The Intermittent Hum

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  • Andy_K 2007-12-03 11:05
    Very good of him. I'd have probably tried to forget it ever existed...

    (fist?)
  • Kerin 2007-12-03 11:14
    I would have likely rewritten it myself. *shudders*

    Sadly, the closest WTF I've personally witnessed was perpetrated by one of my college professors.
  • snoofle 2007-12-03 11:14
    I respect anyone who a) owns up to a prior mistake, and b) offers to fix it - for free.
  • gabba 2007-12-03 11:21
    Ah, a heartwarming happy ending for the holiday season. God bless us, every one!
  • MET 2007-12-03 11:36
    The writing out of the noise of a dot matrix brings back memories...

    Memories of printing something at the weekend that is. I still have the nice dot matrix I bought for my amiga in the early nineties. Win XP still has a good driver and it costs pretty much nothing to run. And who really needs colour printouts anyhow?
  • Keithius 2007-12-03 11:36
    I admire a programmer who takes pride in his work like this. Well done!
  • KattMan 2007-12-03 11:40
    He will never make it in this field. Normal procedures require you to hear the noise, claim you know what is causing it, then charge a nominal fee to fix it. Besides if he was to go back and freely re-work all the code that he wrote while he was a junior, he wouldn't be paid for the next few years.

    Oh look, we now have a backup girl to add to our fantasies. I still yearn for bean bag girl though.
  • Kluge Doctor 2007-12-03 11:42
    I also am reminded of the old days. I remember being able to determine which report was printing based on the rhythm of the dot matrix printer.

    I'd walk by a coworker's desk, give a quick listen: tap, tap, tap...tap... tap... tap, tap tap. "Oh, you're printing the sales report, eh?"
  • Pecos Bill 2007-12-03 11:44
    Sheesh, that WTF is rather buried in a sea of doing-the-right-thing...
  • AbbydonKrafts 2007-12-03 11:48
    MET:
    I still have the nice dot matrix I bought for my amiga in the early nineties. Win XP still has a good driver and it costs pretty much nothing to run. And who really needs colour printouts anyhow?


    A dot matrix beats others any day when it comes to a quick, cheap printout. The ribbons are still cheap compared to ink or toner. A good dot matrix also accepts standard paper (not just tractor-feed). Unfortunately, my dad wanted his Epson back, so I've been using a $50 HP Inkjet for a while. I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).

    As far as the story goes -- I'd want to fix it, too. I also don't like having the stigma of creating an ugly beast. The end user rarely takes into consideration the time or expertise level. They just want it to work. I'm sure the users were overjoyed with the fix.
  • John Cowan 2007-12-03 12:00
    Simple. Just take the color cartridge out except when you need to print in color.
  • Paul 2007-12-03 12:01
    I suspect, if you could look at the source code for "Clipper" you'd see something like this where SET FILTER is handled:

    // TODO: 10/2/83 - Important, make SET FILTER work on data subsets before next release.
  • Michael 2007-12-03 12:02
    John Cowan:
    Simple. Just take the color cartridge out except when you need to print in color.


    Thats what I do. STOP STEALING MY IDEAS!!! :)
  • Schnapple 2007-12-03 12:09
    AbbydonKrafts:
    I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).


    Simple, it uses your color ink. Which runs out quicker and is way more expensive than the black ink. This is why you have the $50 razor (the HP printer), so you can keep buying blades (the ink). This is also why HP's ink division is the most profitable part of the company.
  • pscs 2007-12-03 12:13
    I'm not sure I'd call this a WTF. It'd be an easy mistake for a novice developer to make. Maybe an 'oops' rather than a 'WTF'.

    If they'd iterated through every record themselves doing a check on each one, that'd be more like a WTF. But it's not that unreasonable to expect a database engine function to be at least a bit efficient.

    If there is a WTF it's that someone more senior didn't do a code review and spot the problem.
  • pscs 2007-12-03 12:17
    I must say I haven't noticed this behaviour with my HP printers, either the expensive 990cxi or the cheap 40 Euro one.

