Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Why Java is Un-Cool (Debunked?)

As I mentioned elsewhere Paul Graham's recent keynote at OSCON got a lot of attention, not all of it positive. The Java Developer's Journal have published a rebuttal, although I'm not convinced they've actually read Paul's Great Hackers essay, or listened to his OSCON keynote. They seem to have totally missed the point of what Paul is trying to say, they don't really address his arguments about the features that "Great Hackers" want in a language. Oh well, never mind...

Monday, August 23, 2004

State of the Onion 8

I noticed that O'Reilly have put the text of Larry Wall's State of the Onion speech from this years OSCON online. If you weren't at OSCON, and you haven't heard Larry's speech, it's a recommended read.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hackers & Painters

I've just stumbled across a recording of Paul Graham's OSCON keynote speech. Paul's talk was one of the more interesting, and possibly the most controversial, I attended during OSCON, and after sitting through it both Frossie and myself went out and bought a copy of Paul's new book Hackers & Painters. I kept it for the trip home and despite taking the red-eye all the way back, which normally leaves me a useless pile of quivering jelly, I'd finished it well before I landed in Heathrow. It's packed full of interesting stuff and I thoroughly recommend it, an excellent book.

Hackers & Painters: Essays on the Art of Programming
by Paul Graham, ISBN 0596006624, 225 pages, £11.16

Eric S. Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, writes in the foreword to Hackers & Painters: "Paul's writing is, as you'll soon learn from the rest of this book, wonderfully lucid stuff. Reading Paul's essays is like having a conversation with a genius who doesn't need to score any points by proving it to you, except that most geniuses aren't as articulate as he is. You get to share Paul's sense that the Universe is a fascinating place, and his knack for looking at it from an unusual angle."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Business Cards

I got really tired at OSCON of being the only person there without a business card and promised myself I'd do something about it when I got back.

I wanted a custom card, something with the eSTAR logo on it rather than a standard stock logo. In the end I bought from a company I found using Google AdWords called I guess I could have tramped down into the city and found myself a print shop, but I really couldn't be bothered.

Their site let me design my own card, including uploading my own logo. In the end I had the eSTAR logo and my contact details on one side, with my GPG key fingerprint on the other side. While I had a few inital teething problems with their java applet used to design the card, looks like my Mac's Java distribution may be missing a few fonts, everything else went reasonably smoothly. I was moderately impressed, of course, I haven't actually got the cards yet...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Mac OS X 10.3.5 Update

Apple have just released the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update into the wild.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Mac OS X Process Limit

I've been running into the Mac OS X maximum process limit on my Powerbook while doing emerging social convention agent simulations for eSTAR, which has been more than somewhat annoying. Finally found a post about this problem in Phillip Moore's blog. Hopefully this will cure things for me...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Squawks of the Parrot

For those of you interested in the results of the Python on Parrot byte code contest, which lead to Dan Sugalski getting a pie in the face at OSCON, I was looking at Dan's blog and found some more information.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Frossie's Notes

Frossie has written up her notes from OSCON. I should probably do likewise...

Back in the UK

Arrived back in the UK yesterday, with much jet lag.

I got stacked and racked over Washington Dulles for an hour before being allowed to land. I got lucky, most of the planes in front of us in the stack had to divert to Reagan which would have been bad as there aren't any international flights out of Reagan. If I'd gotten diverted I'd would have had to overnight in D.C. unless I could have persuaded someone there to put me on a plane to Chicago or another major United hub.

Needless to say once I was on the ground, in an airport that had been more or less closed for four hours due to weather, things didn't really improve. On the other hand, I eventually made it out and onto a plane and got back into the UK only a couple of hours late, so it could have been worse.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Early start or late night?

I've got a 5:00AM PST check-in tommorrow morning. So despite the early hour I think I'm going to go to bed. I've got an alarm call set for 4:00AM, and a taxi booked for 4:30AM to get to the airport, so the only other alternative at this point is not to go to bed at all and I'm still jet lagged enough from the trip over for that not to be an option.

Extra! Extra!

Frossie has been talking to journalists again...

I would walk 500 miles

...or at least it feels like it. Due to the vagrancies of the airline industry I ended up with an extra day in Portland. So obviously, I immediately embarked on a shopping expedition. My aim, a souvenir t-shirt for my girlfriend and something small, light, and easy fitted into carry-on-luggage for myself, hardly a major undertaking I thought...

Despite the excellent integrated public transport system I decided to walk. Portland, like alot of major US cities, is laid out on a grid system so it should have been impossible to get lost, especially with the walking map of Portland in my possession.

The MAX, Portland's light rail system

Since I'd only managed to get to one of the seven Powell's stores yesterday, I was going to made their technical book store my first port of call. The technical book store is about two blocks from the main Powell's store and houses more than 80,000 volumes, all about computers. It's enough to make a good geek teary eyed...

Powell's Technical Books

Escaping after only a short while, with only a few books to weigh me down, I set about the purchase of various other items eventually succeeding in fufilling the expedition goals, although not without several hours passing...

Portland's China Town

...and getting lost. Well, not exactly lost, more misplaced. Somehow, I'd managed to get myself twisted around so that for about half and hour I thought the cross-streets were the verticals and the verticals were the cross-streets. On the up side, this did mean I got to visit China Town which wasn't something I was planning on.