Busy making things: tinycast, github, links, photos, @mc.

C# Language Spec 2.0

Posted: October 24th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: .NET | Comments Off

Sean and Scott are among those who pointed out that the C# language spec version 2.0 is out.

Dive Into Panther

Posted: October 24th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Apple | Comments Off

Mark Pilgrim explores Panther in 100 screenshots and insight to boot.  I love the new finder, and Panther has become simultaneously more Mac-like and more Windows-like.

I’m drooling over here.

A Very Simple CamelCase Parser in Python

Posted: October 24th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

In playing around with regular expressions in Python, I came up with the following very simple CamelCase parser.  I really like this style of writing out regex.  It’s much more readable than the typical compacted regex that I am used to seeing. simplecamelcase.py:

# simplecamelcase.py - a really simplistic CamelCase parser
import re
pattern = re.compile(r'''
    (?x)(   # Begin group
    \b      # word boundry
    [A-Z]   # Find an upper case letter
    (\S*?)  # consume non whitespace
    [A-Z]   # Find a second upper case letter
    (\S*?)  # consume more whitespace
    \b      # end word boundry
    )       # end group, repeat as neccesary
testString = "This is a TestCase of a VerySimple CamelCaseParser."
find_camel = lambda s: [u[0] for u in re.findall(pattern, s)]
print find_camel(testString)
# Prints ['TestCase', 'VerySimple', 'CamelCaseParser']

I have found that Python is a pleasure to putz around with pretty much everything, and regexes are no exception.  You can find more information at Kuchling’s Regular Expression HOWTO and Chapter 3 of David Mertz’ Text Processing in Python.  Both are well worth reading.

The above code is extremely naive, and of course use it at your own risk.  It would be trivial to modify this code to use re.sub in order to create a very naive wiki parser.  That might be fun.

6.02×10^23, Baby!

Posted: October 24th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Chris Heilman:

Today is Mole Day, celebrating Avogadro’s number. From 6:02am until 6:02pm. It should be until 10:50pm (ten to the twenty third hour.) Thanks, Alireza!

Wow, I’ve missed the ‘technical’ Mole Day, but I like to celebrate Mole Day all day long.  Thanks for the heads up, Chris.  Happy Mole Day to all.

3650 and a 12 Inch

Posted: October 23rd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

C.K. Sample has set up shop at BlogSpot.  His new project is called 3650 and a 12 inch.  I’ve sent him an email asking how much he needs to bankroll an RSS feed.  I’m going to loose track of him without it.

Uh oh!

Posted: October 23rd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I’ve been trying to sign up for Sony Eircsson’s Developer site, but I keep getting the following (amusing) error:

Uh oh!

Jabber Releases Server For Windows

Posted: October 23rd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off


Jabber sells proprietary instant-messaging software–both the software application people use for online chat and the server software needed to route the messages over the networks. Until now, its server software worked only on Linux and Solaris, Sun Microsystems’ version of Unix.

Excuse me?  Proprietary?  I guess they mean that it’s closed source.  It is by no means ‘proprietary’ though.  It fully complies with the Jabber/XMPP specs, which are a bajillion times less ‘proprietary’ than pretty much any other IM protocol in existance.

Maybe ‘proprietary’ is a corporate buzzword that makes it more attractive than that hippy ‘open source’ stuff.  I’m not sure.

More information can be found in Jabber’s press release.  Of course there is an official open source server implementation as well as a list of jabber server implementations. Gobs and gobs of information can be found at jabber.org.


Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Java | Comments Off

I’m checking out Memoranda, a java-based diary and scheduling program. I’m not used to is WYSIWIG editor, but it’s pretty cool. It looks like it can also export notes to HTML. It is definitely pretty, but not fully functional. It’s an alpha, so that’s okay.

Slashdot Reviews Advanced .NET Remoting

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: .NET | Comments Off

TechGuy949 at Slashdot reviews Advanced .NET Remoting.  It looks like he has positive words for Ingo.  Here’s an excerpt from the review:

The second part of the book is not for the faint-hearted. The complexity level ratchets up several notches, and holds nothing back. It delves into advanced topics such as .NET remoting internals, including message sinks, channel sinks, formatters, and transport protocols, and shows you how to customize each part. Ingo’s goal is for you to really understand how the .NET Framework implements remoting. The discussion here often borders on the theoretical, but it always stays grounded in relevant code examples.

Advanced .NET Remoting: it hurts your head, but in a good way.

Apple Releases G4 iBook!