    If the printer runs out of black, it prints a mucky dark brown colour, which I guess is it trying to emulate black using colour ink, but if the black is there, I change the black cartridges 2 or 3 times more frequently than the colour cartridges while just printing in 'colour' mode.

  • CastrTroy 2007-12-03 12:18
    MET:
    The writing out of the noise of a dot matrix brings back memories...

    Memories of printing something at the weekend that is. I still have the nice dot matrix I bought for my amiga in the early nineties. Win XP still has a good driver and it costs pretty much nothing to run. And who really needs colour printouts anyhow?


    I don't know why the dot matrix printer ever went away. For printing out documents, it's definitely the way to go. I remember I could print out thousands of pages of text on a single $7 ribbon. It didn't quite look as good as a laser printer, but a 24 pin dot matrix could get pretty clear results. I don't think any printer laser or inkjet comes anywhere close to the cost per page of a dot matrix printer.
  • ArrogantBastard 2007-12-03 12:19
    So the WTF is that he took a working program that the client accepted and offered to rewrite it for free rather than charging for an upgrade and better performance?

  • pscs 2007-12-03 12:33
    CastrTroy:
    I don't know why the dot matrix printer ever went away.


    Noise, speed, quality, only b/w. They're now relatively expensive to buy as well (compared to inkjet), but they are still being made if you want one. If you need to print on multipart paper (carbon-copy paper) then dot matrix is really your only option.

    If you are printing out lots of stuff, in 'draft mode', in b/w, with the printer in a separate room, then they're fine, but printing out in NLQ mode they're quite slow (eg 110 CPS for a 24 pin printer) and can be very noisy if you have one right next to you...

  • SmartDude 2007-12-03 12:39
    The real WTF is that this was done using Windoze.
  • operagost 2007-12-03 12:57
    CastrTroy:
    MET:
    The writing out of the noise of a dot matrix brings back memories...

    Memories of printing something at the weekend that is. I still have the nice dot matrix I bought for my amiga in the early nineties. Win XP still has a good driver and it costs pretty much nothing to run. And who really needs colour printouts anyhow?


    I don't know why the dot matrix printer ever went away.

    - Slower than laser
    - Noisy
    - Uses ink (susceptible to water)
    - Terrible color output
    - 360dpi at best (and that's printing very slowly in partial-linefeed mode)
  • BlueEagle 2007-12-03 13:15
    AbbydonKrafts:
    I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).


    The real wtf is that you haven't read the manual. If you co to the control panel and choose printers and faxes (win XP) and right-click the printer and choose properties you'll find a nice button on the "Advanced" tab called "Printing Defaults" where you can set the defaults for printing amongst other things b/w or color.
  • Nutmeg Programmer 2007-12-03 13:18
    Let's not go knocking Clipper. It kept food on my table for a decade.

    The article is misleading since clearly our junior programmer did not learn the finer points of the language. As best I remember, in the latter versions of Clipper, you could define an index that specified not only the order, but also the subset, i.e. filter.

  • EON 2007-12-03 13:19
    Ah memories of amateur applications...

    I remember starting a new job and inheriting an app that spat out static html pages. Each page required a three-way join from the database and the run took over an hour for perhaps 1000 pages. When I noticed this, I made the join a temporary table before the run started and that cut the time to about 5 minutes.

    But I'm sure I've left a few egregious code blocks out there in my time... Glad I don't have to ever see them again (knock on wood).
  • ViciousPsicle 2007-12-03 13:22
    AbbydonKrafts:

    I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).


    Open the printers control panel, right-click the printer icon, and select properties. Then click the Printing Preferences button. Set it to black & white, and this will be the default from now on. At least, it works with my old Lexmark. I don't even bother to replace the color cartridge anymore. The only thing I print in color is photos, and I have a dye-sublimation printer for that.
  • AbbydonKrafts 2007-12-03 13:24
    BlueEagle:
    The real wtf is that you haven't read the manual. If you co to the control panel and choose printers and faxes (win XP) and right-click the printer and choose properties you'll find a nice button on the "Advanced" tab called "Printing Defaults" where you can set the defaults for printing amongst other things b/w or color.


