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Hiring Techies and Nerds Audio   01 Jan 05
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(Source: ITConversations) Guest host Roy Osherove speaks with Johanna Rothman about everyday problems in project management, software delivery and the hiring of technical people. They discuss interviewing strategies, and some bad examples of interviewing technique. Also: How do I improve myself as a project manager?. How do I deal with unrealistic project deadlines? What’s wrong with running multiple projects at the same time? What is the most common management mistake?

Then, the topic shifts to the problems of project management as Johanna tries to answer a tough question such as, "What is the greatest mistake you see project managers do most often?" which leads into an interesting discussion about multi-projecting and why it can pose a problem for your projects. Also, more interesting advice from Johanna emerges when asked to give advice for new team-leaders/managers Johanna also talks about her new book: Hiring The Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds. And why she wrote it in the first place. To finish it all off Johanna answers one of the questions each project manager should ask themselves every once in a while: "What is the worst mistake youve done as a manager?"

Johanna Rothman is a well-known consultant, speaker, and author on managing high-technology product development. During her decade-long consulting career, she has enabled managers, teams, and organizations become more effective applying her pragmatic approaches to the issues of project management, risk management, and people management. Shes helped Engineering organizations, IT organizations, and startups hire, manage, and release successful products faster. Her assessment reports have helped managers and teams create and execute action plans that help them improve their projects and their processes. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher in the areas of project management, people management, and problem-solving.


Paul Graham speech from O'Reilly Open Source Convention (2004)   01 Jan 05
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The key to become a good hacker is to work on what you love! :-)

[ANN] One-Click Installer 182-14 Final -- Happy New Year!   01 Jan 05
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(Curt Hibbs)
 Finally, after what seemed to be an endless series
 of release candidates, I am happy to announce the
 final release of version 182-14. Happy New Year!

 This release of the One-Click Ruby Installer for
 Windows is built from Ruby 1.8.2 final. It includes
 OpenSSL, and upgrades RubyGems and FreeRIDE to their
 latest versions.

 You can download this release from:


 Changes Since 1.8.1-13:
 - This is a build of Ruby 1.8.2 final.
 - Added start menu shortcuts for the RubyGems
 RDoc Server, and for viewing the RDoc of
 all installed gems.
 - Added OpenSSL 0.9.7e
 - Added RubyGems 0.8.3
 - Added FreeRIDE 0.9.2
 - Updated FXRuby to 1.2.2
 - Upgraded Ruby-odbc to version 0.994
 - TCL/TK support no longer sets any environment
 - Corrected missing OpenGL support.
 - Added Start Menu shortcuts to documentation
 - Eliminated the installer dialog message that
 warned you might need to reboot your system.
 This allows for unattended installs using the
 command-line arguments:
     /S /D=<install dir>
     - Changed the layout of the Windows registry
     - Fixed a typo in a windows registry entry
     (bug 643).
     - Upgraded Expat to version 1.95.7
     - Upgraded DBI to 0.23

Linux Virtual Server (LVS)   31 Dec 04
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(mon+heartbeat+fake+coda solution) Virtual server is a highly scalable and highly available server built on a cluster of real servers. The architecture of cluster is transparent to end users, and the users interact with the system as if it were only a single high-performance virtual server.

The Linux Virtual Server as an advanced load balancing solution can be used to build highly scalable and highly available network services, such as scalable web, cache, mail, ftp, media and VoIP services. link

Command of the day   31 Dec 04
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Happy new year!
 ruby -i.bak -pe 'sub "2004", "2005"' *

Stefan suggested:

 find . -print | xargs ruby ...

Recording streaming sound with vsound   31 Dec 04
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Vsound - a Virtual Audio Loopback Cable

This program allows you to record the output of any standard OSS program (one that uses /dev/dsp for sound) without having to modify or recompile the program. It uses the same idea as the esddsp wrapper from the Enlightened Sound Daemon (in fact, vsound is based on esddsp). That is, it preloads a library that intercepts calls to open /dev/dsp, and instead returns a handle to a normal file. It also intercepts ioctl’s on that file handle and logs them, to help convert the audio data from its raw form. Vsound then uses sox to convert the raw data to the desired file format.

The upshoot of this is that instead of playing sound to the sound card in your computer, the data is recorded to a file. This is similar to if you connected a loopback cable to the line in and line out jacks on your sound card, but no DA or AD conversions take place, so quality is not lost.

One use of vsound is to help convert real audio files to some other format. Since the real audio format is proprietary, and all we have is a player, we can use the vsound to create a wave file like so:

 vsound -t -f /data/dvdburn/LL2/s2.wav  realplay rtsp://

DE: LaTeX vs XSL-FO   24 Dec 04
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Wir haben eine kurze Zusammenfassung geschrieben.

Ruby 1.8.2 preview 4 available   23 Dec 04
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Ruby 1.8.2 preview 4 is available from
  md5sum: 2f53d4dc4b24e37799143645772aabd0

  The final 1.8.2 will be out on December 25th (JST), unless any
  critical bugs will be found.

Postmodern programming   22 Dec 04
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Mathieu Bouchard emailt me this: First, I found this interesting (and wild) paper about Postmodern Programming:

Apparently, this has been believed by many as a hoax, and so has been linked to the famous Alan Sokal hoax (the paper "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity").

However I think it’s more like: a serious article written in a tongue-in-cheek style and talking about an unusual topic.

Other authors i know who are writing about postmodern programming, are Larry Wall (Perl) and Richard Gabriel (new online book "Patterns of Software"). These days I am attempting to read the latter.

Richard Gabriel’s work on software patterns, and for that matter, all the work on software patterns for the last decade, has been tremendously influenced by a book supposedly on Architecture (!!!), by Christopher Alexander, called "The Timeless Way of Building".

Both C.Alexander and R.P.Gabriel spend a lot of time on an elusive concept they call "Quality", which I immediately connected to Robert Pirsig’s "Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (1976), a classic I finally read this year. The connection between the two is quite large (Pirsig’s book even more revolves around that "Quality" thing). It has to do with attempting to define the undefinable, in particular, those aspects of a thing that make it good and/or beautiful but that, trying to approach them from a formal standpoint, slip through our fingers.

There are a bunch of other interesting aspects (IMHO) in all of those texts.

Team room   22 Dec 04
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William Pietri put some nice pics and text online.


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