Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

June 15, 2011

Bugs in your software

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 2:26 am
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I’m working on a new piece of software and had been having the normal issues with debugging. Variables that haven’t been initialized, logic that is wrong, and syntax errors. These don’t really bother me as they are pretty easy to find and fix.

Today though, I came across one that just made me mad.

I had used the same piece of code on another module, so I simply copied in the appropriate changes and thought I would be off and running. But no. It not only did not work, but had the wierdest behavior that I have ever seen.

I pored over the code, looking at every line, trying to figure out what could possibly be the problem, but I couldn’t find it. I even slept on it, thinking that I’d figure it out in the morning, but when I woke up, it was still there.

Finally I thought I’d try something, and saved all the files once more. Sure enough, one of the files had been changed, but not saved, and therefore the change I made hadn’t been reflected. That turned out to be the cause of the problem. The change had been to remove a trigger event, and that was what was causing the problem.

 

After the steam out of my ears finally subsided, I took some solace in the fact that the bug was fixed, but am still kicking myself for the stupid mistake.

Save early and save often is my new policy.

February 19, 2011

Driving Quiz

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 3:28 am
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So let’s say that I’m driving in the left lane of a two lane street, and you are in a car 100 feet ahead on the right, and now, you want to move into my lane. Do you

1) Turn on your blinker, stare blankly back at me, but continue in the right lane until you decide that you have to nearly chop off my front bumper to make your left turn.

2) Turn on your blinker, hit your brakes and turn into my lane and drive 20 mph under the speed limit when your turn is still a half mile away.

3) Smoothly accelerate and nicely merge in front of me, leaving me plenty of room to either slow or move around you when you make your left turn.

Seems like most of the drivers today couldn’t count past two.

February 14, 2011

Writing Patents

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 4:12 am
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I’ve been meaning to write a post about my trip to the Philippines, but patents have been taking all my time recently. If you check my youtube channel, I do have a few videos of traffic and some of the crazy things I saw, but no time to post up some of the best of 600+ pictures that I took.

Most of them are of the wedding I attended, but there were a number of Baguio, and Tagaytay, two interesting places that I visited besides Manila.

 

December 17, 2010

Turn your *$%^ phone off

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 8:38 pm
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Went to Starbucks this morning for coffee and had to stand in line behind an annoying woman talking on her cellphone. Not only was she talking loud enough for everyone in the place to hear, even over the noise of the espresso machines, but it was one of those annoying conversations about nothing.

As she got to the front of the line to order, the cashier had to ask her three times what she wanted because she didn’t have the decency to stop her conversation and listen to what the cashier was saying. After the order she couldn’t figure out the change that she was given, thinking that somehow she got screwed, because she wasn’t listening to the cashier count back the money. After another couple of minutes she finally realized that the change was correct, but still didn’t move out of the way to let the next person, who was me, put in my order. I nearly had to elbow her out of the way to get to the cashier, who’s now waving me forward, and nearly getting upset with me because I’m not putting in my order.

Meanwhile it’s cold outside and the line is now extending out the door.

And she’s still talking about nothing.

And the people behind me are becoming restless.

And the drone in front of me feels like a mosquito buzzing next to my ear.

It took nearly every bit of control for me not to say something to her, or punch the little blue button on her headset, but I knew she wouldn’t have understood what I was saying, and probably called the cops on me or something.

I gave her the stink eye as she finally moved out of the way, but it was as if nothing else in the world around her existed except for the phone call about nothing.

Rude. Just plain rude.

 

November 30, 2010

Uptight Rejection Rejection

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 1:24 am
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This post by literary agent Janet Reid really made me chuckle. Apparently an author submitted something to said agent, and received an immediate rejection letter for their work. They were so enraged that they ripped it into pieces, and sent it back with a carefully personalized note that not only derided Ms Reid for the rejection, but insulted her with profanity.

Smooth move moron.

Not only will Ms Reid never represent you, (and rightly so), but using that type of tactic is going to give you a bad reputation among the agent community at large. You’ve just signed your own death warrant among any agent for quite a while.

Of course this kind of behavior also speaks volumes about the character of the author. Anyone who feels so strongly that agents should be lining up to fight for their debut work obviously doesn’t understand that publishing is a business and rejections are how it works.

I don’t know if the work was any good or not, but based on the speed of the rejection, and the behavior of the author, I suspect it was crap. I’ve been known to make mistakes once in a while, but I doubt that I’m wrong on this one.

