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Ian Nelson
Works at Ian Nelson Systems Limited
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Ian Nelson

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Perhaps unsurprising given that I enjoy reading books on productivity and algorithms that this is my favourite book of 2016 so far.
Favourite chapters include those that use CPU interrupts a model for how to handle monthly paperwork, and multi-level caches as a paradigm for how to store objects that you need to locate.
Thoroughly enjoyable read, highly recommended.
http://amzn.to/1U2k4gz
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30 Jul 2015. Doing Terrible Things To Your Code. In 1992, I thought I was the best programmer in the world. In my defense, I had just graduated from college, this was pre-Internet, and I lived in Boulder, Colorado working in small business jobs where I was lucky to even hear about other ...
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Native Github support in Visual Studio 2015
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A little over a year ago I started something that has changed my life. I was tired of not being able to do the simplest of tasks like getting out of bed, or walking up a flight of stairs. I started eating healthier and got more active. I started playing this game called +Ingress which forced me to go out and walk all over the place. Through that game I have met so many awesome people and haven't had more fun playing a game and being social since, well... I dont know when. During this passed year I have lost 140lbs and have finally said good by to the 300s. Thanks everyone for all of your support! 
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Changing someone else's code: how it looks vs. how it feels
Source: http://redd.it/2r9by0
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That should be: "changing someone else's legacy code"
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When you are using TeamCity to build a project with multiple branches, it's desirable to have different build numbers depending on the branch. This post explains how to dynamically set the TC build number depending on the current branch.
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Yeah it's a great tool 
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Ian Nelson

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Sitrep: Semicolon York: xFac Field Art-12 Sept 2015
 
Agents:
Enlightened
     Anansigirl
     Kajun (field design & Intel)
     Sarunara
     Splashmonkey
     UncleMonkles
     Willus
Resistance
     MiniSumo
     PCI
     VikingScout
     Flygirl1 (Intel)
 
A bit of background:
We think York has one of the friendliest Ingress cross-faction communities around. The city area we were fielding contains about 400 portals.  York is also a popular tourist destination and on any given day there are many active visitors also vying for these portals along with the resident agents.  This density of portals, the number of links as well  as the unknown number of visiting agents poses a challenge when it comes to fielding within the city centre. 
 
The design:
When one of the York Resistance mentioned that it would be nice to do something for World Suicide Prevention Day (Thursday September 10th) we discovered Project Semicolon:
 
"A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but ...chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you."
 
A semi-colon themed field art op seemed apt, and designs were put together by Kajun and Flygirl1. Kajun’s design was chosen as we thought it was simpler to realise… only 70 odd links to clear, how hard could it be?!
 
With the design agreed VikingScout started work on link plans, key requirements, etc. Some sanity checking and adjusting later (it was late after all) and we had a plan! Target for completion was 10:00 on Saturday September 12th.
 
UncleMonkles piped up that we should probably look to raise some money for a charity on the front line of dealing with suicide prevention - the Samaritans seemed perfect, and this site was born: https://www.justgiving.com/YorkIngressSP (still taking donations - please give generously!)
 
Friday:
RES agents MiniSumo and VikingScout set out clearing the [Mostly ENL] blockers, aiming to use surgical strikes to take down only the portals needed to facilitate the art. At the same time ENL agent Splashmonkey was out farming keys, with a few portal smashes in for good measure too.
 
At the end of Friday the blocking links were down from ~70 to a more manageable 26.  Despite pleas on COMM for both sides not to create links in the area; some new links had appeared as well. But, feelings were good - especially after agent Anansigirl took a late night wander to take down 2 RES portals which were still blocking. However, ENL were still missing an agent and the RES part of the team had completely overlooked the need to collect any keys for the blue fields as they had been so busy clearing, then we checked the weather forecast:  not looking good!
 
Saturday:
The agents rose early, but the weather had taken a turn for the wet, very wet.  07:30 came and went - still no check-in from the missing ENL agent so we went to plan B.  A couple of new ENL blockers had gone in overnight, but thankfully agent UncleMonkles attended to them with gratuitous use of ADA on her way to work.  RES agents only had a handful of the keys needed, but all was still good…. Still raining!
 
