Try Catch Finally

Technical Humor – No Exceptions

Monthly Archives: July 2011

Can you hear me now?


030 - Can you hear me now

Movie Inspiration: 300  _IMDB_Logo

Apparently ancient Sparta didn’t have very good cell reception.  Who knew?  I guess that’s a good thing.  If it did, Xerxes might have found that goat trail on Google Maps, and made the entire movie a WHOLE lot shorter.

CJ thought I should have given the Dude a set of abs, in keeping with the actors in the movie, but I resisted.  I doubt I could have done them justice.  It probably would have made him look like he was wearing a fishnet girdle.  Not a sight that would have done anyone any good.

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Ever work on an F5?


029 - Ever work on an F5

Movie Inspiration: Twister    _IMDB_Logo

In today’s comic, the Dude that was just hired is probably starting to reconsider his choice of employer.  What can I say?  Some projects would devour every last developer in the shop, and as many late nights and weekends as you wanted to throw at it, and it STILL wouldn’t get done on time.  That’s when you know your project is in the “suck zone”.

Most of the comic went together fairly smoothly.  The trickiest part resulted from me trying to be funny and work in yet one more reference to the inspiration movie – the cows.  Originally I had one cow tumbling through the air in the background, but that looked a little out of place considering how calm the weather looks outside.  So CJ and I settled for just putting a couple on the lawn.  After we declared it done, though, I realized there was something not quite right with the scale – either the cows are miniature, or they like to graze near redwoods.  Oh well, that’s funny, too.

Projects require a little magic, too


028 - Projects require a little magic too

Movie Inspiration: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  _IMDB_Logo

So, “Harry Potter” is finally coming to a close.  Of course, we all know how it ends, right?  Harry Potter wakes up in the cupboard under the stairs and realizes it was all just a dream.

All right – put the wands away.  I was just kidding!

It has been truly amazing to see the actors – especially the kids – grow over the last decade.  It’s also been fun to see how many British actors and actresses have been cast over the eight movies.  To me, it seems like it’s become a badge of honor to be cast, not unlike appearing on Sesame Street or the Muppets Show.

Dating myself?  Check.

Anyway, the line for this week’s comic was easy, but the visual proved to be much harder.  CJ and I flirted with trying to draw the head boy and the kids on the staircases at Hogwarts, and then writing in requirements for some piece of software into the railings and steps.  I didn’t think I could actually draw the staircases small enough to be recognizable and in motion, but in enough detail that you could actually read the words.  Then I struck on the idea of having the rug pulled out from under you as being a metaphor for having the requirements change on a project.  An Agile (with a capital “A”) approach to software can handle a lot of change on a project, but sometimes you still feel like the kids in the comic.

The real visual stroke of genius (CJ’s, of course) this week, though, was working the word “Requirements” into the scene.  Can you find it?

Testing, with a Will


027 - Testing with a Will

Movie Inspiration: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl  _IMDB_Logo

Poor Will Turner.  He really does need to get out more.  Hopefully a shower is included in the four hours of down time.

This week’s line was an easy one.  I love the original line, referring to the swords that Will made as a blacksmith, and the three hours a day that he put into practicing with them.  Testing video games seems to be a very easy way for a young developer to loose him- or herself in their work, so twisting it was easy.

Since I was going down the road of video game testing, I decided to give a nod to five great gaming systems of history – the Amiga, the NES, the Atari, the original Playstation, and the original XBox.  Of these, I spent the most time on the NES.  There were a few years there where my brother and I would rent a couple of games from the local video store, and play them all weekend.  Looking back, I can’t believe how much free time I had as a kid.  Of course, at the time I generally thought I had too much homework.  Hey!  Anything that cuts into your Legend of Zelda, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Megaman time hurts!