Blue screen fixed

Fixing the blue-screen issue on the office machine was relatively easy to resolve. NirSoft has a number of useful utilities including a Blue Screen Viewer. I was able to boot to safe mode so using that program allowed me to see that it was the internal modem causing the problem. Disabling that stops the blue screen of death, and the windows updates can carry on. In this case there were nearly 100 updates before the Vista Service Pack 1 update, then as many more updates  before the Vista Service Pack 2 update, and then more updates once again before we get to the end of the day. The updates and security fixes for Vista seem to be never-ending!

Windows XP future

With Windows XP support officially coming to an end at April 8 2014, there will be no more windows updates occurring for XP. I’ve been realising that the problem will come from the more recent version of Windows such as Vista and Windows 7. This is because when they have their own security updates, the bad guys will reverse-engineer those fixes and figure out how to exploit computer without those fixes. Because Windows XP uses the same underlying architecture as Vista and Windows 7, many of those exploits will be able to be applied to XP computers too, so we have a future of XP problems to look forward to, and businesses that won’t want to pay for upgrading their computer or operating system. But, with more and more troubles that will be occurring to XP this will eventually have to occur.

Last week when helping Felix to transfer data across his computers, we didn’t quite get to finish up with his antivirus programs, so a part of this morning was spent taking him through some better antivirus options than Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG, which in this case is Avast due to it’s high performance in recent security tests. Of the antivirus programs tested there, Avast is the best free one for providing ongoing protection.

Test driven development

The monthly Agile Professionals meeting tonight was a practical demonstration of TDD (test driven development). In this case it was about showing an example of tightly coupled code that was hard to manage, and showing how using TDD techniques allowed the creation of new code that achieves the same job but is much easier to work with, all while having a test suite to ensure that the interface carries on working properly.

Frances Ha

The movie group went to Alice in Videoland tonight to see Frances Ha which is a black & white coming of age story about two female best-friends. Frances has finished university but has something of an ADHD issue and while not being intellectually challenged would be squarely on the 100 IQ average. She is a relentless optimist trying to share apartments with people in Brooklyn, and with her dreams to be a dancer as an understudy while facing increasing competition from younger and better performers.

What I found to be most interesting is the constant theme of Frances calling herself undateable, which seems to be a self-fulfilling frame of mind. There were many opportunities (not just relationship-wise) for her throughout the movie but she kept on turning them down due to dreams of some other form of success being just around the corner. All in all though it was quite enjoyable, with some interesting things to say about abut the path to maturing.