I went and took this color test which does a sort of career analysis based on colors you like and dislike.

It tries to get you to enroll in a school or something, so don’t give it your email address or anything, but it’s interesting and appears fairly accurate. Here’s my result (along with a description of the test):

The Dewey Color System® is now the world’s most accurate career testing instrument. This report based on your personality traits indicates your two most enjoyable day-day-day occupation skills. It’s a summary of the full report, the Color Leadership Evaluation 5.0.

Studies indicate workplace enjoyment is the key to success. So as you read, consider only “Was I mostly having fun at work?” Disregard your present and past employer’s environment.

Best Occupational Category You’re a CREATOR Keywords: Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

CREATOR OCCUPATIONS Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

CREATOR WORKPLACES Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category You’re a DOER Keywords: Emotionally Stable, Reliable, High Energy, Practical, Thrifty, and Persistent

These adventurous types prefer action-oriented, concrete problems rather than dealing with thought-provoking, ambiguous, abstract dilemmas. Fields of interest include mechanical, construction, and outdoor careers. They might also enjoy working with machines, tools, and equipment to repair or build something.

I think people who know me would see it as pretty right on. Given my current occupation as a software engineer, I fall pretty close to where it looks like I should be - a mix between creator and doer. I kinda wish I had a little more in the way of “unstructured, flexible organizations” to deal with, but… well, them’s the breaks.

I wanted to be 3D modeler/animator at one point. That would have been along these lines, too. Hmmm.

vs comments edit

You may have noticed that every time you install the DevExpress DXCore/CodeRush/Refactor! products they go into a different install folder. For example, I have two versions installed right now:

  • C:\Program Files\DevExpress 2009.3
  • C:\Program Files\DevExpress 2010.1

The thing is, you can only have one version running at a given time, so it bothered me that there was a new install location every release. I felt like it was left to me to clean up a mess… but it turns out that’s not the case!

This “new install location for every release” is intentional because you can have multiple versions of DXCore/CodeRush/Refactor! installed and you can switch between them using a tool they provide.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Close all the running instances of Visual Studio.
  2. Go into the IDETools\System\DXCore\BIN folder in the most recent install location. For me, that means C:\Program Files\DevExpress 2010.1\IDETools\System\DXCore\BIN. (Technically you could go to the folder for any of the installs, but I choose to go to the most recent just in case there’s been a patch or addition to the tool.)
  3. In that folder, run the DXCoreVersion.exe program.
  4. The version selected in the dropdown box will be the latest version installed, not necessarily the active version. That’s important and could be misleading.
  5. Select the DXCore version you’d like to be active and click “Run.” In this example, I have version 9.3 active so I’ll select to switch to version 10.1.
  6. A lot of stuff will happen - the version of DXCore currently set up will be unregistered and the version you selected will be registered. Note that while the log will talk about “uninstall” and “install,” it’s not actually adding or removing the installation from your system, it’s just hooking things up.
  7. Wait for the popup to tell you it’s done. It takes a couple of seconds and the Close button isn’t disabled, so it might look like it’s done, but it’s not. Once it’s done, you can click OK to dismiss the popup and close the version switcher.

You can use this process to switch from any version to any version [that you have installed]. If you make sure to keep your community plugins in the default location (under your Documents folder, not under the install location) then your community plugins will transition along for free.

home, network comments edit

As part of our contract renegotiation with Verizon, we upgraded our network speed to 35/35 (35Mbps download and upload). When we did a speed test, however, we were only seeing about 20/15. I did some research and found out a few things that, well, it “would have been nice to know yesterday.”

You may need a new ONT. Some subscribers have old ONT (optical network terminal) boxes on the side of their house that can’t actually support the faster speeds. This wasn’t the case for me, but affected folks actually need someone to come out from Verizon and replace the hardware to get the full speed.

Not all speed tests report higher speeds correctly. I lost the links where I first saw this reported, but in the Verizon forums I saw several cases of common speed tests not actually reporting correctly. I saw this myself. Use the Verizon speed test to check your speed.

