From Norway to, perhaps, Zimbabwe   Leave a comment

Go on, work that one out.

On Friday the 6th I did work. Hurrah! It was tedious work. Boo! I’m bad at tedious work; it always brings out the procrastinator in me. And it’s not so far from the surface at the best of times.

What was the work? Let’s see if I can remember. One bit involved just doing a simple sum with code I could pretty much copy (along with a bug nobody had noticed yet, so that was useful) from elsewhere (it didn’t even need any work to convert it from to VB6); that was the quick and easy bit, so I did that first. The other bit… Oh right, yes, it involved adding a button, which was quite simple (a little trivial refactoring of a function). Alas, it then required a lot (it felt like a lot, anyway) of fiddling with UI rubbish to prevent it looking like it could work when it wouldn’t, and suchlike (the code would, of course, actually catch if it tried to run when it shouldn’t, but I try not to confuse the users unnecessarily. I don’t always succeed). So that was a lot of fun! I hate UI coding.

What would be fun is to hire a usability consultant and give them my software to play with. Or possibly the word is “sadistic”, although they’re not always different.

In non-work news, it was one of those days where old things pop up and you realise how long ago they were. I found an Asteroids clone I wrote when I was a teenager (and not the original version, but the Windows port – my first forays into C++ – of the DOS original), and can’t remember when I started it but the last modified dates are 1997. For some reason I wound up looking at a map of Florida, and tried to remember where we’d been, and realised that that was over thirteen years ago. And there was a Corrs song; ironically, it was “So Young”.

That feeling that you’re so very old*, that these things you did were so long ago. The feeling that you’ve lost things, and that you can barely remember doing things that you’ll never do again. The code I wrote in 1997 was pretty terrible, but I had far more enthusiasm and energy to actually do it then than now. And I’m certain that I’m neither as skilled at programming or as intelligent as I was when I left university, depressingly close to a decade ago; it was all downhill from there. And so we get to here, and from here to where? Such things always make me feel like a fading brain in a rotting carcass. Which I am, and so are you (if you’re older than about twenty), and which nobody can do anything about. Oh well.

Surprisingly unrelated to such feelings of inevitable mortality, I had pies from Morrisons to eat for lunch and dinner. So they were quite nice, at least.

And I thought of lots of excuses not to go to the gym (my headphones still hadn’t turned up), so I played Deus Ex instead.

* I’m thirty, so I suppose that’s either ancient or barely into long trousers, depending on how old you are, or at least feel**.

** And by conventional wisdom on this topic, I suppose I’m really NaN.


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