Sunday, June 29, 2008

And the "Oh Touché" award goes to....

And the "Oh Touché" award goes to....

Simon Phipps for his masterful "Pot, Kettle and the required EULA" and his pointing out that it's easy to talk the talk, much much harder to walk the walk.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All change at Codepope Towers....

If you follow my Twittering, you'll know that earlier this week I went to Hannover for a job interview. Well, it appears to have all gone jolly well, and barring hitches, I will be the Open Source Editor for Well, I say all change; the blogs will still update of course, and I'll still be coding for research (and fun in my off time...) and I'll still be talking about all the things I often talk about.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

JSqueak.... Smalltalk in Java

It's small (5000 lines of code), it's MIT licensed, it has a development environment, it runs 10-30 times slower than a C based VM, but hey, it looks like fun. It's JSqueak, a Squeak interpreter written in Java.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

All praise the archivists....

Thanks to a friend who did keep the old copies of Personal Computer World from the late 80s and early 90s, I now have scans of the David Evnull columns which were my first writing experience.

Things that have amused me...

My use of the term "freely copyable" because back then there was no term "open source" and the only GPL software of note was GCC and Gnu Emacs. And there was no giving URLs for stuff; I was uploading files to Cix so at least there was somewhere online you could easily download them.

The user interface wars and the arrival of X Windows; Motif vs Open Look... Experience put me off the latter, but Motif never did make it. X Windows on the other hand is firmly ensconced on the Linux desktop and there is really no other alternative.

The Amiga 3000UX... I did give it one heck of a kicking in print for sucking (and being expensive suck).

My column which predicted the ACE initiative would be DOA... which became true faster than the columns went to print.

Oh the memories.... Thanks Adrian!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Union Jack - Unnecessary noise?

Mac OS X has a rather nifty international keyboard handling input menu, you can make it appear in the menu bar with a little flag showing what locale you are in.

But when you are in one country, and you use the the input menu to only get at the handy keyboard and character palette utilities (one shows you live, what characters the keyboard generates, great for locating the ™ or å or é, the other lets you browse the unicode character set).... then the flag is a bit noisy; overly colourful and depending on taste, possibly jingoistic.

So, for a fix, may I refer you to this Macworld article which shows you how to directly launch the keyboard and character palette utilities without having the input menu on screen.

But wouldn't it be nice if you could have a "Global citizen" mode on the input menu, so you didn't have the little flag (you could make it appear when you mouse over it)...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And now I'm split cos this.... equally as clever... Requiem's trailer dialog vs Toy Story 2.

Requiem For A Day Off...

I love messing about with video, the old mashup, one movie to the tune of another, it's fun.

But this... well, take Lux Aeterna from Requiem for a Dream, take Ferris Bullers Day Off... It really shouldn't go together, but Benji Films pulls it off. See for yourself.

Class work.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Footswitch

Well, they got back to me, with a promise to look into the console logging, but also, news on what they are doing next which sounds like foot switch heaven. I'm already pencilling in my order for it.

My new toy.... A Footswitch?

I just got myself a foot-switch. Well, officially it's a "StealthSwitch" for hiding your pr0n or games or Facilebook pages in the office. But it does come with software which just lets you map it to a keystroke. For me, I've mapped it to [SPACE] so that I can have both hands free and page through things like physical manuals and books. Works great in Google Reader. It actually thinks that it is a keyboard, generating up an "all modifiers+5" keystroke which the standalone app they ship with it intercepts and then does whatever action you map it to.

Why does it look like a keyboard? Well, I assume because that way, no drivers are needed for it and on a reasonably set up office machine, you shouldn't have users installing drivers. It's a cunning workaround for that problem. But, I have to say, if it's really a steathy thing then doesn't having this....

Picture 1.png

sitting in the menu bar kind of give it away. Full marks though for having a Mac application for it though, and bonus marks for it not looking like a Windows app.

Now I can sit back and pretend I'm controlling the browser.... WITH MY MIND!

Update: And minus marks for logging *every* press of the footswitch to the console. Mail despatched to their support.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Motivation 101

How do you motivate yourself?

My current motivation is Metal Gear Solid 4. My copy of which is firmly in the hands on Nomine, who will only give the game to me when I can show her my code doing what I told her it will do.

Soon, it will be mine.... soon.... um....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Working away....

So I'm not going to be getting any ADAs for my coding efforts, but I have to admit to becoming quite comfortable with [A fruity company]'s SDK for [fruity company]'s phone. In a couple of days, I should have the first working version of [secret codename] ready to roll, or at least start working through the bugs from me not knowing the real workings of this thing. Hey, I'm not used to managing memory by hand.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

World of World of....

The Onion has the news on World of World of Warcraft. Wow, I've never played World of Warcraft but this could be the expansion pack for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Senor Coconut Da Da Da

Cheesy latin remix of digital classic. Check.
Curious video with the sexy ladies. Check.
Gorilla suits. Check.
Did we check the cheesey. Check.
We have lift off....

(via Boing Boing)

Friday, June 06, 2008

LinkedIn's Architecture....

This slideshow of LinkedIn's JavaOne presentation has some interesting things to take away....

22 million users.

A 12GB JVM heap in "The Cloud" which holds 120 million connections between those users with in memory caching implemented in C++ and accessed through JNI.

99% Java implementation.

And an architecture that has evolved to scale. (Hey Twitter, take a look?)

Nice work LinkedIn.

(via Blogging Roller)

Now that I'd like to see....

"Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration (DCAC) simplifies surround sound setup with the push of a button by automatically adjusting speaker frequency, distance and level."

Speakers that move on their own. Cracking stuff Sony.

(Original release here)


Some links (rpt. previously twittered)

Worst solution for Twitters problems to date...

Great Logos of our time

Squirrelfish's logo rocks... just like Squirrelfish does. Nice work Webkit dudes. Up close on the logo here.

Hopefully, people like this will go away now Obama's the nominee.

And finally, sheer brilliance with a Spectrum, a dot matrix printer, a Finlandia TV, an old Scanjet and an array of noisy hard disks in Big Ideas (Don't Get Any).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Like drawing up your application designs?

If you do, you'll love Yahoo's Design Stencil Kit. Coming in Omnigraffle, Visio, PDF, PNG and SVG formats, it's a whole host of goodies for sketching out your app in your favourite digital notepad. The stencils under a Creative Commons attribution license, but attribution on created diagrams is optional. So, no excuse for dodgy diagrams any more.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Best apology of the day....

In an article on Newsweek, Close but not close enough*, on Clinton's "popular vote" claim, comes the final lines.

"*Changed from "Close--But No Cigar" to avoid the inappropriate (and unintentional, I swear) reference. Apologies to all for my stupid choice of words."

At least it lives on in the URL. Heh.