Windows 10 Update Stings

I finally seem to have fixed a problem that has apparently been with me for weeks since updating Windows 10, but I have not noticed!  Basically, Outlook 2013 was failing to send emails from either of my accounts that used SMTP / Imap (but was working fine for a client email address using an Exchange server).

Continue reading

Sceptical About a Web-page ‘Screen-saver’

I’m a little sceptical that this web-page ‘energy saver’ I just saw is actually a power-saver?!

Jeep Screen Saver

Original ‘screen savers’ on a computer were a response to problems with the then-prevalent screen technology associated with Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens that had phospors that glowed when hit by a focused electron beam.  If phosphor pixels were lit up too much they could be ‘burnt’ which could leave a ghost image if a particular pattern was left on the screen for extended periods of time.  A standard response was to ‘save’ the screen; generally by darkening it, and often by moving a shape around; this was saving the phosphor rather than saving energy! (I would speculate that some energy would have been saved but miniscule amounts — the cathode-ray still had to be scanned as much as it ever did; a CRT would probably still consume hundreds of watts of power while in this ‘screen saving’ mode).

The energy saving part of screen-savers came later; in this mode the monitor was generally actually turned off; and thus this saved the main power consumption of the screen – potentially saving hundreds of watts as long as the screen was off… and I guess it must have been in the 1990’s that ‘Energy Star’ and powering-off screens when not in use became pretty-standard.

Modern screens, however, with LCD / TFT  type technologies generally have different features and problems than CRTs; and screen ‘burn’ is less of an issue as I understand it, so ‘screen savers’ intended to prevent burn-in are pretty irrelevant… and often because screen manufacturers are doing their best to reduce power where possible. My screens will attempt to detect my presence and will automatically reduce power if I am not close to the screen!  Note; this is the monitor going into power-save mode and whether or not Windows happens to choose to run a screen-saver or whatever is not necessarily relevant in this instance.

Whichever way, it is hard to imagine that one tab on one application on your computer going dark is likely to help reduce your power consumption at all; especially as any modern device worth its salt will already be applying its own layer of power reduction technology of its own!  And as it is a car company who’ve come up with this great idea, I can imagine someone is busy trying to offset the car company’s ‘carbon footprint’ against all the ‘carbon savings’ they will claim from their ‘black website page carbon save technology’!

In what circumstances could an ‘energy saving webpage’ save energy?

Lifting the Curse of Knowledge | DaedTech

An interesting post regarding ‘the Curse of Knowledge’ — or the difficulty in remembering what it’s like not to know something!

The first paragraph alone sets the scene:

As most of you know, one of the biggest anti-patterns when you’re instantiating program slots is to forget to set CanRemoveOverride to true. But what you probably didn’t know was that the SlotConfig is — Just kidding. I lifted this from a post I wrote almost 3 years ago about legacy code I was working with then. I have little more idea than you do what any of that means. [Emphasis Mine, ksb]

Lifting the Curse of Knowledge | DaedTech.

Words used in Source Code

I’ve been thinking about trying to create a library of name elements that might be useful while coding (e.g. above and beyond pattern names such as ‘BlahFactory‘ or ‘ThingMapper‘); and a list of elements that might be misleading or that I think should be avoided (such as the element ‘Data’ on a field name; it’s not impossible that this could be a valid element name; but in a sense everything in a data structure is ‘data’ so that’s the basis on which I consider its use may be problematic).

I thought that this was pretty interesting: Words used in Source Code.

Source Code Wordle

Be sure to visit the source site, where clicking on an image then shows you a larger version, where clicking on a word shows you where it is used.

These word clouds might help identify lists of the ‘useful’ name elements.

Zero Config

This essay sounds fascinating! Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it on the public internet…

About, oh, maybe 3 years ago, long before we had company internal blogs, Jacob Gabrielson wrote and circulated a brilliant essay called Zero Config.

via you-should-write-blogs – steveyegge2.

Although the post as-a-whole is fascinating and mostly about blogging, this caught my eye because I have been trying to look at reducing the amount of configuration for my current client. Much config is duplicated, and some is just not worth being config and is more constant; e.g. setting the format for a message seems to make sense in the  configuration until you realise you can never change it after the first message has been written in that format!

Likewise, almost every project and service is built and released in subtly different ways, as each had someone had to be honed to fit a very specific need (if that’s the case, it was done poorly!) – but the result is a package of releases that are hard to automate because little is repeatable, common or shared!

If anyone knows how I might get to see a copy of this essay I’d love to hear about it…

Get Just The Tools: SSMS Download | Strate SQL

This is a handy tip if you just want to donload and install Sql Server Management Studio on a machine: Get Just The Tools: SSMS Download | Strate SQL.

you can download just the management tools through the Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Express download page.  Just select either SQLManagementStudio_x64_ENU.exe or SQLManagementStudio_x86_ENU.exe from the download options and you’ll have the full version of SSMS at your fingertips; in about a quarter the size of the full installation download.