Archive for February, 2006


Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on February 26th, 2006 by MrCranky

At my old company, I always felt there wasn’t enough life around the office. Okay, so it’s a games development company, so technically a ‘hostile living environment’ for most plants (animals, and lets face it, developers), but I liked to buy plants to make my desk feel a little more healthy. My old co-workers will attest to the hardiness of the various plants which did survive, and there were always replacements for the ones that ended up little more than twigs in a pot.

But here at the Company, I’ve decided that things will be different. As many plants as we can keep alive, and now for added organic feel, we have a mascot! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce: Alfred the Oranda.

Alfred The Oranda

Why Alfred? Well, we realise the life expectancy of our mascots might not be so long, so some kind of alphabetical naming system รƒยก la tropical storms seemed appropriate. He doesn’t seem to move around much, so a bit like me, but I’m sure he’ll settle in fine.

Currently on the work agenda: looking at automated testing frameworks, as well as evaluating a game idea proposed to us recently.

Visual Science

Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on February 10th, 2006 by MrCranky

Sorry to hear about the demise of Visual Science this week, although from the news the past month or so it wasn’t entirely unexpected. The Scottish games industry is starting to look a little cramped, shall we say. Here’s hoping another company will rise to fill VS’s spot north of the border (mostly because I don’t want to have to tempt all those people back north again when our time comes ;-)).

Anyway – I hope all the staff now redundant come out of this okay. Nick Oakley tells me that Kuju in Godalming are looking for people right now if that’s any help.


Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on February 4th, 2006 by MrCranky

Okay, lets not be relying on the auto-upgrader from Dreamhost, as it’ll nuke the site templates. Urgh, I’ll restore from backups in a bit…

EDIT: Wow – that really did go quite badly wrong. Looks like it tried to do some horrible recursive copy sort of thing where it tried to backup the website into a subdirectory inside the website, which of course meant it fell over when it got to trying to back up the directory which it was filling up. All a bit messy. Mind you, its a beta feature, so I’ll give them some feedback as to where it went wrong, and hope they can fix it. In the meantime I think I’ll be doing my own patching/upgrading from now on, where I’ve only got myself to blame when I shaft the whole site! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Return

Posted in Tales from the grind-stone on February 3rd, 2006 by MrCranky

Urgh – curse Pipex and their slow moving tar-pit of a customer service desk. Right! Sorry for the hiatus, but we have been sans Net connection for almost three weeks, following our move to a new place! My hands are still shaking from the withdrawal symptoms. But on the plus side, the new office desk and setup is way more ergonomic and pleasant than the last one, so I’m hoping the general raising of the pleasantness level in here will result in an increase in my work output too.

In other news – I’ve had all of my time sucked away by a full time contract with Barco down in Leith. Not the high-end display division, much to some people’s disappointment (like they’d give favourable deals to contractors anyway), but the medical imaging team (formerly known as Voxar). Much hard work, but pleasingly its back to hard core structural C++ programming, which has always been my favourite skill to exercise. Its also, heaven forbid, starting to convert me to the merits of exception based programming, test-driven-development, and XP!

More on my assessment of XP in the workplace later probably, still not sure if I’d adopt it wholesale, but its definitely got some good points.

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Last modified: February 06 2020.