December 31, 2005
It's come to my attention that someone has been liberally borrowing from my CV. Aside from the flattery, which is nice, I'm rather disappointed that the "author" didn't make at least a token effort to disguise the source of the words they borrowed.
If you're into comparisons, the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" version is here. It's interesting to note that Patrick Galagher the plagiarist notes on his home page that he dislikes "Dishonesty, hypocracy"(sic).
I was alerted to this by a recruitment consultant who I'm impressed to see did a little due diligence on their candidate, rather than passing every CV onto their client regardless of quality. Good work there. It's also caused me to notice that my CV is a little out of date, I'll have to fix that.
December 22, 2005
Every now and then I suffer a little cultural cringe at being a Vim user. I cast about looking for another editor just in case I chance upon the latest, best productivity tool. And then I go back to using Vim.
But you know what? After a bit of playing around I came to the conclusion (without coming up with a checklist) that to all intents and purposes Vim and Emacs are now pretty much functionally similar. And I know Vim. So why swap? Back in the dim and distant past Emacs was far superior to vi, but Vim now has all of the bells and whistles (most borrowed from Emacs) that are necessary for a proper editor. Things like multiple buffers, syntax highlighting, decent search and replace, code folding and half decent scripting support (Vim scores higher here because you don't have to use Lisp). So I realised that the grass isn't greener over the other side and that I'm happy where I am thank you very much.
An experience that was made even happier this week by this Vim tip for better looks on Mac OSX. Even better, this page helps identify which fonts we can use. My .gvimrc file on my Powerbook now contains these two lines to make it look really rather pretty;
December 14, 2005
I've been using s5 for all of my presentations for the last year or so. It's simple, straight forward, and runs on any computer. But it only really does slides.
My OSDC presentation was five slides and a twenty minute live demonstration. It will come as no surprise that I made a few typing mistakes as I performed it.
Watching a few of the other presentations I couldn't help but be impressed by the flawless keyboard skills of the other presenters. After about a day and a half I figured it out - they were cheating. They had pre-recorded their demonstrations and were simply replaying the keystrokes. It was incredibly cunning and I wanted some of that action, not least to make me look good the next time I present to Sydney Python.
Thankfully Richard Jones was true to his word and has now released Bruce, his interactive presentation software. Take a look, download it and have a play. The next time you need to an interactive presentation it will be your best friend.
Now if I can get it to work with tools other than the Python interpreter I can use it during my day job as well.
December 12, 2005
On sober reflection I decided not to wait until January and on Saturday I picked up a brand spanking new 15-inch Powebook. Then I took it back to the shop. Twice. It transpires that the two units they had in stock both had duff batteries. So I'm stuck with a portable computer that must be permanently connected to the mains.
Having said that, blimey it's a nice machine. I haven't had a lot of time to tinker with it yet because the weekend was taken up with household chores (and trips back to the shop). After the obligatory software update (including an upgrade of the OS from 10.4.2 to 10.4.3) I installed some software essentials and started exploring it's features.
As it was all the rage at one point to mention the tools you use on your Mac here's mine. I list the programs in the order that I installed them, which may or may not be an indicator of their importance to me;
As an aside, and a snarky one at that, I'd like to say that the customer service at the local Mac centre has been great, despite the slightly faulty hardware. Unlike the shocking experience I had at a certain Sydney CBD Apple centre that I won't name but certainly isn't getting any more of my money.
December 09, 2005
Even More Woe
On the day that my iBook died a replacement battery arrived from Apple. Today I phoned them up and tried to return it as door stops don't traditionally need battery power.
My first failure was not returning it within the 14 day no questions asked period. Regardless, they said they would have accepted it back if I hadn't opened the packaging. But of course I had, because I wanted to check that it wasn't a spectacular battery failure when the thing quit in the first place.
So now I'm $200 poorer and a lot wiser. I'll see you all over at ebay.
December 06, 2005
Building GUI Application in PythonCard
December 05, 2005
OSDC meet Web 2.0
December 02, 2005
On Sunday I'll be climbing aboard the paraffin budgie to Melbourne to attend OSDC 2005. If you're going to be there I look forward to seeing you. If you're not I'll attempt (infrastructure willing) to blog some highlights from the three days of talks.
Just don't expect a lot before Monday afternoon as I'll be too busy practising my presentation (12:15 in the first stream, avoid the other talks because they won't be nearly as good).
It's no longer a non-functioning Mac, it is now officially a door stop. After an anxious two week wait the repair technician called me at lunchtime and said that my iBook needs a new motherboard. Which the cynic in me translates to "it's dead as a Dodo and we're hoping that replacing the motherboard will fix it. What have we got to lose?".
Regardless, the price they quoted to fix it was about a hundred dollars less than buying an entirely new machine. I declined and they are shipping it back to me where it will make an attractive addition to the bottom of my study door. With a bit of luck that kilo or so of white plastic will stop it swinging when the wind gets up.
Je suis tres, tres, desole.