Read a few books about how to write, follow the discussions on writers blogs, and write a few books before you get all full of yourself and make a mess in the process.

November 22, 2010

Food Drive Picture

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 8:32 pm
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Well it seems it is that time of year once more, when the food drive barrels are in place at Silicon Valley companies. Given the current economic conditions, it seems this year more than ever they are needed to help those who cannot provide food for their families.

I question why they seem to show up only once a year around the holidays, I mean, people are hungry all year right? But overall I don’t mind helping those less fortunate as long as I am not forced to do so.

What struck me as strange this year, was the image that the food drive organization decided to use for their posters.

It shows a young man, presumably a father, smiling up at his child, who looks to be about a year old, held using his right arm. In his left hand is a plastic food container, the kind used to hold fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, etc.

But the container doesn’t contain those types of fruit, in fact it has no fruit at all, it’s full of artichokes. For those of you that are unfamiliar, an artichoke is a spiny vegetable that can barely be consumed by adults, let alone a small child.

Yes you can argue that the artichokes are going to feed the parents and the parents will buy other food for the child, but it just seemed like a strange image to use when you are trying to solicit food for people in need.

Me, I would have had a picture of a young kid holding a sandwich with a bite taken out of it, cracking a huge smile with great big gobs of peanut butter stuck to both cheeks, but then again, what do I know?

 

November 18, 2010

I want to Quit

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 9:32 pm
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Go check out my latest post on Adventures in Creative Writing here

in which I discuss my latest rejection and what I am going to do about it.

 

 

November 2, 2010

Started on the next novel

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 3:54 am
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I have finally started on the next novel. I decided to use two of my old characters in sort of a continuation from where they left off, but with an entirely new premise. The premise involves gaming technology once again, though this one has quite a different twist.

I have a working title, but we’ll see if it lasts.

It will probably take a year to finish it, but that’s OK. I am still querying the last one.

October 28, 2010

Sales Projections, Yuck

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 7:45 pm
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My writing has slowed lately because I’m trying to start a new company. So instead of writing fiction, I’ve been writing business plans, which I guess could be considered fiction as well, but definitely not as enjoyable to the average reader.

It’s amazing how much work goes into a good plan, but it’s also understandable. If you are an investor about to put some of your hard earned money into a new company, you want to make sure they have thought things through, otherwise, you might as well toss your money into the street.

Coming up with the idea, and how to implement it seems to come easy to me. I love to understand how things are put together and see how I can make them better, or come up with a new idea based on something I have seen.

What’s really hard for me, is to come up with realistic sales projections. It’s not that I don’t care about it, it’s that I haven’t really been on that side of the business in a consumer oriented product. Most of my sales and support experience has been on products where there is a clear technological advantage, so the sales process comes down to, “Do you want 10 or 50?”.

I’ve been told that I need to find a marketing person who has worked in the consumer space, and tap into their experience. Sounds like good advice, now I need to figure out where to dig one up.

 

September 24, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 11:24 pm
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Who knew it would last 10 seasons… I thought it was doomed from day one. I simply couldn’t figure out the appeal. I mean, who wants to watch supposed stars fumble around the dance floor looking like idiots for an hour.

Well, as it turns out, lots of people.

It’s no secret that the average amount of fabric per participant is close to zero, and the quantity of silicone shaking is about the same as stored on the shelf at your local Home Depot, but that can’t be the main attraction. That’s mostly for the male viewers.

It’s probably also true that the female viewers (which I assume is most of the audience) probably enjoy some of the fantastic costumes, the crazy hairdoos, and the over the top jewelry, but that still can’t be what has kept the show going on this long.

Nope, I figured it out.

You see, Dancing with the Stars, is like a living, breathing Star magazine.

You’ve seen them at the supermarket. There is always the fantastic headline such as “Elvis has alien baby”, or “Angelina and Brad donate both kidneys to science”. Yeah, pure, unadulterated drivel….

But you see what’s appealing about these, right? These kind of stories knock the superstar off from their ivory tower. It brings them down to the readers level. After reading one of the stories the customer snickers and thinks “Ya see… they’re no better than me.”

And that’s exactly what Dancing with the Stars is all about. When the audience sees the star fumbling in practice as if they have three left feet, or storming out of the studio like a spoiled brat, they have the same reaction. “I told ya…They’re no better than me.”

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