Thursday, November 08, 2007

Switching to my MacBook Pro for fulltime use

Finally have time to setup my laptop (MacBook Pro) for development after upgrading to Leopard (OS X 10.5) this week.

Fink or Macports?
In setting up Postgresql, I found several helpful links on the web for installing it but I found some used fink and some used 'port' (macports). I'm pretty sure these two packaging systems provide the same functionality but is there a preference for one? Is one more up-to-date than the other?

Where the hell are my configuration files for postgresql? I'm trying to confirm what port (s/b 5432) it's running on and also make sure it's enabled for remote connections.

Leopard is great so far. I'm finding the Spaces (virtual desktop) extremely productive for grouping applications on different desktops. Even with my 24" lcd, having this is a lifesaver as it keeps each desktop less cluttered when I'm running everything under the sun (remote desktop to my XP box, vmware fusion for those must have apps, numerous terminals, iChat/adium, safari/firefox, etc).

I bought the Apple wireless keyboard (thanks Scotty G) and started using it last night. This thing is sexy but I'm not sure I like having it so small. Size does matter! Also, I really really wish it had a numeric keypad. I knew it didn't beforehand but figured I'd rather live without it then have to buy a Logitech wireless package.

Just need to bump my ram up to 4gb now and this thing will be rocking.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Suggestions for BT Keyboard/trackpad?

Finally got my MacBook Pro 15" last night (more about that later).

I'm looking for a Bluetooth keyboard+track pad that will work with all of my PC, MBP and PS3. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, July 30, 2007

*This* close to buying my Macbook Pro

I've been waiting to buy my new laptop for a couple of months now as lately I've been wondering if I wanted the 17" or the 15".

The decision was hard as I wanted the 17" for the high resolution (1920x1200) but the backlit LED display of the 15" was also very tempting. My wait was mostly due to waiting, "ok, I'll just wait for the 17" to get updated with LED display".

So I found myself at the mall yesterday and I went to the Apple store to really compare the 17" vs 15" in size and see if the 17" was too big or not. Yeah it was a monster and heavier to boot.....but but...that sweet resolution. After alot of deliberation, I figured that I didn't need the high res when I was using it on my lap (in a mobile situation) and that if I was going to be in power use mode, I would probably be sitting at my desk and I would just attach it to my Dell 2407. Ok, done!! Decision made, 15"...flag down an Apple dude and ring up the order.

"So, how long does it take for you to build my machine if I want it with custom options?"
"Oh, only 10mins sir."
"WOW!!! Are you kidding? TEN MINUTES?!?! Great, let's do this *whipping out my debit card*"

After getting my name and email addr, he says, "ok, take this card to the tech and he'll get your new MBP"

"Wait, I didn't even pick my options yet. I want a faster hdd"

"Oh you can't do that here, we only upgrade ram"

"Doh!! I can't have my MBP today?"

"Sorry, if you want to upgrade the hdd, you'll have to order it online and they'll have it sent to you within 2 weeks".

So from ecstatic to despair, I walked out of the store with my head bowed down like my 3yr old son walking out of Toys R Us after I refused to buy him another Thomas the Train engine.

For you MBP owners. Is ram from Apple still overpriced? I did a quick look on Crucial and it seems alot cheaper but the sales associate said that Apple was competitive now. I'm looking to get 2x2gb

Secondly, is it possible for me to buy a 2.5" 7200rpm hdd myself and perform the upgrade? If so, then I'd probably be ahead as I'd have the orig hdd as spare which I can throw in an ext hdd enclosure. I'd also be able to head back to the store this week to pick the laptop up.

Oh and is it true that for people who will look at the screen for long periods of time, get the matte display and avoid the high gloss option?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Exception handling and clutter log files

Ran across this in a client's today

try {...}
catch (Exception ex) {
LOGGER.error("updateDropShipPriceOnImport()", ex);
throw ex;

Now, why would you log the error only to rethrow it? I'd assume that if you're rethrowing it, something else is/should catch this and handle/log it. So then isn't this just unnecessary logging?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

So you want to boycott the gas stations?

I'm sure you've received the chain letters complaining about the high cost of gasoline, asking us to all band together and not buy gas on a certain day. This is supposed to put a dent in the gas companies pockets. Kind of a "show 'em we're pissed and aren't going to take this lying down" type of action.

