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Flotsam and Jetsam #7

By Nick at August 30, 2010 04:55
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Julian Bucknall of DevExpress has a great post about a coding pattern that I didn’t know had a name:  the Composed Method pattern.  The idea is to break your code down into many methods with only a few lines of code.  His second point is the really important one, though:  We should be writing code to be read by people, not by the compiler.
  • Here’s an interesting article:  10 things non-technical users don’t understand about your software  Do you take utter noobs into account when designing your software user interface?
  • Question of the Day:  Can (or should) a software installer assume that an internet connection is in place?  I notice that most of the applications that I download and install these days are actually internet installers.  Thoughts?
  • Here is a good run down/review of Microsoft LightSwitch by long time tech writer Tim Anderson.  Interesting stuff.  Here’s the most intriguing quote by Tim:  Speculation – LightSwitch will one day target Windows Phone 7” 
  • Argh!  The iPhone now has a NetFlix app. I confess I am jealous and am anxiously awaiting  the ability to watch NefFlix on my Android.
  • This is an oldie but a goodie: Things To Remember If I Ever Become an Evil Overlord (Hat tip to Jeff Dunteman for reminding me....)

Flotsam and Jetsam #6

By Nick at August 20, 2010 13:10
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • We can’t all hire awesome programmers and we can’t all hire great team members, but you can consciously decide what you are going to get.  ;-)
  • Nice writeup on RAD Studio XE in SDTimes.
  • Remember when we were supposed to be wary of "chat rooms"? Do "chat rooms" even exist anymore?
  • Google looking at doing a tablet with Chrome OS?  My question:  What is the difference in Googles mind between Chrome OS and Android?  I would have thought that Google’s tablet would be Android based, but it appears that they are going to be using Chrome OS.  Huh.
  • My 11 year old son has done some pretty cool things with Scratch, so this article was of interest to me:  4 Tools for Teaching Kids to Code I am particularly interested App Inventor, which is for building Android apps.  That looks like something that might not just be for kids!
  • Here is a huge pet peeve for me:  Blogs that have “<—Previous Next—>” at the bottom.  Does previous mean “older” or “where you just were”?  Shouldn’t “Next” mean “I want to see the newer stuff”?  In addition, it never seems consistent.  How about “Older/Newer” instead?  That is obvious.

Flotsam and Jetsam #5

By Nick at August 16, 2010 04:55
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Looking for a semi-educational and non-banal toy for kids?  I can’t recommend the Perplexus enough.  It’s one of those frustrating, fun, challenging toys that you can’t stop trying.  I myself have not yet conquered the whole thing.  Okay, it drives me crazy, but it is great to have out on the coffee table when people come over.
  • I consider it a major failing of the marketplace that I cannot purchase a jar full of the stuff that is in the middle of Oreos.
  • I’ve been on a number of airline flights over the past couple of weeks, and I have a few thoughts:
    • Is it even remotely possible that there is anyone out there that doesn’t know how to use a seat belt?  They demo it every time.  Seriously? If you can’t figure out the seatbelt, or don’t have someone flying with you that can figure it out for you, should you even be on the plane? 
    • What, exactly  are “service items”?  As in “your flight attendants will make a final trip through the cabin to pick up any service items you may have”.  Is there no “garbage” or “refuse” allowed on planes?
    • Is it federal law that some crew member is required at some point during the flight to use the phrase “sit  back, relax, and enjoy the flight”?  I ask because I’ve never been on a flight where those exact words weren’t used. 
    • As an added bonus, how, exactly are you supposed to “sit back” in those notoriously barely-reclinable seats?
    • And what is the deal with this announcement:  “This will serve as a final boarding call for flight 666, service to Hell”?  What, aren’t they allowed to make actual final boarding calls, so they have to merely make announcements that merely serve as one?  Huh?
  • This is probably old news for most of you, but there is a new RAD Studio roadmap out.  And the next release of the product will be using the new “XE” identifier.  You can get a sneak preview of the product here.

