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“The iPhone of Night Clubs”

by Joey deVilla on September 22, 2010

the iphone of night clubsFound via The High Definite.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Adobe Photoshop, Literally

by Joey deVilla on June 11, 2010

An adobe hut functioning as a photo development store

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Betty White, Jedi Master

by Joey deVilla on June 9, 2010

This image actually had me rolling out of my chair laughing. Click it to see it at full size:

Betty White, in a forest wielding dual lightsabers, as the spirits of Rue Mclanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty in Jedi Master garb, look on, a la "Return of the Jedi"

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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How Fanboys See Operating Systems

by Joey deVilla on December 16, 2009

how fanboys see operating systems

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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Is Your Code a Candidate for “There, I Fixed It”?

by Joey deVilla on October 27, 2009

There, I Fixed It is a hilarious photoblog that catalogs kludges, jury rigs and hastily-improvised duct-tape repairs and modifications to everyday objects. The photos below are a sample of some of the quick fixes shown on the site, each one somewhere on the spectrum spanning “clever and thrifty” to “cheap, shoddy and frightening”:

There I Fixed It

(Regarding the photo in the right column, second one from the bottom – the piece of paper attached to the pencil sticking out of the computer says “Pull to turn on”. It’s a jury-rigged replacement for the power switch.)

Sloppy work like this isn’t limited to the physical world. I’ve seen (and okay, sometimes I’ve written) code that could’ve been a candidate for There, I Fixed It, and chances are you have too:

  • Some of my hacks were a little more elegant and useful in the long-term, as long as you weren’t going to be too fussy about aesthetics. They were the software equivalent of the CD-ROM drive installed below the car radio and attached to it with a cable with 1/8” stereo jacks. They weren’t pretty, but they were solid, reasonably maintainable and viable in the long term.
  • Others were terrible kludges that were originally intended to be temporary solutions that forgotten and lived much longer than they should have. They were like fixes shown in the two photos on the bottom (the hasty bridge repair and the car exhaust held together with zip-ties).
  • I’ve also copped out by glossing over bad user interface design with some explanatory text or dialog box instead of actually correcting the design. This is not unlike labelling a doorknob “hard to open” or a hastily-improvised switch “pull to turn on”.

Be sure to check out There, I Fixed It. They’ve had some pretty hilarious pictures lately, and perhaps it’ll inspire (or shame) you to eschew the quick fix or kludge in favour of putting some time and thought into writing better code and building better user interfaces.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Windows 7: Even Linus Approves!

by Joey deVilla on October 22, 2009

Here’s Linux creator Linus Torvalds, taking a break from the Japan Linux Symposium to pose at a store where Windows 7 was on sale:

linus torvalds and windows 7

[Thanks to Stefan Arentz for pointing me to the picture!]

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Me and Steve B.

by Joey deVilla on October 22, 2009

I bought a fuzzy “Cat in the Hat”-style raver hat with a Canadian flag pattern on a whim earlier this year, thinking that I’d probably find a pretty good use for it some day. That day, it turns out, was yesterday, where I turned it into what I believe was yesterday’s only Steve Ballmer photo-op with a non-management Microsoft Canada employee:

Joey deVilla and Steve Ballmer, wearing Joey's Canadian flag raver hatPhoto by Barnaby Jeans.

Yesterday was a busy day at the Harbour Castle Convention Centre, where we had an all-day Steve Ballmer-rama. In the morning, Steve keynoted an event showcasing Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 for the media, key customers and partners. This was followed by an employees-only “town hall” where Steve did a short presentation followed by a Q&A session. On a whim similar to the one that led me to buy it, I took the hat (along with the accordion) along with me.

Following a suggestion from my co-worker Damir, I arrived very early for the town hall, grabbed a seat by the stage and donned the hat. When Steve made his appearance, he did so in classic Ballmer style, running and whooping, high-fiving people as he made his way to the stage. As soon as he saw me, he yelled “Hey!”, put the hat on and posed with me for the photo above.

I’d made a decent splash at Microsoft in my first year, and I’d been wondering if I could match it in my second, which began on Monday. This isn’t a bad start.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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