Oct. 4th, 2013 09:57 pm
janewilliams20: (Default)
Chartered IT Professional. Well, it looks tough, but I think I'll be applying (eventually!) I can do so through either the BCS (where I'm really a member) or the IET (where I'm an associate by means of working for them). Actually, there's an interesting difference: the IET insists that you're a full member to go chartered through them, the BCS will award you BCS membership at the appropriate level if you don't already have it. I suppose I could in theory apply for full IET membership first, but even if I qualified (probably), it seems a little pointless. I'm not an engineer, and just how much alphabet soup do I need?

  1. Membership of BCS. Check.
  2. Appropriate academic qualifications? MA (Cantab), Computer Science is a bit low, but the extra experience will make up for it.
  3. 8-10 years industry experience? Yes, and then some.
  4. 3 of the last 5 years working at SFIA level 5. Yes... I think so.
  5. Pass a Breadth of Knowledge test, the syllabus for which runs to 34 pages (the last 4 are the reading list) - eek!
  6. Know my own specialist area, to be demonstrated by an interview with two assessors. Should be OK?
The IET gives me the services of a Professional Registration Advisor, and very helpful he is too. It's all looking a lot more possible now he's been through my CV and shown me how I need to change it to show the things I need to qualify as SFIA Level 5. I'll be doing the edits this weekend, I think. Then there's that Breadth of Knowledge test... there's an online practice one, so I can try that and see which areas need work. I have an idea a lot of this is knowing the buzz-words that translate to "oh, that? been doing it for years". At least, I hope so! If not, well the extra studying will remove another problem. I need two supporters who can vouch for me for three of the last five years. That'll be a lot easier once I've worked for the IET for three years.

janewilliams20: (Default)
But a Tweet from a fellow-coder pointed me at
this (View in a modern browser - Chrome is good, FF works, IE you'll need v10) Chart here.
That's done in CSS.
Yes, just CSS.
I "need" to learn CSS3. Not that it'll be of general use just yet (see  note above about modern browsers), but that is so elegant!

janewilliams20: (Default)
No, of course I didn't get my 9 am phone call. I'm still at home, and a LOT of phone calls have suggested an over-enthusiastic new surgeon who hasn't quite worked out the realities of life yet (like a non-infinite number of beds, and more senior surgeons who don't work 7-day weeks).

End result: yes, I will be getting a CAT scan at some point, as an out-patient, with transport. If an op is needed, it won't be the same day, it takes longer to examine the results than that. There was never any chance of an op today - the surgeon doesn't even work that day.

Method of getting there: grrr. Far too much of people who know nothing, people who don't ring back when they've promised to, and systems that might work if they bothered to explain them (which they don't). For future reference, if someone in the Lister gives you their personal number, it probably isn't an extension. It's a "bleep". This is a primitive device that does very little beyond being attached to them, and going "bleep". They then find a phone, call the switchboard, and get passed on to whoever was trying to call them. Or not.... But the people who'd given me numbers hadn't told me this, so I dialled switchboard, got invited by the menu to enter the extension I wanted, did so, and was told it was unobtainable. Repeat until very bored.

After a while, with about four people supposed to be calling me back and not doing so (I was using the mobile to call out and leaving the land-line open to receive) I got really fed up and followed the website to their facebook page. By now I was somewhat annoyed. Polite(-ish), but annoyed.

That doesn't seem to go direct to what I posted, so let me copy/paste here
What I said on Facebook )
It was about 5 min. after posting that I got people calling me back. They say it was the call to EAU that did it. For future reference, that's on 01438 781690

Oh, and that "on hold" thing? The Lister use Mozart for their on-hold music. It's quite nice.

janewilliams20: (Default)
But at the moment, I'm falling back on "interesting challenge in the art of finding a positive aspect to everything".

You know I mentioned the "Just One More X-ray Saga" as something to be explained later? Let's summarise it now: the last week of my stay in the Lister was due to needing One More Xray. This Xray would be taken at exactly the right angle to determine whether a thing called Talar Shift had occurred. There's a bone in the ankle called the Talar Bone that's a bit like a ball-bearing - it's held in a socket formed by other bones, including the one I broke. If it's not held in place properly, the entire ankle goes unstable, and isn't suitable for walking on.

So, they took this Xray, and then realised it hadn't been at quite the right angle, so I'd need One More Xray, for which the orthapaedic consultant should be present so as to make sure the angle was right, only I get down to Xray and they can't find him, so they guess, and take me back, and it wasn't right, and... repeat for a week. Maybe there's been Talar Shift. Maybe there hasn't. They're not sure. Probably not.

Eventually (last Friday) they decided to send me home, and get One More Xray in a fortnight, when I was due for a Fracture Clinic anyway. Any operation would have to wait till this one healed up, so I might as well go home and stop blocking a bed.

I just got a call from the Lister. They're now sure - yes, we have Talar Shift. They want to do not just an Xray but a CT scan, and then operate immediately afterwards. They'll keep me in for (at a guess) another week. Transport is being arranged, I'll get a call at 09:00 tomorrow to confirm times, but avoiding breakfast would be advisable.

