Tales from a Trading Desk

Noise from an Investment Bank

April 2005 - Posts

.NET and GridServer
I attended another new client meeting with our CTO yesterday.  The meeting was very interesting, specifically because it touch on DataSynapse (a company and product that I have crossed paths with numerous times).  Its nice to see DataSynapse's  GridServer engine supports .NET.

It's interesting to see that DataSynapse's GRIDesign Lifecycle is patent-pending.  I believe somebody in our organisation proposed a similar concept back in the late 90's - ah well, water under the bridge.  I wonder how effective the GRIDesign process is?

Nice review of Mac OS X - Tiger and here.
Posted: Apr 29 2005, 11:33 AM by mdavey | with no comments
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MSN Messenger server farm
One of the more interesting entries from Paul's WinHEC 2005 blog: "The MSN Messenger server farm handles over 70 million concurrent sessions every single day. Until recently, they were using 250 32-bit servers to manage that load. When they switched to Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition running on x64 hardware, they reduced the size of the farm to just 25 servers"
We've finally migrated to Jira for our defect/enhancement tracking. Jira appears to be quite populate these days - I gather ThoughtWorks uses it quite a bit on projects as well.
Posted: Apr 27 2005, 07:17 AM by mdavey | with 3 comment(s)
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Agile Projects

Here are some lessons learnt from a real Agile project - and if you want a quick recap on how to plan an Agile project read this.  Over on Wayne's blog, there is the story completion problem - a tutorial on user stories. A number of Agile presentations can be found here.

Ideally, stories should be written on index cards - the story on the front, the acceptance test on the back. The story should ideally meet the INVEST criteria:

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Vertical
  • Estimable
  • Small
  • Testable

A few book that might be worth a read:

Finally, the rules and practices of Extreme Programming.

 Update: Some Scrum resources, with the rules defined here.

Posted: Apr 26 2005, 09:06 PM by mdavey | with 1 comment(s)
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VS 2005 Beta 2 Install

I finally got round to installing Beta 2 - Team Suite.  I followed these instructions before starting the install. The initial install failed with this entry in the MSI log:

MSI (s) (18:8C) [22:17:27:358]: Note: 1: 1708
MSI (s) (18:8C) [22:17:27:368]: Product: Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Edition Beta 2-English -- Installation failed.

The second install worked, but all the Testing functionality appeared not to work, so now I'm doing a third install.

Update: Based on the Testing not working, I cleaned my testing machine, re-installed Windows XP, and re-installed VS 2005 Beta 2 - Team Suite.... and got the same error message: Package 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.TestCaseManagement.QualityToolsPackage....' failed to load property.  These issue is actually documented in the VSKnownissues.rtf - Issue Team Developer and Test tools do not function if Team Foundation Client is not also installed.

Posted: Apr 23 2005, 12:09 AM by mdavey | with no comments
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VS Beta 2
Downloading the VS 2005 Team Suite Beta 2 now.  I'm off to see a new client today for the consultancy I work for.  Hopefully all will go well, and there will be some nice new .NET projects in the future using VS 2005 (now that the Go-Live Licence is available).

Update: The new client meeting yesterday turned into a long interview process consisting of a few puzzle questions (#18 and detecting circular linked lists), a written C# test (22 questions) and a finally discussion about my background and previous experience.  Definitely a long day.
Posted: Apr 21 2005, 05:47 AM by mdavey | with no comments
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Finally installed Indigo/Avalon CTP Mar 2005, VS CTP Feb 2005

It's been rather hectic at work (new releases of our application to production), hence why I am only just getting around to installing Indigo/Avalon CTP and VS 2005 CTP. Only problem I ran into was removing beta 1 - but thanks to Sam's blog, the issue was resolved quickly.  I suppose one of the first questions I have is: will Indigo be quicker and better an AMQ?  I wonder if I could use Indigo to replace the Tibco RV connectivity between servers?

Posted: Apr 08 2005, 12:38 PM by mdavey | with 1 comment(s)
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