The Flash Virtual Machine

Sometimes I wonder if Macromedia isn't going to succeed with Flash where Java failed... on this particular topic of harware and OS abstraction. Flash Lite makes their virtual machine (aka "player") more real than ever. Russ has all the details so I won't even try to repeat them here! :P

Understanding marketing

I received the following in a spam, but I thought I was an interesting image:

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a fabulous girl/guy. You have one of your friends approach them, point at you and say, "She's/He's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them to get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.

You're at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. You get up, straighten your clothes, walk up and pour them a drink. You open the door, pick up their bag after it drops, offer them a ride, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

You're at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. They walk up to you and say, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.

Follow up on all kinds of stuff (move, WiFi, Sendo, etc.)

Done with the moving. Done with the painting. Almost done with the unpacking.

And it’s already mid August… 2004 :!: (Last time I remember time going by slowly was summer 03… when it was so hot there was nothing you could do but wait for it to end XX( )

Still no DSL access in the new appartment. Why does this have to take so long!? There is no single other procedure in moving that takes that long! Not even the whole organizing, sorting, packing and labelling extravaganza! :crazy:

My new appartment is quite near to my parents’ house actually. When positionning the elements carefully, it’s close enough to use a DECT phone from one place to the other… and of course you would expect that what works for DECT also works for WiFi! Don’t they share the same frequency range anyway?

Oddly enough, 802.11b only works in a slighly shorter range than DECT. No way for me to squat my parent’s DSL from my appartment! Their computer is too far away… and moving it closer to the right side of their house will not only make them kinda angry at my interference, it will probably also unplug the DSL cable from the wall socket, which would defeat the purpose. :-/

I’m using an ad hoc network here. So I came up with this – crazy? – idea of placing my laptop in the middle of the distance to act as a WiFi ad hoc relay! :>> I checked: the laptop can see both other computers: the one that I want to use as an Internet router, and the one I want to work on in my appartment. Somehow I had imagined that the ad hoc protocols of 802.11b would relay Ethernet packets accross all nodes in the wireless networks… but apparently that was too optimistic! There is no way for me to ping from one end to the other!

The solution would probably be to split the network into two distinct IP networks and setup the laptop as a router between both IP networks. The only problem is that it takes quite a few trips from one house to the other to change parameters and run the tests. After a couple of back and forths I found myself in the desert street, feeling bored and realizing I would not even have time to use that setup before I leave for Germany on Sunday. And when I’ll be back, the DSL should finally be activated too.

I started walking through the streets, just too see if I could still recognize the places I grew up in and left nearly 15 years ago. Attempting that in the dark of night doesn’t really help… but still, it was a nice walk… especially when I pulled out my much anticipated but finally available (and promptly aquired) Sendo X and used the mp3 player to put a soundtrack on my memories. “Moments in Love” by Art of Noise made it just perfect (It lasts 10 minutes!) I gotta remember to get “Lili was here” by Dave Stewart & Candy Dulfer onto that SD card for next time. :D

That kind of reminded me that offline technology can still be very enjoyable too! :>>

Offshoring/outsourcing software development

This thread in Ask Joel is the most interesting discussion I've ever read abut offshoring/outsourcing software development!

It's getting incredibly long though, so it's really hard to read through. But the first 25 comments are definitely worth reading.

My personal take on the subject is roughly this: I believe software is art more than science. I think the best approach to make it look like engineering is something along the Unified Process - that's what the IT world has learned the hard way for the last 30 years! One golden rule of UP is to have the users and the coders communicating, to have them understand each other's constraints...

This doesn't mean I think nothing can be outsourced, but you certainly cannot carelessly offshore a whole IT department to a place with a radically different culture and expect that communicating with specs will "just work"! :|

If offshoring software development is ever going to succeed we'll need a whole new set of skills and tools (internet being one of them) to master it, and we're not even close! However, I think the experience of open source software projects developped by an international community are an interesting experience to this.

I would probably elaborate on this if I wasn't this busy reading the thread at Joel's right now! :>>

I love WiFi! (well, actually...)

I mean, you gotta love it!

A picture is worth a thousand words:

I love WiFi! (well, actually...)
Working on the balcony

Okay, so much for the showing off. A few hours later:

  • I had to switch to a "High Contrast" Windows color scheme (now I know what these are for!) to be able to see something with my sunglasses. And without the glasses, the sun hurts my eyes!
  • I had to move the table more in front of a window to get better signal strength...
  • I had to plug in the power adapter since WiFiing through the walls really sucks a lot of power...
  • I had to clean the screen at least four times before the sunlight stopped reflecting on the dust... (sorry for sounding like I had never tried to open a laptop outside :.)
  • And now the neighbours are mowing their lawn! Damn it!

Yeah, next time they tell you nice stories about WiFi in the magazines, don't believe what they say! :-/

PS: This is just for fun, I still enjoy WiFi very much. Example.