misc 05 March 2008
    "Smell Like a Bear"

    A recent stomach flu forced me into a 48 hour span where I didn't eat anything and drank little. By the second morning I was exhausted, still mostly nauseous, but starving.

    I started to make my way downstairs. By the second step I could clearly smell a wheat bread toast …

    misc 03 March 2008
    "MemCache as a General Protocol"

    I've been messing around with Starling. Working well so far, although I haven't done anything fancy with it yet.

    I also need to create several simple, small, single purpose servers (eg. one to translate IP addresses to country codes). I have the python code, I just need to turn them …

    misc 26 February 2008
    "Starling in Python?"

    Starling looks very interesting - it's a "light-weight persistent queue server that speaks the MemCache protocol". To use it you fire up your regular memcached client library, point it at the Starling server, and do a regular set to put an item on the queue, and a get to read an …

    misc 16 February 2008
    "Mille Fleurs: Disappointed"

    Mille Fleurs is one of San Diego's better known high end restaurants. We ate there with some friends last night and once again I was disappointed. The lobster bisque was luke-warm and a tad salty. The steak was good, but only cooked on one end (I'm not even sure how …

    misc 11 February 2008
    "Parsing and Normalizing Dates with Timezones in Python"

    This was a bit painful and not well documented, so documenting here for future reference.

    Say you want to parse and normalize dates with timezones (eg. dates in email headers, I believe based on rfc822). Here's what you do:

    Install pytz.

    import email, time, datetime
    import pytz
    utctimestamp = email.Utils …

    misc 10 February 2008
    "Jumping on the Obama Bandwagon"

    Obama continues to impress me. Listen to this speech on religion - he actually speaks in intelligent terms, assumes an intelligent audience, and refuses to take a divisive, one-sided stance.

    misc 04 February 2008
    "Map/Reduce (Hadoop) First Impressions"

    I'm finally getting a chance to actually implement map/reduce instead of read or write about it. General impressions so far:

    • Hadoop is fairly easy to install and get running.
    • The choice of Java as the default programming language feels strange to me. It'd feel more natural in Perl, Python …

    misc 22 January 2008
    "Shrek The Third for Wii: Recommended"

    The boys (4 and 5 years old) got the Shrek the Third game for the Wii a month or two ago and have been enjoying it since. It's a great game for young gamers; the controls are easy and the game is very playable. It doesn't throw artificial frustrating roadblocks …

    misc 17 January 2008
    "Attorney in the Making"

    I send my older son to get my middle son so they can get to bed. The conversation that ensues:

    "My dad needs you upstairs"

    "Why, did I do something bad?"

    "No, just come upstairs"


    "He wants you to brush your teeth"

    "Did you brush your teeth?"

    "No, just …

    misc 17 January 2008
    "Facebook’s Spam Problem"

    Facebook grew by providing a safe-haven from spam, an access controlled area where interactions could be limited to those desired by the user.

    Facebook respected users, famously limiting the amount of advertising to protect the user experience.

    The Facebook platform was brilliant, bringing immense value to the system.

    Now, however …

    misc 17 January 2008
    "The Problem with DSLs"

    DSLs pop up as a Good Thing(TM) every once in a while. I'm not entirely opposed to DSLs - there are certainly many cases where they make a lot of sense. But I am opposed to them as a general, let's throw it in there kind of tool.

    The problem …

    misc 18 September 2007
    "JavaScript: The Most Implemented Language?"

    John Resig's post on JavaScript Engine Speeds got me thinking - there are a lot of solid implementations of the JavaScript language specification. Is JavaScript the language with the most implementations? Are there any other languages that have as many runtimes or as many implementations of the language specification?

    misc 17 September 2007
    "Ideal Startup Space = Large Fishbowl"

    I'm with Dick on this one: ideal office space for a startup is a big fishbowl with no/few offices. Read Dick's post for the benefits; I largely agree with everything he says.

    For what it's worth, Overture used to be the-whole-floor-is-one-big-open-space-with-no-cubicles, so it can be scaled to much larger …

    misc 16 September 2007
    "Where Are the Python/Ruby/etc Messaging Systems?"

    Scaling requires the ability to decompose apps into pieces which can be spread across multiple boxes. An application composed of multiple pieces needs an efficient, reliable way to communicate between the pieces.

    With multiple cores now standard, even in a single box scenario we need pieces that can run independently …

    misc 13 September 2007
    "Telepresence: I’m a Believer"

    We've been using Cisco Telepresence systems for a month or two at work. I have to say, I'm a believer.

    My previous experience with video conferencing had left me unimpressed at best. Choppy video in a small screen, not worth the time nor effort.

    The cisco system consists of half …

    misc 19 March 2007
    "Jott: Great Phone Transcription Service"

    I started using Jott this morning and so far I like it. It's a simple service - you call a toll free number, record a 15 second message, Jott transcribes it, and sends it to you in email as both an audio and a text file.

    I thought it might be …

    misc 15 March 2007
    "MacBook Pro: First Impressions"

    My impressions of the MacBook Pro after 24 hours. This is my first Mac and I have virtually no previous experience with Mac or OS X.

    The laptop itself: solid. Almost attractive; certainly nicer than the run-of-the-mill black plastic PCs.

    Heavy. Much heavier than I had expected.

    Hot! This thing …

    misc 03 March 2007
    "My First (Yahoo!) Pipe: Fatwallet Deal Watcher"

    My laptop broke, leading to a visit to fatwallet, leading to the same old frustration with the lack of a notifier for specific new deals. I decided to finally put together a deal watcher.

    I started with the python Universal Feed Reader, which makes it amazingly simple to deal with …

    misc 08 December 2006
    "Google Reader interface everywhere"

    As I was moderating the 37 pieces of comment spam I received this morning (must've been a hiccup in Akismet) I was struck by how much the activity resembles reading RSS feeds. Quick scan of the contents, followed by an action. Not to mention the abundance of junk in both …

    misc 08 December 2006
    "Wiimote Windows Drivers and Hacks are Here!"

    Just last week I was calling for someone to hack up the Wiimote for PC use, and lo-and-behold, it's here!

    Hack-a-day gives an overview, Wii Hacks has lots of different hacks, and Bob Somers has even build a Wiimote Drum Machine.

    Apparently you grab the GlovePIE program, get yourself a …


« Page 9 / 11 »