Software - not for the conceited26 Feb 2020Software - not for the conceited It takes a certain kind of person to be a good software engineer / programmer / web designer / tester.Real programmers admit their mistakes, take responsibility for their actions, know that failure isn't a destructive word, but a constructive one.I don't think I was born like that, and to be honest, it has been a wrench to behave in that way.Back in the 90s, I was with a team of very bright software engineers in Denmark - we all worked on the first GSM mobile phones (2G)! Each one of us had a speciality - an area that we knew inside out. If anyone needed to know anything about our subject, they would ask us first. We'd been through the specification documents hundreds of times with a fine tooth-comb; we knew everything there was to know in our small area.One day in the Danish office, where we were all fervently tap-tap-tapping into our bulky desktop computers - with their power-hungry, glowing, buzzing CRT monitors - I realised that something was wrong.Everybody except me was working on a mountain of bug reports.No-one had reported any bugs to me. My software was working. My software was well-written. I felt rather smug, but embarrassed at the same time. Why was everyone else battling to fix bugs, and I had no reported bugs?Dear reader, let me take you back 5 paragraphs. Honesty. The reason I had no bugs was that my software didn't report them. Everyone else had written extensive error-handling code, so that any deviation from the expected would be logged and then used to alert the engineer.Not me. I hadn't foreseen any problems. I simply wrote nice clean code, without too many error-testing conditions. The result? My software took the longest to debug, out of it all. I had to re-write swathes of code, taking into account possible error conditions. Having updated my code, we then saw it spewing out dozens of errors, just like everyone else's code. I felt stupid, and embarrassed, but I also felt like a proper part of the team - at last. I was as vulnerable, absent-minded and human as anyone else on the team.Hurrah for honesty. If you like to cover your tracks, girls and boys and others, software isn't for you.Mac---Image courtesy of http://www.cartoon-clipart.com
Love Music?15 Feb 2020Love Music? Yes, Valentine's Day is now over, and the world is still basically the same as before.It doesn't matter if you're in a relationship, or not. It doesn't matter if you are living this life alone, or with someone else. The point about live music is that you can have a relationship with the actual live music itself: the audience, the band members, the tunes, the atmosphere, the venue, the whole vibe...To those of you who feel you're alone, or that you're missing out... Live Music is your true best friend, because it will lift you up, make you forget, never judge you, and it will re-energise your soul... from someone whose saviour has been music, I wish you all happiness with your favourite bands, songs, and places to listen. For ever!With love,Mac
19,000 gigs to enjoy7 Feb 202019,000 gigs to enjoy In 2020 Lemonrock seemed like just another web site, but it wasn't /It was different in many ways, as so were those that did the posting** /In most gig guides the average number of current gigs was 14*** /In 2020 on Lemonrock it was 19* /In-in-in 2020 on Lemonrock it was 19* /Ni-ni-ni 19, 19, ni-19 19 /19, 19, 19, 19 /* (thousand)** Thanks, folks - so far, you have posted a massive 19,000 gigs on Lemonrock this year... gigs of all kinds, gigs for all kinds of people, in all kinds of places...*** I made this bit upWith apologies, and thanks, to Paul HardcastleM-m-m MacL-Lemonrock E-e-editorP.S. 19,000 is the number of *current* gigs listed. In 2019, Lemonrock listed over 37,000 live music gigs throughout the year, and we expect this to rise in 2020!
Live Music - Still Something Special10 Jan 2020Live Music - Still Something Special Sometimes, I wonder what will become of live music.Live bands are in competition with new types of entertainment: cheap streaming music, free podcasts, as well as the glitzy world of TV.But I can't see an end to live music, because there is nothing like it.This positive thought was recently reinforced when I was talking to a friend about the cinema. He likes to go and watch a movie for two reasons: 1) it makes him concentrate for a whole 2 hours without being glued to his mobile phone, and 2) he feels a connection with others in the audience. I, too, know what this is like, and it is powerful, being in a huge darkened room with hundreds of strangers who are all in the same experience bubble as you; we can *feel* other people reacting to the emotive scenes on the screen, just like we do. You can see people's body reactions out of the corner of your eye, and you connect.It's the same with live music. You don't feel the same connection when watching a DVD or a Netflix concert online.There is something special - something unique - about being amongst the very people who are creating the art you're consuming and enjoying.As long as humans need to feel part of something, there will always be a big welcome mat for Live Music. And I hope that will be for a long, long time.Welcome, Mat.(Pic: Mat the dog)
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