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Project: Dido Communications LTD Sector: Retail/E-commerce
Date From:March, 2000 Date To:July, 2001
Client: Didio Communications Employer: Didio Communications
Project Size: 2 Project Value:
Developed all the bespoke internal systems for production of secure audio books from DAT tape (as well as music such as classical for other clients like max opus) into different music formats for sale + download over the web. think the back end for the likes of Amazon and other major publishers. The production systems were designed for data entry, production, quality checking and to run reports in real time 24-7.

That included writing code to chop and normalize wav files, outlook plug ins for quality checking, database for data entry of music data, as well as software to produce print on demand compilation cds of the tracks the end user wanted.

so code to control cd burning tower, and to draw print various bar codes for assembly.
Originally the company was using third party macro key stroke software to send key strokes to apps to move down the correct data and to take a copy of the data in various fields, I replaced those third party macro editors with a proper desktop app, database system for the staff to use and to run the production lies, that was more robust than using macros and which also sped production up infinity as instead of hours and minutes to do certain tasks such as tagging, it took seconds instead and was more robust from being knocked out of whack.
From blank slate developed the it systems company required to operate 24/7 in very short time span. Directly taking responsibility of the companies internal IT liaising with the I.T. directors. Helped in recruitment of additional staff to work under me. One of thins most prod of was writing a WAV edit control and ID3v2 editors.

maintain composure when paul director the then didio managing director lost his rag when he found out that the mp3 files weren't playing, which involved me having to find a solution really quick. whereupon I had discovered a bug which was cropping part of the music tag to be cut off (when looking in a hex editor) which stopped it being recognized in music players, and I had to code something to strip the broken tag off and put a new one, thus saving my ass, as it mean the company didn't need to spend weeks restoring Wavs from backup to re encode.

outlook plug in to assign people mp3 files to test which meant listening to the start, end, and middle to check if they had been encoded correctly. and getting away with not fixing the spelling mistakes in the plug in i had written as it was internal.

writing code to render a wav file as one of those amplitude wavelength graphs in ma visual basic control, and functions to do normalization, cropping on it, all written in visual basic though alas i didn't keep a copy of the code.

code to generate various barcode formats for printing onto things, as well as code to read them which again I should have kept. (that was print on demand cds, and gift wrapping for a production line, to sign off on assembly for delivery of orders) Getting a 3k pay rise to take my salary from 25k to 28k

Configuring Oracle 8i with Tim [surname ???] to run on a Solaris box with manuals, as configuring that or doing database on that system in those days was insane. (used toad manually for interaction rather than the oracle software)

Being late for the train to travel with the directors to London to meet a company as the bus services weren't running or traffic backed up to some taxi strike or something and surviving the MD's wrath on having to catch the later train to meet up with them later in London to visit a company.

Managing to get out of the Md's office alive, after explaining that the reason I wasn't in the office on that one occasion was because we had all worked throughout the night, and next day for a deadline, and required sleep. (though i think I did leave leaving till the operations director got in the next day as I knew it would be an issue otherwise) was that 48 hours? or 72 hours or 24 hours without a break? i can't remember now, ahh the way older generation constantly guilt trip the younger generation into working stupid hours above and beyond EU working time directives to leave disgruntled staff for a deadline without a return though I think that was the operations director now. (on that remark I tend to find people only work long hours beyond contracted if they are cut into the percentages of a projects return (or was that if the company doesn't do that the company gets shut down? oh to have been privy to those meetings with the parent company at the time) and I know he had a percentage share, and yet none of the rest did!)

Getting the MD to pay for licences for copies of the CD ripping encoding software they were using in the production line as noticed they were all pirated cracked codes before and given the company expenditure on salaries and that, thought they should be able to pay for the £20 licence fees the software was asking for, this is probably because I was a developer and I thought it looked bad with directors reportedly on salaries of over 100k while software developers got nothing.

Helping getting someone i knew who had a computer science degree who was living on the dole in Durham, a job writing software at the company for me, to get him started in work he was assigned the e commerce web site though i did do some of the integration for the payment mechanism. (I was also one of the people conducting interviews at the companies but paul smithson the managing director and the Operations Richard Butterworth still needed to sign off on him being hired for the team) also sat in on interviews for the person who took over the oracle 8i database for live. though i didn't think we needed a DBA and given the purse strings were cut by the parent company, their you go.

Splinting up with my finance on the Sunday, then showing up for work on the Monday and being told by the directors everyone was being made redundant because the parent company had been bought out and the funding had been cut off
Implement all internal systems for small .com start up required to do business. Reporting direct to Directors who were not IT literate. E-commerce front end
Skills Utilised

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