Snarky Comment of the $timeperiod

I read Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror as frequently as he posts material.  Like many blogs, the true entertainment value comes from the comments.  I saw this one today:

$40 for SmartFtp. $40 for Winzip. Multiply by all the small tools you need. I won’t even begin to get to get into real development tools like Visual Studio. Windows developers seem to be made of money. One of the reasons I got out of the Windows world a decade ago was the cash I was shelling out just to stay current.

I’m particularly fond of the "Windows developers seem to be made of money" part.  It expresses surprise that somehow, people who develop on Windows have a lot of money to spend on tools.  The viewpoint of astonishment implies that, as a non-Windows developer, the writer does not have very much money and is curious why people who develop for Windows have more money than he does.  Hmmm…

I’m not implying there’s more money to be made on either side of the war, just that I wish people weren’t stupid about their jabs at the other side.  There’s tons of free FTP utilities for Windows; one was mentioned in the very post this user commented on.  I haven’t used Winzip for at least 5 years because the zip support built into Windows is adequate for me, and 7-zip is useful for when I encounter a file that’s not a zip file for whatever reason.  Visual Studio is a nicety but SharpDevelop is just fine and free; a decent coder should be able to get by with Notepad in emergencies anyway.  The poster’s main points are:

  1. All Windows development tools cost money.
  2. Windows developers can afford the tools because they have a lot of money compared to non-Windows developers.

The first one is false.  The second depends on your definition of "a lot" and "Windows developer", but doesn’t do much to encourage me to hug a Penguin in the near future.

Consumer Satisfaction

I want to pat Activision support on the back since I complained yesterday.  I emailed their tech support with my problem and was told I’d get a response within two business days.  I pretty much expected this to mean 3 weeks or so.  They answered within 6 hours on a weekend.  I am very pleased with this experience.  If anyone from Activision reads this, you have my compliments on your tech support.

I don’t think it’s the disc anymore because after letting everything sit for a few hours I’m not having any problems with the game.  I’m thinking my Wii’s on the fritz and maybe it needs a cleaning.  I wonder if there’s even a cleaning kit for the Wii?

The game itself is pretty cool.  The reviews seem to complain that it doesn’t bring very much new to the GH series, but that leads me to ask what exactly new we need.  I bought it to play a rhythm and timing game that plays rock music, and this is what the game delivers.  I fail to see how you could be disappointed.

Consumer Disappointment

Sometime last week, Amazon had some kind of Wii blowout where all of the Gold Box deals were Wii-related.  I saw Guitar Hero III discounted to the point where it cost as much as a normal game, so I scooped it up.

It came in yesterday but a friend was having a BBQ so I didn’t get the chance to fool with it until late.  When I did give it a whirl, I was very disappointed to find it has a horrible skipping problem.  It’s impossible to play along when the music doesn’t start until you’ve played for 10 seconds and the lyrics sound like "Slosloslosloslosloslosloslos ririririririririride".  It’s probably a defective disc, but it’s going to be annoying to have to package it all back up and send it to Amazon.

VS Project Templates are Aggravating

I love Visual Studio, but some of the work I have to do to make things work the way I want is aggravating.  I just started a new WPF solution to follow along with a chapter in the book, and decided to give it a descriptive name so the directories would look all nice: "Chapter 8 – Styles".  Visual Studio assumes you want to use the solution name as the default namespace for all projects (unless you specify different project and solution names; then it uses the project name).  Of course, the namespace naming rules are more strict than file naming rules, so I end up with the lovely namespace name "Chapter_8___Styles".  Lame.

What’s worse is even if I go into project settings and change this, it only affects new files added to the project, so I have to go through the solution and change every namespace reference.  For the WPF application project template, that’s changes to 3 files before I can build and run.  It sure would be nice if I had an easy way to change this.