Interface THIS

Well, some of you may already know, but just in case you don't, my Software Engineering Project is with a local casino/country club.  they're really big on having their stuff look just so.  fine, no problem.  The rub is that after we designed this interface (which we hated too, so no dramas) they said tehyd go and hire someone to redesign.  well, they eventually did. a fortnight or so ago.

on Monday, I called the designer with the CCT HR Dept's (Commissioner of our project) sayso, to find out what was going on with the designs etc.  he emailed some pictures through, and there are issues.

I think most of these stem from the fact that he hasn't spoken to anyone initially connected to the project.  Not to HR, not to us, the dev team.  he's spoken to Marketing, who have spoken to HR, who have spoken to us.and we're not sure how much he spoke with marketing.  There are a couple though, which any designer should see as an issue:

  1. White text on fluoro lime button.  completely unreadable. the white on powder blue button is almost as bad.
  2. the "general level" content pane draws attention away from the "detailed" content pane.
  3. 2 is because the "general level" content pane is not only visible when the detailed content pane is, but also the fact that the detailed content pane takes up approx 1/6 of the screen, compared to the "general level" one at almost 1/3
  4. 3 results in the text in the detailed pane being fairly small, causing issues for the up to 60/70 year olds that are supposed to be able to access the system (I can't remember the age offhand) simply not being able to read the information.
  5. the "Create Booking" screen is almost nice, except for the colour he chose to use, I know it's the colour in their logo, their logo looks good, but that's because their logo is -small-.khaki-gold in large quantities looks, well, crappy

Now, there are a couple things which should be clarified (read: fixed) in a meeting tomorrow between HR, Myself, Designer, and Marketing which we only decided we should have at about 3:30 this arvo.  The HR person I talk to identified these operational issues as well, which is a relief.

  1. This is a training booking package.  not (currently) a recruitment tool, and although it wouldn't be hard to adapt it and add that module in, it shouldn't have a link to "positions vacant" just yet.
  2. The organisational structure of the site is supposed to be that courses are linked via jobs.  ie, "What job do you want? Oh, you need to do Course X,Y,and Z"  he's separated courses and jobs into separate tabs on his "general content" pane. basically destroying almost all linkage between job and course, (he does provide a link to courses via the detailed pane though) 

I'll show you some pictures once I know for sure that these ones aren't going to be used in the real deal.  We like the overall look+Feel, but there are just a couple of things that need fixing. Some of those are just colours (actually, they're all just colours… these are photoshopped guis) but seeing as these pics are basically our style-guide, everyone needs to be happy with them.

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My Insane Computer Setup.

This is my computer Desk, I designed it, and hubby built it.   My Computers are all named after a type of quartz.  from top left to bottom right: Smokey, My Main computer; Amethyst, My previous system, and Rose, my glorious iMac.  There's also my ASUS PDA in the piccy which is currently unnamed.  I have a laptop: Citrine.  I don't sip from the cups of coffee, wine, and other at the same time, the not-wine ones are artefacts from earlier in the day.  Every now and then, I think about redesigning the desk, and then think "naaah". I know, it's a nuts setup, but I hugely recommend a dual monitor setup to anyone who a: does lots of computer stuff or b: has the money to do whatever.  It's a huge productivity boost, I think, subjectively.  I tend to have email open on one, and work on code on the other, or have code open on the widescreen, and the page that it produces on the standard.  There's something incredible about being able to see the code and the result at the same time.

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after this, I saw him today in the supermarket car park, and we spoke, and he was nice. and I HATED it.  I don't know, how dare he have a semidecent life after he did that shit to me.  How dare he be mature and nice, in this conversation in my head, he was whingy and whiney, and his life was crap.  How dare he make me feel bad for him having low blood pressure and a heart attack.  This is all quite ironic given my previous post on Relationships, and how I was saying you have to let go and not require people to take blame.  I'm the first to admit that that is really, really hard to do, but the fact that I posted it only the other day, and now I can't follow my own advice really pisses me off.

The worst thing?  this has made me realise that I'm not as over the experience he put me through as I thought I was.  That I'm still incredibly angry about all the stuff that happened after the breakup.  And that as things currently stand, I have no idea where to go/what to do from here.