Good points?
1) I know what to expect from hospital, I know what to pack, and what not to pack.
2) The problems expressed in trying to get me transport (can I get into a cab? yes, if I could get down the steep step to get out of the house!) led us to some experimentation and ingenuity involving the back door and careful positioning of chairs, and yes, we do now know how to get me out of the house, and back in again, on a walking frame. Whether we'd manage in and out of a car, we're not sure, but that's easier.
3) If I have to have this second op, better to get it over with. Much better than discovering Talar Shift by trying to walk and having my ankle falling apart on me.

janewilliams20: (Default)
Yes, there are probably less positive ways of looking at the last week, but what's the point of that?
Sorry, a bit delayed, but I didn't feel up to typing something this long on the phone.
So, what happened? Well to start with, we and another couple (not naming without permission) booked a holiday in France. Down to Avignon by Eurostar, pick up a hire car, then have a week self-catering in Arles followed by a week self-catering in Marsellian
The trip down, and the first week, was great. Seeing ancient French towns, Roman remains, riding horses in the Carmargue, the Bull Thing at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, acquiring a new Bear, good food, lazing under the honeysuckle in our private garden - all just as I'd looked forward to.

The house we'd rented in Arles had a very French personality, where that means, as it does with cars, that it doesn't work in various ways that are charming/forgivable. For instance, we were sleeping on the second floor, our loo was in the basement, and the stairs between the two were stone, uncarpeted, with light switches positioned such that you can only switch on lights to illuminate the bit of stair you've already negotiated, and unspoilt by such intrusions as handrails. Early Saturday morning, I went down (and having found my slippers, decided to wear them for once). I came back up to about three steps past the ground floor and kitchen, then decided to get a glass of water while I was at it. I turned round. This was a mistake.

Foot 1 tried to stand on a bit of step that wasn't there, foot 2 slid (smooth slippers, smooth stone), and the handrail I grabbed wasn't there either. I slid sideways and downwards, with accompanying "I'm not looking forward to landing" screaming, and landed. My predictions had been right. Left leg was out in front of me and wouldn't respond, right leg was under me and hurt quite a lot. Others arrived, lights came on. A look at the left leg revealed a foot that was at 90 degrees to where it should have been, with a bulge under the skin that probably indicated the end of a bone. No visible punctures. Shifting the chair I'd landed against and lifting me enough to extract the right leg made things much less painful and scary - bruises only, that side.

"That's either dislocated or broken. Phone for an ambulance." Oddly enough, I wasn't panicking any more, just wondering which it was. It didn't hurt enough to match what I'd heard about broken bones, which should have involved involuntary screaming. This wasn't even involuntary whimpering. The rest found phones, ice packs from the freezer, and cushions. The back of my mind was thinking "so this is what a broken leg feels like, how interesting. I probably ought to be in shock, shouldn't I?" But the front was perfectly capable of suggesting other frozen items that might work on the ankle, acting as an interpreter for the French phone conversation, telling them where the dictionary was and finding a pen. It also managed an fairly polite "ouch - please don't do that" when excessive pressure was applied via a freeze-block to the probable end of bone. In response, the back of the brain was going, "hmm, so if I can stay this rational, having a hero in a story talking coherently with a freshly broken leg won't be a problem at all."

The way the French emergency services operate is really interesting. Dave had been swapped in very rapid succession from an operator who spoke no English to one who spoke some to one who was more or less fluent. The vehicle had been dispatched by operator 2, and they didn't even confirm the detailed address until operator 3, they were working purely on the location given by the phone. What turned up wasn't an ambulance, it was "les pompiers". I'd always been taught to translate that as "firemen", but it looks like this underestimates them. What we got was a first-response and incident-control team. They assessed, took details, and phoned for what was needed next, keeping us informed as they did so. When the ambulance arrived, it contained a doctor, a pharmacist/anaesthetist, and an orthopaedic nurse. Doctor found a vein (after a bit of a struggle - yes, I was in shock) and put me on a drip. An oxygen mask was applied. An injection went in via the IV, and from my perspective it took about 5 seconds to go through tunnel vision, roaring in the ears, darkness, and Not There.

Icky bits under here )

Comparative hospital experiences )

Anyway, that was all the "this is an emergency, it happens automatically and free of charge". That's the result of the E111, reciprocal agreements between EU countries, and general civilisation. Other things require travel insurance, and this is where I want all readers to read and learn. Travel insurance is IMPORTANT. Really, really, important. Do not skimp on travel insurance.

