Thursday, December 22, 2005

How to start a business

ParticleTree talks about the process of how to start a business.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Article about Fourty Media

James Archer CEO of Fourty Media discusses 7 lessions learnt from the first year of a startup.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Reading an article on CNet about Honda's new Asimo robot. I'm amazed by how far humanoid-like robots have progressed.

Honda seem to be putting a lot in R&D into this and producing some cutting edge technology. With Moores law still progressing, it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

Here is some video footage with Asimo in action.

Although not similar to the book, the film iRobot is still entertaining.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Presentation Zen

Comparison of the presentation styles of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates with regard to Zen aestetics.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Interesting article called "Ten Rules for Web Startups" which gives advice on how startups should proceed.

Found an article called from Marshal Brain - How to Make a Million Dollars. It talks about the obvious but says that inactivity is the surest way to not succeed.

John Osher a serial entrepreneur gives advice on What Not to Do.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hibernate Second Level Caching

Found an article on Java Boutique about using second level caching (such as EHCache) with hibernate.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

PBS Interviews

Found NerdTV on the PBS website. They have a whole load of technologist of old.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Out to the Wild West

Well I've finally done what I've talked about for the last few years. I've moved from NYC to the Bay Area, California.

I'm looking to work in a small company. A little less bureaucracy, a little more lets-change-the-world-attitude.

Let me know if you hear of anything.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Steve Jobs on Time

Looks like Steve is on the cover of Time Magazine (Last time was July 26, 2004) again.

Heres the actual article.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Power Bricks

Simple solution to all the gadgets that have those power bricks:

Monday, September 26, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ruby and J2EE

I've noticed a significant increase in the interest in Ruby-on-Rails on the web.

Thankfully, IBM DeveloperWorks gives a brief overview between Rails and J2EE.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Javacast RIP

I spoke to soon about Javacast. Looks like because of priorities its DEAD jim!

Friday, September 09, 2005


I've started to quite enjoy the java related podcast called Javacast.
There are focused on developers and they interview interesting people.

This week is was Bruce Tate. He is an author of numerous books including the one I'm currently reading, Bitter EJB.

Friday, September 02, 2005

All Talk

Google are using the jabber protocol, but the've missed the whole point of jabber, which is that it's an open standard. Its server independant.

This means that any server running jabber should be able to talk to any other server. At the moment GoogleTalk is a closed system like AIM, Yahoo or MSN. You need a gmail account to talk. I guess this is there way to make money.

I think will stick with iChat which uses AIM or (*any*) jabber server and Skype. Two closed systems is enough for me. I'm too lazy to sign up each time.

The other rumour is that Apple will release an iTunes phone next Friday. With the iPod saturating the market soo much, I can't see why someone would also get a iTunes phone if they have an iPod. Hmm.

MyEclipse 4.0 released. Here are the new features.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Google Talk

The rumour on the net is that Google will introduce a GoogleTalk tomorrow.
This will be a Jabber IM and allegedly VoIP.

DownloadSquad already (!) has a review, with showing instructions on how to set it up with iChat and your gmail account.

I got it set up no problem... sweet.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Eclipse slow on MacOSX Tiger.

You might not be aware but there is a problem running Eclipse on Tiger (10.4) which for me has made eclipse unusable. It looks like the fine people at Apple have got it sorted in v10.4.3 Build 8F8 (see comment #90).

Fingers crossed it will be coming out soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

a9 maps

a9 (an company) releases maps. Apparently they use trucks with digital cameras and GPS taking pictures of streets.

Quite slick..

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stanford Entrepreneurship Resource

Stanford Uni has put up some free entrepreneurship teaching resources, which are well worth reading, imho.

They have Larry Page and Eric Schmidt on video talking about google and Guy Kawasaki talking about how to start a company.

I've been a fan of Guy since the early days when he was at Apple and its interesting to watch him speak about a lot of the mistakes entrepreneurs make in the beginning. Being one of the founders for the VC company means he's probably dealt with a lot of startups and see's how they can go wrong.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Mighty Mouse

Apple now has a 2 button mouse !
Its interesting to see the difference between the original mac mouse and what we have today.

This is off course the real Mighty Mouse. :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wil on Delicous

Looks like Mike Matas (from Delicious Monster) will be going to Apple to do user interface and icon design. Sounds great!

There's a great interview on DrunkenBlog with Wil Shipley, one of the founders of Delicious Monster.

In the interview Wil says he enjoyed creating the philosophy pages of Omni. It sure is some good principals to work by.

Nice article on dev about clearing the FUD about JSF on developerWorks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google Moon

Today is when Neil Armstrong (July 20, 1969) landed on the moon.
The Apollo Landings, courtesy of Google-Moon.

Cool humanoid robot built at Chalmers University in Sweden.
It has 22 degrees of freedom, stereovision (using a neural network) and can track faces! But by all that is holy, does it have the 3 laws ??? :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Attaching internal drives

FireWire DriveDock, allows bare internal ide drives to be attached via firewire. Could be useful for powerbooks.

Monday, July 18, 2005

One data point does not a curve make

Interesting and funny article about the flip-flopping that occurs in the technology industry. I've definitely seen this! :)


I've always been very interested in user interface design. It's probably why I'm a big mac fan. This may be because I was forced to read the Apple User Interface Design specs during my first intern position. (They did technical support for Apple in the UK). I believe that the magic of technology should be hidden behind a veil of simplicity. Think google.

Anyway I came across this and thought it was fascinating. Its a flash project which removes clicks from the user interface and replaces them with guestures. Go take a look and see if you resist not click.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cool Keyboard

Interesting idea.. the Optimus keyboard. Each of the keys are a display allowing them to programmatically defined. cool !

Monday, July 11, 2005

nice table tag

eXtremeComponents looks like they have a nice custom tag for tables.

If you've ever done any swing programming (especially GridBagLayout), you will appreciate this funny.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Quartz Composer

Cool quartz composer samples. Can't wait to see the type of applications that will start to spring up for macosx. It gives smaller developers a lot of power to compete with the likes of Adobe.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Revenge of the < T >

I've still not played with Templates in the latest Java JVM. I dunno, I guess it brings back nightmares from my C++ days.
Casting is not that big a deal for me. I realize that it pushes errors at runtime rather than at compile time. I just find all those brackets a distraction from understanding what the code is doing.

In any case, a StarWars III themed, funny flash animation. :)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Eclipse 3.1

Eclipse Final 3.1 has been released. Heres what's noteworthy.

Note to self. Find a company that will insist on sending me to JavaOne. [sigh]

Congrats to Geronimo on passing the J2EE TCK 1.4.1a test suite. It seems to be really picking up momentum.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

You've probably read about Steve Jobs address at the Stanford graduation ceromony. Heres the text and the audio stream. Very moving. Makes you question a lot of things.


Went and saw a most excellent film last night called Crash. It about racial conflict in the US (its based in LA) and how people stereotypes groups. Its real gut-wrenching in places.
Fascinating.. Here's the trailer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Skype Hardware

I've been searching high and low for a decent headphone/mic combo for my skype setup.

The favourites seem to be Plantronics, but I was disappointed with the one I purchased, as I couldn't get the microphone to work. There also seems to be a lot of complaints on build quality and that they don't seem to last for long.

While looking, I came across the Logitech Mobile Freedom which is around $42. Its a bluetooth headset with mic and sits on your ear with a mobile range of around 10 metres. Its a slightly older design but a great deal of people (on Amazon feedback) say its a LOT better than the majority of similar products on the market. Does what it says on the tin? How novel!

I hooked it up to my 12inch powerbook and it worked straight of the bat (immediately). The volume could be a little louder (which a lot of people comment on) but apart from that, I couldn't be happier! :)

My plan is to hook it up to my G5, but since I don't have bluetooth on that puppy, I'm waiting for a dongle to arrive. I don't expect any problem.. thats why I have a mac ! :-)


I'm a big fan of Apple's iChat. I have an iSight and it does a very excellent job of video conferencing to the UK, no problems whatsoever.

However..I'm getting more impressed with the whole Skype space.

Skype is a p2p voice (soon to be video) system and allows free skype-to-skype calls. It also has the capabilities (for a small charge-around 2c per min, called SkypeOut), to call regular phone numbers. They also have a means for people to call you (again for a small fixed charge) called SkypeIn. You can choose a regular phone number and calls get routed to the Skype application. You also get free voicemail when you purchase SypeIn. (called Skype Voicemail)

As you travel, even though you have say a NYC number, calls get routed to your hotel in say San Francisco. Very cool!

This is a LOT cheaper than services like Vonage, which AFAIK seem to follow regular phone companies and charge around $25 per month.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Revenge of the S

Starwars themed Fathers Day card from Joy of Tech. :)

Saw this truck outside my apartment. Never crossed my mind that I live in the 'Empire State'.

Monday, June 13, 2005

End of an Era

Just went and saw Star Wars Episode III as all the crazies have seen it 20 times and no longer at the cinema.

It was a fairly good movie and brings to the close an epic story that started with the initial Star Wars in 1977.
I was a little young to see it first time (only on TV), but I did go and see the Special Editions (of the first three) at the theater.

Not sure what George Lucas has planned next, but hopefully it will get the opportunity to try out some real out there stuff.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Translating Emulation

I'm intrigued by the Rosetta technology. It is a means to run PowerPC applications almost full speed on MacTel. It's from a company called Transitive, a Silicon Valley startup formed from researchers from Manchester University, England.

The way it accomplises this is by partially translating a bit of code, running it and using memory caching to minimize the amount of times it does this. It also tries to optimizie anything it can to increase performance.

This sounds very similar to the way that SUN speeds up Java using Hotspot ! :)

What I don't understand, is if this technology is so good, I would expect in turn, the other way (x86 to PowerPC) to work reasonably well. Then why have windows emulators for the mac sucked for the last decade???

Monday, June 06, 2005

Joining the Empire

Phew! Just read the writeup on the WWDC2005 keynote address by Steve Jobs. Looks like all those rumours that Apple were moving to Intel are true!

I'm a little gob-smacked to be honest. Apple has always preached that Microsoft-Intel are the bad guys and Apple-Motorolla-IBM are the good guys.

