Gardening in TFS

When your branch has grown into a tree don’t panic simply convert to folder.

The gibbering of a mad man maybe but if you have migrated your Team Foundation Server from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010 and are lucky enough to have moved branched code but not it’s root then this is for you.

Simply (I say simply but I don’t understand why MS decided to hide it in the first place) select the Source Control option from the File menu and do all your root and branch action there. Happy days. My branch is now a root and it only took 30 minutes of hard Google based action.

My very own theory on where the hell most of the matter in the universe is.

Ok so it might be based on a somewhat simplistic set of arguments but lets face it I bummed out on the A-level physics through a combination of drink, women and computer games. Damn this education system to only getting interesting when you are at your weakest. So here it is and it’s based on the following:
  1. No-one really knows what the process was when the big bang went bang in a big way. All we know is that all of a sudden there was a lot of stuff (including us and everything we can see or detect with instruments) and it was all flying away from a certain point.
  2. Stuff that is flying away isn’t slowing down and doesn’t look like it will collapse in on itself. In fact it appears to be speeding up.
  3. Most of the matter in the universe is missing. Or undetectable with current tech.
  4. Positive things and negative things attract.
Ok so here it is, I’ll get Prof Brian Cox to shoot it down in flames later. Well I won’t but I’ll give it a go.
Davey’s Theory of the Big Bang
So when the big bang happened who is to say that the first type of ‘stuff’ that it spewed forth wasn’t anti-matter. Anti atoms of all the good old stuff we’ve come to know love and be made from. This anti-stuff went shooting off into the void of space (was it space with absolutely nothing in or was it space-max? I suppose it was space and we now have space-lite, the weak version with stuff in it). So the next thing that happened is that the creative process that was the big bang then started to spew matter. This would have largely disappeared by hitting the anti-matter that was also being created. Until more and more matter was created to make up for the over balance of anti-matter that was first created. Now we would be left with an ever expanding sphere of anti-matter. Behind which there would be something that was a predominantly a void where the matter and anti-matter output was more of less equal. Followed by our good old matter (e.g. the universe we know and love).
Maybe an easier way of putting it is that the big bang was like turning on a mixer tap where you happen to have the a lazy boiler. The first water out is cold (anti-matter) the water then goes warm (unfortunatly matter and anti-matter don’t like this mix) then you run out of cold water (yes strange heating system I know) and only get hot (matter).
So who is to say this happened. No-one really but it would explain the following.
  1. Why we can’t find the anti matter. There is a huge void and then a ton of anti-matter. It’s a long way ahead of us.
  2. Why the universe is speeding up. It’s getting sucked along and out negatively charged universe if being drawn by a positively one.
  3. Would neatly encapsulate us in a bubble of stuff we could never get beyond as it’s not currently deemed a good idea to mix yourself with your anti-self. Think crossing the beams in Ghostbusters without the help of a marshmallow man.
Ok so 3 really isn’t a reason but it nicely covers the first two.
So people please shoot this down and point out the holes otherwise I’ll forever be going on about Davey’s Theory of the Big Bang.

Meeting Minutes 1 : Cowboy and aliens

Doug: Welcome all to the initial ideas meeting for our new film Cowboys and Aliens. As you all know from the email all we have at the moment is a title. Let’s start off with some introductions!”

Attendees: Murmuring

Doug: Ok, no-one wants to go first. So let’s go around the room to the left.

Kath: Hi, I’m Kath *****. I’ve worked as an ‘ideas’ person on many films.

Doug: I didn’t know people still did that finger thing! Care to name drop?

Kath: No, not right now.

John:  Hello, John ***** here, some of you have probably seen my out of the box thinking on many cherished films.  I do care to name drop by the way. You can thank me for that excellent scene in Indian Jones and Crystal Skull where a young fresh son of Indy fights with his sword against German dominatrix.

Kath: Wasn’t she Russian in the film?

John: Exactly, that was another one of mine. Why pick on the Germans I said. Let’s spread it around, they’re all communists anyway. It’s not like we always use Brits as double crossing evil bastards!

Kath: I’m fairly sure there was one of those as well!

