Thursday, November 09, 2006

Need Macbook advice

My 1.25Ghz w/ 1Gb ram, G4 Powerbook is getting a bit long in the tooth.

More infuriating is how often the spinning beachball
halts my work. Quie often, I have nothing other than
Safari open with like 7 tabs and I'll get the beachball.

So I'm looking at upgrading to either a Macbook or Macbook Pro.

I have a few questions that maybe some of you developers can
help with.

1. What's the battery life comparison between these two? My
PB rarely gave me more than 2hrs. I recall the G4 iBooks were
alot better. Is the battery life better in either the MB or MBP?
Yes I know the specs say up to 6hrs for MB and up to 5hrs for
MBP, but in your real life experience, please let me know what
to expect.

2. For watching movies, DVD's and doing development work; I
probably don't need the 256Mb video card option do I? No
I won't play games on this and Photoshop work is minimal.

3. Is it true the current Core 2 Duo cpu's are crippled
somewhat because the chipset on the logic board only runs at
667Mhz. I hear the next chipset, Santa Rosa, should run at
800Mhz and be out early next year. How much performance
improvement can one expect from this.

I think I'm pretty much decided on getting the MBP if I do
decide to buy one now. Simply for the higher resolution. This
is one thing I've always hated on the Apple laptops, very
limited resolutions compared to PC laptops.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Java code snippets

So I started a new contract recently and as I spent the first week reading documentation and going over the existing application's code, I saw something that wasn't wrong but it did catch my attention.

Do you see the difference between these two conditions?

String country = form.getCountry();
if (country.equals(Constants.USA)) {...}


String country = form.getCountry();
if (Constants.USA.equals(country)) {...}

The first sample is safer as you do not run the risk of getting a NullPointerException.

It's always nice to have the time to simply read other people's code and pick up on these kind of small things. One reason why code reviews are so valuable when done correctly (unfortunately it's hard to justify the cost to the organization and most places don't provision for it).

Is the Software Piracy situation really that bad?

We read about it all the time in the media. We read about software piracy rings getting busted and then the claims from the BSA or software companies of how many hundreds of millions of dollars were lost.

I'm not going to get into the whole "well they would never have purchased it anyway" argument.

I simply want to ask a question that begs to be asked. We hear the companies scream and cry murder when it comes to the losses they experience from file-sharing, software piracy, etc but does anyone ever pause for one second to a good look at those companies and sympathize with them?

What I'm trying to say is, I don't see many of these companies going bankrupt. What I do see are ever increasing budgets (ever see how much it costs to develop a blockbuster videogame). You'd be hard pressed to convince me of their pity when it's obvious their revenues and profits are still excellent, all in light of the hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars lost to pirated software/music/movies.

It's like listening to the guy driving a Ferrari cry about the amount of taxes he pays. Pass me my violin and lend me a handkerchief please.

I don't advocate software piracy but it does bother me the way the media portrays the problem to the public. Even worse is the way the courts treat these offenders, sentencing them to prison terms that would make a murder/rapist/drug dealer thank their lucky stars.

I don't advocate it, but I sure as hell don't sympathize with their pleas.