Archive for August, 2006

This is fairly cool

August 31st, 2006 No comments

Ever since the Fedora project changed their logo, I’ve been quite a fan of it. I’ve never really thought much about it, I just knew that I liked it.

This morning, I’ve discovered the Fedora “Summer of Code” project page, which provides a simple explanation of the components that make up the Fedora logo.

I’m now even more impressed with it. It’s simple, elegant, with a hidden, relevant message.

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How Can This Be?

August 22nd, 2006 1 comment

Why, on this list of “10 things you should never buy used”, is underwear not mentioned?

Surely, it’s got to number one?

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Missing the Point, I Feel!

August 17th, 2006 No comments

I get the impression that this article is missing the point somewhat.

It describes how some senior analyst feels that the Mozilla Corporation is not doing enough to push the Firefox browser into the commercial sector.

The point is, Mozilla has gained all this market share by not pushing. It has done in using word of mouth, and for it to gain the level of market share that is has, by only using that mechanism, then that is fairly impressive.

I think that analyst didn’t quite understand where the browser has come from, and how it is developed. His arguments make sense if he were talking about a business company which is concerned only with making profit.

However, the Mozilla Corporation is a different form of entity, and only exists to protect and nuture the commercial aspects of this Free Software browser. The fact is, that the browser came first, the company came second. (This is excluding the old Netscape/AOL days).

When you look at things that way around, their argument doesn’t seem well informed.

What also annoys me is that they describe the release of Windows Vista as “Imminent”. A slated release of January 2007 (5 months away) does not seem “Imminent” to me.

Note: I’m judging this on the strength of the article itself, not the report. Unfortunately, I have not read the report itself, so whether these issues stem from the report, or from journalistic paraphrasing in the article, I cannot tell.

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Australia Zoo

August 16th, 2006 1 comment

I’m slightly disappointed – I’ve spent the day at Australia Zoo.

There was nothing wrong with the Zoo itself, it was a really good day out, and I’m glad I went. I’m just upset that I didn’t get to see Steve himself.

Oh well, will just have to go again, when he is around next time.

Plus, I learnt that Koala’s absolutely stink! Not holding one of those again. Hope I didn’t come away with Chlamydia.

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G’Day from Brisbane

August 15th, 2006 No comments

Well, time seems to be rapidly passing, as I’m now within my last few days of being in Australia.

I’m currently sat in a hostel in Brisbane, and since last Tuesday, I’ve done a whistle stop tour of Melbourne (2 days), Cairns (3 days), and I’m half way through a three day stop in Brisbane.

I’ve been having a great time whilst I’m on this holiday leg of my trip, the highlight so far being a day of diving on the Great Barrier Reef – it’s undescribable how good it is, especially when a giant sea turtle swims out of the coral in front of you just to come and say “Hello!”.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Australia Zoo for the day, hopefully I’ll get to see Steve Irwin and some of his “littl’ beauuuuutieees”!

I’ve taken so many pictures since I’ve been here. There is over 100 on a 256 MB xD card I had, but I filled that one up so I’ve had to go and buy a 1 GB card instead – that did say there were about 600 pictures available on it, but now it only says 400, so I guess I’ve taken loads of pictures on that card as well. I’m gonna have a fun time cataloging them in iPhoto!

I’ve also had a quick look on my MythTV box, I’ve got so many programs to watch on that, it’s going to take me another month to catch up!

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Genius Quote from GMail

August 7th, 2006 No comments

OK, I was just looking through the “Deleted Items” in my GMail account. I noticed at the top in the RSS feed bar, that in the Deleted Items folder, it contains loads of recycling tips!

Anyway, I click on the next arrow, scrolling through them, until I came across this one:You can make a lovely hat out of previously-used aluminium foil.Genius! That one really made me chuckle.

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An Active Weekend!

August 6th, 2006 1 comment

Well, I’m still in Australia, another week has passed, it’s Monday morning, and I’m shattered.

I’ve had an overly active weekend seeing the sights of Sydney again, and this time, I’m still hyped from last night.

I did a ghost walk around the city’s old Quarantine Station. My god was it good. The whole place really does have the air of somewhere that has been abandoned, and the guide really paints a picture of what life was like for the people that were quarantined there – and I must admit, I don’t think I would enjoy it for one little moment. Apparently there were people quarantined there up until 1984, something that I just don’t think I’d enjoy. Whilst I was there, I met three amazing people for Ireland, who didn’t mind sharing a taxi with me on the way home (very kind of them). Unfortunately, I didn’t get their names or contact details, but if you end up reading this, thanks, whoever you are!

Anyway, I also did some other great stuff over the weekend, including the famous Bridge Climb – which is expensive, but worth it. I’ve also been to the IMAX cinema, which played havoc with my eyes, and at points I had to close them because there was nothing on the screen that I could focus on. The IMAX was a good experience, but the focus issue I had would stop it becoming the main standard for future television (for example).

So now, I have two days work ahead of me, and then I’m off on holiday for a week and a half. Should be really good fun.

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D Programming Language

August 3rd, 2006 No comments

I wrote ages ago about how I needed a language that was in the “C” family of languages, but took the edge of the “C”-ness (e.g. has inbuilt string types, not designed for OS writing). The only problem was that it needed to be very cross platform. As in, able to run on pretty much any operating system that has ever been written – for example, Windows, Linux, *BSD, *NIX, Mac OS, Mac OSX, Palm, Windows CE, Windows 95, Windows 3.1 (Yes!), Symbian, BeOS, Haiku, etc.

That pretty much rules out anything .Net (plus, I don’t have a budget for this so free (as in speech and beer) is the name of the game). I’m also ruling out Java – I have nothing against the language, but I don’t want to have to wait for a JVM to be written for many of those OSs, and I need to be able to dip into Operating System stuff on each platform (i.e. make it not platform independent). (If you are confused by that last statement and believe I may have contradicted myself then think central, platform independent, core with platform dependent code feeding information into the core).

My final requirement was for the language to be natively compiled – I don’t want scripting languages where a customer can look at the code and change or plagiarise it.

Anyway, Richard pointed me towards “D” by Digital Mars (there is a GNU frontend for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OSX – good enough for now). Seeing as I am in Australia at the moment and have time to spare, I’ve been looking at it and have decided that I like it, and the ethos around it. It seems some sensible criticism has been made of various languages, and the language built on top of that. Plus, I like the idea that they have made the language “easy to implement” (not “easy to develop with”) which means that there a less chances of bugs appearing the compiler itself.

Finally, their idea of error handling is a breath of fresh air. It’s much better than I’ve seen and used in C++, C#, Delphi, or Progress 4GL.

I think I’ve found my language of choice.

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