Flotsam and Jetsam #4

By Nick at August 01, 2010 11:18
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • The Corporate Bulls*** Generator.  Sadly, I suspect that quotes were not computer generated but actually copied down in meetings by real people.  ;-)
  • Here’s my  marketing idea of the week:  For every 50th? 100th? 1000th? download of your product’s trial version, give that person a free license.  It would only cost you the opportunity cost of a free license, and would certainly garner some interest in your trial.  I don’t know – maybe it’s crazy – an idea worth what you paid for it.  ;-) I guess you’d have to defend against bots some how, but an interesting idea in theory.
  • By the way, my last post probably should have been titled “Getting the Internet into Another Room” or “Getting a Switch….”.  I didn’t really need to get a new router in there.  And it continues to work marvelously.  I heartily recommend the solution.
  • Hey, I thought I did a pretty good job here on my personal website, but this guy….. wow, very cool. And the Minesweeper game actually works. 
  • Nick’s Advice for the Week: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.  Actually, my wife said this one – I have to give credit where credit is due.
  • Geeky Post of the Week: I thought this was a very interesting post:  How Not To Sort By Average Rating.  I particularly enjoyed the “Sites that make this mistake” part.  ;-)
  • Controversial Item of the Weekprivate is the new goto.

Flotsam and Jetsam #3

By Nick at July 23, 2010 15:02
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • A number of you have noted that the Computer History Museum (which has both online content and a physical building up in Silicon Valley) has released the original Pascal source code for one of the seminal Macintosh applications, MacPaint.  I remember that application well – my dad had it on his original Macintosh.  I also have a strong memory of the graphic of the geisha for some reason.
  • I’ve stared using Thunderbird for my nickhodges.com email address, and I really like it.  (I used Outlook at all of my previous jobs….) and it has this cool feature that I’ve never seen before that can use keywords from your post to remind you that you haven’t attached a file when you said you had.  We’ve all done that one.  That has probably been around on other mail clients, but I confess to never having seen it.
  • I now have a public CV at StackOverflow.  And let me add that this is about the 34th time I’ve typed in my resume.  Okay, that’s a few too many times, but it feels like it.  Business idea: A central resume location that employers can just pull from.  LinkedIn, I’m looking at you.
  • If you are interested in HTML 5 (and you can include me in that group), you might find this tutorial interesting. It’s an interesting project – Be sure to read the “Did You Know” note at the bottom of the Table of Contents.

Flotsam and Jetsam #2

By Nick at July 21, 2010 14:37
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • I’ve added a page that discusses this blog and how I put it together.  And since I’m not above shameless hucksterism, please feel free to click on the referral link to DiscountASP.NET and get me a referral fee.  
  • The first time I remember seeing a URL in a TV commercial was around 1996 for Toyota. How about you?
  • There are so many applications out there that produce the most amazingly craptastic HTML, I can hardly believe it.  MS Word, I’m looking at you.  But you aren’t the only one.
  • Also added my StackOverflow Flair.  Had to tweak it a bit because the bottom was being cut off. Couldn’t quite figure out what in my CSS file was affecting it.  You, too, can get yourself some cool StackOverflow flair
  • Some of you noted that my disclaimer made even less sense than I intended for it to.  I re-read it, and by-golly, you guys were right.  So I fixed it, and now it makes exactly as little sense as I want it to.

Flotsam and Jetsam #1

By Nick at July 19, 2010 15:58
Filed Under: Flotsam and Jetsam
  • So, this is the posting category where I’ll put miscellaneous little items.  Those of you who have followed my blog in the past know that I like to do this.
  • There is an ulterior motive here: I’m post this with Windows Live Writer, so I guess if you can read this, it worked.
  • I also wanted you to know that I posted my resume on the site.  You can look at via the link over there on the right. 
  • I note with sadness that it sure didn’t take long for comment spam to show up.  I’ll have to get on that.
  • As I noted, I’ve tried to personally thank each and every one of  you that has sent along a kind work or a note of encouragement. If I missed you, I’m sorry.  And I’m also grateful.

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The views I express here are entirely my own and not necessarily those of any other rational person or organization.  However, I strongly recommend that you agree with pretty much everything I say because, well, I'm right.  Most of the time. Except when I'm not, in which case, you shouldn't agree with me.