    Actually, for some reason or another, that doesn't stick. I wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise.
  • edgarecayce 2007-12-03 13:24
    Here is the WTF: promising to rewrite the program for free.

    Sounds like a great idea, very generous. But any IT worker knows the rule:

    Last Person to Touch It Broke It.

    This is the situation where you help your mother in law do something simple, like reset the resolution on her display - and from then on, you get calls saying "You know, ever since you worked on my computer, something's just not right with it. Could you come see why it crashes every time I do xxxxxxx?" It won't matter when you explain that nothing you did could possibly have any way of causing the problem.

    Once he rewrites the program to fix the bug, he opens himself up to being called any time anything goes wrong with it, and to being expected to fix that for free as well. Because he touched it last - and MUST be the guy who broke it...

    Some things you learn only from experience.
  • Nex 2007-12-03 13:35
    edgarecayce:
    Here is the WTF: promising to rewrite the program for free.

    Sounds like a great idea, very generous. But any IT worker knows the rule:

    Last Person to Touch It Broke It.



    He likely already was the last person to touch it.
  • Curd Zechmeister 2007-12-03 13:44
    Going back and fixing a problem for no charge shows some really great character. Most people would have either (a) told them to go buy a large laser printer with lots of "memory" and without a "hum" feature or (b) told them to go buy a faster computer.
  • Jim Bob 2007-12-03 13:46
    did he give the operations manager a bj after that?
  • KattMan 2007-12-03 14:08
    Curd Zechmeister:
    Going back and fixing a problem for no charge shows some really great character. Most people would have either (a) told them to go buy a large laser printer with lots of "memory" and without a "hum" feature or (b) told them to go buy a faster computer.


    I disagree.
    Going back and fixing it for no charge when he should have known better would have been good. Going back and reworking things he did when he was still learning just because now he knows more, is letting them abuse your current experience.

    They paid for a junior, they got the work of a junior; don't later give them a senior for free.
  • Marc 2007-12-03 14:15
    Actually, it most likely was done in DOS. Nantucket (and later Computer Associates) never released a Windows version of Clipper.

    Clipper kept me out of the unemployment line for 5-10 years (much like 'Windoze' does now).

    Captcha: xevious - the hours I wasted on that game.
  • ammoQ 2007-12-03 14:28
    Paul:
    I suspect, if you could look at the source code for "Clipper" you'd see something like this where SET FILTER is handled:

    // TODO: 10/2/83 - Important, make SET FILTER work on data subsets before next release.

    Unlikely. Clipper has no concept of "query optimization" that would allow it to do that.
  • ammoQ 2007-12-03 14:29
    Marc:
    Actually, it most likely was done in DOS. Nantucket (and later Computer Associates) never released a Windows version of Clipper.

    Clipper kept me out of the unemployment line for 5-10 years (much like 'Windoze' does now).

    Well, there was CA Visual objects... I've heard rumors that some people actually used it (or at least tried to...)
  • RMW 2007-12-03 14:31
    If anyone wants a good printer then i can heartely suggest Brother printers, i got myself one last Christmas, and i have replaced the black once, the colours are running a bit low.

    for reference my previous printer (Epson photo stylus something-something) needed the inks replacing every 2 months or so.

    wahh the captcha is laughing at me :'-(
    BTW:that's meant to be a tear
  • Marc 2007-12-03 14:56
    ammoQ:
    Marc:
    Actually, it most likely was done in DOS. Nantucket (and later Computer Associates) never released a Windows version of Clipper.

    Clipper kept me out of the unemployment line for 5-10 years (much like 'Windoze' does now).

    Well, there was CA Visual objects... I've heard rumors that some people actually used it (or at least tried to...)


