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Oops .. saw this lonely bag lying at the airport   29 Dec 06
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I saw this poor bag fall at SLC airport .. and then it staid there .. I feel sorry for the poor passenger who saw his bag out of the plane window :-).

Wink: make nice flash movies of your software   29 Dec 06
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Wink is a great tool for Linux and Windows to record your desktop sessions. We used it to capture screenshots of a legacy app we had to port, that did not run on our OS.

It’s a jewel one should have in its tool-shop.

Chart of R colors   26 Nov 06
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This chart of R colors can come in handy.

Cycles of Observers   11 Nov 06
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Good post by John Carter to the pragprog@yahoogroups.com
 Let me relate a few war stories...

 Once I had a very very complex problem to solve.

 I had not the foggiest notion in which order to compute what.

 So I took the cowards way and hooked in the Observer all over the place
 so I didn't have to think in what order to do it.

 It was very slow and buggy and I was no closer to understanding in the
 problem than before. It did work occasionally though.

 I put in enough logging to see what order it did things in (when it
 worked). After glaring at that for an hour I saw the pattern, recoded
 it as a couple of tight while loops.

 Result...

 Very fast, very understandable, easily maintained, no bugs and no observers.

 Story two...

 Once I took over the maintenance of some code that had several
 observer pattern instances scattered around it.

 It was fragile, buggy, and erratic.

 After much loss of hair and many hours of poring over log traces I
 figured it out.

 There were complex loop paths through several observers. No mere
 mortal could really understand what would happen if object X updated,
 since the possible impacts and possible variants of paths were almost
 limitless and depended crucially on the order of registration of
 observers.

 After a brief killing spree amongst the instances of the observer
 pattern the code was still buggy, but at least no longer fragile and
 erratic...

Praisal to Dolphin Smalltalk   11 Nov 06
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"I planned 6 weeks to convert from ST/V to Dolphin, realizing that much of the non-GUI code was re-usable.—Here’s the killer, remember this was my First real Dolphin project, and second ‘smalltalk’ project.….The conversion took only 2 days, mainly because I could build and test in a workspace, and used SUnit Testing for non-gui stuff as needed. "

groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.smalltalk.dolphin/msg/fae4a931c64f5311

Human Computation   01 Nov 06
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Very good google video.

Luis von Ahn is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received his Ph.D. in 2005. Previously, Luis obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Duke University in 2000. He is the recipient of a Microsoft Research Fellowship.

ABSTRACT

Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games. For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game — many people play over 40 hours a week — and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because they enjoy it.

I describe other examples of "games with a purpose": Peekaboom, which helps determine the location of objects in images, and Verbosity, which collects common-sense knowledge. I also explain a general approach for constructing games with a purpose.

Matz keynote, RubyConf 2006   29 Oct 06
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Flash-video of the keynote of our "dictator".

Euruko 06 T-shirts   13 Oct 06
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Stefan updated the traditional Rubychan painting for this year’s conference.

Nice piano improvisation on Forrest Gump   08 Oct 06
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Forrest Gump: That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go... you know... I went.

OSX filesystems   02 Oct 06
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Great link at kernelthread.com. I am playing with webdav in rails these days .. so I had to learn about webdav :-)

 

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