*LOL* It's not going to work.

If I were the gas company, you know what I'd do? I'd jack the price of gas up another 20% the day after this boycott. Ha! Jokes on us now isn't it?

There really isn't much we can do about it. The only people who can change it are the governments and they are clearly being paid off by the oil companies to do nothing.

If the cost of gas is really getting to you, re-evaluate your lifestyle and change it so you don't require as much gas.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Amazing week of poker results

Played a bit of poker this weekend and had some excellent results. What's funny is I basically took a week hiatus from the tournaments to work on something, so when I played these 2 tournaments it was basically a "what the hell I haven't played in such a long time, let's treat myself to a tournament with higher entry fee (fewer ppl and bigger prizes)"

Full Tilt Poker $12.5k guarantee, placed 2nd.
Poker Stars Sunday Millions, placed 266th (out of over 6600 players)

Earlier in the week, I also crushed my boys in our weekly home game to cap off an extremely profitable week and an awesome start to the month. Essentially quintupled my bankroll.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Redhat's head getting too big for it's own hat

Looks like Redhat is putting down it's foot and trying to impose trademark laws to stop people/companies from using it's licenced trademarks such as Hibernate, etc. in advertising their services.

Read Ted Neward's post on it for more details here

Most interesting is this quote:
Although you may offer object
oriented relational database mapping training, you may not use the Hibernate name to promote and advertise your products and services.

So I guess we need to remove any references to their products from our curriculum vitae.

Look like JBoss is having a bit of influence over at Redhat headquarters since the buyout.

I hope the entire open source and developer communities stand up and stop supporting any of Redhat's products. Stop recommending it your organizations, stop submitting patches for their software.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Comments on "How to use Java at a Startup"

Kurt Williams has done a very good writeup of things a startup company should considering when choosing development environments. You can read his blog here

I agree with most of what Kurt says but there is one thing that I would mention.

"Sure it's great for rapid Web development. But what about next year when you need to build a GUI?"

I find that a lot of overly complex solutions are designed/built on the basis of this argument. The counter-argument is that doing something in a quick time frame (ala RoR) and only concentrating on what you actually need now, provide immense benefits in time and cost. But more important is that it's hard to forecast your system's longterm needs so why invest time up front on features that may may never materialize? This may sound ignorant but I think that more often than not, we design/plan/develop to support things that we may need but never end up needing it. What's worse is when you've properly accounted for something but the business requirements have changed so much that you end up doing a major rewrite anyways.

For a startup, speed to market is of essence I imagine. Wouldn't it make sense to get your product out as quick as possible and when it takes off or you get that injection of VC, to then go back and revamp it properly?

I'm not a Ruby fan boy but I have been contemplating the choice of development environment for an upcoming project that Kurt's very post addresses.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Custom content for Sony's PlayStation Home?

Yesterday at the GDC, Sony announced their PS3 killer-app called "PlayStation Home".

You can see the demo here

Anyone have any developer details about this project? I have some ideas for content within the Home universe and would like to get details on how open this environment is to 3rd party content providers.

Can someone point me to an appropriate place to look/ask?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The sickest way of losing with pocket aces...

I had pocket aces in this Texas No Limit Hold'em game. The other guy also had pocket aces. How often do you see that huh? Well I lost and almost tossed my cookies when the river card fell.

Here's how it played out (I'm the "Hero").

Put that in your book of bad beats will you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Can you externalize Sitemesh layouts?

Let's say your organization has multiple web-apps running and they all currently share the same layout/style. Being the good little developer that you are, you are using CSS to separate the content from style and something like Sitemesh to aid in your layout.

But what if you decide you want to change the layout of all the company's applications? This would entail modifying each application's individual Sitemesh configuration (decorator) and redeploying. Wouldn't it be cool if the Sitemesh wasn't tightly coupled to your webapp and could be accessed from an external source? Wouldn't it be a godsend if you simply had to modify that one Sitemesh configuration and have all the referring applications pick up the changes dynamically (without even redeploying)?

Has anyone ever given any thought to this? Is it possible with the current implementation of Sitemesh?

What I'm shooting for is a global CSS stylesheet stored outside of the webapp's context to enforce a global style for the company's applications, and a "one Sitemesh to rule them all" configuration.