    VO was to Clipper what dBase IV was to dBase III. Maybe even worse, but less people were suckered into buying it. What a rip-off.
  • emurphy 2007-12-03 15:15
    CastrTroy:
    I don't know why the dot matrix printer ever went away.


    In my experience, dot matrix printers always seem to create alignment headaches when both the printer and the computer are trying to control things like page breaks. Switching to the Generic / Text Only driver usually works, but then the only way to include graphics is to pre-print them on the paper stock, which creates new alignment headaches and lets you screw up by printing on the wrong type of stock (never mind if the pre-printed stock runs out before the replacement stock arrives).

    End users probably care about the noise. And the desire to make documents-to-be-sent-to-clients look slick.
  • Greg Martin 2007-12-03 15:32
    Yeah, I'm sure that as soon as any old Clipper programmer saw the SET FILTER they knew where this WTF was going. There was nothing wrong with SET FILTER -- it did exactly what it was supposed to do which is also why you never used it unless the table was small or the majority of the records matched the filter condition.

    You had to use something like Comix (a Clipper add-on that allowed you to work directly with indexes) in order to manually do something approximating query optimization.

    While using something like Clipper with Comix required more lines of code to optimize data access it ran rings around SQL as far as speed at the time. Ah, the good old days when I had to walk ten miles uphill in the snow everyday to get to my IBM PC for work...
  • Shyama 2007-12-03 15:52
    Daisy wheel printers are good for multi-part paper.
  • Joe 2007-12-03 15:57
    This is the same exact thing that's currently in MS Access VBA. You can use Active X Data Objects (ADO) to open (and populate) a recordset object and subsequently apply a filter to it. However, when it does that, it opens up the entire recordset, caches it clientside, then applies the filter. Depending on the original recordset this can be a massive amount of data.

    The correct approach to using the ADO.RecordSet object is to apply your conditional statement when first populating it. Therefore, it brings into the client the filtered data to begin with. Much better.


    So instead of caching the entire customers table locally and applying a filter to get customer X, you should instead only open the records in customers table where customer = x.

    Hope that makes sense somehow.
  • Joe 2007-12-03 16:01
    Schnapple:
    AbbydonKrafts:
    I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).


    Simple, it uses your color ink. Which runs out quicker and is way more expensive than the black ink. This is why you have the $50 razor (the HP printer), so you can keep buying blades (the ink). This is also why HP's ink division is the most profitable part of the company.


    Do you know that for a fact or are you just guessing based on your cynicism? I thought their server or consumer desktop PC divisions were more profitable?

    Actually, you're almost right. According to the Motley Fool, their "Personal Systems" division brought in 31.8% while "Imaging and Printing" brought in 29.1%.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2006/08/18/hps-enviable-reinvention.aspx
  • Matthew 2007-12-03 16:02
    AbbydonKrafts:
    A dot matrix beats others any day when it comes to a quick, cheap printout. The ribbons are still cheap compared to ink or toner.


    There's nothing quick about a dot-matix printer. You want quick? Pick up a used HP laser (not the personal ones like the 5L, but an office printer). A toner cartridge for one of those will last forever under most personal/home use. And the quality is great... even on an old one.

    Injets just plain suck all around. I've all but given up on injet printers. Managing the ink, cleaning the heads, etc is a huge pain in the ass. Not to mention that most are just junk to begin with.

    And dotmatix printers are just plain noisy and SLOW. I don't know why anyone would want to use one except maybe as a check/label printer... something were a tractor feed would come in handy. But for nice, quick b/w prints, laser is the way to go.
  • emurphy 2007-12-03 16:04
    Shyama:
    Daisy wheel printers are good for multi-part paper.