Motorola failed Apple by not innovating the PowerPC (and instead moving pretty much to mobile phones). IBM promised a lot and failed to deliver. (remember 3GHZ last year?).

I don't think the MacOSX will run on your cheapo Dell though. Apple's tight integration of hardware and software has made MacOSX and Apple what it is today. Easier to operate and maintain than Windows.

I fully expect Apple to maintain this tight grip. Being its main revenue stream, it will have to.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I went to see the hugely popular Avenue-Q on Broadway this afternoon. Its fairly reasonable. Kinda Sesame St with adult themes.

I have to say that I'm not really a fan of broadway.. its just too much music and dancing for me. During the performance the audience would burst out laughing and I couldn't quite understand why. People would look at each other with a glazed expression of 'Isn't this fantastic? I can't believe how funny this is!'

It was relatively amusing.. (I smiled on the inside, and maybe an occasionaly smirk came out) but was it THAT funny? That funny that people are howling??

As I looked around, nearly everyone looked the same. ie about 20+ years older than me and since this was an afternoon show I would speculate tourists.

Were people laughing so much that they found this sooo funny? Were they laughing because maybe the've not been exposed to puppets having sex on stage from their home town Smallville? Maybe their laughing because the've just dropped $100 per ticket and since everyone else is lauging they might as well too.

I dunno. This is all deja vu for me, as I remember experiencing the same during Wicked.

But... its probably me. I've from the other side of the pond and we tend to have more of a drier sense of humour. Me probably more than most.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Funny StarWars spoof of the Apple switch campaign. :)

Help Steve Jobs dress for another keynote. :)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Simplistic Sophistication

Found a greate quote that somes up my increasing beliefs in the whole XP methodology. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Spring time

I've attacked another item of my TODOs list again. I ordered Spring in Action and Hibernate in Action from the Manning in Action series. Since I've been using Hibernate at work I thought I would tackle the Spring book first.

I've been searching for a good Spring tuturial for some time and I haven't found one that clicks for me till now. It's easy to read with plenty of example code. I now have a better understanding of the whole IoC concept. This is about reducing tight dependancy coupling between objects. The idea is that the Spring container takes care of initializing objects and hands all the dependant objects to you on a silver plater.

TheServerSide interviews Craig Mc Clanahan about JSF. They also have a piece about Struts being 5 years old.

Friday, May 27, 2005

SWT and the Doctor

I generally don't heed the endless people moaning about Swing in the front end. I've done a fair amount of it (using it in my current project) and find it reasonably nice to work with. It's a lot simplier then coding up a web front end in HTML/JSP/Taglibs/JSF/Struts and dealing with Requests and Sessions. [sigh].

It's not that slow and its not that ugly. If you use a different L&F such as JGoodies Looks, things become even more pleasant. It's really not that bad (or hard to learn) especially if you take the time to learn the mighty GridBagLayout.

Anyhoo, SWT has been in my TODOs techs to play with. I started to tinker with it and came across a nice tutorial at IBM developerWorks. Although I've used Eclipse for some time, I'm suprised how well the example program actually looks. I might put both feet into the SWT arena. Hmmm.

If you have access to the new Doctor Who (TV show currently playing in the UK, but floating in the ether), I would wholeheartedly recommend watching it. It has all the special effects that today's technology can provide but maintains the classic cheap-and-tacky aliens of yester-decade with an excellent story line. I actually found 'The Empty Child' fairly scary. I can't believe I watched this show as a child.

Hmm.. I guess that explains a lot.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Just came back from the NYJavaSig meet with Jim Waldo (used to be the lead architect for the Jini technology) as the guest speaker. The subject was "An Architecture for Service-Oriented Architectures" and it was both thoroughly entertaining and enlightening to learn about Jini. He also used a powerbook to do the presentation. :)

He mentioned that in order to get Java in devices a lot of the classes were axed. Most significantly from Jini's perspective, was the culling of the classloader (Jini is big in streaming objects between services) which kinda stops Jini dead in that aspect.

I couldn't help thinking that, wasn't this the whole point of Jini? For small devices? ie You enter into your office and your pda becomes aware of the printer and the mail repository.

Didn't Sun say "The Network is the Computer"?

It has been my plan to try and look more into J2ME (I want ALL my devices to talk to one another! Think Borg collective), but the last time I checked it was still lacking in features. I have no idea of the current state of that world is.

Also, an interesting article on about fslogger a subscriber to file system events (for macosx tiger). This is how spotlight is aware of changes to the FileSystem and how the Finder finally updates to files created in the Terminal.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Apple to *not* use Intel.

Yet again another rumour that Apple is talking to Intel about using them instead of the PowerPC. I thought it was fairly obvious that Apple's income comes from *HARDWARE* sales and trying to compete in the PC/Dell arena is suicide. The creation of all those fine software products is expensive (iTunes/iPhoto/iDVD/iMovie/Safari) and if it were not for the hardware sales then Apple would be out of business.

Google Factory tour

Looks like video will be Skype's next big thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


I think the quality of a Sunday can be measured by the time before you realize that you have to go to work again on Monday.