Embarrassingly basic computer stuff that you cannot do

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I am 100% unable to understand how to use any sort of step-through debugger - I just find them utterly confusing for some idiotic reason - so any sort of debugging ends up as a maze of print statements that takes 14 times as long as it should.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Sunday, 12 September 2010 11:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

object orientation. my brain doesn't get it at all, so it's a good job i don't _need_ it for my day job, although doubtless my life would be easier in the long run if i did get it.

caek, Sunday, 12 September 2010 12:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

At the moment my main problem is Windows Server 2008 security, by which I mean the way it seems to be set up to prevent anyone doing anything useful. Like you have to run everything "As Administrator" but sometimes that option isn't available for some reason.

I have my suspicions that may be less to do with me and more to do with Windows Server 2008 though.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Sunday, 12 September 2010 13:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Getting my laptop set up on wi-fi in my house. Works in the B&B I am staying in currently though.

village idiot (dog latin), Sunday, 12 September 2010 17:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

You guys are kidding, right? I've been trying to get my mother to understand Copy and Paste for ten years.

Nhex, Sunday, 12 September 2010 19:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

i still don't know how to type :/

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 12 September 2010 20:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

(Nhex - this I Like Computers!)

Gravel Puzzleworth, Sunday, 12 September 2010 21:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

WHY MY DOWNLOADS GO INTO DIFFERENT DOWNLOADS FOLDERS
1. how is this still happening after i deleted the multiples 'downloads' folders
2. who would do this to me

babygirlwc, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 05:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

getting my router to recognize all my wireless devices without any IP conflicts
batch image resizing in Photoshop
burning a DVD

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 15 October 2010 01:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

I am 100% unable to understand how to use any sort of step-through debugger - I just find them utterly confusing for some idiotic reason - so any sort of debugging ends up as a maze of print statements that takes 14 times as long as it should.

― Gravel Puzzleworth, Sunday, September 12, 2010 11:03 AM (1 month ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

oh god i am so guilty of this.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 15 October 2010 01:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

I do that with batch scripts. pause every other line to see where it breaks.

I never remember how to print screen on a mac. or basically any mac shortcuts. like I have to drag things to the trash to delete. :/

ಠ_ಠ (bnw), Friday, 15 October 2010 01:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

All this microcontroller/Arduino stuff.

Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Monday, 18 October 2010 07:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

guys, I got a new laptop for work and basically straight away snapped the 'middle bit' out of one of the USB ports, shd I bother going to the it guy at work about it or is it fucked?
(want to avoid embarrassment if it is fucked)

There are only 3 ports (iirc) and i totally need them all. it's a lolnovo T510

yuoowemeone, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

the middle bit is where all the electrical contacts are. so i'm gonna have to vote 'fucked'

koogs, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

don't know how easy it is to replace usb sockets. if you're short of other usb sockets then usb hubs are tiny and cheap now... could've been a lot worse.

koogs, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Would have to see a picture to be sure, but it's likely that it's fucked as that bit is where the four terminals attach. Maybe get a USB hub?

Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

thanks guys! but I'll still have to go through our IS ppl to get the USB hub (lol bureaucracies, can't install any programs or hardware unless it comes straight from the hive) so i might come clean to the it bro anyway

yuoowemeone, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's not 'embarrassingly basic' but i feel my lack of chops re: proper architecting and design patterns is beginning to let me down in this brave new world of non-cowboy coding that my office is apparently now living in.

ledge, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 11:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

i have the (work copy of) design patterns book on the floor at home, largely unread. it was either giving complicated names to things that were obvious or simple names to things i couldn't see the point in.

people here talk in abbreviations that i don't understand all the time. then i see the code they've written that they want me to integrate and it's just terrible.

koogs, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 12:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

Is this stuff like Agile & XP? We've made vague attempts to use these methodologies here but I get the feeling they are half-arsed attempts at best, and yes all we seem to have is a confusing mess of badly written/poorly thought out code/systems.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Tuesday, 19 October 2010 13:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh god i am so guilty of this.