    If you just need multiple copies, then you can do that from software. If the users need carbons that also transfer handwritten notes, then yeah, you need some sort of impact printer (I've heard of "carbonless" paper for laser and/or inkjet, but apparently it's expensive enough to be a deal-breaker).
  • w00t 2007-12-03 16:18
    Joe:
    Schnapple:


    Simple, it uses your color ink. Which runs out quicker and is way more expensive than the black ink. This is why you have the $50 razor (the HP printer), so you can keep buying blades (the ink). This is also why HP's ink division is the most profitable part of the company.


    Do you know that for a fact or are you just guessing based on your cynicism? I thought their server or consumer desktop PC divisions were more profitable?

    Actually, you're almost right. According to the Motley Fool, their "Personal Systems" division brought in 31.8% while "Imaging and Printing" brought in 29.1%.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2006/08/18/hps-enviable-reinvention.aspx


    Reading comprehension FTW.

    1) The Personal Systems division brought in 31.8% of sales, not profits.
    2) Even if the printing division only brought in $100 in sales, but at a cost of 0.00001 cents, they'd still be the most profitable division, seeing as their profit margin is better in relative, rather than absolute numbers, and
    3) the article you quote has this to say: "HP's most profitable division, imaging and printing" (and that's not just the ink, that's including printers and scanners; the loss leaders)

    So, yeah, whatever.
  • bwood 2007-12-03 16:24
    Jim Bob:
    did he give the operations manager a bj after that?


    Spoken like a true code monkey.
  • dlikhten 2007-12-03 16:33
    Wheres the WTF? This is a Failure, and the guy learned his lesson and even corrected it!

    I expected him to come in to a room with exploding printers and a rambo-looking guy maintaining them.
  • froggie 2007-12-03 17:05
    I had a dot-matrix printer back in the day ... it was SLOW, NOISY and the print quality was CRAP!

    Well yeah very fast dotmatrix printers exist, but they're expensive and they're still noisy and look crappy. Good for what they're used for ... reports, etc. Not so great for the stuff the average computer user prints out.

    I'm more than satisfied with my laser printer. And yeah, I can't imagine having an inkjet printer, they're a serious ripoff.

  • Minos 2007-12-03 17:32
    Kluge Doctor:
    I also am reminded of the old days. I remember being able to determine which report was printing based on the rhythm of the dot matrix printer.

    I'd walk by a coworker's desk, give a quick listen: tap, tap, tap...tap... tap... tap, tap tap. "Oh, you're printing the sales report, eh?"


    OEED? Or am I interpreting the taps backwards and it's STTW? I know, it must be ... - . .-- and he's telling you it's time for lunch.
  • business man 2007-12-03 17:45
    Pfft. What a loser. He should have pretended some unrelated upgrade would help him speed up the printing, then given them a fix that encrypted all their data and required an exorbitant annual license fee to continue working.

    In fact he shouldn't have even done the work. It would have been much more cost efficient to outsource the job to the third world. Those kids will work for peanuts, literally!
  • happy tappy 2007-12-03 17:47
    Kluge Doctor:
    I also am reminded of the old days. I remember being able to determine which report was printing based on the rhythm of the dot matrix printer.

    I'd walk by a coworker's desk, give a quick listen: tap, tap, tap...tap... tap... tap, tap tap. "Oh, you're printing the sales report, eh?"


    Sounds like a daisy wheel printer, not a dot matrix.
  • Zemm 2007-12-03 19:28
    pscs:

    Noise, speed, quality, only b/w.


    I had an Epson A3 colour dot-matix printer I got from the dump shop - it worked fine! The colour was a little dodgey though.

    Dot-matrix docket printers are better than the thermal paper ones in common use these days - mostly due to using "real" paper and the print not rubbing off/fading.
  • ChiefCrazyTalk 2007-12-03 20:20
    The real WTF (tm) is that I thought the Inline Eddie Bauer add was the subject of the WTF, but closely examining the advert didnt reveal anything WTFish.
  • Joe 2007-12-03 20:31
    w00t:
    Joe:
    Schnapple:


    Simple, it uses your color ink. Which runs out quicker and is way more expensive than the black ink. This is why you have the $50 razor (the HP printer), so you can keep buying blades (the ink). This is also why HP's ink division is the most profitable part of the company.


