We can relationship for you wholesale   Leave a comment


So after several days of boredom, I woke up on the morning of Thursday the 26th to an email promising interesting times ahead – at work, anyway.

Firstly, it was about my boss wanting to outsource a Customer Relationship Management system, and apologising for it. After failing to make it through the Wikipedia page about CRM software, I decided that not having to have anything to do with it was fine by me. I’m not really sure what it does, but it doesn’t sound much fun.
Anyway, the reason for outsourcing was because he had other stuff for me to do over the next few months, starting with some stuff to facilitate* a spot of merging and minor upheaval in our software systems, and then some factory things that are much more interesting than customer relationships.

Much more interesting, though, was when he called me about the email. I’d been thinking about Where Next for the software for a while, and he’d mentioned this briefly. The original plan was to rebuild it in VB .net from VB6 (which is feeling increasingly rickety and restrictive, and has been living on borrowed time for a while now), which is probably the quickest way of going about it, but doesn’t really solve all of the problems. After his crazy Mac outburst a while ago, though, and a few other things that’d popped up, I’d been having a think. And so I suggested my idea to him.

Why not rebuild the whole thing to run as a web service?

Then it can be used on anything (even silly little lifestyle toys, unless I happened to feel particularly spiteful), from anywhere. We’d not be stuck to a particular OS or rickety old runtime, and obsolescence would be less of a worry. If there winds up being more than one site, you don’t have to worry about splitting the system, just upstream bandwidth. I think it’s a plan with a lot going for it (almost as much as the amount of work necessary).

Even better, from my point of view, is that it’d require I learned quite a lot of stuff, and did some new things. Because, as I felt obliged to point out, I don’t know the first thing** about webby stuff. So that’s exciting! I’d get to learn modern future tech, because the chance for my dream world where everybody codes in C and assembler seems to have passed.

So possible funtimes ahead! To celebrate I went to Amazon and bought myself a beginner’s guide to HTML5, and while I was there poked through my wishlist and grabbed Jane Grigson’s English Food (because I’m interested in traditional English cookery; what I’ve heard of sounds interesting, but it’s really rare compared to French and Italian-style stuff, so I don’t know much about it despite having lived here my entire life) and the Pierces album You & I. You’ll Be Mine was probably my favourite song released last year – ignoring the Bastion soundtrack momentarily – so why not. It’s a good album, too (almost as good as the aforementioned soundtrack), sounding a bit like a slightly sinister Mamas and the Papas to me. Except they’re both women, so it would be the Mama and the Mama, and that would be prog rock.

I also had my first cup of lapsang souchong tea, which is nothing if not awkward to spell. It said on the box that it had a smoky taste, but I didn’t realise it was literally smoked, so I had a surprise when I opened the box. It tastes a bit like barbecue sauce, really. “Tea that tastes like barbecue sauce” might not sound so appealing, but it’s actually fairly nice. Unusual, but might grow on me.

And, as if I didn’t overuse “also” enough already, there were telephone calls. My sister wanted to know about ISPs, and my mother called to tell me the sad, tragic news that I wouldn’t be having any haggis; Asda’s supplier had let them down (I expect they’d had a poor hunting season. Or maybe they just addressed them wrong). None would be reduced. Sad string music played.

And I went to the gym! Everything at once, eh?

* Ooh, check you out with your fancy buzzwords.

** Well, not quite. I know just enough to realise I don’t know anything.


Posted 5 February 2012 by Colthor in Diary

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