Tuesday, 23 December 2008

BBC Backstage Ideas site

This site is rather cool. Submit technical ideas that you would like the BBC to support, anything from RSS feeds to iPlayer APIs:

It's based on the Ubuntu idea torrent project - nice to see the Beeb using and supporting free and open source software projects.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Asus Eeeeeee

So I gave in and ordered an Asus Eee 1000 Linux netbook with 40GB solid state drive. 
Wikipedia article on Asus Eee
trustedreviews write up on the Eee 1000 Linux with SSD
You get a lot for your money with one of these beasties and 7 hours operating time on one charge. I foresee lots of CPAN and Catalyst related perl hackery on the train.
Once I get it set up the next thing I want to do now that BBC iPlayer is available for Linux is install the latest Ubuntu, Adobe AIR and get iPlayer running so I can watch programmes on the move. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Google developer day 2008 London

The Google developer day http://code.google.com/intl/en_uk/events/developerday/2008/home.html
London 2008 was at the new Wembley stadium.
It was an excellent day and it was great being able to talk to Google professionals and hear what is happening in Googleland. I would recommend it to any Open Source developer but remember - you need to register early!
The demo of the first Google Android phone was particularly interesting.

Check out this site for videos of the presentations and slides: http://sites.google.com/site/developerdaylondon/

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

YAPC::EU 2008 Copenhagen

It was good to go to the 20008 European Perl conference in Copenhagen in August, meet old friends and catch up with what is happening in the Perl world. Some photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24211691@N08/tags/ye2008/


Friday, 20 June 2008

BBC Mashed 2008

Yee-har! We're off the BBC's Mashed 2008 event at Alexandra Palace ("Ally Pally") to have fun with the Beeb's services.
I'm doing some contract Perl work on the Beeb's content production systems and it will be fun to mingle with some hard core geeks using their data services in new ways.
We're living in interesting times at the dawn of Interactive/Internet Television.


Thursday, 6 March 2008

After the Ukraine Perl Conference

Well that was a fun time in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine. I shared rental on an apartment with Jonathon Worthington, the Perl 6 Parrot guy, for 5 days and a Ukrainian Perl programmer Max Vuets stayed the night before the conference.

Jonathon's a nice guy and we walked all over the city sightseeing. He's also very bright and we had some good chats about Perl and Perl 6. We also chatted with Max about Perl and technology. His English was very good and I was grateful to have a local Ukrainian person explain more about their culture and country. It was amazing to see how high tech Kyiv is, many 4x4 cars, flash mobile phones (jacked iPhones!) lots of new building work. It is a city of great divides between both rich and poor but it is also moving forward and modernising at a tremendous pace.

We rented through Sherborne Guest House and I can happily recommend them for their luxurious and safe apartments. Nothing was too much trouble for the friendly English-speaking reception staff, there was 24 hour English-speaking security and it was just down the road from the Arsenelna metro station.

The city itself is beautiful as you can see from these Flickr photos. Here's one of me giving my talk on getting started with ExtJS and Catalyst Perl. The grisly video evidence is on the conference Wiki.

The conference itself was 80% in Russian, 20% in English. I don't speak Russian but was able to glean a fair amount from the slides and there were some interesting topics, such as using MemCached and Spread, and on how to win over business managers to the idea of Open Source.

We went out and ate in the Bar Mikhailovsky, good food and friendly company, a mix of Ukrainian (mostly Kiev.pm) and Russian (mostly Moscow.pm) Perl people. I was taken by how welcoming they were and it was a really good time.

I hope to return next year, and this time learn some Russian / Ukrainian in advance! It was a bit of a last minute decision to speak and you can't learn much of a language in 1 month.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Mysql tip

In your ~/.my.cnf add
pager=less -niSFX
Then your multi-screen results will be paged and you can press -> to scroll right for columns past 80 characters.

Great Patriotic War

While I'm in an Eastern European frame of kind I'd like to recommend a website a Russian Perl programmer colleague mentioned to me last year.
Soldiers of the Great War: http://english.pobediteli.ru/
Click on “Multimedia Map Of The War” on the GREEN arrow where it says Start Presentation.

It is a truly amazing volunteer effort using Flash animations of the WWII Russian/”Great Patriotic War” battles with pictures, video clips and reminiscences from wartime survivors about their actions.
They were evidently grateful to the USA and UK for convoy and supply support during the war. It helps explain the extreme guardedness they felt after WWII after having half their territory invaded. Many millions of people died.
When you look at the map (all of Ukraine invaded, German armies at Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad) and see how close they came to being gutted - like the UK, we came close too - it's a visceral feeling.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Ukrainian Perl Workshop 2008

It's too warm in Britain. I need to freeze my nuts off. I have a yearning for dumplings. I want to visit Kyiv.
These can be the only explanations for...
going to the Ukrainian Perl Workshop 2008 !!!

I'll be there on 23rd February to give a talk on ‎Getting started with ExtJS Javascript screen library and Catalyst Perl.

Feel free to come up and say "Hi!" if you're going.


Saturday, 19 January 2008

Farewell Bobby Fischer

The American chess genius Bobby Fischer (9th March 1943 - Jan 17th 2008) has died.

As a keen chess player I learnt much from Bobby's "My 60 Memorable Games" and although it's sad that he had mental problems throughout his life I respected his decision to play his rematch with Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia during the war that saw the break-up of Yugoslavia. It was particularly breath-taking to watch America, a country that has invaded Cuba three times in the last century, and fomented so much dissent in South America - put Bobby, a brilliant but mentally ill chess player, on their wanted list and causing his exile in Iceland. This attitude says so much about how the US ended up in the Iraq invasion, or"Vietnam II" as I think of it.

A certain monomanical attititude is required to excel at programming, as in chess, and I wish to salute this genius of pattern-matching and algorithmic selection.