10 November

qooxdoo - the new era of web interface development

qooxdoo looks like a neat way of making web applications look better. Will look further into this.
Posted by thomas at 09:24:09 - No comments
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29 September

Brave new world...

"New output content protection mechanisms planned for the next version of Microsoft® Windows® codenamed "Longhorn" protect against hardware attacks while playing premium content and complement the protection against software attacks provided by the Protected Environment in Windows Longhorn."

Output Content Protection and Windows Longhorn is quite an interesting page. Looks like all Windows users need to get new audio and video equipment in order to play "premium content". I can't find my newspeak dictionary, so I'm not sure what premium content means.

It's fascinating how many tricks the entertainment industry comes up with to protect itself from its customers.
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20 September

Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP)

"Communicating Sequential Processes, or CSP, is a language for describing patterns of interaction. It is supported by an elegant, mathematical theory, a set of proof tools, and an extensive literature. The book Communicating Sequential Processes was first published in 1985 by Prentice Hall International (who have kindly released the copyright); it is an excellent introduction to the language, and also to the mathematical theory."

Another online book to read when I have spare time.
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12 September

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security

Wow, two entries in one day! I must be on fire! Antually, the report linked below comes from this page about the six dumbest ideas in computer security, linked from today's /. frontpage.

It contains gems like "turd polish" (it still stinks, but management might enjoy it's improved, shiny appearance) and "It is often easier to not do something dumb than it is to do something smart."

Worth a read.


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Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle

Nice report by Richard P Feynman about what caused the Challenger disaster.

Should also apply to how software systems are designed and built.
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18 July

Managing for Creativity

Yes, I'm still alive and jotting down things I should read when I can find the time. This time a piece from the Harvard Business Review (again from /.) about how to manage for creativity.
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09 June

Painless Software Schedules

Could software development schedule management be this easy? Using Excel?
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30 May

Windows rapidly approaching desktop usability

"Microsoft Windows XP, Home Edition, with Service Pack 2, is a tremendous improvement over previous Windows versions when it comes to stability and appearance, but it still has many glitches that keep it from being competitive with GNU/Linux for everyday users, including a tedious installation procedure, lack of productivity software included with the operating system, hardware compatibility problems, and a price so much higher than any of the Linux distributions I've tested lately that I don't feel this product is a good value for most home or small office users"

NewsForge does a review of the latest edition of Windows XP, comparing it to various Linux distributions. Funny 'cause it's true :)
Posted by thomas at 08:43:51 - No comments
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19 May

Why Can't I Patent My Movie?

A fun little essay (although it originates from a Swedish page) about software patents - as such.
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19 April

How to Survive a Zombie Attack

Kuro5hin has published a guide on how to survive a zombie attack. Might require some adaptation to local conditions, but well worth a read just in case. You never know...
Posted by thomas at 08:23:01 - No comments
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15 April

Wicked Cool Shell Scripts

A book that contains (or claims to contain) some wicked cool shell scripts. Examples included.
Posted by thomas at 09:10:29 - No comments
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07 April

Proof and beauty

An article from The Economist about how mathematical proofs in the future will be done by computers rather than humans. Will read later.
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17 March

I knew it!

"Large enterprises should not use Linux because it is not secure enough, has scalability problems and could fork into many different flavours, according to the Agility Alliance, which includes IT heavyweights EDS, Fuji Xerox, Cisco, Microsoft, Sun, Dell and EMC."

Linux is insecure and unscalable state the usual suspects. I knew it. I guess I'll just delete it now and go back to using Windows. Oh, wait...

The other day I needed to retire one of the hard drives of my work computer. It was old (from around 2000), only 8GB and had started making suspicious noises. So rather than letting it crash completely, leaving a complete reinstall as the only option, I decided to move the contents of it onto a new partition on the other, large harddrive. I have done this procedure many times on my Linux box(es) and it's usually a quick and painless procedure.

Obviously, Windows does not come with standard tools that let you do useful things. So, out comes Partition Magic to shrink my F: drive to make room for the current C: drive. Before this adventure started, my system drive was C: (master on IDE1). Then the CDROM drive was D:, CDRW drive was E:, and large HD (slave drive on IDE1) was F:. Lots of programs plus Windows' page file was stored on F: since it has plenty of space.

So, once PM had done its magic and shrinked my F: drive to make room for the old C: drive at the beginning of the harddrive, I copied the old C: partition into the newly created empty space on the slave harddrive, powered down the system and removed the old, faulty harddrive.

Now I had pretty much the same configuration as before. Two harddrive partitions, and two optical drives. So everything should be fine and boot up nicely. Oh, wait...

Of course, since I have moved the partitions onto the same physical harddrive, Windows has decided that it must randomly swap the drive letters around to ensure that at least something goes wrong. And it does. As I mentioned previously, the Windows page file was set up on F: since the old C: partition was nearly full. Since the drive letters have been swapped around, F: is now either non-existent or an optical drive and either way it does not work for swapping.

So now I can't log in. I enter my name and password, but after a minute of pondering Windows simply returns to the login screen. "Ok, I'll just manually configure the drive letters" I, naively, think. But since I cannot log in to the damn system I can't configure the drive letters, and the thing won't even boot to command line. So out comes the install CD, and I go into rescue mode. Nope, no way to inform Windows what the drive letters really should be there either (oh, how much easier this is in /etc/fstab). Hours of blood, sweat and tears follow.

Final solution: Get a new HD from storage. Copy old system partition onto new harddrive. Make two small dummy partitions on new HD to act as D: and E:, which made Windows' random drive letter assignment agent leave the old F: as F:. My optical drives are now G: and H: and Windows boots. I dread the next time a program installed from CD wants to read something from D:.

So.. while this certainly is not an enterprise class problem, it clearly demonstrates how Windows isn't quite ready for the desktop yet. It's still lacking proper system tools, and looks like something you'd buy in the Fisher Price section of a toy store. And is about as useful. But at least it only comes in one flavour..?
Posted by thomas at 08:30:16 - No comments
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11 March

How to Start a Startup

Yes, I'm still here, even though updates have been relatively infrequent. But since I mainly use this page as a reminder to myself of things that I should look at when I have time, it only means that I haven't had much time to find things lately.

But today /. links to an essay by Paul Graham about How to Start a Startup. Sounds quite interesting. Coming from a man who's made a load of cash on his own startup it sounds even more interesting. Will read later (when I'm not at work, the essay is long)...
Posted by thomas at 08:13:06 - No comments
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18 February

A parent's primer to computer slang

Finally you can understand 1337, too:

A parent's primer to computer slang
Posted by thomas at 12:05:20 - 1 comment
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