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Comment It has its pros and cons... (Score 2) 318

I've been working from home as a salaried employee for the past five and a half years. Prior to that, I worked in an office and commuted for seven years. There are pros and cons to both.

Office: The daily commute, which sucked up two to three hours of my life every day. It was definitely the worst part of my day.
Home: No commute. I spend $20 on gas every two months for short jaunts to the store, etc. The mileage on my car is ridiculously low given its age. I tend to feel less irritable, though that may have other causes.

Office: Fixed work schedule. I consider this a pro.
Home: No fixed work schedule unless you're disciplined enough to establish one (I now am). Without discipline, there is a horrible tendency to either work way too much or work not nearly enough.

Office: Rigidly separates personal life from work life (pro).
Home: No such separation exists unless you are disciplined enough to establish one (I now am). Still, days can sometimes blur together.

Office: With open-floor offices (like the one I worked in), there was always some loud conversation or other disturbance going on nearby that ruined my ability to concentrate. People walked up to me at my desk every day to ask me questions rather than send an email. Lots of unproductive meetings.
Home: Just as many distractions, but different ones (dog barking, people coming to the door, etc). However, I evolved a schedule that shifts the majority of my work time into the night/early morning hours when everything is comparatively quiet. I have far more frequent and more lengthy periods of "zoned" concentration at home than I ever did at an office A secondary benefit here is that I can plan my work around my day rather than the other way around. If I want to take five hours off in the afternoon to go drink a couple of ciders on my patio in the sun, I can do that. Or watch a football game on TV, etc. As long as I put in my eight hours, it's all good. With regard to meetings, there really aren't any other than Skype chat. I have to drive into town once every two or three months for a company meeting, typically only if we have to meet new clients face to face.

Office: Clothing is mandatory.

Comment Are you kidding me? (Score 2) 110

Nothing so emphasizes that I am living in the 21st century as when I'm driving somewhere out in the city and speak "Take me home" into my phone and my phone vocally guides me there step by step. To me, in this day and age, Google Maps + Google Navigate are incredible apps that honestly fill me with awe every time I use them.

Comment Autopilot? (Score 1) 393

Aircraft operate in three dimensions and must take into account various weather conditions, other air traffic, etc. Aircraft have autopilot.

Trains operate for the most part in one dimension are less affected by weather conditions. Aside from maintenance, keeping them operating safely essentially involves controlling one variable: speed. Trains don't have autopilot?

I must be being greatly naive. I must be missing something. Certainly, when an aircraft crashes, it's big news and often fatal for everyone on board. Perhaps this tends to drive research into making planes safer more so than with trains. I mean, how hard could it be to have someone at the controls of a train who is paying attention and isn't at risk of falling asleep at the wheel?

Comment Re:Hardest thing (Score 1) 473

I agree. On large projects, my priorities lead me to write something that works first and then optimise it later if necessary. When there are other people on the project, some of them just can't help but rewrite this function or that function because they were bored and thought of a better way to implement it. This can happen regardless of where the project stands in relation to the shipping date. It's made even worse when some junior programmer does it and fails to actually tell anyone about their changes.

Comment Re:Debugging?? (Score 1) 473

While there are clear-cut steps to diagnosing and fixing bugs, the hard ones are the interrupt- or thread-related bugs that only happen when you are running the release version and that magically hide whenever you make a debug build or try to add code to log information. You're pretty much left with just intuition at that point.

Comment Not the first question that came to my mind... (Score 1) 782

By this point, you're probably asking: does it play games?

No, I am asking, "Does any of this media integration work outside the U.S.?"

Google, for example, likes to go on about the wonderful features of Google Now. Being in Canada, I find that many of those features don't work, like song identification, for example. And tracking my favourite sports teams? Google Now isn't even aware that the Canadian Football League exists.

So why would I expect Xbox One's TV listings to work?

Comment Joined it back when it started... (Score 2) 40

...and it was a lot of fun. I met many interesting, smart and funny people there. Then the BBC bought it and instigated this absurd censorship where anything deemed offensive by the BBC was removed, including words in non-English languages. That's right, if you posted something in a language other than English, your post got removed. The blatant censorship was so ham-fisted, I left the site a couple of weeks later and have never been back.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau