Archive for August, 2005

That’s a Keeper

August 25, 2005

Code Keep: nice code snippet repository that features a VisualStudio.NET add-in and RSS feeds. I like what I see so far. {via}

[UPDATE: It seriously needs a browse feature. Sometimes I might not be looking for something specific—more looking for something intriguing. Serendity is a very powerful thing. BTW: here’s the developer’s blog and entry.]

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Milestone Here

August 23, 2005

This entry is the 1,000th one I’ve written. There’s actually only 997 available on the Web: I’ve got three draft entries waiting to be finished. There’s a review of Nevil Shute’s Pied Piper, an analysis of QuikTrip‘s severely broken queueing system, and an essay on public history in the Internet age. The latter is completely done, but its tone is a little more strident than I’d like. Each will appear here eventually, so I’m counting them in my total.

This is a very important milestone to me—perhaps even more important than the Found on the Web one—because these entries are typically longer, more thoughtful, and represent more of my personality than those over there. Here, you get to know the real me: my thoughts, my desires, my being. There you might get to see what makes me laugh, makes me exclaim, makes me shake my head.

I’m also happy to report that I have not wavered from my stated policies except for the fact that Go Daddy allows for blogging about work.

Here’s to the next thousand entries! May I somewhere in there finally get around to moving my entire site over to Dreamhost and Textpattern.

Cheap Lunches Aren’t

August 23, 2005

Last week, I mentioned that we were going to be getting Subway subs for $1 thanks to Go Daddy’s treat.

Today was the first day that they offered it. Unfortunately, they didn’t plan adequately for the popularity of cheap eats so I missed out. I went over there three times only to find out that they had sold out each time.

Perhaps the Go Daddy tradition of rolling our own will be extended to this new program as well. Naturally, I’d prefer free food but I’d gladly pay a nominal fee for a good lunch.

[UPDATE: Oh and I heard from the lady running this that the next order will be enough to feed fully a third of the staff. Here’s hoping that I can start enjoying some cheap food.]

[UPDATE (8/27/2005): They were definitely prepared this next time. The Subway franchisee gave his mea culpa and brought more than enough. I had the 6″ turkey and it was delicious.]

[NOTE: The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

Google Talk

August 23, 2005

There’s some buzz this morning around the fact that talk.google.com attempts to start an XMPP session—the indications of a Jabber server. We use Jabber at work and I immediately thought that the public Jabber server was probably for internal use.

This Slashdot comment got me to thinking, though. XMPP is XML-based and the whole XmlHttpRequest phenomena that Google has launched is often XML-based (the “X” in AJAX, to wit). What if they made a web-based IM client that didn’t require page refreshes? It could easily be a part of the Gmail interface and, with some DHTML trickery, it could rest on top of Gmail—and easily moved aside at will. Or it could integrate Gmail users so you could see when your contacts are online and not have to send an email.

Imagine targeted ads tied to real-time conversations. I’m sure Google is imagining it. “Have you found a hotel for your trip to New York, Martha?” “Not yet.” *ad appears for travelocity* “Wait. Okay, I just booked it.” Incredible.

[UPDATE: Kottke’s got some wild speculation up about Google’s direction. It’s entirely possible that he’s spot on, but one little thing kept pestering me as I was reading it: so GoogleOS makes the underlying OS irrelevant, but few people run just a stock OS. They have applications that they use, many of which would never be practical over the Web. The ones that are have pretty good desktop equivalents.

So what’s the compelling reason to use a GoogleOS version of iTunes instead of the Windows or Apple version? If you can only listen to it on your machine when it’s online (or offline, when you’re disconnected from the Internet), then what does that get you beyond the regular iTunes? Kottke didn’t say that you could listen to *your* music over the Web-ified iTunes and there’s a reason he didn’t: the RIAA wouldn’t stand for it.

There’s another problem with Kottke’s vision: bandwidth. His backup app would require a considerable amount of storage as well as a huge amount of bandwidth (though I reckon that with a largely-denuded computer, there might not be much to backup). Can you imagine wanting to put an image of your computer for easy restoration on the Web? You’ve got a huge task going up and a huge task coming down.

Being generous, it’s interesting speculation but I think that Kottke should leave the wild-eyed conjecture for the master: Robert X. Cringely.]

[UPDATE 2: After further consideration, I think that Google isn’t as cunning as Kottke and others suppose. It’s possible that they’re not entertaining any grand schemes or ambitions beyond monetizing advertising in every form they can. It’s possible that they developed Google Desktop not as some sort of insidious beachhead into the user’s computer so that they can build an operating system piecemeal but more as an additional value to the Google search engine. It’s instructive that Google Desktop shows up on the Google home page and vice versa.