    Do you know that for a fact or are you just guessing based on your cynicism? I thought their server or consumer desktop PC divisions were more profitable?

    Actually, you're almost right. According to the Motley Fool, their "Personal Systems" division brought in 31.8% while "Imaging and Printing" brought in 29.1%.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2006/08/18/hps-enviable-reinvention.aspx


    Reading comprehension FTW.

    1) The Personal Systems division brought in 31.8% of sales, not profits.
    2) Even if the printing division only brought in $100 in sales, but at a cost of 0.00001 cents, they'd still be the most profitable division, seeing as their profit margin is better in relative, rather than absolute numbers, and
    3) the article you quote has this to say: "HP's most profitable division, imaging and printing" (and that's not just the ink, that's including printers and scanners; the loss leaders)

    So, yeah, whatever.


    My reading comprehension while posting during a hectic workday FTL.

    Yeah, I knew it was sales. And I did agree with you, I just wanted to make sure it was based on more than just cynicism for this crap-tastic practice of theirs.
  • Tac Eht Xilef 2007-12-03 21:48
    I'm sure that as soon as any old Clipper programmer saw the SET FILTER they knew where this WTF was going.

    Heck, as soon as I read the word 'Clipper' I knew what was going to happen!

    (Not a programmer, not in IT, but knew a few people in the 80's who's business was built around writing/selling/supporting a trio of Clipper apps running on PC/MOS.)
  • b0x0rz 2007-12-04 02:30
    that was just
    awwwwwwwwwwww
    so cute awwww
  • Synonymous Awkward 2007-12-04 03:15
    KattMan:
    Curd Zechmeister:
    Going back and fixing a problem for no charge shows some really great character.


    I disagree.
    Going back and fixing it for no charge when he should have known better would have been good. Going back and reworking things he did when he was still learning just because now he knows more, is letting them abuse your current experience.

    They paid for a junior, they got the work of a junior; don't later give them a senior for free.

    I guess that's why he said "shows really great character" rather than "shows really great business acumen" or "shows really great cynicism".

    Cynicism is cool.
  • Brady Kelly 2007-12-04 03:26
    I've just started rewriting a paid for application for free. My previous delivery was an MS Access application, as per the original request. Seeing as I have quite a bit more work to on it, and seeing as I'm really, really starting to like WPF, I'm redoing the first bit for free, as it takes a bit longer being new to WPF, but it's so much better than having to work any more than absolutely necessary in Access.
  • Nijans 2007-12-04 03:45
    Call me synical or greedy but I cannot fathom why anyone would throw themselves into the legal calamity it could create just to clear ones conscious about something one should not be conscious about.
  • pscs 2007-12-04 04:11
    Shyama:
    Daisy wheel printers are good for multi-part paper.


    Yes, but they're not easy to find nowadays for some reason... (~12cps, REALLY noisy - I printed out my degree practical work documentation on one I borrowed from the university - I don't know how I or the people around me in the student accommodation managed to sleep for the 2 days & nights it took to print it... thud-thud-thud-thud)

    As I said - dot matrix is really your only choice nowadays.

  • Joce 2007-12-04 04:51
    "I don't know why the dot matrix printer ever went away.... I don't think any printer laser or inkjet comes anywhere close to the cost per page of a dot matrix printer."


    I'm pretty sure you just answered your own question...

    Inkjet inks are one of the most profitable parts of the entire IT industry.

    (Which is why I just bought a cheap color laser - and boy an I happy with it)
  • rawr 2007-12-04 06:08
    pscs:
    Shyama:
    Daisy wheel printers are good for multi-part paper.


    Yes, but they're not easy to find nowadays for some reason... (~12cps, REALLY noisy - I printed out my degree practical work documentation on one I borrowed from the university - I don't know how I or the people around me in the student accommodation managed to sleep for the 2 days & nights it took to print it... thud-thud-thud-thud)

    As I said - dot matrix is really your only choice nowadays.



