Lessons learned

It’s all go at McLean Mansions but that’s nothing new for the first week in May with my sister celebrating her birthday on the 5th and my sister-in-law celebrating hers on the 7th. Of course that means presents and nice meals in restaurants, so we were out for dinner on Monday evening, and we’re back out tonight. Twice in one week! I know, I know, such a heady life I lead.

It’s not all fun and games though, I’ve spent the rest of my evenings either watching football, working on a client website, and royally screwing up my Windows PC (thank heavens I have a Macbook as well). Add in a fairly mental week at work and a rapidly filling list of things to do and I’ll admit that I’ve not really been fully concentrating on some things.

In other words I’ve fucked up a couple of things. But hey, a wise man once said you “learn by your mistakes”, although this stupid man is wondering how many more mistakes I need to make before being granted “wise” status.

However, in the spirit of sharing, here are a couple of the lessons learned.

* Geek warning active *

Lesson 1 – Never EVER share your entire C: drive

My Macbook is largely used for sofa surfing, I occasionally hook it up to a monitor and use it to work on but it’s convenient to keep it in the living room. With that in mind I setup some shared folders on my PC so I could grab files from it and work with them on the Macbook should the need arise. On Wednesday night I realised I couldn’t get the files I needed so I nipped upstairs and, in my haste, thought I’d just share my entire C: drive.

Word of warning. Don’t EVER do this.

Suffice to say that whilst I could happily browse the C: drive from my Macbook, when I returned to the PC later in the evening and tried to run Firefox I was told that I didn’t have permission, nor for Notepad, Photoshop, or any of the other applications I use on a regular basis.

Which, when you’ve got a client website approaching deadline, is a bit of a worry!

From what I can surmise, sharing the C: drive reset all the file permissions to the default admin user. I log in using my own username and could no longer do much.

Thankfully, Microsoft provide a nice little application that fixes this for you!

Lesson 2 – CSS *is* code
This is very much a simple lesson. Namely that, if you add a new CSS class to your stylesheet, even if you are still deciding what elements will be required and are only adding the class so you don’t forget to add it later, do make sure and use the correct syntax.

In other words. DO NOT add “.twitter_box_list”. DO add “.twitter_box_list {}”

Because, if you do the former, the browser stops reading your CSS file and any classes below that are ignored.

Which might just cause the footer of the website to suddenly leap up underneath the sidebar (for example), and whilst the normal fix for that is “clear: both” (for a two column layout) you’ll only find yourself flummoxed when you spot that that fix is in place and spend 25 minutes trying to figure out what the feck is going on.

There you have it. I hope that you have learned something today.

And no, not just that I’m a big idiot… I’d’ve hoped you’d already figured that out.


  1. Hg said:

    Lesson 1.1 – Windows creates hidden administrative shares for the roots of its drives, so your C: drive is already shared as \COMPUTERNAMEC$ (the $ keeps any share hidden). On your Mac, you’d go to the Finder, choose Go, Connect to Server… from the menu, specify the location as “smb://computername/c$” and off you go. It should prompt you for your Windows username and password.

    May 8, 2009
  2. Lyle said:

    re. Lesson 1 – Yeah, that can really screw things up. I’ve never done it (but then, I’ve never needed to) and always have one folder that’s shared called something like “shared_docs” – that has shortcuts to another couple of folders in it (to “My documents”, f’rexample) but that seems to work and keep things clean.

    Alternatively, as per Twitter etc., I use SVN for a lot of sharing, although it does increase one’s bandwidth usage (I never did get round to installing it locally, but have a specific SVN repository for sharable files, so I just add/commit to that, get it from wherever, and remove it when/if I’m done)

    As for Lesson 2, well, that’s just silly. 😛 It’s bitten me on the backside when doing on-the-fly CSS changes (usually via WebDev toolbar on Firefox) so I usually remember it pretty easily.

    Of course, a CSS app that automatically adds the brackets is always useful too…

    May 8, 2009
  3. Mariana said:

    In compuster science is specially true the fact that you learn for your mistakes (which are usually very painfull) like while using unix deleting the entire hard drive by mistake, getting a CD ruined and not have done a back up, and so on.

    May 9, 2009

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