So glad it's not just me! Like, I mainly work in flash, and I was thinking that it'd be amazing if in CS5 they would add the ability to step through loops a line at a time, and maybe you could see the variables while you did it! That would be great!

Then I remembered that all this already exists in CS3, and that I just never use it because I'm frightened to confront my ignorance.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 13:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

> Is this stuff like Agile & XP?

no, it's more the gang of 4 Patterns book - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_Patterns , things like Factory classes and Model View Controller and about 40000 others, ways of formalising and naming 'common' coding paradigms

agile and xp are more ways or organising the people doing the work, defining how it gets done. we've started emphasising tests here, and have a daily scrum where we say what we've been doing. but that's as far as it goes (thankfully)

koogs, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 13:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

no, it's more the gang of 4 Patterns book - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_Patterns , things like Factory classes and Model View Controller and about 40000 others, ways of formalising and naming 'common' coding paradigms

yeah that shit. i'm such a cowboy, i don't even know about factories.

ledge, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 14:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

So glad it's not just me! Like, I mainly work in flash, and I was thinking that it'd be amazing if in CS5 they would add the ability to step through loops a line at a time, and maybe you could see the variables while you did it! That would be great!

Then I remembered that all this already exists in CS3, and that I just never use it because I'm frightened to confront my ignorance.

i don't understand what you don't understand! from your first para it seems you grasp the concept pretty well.

ledge, Friday, 22 October 2010 13:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

convert a regular uri web address to one with all the %20's and shit

Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 03:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

in javascript? see: [Removed Illegal Link]

just woke up (lukas), Friday, 14 January 2011 00:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

Getting my laptop to accept wireless. It's getting very frustrating. Worked in our old house, and all the other devices in the house work on it, but I can't see web pages.

Bernard V. O'Hare (dog latin), Friday, 14 January 2011 01:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

post links in ilx, apparently

just woke up (lukas), Friday, 14 January 2011 01:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't even feel confident enough to write pseudocode anymore

I talk all day with stats and graphs and visualization tools motherfuckers about use cases, and the the other all day I holler with people who build sql/nosql backend data models, and chat about RDF and ETL with the dev cats.

I don't know how any of these fools do what they do! I draw magic pictures on a whiteboard once in a while and incredibly smart real live code makers are apparently inspired?
Then I come back to the house and hate my life because iTunes is a FECES TRAIN AND ALSO WHAT THE FUCK ROKU.

El Tomboto, Saturday, 15 January 2011 06:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nof quite "embarrassingly basic", but: Whoever says CSS is easier to use than table-based HTML needs to be raped until they die.

Mr. Snrub, Saturday, 15 January 2011 23:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

CSS is easier to use than table-based HTML

am0n, Monday, 17 January 2011 00:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

I still use tables in HTML tbh. I have no idea how to use CSS for that, I only use CSS for fonts, borders and colours really. But I don't do a lot of web development anyway and all the stuff I do is just for intranet tools pages, not outward facing, so it doesn't really matter.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Monday, 17 January 2011 10:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

CSS is not easier to use than table-based HTML. For simple layouts - two cols, three cols, headers, footers, etc - there are plenty of sites that offer templates that do the job perfectly well. But if you want something more customised or more fancy, getting something that works in every browser can be a huge PITA. (this is just a special case of IE AND ALL MICROSOFT PRODUCTS FUCK OFF AND DIE NOW AAAAARARHSGHGHAHGH)

nanoflymo (ledge), Monday, 17 January 2011 10:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

getting nested divs to float and align properly is a giant PITA

progressive cuts (Tracer Hand), Monday, 17 January 2011 10:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

take a screenshot. what's a clipboard, anyway?

