In this session from the 2006 Cincom Smalltalk Users Conference, I spoke about my experience in scaling a web server (the blog server this is hosted on). You can grab the slides I presented here; the audio quality isn't too bad (at least compared to the other ones from the conference).
SciFi Wire Reports that the fourth Indiana Jones movie will start filing this year:
Following an announcement by George Lucas that the long-awaited fourth Indiana Jones movie is moving forward this year, Variety reported that the script by David Koepp has been approved and filming will start in June.
Now, I loved those movies (even the mostly panned second film) - but I'm not sure that the aging Indy will hold up that well. On the other hand, Ford is a good actor, so maybe it'll work. All complaints aside, I'll probably go see it :)
James Governor cuts through the fog surrounding the "free evaluation laptop" issue, and gets at the real problem - which is something I really wish I had thought to notice:
Check out the specs… “an AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core 2ghz CPU, 2GB of DDR2-667 RAM, AMD-ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 on a 15.4″ widescreen. It also has a 160GB SATA drive, HD-DVD reader and burner as well as a 1.3mp camera.”
That’s some pretty heavy specifications. The message I take away is not that Microsoft has an ethical problem but that the hardware upgrades required to run Vista smoothly are going to delight PC manufacturers most of all… If you need a Ferrari to have a decent road experience then Redmond, we may indeed have a problem. 2gig2gig…
Unless you're a serious gamer, you probably don't have a system anything like that, and it is telling that they sent out such high end systems as part of the evaluation. Sure, they didn't want the OS to crawl for the people getting them, but that's pretty far up the scale to go in order to ensure that. The Thinkpad I'm using right now has 768MB of RAM and the HD is small (just 35 GB). Yes, I always want more disk, and I could certainly use more memory - but XP typically runs fine on this hardware. I can only imagine how Vista would operate on this system...
Chris Petrilli explains why simpler is better:
I would rather take an easily modifiable, open platform that I can make do what I need in a specific environment. Everyone else can play with the “serious” software, and keep adding on gee-gaws until it tips over and collapses of its own weight.
Which is one of the things that Smalltalk excels at - it's open, and can be viewed as play-doh in the hands of developers. While some people look to have every single possible checkbox filled, people like Chris are actually delivering the goods.
You have to love the RIAA: as reported by TechDirt, it seems that they want to keep the wholesale prices that iTunes pays a secret:
In one of the recent lawsuits, UMG v. Lindor, where the defendant is challenging the damages amount, the RIAA is refusing to disclose the wholesale pricing details unless they can require Lindor's attorneys to keep the prices confidential. Her attorneys refuse to do so, on the grounds that the information really isn't confidential, and the only reason the RIAA is hoping to keep the prices quiet is to assist them in other lawsuits. Perhaps that would be lawsuits like the one they're facing from a bunch of musicians who feel that the labels are cheating them out of revenues owed from digital downloads.
Think about this: Microsoft dropped about $1500/laptop * 90 laptops + shipping (my rough estimate puts that at a little less than $150,000) to get some positive digital ink. That's a fairly expensive campaign for the blogosphere, and by comparison if we assume that their boxed Vista product costs them about $20/unit, that same $150,000 could have been spent on seeding Vista to about 7500 bloggers.
Microsoft and Edelman didn't send out boxes with the OS DVD, though, did they?
And so, the question that I'm amazed that no blogger seems to have asked is why didn't they send out the OS and let us install it on our own computers?
The answer, once you think about things this way, is obvious, and that's the real story here:
Microsoft Vista is in fact a bear to install and has prohibitive hardware requirements.
Before the fanboys that seem to be attracted to MS criticism show up, think about that - the people who got the notebooks (and could have gotten DVDs) are all pretty tech savvy. Presumably, they would be capable of getting Vista installed and taking a look at it.
Now sure, sending Vista out that way would presume that each of the bloggers had a spare machine on which to install Vista (say I had gotten such a DVD - I don't have a spare machine like that lying around, other than an aging PIII laptop). So I don't think this argument should get as much weight as Taylor wants to give it. I haven't been paying tons of attention to magazines like PC World and PC Magazine - have they done base installs? Typically, that kind of evaluation is done by the trade press.
I just got this from my European Smalltalk colleagues:
Join the Cincom Team at OOP in Munich, Germany
Mark your calendars!
Keen on learning how you can boost innovations and reduce time-to-market by combining Smalltalk using explorative modelling.? Then join us at our SMALLTALK LIVE! event at OOP in Munich, on January 24, 18:30: Dr. Ralf Ehret, SAP, will share his experiences with Smalltalk projects at SAP Labs.
You can also meet with the regional Cincom Smalltalk team at the Cincom booth from January 23-25.
Both events . SMALLTALK LIVE! evening and the exhibition . will take place in the ICM Neue Messe Munich center.
