Bart Bits

Bits, bytes and beauty

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This blog has moved

New content will only appear on from now on. Feel free to keep subscribed to this blog, in case the other one falls over just when I'm the only source of information on a major event. But please, if you will follow me…

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Explosion of activity

Whether it's also an explosion of productivity remains to be seen, but one thing is unmistakable: I am a lot more active than I have been the last year.

Things I'm doing at the moment:

  • Writing an issue tracker using Grails
  • Using and exploring git
  • Exploring jQuery UI, writing a simple grails plugin for it
  • Pondering on features for another grails app: the next generation of our internal hour-tracking tool
  • Installing the fish shell and immediatly having fun, just like with grails and git
  • Making more use of TextMate instead of Eclipse, and exploring its ecosystem
  • Twittering
  • Blogging and writing

In other words: I'm having fun doing geeky things (or is it nerdy? they're both doubly foreign words for me). The strange thing is that I hadn't really noticed that I didn't have enough fun.

Having more fun goes hand in hand with being more active: waking up earlier, more eager to do things.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll keep this brief because I have stuff to do...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Got it just before it was pulled…

…thereby preserving the exclusive nature of the app.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Unlocking my Mac's full potential with VirtualBox

The 1.6.0 release of VirtualBox looks like a winner. It ran an old Windows install that I had lying around in VMWare format and it does the insane seamless trick which makes the windows in your virtual machine appear as normal windows.

This could be the application that my multi-core machine has been waiting for. Except that luckily it draws almost no CPU when you're idle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New hobby programming project

I have taken an interest in git and would like to use it for work. But work means java and eclipse and convincing colleagues of the advantages in the face of some disadvantages. One of the current disadvantages is the lack of a finished Eclipse plugin for git. I have played with egit and like the way it can already be used even though you have to fall back to other clients for some things. However, my colleagues were not impressed.

That's where the itching started. I have 3 of the Addison-Wesley eclipse series books on my bookshelf, but I have never coded a real plugin. So this could be my niche...

But wait, am I not supposed to help develop egit then? It could sure use the help.
Good question. My current answer is that I don't like one of their design goals: to be 100% pure java. Looking through the wiki it seems that work on some features is waiting for features in the core jgit library to be done first. My personal design goal is quite the opposite: reuse as much of git-core as possible. One thing that attracted me to git was the modular implementation, with user-friendly commands sometimes implemented as perl or shell-scripts that make use of lower-level C programs. As for the 100% java goal itself: it has never done anything for me. GNU is my platform, developers with their workstations my audience. Git-core is just an apt-get install or port install away.

So, what's the current status and what are the first features you can look forward to?

  • Share project... shows my plugin as Git (smop) to differentiate it from egit
  • The sharing icon is cooler (I took the CVS one and made it say GIT)
  • Graphical status emblems will be the first feature I am going to work on, followed by
  • a simple commit right-click menu item

Of course, the chance that I can keep focussed long enough to really deliver something useful is not that high. Be that as it may, I'm having fun programming again!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Not all computer problems are software problems

For the last week the quality of my computing experience was severely degraded. My scroll wheel stopped scrolling. The mouse was working perfectly fine otherwise, including the button in the scroll wheel.

Naturally, I blamed software. I went through the "Keyboard and Mouse" settings multiple times. I tried installing the Logitech Control Center even though I hadn't needed it earlier. Nothing worked.

Until I tried the mouse in another computer, where scrolling also didn't work. It was a hardware problem after all. Opening up the mouse, I was greeted with bits of hairy dust sticking to the grease that makes the wheel turn smooth. After removing all the dust and admiring the inner workings I closed it again and tried it out. Didn't work.
Open it up again. Notice a tiny speck of dirt, smack in the middle of the eye that catches light from a LED on the other side of the wheel's spokes. Removed the speck and now everything works!

It's the little things that bring me happiness. I can scroll again.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Booleans and tests

There's a subject for a post in my head that I haven't yet written. And today I found out that Chris Okasaki has written it better than I could have: Boolean Confusion.