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 January 2011 13:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's how you know who is the foreman

post-rock was most definitely the future of post-rock (Edward III), Monday, 17 January 2011 14:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

have u guys tried actually learning css? it really is easier, better, more flexible but y'know keep nesting ur fucked up tables like its 1995 ;)

am0n, Friday, 21 January 2011 20:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

no, it's more the gang of 4 Patterns book - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_Patterns

The original Go4 book on the topic is notoriously hard to read. There are some better ones out there, I think.

Meme From Turner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 21 January 2011 21:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

This book is great for cowboys turning into homesteaders, giving you stuff from OOP and Design Patterns that you can immediately use in your existing codebase, with an introduction by one of the Go4 : http://www.amazon.com/Refactoring-Improving-Design-Existing-Code/dp/0201485672/ref=pd_sim_b_3

Meme From Turner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 21 January 2011 21:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

This book seems pretty good from the little I've read of it http://www.amazon.com/Design-Patterns-Explained-Perspective-Object-Oriented/dp/0321247140

Meme From Turner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 22 January 2011 03:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

OK. A big part of my job, day to day, is Perl scripting. I'm not really a "professional Perl programmer" as such: my job is merely to process data, and how I do that is up to me, as my scripts rarely get seen by anyone else. But Perl is my main weapon of choice.

And, I confess: I can pretty much never install a Perl module. I mean simple modules occasionally work right out of the box and that is great. But 60% of the time tests fail or make stops for no apparent reason, and if that happens I am basically not ever going to get that module working.

And it drives me nuts! Because
1. I can't understand where I am going wrong if these things apparently just work for other people, and
2. this is my job (sort of - see above), so I should really know how to do it, right? and
3. because every failed install wastes another couple of hours while I try to reconfigure things (but what should I even be configuring?), chase dependencies, try under different versions/distributions of Perl to have it fail in a different place instead, spend hours googling, try different modules instead only to re-enter the loop of fruitless timewasting for each of them

fffuuu.gif etc
it is dark in this rabbithole

cellular nekomata (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

not that python doesn't have this problem, too, but it has it less, and to a lesser extent.
this is a great site for someone going from perl to any language:
http://pleac.sourceforge.net/

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's a perl problem ime, not a you problem. hate perl installation admin so much. main thing that stops me using it when i'm not sysadmin on a debian-based system tbh.

caek, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

have u guys tried actually learning css? it really is easier, better, more flexible but y'know keep nesting ur fucked up tables like its 1995 ;)

― am0n, Friday, January 21, 2011 3:51 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

eh its more powerful not exactly easier, but yeah anyone still using lol nested tables just learn css already

ice cr?m, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

sometimes i set my tabular data in tables

caek, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

how dare u frankly

ice cr?m, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

sounds dirty

bnw, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

anyone who thinks css is easier than tables for complex layout is high.

hoisin crispy mubaduck (ledge), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

in the long run its easier

ice cr?m, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah yeah i know it's a good thing n all, it's still a bitch tho.

hoisin crispy mubaduck (ledge), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

its not tho (sober btw)

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

tables were never meant for layout beyond

http://www.learn-html-tutorial.com/Images/FormattedTable.gif

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

beyond baseball nerdery

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

anyone can throw tables together, you need a developers mindset to deal with css. you can do something completely by the book and find out it doesn't work in random browser x, then have to figure out what's going wrong and how to fix it.

hoisin crispy mubaduck (ledge), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 16:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

ie6 amirite

bnw, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

that's fighting talk...

a question (not a trick question, just something i did last week and wondered if there was a better way):

say i have some things and i want them like this (bear with, might take a while to get this right)


one: one
two: two
three: three
four: four

note colos lining up

i don't know how many lines there'll be before i start and some of the values can be quite long, long enough to wrap onto a second line (in which case i'd like the right hand side to be at the top of the box:


five: a long line
that wraps

how to do that in css?

spacecadet, i thought cpan did all that for you. or is cpan the problem?

