Codrin Andronic

"stop existing and start living" – M. Jackson

Text User Interface

I have a passion for old things. The same is true for computers, software and programming languages. Lately I am nostalgic about the old days of MS-DOS, slow computers and TUIs (Text User Interfaces). I did a quick search on the web for TUI and it seems they are obsolete these days. Modern operating systems do not support it anymore. Linux is probably the only one that still supports it.  On windows platforms I think XP was the last to have support for TUI. Looking at software development tools, TUIs are not supported since a long time ago. Ok there is the option to build a Console Application on the .Net framework, but you can’t do anything more than read or write text.

Personally, I think TUIs could still be used today. It would provide a simple, intuitive and resource friendly way to interact with a system that does not require a very complex user interface. But I presume it’s just like everything else these days, why buy just one item when you can have 10 for the same price.

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More Brain Power

I was reading another “Road to success” article and found something that seems interesting, so I decided to share the info. It’s about brain health and how to improve brain power. Here are 10 easy steps:

  1. Go for a walk with a friend –  This way you talk as you walk.  Social connection, physical exercise and mental stimulation are brain strengtheners.
  2. Add variety to your life –  Do not follow a set routine day after day.  Wake up your brain with something new.  Try a new route to the office.  Memorize a new poem.
  3. Be a Life Long Learner –  Study something in depth.  This is good for your brain and your career.  Learn a new language and begin to speak and write it.
  4. Solve Puzzles/Play games – Try to beat the clock because that inspires quicker thinking.
  5. Clear the mind – Use meditation or a walk in the woods to help clear your mind.  Most of us have very active minds today.  Some of the chatter is noisy and negative.  It is important to regularly take time to clear your mind.  While you are at it take some deep breaths to cleanse your mind and body.
  6. Get 8 hours sleep a night
  7. Be creative – Use your imagination every day.  Take the time to paint, add to your journal, create a new website, write a poem or do anything that uses the right (creative) side of your brain.
  8. Spend time with friends – Staying by yourself all the time can put your brain into slowdown mode. (Solos be aware.) Friends, family and colleagues help keep you engaged in life and that keeps your brain active and working.  Being sociable is good for your brain and your spirit.  People with a strong community of friends and acquaintances live longer and happier lives in general. (Networking is good for your brain!)
  9. Eat a proper diet – Include fruits and vegetables in your diet along with whole grains and fish.
  10. Have regular check ups with the doctor – Blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, cholesterol all are important to proper brain function.  Make sure yours are in the normal range and if not work with your doctor to get them in check.
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10 warning signs – time to look for a new job

In a newsletter from Alvah Parker, a career coach,  I read about something that everyone should question him/herself from time to time about the current job and take action if necessary. So here’s the list:

  1. You get a sinking feeling on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of work on Monday.
  2. You have done your job for so long you are on automatic pilot.
  3. You are constantly getting sick or having accidents.
  4. When you talk to others you complain all the time.
  5. You never volunteer for special projects and avoid those who might give you work.
  6. You both envy and resent others who seem happy in their work.
  7. You notice that everyone else’s job seems more interesting than yours.
  8. Your friends ask you what is wrong.
  9. You know you are at the highest level that you will ever reach in the company and there is no chance for promotion.
  10. You are forced to go against your values and your integrity is being compromised.
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10 Questions to Ask Your Software Developer

According to Blueberry Consultants, people or companies that need Custom Software should ask the following questions to those who build it before getting to an agreement:

1. What is your policy on copyright?

  • Good Answer: The customer owns all copyright once the project is paid for. If the developer uses internal libraries, a royalty-free, perpetual, transferable licence is granted.
  • Bad Answer: The developer retains copyright and provides the customer with a licence to use the system.

2. Will your system be built on top of any other platform or system?

  • Good Answer: No, the system will be all new code built with standard tools and libraries.
  • Bad Answer: The system will be built on top of our fantastic XYZ platform.

3. Will your system use or depend on third-party libraries or systems?

  • Good Answer: Yes, but we will ensure that you can buy licences to such systems, and these costs are clear.
  • Bad Answer: I’m not sure… maybe.

4. Do you have source code control?

  • Good Answer: Yes. All code written by our developers is placed into a central source code control system, which is backed up off-site nightly.
  • Bad Answer: What is source code control?

5. Who collects requirements from the customer? Do they have development experience?

  • Good Answer: A senior manager with development expertise talks to the customer to understand their requirements.
  • Bad Answer: Our salesperson talks to the customer first, and then brings in the development expert later.

6. Do you have people who can help with System Deployment and Firewall Configuration?

  • Good Answer: Yes, we have an in-house systems administrator, who can help with any necessary firewall or other systems configuration.
  • Bad Answer: Your IT department should do this, or we can maybe recommend someone.

7. How long have you been in business?

  • Good Answer: Ideally, at least three years. More is better, but are they up to date with new technologies?

8. How many developers do you have?

  • Good Answer: Ideally, at least 6, but not more than 30.

9. What languages do you use for programming?

  • Good Answer: C#, .NET, VB.NET, C++
  • Bad Answer: Visual Basic 6, Microsoft Access, Delphi

10. Do you use any form of logging in your software?

  • Good Answer: Yes, our software writes detailed logs.
  • Bad Answer: No, we rely on debugging the program before we give it to you.
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Pencil Holder

The fist thing that comes to mind when trying to reuse a food can is to use it as a container for something, usually for pencils. The problem is they don’t look so good and need some cosmetic work. After a lot of thinking I decided to use rope as makeup :). And here’s the result:

Happy crafting!  ;)

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