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Les Morgan

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Recent posts by Les Morgan

Good, because I know a lot of businesses, agencies, and programmers that have no motivation nor desire to become MS style of developers with the new Java update plan.  IMO: if I have to chase after that ever moving target like the MS model promotes, then I might as well just go to the MS product and get used to it, because Java is fast becoming that product C#.
1 week ago
I cannot say for sure, but I don't think you are actually getting the Image Object first, so the black image is a sync problem, use ImageIO to create a BufferedImage from the file and then render it to the graphics context of your choice or use ImageIcon (ack!!!) to get an actual icon and add it to the label.
1 week ago
We still call our newbies, just out of college and for the first 6 months to a year, beginners.

Les Morgan wrote:At some point, we were all beginners at programming Java.

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Les Morgan wrote:. . . new programmers in one of the companies I worked, . . .

Presumably they weren't beginners if they had programming jobs?

I agree that Horstmann's books are very good as I said before. I think I would call his big book my favourite Java® book.

2 weeks ago
Not really a "messed up", but not the way to do it:

Back in 2000 maybe 2001 we wanted to move to Linux and Java, but administrators being what they are were afraid to commit.  We got the official word back to stay in Windows and develop small apps with Java.  That didn't set well with any of us techies, and me being the senior programmer in change of technology, we had a little coup. Everything from that point was Java based, all new project were done in Java.  All in coming servers were Linux based or in the case of Sun, Solaris based machines. We did this for a year behind the scenes, and just didn't tell anybody.

After a year, we were in a planning meeting again, and they opened the floor to suggestions/needs for new technology directions.  I candidly asked: How has your up-time been this last year? and Doesn't it seem like our projects are coming out faster and having less maintenance issues?  Everyone heartily agreed, and I literally responded: "You're welcome.  We switched to Linux and Java last year and just didn't tell anyone until now."  There was quite a discussion that ensued, but I ended up with a promotion out of it, the technology team got to choose what was needed after that, and it was agreed that we would at least inform the administrators what we were really doing.  They are still Java/Linux based today (about 20 years later).
2 weeks ago

fred rosenberger wrote:I thought i heard once that Toy Story got deleted from Pixar's servers at one point.  Someone happened to have taken a recent copy home to look at(?) and that was the only copy left...If i recall right, it almost ruined the company...I'll see if i can find a link to it later...



Another, "they did it"... First programming job out of college the company had grown and was having a bigger building constructed to house more staff.  The team/individual that was assigned the task to get network gear went right down to the wire on the design specification for the purchase.  As it turned out, the people he had been talking to didn't understand the delivery schedule or possibly our side didn't understand the reps lingo, but when the cut the PO, it came out that the equipment they wanted was still 3 years out before it would hit the market.  Red faced they buried all the original work and PO and hurriedly bought existing technology.

Another instance--back when 486's came out, one of the techs decided he was going to update a unit to a 486-25 for all their machines.  he bought 29 motherboards and memory at around $1000 each plus memory costs. The new boards didn't fit the hole patter for the stand-offs in the case, but were made due instead of just getting a drill and making new holes.  After about a month the boards drooped due to the heat and lack of support.  They started to short out spectacularly--zaps and sparks and whiffs of smoke.  The original tech was sent to fix the problems.  He found what had happened, and dumped the 19 or so boards that he had not used yet into the dumpster--and quietly hand purchasing just get new computers for the 29 people he was going to upgrade.  One of the other techs regularly dumpster dove to see what he could get--19 brand new 486-25 boards--Jackpot!  The company found out and wanted the boards back from the 2nd tech that dumpster dove.  He refused to give them back, since they had been disposed of in a publicly accessible dumpster (law states anything thrown in to a trash receptacle becomes first come first serve unless the trash is secured, the dumpster was public accessible with no locks or fencing).  When they consulted legal, the whole thing was swept under the carpet, but the first tech quickly moved on to another location.

