Older blog entries for matman (starting at number 2)

I'm at school. They're teaching MS Active Directory stuff. I'm just thinking, "poor samba team." It must be disappointing for the developers that they havn't even got the NT PDC stuff done, and it'sobsolete now because lots of people are going to be moving to the AD stuff. Somehow, I think that it wouldbe more worthwhile to design some filesharing thing from scratch to compete with Windows based networking. Oh well.

More rewriting of the driving school testing program was done this weekend. I should have the main 'exam' object done soon.

The program is to be run via a web page. There's 1 class/object called Exam, which keeps the state of the exam (answers, questions, notes, state, time left, etc). It has some functions for beginning the exam, for scoring, for answering a question, for pulling various data out of a database, etc.

The design issues which the rewrite are intended to clarify are mainly error handling, and increasing ease of modification. It was my first project written in an OO fassion. Instead of using seperate files/pages (.php files) for each task/command, I wrote a 'conductor' object to take commands from the url, and do what needs to be done for each command. This sorta made the program ugly, hard to keep track of. Also, I have a template object for building a page. If there was an error in a called function, I was calling the renderError function in the page template instead of just returning an error and letting the client function deal with it. So this time, I'm writing each 'command' on it's own page and errors are returned as -1 by functions. Also, I'm passing an errorCode variable in reference to functions to let them return detailed error info. Hopefully this should improve things.

If anyone can tell me better ways of doing this stuff, feel free to tell me :) (johnston@megaepic.com)

But, yah. Not much else going on.

My friend, Mike, until recently a vegetarian, is a carnavore.

This is the meat consumption weekend. My girlfriend, who is a vegitarian, has left to visit her family. It's his chance to eat some meat, without her bugging him - not that she really would, but it's more fun to bug her.

Our plan is to make a roast chicken. We were going to make a roast chicken stuffed with a roast beef - which we may still, however we fear that the beef and the chicken won't jive flavor wise, and thus we may cook them seperatly. I think that I've come up with a rather innovative approach to chicken cooking. It results in a chicken with crispier skin, and tastier 'close to skin' meat. How, you ask? Well, I'm going to slit the skin of the chicken open along the spine, and seperate the skin from the body; this results in an envelope sort of. Then, a maranade/sauce is drizzled into the cavity.

The sauce was made by mixing sage, rosmary, paprica, curry powder, chilli powder, olive oil, salt, water, soya sauce, and black pepper and blended up into a paste. Then, seperating the liquid from solid herb. I end up with a semi-dry rub, and a sauce. But, I digress.

Then you stuff a bunch of stuffing (your standard onion, celery, sage, rosemary, butter and bread mixture) into the skin-flesh envelope. The herb rub is rubbed onto the outside of the chicken.

Tonite, we made a prototype out of a quarter chicken. It worked quite well actually.

Mike ate most of it... including the tendons, grizzle, and bone marrow.

Earlier meat consumption of the night included roast beef in a caribbean style tomato sauce, a stir fry with some beef in it, and 2 litres of jello (which contains gelatin). This reminds me of the time that we made a 4.5lb hamburger - the prophecy burger.

More on the topic of software development - hehe. I added some date parsing stuff to the course schedule program for the school today. It was pretty straight forward. Last night I rewrote a big method in my drivers training testing engine. It's the one that does the scoring of exams... I think that it's easier to read and maintain now; hopefully more stable too. I want to learn some proper techniques for enumerating possibilities when designing software - especially error handling stuff. Also, I'd be interested in learning how to handle errors in the most graceful manner. I imagine that it depends somewhat on the type of software you're writing.

It doesn't seem as if advogato provides a mechanism for responce/threaded discussion, especially within diary entries. Too bad.

My email is johnston@DONTSPAMMEPLEASEmegaepic.com (obviously remove the DONTSPAMMEPLEASE)

Well, thats it for this entry. Goodnight :)

First post ;) Funny, I've never done that before.

I'll introduce myself. I'm Mat, a 19 year old student in London Ontario. I was silly, and didn't work too hard in high school - too busy fiddling with other things. So, instead of being enrolled in university, I just use it's library. At the moment I'm enrolled in an MCSE course, because I know that if I don't have someone teach it to me, I wont learn windows 2000 very quickly, as I don't use MS operating systems anymore if I can help it.

The course is alright, but for the first month I found that I knew WAY more than the teacher. Now we're on to topics that she knows more about, which is less annoying. Fortunatly, I got money back for the first month, as it was pretty useless.

I'm actually doing the company's website. That's one of the things that I do - web sites. I think that I do them pretty well. Another project that I'm working on is a web based testing engine for a driving school. I'm focusing on backend functionality now, and cleaning my code up where I can. Infact, I'm rewriting a big piece of code that I had just finished - it didn't give me good vibes, so I'm cleaning it up. You know, defining object interfaces and data structures before coding anything, using more sane error handling, more error checking, general tidying.

I do most of my programming in PHP so far; I had gotten pretty good at TCL in the past though. I'm dabbling in C and Eiffel lately as well; Eiffel seems pretty neat, and it has been highly recommended to me. I hope that I can pick it up sometime soon.

I have a general direction in which I want my career to go. Network security. I'm trying to pick up a wide variety of knowledge and understanding so that I can comprehend how everything works togeather a little more fully.

I've got a big wad of cash from my parents to live off of for a few months, but I'll have to be getting a job soon. I hope that I'll be able to get one related to my interests that jives with my schedule.

Anyway, now you know a bit about me. Thanks for reading. :)

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