koogs, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

(ooh, data lined up ok, but mis-typed 'colons')

koogs, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

eventually ime you get the css browser quirks down and pre-emptively work around them

how to do that in css?

dude if you want your content to be tabled use a table, thats what its for. they weren't meant for graphical layout imo

but you can do what your talking about w/ divs easily imo. "five:" goes in one div, floated left, "a long line that wraps" goes in another div floated left. they both have fixed widths. then wrap both of those in another div to act as the row container

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

if they have fixed widths, they can't resize depending on content size like you can with tables -- maybe make a javascript function
that calculates the max character length of the left column and use it to dynamically resize the left column divs?

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

but he said long values would wrap to a 2nd line, fixed width would take care of that. in this case a table would be prob be more forgiving width-wise, but if one of the values contains a long string of characters with no space that is wider than the div/cell its going to break it either way

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

use shorter numbers imo

ice cr?m, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

> if they have fixed widths, they can't resize depending on content size like you can with tables

deal-breaker right there 8(

it's machine generated output and i hate writing code that writes code - way too many \\\\\\\\s

koogs, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

eventually ime you get the css browser quirks down and pre-emptively work around them

ok but that's a bit different from saying css is as easy as tables.

hoisin crispy mubaduck (ledge), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

hm... what if you generated a canvas object that replaced the bullet in a bullet list, and that canvas object dynamically showed the appropriate left hand column value?

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

are u guys using wysiwyg editors that write the tables for u

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 17:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

koogs, cpan is the problem. If I'm using ActivePerl on Windows, its gui package manager offers a selection of ActiveState-approved modules and generally works first time, but most of the modules I want aren't in their repository.

ActivePerl's text-mode cpan I usually (but not always) have very little luck with, which I had put down to the modules just not working in Windows. I also have problems installing them on my Debian box, but I put that down to not being super-clueful about Linux things.

But now there is Strawberry Perl, which is the Windows Perl of choice for ex-Unix users, who cite being able to install modules which previously didn't work under Windows as evidence #1 for this, and I'm still having trouble, even after a clean ActivePerl-less install, or with the portable version which launches a console supposedly with the correct environment variables set. Oh well.

cellular nekomata (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

Onto the other thing: css is (err, are?) nice and all, but people get a bit silly about not using a table ever, even when, y'know, they have a table of data. Overkill.

(though the last time I did any major web development was in the late Netscape era, when people were already hyping css up as the only way to do anything and tables as evil, even though css wasn't very well implemented in any browser yet, never mind getting the same stylesheet to look the same in more than one browser - this has kind of put me off a bit)

cellular nekomata (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

Onto the other thing: css is (err, are?) nice and all, but people get a bit silly about not using a table ever, even when, y'know, they have a table of data. Overkill.

i think maybe there was a couple of years when this was true among the worst kind of zealous convert, but it's pretty much gone now right?

caek, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

if anyone even thinks abt tabular data i kill them jus fyi

ice cr?m, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

*kills colleagues*

caek, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

css, that's where i'm a viking!

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

i think maybe there was a couple of years when this was true among the worst kind of zealous convert, but it's pretty much gone now right?

― caek, Tuesday, February 1, 2011 1:21 PM

meet the new kind of zealous convert

Whoever says CSS is easier to use than table-based HTML needs to be raped until they die.

― Mr. Snrub, Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:58 PM

am0n, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is java servlet looking up filesystem information and printing it to screen so trivial to slap a table around the whole thing and a row around each key value pair. could use divs and spans, i guess and the alligned colons is really just a nicety.

the css zen garden thing is probably out of date now but they advocated css over using tables for layout, in fact they advocated (iirc) not constraining much at all - start specifying pixels and columns and it'll break the first time someone with bad eyesight hits the magnifier. just don't worry about it - it's hypertext, not a newspaper, let things be fluid and reflow if they want to. be water, my friend.

koogs, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 18:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

Here's one: not making typos. I spent yesterday suffering through a 50+ minute long build process multiple times because I apparently can't type or read code very well (fortunately there weren't any bugs once I got the damned thing to compile, otherwise ugh)

Indolence Mission (DJP), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 20:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

i cant build a computer out of sand :(

ice cr?m, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 21:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

That's easy. You dope.

Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Wednesday, 9 February 2011 23:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Isn't there a Temptations song about that?

James Tipitina, Jr. (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 11 February 2011 03:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

If I never again had to deal with web servers or third party libraries or building and deploying applications or any of that crap that isn't actually coding, i would be a happy happier man.

England's banh mi army (ledge), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 14:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

I don't get XML.

No, I mean, I get the basic structure of XML data, I get that it is a neat but inefficient cross-platform standard that should theoretically be easy to parse, but it's had all these extra layers of complications put on top like namespaces and DTDs and XSLT until it isn't easy to parse any more and you have to use a 3rd-party library that does it properly rather than trusting your code, and I don't even know what all this stuff is or what it does or why I want it.

But I'm going to have to learn, because our new database churns out giant bloated xml and xsl files with thousands of empty tags in where I used to just get a plain old CSV out of the old database.

sambal dalek (a passing spacecadet), Thursday, 9 June 2011 12:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

namespaces - yeah

dtds - well they came first, it's an sgml thing and xml is an sgml. but on the whole you don't need to bother with them

xslt - my favourite language for transforming xml to xml. pretty easy to get the basic hang of, hidden depths.

ledge, Thursday, 9 June 2011 12:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

xml is an sgml

xml is a subset of sgml, i mean, probably.

ledge, Thursday, 9 June 2011 12:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

Can you recommend a good book/website for learning the basics of xslt?

I thought I knew what a DTD was from my long-gone html monkey days, but it turns out that a DTD to an html monkey is "that thing you copy the link to off the w3c site so its validator gives you a nice green tick" and a DTD to me now is "one of the files you can't find and which may not exist anyway that your XML editor (which you don't even know how to work anyway) shouts at you repeatedly about"

sambal dalek (a passing spacecadet), Thursday, 9 June 2011 13:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

unless your xml actually has a dtd and absolutely needs to be valid, just use a text editor maaaaaaan. one with decent syntax highlighting (editplus!!!) should inform you of most well-formedness errors.

xslt, i normally go to the horses mouth http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt or the xslt faq http://www.dpawson.co.uk/xsl/sect2/sect21.html - might not be so helpful if you're starting from scratch though, i dunno i'm sure o'reilly will have something to help you out.

ledge, Thursday, 9 June 2011 13:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ah, I didn't know (though maybe I should've) that it was covered on w3.org. That looks helpful, thanks. And if it isn't, at least I'll have more idea of what I need from a book...

(adds EditPlus to the list of text editors to try now that I can't persuade someone else to pay for UltraEdit for me and TextPad keeps crashing)

sambal dalek (a passing spacecadet), Thursday, 9 June 2011 13:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

(<oblig vim mention>)

koogs, Thursday, 9 June 2011 14:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

if you can't use vim then that should go on this list too

caek, Thursday, 9 June 2011 15:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

"i can't use vim"

*awkward*

caek, Thursday, 9 June 2011 15:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

(vim is terrible at xml, especially large files with no newlines as the syntax highlighting makes the machine grind to a halt. there is a plugin that adds functionality like auto tag completion but it breaks other vim functionality (iirc the . repeats half of the last tag completion command or the paste buffer gets dirtied, something like that))

koogs, Thursday, 9 June 2011 15:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

but yes, xslt is almost fun. and often frustrating, especially if you are anal about whitespace in the output file

koogs, Thursday, 9 June 2011 15:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

vim: install snipmate and supertab = sorted.

caek, Thursday, 9 June 2011 16:00 (seven years ago) Permalink


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