Adventures in Software Engineering

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Switching from Mouse to Graphics Tablet

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I still remember the first time I got a computer with a mouse, an Atari ST. A giant leap from the 8-bit world of the keyboard-only ZX Spectrum, it was almost magic. It felt good, somehow more serious and professional. There was so much control over a new and intuitive desktop. The mouse opened up a whole new world of functionality. As the years drew on though I seemed to spend more and more time...

Spectrum-based Fault Localisation, a Primer

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We’re all familiar with debugging – it’s just part of life as a programmer. In all honesty though it is one of my favourite things, taking me away from the mental gymnastics of straight development and to a peaceful place of execution monitoring and pattern spotting. It’s like refactoring foreplay. Fun times. Most people don’t think like that of course because...

Finding Balance in Pursuit of the Perfectly Object-Oriented Unit Test

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I know this may come as a shock to the more starry-eyed or idealistic amongst you, but in software engineering the pursuit of perfection is usually a bad thing. Reading the work of people who follow the extremes often leaves me with mixed feeling. Whilst I generally agree with their principles the outcome always seems distasteful. A recent example was an interesting post on Yegor...

Configuring the Perfect Eclipse IDE

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I’m a huge fan of the Eclipse IDE, using it not only at work every day but for my own personal projects at home. It has come on leaps-and-bounds over the years, and is a great example of open source software overtaking many commercial options. As I have just changed system recently I’ve been rebuilding everything from scratch, so thought I would share a few of the tools and options I...

Farewell, Linux… Hello, Apple!

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For the last twenty years or so, I have almost exclusively used some form on Linux or Unix implementation. That’s changed. At first it was the excellent FreeBSD, until Linux¬†caught my eye and more particularly Fedora. At no point during that time did I ever feel the need to move to a paid operating system, and loved toying and tinkering with the system installed. Manually entering graphic...

Adventures in Software Engineering

Johnathan Meehan

Johnathan Meehan

I’m a software engineer with more years and stomach under my belt than I would like. I have an odd sense of humour and a predilection for junk food, whiskey and beer. My first job was in 68K on God’s computer, the Commodore Amiga. Since then I’ve worked here, there and everywhere being paid to play with all kinds of fun things and once even nibbled around the edges of being an Apache committer. Most time now is spent with Java, and I put a heavy emphasis on quality. When I grow up, I want to be just like Oscar Mike.

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