Work


The following is a PowerShell script that will delete SharePoint items in a specific list that match the passed-in query. I ended up writing this at work to delete a lot of items from a list (1 million, to be exact).

Code is after the jump.

(more…)

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3 years. It’s been 3 gorram years that I’ve been working as a full-timer at Microsoft. Time really flies when you’re… well, not really having fun, but whatever.

madness

This week at work is a bit hectic: all of my bugs have to be fixed by Friday/Monday. (It’s technically supposed to be Friday, but if I get them in my Monday then all’s good.) So that brings us to a bit of a dilemma. For the past half a year or so I haven’t been working on weekends. At all. Yeah, a huge achievement, considering that before that, for the past two years, I’ve been at work every single weekend.

So, here’s the dilemma: this weekend I’ve got scheduled a writing session, a fair amount of Lego Batman, the new Mass Effect expansion pack, the new Batman game, programming my ray tracer (of course). A packed weekend to be sure. But then, if I don’t get my bugs finished off by Friday, that means that all the plans go right out the window. Sigh.

More on the individual things I’ve got planned for the weekend:

  • An ex-coworker is organizing a writing session. For some of us it’s about planning for the next NaNoWriMo, for me it’s about just practicing writing short stories.
  • I’ve been playing Lego Batman for the past two weeks and it’s really a lot of fun, even for a silly kid’s game. And for a silly kid’s game, there are some interesting puzzles in the game. It’s taking a while to get everything there.
    lego-batman
  • A new expansion has been released for Mass Effect. It’s only 5$, so I don’t expect to spend a lot of time on it, but it’ll still be something new to experience. Can’t wait!
    mass_effect
  • The new Batman game, Arkham Asylum, is really quite amazing. I tried out the demo just an hour ago and I’m very impressed. From the looks of it, there’s a large amount of stealth – sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies and ambushing them while hanging upside down – as well as pure kick-ass fighting.
    batman-arkham-asylum
  • I’ve been doing quite a bit of coding on my ray tracer application, and this weekend should be no different: I’m trying to optimize the application so it’s viable to add interesting effects and construct complex scenes. ATM, it takes anywhere between 4 and 35 minutes to render a single pig (3D pig-shaped object consisting of 7,000 polygons). That’s way too damn slow, even considering that the rendering is occurring on a dinky old laptop and in managed code. So I’m implementing some accelerators, like k-d trees, lazy initialization and caching some frequently-accessed data.
    computer-ray-tracing

If only I could squeeze in a few other things, like dim sum, reading (haven’t been reading for a while now), getting mildly drunk, watching a movie, watching a movie while getting mildly drunk, etc. Ah, wishful thinking. Ooh, maybe Labor Day weekend. 🙂

Big Lebowski

win7_download

It’s so beautiful. Just 2 hours and I’ll have a legit copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (x64), all ready to install on my home computer.

I’m running an older version of Windows 7 on my work laptop and so far it’s been absolutely wonderful.

Monday was spent getting better (sinus, cold, eye infection) and catching up on comics that I missed over 2.5 weeks. As such, I stumbled onto this little puppy, XKCD’s take on college-exam-nightmare (had to resize the comic for it to fit; for the original, click on the image):

Students

This morning I woke up from this same damn nightmare! I was dreaming that I was taking some geography exam, a class that I obviously never attended and of course forgot about, and I was scared shitless that by failing this class I would not be able to graduate. Of course, not being able to graduate would mean that I would not be able to start my Microsoft job. That’s the second time in a week that I’ve woken up thinking I might be unemployed. Damn you XKCD!!

When it comes to my computer setup, I can be a bit anal. I like things in a particular order, so I prefer to have the first program on my taskbar to be Outlook, then Calendar, then whatever. That’s on my e-mail box. On my development box, I prefer to have a build command prompt first, then a deployment command prompt, then Visual Studio…

You see where I’m going with this. For a while, I was frustrated by Windows because it doesn’t natively offer any options of program placement on the taskbar. Then I discovered Taskbar Shuffle, a wonderful application that allows me to drag those applications around as much as I want.

Life was good.

Until our team required that all development be done on 64-bit machines. So, had to move to x64 for my dev work (though my e-mail was still x86). And here I hit a snag. Taskbar Shuffle doesn’t work on x64. Nevermind the reasons, as (IMO) it’s just software, not drivers or anything (and even that is idiotic…) The app just wouldn’t work. So I was once again frustrated.

And then, just ten minutes ago, I stumbled onto yet another gold-mine: Taskix. Perhaps not as pretty as Taskbar Shuffle, it still has the upper hand: it works with 64-bit OS’s. Joy to the world. It doesn’t need to be installed, just unpack the zip and run the exe file.

 

PS: It is indeed sad that the only thing I could come up with to blog about in these past few weeks is a tiny nerd application, seeing how there are a number of more interesting things in my life, like my sister living in Japan.

I was just catching up on some e-mails I got from an Atheist mailing list I am subscribed to at work and came across quite a bit of interesting material. I also stumbled onto some curious quotables:

[On the subject of displaying atheist symbols at work and how this can cause friction.]
What it comes down to, as I see it, is… if you’ve argued passionately with someone about the nature of the universe, you’ve learned that they believe in an inconsistent mythology and they’ve learned that you’re forever damned to hell – how do you go back to bug triage from that?

I find that pretty hilarious. It’s also true, but that’s not the main reason I like it.
But because of something like this I haven’t “come out” as an atheist to everyone I work with. Certainly other like-minded individuals are aware (we know who we are and when it’s “safe” to bring up specific topics), and I’ve mentioned my views to a coworker who is largely apathetic to… well, anything. But I don’t bother to announce my convictions to people who have shown themselves to be religious in one way or another.

It’s obvious what some people believe in (many religious people let it out by their clothing, their religious jewels, their, at the same time, wearing a beard, having a religious book in their office and disappearing several times a day at precisely the same time every day, etc). Do you let this interfere with your ability to work with them? I don’t, and I hope not many people do, so “coming out” with our beliefs should be fine, I don’t think we should hide who we are or what we think (subtly, though; really boasting it out couldn’t do us any good). I’m just saying that we better leave it at that and not start trying to convert each other or debate religion at work, as this clearly won’t be beneficial for Microsoft (thus our careers ).

And that’s just more on the previous subject.

I find that books on atheism are largely boring to me, usually going over territory that I’m already familiar with.

This is what I felt about reading “The God Delusion”: I’ve heard this stuff before, tell me something different. Oh, it’s a good book, just not always interesting.

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