Agents set-off and began clearing the final blockers and links started to be thrown when disaster struck - agent Sarunara's phone wouldn't power up, and the call for help went out in the Op hangout. A few suggestions were made, but unfortunately she had to bow out at this stage. Time to re-assess…. Splashmonkey (on bike) could cover most of town much quicker than anyone else to throw the remaining ENL links, so after more key calculations a new plan was organised.  Still raining; quite heavily now.  Some of the links were not sent according to plan, so more keys were needed - the target of 10:00 was under threat (at which time York gets busier and completing the field art was going to become much, much harder). Another shout out on the hangouts and UncleMonkles came to the rescue - she had keys to spare, and was in the city centre. 
 
Keys grabbed, rain started coming down even heavier and comms were starting to get interesting (writing on a touchscreen device with rain falling onto it mixed with random autocorrect suggestions made for some “interesting” messages) But the intel team managed to decipher it all and keep everything on track.  The time was now approximately 09:20 (link plan out of the window, working from memory). VikingScout had completed the comma, Willus had more or less completed the links for the southern corner of the frame, PCI had cleared almost all the remaining blocking links, but the rest was still missing. What’s that, the rain’s easing? Erm… no
 
Finally, the green framing fields are completed.  The target time had come and gone (it’s about 10:30 by now) but we didn’t care. One last link and it’s all done… a blocking link appears… VikingScout is out of bursters! PCI to the rescue… blocking link despatched and final link thrown and the image was completed.
 
Soaked to the skin, we checked that someone had the screen grab and headed home to dry out and put our phones in boxes of rice. All in all a good morning's work, not the most elegantly executed plan, but a proud set of agents on both sides.
 
Thanks to all York based and visiting players for their patience during the op and for not contesting the take down of some pretty well modded and coveted portals.
 
Dedicated to the memory of a fellow agent.
 
If you would like to make a donation to Samaritans please feel free to head to the JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/YorkIngressSP - Samaritans are a non-religious organisation who are staffed by volunteers who provide a person to call and talk to about anything that might be getting to you. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you feel, or what has happened. If you feel that things are getting to you, get in touch.
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Imagine finding you here ;-)
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One of the interesting challenges in creating an IDE is tracking changes to a language as it evolves. ReSharper 9.0 shipped with early support for C# 6.0, but the language wasn't done yet. Now that the design is stable, the recently released ReSharper 9.1 provides full support for the new ...
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lol
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This looks interesting - a series of radio programmes about programming languages, starting with Fortran. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pmpf5
The history of computing is dominated by the hardware; the race for speed and power has overshadowed how we've devised ways to instruct these machines to do useful tasks. In this 5 part series Aleks Krotoski tells the story of the languages we've used to talk to the machines. FORTRAN is the oldest of what are called high level languages and marked a revolution in computing. With its invention programmers no longer had to work at the level of the ...
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#TheSparkProject   #Ingress #Sitrep #BTTC

Operation: Back to the corners
Objective: Field Juliet-13 
Mind units: 73.9 million

Bringing together multiple agents from across the cell, the Enlightened of Juliet-13 successfully created a multi-layered, onioned field on Saturday, 14th March just after lunch time. There were 20 large fields, 14 onion layers, 1 bacon and sausage butty eaten on the side of a road, intel operators diving into their car to clear links (again), multiple miles driven, many happy smiles, days out enjoyed by all, many red hands from being so cold, picnics and hot brews had. 

This op was to bring new and old players together: people who had never been involved in fielding before. Most importantly, we wanted local people to make the fields at the anchor points instead of a random agent not local to the area turning up to make a link. The result was amazing: level 5 players sending op links, teams in Derby, Fylde and York making fields within the main field path, using the blocking links as baselines to create multi-layered beauties, encouraging the old and new players together.  The teams themselves felt autonomous where they could make it their op too and shape it to suit themselves and the op.  People felt included and not simply ordered around.

The plan was originally conceived by the three chaotic monkeys.  It was decided that someone new and up and coming was needed to promote growth in the community, a different perspective, new ways of thinking, someone dynamic and someone to take the teddy by the ears and show how it’s done, the true ENL way.