As a software engineer (though not of the caliber to work at Google), I can say that much of what they’ve done over the years seems very engineer-driven. There have been many applications that don’t really have a revenue purpose but are really cool and have probably generated a lot of revenue through goodwill. The GoogleOS that Kottke describes sounds very much like something a marketer or MBA would dream up. As I said before, Kottke may be completely right—but I think he’s likely spectacularly wrong.]

[UPDATE 3: Wow, Google Talk is a live Jabber server that can be accessed using your Gmail credentials. {via}]

[UPDATE 4: Google Talk is live! Wow. It’s a lot more than a simple Jabber client. I love that the sample screenshot they include refers to the circulating rumors. Sadly, none of my above speculation was correct. But neither was Kottke’s. {via}]

[UPDATE (8/26/2005): Wow, Cringely’s downright reasonable on this subject.]

Milestone Elsewhere

August 22, 2005

I just hit a blogging milestone this morning over at my other blog: I posted my 2,000 entry!

It’s been a very busy year: I left Blogger as my host on May 9, 2004 and exported 698 entries; when I moved from MovableType to WordPress on January 7, 2005, I exported 1,061 entries. That means that in the 1,385 days I’ve been publishing Found on the Web, I’ve averaged 1.45 posts per day. In the Blogger era, I was doing 0.76 posts per day. In the MovableType, that shot up to 1.49 posts per day. In the current era, I’ve been averaging 4.15 per day.

I don’t know if that means WordPress is more productive, I’m less busy, I’ve become more efficient, or I’m more dedicated. At present trends, I will hit the 3,000 entry mark 239 days from now—April 18, 2006. We’ll see how that goes.

Service with a Smile

August 21, 2005

The last few days I’ve had an opportunity to create two Windows services for the product I’m working on. I was surprised at how easy .NET makes these things. The hardest part was figuring out how to set the description that shows up in the Services menu. The rest was just tricky business rules type stuff. Sadly, I didn’t figure out a way to work MSMQ into the picture. Instead, I had to use SQL Server as a message queue since the stored procedures had to send the messages at various insertion points.

Man, I wish I could just tell you what I was working on so I could actually provide more detail. All in due time, Mr. Brown. All in due time.

[NOTE: The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

FOO on You

August 20, 2005

The best response I have seen to all the grousing about FOO Camp is this one over at O’Reilly’s Radar. And the best thing to come out of FOO Camp that I have seen is this pregnant entry from Kathy Sierra of the Head First book series fame.

Cheap Lunch

August 19, 2005

During this morning’s quarterly employee appreciation, Bob Parsons announced that Go Daddy is going to be subsidizing employee lunches. Subway and Meatballz bring in sub sandwiches every day for sale in one of the breakrooms for $3.50 and Go Daddy is going to pay half of that. Well, half of that rounded down to the nearest dollar. That means that I can be eating a Subway sandwich every day for $1! Hot damn!

It’s not quite Google, but it’s a start. As a certified cheapskate, bringing lunch from home is now potentially more expensive than eating at work.

[NOTE: The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

Modicum of Recognition

August 19, 2005

Today was a red-letter day for me. This morning, I saw a referrer on my link blog, Found on the Web, to a Kinja account. Naturally, I followed the link back to its source and discovered that I was included in the feeds that Joshua Schachter follows. If you don’t know Joshua Schachter, he’s the guy that created del.icio.us, GeoURL, and Memepool. As I’ve mentioned previously, I love del.icio.us and Memepool was my inspiration for Found on the Web. I’m not the only one in his feeds, but the fact that I merited an inclusion at all is a tremendous honor to me.

As if that wasn’t enough, I met Bob Parsons in the break room at work. He said that he’s been meaning to introduce himself—something that I’ve heard he tries to do to new employees—and inquired as to what sort of work I did for him. I explained my role to him in increasingly effusive excitement. Towards the end, I was positively bubbly. It wasn’t fake, either: I am really, really jazzed about this product I’m working on. He paid me a great compliment by saying that he was glad that I was so excited about it and that it was nice to hear. I am certainly glad that his first impression of me wasn’t almost knocking him down.

Directly

August 17, 2005

As a big-time del.icio.us fan, I can’t believe I didn’t start using Delicious Director when I first saw it a month ago. It’s a different kind of front-end to del.icio.us based wholly in Javascript. I know that all of its functionality is available through URL hacking, but Director is designed, which makes it much more valuable.