Monday, May 21, 2007

Could it be? Finally?

So the Halo 3 multiplayer beta went live last week. And I'm in it. Of course.

So where does this fall in terms of productivity? I almost feel like it's my job to play this game as much as I can before the beta is over, both because I feel some loyalty to Bungie to help them collect the data they want, and because it's a limited time beta, and I won't see Halo 3 again until September. But should I spent time on my website?

I've already given up on getting a formal video game review site working. I just don't have the time/money/crew to do what I dreamed of. But I could get a basic blog working, then add review functionality to it. And I could create the gamertype quiz I wanted to.

But, Halo 3. It's that good. :)

Productivity? Maybe...

I've been doing tons of stuff for the new house, so my traditional methods of tracking productivity@home do not apply. However, I did have time to make this Wikihow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scientists Discover Internet Is Useless

Last night I got home from work, sat down on the couch, and turned on my laptop. I booted up Firefox, checked my fantasy baseball scores, opened a new tab, and stared at the blank page. "What am I doing?" I thought. "Nothing," came the answer from my brain. And then it hit me.

Most people know that you can spend basically your whole life browsing the Internet. And I spend my whole day in front of a computer at work. I never thought of my browsing at home as a waste, but it is. I don't really accomplish or learn anything. It always ends with me refreshing blogs and using StumbleUpon.

So I got up (leaving StatTracker on, because, hey, I gotta know the score) and decided to do the last constructive thing I had thought about doing. I grabbed my Yankees baseball cap and hand washed it in the sink. It's nice and clean now, though still sun-faded.

Now that I've tackled one of my major time-sinks at home, I will attempt to conquer the next one: TV.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Home Front

Last week I had to work from home for the afternoon. I treated it as a sort of trial run. Would I be able to maintain focus while the XBox 360 is only feet away?

Turns out I'm crazy productive while working at home. When I'm not in the office when I physically can be, I get pretty guilty, even if I have a completely legit reason. So that guilt drives me to focus, and focus I did. Of course, my couch and leisure clothes are much more comfortable too.

The office environment here doesn't really encourage random working from home, but often people take half a day off for a doctor's appointment or similar, then work from home the second half. I will be attempting to take advantage of that as best I can.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thwarted Once Again

I've been quite busy with home stuff. We're approved for a mortgage now, so all that's left is to wait... and buy as much furniture and linens and stuff as we can stuff in my car. Also Annie and I are running again, so that takes some time.

I wanted to mention work blockages again. I mentioned previously how a seemingly impossible error can derail your work almost instantly. But sometimes it's not an impossible problem that can stop you. In my case, it was a 900-line SQL stored procedure.

I may have mentioned this before, but basically, this sproc, written by my coworker, creates a pivot table... in SQL. I had to make my own version of it with half the features his did. That was tough, and my brain threw some roadblocks in my way, but I made it through.

Then came the horrible moment. I foound out I'd have to restore all that insane code I mercilessly cut out. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! [a la Darth Vader]

And so, for the past three days, I'd get into work, get my coffee, load up Visual Studio, poke around for a while, see my "TODO:" statements politely reminding me to "Fix the goddamned stored procedure from hell", fire up SQL Query Analyzer, load the stored procedure (via sp_helptext), then stare at the SQL until my eyes bleed (well, it feels like they do). This is not healthy.

I finally was able to figure out the problem and fix the code. So what's my point? I'm not sure. Maybe it's that debugging large SQL procedures is not why I decided to be a programmer.
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