    "a high speed daisy wheel printer sounded like intermittent machine gun fire."...
    Wow. I want one! Them techno kids that live next door... Muaha!
  • Da' Man 2007-12-04 06:14
    snoofle:
    I respect anyone who a) owns up to a prior mistake, and b) offers to fix it - for free.

    Absolutely. And if I ever meet that guy, I will sure think if I have a job to give to him.

    Captcha: alarm - now, what's that trying to tell me?
  • Synonymous Awkward 2007-12-04 09:06
    Nijans:
    Call me synical or greedy but I cannot fathom why anyone would throw themselves into the legal calamity it could create just to clear ones conscious about something one should not be conscious about.

    Can't do "synical". I can call you "cynical", though, if you like?

    > You're cynical.
  • NeoMojo 2007-12-04 09:37
    bwood:
    Jim Bob:
    did he give the operations manager a bj after that?


    Spoken like a true code monkey.


    Also in glorious Technicolor
  • SheRa 2007-12-04 10:49
    I can never understand why that thing wants to use the color ink for black text when I have a black cartridge in there, too! It only uses the black ink when I explicitly tell it to do Black & White Only through the properties (which has to be done every time I print something).

    HP is in the business of selling ink, not printers...
  • Crusoe 2007-12-04 10:52
    Nah, Line Printers rule you all. Nothing like printing a full line of text all at once!

    chunka-chunk-chunk-chunka-chunk-chunka

    Those things were fast! And the lab used wide format paper. They were perfect for printing out code for reviewing!
  • KenW 2007-12-04 11:37
    SmartDude:
    The real WTF is that this was done using Windoze.


    Ummm... No, it wasn't. Clipper was a DOS compiler.

    So I guess the real WTF here is your choice of posting names, isn't it?
  • whicker 2007-12-04 11:50
    I am not one for defending HP's ink ripoff, but ever hear of anti-aliasing? You can get more grays out of mixing the color inks at the edges of the black portions. It does this because when printing color, it figures you're... big surprise...? Printing graphics and photos?

    Also, I assume you're using Windows. If you go to Control Panel -> "Printers and Faxes" and set your Printing Preferences THERE, the settings will stick. Gee, you can even set your default printer here too, so that you don't keep printing your emails to the UPS label printer...

    Now, this is in before the possible cause of broken drivers.
  • Worf 2007-12-04 12:58
    Actually, it turns out that you can make a "blacker black" (so called Rich Black) if you overprint the colored ink black (composite black) with black ink.

    Of course, the primary reason is to sell more ink, the secondary reason is that it makes better blacks. (Printing presses often use this technique)...
  • Ross Presser 2007-12-04 13:27
    Successware released a free RDD (replaceable database driver) for Clipper called HiperSIX in 1996, I believe, which allowed you to specify the subset at index creation time. I don't think it really did query optimization though. For that you needed Mach SIX, an add-on.
  • EvanED 2007-12-04 15:54
    KattMan:
    I disagree.
    Going back and fixing it for no charge when he should have known better would have been good. Going back and reworking things he did when he was still learning just because now he knows more, is letting them abuse your current experience.

    They paid for a junior, they got the work of a junior; don't later give them a senior for free.

    I sort of agree. I don't think he would have been in the wrong to leave it alone, or ask for payment. That said, I suspect that he was more rewriting it for himself than for the company. And that shows character, and that you care about the quality of the work you produce.

    Now, there are still issues (the "last person to touch it" thing) which may not make it a good idea, but his heart is in the right place anyway.
  • Synonymous Awkward 2007-12-05 02:49
    KenW:
    SmartDude:
    The real WTF is that this was done using Windoze.


    Ummm... No, it wasn't. Clipper was a DOS compiler.

    So I guess the real WTF here is your choice of posting names, isn't it?

