Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
For TV service, we subscribed to Dish Network. Mostly because the previous owners used it and the dish was already on the roof. That installed quickly and after three weeks I’m quite happy with it. But that’s for TV only. Dish does offer satellite internet service, but the latency inherent in a geostationary satellite link (over half-second round-trip packet times) makes it useless for interactive services like remote-logins and VoIP. Since both my wife and I require interactive services (distance learning, telecommuting, FaceTime, etc.) satellite internet is a no-go.
Which leaves Comcast internet as the only possibility for high bandwidth and low latency. We subscribed to their 25Mbps internet-only service. Due to the fact that we were involved with moving and closing on two houses (buying the new home and selling the old one), I was in no state of mind to research and buy a modem, I elected to rent Comcast’s modem, at least for the first few months, just to keep it simple.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
...struck a chord. It reminds me of real-world practice that I faced several years ago.
At that time, my employer's Federal sales group worked fairly closely with engineering. They would frequently request features - very specific micro-managed features. Sometimes these features didn't make sense - there were better and simpler ways to do the same thing.
As good engineers, we would ask them "what task are you trying to accomplish with this feature?" figuring that if we know what they were trying to do, we might be able to suggest a better or more efficient or at least standards-compliant way to solve their problem. The answer we always got back was "sorry, that's classified."
Fortunately, our sales people were fairly knowledgeable, so we could discuss the topic at length with them (never mentioning what the end customer actually wants to do, of course) and the sales people could help determine if an alternative feature would be better, but it was still a very frustrating way to work. Even when the feature is developed and tested, it's frustrating to know that you can't test it against the customer's usage because you aren't allowed to know what that usage is. And when you get a bug report devoid of actual usage data, it's really hard to find and fix the bug.
I think Dilbert (in today's strip) has it easy!
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Saturday, July 05, 2014
To those who don't know me in real life, move along, nothing to see.