I was fine until he turned up, and now, I'm all confused. Why didn't the heart attack kill him and make my life easier? and I'm angry at myself for asking that question, for wishing that on anybody, even him.  I called Don, and his response: "Just get over it. Deal with it. Do something about it NOW" wasn't overly helpful.

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QotD: First Crush

How old were you when you had your very first boyfriend/girlfriend? Do you still know them now? 
Submitted by KIM

I was 18, he was 44. I don't know him any more, and I'm proud not to.  See Courage under fire, he would be the bastard I mentioned.  when we broke up, I was left with $400+ of power bill to pay on my student income.  He taught me some valuable lessons, which I've never had to put into practise, thank God. In a new (<2yr) relationship, NEVER get things put on solely in your name.  This includes power and phone services.  I was also left with a couple of hundred dollars of phone bills to pay from this experience.  Be on guard for people who want to use you.

I don't know what else to say on this, but it doesn't feel like I've written enough yet.

um… ah well.

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Vintage QotD: Here Comes The Bride

What was the last wedding you went to?  Were you in the wedding?

I believe that the last wedding I went to was mine…
And my memory kicks in here, and says "Nope, it was Merv+Annie, you went with C and you were both scarred for life by Jo."
I wasn't in it, I was invited to the reception, and it was a beautiful ceremony

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QotD: My Musical Influence

Which friend or acquaintance most influenced your taste in music? 
Submitted by Rev Stan.

That would have to be Ben. Evanescence, Ani DiFranco, Lamb, the list goes on. All these people and more he introduced me to, and I would never have listened to them on my own.  finally, I've been able to do the return favour, and showed him the wonder of McFly

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People and relationships

I was at a group the other day, and one member talked about an issue she was having with her mother and brother.
this girl is gay, her brother is gay, and her mother is having difficulty accepting it.  That seems fine. The issue she was in fact talking about was between brother and mother, and the fact that the mother was having trouble accepting the brother as gay.

"Is that your issue?  Does it need to be your issue?"
"How is it your issue?"
"If she can't accept my brother, how can she accept me?"

This girl is the one who came out first. 
So my response was "If she doesn't accept you, how can she accept your brother?"

I don't think she got it. I was left with a blank look. I explained:
"Your mother has had a year or more to get used to the idea that you're gay, she's had a month to deal with the fact that your brother is.  Why should she find it easier to accept that her son is gay than that her daughter is gay?  Surely she would come to accept you first, and then your brother." (In reality, I know that once the penny drops for one person, it's usually for all of them at the same time)

My point through all of this, which has been a point that I've made to her many times over, is that she would probably do better to be taking care of her own relationships with her mother and brother, and let them worry about theirs themselves.  Why am I involved? She keeps asking for advice.

In another conversation "My mum wants me to reconcile with my sister, but if my sister wants reconciliation, she can come reconcile with me"

I was flabbergasted.  Then my brain kicked into action:

"Reconciliation is a two-party process, and it only works when both parties are willing"
"I'm willing, but she has to make the first move"
"Both parties need to be equally willing, or it will fail."
"I'm willing to make it work, but she has to come to me and accept some blame"
"If you're asking her to extend further than you're willing to extend yourself, then are you really equally willing?"
"I think so?"
"You're asking her to take a risk you're unwilling to take. You need her to be more willing than you are to start the reconciliation process.  For reconciliation to work, you need to make a step. If you want it, if you think it needs to happen, then make a step."
"But she won't accept responsibility for what she did, I mean, I know I'm partly responsible too, but she won't accept any responsibility, even though she's the one that pushed me to say stuff and do stuff"

I gave up on the direct approach, and later in the evening, the group was talking about emotional healing.

I said:
"To be free, to be unhindered, we need to be able to let go of not only the good things, which are sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but also the bad things, the painful things, because it's only when we hold onto them, and let them colour the way we see the world, that they've really hurt us in a meaningful way."
Some discussion ensued
"And beyond that, we need to be able to let go of these things without needing someone to take responsibility for the hurt, pain, sorrow, suffering, anger, or negativity that they have caused us, because sometimes, you'll never ever get them to say it."
"Yeah, Some people just won't accept any part of a wrongdoing" (this wasn't the girl in the first section here)
"But beyond that, some people will never have the opportunity to take responsibility, or shoulder blame. There are people you'll never see again, I'm sure, who have hurt you in some way or another, and they may not even know they've hurt you, they might not care, or they might have no way to find you to tell you that they acknowledge and apologise for the pain they've caused, so you need to be able to let go, without needing them to say 'sorry'"

I know. This stuff is incredibly hard to put into practice, but if you can do it, even giving it a shot, tends to improve your day-to-day emotional attitude.