Doug: Ok guys enough of this. Let’s get this session underway. Right so the title, it’s young and dynamic and let’s face it after the success True Grit and the on-going interest in any kind of alien invasion we are onto a winner already. I’m throwing this open to you get the ideas flowing? We can sort out how to stich these memory gems together into a pair of diamond socks later.

Kath: Ok so I’m feeling the cowboy thing. You know what cowboys says to me? It says gun fights. Let’s have lots of gun fights. I once saw this film that had this guy in it. I can’t remember what the character’s name was but he didn’t say much, just like totally had screen presence and was a bad ass. We need that guy.

Doug: Lee van Cleef is no longer with us Kath.

John: No she means Bruce Willis. You do don’t you Kath, because I was thinking the same thing. He was in that film where is rode into the wild west and then played two sides of a small town off against each other in order to get the green. Such an original idea. I’d love to say it was one of mine. I don’t understand why he didn’t use his “yippee ki yay” catch phrase in it though.

Kath: Wasn’t there cars in that film? It’s not a western if you have a car. Westerns need horses, horses and at least one lovable dog. I’ve done research into this and it’s been a long time since Lassie. These things come around don’t you know.

John: Yeah, I like it. Let’s put a dog in it. People really connect with dogs. It’s like dog acting is almost the same as the dog actually BEING a dog. We have to add some form of jeopardy for the dog role. That really pulls on the heart strings. We’d also need to cast a really good actor in that role. I can highly recommend Andy Serkis. Not only was he great as the Hobbit in lord of the rings he also totally ruled as King Kong.

Kath: He can do really funny voices as well. If we need that dog to talk he’s totally the guy for us.

Doug: Ok so, we’ve got cowboys, yeh it’s like in the title. Gun fights, horses and a dog. What else do you always get in cowboy flicks?

Kath: Jail. There is always someone either going to jail or busting out of jail, we need a jail. Oh and Saloon. With the flippy doors. We need one of them.

Doug: Ok good. Now we are getting somewhere. I can picture it. It sounds solid. How can we add a little twist to this though?

John: You guys are so lucky I’m here. Listen to this. We add another character. The guy who owns the town and everyone in it. To top it off we add a little father and son side story. Everyone can relate to having a father and nearly all parents can relate to having a son.

Kath: What about girls?

John: Yeah they can relate to having a son as well if they want. It’s all kinds of good and totally will add some depth and texture to the film.

Doug: Right so we’ve got the cowboy part steaming along. Let’s get this on paper, go grab a cup of coffee and resume after that. Oh by the way, to get you all into the right mind scene we’ve put up a little camp fire and will be brewing the coffee on that. There may also be grits but to be honest I’m not sure what they are or even if you can drink them.

Parking fine – Fine

Dear Slough Borough Council,
Thank you for your correspondence detailing that you will not be taking your unjust parking fine forward. As your correspondence failed to detail why you have chosen not to proceed with this fine I can only take it that my assumptions about the penalty in this instance being completely unfair were correct. As such I feel in only fair that you reimburse me for the cost you have burdened me with in dealing with your unjust attempts and threats to extort money from me. My account of events has not changed since the day I originally contacted your company and yet you felt it necessary to threaten me with legal action and doubling your already over inflated fine. Below is a list of the costs involved in making your company understand that your fine was unjust.
  • 2 x telephone calls (to nameless person who can’t do anything to help – you really should update your documentation to clearly outline this as it would save people a lot of money)£5,00
  • 3 x letters (all stating exactly the same thing. the only difference being that the last one had pictures proving that your photographic proof was basically added from a completely separate part of the street in an attempt to validate your extortion)£1 (rounded down and didn’t include the cost of printing or paper)
  • 3 hours of my time (restating the exact some thing again and again to the nameless person who kept writing me letters threatening to take me to court)£150 (£50/hour and this doesn’t include the stress caused)

Total £156

I think it only fair that if you pay this invoice within the next 30 days that I halve the amount. So if paid prior to the 23rd February 2012 the charge is only £78. Failure to pay the fine will result in a claim through the smalls claim system including all the evidence you have supplied (You seem to have forgotten to send any of the requested documentation, clearly you do not have to comply with freedom of information acts or even attempting to give people the full details of why you are trying to fine)

Kind Regards

Be careful what you wish for

We want?
I’ve just read IGN’s article “12 Innovations we want from PS4 and XBox 720” and I think we all need to take a step back and think about what we’re hoping for. The main issues with consoles is the manufacturers putting security fences around them in terms of content and who owns what. They do this because often the hardware is sold (initially at least) at a loss. With protective measures in place such as XBox live and Playstations premium access service they get to charge you for things that on any other systems are essentially free. I don’t need a subscription to get on the internet with my iPad or Laptop. I don’t need a subscription to play against people in Battlefield 3 on the PC but I do if I want to do the same sort of things on the XBox. Why? Because they need to re-coupe money and want some control over what we do with their hardware.