Enter MightyBaker. She handled it all like a pro and many thanks should be indeed passed to her for her 1st  big op which she ran on her own with a little support from the chaotic monkeys  as and when she asked. It was her show .. and what a result …

Agents involved in closing the fields appeared in regional leaderboards for 5 cells (Juliet 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15). We won’t list the individual MU scores per player as it was a collective effort  and would miss the point of what we were going for.

We had teams placed in key locations.  Some blue strongholds were identified and teams were assembled for the day ready to lightning strike and create blockers for the link paths.  As always, the diagonal was the hardest to get through but for many, this wasn’t hard. Even though our intel operator had to dash out to break a link, something that was required of him last year when Four corners was first pioneered covering an entire cell.  A random player unaware of the op appeared at Alton towers where the link path was going through, but agents on hand dealt with it as quickly as possible. The youngest clearance agent on the operation was just 6 years old . There are many individual and group heroes from the day who have their own personal stories of the day and events that transpired to make this the success it was . To all of you,Thank-you.

Please post little stories in the comments below,  if you wish,  of the action that happened around you . 



The anchors themselves were in beautiful locations across the region – 18th century Castle Howard in the north east, Twycross Zoo in the south-east, the medieval Powis Castle in Wales in the south west, and Furness Abbey near Barrow-in Furness/Hodbarrow lighthouse near Millom in the north west.  Some marvellous locations for cake!

"If you have never run a field operation before, other than in your own back yard, I was that person too. What do you say if someone suggests you do?  ....Hell Yeah!!!" - Agent @Mightybaker 

Agents :

Chazmark0
ST02CMC
Fourwinds
ST02AMP
MightyBaker
DBash
ATR0P0S
Doherty 
geoffenator
Agentzarniwoop
willus
incubus
BlueJez
UnkleAzazael
hagryd
TimeCaller
ladydiane
DejaMoo
lagomorpheus
snafupax
NeonSnail
Rhapsody2052
DrMonsterAlex
AgentTheBeast
ClumsyNinja
Slaybraham 
Kajun
Splashmonkey
LC4KTM
Day13
mynameisholmes
andolly
m1nime
teri77
godsbrother
eiviitsi
MrsKytro
Kytro
CodeCutter
Kenti
LakesGeek
FL0SSY
WrongwayUK
Darr3nL
DanzigRazor
Rdced
oneshot80
superlamb
Arniuk
armigedon
epsilon2
neelam
birdstar
idrisdraig25
HB0mb
Mezzo
CoconutHunter
Mapman1
Doherty
V8Dave
Garabit
2BWithU
KrisBBacon
PhoenixBurn
nhsa
Shadow2249
Wiggles101
Otter
CammerUK
Gangledore
Rossler
rbrt75
Pinkladyx
Grumpydoggy
eiviitsi
Enceladus
Nadofone 
Matuku
DanBennett
Beanoir
KittenFuzz
AgentJoeMc
JonnyJM
Skullmember 
dizz26
dadmin2
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Rik Crompton's profile photo
 
Wow.  That was some fine margins on the fields!
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Geek friends - my eldest son Ben fancies himself as the next StampyLongNose (don't ask) and wants to record videos of his MineCraft exploits.
In order to achieve this, he is badgering me for some screen recording software (for Windows 8). As a long-standing SnagIt user, I am aware of TechSmith's Camtasia Studio product, but don't fancy paying GBP179+VAT on this embryonic hobby. Can anybody suggest anything cheaper?
I have a license for Premiere Elements which could be used for post-production, so I guess we just need something to handle the initial screen capture.
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Rik Crompton's profile photoIan Nelson's profile photoMark Wilson's profile photo
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I think Jing is free and by the Camtasia people?
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Ian Nelson

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My current client have just cancelled the project that I was working on, and hence my contract.
If you're in need of an Agile .NET contractor in the York / Leeds area, then feel free to drop me a message or call on 07901 828483. My CV is online at http://blog.iannelson.systems/cv
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Ian Nelson's profile photoMatthew Freeman's profile photo
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That's great to hear! 
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Have him in circles
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