Saturday, April 25, 2009

Google Code supporting Mercurial

Google has announced support for Mercurial on Google Code. Currently it is a preview release for a limited set of users.

There is a Google analysis of Git and Mercurial here.

UQ switches to MS Exchange Labs

The University of Queensland is switching over to Microsoft Exchange Labs for student email accounts. In the past I have redirected all my university email to my personal GMail account and I wished to continue that.

This turned out to be a ridiculously complicated process, that I would have never figured out without the instructions. Furthermore it can only be done in IE 7! Obviously the IT staff haven't walked around with their eyes open, otherwise they might have noticed how many students have MacBooks.

From my brief exposure to this service, it seems like a really bad idea to try and clone a desktop application (Outlook) in a web browser. Having to double-click is completely inconsistent with the normal browser paradigm.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Java is the Brier Rabbit of IT. Once touched you can't let go. Its simplistic enough to be inadequate in almost every situation.

From The Book Of JOSH - Scala In The Enterprise

Thursday, April 16, 2009

MacBook water resurrection

Over Easter, my (adorable) 4 year old daughter was watching a DVD on my MacBook and she spilt a cup of water on it. When I got to it, the MacBook had water on the keyboard and had stopped working.

After wiping off the liquid on the outside, I pulled out all the parts that are fairly easy to access - battery, RAM and hard drive. The hard drive casing was wet. One RAM stick had a few small drops on it and both had a white powder on the contacts. I wonder if this was a residue from rapidly evaporating water. I propped the MacBook upside down, with the parts still out, hoping it would dry overnight. I didn't hold much hope.

The next morning I put it back together and tried to power it on, but no go.

We traveled home Monday and that night I plugged it in and it actually booted up. There was a wet patch in the bottom of the screen, but otherwise it was working fine. I couldn't believe it.

I found this post, so the next day I tried it. Two terminals executing yes > /dev/null to max out the CPU and the screen open at about 45 degrees, to try and catch the heat. About 4 hours later the wet patch was gone.

I am writing this post on the MacBook. Amazing!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Manhattan Project - how I helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street.

For those of us that consider job satisfaction in more ways than how well we do our job or how well we are paid, but also how does our work impact our world? Does it simply enrich some nameless shareholders, or does it do more?

Here is the story of Michael Osinski, a programmer that wrote software that turned mortgages into bonds. Somewhat relevant in the current "global economic crisis".

The original article, spread across multiple pages is here.