You may need to change some settings. Apparently Windows default network settings don’t allow the client to fully take advantage of the higher speeds. Verizon has a network optimizer that you can run that will update some settings and get things working correctly (you can also use it to reset your settings back to default). This worked for me on Windows 7, but if you’re on Vista you may need to read this KB article first. The settings it modifies (copied from their description page):

  • TCP 1323 Extensions - This parameter enables enhancements to the TCP/IP protocol that provide improved performance over high speed connections.
  • TCP Receive Window - This parameter specifies the number of bytes a sender (the source you are downloading from) may transmit without receiving an acknowledgment. Modifying it determines the maximum size offered by the system.
  • MTU (Maximum Transmission Units) - The MTU defines the largest single unit of data that can be transmitted over your connection. The FiOS network requires an MTU of 1492 bytes.

After running the optimizer I was able to get 35/35 on wired connections. Wireless connections still report weird for me - like 3/50 or something. It’s nice and fast, though, so I’m chalking that up to incorrect reporting rather than misconfiguration.

media, gaming, xbox comments edit

Two nights ago I did the full network reset again after having more trouble with Netflix streaming. That’s the second time in a week, and even after I reset it, things didn’t really get better. Then I had an epiphany and tested it out… and I think I’m onto something.

When you get online with the Xbox 360, it’s usually like this:

  1. Turn on Xbox 360.
  2. Sign in with profile.
  3. Dashboard refreshes and you’re logged in.
  4. About 10 seconds later an alert pops up telling you how many friends you have online.

My usual Netflix experience is:

  1. Turn on Xbox 360.
  2. Sign in with profile.
  3. Dashboard refreshes and I’m logged in.
  4. Scroll up to find Netflix app.
  5. Start Netflix app.
  6. While Netflix app is loading, the alert pops up telling me how many friends are online.
  7. Netflix app takes several seconds to load.
  8. Select a show, start playing.
  9. Connection speed determination takes around 15 seconds.
  10. Connection speed is determined to be one bar.
  11. Alert pops up saying there isn’t enough bandwidth to stream.
  12. Exit the show, select the show, repeat from step 8 until I can get a speed that allows for HD streaming.
  13. Show buffers and plays. Occasionally the HD stream won’t hold and will downgrade to one bar, at which point exit the show and repeat from step 8 again.

What’s frustrating about this is that it seemed pretty hit or miss. I could retry upwards of ten times before getting a decent HD stream. Sometimes I can’t get anything over two bars period.

However,I noticed I generally didn’t have this issue if I was playing a game before I tried Netflix. That is:

  1. Turn on Xbox 360.
  2. Sign in with profile.
  3. Dashboard refreshes and I’m logged in.
  4. Start game.
  5. While game is loading, the alert pops up telling me how many friends are online.
  6. Play, then exit game.
  7. Scroll up to find Netflix app.
  8. Start Netflix app.
  9. Netflix app takes several seconds to load.
  10. Select a show, start playing.
  11. Connection speed determination takes around 5 seconds.
  12. Connection speed is determined to be full HD.
  13. Show buffers and plays. Usually no hiccups.

The difference is that I didn’t go straight into the Netflix app. So, after running through my usual frustrating “can’t get a signal” process last night, I thought I’d run a test:

  1. Turn on Xbox 360.
  2. Sign in with profile.
  3. Dashboard refreshes and I’m logged in.
  4. Sit and wait for the alert to pop up telling me how many friends are online.
  5. Scroll up to find Netflix app.
  6. Start Netflix app.
  7. Netflix app takes several seconds to load.
  8. Select a show, start playing. See what happens.

What I was doing was waiting for things to finish “settling down” after logging in. I’m not sure how else to quantify that, just waiting for whatever was going on in the background to figure out how many friends I had online.

You know what? I got an HD stream the first time.

After finishing watching a show in HD, I immediately tried to watch another episode and was greeted with the one-bar stream. Letting the app sit there for a few seconds idle, then selecting the show - HD stream, no problems.

My current hypothesis:

  • There’s something going on in the background when you first sign on to Xbox Live that causes the Netflix app to not get all the bandwidth it should. If you wait for that to finish, Netflix will treat you well.
  • After finishing a show, there’s something going on in the background on the network, possibly some sort of network connection being reset or resources being released. If you give it a few seconds to let that work, Netflix will treat you well.

This very well could totally be coincidence. It also might just be me.

That said, I recall “learning” this a while ago through some trial and error and promptly forgetting about it. It feels really familiar, like I knew it all along. I’ll keep testing and see how it goes; in the event you’re having similar problems, maybe it’s worth giving it a shot. Doesn’t cost you anything but a few seconds.

UPDATE 12/22/2010: This appears to only happen when using a wireless network. I ran ethernet cable to my Xbox a few months later and didn’t have any problems after that.