Those are small snippets of bigger conversations, but I think they help get across my take on some relationship stuff.

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QotD: [this is home]

Where do you consider home?  Is it the place you grew up; the place you're currently living?  Why is it home?
Submitted by uncagedbird

it's the place I grew up, the place I currently live, -and- it's the place I use as a base-of-operations here in town, it's also in my car.

I consider them all my home simultaneously, in a weird way.

my base-of-ops is home, it's a place where I can sit down and do whatever I want (within reason) without really needing to ask permission.  It's assumed that if I want something there, I'll acquire it, so the offer is only made if they're getting the same thing (ie coffee). 

The place I live is home.  It's where I go at the end of uni, it's where hubby and I live together, it's a place I had a hand in designing and building.

The place I grew up from age 12 is home, my parents are there, it is indeed where I grew up, and there is a part of me anchored there quite possibly for eternity.

My car is home, and that sounds really strange, even as I type it. But it's true. My car plays my music and is adorned by my stuff, and people may not like what I put in there at times, but it's -my- space.  Enter at your own risk.  I spend 10 hours a week or more in there, so I need it to be home.

Home isn't necessarily one geographic location.  Home are the places that are extensions of yourself in one way or another. They are the places that you find sanctuary in, and they are the places where you belong. Home isn't just a building.  Home isn't an area defined by state boundaries. Home is where you are you, and that's all there is, you don't need to wear masks at home, you don't need to put on a front.  Home is an extension of yourself that is too big to cover up and hide.

Can you be at home in someone else's house? You bet.  Is it as easy as the oft-used statement "Make yourself at home" implies? nowhere near.

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Geek Retail Therapy…

Well, courtesy of the System Administrators Day website I went and looked at

and now I've gone and bought stuff… about $100 of stuff… ah well, it was tax refund money!

This one's really sneaky.I love it!

just ornery and wrong and fantastic


it's Pi defined by Pi… I can't help that I'm mathish enough to find this eerily alluring

Finally, it's the best SQL query ever written. short and simple.

Yes, I know, I am teh geekiness, or some such crap.  I own my geekism, I think these shirts are awesome.  "I refuse to be suppressed by society's conformist view" (Danielle, The Uni Years)  The worst part about these shirts is that probably 1/3 of their overall cost is in postage. (being from the US of A)  I've linked to the stuff in case you actually want to know more about it, or make similar geeky purchases, or both.

this is all Oli's fault, how dare she show me stuff. (thankyou Oli)

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QotD: Stress Case

People do many different things to cope with stress, loss, and "bumps in the road". How do you handle stress and hard times? 
Submitted by RedlyGal

It depends, Stress tends to go hand in hand with eating of (usually sweet) yummy things, (but sometimes nice cheese+Bikkies)

Stress also tends to result in me playing computer games, almost invariably eating into the time I'm supposed to be doing the thing I'm stressing about, which stresses me out more… it's a vicious cycle

loss… that's a tough one… I think I usually just cry and/or talk about it.  I try to process feelings as they come in, although some people will tell you that I'm not very good at that at times… but with loss, I'm usually not bad.

hard times… Food is a staple.  That's also when I tend to go to the beach, (there's one right near me) I walk, and listen to the water, and think, and listen, and walk. It's peaceful.

bumps in the road, probably all of the above, barring the loss stuff.

for all of them, I'll sing.  I have a decent voice, and a good range, so when the chips are down, I tend to listen and sing along to Evanescence, coupled with some McFly for balance.  and if it's stress, then I listen to some Lamb and some Ani (some of her songs are just fun).  If I have anger issues, it's Ani DiFranco or Evanescence.  My mood always influences my listening decisions. and my listening decisions influence my moods

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