then you aint working hard
enough ..  according to his own calculations his company burdens
programmers with around 25 hours a week of management crap .. I know
where i;d start looking for effiencies.

this article was more up to date:

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/25/geeks.html

much more up to speed with the culture.
-- 
Robin Szemeti

The box said "requires windows 95 or better"
So I installed Linux!



Re: TPC5

2001-01-20 Thread David H. Adler

On Sat, Jan 20, 2001 at 11:28:06PM -, Andrew Bowman wrote:
 From: "Nathan Torkington" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Timing in London is hard, because there aren't very many hotels
  capable of supporting such an event.  It's quite amazing to us, in
  fact, how difficult it has been to find a place to hold it in London.
 
 What sort of numbers are we talking about then?
 
 If you're prepared to consider locations a little out of central London
 there are lots of large hotels around Heathrow that have sizeable conference
 type facilities (also handy for the airport!).

FWIW, I know my mother has booked some largish meetings outside of
London.  Of course, I don't remember offhand how large, or, for that
matter, what kind of numbers you're looking at.

dha

-- 
David H. Adler - [EMAIL PROTECTED] - http://www.panix.com/~dha/
Any sufficiently advanced technology is compatible with magic.
- The Doctor, Seeing I



Re: TPC5

2001-01-20 Thread Redvers Davies

 Timing in London is hard, because there aren't very many hotels
 capable of supporting such an event.  It's quite amazing to us, in
 fact, how difficult it has been to find a place to hold it in London.

One of the hotels in London I have had dealings with has conference facilities
and over 2000 rooms.  I could look up their details should you wish.