Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buggish: Microsoft Outlook - Replying to Meetings

I just cannot tolerate it after so many years and Outlook versions... why do they not include reply button as an option when you open an Outlook meeting? It has the forward and forward as iCalendar. Yes, you could just CTRL+R or Right-Click > Reply but some people just cannot understand how to do that (those people exist or they just enjoy messing with my brain). That or they conveniently forget every time I explain those options after I waste 2 minutes (plus being distracted from my work plus venting why they do not either write it down or open the several emails with the same steps).

Or I suppose I could just stop sending meeting minutes that way the boss can stop requesting them from coworkers when I am out. Sorry, that was my 2 minute rant. Back to work!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Outlook 2013 - Change Start of Week

File > Options > Calendar > First day of week

I do not know why this changed from my settings from 2010. I tried to get used to this for almost a year, but I just could not take it anymore. I am also partially sad that I do not have the brain agility to just get used it, but I just cannot get the correct date when I schedule things for work. Perhaps it is because everything else outside of Outlook still starts on a Sunday. The biggest problem is when the date starts reaching the end of the month and the day of the week header is further from the dates, my brain just automatically assumes Wednesday is the fourth day of the week and not the third day of the week. Anyways, I could practice more if I actually needed a calendar in my person life but the risks are not worth it for work when you are trying to coordinate 30-100 people.

While I am griping about the new Outlook 2013, I also hate that I no longer can open Outlook while not connected to the work network.


How to change the calendar to start each week to Sunday?
Change which day to start the week? - Outlook 2007

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Your exit clause - Work Contracts

This is a topic that is not discussed often and one that I have not really thought about. This may not impact everyone as not all jobs require you to sign a work contract. But this is something worth knowing before you are presented with one so you know what to look out for.


Guy Kawasaki Keynote - It's about meaning, not money - Business Innovation

Guy Kawasaki gives an interesting talk about business innovation.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Interview: Basics by Lazlo Bock

A linkedin article that gives 6 basic points on how to do well in interviews.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life: Car Loan Paid Off

I just completed my final transaction for my car loans. What a relief to have one less bill to pay.

Interestingly, paying off the final payment was not as easy as I thought it would be. When paying online, the normal amount was the final principal plus interest up to the due date. Since I pay online, I find it odd that it would be that amount since the transaction would be for that day. The page does provide the payoff amount.

My options at this point was to use the payoff amount in the "other amounts" field but I was skeptical whether that would trigger that I had paid off my car. I was tempted to just pay the larger amount (it was only 20 cents difference) but then I didn't want the hassle of having them send me a check. So I called into the service desk.

There was no hold time (even though the system told me it would take 2 minutes). There were a few options I had to go through which brought me through the payoff amount, and I got a third amount between the payoff on the site and due date amount. The lady was able to answer all my questions clearly and quickly.

I am to use the "other amounts" field and enter the site's payoff amount since the transaction is before end of day. The phone quote is assuming that I may be mailing in the payoff which it then estimates a 10 day quote.

Overall after three years, I am quite happy using Honda Financials. Hopefully, I did not jinx myself as I still have to wait for my title to be mailed.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Life: Exercise 20150316

Well, I am basically still stuck at the same weight. It still fluctuates +/- 2 pounds from the average. I have decreased the frequency of my gym visits. I now go every other day and sometimes the third day.

Either I have stretched my pants a bit or I may be a bit leaner. I feel leaner and my movements feel more fluid, so I think it is the latter since I haven't actually bothered to measure my waist. Overall, I feel more fit so I am happier about that.

More exciting news is that I ran outside for the first time all year and I have already jogged further and faster than I did late last year. My ankle issue felt like it was slightly coming back near the end of the run. Since it took more time to develop and was much less painful, I am thinking the issue is more to weak ankles than join issue. The issue did not return while I was on the treadmill the following days. As for my preparations for my 5k race, I think I am going at a good pace to beat 36 minutes which would be averaging a little faster than 5mph. I am now able to jog 5 mph for 30 minutes with easy effort where I am still not breathing hard nor feeling tired. Almost 2 months ago, 5 mph for 20 minutes was the furthest my lungs could handle.

I have also noticed that my runs improve much faster when I take breaks from my workouts. I feel like running everyday does not improve as quickly. Very unscientific, but the feeling is rather lop-sided. Even if I do not actually run faster or longer, I definitely feel less sluggish running every other day. Although recently I have not done any sort of exercise in between, I have done some other weight lifting exercises on the off days. This does not seem to detriment my runs except I will feel a bit more sore in the particular part of the body that I worked out which is typically the chest.

Sharing Salary

Here's an interesting post on sharing salaries within a company.


Monday, March 9, 2015

ASPNET Sessions and Response Redirect - Why logins do not always work after logging off

This is the first time that I got around to building a custom login user control. Typically, I build the login as part of the master page. Because of this change, there was a problem I ran into while testing the code. The issue was that I was unable to log into my application right after I log off. I can log in in the very first session or login again after it fails.

This issue is not a huge deal but can interfere with the user experience which makes it a big deal. But how often does a user log right in after logging off? This should not happen often and the user will likely naturally try again.

Any case, I found that I cannot Clear and Abandon a session in the same page transaction as I set a new session. Essentially, I found that this issue occurred only on the logoff page. I can log in twice because the page is redirected to the home page after the first attempt thus leaving the logoff page.


Not IsPostBack will prevent the issue that I ran into. Executing session's clear and abandon will trump any sessions set within the same page transaction, even if it is "executed" earlier in the code. By using Not IsPostBack will prevent the clear and abandon code to be executed when the Page_Load method is executed after clicking on the submit button.

Off-shoot issue

I had ran into a different problem earlier in my career (I think this may already have been fixed in the later .NET Framework versions), but in case the above does not help... here is an article that provides detail on using sessions and page redirects.