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  • Do support sites like Stack Overflow upset the paid-support open source model?

    - by ajax81
    In order to stay relevant in the marketplace, I'm researching new business models for my software company. The open source model with paid support seems like a good fit for our product, but I have concerns about whether or not a paid support model is viable in an era where top-notch help is readily available for free on sites like those in the Stack Exchange network. Case in point -- I moved my employees to Ubuntu last year because I didn't want to pay for Win 7 licenses and new hardware (plus, the mono platform was highly attractive). My staff had no Linux experience, but were able to achieve relative competency in about 120 days with the help of AskUbuntu, Stack Overflow, and a few "For Dummies" books. We did employ an Ubuntu consultant for 7 days to provide training and support, but beyond that spent $0.00 on any kind of paid expertise. In regards to my due diligence, I ran a 3 month beta of the freemium-paid-support model with one of our smaller customers, and achieved mediocre results. I'd like to think its because our software is so stable and easy to use that the customer didn't need much paid support, but I suspect that they circumvented the terms of our SLA in the same manner that we did with the move to Ubuntu. Does anyone out there has any thoughts, advice, or experience relevant to the move I'm considering? What worked, what didn't, etc?

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  • Do support sites like stackoverflow upset the paid-support open source model?

    - by ajax81
    In order to stay relevant in the marketplace, I'm researching new business models for my software company. The open source model with paid support seems like a good fit for our product, but I have concerns about whether or not a paid support model is viable in an era where top-notch help is readily available for free on sites like those in the StackExchange network. Case in point -- I moved my employees to Ubuntu last year because I didn't want to pay for Win 7 licenses and new hardware (plus, the mono platform was highly attractive). My staff had no Linux experience, but were able to achieve relative competency in about 120 days with the help of AskUbuntu, StackOverflow, and a few "For Dummies" books. We did employ an Ubuntu consultant for 7 days to provide training and support, but beyond that spent $0.00 on any kind of paid expertise. In regards to my due diligence, I ran a 3 month beta of the freemium-paid-support model with one of our smaller customers, and achieved mediocre results. I'd like to think its because our software is so stable and easy to use that the customer didn't need much paid support, but I suspect that they circumvented the terms of our SLA in the same manner that we did with the move to Ubuntu. Does anyone out there has any thoughts, advice, or experience relevant to the move I'm considering? What worked, what didn't, etc? Thanks in advance!

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  • What can I do with enthusiast single board computers?

    - by ajax81
    I'm a career Windows developer and the only experience I have interfacing hardware is with printers, USB, and point-of-sale devices. However, after reading this article my interest in enthusiast programmable boards has been peaked. Unfortunately, I'm at a loss when it comes to exactly what I would do with one of these boards. Are activities limited to simple exercises akin to the projects in high school where we hooked LED's up to bread boards and made them blink? or are they capable of much, much more?

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  • Just a general THANK YOU to EVERYONE. [closed]

    - by ajax81
    Hi All, I really just wanted to thank everybody that participates in the stackoverflow community. On more than one occasion, your minds have saved me from soul-eating project managers and career-ending deadlines. The commendable awareness exhibited by contributors that their answers are studied/used as learning material by millions of developers all over the world has created a regulated trust that seemingly keeps the nonsense (and egos) at the bottom of the barrel and out of the way. As an up-and-coming developer with so much to learn, I am grateful for each and every one of their patient contributions. I wish I could come up with a catchy/funny sign-off that makes everybody feel good, but I lack the funny bone that so many of the people on this site seem to have been born with. Instead, I can only leave my gratitude and a promise that as long as the community stays this great, I'll stay an avid reader...and one day be experienced enough to carry the torch of contribution. Sincerely, Daniel the Intern

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  • Having trouble with Regular Expression and Ampersand

    - by ajax81
    Hi All, I'm having a bit of trouble with regex's (C#, ASP.NET), and I'm pretty sure I'm doing something fundamentally wrong. My task is to bind a dynamically created gridview to a datasource, and then iterate through a column in the grid, looking for the string "A&I". An example of what the data in the cell (in template column) looks like is: Name: John Doe Phone: 555-123-1234 Email: [email protected] Dept: DHS-A&I-MRB Here's the code I'm using to find the string value: foreach(GridViewRow gvrow in gv.Rows) { Match m = Regex.Match(gvrow.Cells[6].Text,"A&I"); if(m.Success) { gvrow.ForeColor = System.Drawing.Color.Red; } } I'm not having any luck with any of these variations: "A&I" "[A][&][I]" But when I strictly user "&", the row does turn red. Any suggestions? Thanks, Dan

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  • Is it normal for a programmer with 2 years experience to take a long time to code simple programs?

