Thursday, 25 February 2010

Take backups before it's too late

I had one of those dreams last night. At the time it appeared too realistic for my own liking. OK, forget the fact that I was riding a bicycle through the streets AND buildings of a city I've never been in, with two of my school mates (Keith Towell who I haven't seen since the mid 70's and Andy Starkey who I last emailed on his 50th birthday two years ago).

The important part of the dream was that I had lost my hard disk drive... and it contained all the work I'd done recently. The fact that I'd used Mercurial for version control wasn't much help; it had been a long time since I'd cloned the repositories to another drive.

So this morning I decided to create another full image copy onto my Seagate external drive.
It's 3 hours into the process. So I'm using another machine to get up to date with my blogging.

So, what's this got to do with my time at IBM.

Back in the early 90's a colleague of mine who shall be nameless, approached me late one evening and asked if I knew of any hard disk unerase program suitable for OS/2. I related my previous experience with hdunerase (a Norton program for DOS 2.1) while we searched for a new program. The program we found was called Phoenix.
He also told me why he needed it.

Apparently he'd just finished a project and was shipping the code to the customer.
It was his only copy, and guess what he's done?

del *.*

Form opinions in seconds - then take years to change them

In my time I have only had two colleagues who I've disliked from the word go. One of them was a rather cocky 'consultant' who was either still in the Foundation capability or had just graduated. When he came to work on our project he immediately started to demonstrate his ignorance of "proper programming". For example, when I asked him what he'd use for developing a web front end to our application he suggested using php.

At the time, my only experience of php was that it was used in the web pages for
I couldn't see how it could be used to replace our front end.

The chap didn't last long in our group.
But the idea of using php to build web pages has now, for me at least, turned into reality.
It may not be the world's best programming language: let's just say that the king of programming languages is REXX, and leave it at that.
But it's a lot easier than faffing about with Java or ASP.Net.
So 8 or 9 years later (?) I've nearly learnt to love it, and have been using it for all my websites.

Example: - web design - web development

PS. It will take longer than 8 or 9 years before I manage to forget about the other instant dislike.