Since last tuesday, I’ve had quite a long week since Nick has gotten back from overseas, so its been a bit of catching up, and doing as we used to do (stuffing our faces with junk food – I haven’t had any junk food since the new year).

On the weekend I “helped” my cousin move furniture. It was more later in the day to help unload the truck since I came home on Saturday morning to see that there were a few viruses and malware installed. Can’t quite go into the details at the moment since I’m on the train but the most useful tools ended up being the Free Extended Task Manager, which isn’t quite a virus/malware removal tool, but it ties in applications to their processes which is really handy to find out what is running on the machine if you aren’t sure. Also, it graphs hard drive usage and shows you the percentage of the hard disk I/O usage (for those times when a virus is running amuck writing over every file on your hard drive.
The main program was by MalwareBytes. It is free, although there is a pay version, but the free version will scan and remove most instances of malware.

Uni has been alright. I’m starting to feel like the older guy at uni, just as how when I was in my first two years of uni, there were always the people in the tutorials who were a bit older, dressed for work, and had a bit of experience under their belt. Project Management has been quite a good subject – it mainly reflects and places a structure on how we need to manage projects properly. It does tie itself back heavily to experience as the lecturer says “I’m not always right” depending upon the context of which the project is managed.

Finance reminds me very much of the days of Maths and Statistics I used to go through. The most interesting thing at the moment is the use of excel. I’m finding that quite a few people still haven’t been able to grasp the idea of formulas and filling. I guess there’s always a challenge, and I’m working towards streamlining all the projects since the tutor tells me to just “add” the records in which I disagree with since it adds so much room for human error.

Just yesterday I ended up racking my brain over a process we had at work which inserts over 10000 lines into Sybase. It was taking about 20 minutes, and there were instances where the lines would double and the time would double as well. The calling program would generate the 10000 lines and would create the insert statements and jam them into the database. What ended up happening, which took about 5 minutes of programming time, was that we created a bcp file. With Sybase, bcpin and bcpout and great tools to use to export all the contents of the table – it doesn’t quite grab the structure of the table, but its a good quick step before modifying any data in the database. So we generated the file in the correct format and ran bcpin against that file and the whole process took about a minute. Downsides to this process could come back to not having had the indexes created. It also is a bit risky unless you know, under program control, the keys and be able to make sure of the integrity of the data.

Currently sitting on the train writing this since I left my books at work to read. It feels like the uni work is starting to pile on. 4 and a bit weeks till I’m off to LA! That does also mean that within the next 4 weeks, I’ve got 2 assignments and a bunch of labs to get done, let alone work.

Written by Milton Lai

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