nLite config for slim Windows XP install on Dell Mini 9

Keep in mind that my Dell Mini 9 does NOT have Bluetooth or Webcam so I removed those components. Copy the contents below into a file called “Last Session.ini” and load it into nLite to use my config.

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Fresh slim Windows XP install on the Dell Mini 9 speeds things up

After running out of room on my Dell Mini 9 (that has a tiny 8GB SSD) I figured that something had to be done to make it my great little netbook again. Before anyone comments, yes I have the drive compressed, yes the pagefile and hibernation are turned off, yes I delete temporary internet files on exit from my browser. I have tried everything to maximize the space available but to no avail. And so I started to investigate some solutions to my problem:

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Codeswarm visual for software projects

I was installing SVN on my work PC when I noticed that CollabNet had a video of their SVN submission history. The video demonstrated a moving timeline with a developer’s name surrounded by the files they commit in a sort of firework display. The project called code_swarm ( is a Java project that parses out source control server history and creates these displays in a processed window. After trying the program out I thought that it would be a fantastic tool to encourage developers to commit small and commit often to “see their name in lights”. As an Agile Programming lover, the concept of continuous integration immediately came to mind and I know that this is a hard concept to get developers to buy into.

I was so impressed with this project that I decided to join it to contribute any way that I can. Everyone should take a look at the Subversion, Apache, and Eclipse codeswarm videos….really nifty.

First week at the new job is done

I have surived my first week at my new position at the City of Ottawa. My new position is an Intermediate Developer and Integrator for a third party app (Active Network’s CLASS application). I will be receiving support calls from City clients to maintain the system which may involve on-site fixes which is different and nice from my old job.

This week was like any week at a new job….reading! I have 6 textbooks on Oracle, 3 on Business Object’s Crystal Reports 10, and endless online reading for CLASS. My eyes were bleeding by 4:00pm Friday afternoon.

Otherwise all the people seem cool. I have a nice cadillac ergo chair with 5000 settings and a brand new PC which I am also glad about.

Last night Andy received his Canadian Engineering Iron Ring at the secret ceremony at Ottawa University. Now there are 3 ‘geers in the family (dad, me, and Andy). ERTW!

Serious R&R

With my week off I decided to catch up on some neglected gaming. First, I got my Valve fix with some Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead (very addictive). Today I went out and bought two Wii Wheels from Futureshop so that Monika and I could get our Mario Kart Wii on. I dont know what it is, but those stupid $10 wheels make the game much more enjoyable.

To keep myself from going game crazy I try to do some things that are productive. I am prepping my computer for a format/reinstall of Vista. I havent done that in about a year and a half which is crazy long for someone like me that enjoys having a fresh install every 6 months. My dad always says that I format as often as I change my shorts 🙂 I guess that probably isnt too flattering…but the metaphor stands.

Also on my list of things to do is to apply to PEO. I have put this off way too long and now it is time (to start acting professionally?).

I am also wondering if there are any good movies to watch before I have to go back to the grind next week? Suggestions?

The aftermath

It was tough to say goodbye to all of my coworkers yesterday. I was there for such a short time but our team was close. Hopefully I will be working with them in the future at some other job where we are not all fearing being laid off at any time. Ottawa is a small city. Monika took me to a private “farewell” lunch even though I am not saying farewell to her 🙂

On a brighter note, my little brother turns 25 today. It is a big year for him: getting married, new house in a couple months (like me), and graduating from university. I’m sure that he will sleep for the entire of Q4 this year from all of the excitement.

My last day at Nortel

So my final day at Nortel will be tomorrow. Our team had a great lunch today at Lonestar and everyone seemed to be in great spirits. It will be hard to say goodbye to all my friends and colleagues but it was a decision that had to be made.

And the story begins…cue violins…

With Monika and I both working at Nortel during this period of bankruptcy protection, the possibility of both of us losing our jobs with only 3 hours notification and $0 severance was quite real. With the new house coming in July and us needing to finalize our mortgage soon, that could be a real problem. If we were to lose our jobs at the same time (which would be uber shitty) then we would not be able to prove our employment to the mortgage agent and thus not getting the mortgage. If we didn’t get the mortgage then we don’t get the home. If we don’t get the home then we forfeit on many thousands of dollars of deposits which we have already put into the house. If we forfeit the deposits then I go mental. I dont want to go mental. And thus the dilemma…

So when Nortel announced in mid Jan, we started looking for new work like our lives depended on it (which it pretty much did since I would have had an aneurysm if i lost all of those deposits). Between January and March I applied to about 80 jobs online, had 4 interviews, and only a solitary letter of offer from my saviour, the City of Ottawa. I accepted right away since the Ottawa market for software engineers (read: entire worldwide economy!) is in the crap buckets right now and this offer was way better than I could have dreamt for. The work is right up my alley, the pay is super, it is nice and close to my new home, it is more stable (!!!!), and I get to pay my dues to my city.

I will take a week off next week before I start on March 30th and I will be rested and mega pumped!