yet more: We bought 1/2 million dollar order of computers from Dell, great machines! Mine had a problem, I was the agency's senior developer and correlated development of all project technology integration.  The problem made my machine slow down to an agonizingly slow processing pace--I could literally work math problems faster than my computer could calculate the answers. Dell sent tech's out 9 times to fix the problem.  Each time I told them the machine slowed down after about 1/2 hour of use. They replaced everything except the case, memory, and video card (it was a high performance card not integrated graphics). They replaced the mother board multiple times, the power supply multiple times, and had basically hit a dead end.  Instead of just giving us a new machine, they took the stance there could't be anything wrong with it, and it was operator error. Well, we had a 1 million dollar order in with them and my boss called our purchasing department and said: "Hold the Dell order."  A senor tech was down at my station the next day.  He sat down with me as we talked for about a half hour before he even looked at the machine, and he actually listened.  He cracked the case open and started running the machine and listened to it for 10 minutes.  As it turned out, one of the high performance video card's cooling fans were defective and after about 10 minutes of operation, it heated up and slowed down--didn't stop, but just slowed down.  It was enough to change the sync rate on the bus and it put a huge drag on the entire system.  Everything appeared to be working, and was, but the overheating on the video card slowed the hardware down to a crawl.  The tech replaced the video card and all was well with that machine until we retired it years later.  Just goes to show: a million buck has a little bit of clout!

I've literally dozens of these types of "little problems" that I've seen in my career.
2 weeks ago

fred rosenberger wrote:I thought i heard once that Toy Story got deleted from Pixar's servers at one point.  Someone happened to have taken a recent copy home to look at(?) and that was the only copy left...If i recall right, it almost ruined the company...I'll see if i can find a link to it later...



Another time one of the companies I was working for had an imaging project.  There was a small client software developed and it was decided that they would have it burned to CDs and not pushed over the LAN.  The thinking at the time was, "the extra space on the CD will give them space for saving files".  Ya, exactly! First I heard of what they were doing I told them the CDs were dead space after anything was written--unlike a CD-RW which was later developed, and didn't turn out nearly as well as advertised. To my knowledge they still have a filing cabinet full of CD's that have that little client burned on them.  The client was pushed over the LAN once they realized their mistake, so the CDs where never used.
2 weeks ago

fred rosenberger wrote:I thought i heard once that Toy Story got deleted from Pixar's servers at one point.  Someone happened to have taken a recent copy home to look at(?) and that was the only copy left...If i recall right, it almost ruined the company...I'll see if i can find a link to it later...



Not one where I messed up, but one place I was working they needed a utility to connect to a legacy app running on an IBM mainframe when they downsized to a PC based technology server and net.  They talked to IBM and contracted the work out to them.  They put one of their junior engineers on it and after 8 months of programming they set up a demo.  Something happened the morning of the demo and the kids machine crashed.  He had not backed it up, so the project was gone and so was 8 months of labor costs paid to IBM consulting services.  Everyone involved was red faced and it was quickly swept under the rug.
2 weeks ago
I'll just comment on #2:

I've been writing in Java since 1999 and most of the things I've written still run in Java 8, I've not moved on to the new versions as Oracle tries to make Java be C#.  It all depends on what the developers do with the features of the language. Use features from the latest and greatest, and you have to have the latest and greatest or if features get deprecated and eventually removed, you have to use a legacy jvm.
2 weeks ago
Hanna,

Yes, it is not only possible, but very doable as well.  I'll make the assumption that your programming in Java.  Just make a BufferedImage and save your work to it, then save the image using ImageIO.  It's a pretty easy process.

Les
GUI
The problem you're having is that you are using a layout that does not respect the default size of your components, so empty components at runtime have no size associated with them.  Change your layout to one that respects the default size and you should be alright.
3 weeks ago
2nd story:

About 12 years ago, we had a project that was complete.  It was on a Sun Sunfire--fully loaded 4 dual core 2.8 GHz CPU's  with all the memory maxed out on each board, and went into a SAN for our storage.  The company had a big backup with the robotic arm that stored the tapes by project in carousels. We were running Oracle on Solaris 10, the backup device was on a Windows system.  The inevitable happened, the server took a nose dive and at the entire install.  NP, I thought, I have the paranoid 3 level backup plan in Oracle, I datapump and store to DVD, and I have a parallel copy on a dev box under my desk.

As it turned out, the big robotic backups were all, toast!  I put a help ticket in to Oracle and one to the backup support. 7 weeks we went through Oracle, Sun, the backup company, Dell, and Microsoft looking for what happened and how to restore any of the regular backups.  The client wanted one of the big robotic arm backups restored and didn't trust the other media.  I finally convinced them that I could get the db back from the DVD repository of the datapump.  As it would happen though, the DVD's had write errors to them, but originally had verified flawlessly.  I was able to finally restore the database from the dev copy, which I kept in sync with the production copy except for the scripts I was working on.