For registration please e-mail us at email@example.com and we'll send you a complimentary guest ticket.
If you missed the users conference, but would like to hear about Cincom Smalltalk and SAP, here's your chance.
James Governor makes another excellent observation:
What are the implications for the enterprise? If you think you can succesfully run your business as a top down fiefdom, a command and control structure, then by all means encumber all your documents and files with DRM. But if you want to enable your employees to innovate then a little more freedom might not be such a bad thing. That’s the thing with command and control - its inefficient and so bound to fail in the long run.
Outfits that don't trust their employees to do the right thing are just going to have problems. Better to trust and weed out the bad apples than to treat everyone like a suspect.
For those of you who want to bring up various regulations surrounding various businesses - bear in mind that the classification scheme used for documents by the US government has managed to get by without DRM for years.
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we continue with the servlet example - this time, demonstrating how to handle a form with a post servlet.
Randy Johnson's time with the New York Yankees was short and unfulfilling. Moving to end a two-year stay that began with a nasty sidewalk confrontation and ended with a messy playoff loss, the Yankees reached a tentative agreement Thursday to send Johnson back to the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Luis Vizcaino and three minor leaguers.
That's good news - more young arms good, fewer old arms, better.
It turns out that we did get the audio (just not optimally. I'm editing it now, and should have the session up eventually. Warning - the noise reduction has left artifacts in the audio.
Jason Calacanis wonders if competing sites will cut into Digg's future:
Someone speculates today that digg is going to take a hit from the hundreds of smaller sites that are going vertical in the social news market place. They make a really nice long list of all the social news sites (let's not call them digg-clones because delicious is really responsible for the current movement). The concept is why would folks go to digg if they could got to a more focused site in a vertical?!
There's a simpler problem, IMHO - revenue. I was listening to TWiT this afternoon, and Michael Arrington mentioned that they just got another round of financing - which they wouldn't need if they were revenue positive. So my question is - will they survive long enough to get bought? Will a large corporate owner decide that the name recognition is worth whatever their asking price is?
A related question: In the absence of Sarbanes-Oxley, wouldn't Digg be a public company by now? How many other small tech companies are in the same mid-state, unable to go public due to the high costs of SarbOx?
Well, last week was a good one for BottomFeeder downloads - Windows downloads jumped for some reason (no idea why):
That's a rate of 320/day, a rather large jump. I must of gotten linked somewhere that I missed. On to the HTML page downloads:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
That looks like the normal distribution I see. On to syndication stats:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Google Feed Fetcher||6.7%|
|Net News Wire||6.6%|
|RSS 2 Email||1%|
And that wraps up the stats - still a lot of tool diversity in the space - but the Google Reader is getting some mindshare.
Well, I can't pass this kind of day up:
After I pick my daughter up from skating, I'm off. She'll likely want to come along - I won't be back online for hours, so have a great day!
It was hardly winter - the temperature got up to (or close to) 70, and there was very little wind on the course. We didn't get on the course until almost 3; there was some screwup with the tee time. My daughter played with us, and took a few shots with my camera phone:
That's an old farm silo - the course was beautiful, and on the former site of farmland. The old buildings are just scenery now. We played right up to dark:
Here's one more, of another part of the old farm:
It was a great day out on the course - and I shot a 46. Not bad for January :)
I had the chance to play two consoles at the party I was at earlier today - an XBox 360, and a Wii. The interesting thing was this: the Wii and the 360 were in the same room, and everyone (adults and kids) that wanted to play, played the Wii. The XBox only got put on after the guy with the Wii went home with it :)
We had a great time playing the Wii Sports golf game - yes, the graphics suck - but that doesn't matter. The game play is really, really cool. I think "Mario Cart" on the motion sensing remote is going to be a real winner. We played Gears of War for a bit after the Wii left and yes - the graphics were very cool. But - the controller is, well, a stock game controller for which you have to memorize the functions. The Wii with the sports games - you just hop right in and play.
I know which console I'll be buying this year, and it won't be a 360 or a PS3 :)
Troy summarizes the difference between a Mac system and a Windows system:
I think Windows is like a bit like a Tamagotchi, if you don't stroke it, it whines and gets flakey, while Mac OS knows its place in the world and lets us work.
He also links to this, which compares the two (from InformationWeek). For the Windows fanboys ready to show up and tell me I'm full of it - I have relatives with Macs, and other relatives with Windows. None of them are highly technical. Want to take a wild guess at which relatives I don't ever have to play system doctor for?
- thisContext - the sixth reserved word
- what "super" really means
- constants in other bases 2r10110101 7r463250
- Symbol literals with embedded quotes, spaces, etc eg. #'that''s amazing!'
