Returning To Work?

Rusted Farm MachineryA while ago now I mentioned here on this blog that I was quitting my 9–5 job. Even before leaving the job I started questioning the decision

Having been working for myself for 18 months I still haven’t achieved anywhere near as much as I had hoped. Now don’t get me wrong I have done a few things in that time that I am very pleased with. The problem is that I just haven’t found nearly as much time as I had wanted to, to spend on the personal projects I had envisaged.

Over that time I have had some good months and some not so good months…

Then I was offered some extra work for my old company but this came with some extra restrictions. This got me thinking as to whether I would just be better off returning to full time employment. Am I really cut out to be my own boss?

Time to reflect on my original decision and see if my feelings have changed in any way…
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Bridge Camera vs DSLR

PowerShot SX40 HS Lens ExtendedI was recently asked what I thought about bridge cameras. To be honest I hadn’t really heard much about them before but when shown what they could do I was amazed.

A few days later I was packing my camera backpack for a day out down to Snowdrop Valley. Having not been there before I wasn’t sure about which lenses I might need so I took all three of the lenses I currently own, a wide-angle zoom, a prime lens and a telephoto zoom. (You can see more details of the lenses I use on the new Gadgets page I have set up listing all my gear)

I did in fact use all three lenses but they make the bag quite heavy and the constant switching of lenses is really starting to bug me. Sometimes I end up taking all three lenses and only using one of them…

As they were fresh in my mind this got me thinking about bridge cameras. Should I replace my dated DSLR with a bridge camera?
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The World Is Still Spinning

Inquisitive BirdSomehow I completely forgot to post something last Friday. I haven’t missed a week since I started nearly 2 years ago so I started to feel that I had really let myself down…

But guess what, nothing happened. The world is still spinning even though I missed my, self imposed, weekly posting schedule…

I didn’t even notice until about Tuesday. I just happened to go to my blog to reference something I wrote a while ago. Then I noticed that the latest post was written 10 days ago. Oops…

So is this a big deal or not?
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Application Version Numbering

Every program or app has some kind of version number. With Mac OS X, the X is a Roman numeral for version 10. OS X Lion relates to version 10.7 and the latest release, at the time of writing, is 10.7.1.

OK so what exactly do all these numbers mean and what is the best way to use these numbers when creating your own applications?

I am kicking off a new ‘Programming’ category today. As this is a big part of what I do for a living I thought I should use this opportunity to impart some my knowledge and/or views. To start here is an explanation of how I view version numbers and my recommendation of how to decide which numbers to use.
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Taking Back Control

Look Out!This whole working for yourself thing is a huge learning curve. I really pushed myself with lots of late nights to reach my recent deadlines. One night I was up till 5:30 in the morning getting ready to deliver a new program to someone the following morning.

So two out of the three projects were delivered pretty much on time. I released the Ski Pad iPhone app last week and it seems to have gone down well. The second project I was working on was a desktop program, developed in Delphi, to track jobs and print tickets for a skip hire company.

The other project… Well every time this project gets discussed there seems to be more issues that add to the workload…
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The Importance Of Solid Deadlines

Rugged TreeI have overextended myself a bit in recent weeks. I had three big projects that are all due to come to a head at pretty much the same time.

My mistake was that for two of these projects I left the target date pretty much open. This seemed like a good idea at the time because then I could work on them as and when I had the chance. As with all things that aren’t extremely urgent I didn’t find as much time as I would have liked.

Time passed and as there was no deadline I had no urgency. This is not a good situation to be in.

I should have known better than this as I have experienced it over and over again when working for other people. Jobs are not important until someone starts to push for them. Then you start getting questioned about what you have been doing and why it isn’t ready yet…

Once you get to this stage then all of a sudden the job becomes very urgent if you want to keep the customer happy.
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