4 tape backups were bad in total--the weekly full, the daily incremental, cumulative, and the off site storage.  The DVD's were corrupt too for a total of 5 backups were toast, but all verified at creation.  People ask me why I'm paranoid and have multiple backups... I just smile and say, "It makes me sleep better at night."

Biggest finger pointing, "not my problem" fiasco I've ever seen.  To this day, nobody knows what happened, but they bought a different backup system and it's been good ever since.
3 weeks ago
Back in the early 90's in my first consulting gig out of college, I was working with a group that didn't believe in separate development and production environments, so they did both in the same database.  I put out out a big system for them and we were going through and optimizing.  At the request of the DBA we were removing any fields that were not essential due to severe space limitations on their server.  As you might have guessed, I dropped one.  I didn't remember that it was the field that tracked all their adjustments to their financial information.  Instantly the world was reset.  I contacted the DBA to have him restore a backup, and found out he didn't believe in backing up databases that had development going on in them.

The walk from my desk to the director's office was the longest walk I have taken in my life.  I told him what happened, and he just smiled and told me it goes faster the second time around.  It took his analysts a week to re-enter all the data.

Since then, when I am in charge of backups, there are always 3 repositories and usually 5, all on different devices and usually media types.
3 weeks ago
Eric,

I remember fundamentals and theories--how things work, other than that, google is always there.  Now having said that, if I know the fundamentals and theory, then I can make an implementation, that is what I am paid to do all the time.  I build things with fundamentals and the theories tell me when a certain pattern will work for a combination of tasks I need to be done.  Like a merge sort, or a game engine, or a task scheduler, and etc... I know very few people that can do more than fundamentals and theory.  In the languages you program with frequently, you know the syntax of the language and use it expertly to implement the theories and fundamentals you need to use to make projects.  I've been doing this stuff for over 30 years, and I humbly say the other programmers I have worked with throughout my career and the ones I work with now call me a wizard when it comes to programming.  When they are stuck on how to get something done, they come and talk to me and I recite fundamentals and theory to them.  If it's on a grand enough scale--I have a whiteboard in my office and we write fundamentals and theory on it until they can see the direction they need to go.  

IMO: the further you get from fundamentals and theory, the worse your design and coding become.

Les
4 weeks ago
At some point, we were all beginners at programming Java.

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Les Morgan wrote:. . . new programmers in one of the companies I worked, . . .

Presumably they weren't beginners if they had programming jobs?

I agree that Horstmann's books are very good as I said before. I think I would call his big book my favourite Java® book.

1 month ago
Stephan,

I used work for a Microsoft partner firm and one day we had the MS Engineers down explaining the ins and outs of OLE, object linking and embedding, and it went something like this:

We have a standard that says you will expose your proprietary interfaces to the view of the world, including all of your competitors, so that we can have a standard that works really nice across all compatible products.

The engineer then smiled and said: not everyone is forthcoming with their full interface and not everyone gives all of the interface points to make everything work perfectly because after all, business is always trying to get one over on their competition. (my little thoughts here: MS always does that with its partners--keeps them in the dark as much as possible, while exploiting whatever they can from their agreements.

Les

BTW: MS's move to be more open, which is a good thing, is self-preservation.  Back when I started MS had about 85%+ of the web, but after Linux and Apache hit the market that soon reversed where everyone else had 85%+ of the market and MS was picking over 15% or less.  It took them a long time to see the writing on the wall that they either had to become more agile across platforms and products or people were jumping ship.  IMO: if the user population, our end-users in business, didn't have the inherent knowledge available from MS release to MS release, which they really messed up in 8 and completely made 9 disappear, Ubuntu would be on all the desktops and MS would be a token in the history of computers.

Stephan van Hulst wrote:Les, I work in a software company that builds solutions that tightly integrate with many different Microsoft products. Over the past 5 years I've made two primary observations:

  • Microsoft has made great steps in becoming more open-source, and becoming less evil in general.
  • Microsoft still employs mainly shit programmers and it's horrible to write software that interfaces with their products.
  • 1 month ago