All Geek to Me

September 27, 2008

The Triangle Fallacy

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:00 am


Our  CIO frequently refers to the project management triangle. He will say that if he is given the functionality and resource/cost axis of the project, then the executives cannot choose the time-scale; because with two sides of the triangle given, the third is outside of the realm of specification. I do not accept  this model, for it fails to take into account a fourth variable; the triangle is wrong because it fails to consider quality. If you look at a project not as a triangle, but as a quadrangle you can see that management can impose time, resource/cost, and functionality upon developers and if quality is sacrificed all three constraints can be met. 


The triangle is a wonderful theory, like universal peace. It assumes that quality is an unchangeable absolute from which nothing can can be removed. In the real world quality is not a diamond  under a tin blade. Sacrificing quality to meet a plan is  short sighted, yet frequently used approach to resolving the problems of a project that is failing to meet its goals. I have seen software projects slip and then be brought back onto schedule by reducing the time alloted for testing. I have all to often seen resistance to code reviews justified by pointing at a schedule that is looming and the accompanying claim that there is not enough time. 


There is always enough time for quality. It is quicker and cheaper to correct a defect at the design stage than it is is in the coding stage. It is quicker and cheaper to correct a defect at the coding stage than it is in the testing stage. It is far cheaper and quicker to correct a defect at the testing stage than in production. 

Projects are not triangles. Projects are quadrangles. The Project Manager must start start with the line that represents the required quality;  then circumstances will dictate which of the other three variables are given. Sometimes a project must be delivered by a certain date with the team at ones disposal; thus constraining the functionality, or any one of the other available combinations. If the quality is not the first line in the sand it will be overlooked and projects will ignore it, compromising it to that short sighted triangle.


September 26, 2008


Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 11:04 pm

Back in June I posted an entry that implied that Denon’s $500 hi-fi cable was outrageously expensive. I am sorry that I could make such an unfounded claim. This is clearly a bargain compared to this power cable

September 23, 2008

Wii has arrived

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:12 am

After more than a quarter century of owning and playing computer games, I have my first console. My wife bought me a Wii as an early anniversary present, adding to an iPhone and an iPod in past years; I think she knows my carefully guarded secret – that I am geek.

Since I use my PC for playing RPG and MMO games, the Wii is an ideal complement – offering simple, quick to play, social games. On Saturday, I played several games against my wife and she won more than I did – though I trounced her at cow riding. On Sunday my mother-in-law and I went Wii bowling, I won two out of the three games.

We also acquired a second-hand, but barely used Wii fit, which will hopefully help us exercise. I have every intention of getting the Ski game that uses the board as I always loved the skiing and boarding games in the arcades.

So Long and Thanks for All the Cash

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 7:00 am

There was a time when death brought an end to the work of an author. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case. Douglas Adams died seven years ago, but work has started on the sixth book of the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy “Trilogy”. I thought that Mostly Harmless was an un-necessary addition to the set, so a further addition written not by Mr Adams seems as pointless as a sphere. Despite that knowledge, I feel sure that I shall feel compelled to read Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing… If too many people react that way, the chances of this sixth book being the final one are diminishingly small.

September 16, 2008


Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 9:45 pm

I was listening to Mark Kermode’s film review podcast as I walked to work on Monday. He mentioned a film called The Devils Backbone, whilst discussing Guillermo del Toro’s latest movie; Hellboy II:The Golden Army. I stopped in the car park, took my iPhone from its case and whilst the podcast continued to play I started iFlix and added the aforementioned DVD to my Netflix queue. No risk of forgetting the next time I am at my PC and working my Netflix queue. Yet more evidence that the iPhone is the perfect geek device.



September 15, 2008

The Wright Stuff

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 11:28 am

Richard Wright from Pink Floyd has passed away. Condolences to his family.

September 10, 2008

The End of the World

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 1:19 pm

For those concerned that the Large Hadron Collider might destroy the world, this is a useful site. Remember to check back often for updates.

September 9, 2008

Apple Genius

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 10:08 pm

One of the advantages of having a second computer is the freedom to try new software without the risk of messing up critical functions. Tonight I downloaded iTunes 8 to my iBook. The major new feature is Genius, which creates playlists based on a song selected from your library, which should give a more musically coherent experience than the old Party Shuffle mechanism.

iTunes 8

iTunes 8

I selected “Teenage Kicks” (aka The Greatest Pop Song ever written) and the playlist includes Jam: Going Underground, The Stranglers: No More Heroes. Iggy Pop:The Passenger. An experience akin to Pandora/, but from your own music collection.

The Genius also offers recommendations from the iTunes store based on the selected song. With No More Heroes selected, it shows a couple of Stranglers albums, a handful of Stranglers tracks that I don’t have in my library and a set of recommendations from bands like The Damned. This is not a feature that the weak willed should turn on.

There is also a new album list view and new visualizer patterns which I have yet to try. Starting up iTunes for the first time was slow as the Genius worked its magic across 14Gb of music. I shall wait a few days before installing it on my main PC which is used to sync to my iPhone.

September 7, 2008

Was it For This That Daddy Died

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 9:37 pm

Ilegirl posted a picture of a Dark Side tee-shirt recently. This is another contribution to the genre.

Dark Side (Of the Moon)

Dark Side (Of the Moon)

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