    In a sense, not really. It's almost always the ones with names like "SmartDude", "CertifiableGenius", "Intelligant"(sic), etc who get stuff wrong more than anyone else. I suppose that's what a lack of awareness of your own limitations does for you.
  • MadHacker 2007-12-05 05:49
    Actually, this sounds exactly like a dot-matrix printing a row of vertical bars or text in columns. It goes tap, tap, tap as it whacks the paper at each column.
  • Ch0 2007-12-05 06:18
    To silence [sic] all the arguments about dot matrix printer noise:

    http://www.theuser.org/dotmatrix/en/intro.html

    Captcha: Surprisingly it's vaguely relevant to this story and my post, but I won't be telling you what it is.
  • raveman 2007-12-05 09:15
    lol, that is a funny story, but boss was too good for him, i bet he could get some money for letting him play.
  • Stan 2007-12-05 09:30
    Ahh, Clipper. My fondest memory is a thousand line source file that caused the compiler to just fall over. No messages, no clue about where it ran into trouble, just C:> Turned out to be a missing comma. What a robust parser! I had to go back to a prior version of the code and reapply changes in ever smaller chunks until I found it.
  • Quote 2007-12-05 13:03
    I get free black ink for my printer (A phaser 860).

    Of course, it *is* a wax printer.
  • GrandmasterB 2007-12-05 18:08
    Nutmeg Programmer:
    Let's not go knocking Clipper. It kept food on my table for a decade.


    Amen, brother!

    To this day I miss the elegance of Clipper's code blocks :-)
  • Kuba 2007-12-06 01:29
    Matthew:
    AbbydonKrafts:
    A dot matrix beats others any day when it comes to a quick, cheap printout. The ribbons are still cheap compared to ink or toner.


    There's nothing quick about a dot-matix printer. You want quick? Pick up a used HP laser (not the personal ones like the 5L, but an office printer). A toner cartridge for one of those will last forever under most personal/home use. And the quality is great... even on an old one.


    I second that. In the US, just look on eBay for a while, you'll surely find something like a LJ8000 or 8100 that's available close enough to drive and pick up. Expect to pay $300-$400. With a new cartridge, it'll last you forever in home use.

    Cheers!
  • Not A Robot 2007-12-06 05:49
    Yes indeed, Clipper was way ahead of its time in simplicity and usability - even as a relative novice I was able to write an entire windowing (not GUI) database application in Clipper on my own - and it worked! Never had the same level of satisfaction with dBase III and IV...
  • FIA 2007-12-06 10:22
    AbbydonKrafts:
    BlueEagle:
    The real wtf is that you haven't read the manual. If you co to the control panel and choose printers and faxes (win XP) and right-click the printer and choose properties you'll find a nice button on the "Advanced" tab called "Printing Defaults" where you can set the defaults for printing amongst other things b/w or color.


    Actually, for some reason or another, that doesn't stick. I wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise.


    Try looking at the 'printing preferences' in the 'General' tab too, getting these settings to stick can be a pain. :(
  • Ydrol 2007-12-08 14:08
    Those are Sales figures not Profit. FWIW
  • gerryK 2007-12-09 02:27
    Ah the joys of Clipper! I learnt so much working with Clipper Make - some DOS version (dMake?)
    memory management with Blinker
    OOPs with Class(y)
    how to RYO cascading updates and deletes...

    There was a Clipper add-on called Provision(?) that let you create a GUI (DOS graphics mode rather than windoze).

    Oh how we waited and waited for VO while VB/Access headed towards world domination. Thank goodness for Anders Hejlsberg and Borland Delphi.

  • Doakes 2007-12-18 15:16
    I'm a mainframe programmer, but got roped somehow into working on a Clipper application about 12 years ago. I'm still maintaining it =(
  • Dave 2011-05-05 04:36
    rawr:
    "a high speed daisy wheel printer sounded like intermittent machine gun fire."...


    Funny you should use that analogy, the first time I heard a Smith-Corona TP1 in action the effect was like sitting in a sandbagged emplacement with a Ma Deuce firing a short distance away.