- byte-array literals #[3 8 98]
- user-defined pragmas
- SmalltalkCompiler >> evaluate:
- SmalltalkCompiler >> parse:class: -- using a visitor to traverse the parse tree
We had a good conversation - give it a listen and send us some feedback. Another way to let us know what you think - leave a review on the iTunes podcast page (search for Smalltalk), or on the Podcast Alley page.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
It seems that my fingers got button pressing happy when I posted the podcast earlier - I accidentally set the "explicit" flag on it. That's been properly set now, but there's no telling when iTunes (or other servers caching the xml) will update. I've sent the correct pings; hopefully, it'll all reset.
|So I just finished the book "The J Curve" by Ian Bremmer. It's actually a lot like Barnett's " The Pentagon's New Map ", but with a different metaphor. It's a quick read, and is more of a case study than Barnett's book - he goes into detail on a number of nations on both sides of his stability metaphor. I'd recommend it.|
It dawned on me that I've been doing this blog for just over 4 1/2 years now - and I'm still having fun with it. I decided to have a look at my posting history. Since June 1, 2002 I've pushed up 9660 posts (not counting this one). That averages out to 5.7 posts per day over that timespan. I was a little surprised by the year to year variability in posts:
|Year||Total Posts||Per Day|
Obviously, there hasn't been enough of 2007 to draw any conclusions about yet - but once I settled in (after the 1/2 year+ in 2002), I've maintained a pretty active level of posting - with 2004 being just a little quieter.
I've got the keynote from Scott Ambler up, as cleaned up as I could make it. There's some noise left in it, but it's a lot better than it started out (especially given that I had to reconstruct it from over 200 12 second files :) )
Anyway, here are the matching slides - enjoy.
So, with this talk of services over HTTP, you might be rightly concerned that the next step is to discuss Dabble’s XML web service protocol. You’ll be relieved to find out that Dabble plugins don’t speak XML. They speak CSV (Comma-Separated Values). Dabble passes UTF-8 encoded plain-text, comma-separated data in and expects UTF-8 encoded plain-text, comma-separated data out. Each row in your Dabble application generates a line in a CSV stream. To process a derived field for a Dabble category, you’ll simply need to process each incoming line of CSV and generate a new line of CSV as a response. If you’ve used a UNIX-based operating system, you’re probably familiar with the notion of pipes. The output of one program is piped into the input of another, creating a filter chain. This is conceptually the same as the way Dabble’s plugin IO works. Nice and simple.
Looks pretty neat.
I've been intrigued by Sling for awhile, but this new device, the SlingCatcher - it looks truly cool:
The premise is simple: instead of streaming your TV across the 'net to PCs (as with the SlingBox), the SlingCatcher does the opposite by streaming your PC's videos to the TV. The SlingCatcher is expected to retail for under $200 some time in the middle of 2007; it will come with HDMI and component connectors and will feature both WiFi and Ethernet for connectivity.
he SlingCatcher, on the other hand, is media-agnostic. It doesn't care what codec videos are encoded with, nor whether or not they have been purchased from an approved online store. It is designed to take video output and stream it, which means that you could use the SlingCatcher with video purchased from other online services, such as the iTunes Store or CinemaNow. In this way, the SlingCatcher may turn out to be a one-size-fits-all solution in a field populated with specialty products.
That's exactly the kind of product people want - a "plug and play" device that works with their other stuff. No one wants to have to buy all of their equipment from the same vendor - we want it to work just like component stereo equipment.
James McGovern is still focused on talking to the same "pay for play" people who do nothing so much as follow the big vendors. To answer his questions about Enterprise usage of Smalltalk, perhaps he should have a look here - more money washes through Kapital every day than his enterprise will likely worry about over the course of years.
Also, Chris Petrilli's comments from a few weeks ago are relevant here.
This year they did - here are the flowerpots near the local grocery store:
One things for sure - the nicer weather has allowed me to ride my bike more than I thought I could at this time of year - a muscle strain is preventing me from jogging as much as I'd like.
Here's a tale about server setup that would pretty much ensure that women would not be doing anything with the server. For that matter, I don't think I'd want anything to do with that server, either :)
Speculation has already started on what code can run on an iPhone - perhaps Adobe Flash or Microsoft WPF/e. Some version of WPF/e will inevitably be ported either to the iPhone or to one of its competitors and, since Vista Smalltalk was designed for running in WPF/e, it is a matter of time until Smalltalk is available in at least some phones.
Peter Fisk continues to do cool things with Vista Smalltalk. Now, I have as many nasty things to say about Microsoft as the next guy, but the reality is, his product is another way to get Smalltalk in front of Windows .NET developers. We (Cincom) are not serving the .NET space directly, but it's good that someone is. Some of those people will want and need a cross platform Smalltalk at some point, and if they have a positive experience with Smalltalk, they are more likely to look at another Smalltalk at that point.