Work is never fun if you do it for other people.

But why?

I’d guess it’s not simply that someone else is asking you for it. It’s that the other person is *always* setting some constraints, defining the boundaries of what the thing should be, that don’t entirely line up with your own.

And then there’s a *disappointment*, a sense of the thing not being quite “right” as you have to cut and stretch the product to fit the Procrustean frame your client asks for.

Surprising SdiDesk news!!!!!

Like Cthulhu, SdiDesk, is still, currently dead, but occasionally stirs in its sleep and sends out weird dreams to the minds of men. Here’s one-such …

Around this time last year I got a new laptop with Vista and discovered that the old SdiDesk (in VB6) didn’t work. Not having VB6 on the machine (or any installers for it) I didn’t have a way to fix the problem. And anyway, I was (am) emotionally committed to getting off the Microsoft / VB treadmill and moving to a Python SdiDesk. (Really, I am!)

Six months later, though, heavily involved with GeekWeaver etc., I realized that I’d done nothing towards it. And SdiDesk was still broken.

I came across the new Visual Studio 2008 Express (free-as-in-beer) edition and decided to take a quick look.

It was s-l-o-w even on this newish laptop. And heavy, and I couldn’t make much of it. But I realized that a) while I still wanted nothing to do with VB.NET and Windows-only programming b) SdiDesk was going to go extinct pretty quickly if it couldn’t run at all. There seemed to be a closing window of opportunity to keep the original code-base and program alive. And I couldn’t quite bring myself to let it die entirely.

So why not find someone else, who already knows about his kind of thing (VB6 to VB.NET conversions)? Via Rentacoder I contracted Zebo in Faisalabad, and thanks to some dedicated work by him, the SdiDesk source is now converted to VB.NET.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this. The job Zebo did was a straight upgrade of the original VB6 code, (using the mechanical conversion and manually fixing the things the update couldn’t handle). It’s taken a while to sort out some weird security issues (eg. why the hell wouldn’t Vista let it see Today’s date?)

What there is now is new source-code which I’ve put on Google. If you’re a VB.NET programmer you can check it out of the SVN repository and it should run.

I want to make a couple of minor tweaks before I make an installer for end users.

After that I’m keeping an open mind. It will depend a lot on whether existing SdiDesk users upgrade and new users appear. In general, the aim is still to move off VB, but exactly how and when, is open-ended.

Remember that this is the official blog for SdiDesk news and discussion so you can always get the latest news here.