Sunday, November 27, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Thermal keypad snooping
This is an article about how to use a thermal camera to determine the combination on a keypad style lock (i.e, on a safe). Pretty scary that this is possible using such a simple technique.
Why do we love rounded corners?
..rounded corners clearly hint to what is inside ofand part of this cluster of information and what isn't. When designers use solid colors it adds another level of reinforcement of context: the illusion of weight and volume.
Evaluation: Moving from Java to Ruby on Rails
The productivity increase (and code footprint decrease) was basically staggering. We undertook a full analysis of the consequences of shifting our development from our Java stack to a Ruby on Rails platform. Ultimately we decided to shift from Java to Ruby on Rails.
Probably the most important advantage I see is that RoR makes 80% of your job much simpler. After all these years, we just don't need to be writing accessor and mutator methods on Beans and then trying to wire them into some persistence framework. If nothing else, RoR (probably along with some slick IDE that hasn't yet appeared) can be the defacto standard for writing typical CRUD apps.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Cut glass in circles with ordinary scissors?
Friday, November 18, 2005
How to be a programmer
Laser etched Powerbook!
Laser etched Powerbook!: "I didn't really plan using a $20,000 laser cutter on my 17' Powerbook to etch a 19th-century engraving of a tarsier, a nocturnal mammal related to the lemur (also the vi book cover image, from O'Reilly), but it seemed like it had to done. The results are stunning - photos and more...
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The Web 2.0 Workgroup
The (Solaris) Observation Deck
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Atari 800 XE Laptop
Getting started with RSS
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The Art of Project Management
If you're a software guy and want to get into the mythical world of project management for fun and profit, read that Chapter 13 and internalize the fact that it's all about the priorities.. I discovered the prioritized list several years ago as a by-product of practicing Extreme Programming. The central tenant to all of my software project planning efforts has become the big visible chart that shows the group's priorities.
A few laws go along with this. "If it's not on the list, it ain't going to get done." "If it's at the bottom of the list, it probably ain't going to get done." "If it's at the top of the list, it's what you should be working on right now.."
Monday, November 14, 2005
Don't try this at home
Pandora -- find music you'll like
This website, Pandora.com, claims to do the same thing. Seems pretty accurate. Neat UI too.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Physicist claims the universe is not 3D, it's only an illusion.
Physicist claims the universe is not 3D, it's only an illusion.: "The holographic principle is a new theory of quantum physics that claims that the universe is not in fact three dimensional at all."
Friday, November 11, 2005
Why Java (presumably) won't go anywhere soon
This is interesting because right now I'm writing an architecture definition for a new system--and being careful to be implementation technology agnostic in that description. Why? Because I want management to buy off on the system, not the implementation choices--so I can be free to implement it using whatever technology I'd like. At the same time, I'm getting the team that will be doing the implementation excited about using Ruby on Rails.
The architecture documentation is overkill, I know, but has value both as an architecture definition, as well as a political tool ("look at how well thought out this project is.."). The reason to use rails is because when push comes to shove management won't really care how elegant the design is--they just want it delivered. When our back is against the wall I do not want individual developers off doing their own thing in PHP and a smattering of .NET. This is an attempt to let everybody win. I'll let you know how it goes..
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Kind of defeats the purpose of mobile devices, eh?
So the Home Office crime prevention department in the UK just launched this three-year “Let’s Keep Crime Down” campaign with a specific bend on consumer electronics and portables to, um, help reduce crime. So without further ado, may we present our picks for the best of “Let’s Keep Crime Down”...
Kind of defeats the purpose of using a mobile device, if you ask me..
Thanks, to customer support
There's just one thing missing--an option for me to say "thanks." Wouldn't it be nice if there was a URL in this type of email that would allow me to send a quick note to the tech who resolved my problem and say thanks?
Infamous software bugs
1988 -- Buffer overflow in Berkeley Unix finger daemon. The first internet worm (the so-called Morris Worm) infects between 2,000 and 6,000 computers in less than a day by taking advantage of a buffer overflow. The specific code is a function in the standard input/output library routine called gets() designed to get a line of text over the network. Unfortunately, gets() has no provision to limit its input, and an overly large input allows the worm to take over any machine to which it can connect.
Programmers respond by attempting to stamp out the gets() function in working code, but they refuse to remove it from the C programming language's standard input/output library, where it remains to this day.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Ruby on Rails with J2EE credibility
The latest "Agile Web Development with Rails" gives a good treatment of many of the deployment issues with Rails apps. Combined with the above article, an architect can put together a systems architecture description that gives some credibility to Rails based applications in the workplace.
As an aside, according to Amazon.com Agile Web Development with Rails is #293 overall
and #6 in the Computers and Internet sales category. That's a little piece of ammo for those who say "we can't use Rails, nobody knows how to use it."
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Top 100 video games of all time
Of course, I'm disappointed at the lack of early video games in the list. No Centipede, Dig Dug, Space Invaders, Frogger, Defender, QBert, Asteroids, Tempest, Donkey Kong, Missle Command, etc. These were the games that caused a revolution in software--since most of us who started writing code in the early 1980's did so to write games like the ones we saw in the arcade.
But then, I'm getting old..
Saturday, November 05, 2005
How to install Ruby on Rails on Windows
As of this date/time, the secret of installing Ruby on Rails on Windows seems to be:
1. Install ruby182-15.exe
2. Open a command line and type "gem install rubygems-update"
3. Type "update_rubygems"
4. Type "gem install rails --include-dependencies"
The trick is to get the proper updated rubygems package--else you won't be able to get rails installed. Might be an easier way to do this stuff, but I couldn't figure it out..
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Brilliant -- IE browsing from within a Firefox tab
I'm glad to see that the folks at Mozilla have taken the time to detail their use of CI and made the tool they use, Tinderbox, publicly available. This is definitely worth looking into.