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Apple | Comments Off

Jeez.  I wish I had known that G4 powered iBooks were going to be out this soon.  The only thing holding me back from picking up a G3 iBook earlier this month was the G3 processor part.  The G3 has been out way too long, and now that the G5 is here, it is just a matter of time before G3 support starts fading away.  I guess it always happens like that: settle on a major purchase and the thing that you’ve always wanted becomes available soon afterwards.

The specs look good though: $1099 will get you a G4 800MHz, 256 megs of ram, a 30 gig drive, a 1024×768 12 inch screen and an ATI Radeon 9200 video card.  The 14 inch model tops out at a 1GHz G4, all for under $1500.  I have a feeling that with these new iBooks, Apple is going to bump up its share of the laptop market in the next quarter or two.

I just wish that I could contribute to those numbers…

Go read all the specs and fun stuff at the Apple Store.  Thanks to Mac Central for pointing it out.  On a side note, if anyone is looking to get rid of an older blue & white or black & white G3/G4 tower for a couple hundred bucks, let me know.  I’m dying to run OSX, and my tricked out 8500 just doesn’t cut it.

Does Windows Violate the DMCA?

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Frank just read in a German magazine that Windows itself might be in violation of the DMCA.  This is classic.  Earlier this month a college student pointed out that you could defeate (er, circumvent) the copy protection built in to some CDs by SunComm by pressing the shift key.  That’s right, lots and lots of DRM out the door just by pressing the shift key when you insert the CD.

It follows that Windows is a tool that circumvents copy protection technology.  It is then in violation of the DMCA because it is a copy protection circumvention device.  How classic is that?

Sony DSC-T1: Slim 5 Megapixel Camera

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

DPReview, Imaging Resource and others have info on Sony’s credit card style five megapixel $550ish digital camera.  It uses the same style of in-camera optics that make the Minolta Dimage X series of cameras so cool.

I like the fact that they put a Zeiss lens on that puppy.  Good specs all around, but I’m worried about the possibility of vignetting like the Dimage X/Xi/Xt’s tend to do.  We shall see.

Sony DSC-U40 Analysis

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Imaging Resource has the info on the new Sony DSC-U40, Sony’s latest itty bitty sleek camera.  I think that Sony is missing the point a little bit here.  They started the U series with the U10, which is pretty much a 1.3 megapixel version of my 2 megapixel U20.  Then they came out with the U30 which is a little bigger with a mirror so you can take stylish self portraits.  The U60 is a weird all weather model.

It looks like the U40 is a good bit more compact (my U20 is still a subcompact camera and it is almost a year old now), as it runs on Memory Stick Duo.  I didn’t see any size specs in the press release, but you can bet that it’s a good bit smaller.  Street price should end up around $200.  These are all good things, except that it’s still a 2 megapixel camera.

2 megapixels is fine, and it’s probably a good sweet spot in super duper compact cameras, but I’d really love to see something in the U20/U40 size range that was maybe even just a little more high rez (is 3.34 too much to ask?) and costs a little bit more.  Given that the U series started with 1.3 and pretty quickly moved up to 2.0, the next logical step would be 3+ megapixel, and soon.

I hope that Sony continues to innovate in this awesome product line.  Sadly my DSC-U20 doesn’t get as much use nowadays, as my cel phone has a low quality but really convenient camera.  Continuing pressures from the cameraphone market will definately dictate lots of competition and lower margins in the $200ish price range.

Bottom Line: As long as the DSC-U40 lives up to its heritage, it will definitely be a good buy at $200.  If you’re looking for a zoom, look elsewhere.  This camera just has a relatively wide angle 33mm lens, and that’s okay.  If it’s anything like the DSC-U20′s lens, you’ll deal with it.

BitTorrent is Changing Everything (But You Already Knew That)

Posted: October 22nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I was looking for some downtime tonight, but there really isn’t much on television.  I wasn’t really in the mood for any of the DVDs that are kicking around.  I don’t have anything of note in VHS format in front of me.

What did I do?

I pointed my browser to my favorite repository of TV show torrent files and started downloading a CSI episode from the first season.  Then the phone rang.  About five minutes or so later I wandered back to the computer.  The file was 76% done with just a few minutes later.  In the amount of time that it took me to write this, the file has finished downloading.  Now I’m burning it to a VCD so that I can pop it in the DVD player.

I can guarantee you that a year or two ago the bandwidth and the tech (Thanks, Bram!) would not have been ready for something like this.  Now it Just Works.  Pardon me while I hop offline for a bit and watch my tv show (01×07 for those keeping score).

JBuilder X

Posted: October 21st, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Java | Comments Off


Software development company Borland Software on Tuesday introduced an overhauled edition of its Java programming tool designed to simplify creation of Web applications.

So far I see support for JBoss and a visual Struts designer as big plusses.  It looks like we’ll be seeing a JBuilder X Foundation with more liberal licensing terms.  This is good.

More information can be gleaned from Borland’s JBuilder site.

Movie Trends: Kill Bill and Lost in Translation

Posted: October 21st, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Kill Bill

I saw Kill Bill Volume 1 over the weekend.  I enjoyed it in a queasy blood and body count kind of way.  At the end of Volume 1, I cursed Tarantino for splitting it in two.  It’s understandable, but I still want to see the other half NOW!

According to fanboy site comingsoon.net, Kill Bill Vol. 2 will be out February 20, 2004.  At least I don’t have to wait too long.

I was curious how the movie did, so I hopped over to Yahoo Movies to check the box office stats.  $12 million on the second week is respectable, but kind of dissappointing.  In two weeks its managed to pick up over $43 million, which again is not horrible, but I expected more out of such a good movie (IMHO of course).  I guess the gore/death/blood factor was pretty high up there.  I wonder what had to be cut in order to squeeze in to an ‘R’ rating.  I can’t wait to see the four disc unrated directors cut collections edition on DVD.

Lost in Translation

While I was at Yahoo Movies, I decided to check in on another movie that I quite enjoyed a few weeks ago: Lost in Translation.  It’s one of those movies that isn’t destined to be a big money maker.  I’ll bet somebody looses some money on the project, but it was an excellent Sundance/Cannes style flick.

Lost in Translation showed up at number 11 in the box office this weekend, six weeks after release.  It pulled in just under $2 million and has grossed just under $21 million so far.  What is impressive about the weekend gross is that it was shown in only 771 theatres, yielding approximately $2470 per theatre.  The #10 movie this week (The Rundown) hit about $2.8 million in 2099 theatres.  That’s only $1325 per theatre.  The release below (Secondhald Lions) yields about $1170 per theatre.

So Lost in Translation isn’t doing great, but it’s definitely filling up the few theatres that it is in pretty well.  I’m glad.

Local Area Security Linux 0.4

Posted: October 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Local Area Security 0.4 was released over the weekend.  L.A.S is based on Knoppix with a focus on security tools.  It looks like a bunch of new tools were added to this release.

Apple’s Millions

Posted: October 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Apple | Comments Off

CNet and MacCentral note that Apple has had over 1 million downloads of iTunes for Windows and over 1 million songs have been purchased at its music store since Thursday.  Of course they’re not really making any money, but buzz is good, and they’re hoping that iTunes + iTumesMS will boost sales of the iPod, which has to have a good bit of markup built in to it.

Hey, at least it’s not a loss-leader.  It’s a break-even-leader.


Posted: October 18th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off
  • TyStudio “is a GPL’ed set of tools for extracting, editing, and converting of tivo tystreams to standard video/audio formats. This is done without re-encoding, so its a rather fast process. TyStudio is also entirely standards based; Every component of tystudio can be substituted with your favorite third party software (except tydemux of course).”  Does this work with Series 2 tivos?
  • Must check out Scalado’s stuff later.
  • Nelson on scaling sprites.  Wow, that’s way cool!
  • Copyfight: DMCA vs. Academic Research. “In other words, what the Internet enables in scientific research, the DMCA taketh away.”
  • Simon Willison gets the word out on the Python Web SIG.
  • Dan Gillmor points to Audacity as mentioned by KevinMarks.
  • Jakob Nielsen announces the 10 best intranets of 2003.  If you’d like to get into the details, you can also read the 175 page design annual (with 97 juicy screenshots!)
  • Russ picked up a Saturn Vue.  He had hopped on IRC from the dealership yesterday.  Ahh, technology.  Good luck driving a stick in San Francisco! :)
  • PyPI announces the release of Karrigell 1.3 beta.  It is a web app framework (in Python of course) that also includes Gadfly for its SQL backend.
  • I moblogged a soldier going home and a LED sign from the cool parking system currently in beta at BWI airport.
  • Must start reading Hacknot.
  • MT-Blacklist takes care of that pesky comment spam in Movable Type.

Console Apps

Posted: October 18th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Linux | Comments Off

I would definately have both Raggle and PyTone in my console-based app dream team.  Who is on yours?