One Aging Geek

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Java good, Perforce bad

I've spent the last couple of weeks at work building a hunk of J2EE code for a big new product. A few truths:

  • Java, the language, is pretty ho-hum but the power of the classes that make up J2EE is pretty impressive. Stuff that took a few dozen lines of C++ and a good working copy of the STL, can be thrown down in half a dozen lines reusing J2EE classes.
  • Perforce is possibly the worst source code management tool known to mankind. In the last 30 years of doing this stuff I've worked with more SCM systems than I can count. I've never worked with one that gives the end programmer worse confidence in having the most current source from the repository nor with one that is so prone to tangling itself up. To be fair, I'm not positive that the people in charge of this development death march have clue number one how to set up a tool for a globe-spanning development team.
  • Maven2 isn't ready for prime time. The second most important task of a build tool is to be able to deal with multi-timezone development. [The first is to be able to figure out dependencies.] Maven2 seems unable to do either. Or again, the yahoos who set up the source tree and build scripts are again clue-free.

Sunrise Earth

We recently moved to a new (to us) home. In the process we kicked Southwestern Bell SBC AT&T DSL along with our Dish Network to the curb in favor of cable (TV and modem). One of the motivating factors was to get more HD content for the shiny "small big screen 42-inch Panasonic plasma we bought last year.

After a month with cable and a two tuner HD DVR I'm pretty happy. One of the ... odd ... programs I came across recently is Sunrise Earth. I can't decide if it's really cool or really a waste of bandwidth. It comes on at 6am here on the Third Coast so just as I'm getting up and building that double cappucino eye opener. Since the view out my windows are of the back fence and a couple of Chinese Tallow trees, I've got nothing to rival the vistas they serve up on Sunrise Earth. I've peeked in on it three times in the last couple of weeks and caught moose in Montana, birds and fish in Maine, and birds and alligators in the Everglades. The picture doesn't just sit on one scene, that would burn in on my plasma. They move between viewpoints every couple of minutes. But with the crystal clear picture I get it's a lot like having a magic window looking out at something much more scenic than the coastal plain urban landscape.

All in all, I guess it's a better use of the TV spectrum than say ... most things on the networks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

gaping void

Discovered this guy's stuff recently. This one is just way too true.

Some of his drawings make me laugh, some make me wince, some I just don't get.

Tin Man Podcast

I picked up a reference to the Tin Man Podcast from the PRX podcast. The first installment made me laugh out loud. I'm a kind of quiet reserved guy and don't often actually do that.

Probably not for everyone but I've queued up the rest of the episodes for listening.