Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Backups

Recently I've been reading a lot about problems with HDs and people not making backups. In my 11 years as a proud computer owner, I've lost all my data twice. One would think that after such harsh lessons, I'd have learned to do my homework. Still, I don't do backups as frequently as I should.

Last week a developer was pulling his hair out because he was facing the loss of all the code (the source files that are later compiled to make the program executable) of his program due to a Hard Disk failure. Yesterday a friend of mine called in desperation because he formatted the wrong drive. Gladly he was able to recover most of his stuff.

Not wanting to act as a fool and ignore all these signals, I spent yesterday locating and doing a backup copy of all my data files. This is very boring, and unnecessary difficult. Where does ICQ stores all my data? And Outlook Express? Where are my favorites? There are dozens of folders spanned all around my disk that needed to be in the backup. I'm remebered of a clever trick from a computing magazine article around 93, where the author talks about creating a "1data" folder and storing all his data in subdirectories of this master personal data folder. Why "1data", you may ask? To apper first on the list of folders.

Microsoft made a first step in this direction with "My Documents" folder. It was a shy attempt, and too little too late. After 10 years, copying the entire HD is still the only way to guarantee all the data is saved propely, for most computer users. Every year a unimaginable amount or work is lost due to loss of data. I think it unfair to blame only the users for all this suffering. We, software developers and Microsoft are to blame too, for making it so difficult to do backups.

(0) comments

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Site and Application Features

I plan, most of times develop and implement each new feature for the application and the website. The application features are easier to plan, as I bind features and new versions, releasing them from time to time. But the website is kind of harder. When to make a new design? Or to rewrite sections of the site?

The Abassis website does not have a schedule of features. Sometimes I browse the website and think up new content. Or when I visit other websites of other applications, I find some feature that could fit well on our own site. How and when I implement these changes depend on what the feature needs and what our website supports. As an example, I liked the idea of a forum for our users. Our host provider had an easy setup of forum, so I was able to implement this feature within a few hours.

New features of the application must appear on the website, but they are two separated entities, an one of my responsabilities is to decide which features will be added to each one, and how much time to invest on each feature.


(0) comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Dog Food

There is a technical expression, "eating your own dog food", that means using your own product. I've been procrastinating for a long time to start using Abassis. Truth is, I've been using Excel for three years to manage my finances. The first year spreadsheet was pure trash. The second year's spreadsheed took control of where I did expend my money. And now, the third year spreadsheet is also capable of managing my monthly budget.

Althought I have to put up with some issues and annoying features of Excel (the main reason that led me to develop Abassis), entering everything into Abassis wasn't easy, so I kept procrastinating until now. Yesterday I've started inputing all transactions since January, 2003 into Abassis. Only yesterday I was able to identify three bugs (one show stopper) and think about small changes to facilitate the input of transaction data.

Soon I will launch version 1.1 with these fixes, and eating my own dog food on a daily basis will guarantee that Abassis will always ba an easy to use and solid program.

(0) comments

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Development Blog

Hi there. My name is Mauricio Macedo, I'm the main developer of Abassis. This weblog is a new communication channel with the users and other programmers, about the issues found and development status of our finance program. A little more about me, I'm a 27 years old developer from Brazil, and started out Abassis to take place of my current finance management solution, a three year old Excel spreadsheet. I have 9 years of experience in software development, using a diverse set of software tools and languages.

Abassis is developed using Delphi 3 and some third party components. The current target is to substitute all functions existent in my spreadsheet, and after that add new features according to user input and evaluation of other softwares.

I have a business partner, Liogo Tanaka, responsible for the administration of the company and marketing strategies.

SmartMedia Informatica is a six years old enterprise, which I use primaly for my IT consulting business. We've developed some projects involving software and web sites, most of them focused on our local market. Abassis is our second project in english.

(0) comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?