    - by ajax81
    Hi all, I'm a relatively new programmer (18 months on the scene), and I'm finally getting to the point where I'm comfortable accepting projects and developing solutions under minimal supervision. Unfortunately, this also means that I've become acutely aware of my performance shortfalls, the most prevalent of which is the amount of time it takes me to develop, test, and submit algorithms for review. A great example of what I'm talking about occurred this week when I was tasked with developing a simple XML web service (asp.net 3.5) callable via client-side JavaScript, that accepts a single parameter and returns a dataset output to a modal window (please note this is the first time I've had to develop a web service and have had ZERO experience creating/consuming them...let alone calling them from JS client side). Keeping a long story short -- I worked on it for 4 days straight, all day each day, for a grand total of 36 hours, not including the time I spent dwelling on the problem in the shower, the morning commute, and laying awake in bed at night. I learned a great deal about web services and xml/json/javascript...but was called in for a management review to discuss the length of time it took me to develop the solution. In the meeting, I was praised for the quality of my work and was in fact told that my effort was commendable. However, they (senior leads and pm's) weren't impressed with the amount of time it took me to develop the solution and expressed that they would have liked to see the solution in roughly 1/3 of the time it took me. I guess what concerns me the most is that I've identified this pattern as common for myself. Between online videos, book research, and trial/error coding...if its something I haven't seen before, I can spend up to two weeks on a problem that seems to only take the pros in the videos moments to code up. And of course, knowing that management isn't happy with this pattern has shaken me up a bit. To sum up, I have some very specific questions I'd like to ask, and would greatly appreciate your objective professional feedback. Is my experience as a junior programmer common among new developers? Or is it possible that I'm just not cut out for the work? If you suspect that my experience is not common and that there may be an aptitude issue, do you have any suggestions/solutions that I could propose to management to help bring me up to speed? Do seasoned, professional programmers ever encounter knowledge barriers that considerably delay deliverables? When you started out in the industry, did you know how to "do it all"? If not, how long did it take you to be perceived as "proficient"? Was it a natural progression of trial and error, or was there a particular zen moment when you knew you had achieved super saiyen power level? Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my question(s). I don't know if this is the right place to ask for professional career guidance, but I greatly appreciate your willingness to help me out. Cheers, Daniel

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  • What are these values representative of in C bitwise operations?

    - by ajax81
    Hi All, I'm trying to reverse the order of bits in C (homework question, subject: bitwise operators). I found this solution, but I'm a little confused by the hex values (?) used -- 0x01 and 0x80. unsigned char reverse(unsigned char c) { int shift; unsigned char result = 0; for (shift = 0; shift < CHAR_BITS; shift++) { if (c & (0x01 << shift)) result |= (0x80 >> shift); } return result; } The book I'm working out of hasn't discussed these kinds of values, so I'm not really sure what to make of them. Can somebody shed some light on this solution? Thank you!

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  • Where can I view rountrip information in my ASP.NET application?

    - by ajax81
    Hi All, I'm playing around with storing application settings in my database, but I think I may have created a situation where superfluous roundtrips are being made. Is there an easy way to view roundtrips made to an MS Access (I know, I know) backend? I guess while I'm here, I should ask for advice on the best way to handle this project. I'm building an app that generates links based on file names (files are numbered ints, 0-5000). The files are stored on network shares, arranged by name, and the paths change frequently as files are bulk transfered to create space, etc. Example: Files 1000 - 2000 go to /path/1000s Files 2001 - 3000 go to /path/2000s Files 3001 - 4000 go to /path/3000s etc I'm sure by now you can see where I'm going with this. Ultimately, I'm trying to avoid making a roundtrip to get the paths for every single file as they are displayed in a gridview. I'm open to the notion that I've gone about this all wrong and that my idea might be rubbish. I've toyed around with the notion of just creating a flat file, but if I do that, do I still run into the problem of having that file opened and closed for every file displayed in a gridview?

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