Approximity blog home
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Stand up meetings ..   25 Sep 04
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Check out this Dilbert comic

programmable pair for 400 kUSD :-)   25 Sep 04
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Stefan discovered this in the XP-ML.

Ha, ha: With this premiere programmable pair, happening holidays are just a few remote-clicks away.

Nowadays, most couples would love some extra arms and legs to help conquer their ever-expanding to-do list. Our 2003 His & Hers multifunction robots fit the bill quite nicely, thanks.

Someone at the door? Click your remote and send His Robot to check it out. His Robot's voice circuitry can deliver your greeting, and His on-board video camera gives you a view of the visitor, who can hop onto His platform and be delivered to you in the den.

Need some help getting the groceries into the house? Her Robot is happy to help. Need to leave a message for the spouse or kids? Tell it to Her Robot, and she'll spread the word. link

Watching the Net's background radiation   25 Sep 04
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(Source: The Register) When the city sleeps, it’s never completely silent. But when the Internet sleeps, what kind of static does it make? What does it sound like? Like the weird warbles astronomers claim to hear from outer space?

We’d like to share what the Internet sounds like when it sleeps, and in its current highly agitated state, we think it’s worth sharing.

Google - Quo vadis?   25 Sep 04
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Interesting blurb what Google will do next.


  • Advertisement market has limits
  • the cash from the IPO is the emergecy fund to reinvent themselves
  • only buy small companies with interesting technology
  • take on Yahoo and Microsoft, but not directly
  • Amazon, ebay, etc. are there to lose .. The key to making money in search is to get between people and what they are searching for, and that’s where Google is on a collision course not only with Microsoft and Yahoo, but also with Amazon and eBay
  • expect GoogleMedia taking on iTunes and entire new market places of intellectual property
  • whatever Google will do will be incredibly technical

Brown table strategy   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Dilbert) Today's Dilbert fits in wonderfully with the current outsourcing mania. link

A Quick Guide to SQLite and Ruby   25 Sep 04
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why the lucky stiff has written a nice introduction to SQLite.

So, lets talk about SQLites handsome features:

  • SQLite is swift. In my own testing, I have found it to be speedy. Some speed comparisons with MySQL and PostgreSQL are here.
  • SQLite is not a large database server, such as MySQL. You dont connect to the database. Using SQLite, you access a database file. Everything happens in-process.
  • SQLite is an ACID database. Supports transactions, triggers.
  • SQLite is public domain. Absolutely no licensing issues.
  • SQLite is typeless. Any type or length of data may be stored in a column, regardless of the declared type. This allows extreme flexibility and avoidance of type errors.
  • SQLite allows custom functions and aggregates. This is my favorite feature of SQLite, which we will explore shortly.


[ANN] rpa-base 0.2.1pre1   25 Sep 04
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Mauricio aka batman at his best again!!! Make sure you check out the animation on the website.
 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 is now available at .
 Many of the most popular libraries/applications as per Rubyforge
 statistics (rails, rake, redcloth, activerecord, sqlite, log4r, copland,
 ruvi, to name a few) have been packaged for use with rpa-base 0.2.1pre1.

 You can find a list of the 100+ packages at

 Screenshots and animations can be found at

 rpa-base 0.2.1pre1 fixes some issues in the bootstrapping phase, which
 couldn't hence be solved through the normal self-upgrade mechanism.
 In addition to several other bugfixes, 0.2.1pre1 features better proxy
 support, isolation of unit tests run automatically when installing a
 lib/app, and improvements in the command-line tool.


 The Ruby Production Archive (RPA) will provide packages of Ruby
 libraries and programs in a form that allows production use, engineered
 through a stringent process resembling FreeBSD's or Debian's.

 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA. Its scope and
 purposes are different to those of other systems like RubyGems.
 rpa-base is a port/package manager designed to support RPA's client-side
 package management. You can think of it as RPA's apt-get + dpkg. It
 features the following as of 0.2.1pre1:

 * strong dependency management: rpa-base installs dependencies as needed,
   keeps track of reverse dependencies on uninstall, and will remove no
   longer needed dependencies
 * atomic (de)installs: operations on the local RPA installation are atomic
   transactions; the system has been designed to survive ruby crashes (OS
   crashes too on POSIX systems)
 * parallel installs: you can install several ports in parallel; builds
   will be parallelized and the final phase will be serialized properly
 * self-hosting: rpa-base installs and updates itself
 * modular, extensible design: the 2-phase install is similar to FreeBSD and
   Debian's package creation; rpa-base packages need not be restricted
   to installing everything under a single directory ("1 package, 1 dir"
 * rdoc integration: RDoc documentation for libraries is generated at install
   time (currently disabled on win32)
 * ri integration: ri data files are generated for all the libraries managed
   by RPA; you can access this information with ri-rpa
 * handling C extensions: if you have the required C toolchain, rpa-base can
   compile extensions as needed
 * unit testing: when a library is installed, its unit tests are run; the
   installation is canceled if they don't pass

 Several of the above features are illustrated in the screenshots and
 animations available at

 A number of features have been pushed back to 0.3.0:
 * full support for binary platform-specific packages
 * signed packages/ports
 * system-wide configuration system
 * better user interface
 In practice, the first one is the most limiting at the moment since it means
 that win32 users in particular need a working C toolchain to install
 extensions. This will soon be addressed.


Update: Famous and not so famous programming quotes   25 Sep 04
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As Stefan has sent me many new quotes, I did finally update my quote collection again.

ruvi 0.4.11   25 Sep 04
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 in the very near future i'll be releasing ruvi 0.4.11.
 its a fairly complete vi(m) reimplementation in ruby
 thats getting to be fairly mature.
 includes stuff like:
   auto indent
   ruby highlighting
   curses interface
   macro support (new in .11)
   undo / redo
   class/module/method selector (major speedup in .11)
   word/filename completion in buffer (new for .11)
   rrb refactoring

Pictures Diary by Cedric Le Foll   25 Sep 04
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By accident I came across this great blog by Cedric Le Foll. Enjoy it.


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