Travel insurance. I mean it. Important. )

Transport by plane, with a cast )And that gets us up to me arriving back in the UK, and the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and is now more than long enough for one post.

janewilliams20: (Default)
I know, I'm still due to write a "what happened?" catch-up post, but this will have to take priority.
Yesterday, Dave brought in a couple of "get well" cards that had arrived at home. I suppose I should have expected one from work (though in fact I hadn't), but what I got was a bit more than a card. It's a multi-page, personalised, "Patient's Guide to Medical Terminology" that caused about 10 minutes of giggling and has been passed round the nurses here as well, signed by what seems to be more people than I knew I knew (can't read all the signatures, but there's a lot of them). And there's a Kindle voucher "to keep you occupied while you're out of action". They know me - so far I've got through about 6 novels on the Kindle that were already in the queue. I'll have to spend some time on the Amazon website deciding how to spend the treat.
I knew I worked for a good firm, and with some lovely people, but this was completely "above and beyond".
janewilliams20: (geek)
From [personal profile] pbristow 
"One of the great benefits of open source programming is that, if someone is unhappy with the way that a particular feature has been implemented, it is entirely polite and reasonable to tell them to fork off."

janewilliams20: (Default)
 This is Dave posting on Jane's behalf. Fractured ankle, in French Hospital with no internet access. Please pass news onto anyone who needs to know. will post update when i return home.
janewilliams20: (geek)
I may rave in more detail about my Jellybean update at some point, but for now: I wanted to send a text to Dave saying "Did any shopping happen that I need to know about?"
I had to type the first two letters of "did" and "any", and the first four of "shopping". After that, it correctly predicted every word I wanted to type.
janewilliams20: (geek)
So that's who did it.
This article says, of the new way ahead:
"Rather than code monkeys (sorry, structured language primates) implementing a specification drafted by someone responding to business requirements written by a stunned weasel, the coder is going ‘hey, what do you think of this’ to the customer…"
I've been doing that for a while now, but I always did wonder who'd written those requirements.

janewilliams20: (Default)
"Am I speaking to Mr or Mrs Villiams?" 
"No, there's no-one of the name of "Villiams" at this address" 
If you're supposed to be a pro at talking to people on the phone, at least learn enough English to pronounce their names! The letter at the start of mine is W, not V.

Next up, the ones who take far too long to say anything in response to my greeting. If my "Good morning" is followed by enough silence for me to say "Hello? Is there anybody there?" plus about 2 sec more silence, they get the phone put down on them. You're calling me, you're the one with something to say, so don't waste my time.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Amusing only when I try to apply it to my own house

tablinum, n.
[‘ An anteroom in an ancient Roman house, opening out of the atrium opposite the principal entrance and often containing the family archives and statues.’]

The room that opens out of my hall, directly opposite the main entrance, is the downstairs loo :)
janewilliams20: (Default)
 Any of my (female) friends considering a career in IT? Some useful courses here

BCS - Open Source Career Taster Days

"A series of three one day workshops for women returners aimed at raising awareness of Open Source development as a dual skillset or second career."
London, in May.

janewilliams20: (Default)
I knew this guy was in our family tree. I didn't know until yesterday, when I was looking up the Black Book of Carmarthen for some reason or other, that the earliest copy of the manuscript had passed through his hands - and he'd scribbled on it.

Just look down that link. "However, at some former period it seems to have been owned by another scholar and book-collector, Jasper Gryffyth (died 1614), warden of Ruthin Hospital, who has written in the 'Black Book' both his name in Hebrew characters and a note on its contents."

Here's more detail on this disgusting chap

And Jasper (ap) Gryffyth begat Humphrey (ap) Jasper (though a certain amount of nepotism in Humphrey's church appointments meant they dropped the "ap" and pretended not to be related at all).
Humphrey begat Humphrey, who begat Richard, who begat Thomas, who begat Ann. Ann married into the Fisher family, which eight generations later, produced a Jane.

Scribbled on the Black Book of Carmarthen. I may have to disown a large chunk of family tree for that. This also means discarding the Princes of Powys and a Roman Emperor, but that's a minor point in comparison to this hideous crime.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Someone I spotted at TORM - no use to me, I don't do those periods, but may be of use to others. The big banners on the stand say "Black Swan Designs", but that's actually the needlework and embroidery arm (also very good). They're a branch of "Historic Enterprises", an American firm. They make Dark Age up to about C15, and they do it well. No shortcuts - the Thorsburg trousers are done correctly, the linen shifts have been properly finished, with gussets and inset skirt panels where they belong. The lacing up the front of a later-period gown is at about 1/2 inch intervals, not the 2-3 inches you'd usually see, so you can be properly tight-laced, not a "loose woman".
There's a whole range of headdress "kits", with pictures to show how each should be worn, what they looks like, and when they would have been worn and by who.
Take a look at their web-site, you'll find the same attention to authenticity and detail - they explain the sources for each garment, and where decisions have been to move away from total authenticity, why they chose them.
They're a little more expensive than your average off-the-peg Dark Age, but not by much, and not as much as you'd expect from the difference in standard.
Well worth looking for at future markets, I'd say - I certainly will be if I need anything from their range of periods again.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 This has a new tag "linkedin", which should cross-post: it's a filter for the RSS feed

For future reference, I've set this up with twitterfeed.

It'll post from any RSS feed to either Facebook or LInkedin, plus various other services that I don't use (like Twitter!)
In this case I'm filtering by adding a tag to the RSS
so I tag anything I want cross-posted
but it'll also auto-filter by searching each post for words in the body that would make it either include or exclude.


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