Cloud Storage – All very well for save games etc but no harddrive? Really? Next time you move house or change broadband provider and they screw up the transfer (you all know they do) do you really want to be unable to use your sleek gaming machine because all your saves and potentially game media is online? I’m pretty sure I don’t. I’d like to ability to store things there if I choose but be forced to. I think XBox have this right at the moment.


Complete Online Retail – I want my cheap second hand plastic box complete with game that I never got around to playing when it was first out. Hell I only just finished playing Halo 3 the other month and that cost me 99p from a lucky ebay bid. Do I want all my media to only be available online where the retailer can inflate the price? No way. Think about it this way. Origin part of EA was selling “Knights of the Old Republic” online for £44.99 as a digital download. You can buy it in Asda with the physical media so you don’t need to ramp up your download limit with your hosting provider or waste 8 hours of electricity while it downloads for £37. So when the publisher owns the media they will charge you more, much more and you will have no option if you want to play the game than to pay that price. At the time of writing this the Origin store is currently down, I think Asda is however still open.


Retroactive Parity – Yeah good plan.


Unified Video Service – It would be handy to have a simple interface that lets you browse content from all providers I must admit but how is that going to work when you have so many different providers. What we need is a tweek deck for video services.


Automatic updates – Yes please. Ones that take your rights to legal action away, no thanks.


Mods – Well it’s a lovely thought but as they don’t even want you taking the cover of the hardware you spent your hard earn money on they’re very unlikely to let you modify it’s software. Hell you couldn’t even copy your save files effectively from your old dead XBox HDD to your new dying XBox HDD, they are that scared of you accessing it’s file system.


Stronger voice codec – Yes please, also a way of blocking the droaning idiots out would be a great deal of help.


Expanded achievements – Not a bad plan but again it seems to blend for a lot of developers into a way of charging you extra for things. If this leads to anything like the system that nearly all iPhone games go for where you get the basic game for free (basic as in it basically says “Hello World” at you) then if you want to play it you have to buy in-game coins or an in-game player to play for you or an in-game job to earn in game coins to give to your in-game player to spend on a shitty in-game iPhone game that has the worst money grabbing in-game system ever devised.


Backward Compatibility – Yeah maybe. It’s handy if you want to complete the games you never did but apart from that how many people have played an XBox game on their 360? How many people purchased the original PS3 with the backwards compatibility so they could play PS2 games? Not many I’ll bet and those that did will not still be doing so. Sure it would be handy but far from something to wish for?


More Non-games – Yes because every one of them makes me seem much less like an aging geek.


No more Microsoft points – See above for Expanded Achievements. While you are at it lets kill paying for XBox live. The internet should be free to use. Conversely no more Sony having such piss poor security that your credit card details get sold to the highest bidder.


Better motion tech – How about some motion tracking technology? The Kinect often decides that I have no legs or that I have managed to turn myself completely invisible. The games that use it are just as bad. The driving game where you are supposed to hold onto an imaginary steering wheel in order to turn the car was won by my daughter who simply did and impression of a windmill. Then again she won the bowling on the Wii just by sitting on the controller at the right point. Maybe there is something in this sitting down technique.


So the grump man says
So all in all IGN I think we need to wish harder and bigger as at the moment it sounds like everyone needs a nice powerful PC with an interface that even Wayne Roney could use. You would have your decent sound quality, mod-ing community, backwards compatibility (I still play “UFO : Enemy Unknown” on my PC). I can buy things online (if I choose) via any number of retailers not just the one my hardware provider chooses for me. Trouble is PC’s don’t come in a nice friendly box, they’re not simple enough for Wayne and the software money predominantly goes to the software publishers/developers not the hardware manufacturers.


That will never do. Minecraft anyone?