David Pollak's blog... and such.Lots of DPP's thoughts here...
October 20, 2013
Back to Java
I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of code in Java between 1996 and 2002. I wrote web frameworks, spreadsheets, and much much more in Java 1.0 through Java 1.4.
Compared to mid-90's (pre-templates) C++, Java was a totally amazing language. And the JVM is the best run-time for any computer language.
The Long Strange Trip
In 2002, I started doing C#. Then Ruby. Then Scala. Some Haskell and most recently, I've been doing a lot of Clojure.
So, the amount of Java 1.5/Generics I did up through this year is very limited.
Got a Java Gig
October 5, 2013
A fair number of people on Twitter had different experiences with the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, so I tried again.
The Nexus updated itself to Android 4.3.
Android 4.3 seems to have addressed some of these issues. The WiFi is now reliable and the key presses are more accurate.
The unit runs warm but not hot around the camera, so I can hold it for long enough to read Twitter.
So, my revised conclusion is that the Nexus 7 2013 is a reasonable successor to the 2012 Nexus 7. It's lighter.
But the out of box experience is really important. I had a very bad out of box experience that, luckily, could be addressed mostly with software.
October 1, 2013
My Thoughts on the Government Shutdown
The Republican-led House caused the US government to shut down today. They did it because they think the US debt is too high and because they oppose ObamaCare.
Here are my thoughts:
Deficit spending can continue forever as long as the deficit is smaller than the increase in GDP. Why? Because the amount that the aggregate debit impacts the value of the dollar is based on the numerator (debt) and denominator (GDP or potential GDP if you're an economist). In fact, the US grew out of the post WW2 debt not by paying the debt down, but by building a bigger economy.
September 28, 2013
Birth Control, Oral Sex, and Interracial Marriage
During my lifetime the use of birth control, engaging in oral sex, and interracial marriage were all illegal.
Think about that.
It was illegal in certain states for married couples, for anyone, to use birth control.
During my lifetime, it was illegal for whites to marry blacks.
During my lifetime, it was illegal to engage in oral sex and gay sex.
I grew up taking birth control for granted. It was not until I was a 2nd year law student studying constitutional law that I learned that the sale of birth control was banned in many states in my lifetime.
September 21, 2013
Strange Loop 2013 Was a Blast
I loved Strange Loop 2012. Strange Loop 2013 was also tremendously engaging.
The best thing about Strange Loop is the conference participants. There's always someone cool to talk to. Any lunch table or beer outing resulted in an excellent conversation and a ton of learning.
The first keynote from Jenny Finkel was an amazing blend of someone who is not used to presenting to 1,000+ people with someone who had deep knowledge and extreme excitement about her topic. The combination brought the entire audience along for a deep dive into an increasingly important topic.
September 12, 2013
I've Joined a Team of Geeks
Today, I'm launching Brick Alloy, a consultancy focused on delivering cloud systems that drive business success.
Brick Alloy is a small group of very experienced consultants that work spectacularly well together to understand business needs, build/document technology to meet those needs, and deliver a result that enhances business value.
September 8, 2013
What's My Process for Creating APIs
@fogus asked in interesting question this morning:
But that's not the whole story... so, I'll outline some of the processes that I use to create APIs and code.
I'm My Own User
September 8, 2013
I want better geeking
One of my greatest joys in life is learning from excellent geeks. I love it. I groove on it. It makes me happy… downright joyous… to geek out.
I very selfishly want to enhance the quality of geeking.
And how can I, how can we, enhance the quality of geeking?
Simple, we increase the population from which we draw the excellent geeks and we'll get better geeks and be better geeks.
So, if we make high tech a place where woman and people of color can thrive, then we all win. We get a bigger population in which to find excellence. We get more amazing geeks. We get better conferences. We get better technology. We get better personal experiences.
September 2, 2013
I wrote the following post this morning.
Then I took my Galago with a working keyboard to the park to get some work done. I found a nice tree, pulled out my WiFi hotspot, and the Galago wouldn't connect to it. For 20 seconds, I'd have a connection and then, boom, I'd get a screen asking for the WiFi password again.
So, I went home and did a test. I hooked my Mac up to the hotspot and it worked. I hooked another laptop running Ubuntu 13.04 up to the hotspot and it worked. The only machine that is spotty with the hotspot is the Galago.
August 29, 2013
I'm returning the System76 Galago Pro
The System76 people made a lot of noises about helping me resolve the issues.
They shipped me a new keyboard for the Galago Pro. Sadly, all they shipped was the keyboard. No instructions on replacing it, etc.
So, I just spent the last 45 minutes taking apart my Galago Pro, just to realize that I'd have to remove every single connector including the motherboard to LCD connector to replace the keyboard.
This is just too much of a risk for me… to destroy a $1,400 computer in the hopes that the replacement keyboard wouldn't suck.
August 27, 2013
Warranty Service on my Escape was optimal
Ford has tarnished a really excellent car with "we don't care about the customer" style service.
Okay, so I'm driving a 2013 Ford Escape… the best car I've ever owned. I'm loving the car. But there are a few issues:
- The adhesive that holds the headliner to the car is loose in spots and sometimes the headliner squeaks. This is a minor issue and not unexpected for a first-model-year car.
- The navigation system locks up
- The audio system doesn't remember iPod settings and randomly doesn't allow them to be changed (shuffle, repeat)
- The Global Open feature doesn't work
August 21, 2013
If nothing else, the machine is blazingly fast. I compared compilation speed for Lift and the Galago is faster than my Intel 3770-based desktop. On the laptop, a full Lift build takes 44 second and on the desktop, it takes 47 seconds. The laptop has dual-channel 16GB RAM and the desktop has quad-channel 32GB of RAM.
I've never had a laptop that's outperformed a previous generation desktop for Scala compilations.
I am still waiting on the replacement keyboard for the Galago and the trackpad is still less than optimal... but as a mobile development box, the Galago has the performance I'm looking for.
August 19, 2013
Contracts Are Complex
As a consultant, I routinely negotiate contracts for my services. One of the clauses that I often find in the first pass of a contract is one where I indemnify my client for any patent infringements in my code.
I have never and never will sign a patent infringement indemnification.
I'm perfectly happy to indemnify for copyright violations, because copyright violations require me actually copying the code.
But patents can be asserted even if I never saw the art that the patent was based on. Patents can be asserted even if I came up with the invention all on my own.
August 19, 2013
An Update to Laptop Saga
The System76 folks are trying to make sure I'm happy with my Galago laptop.
They are sending me a revised keyboard and they are working on a patch to the Synaptics drivers so the trackpad becomes useful.
A big thanks to them.
My advice to you... wait a few weeks. I'll report on the progress of stuff to let you know if I keep the laptop.
August 17, 2013
Misadventures in a Non-Mac Laptop
I'm a Linux guy. I prefer Linux over OS X for a variety of reasons, but I have mostly Mac laptops because Apple makes better hardware.
I spent 5 minutes with the Galago and it's not good enough.
Granted the display was very nice, but that's where the very nice ended.
Here are the issues: