Previously I had written about how a colleague and I used Pair Debugging to solve a tricky problem our customer was encountering. It took a while and some thinking outside of the box to figure out what was going on. The software was trying to FTP some data files. The FTP failed. The software responded by deleting the files. The missing files was the problem that was reported.
We had to duplicate and debug the problem in a development environment. At some point we got to the point where we believed that if the FTP worked, the software would work correctly. However we had to prove to ourselves that this was the case and there was not anything else wrong with the software. There was only one problem with this plan. We did not have an FTP server with which we could test. This is because our customer, due to security concerns, has shut down FTP all across the enterprise. That included our development servers.
Since we were already operating "outside of the box", I reasoned that we should be able to set up our own FTP Server to do these tests. I am sure we were violating one or more security rules by doing this. However our prime directive was to solve a high priority customer problem. Sometimes you need to bend the rules a little bit to get an important job done. I told my colleague to do a Google search for "free FTP Server for Windows XP". Luckily we got a result for Home Network Help. They had a site which walked us through enabling the FTP Server that comes with Windows XP Professional. Thanks guys for helping us out when we were in a bind.
Mysterious Double Instance Hampering Performance - I study the existing code base. Confer with a colleague. Then I determine the optimal plan to change the functionality to load only a slice of all the dat...