Events Since 14 September 2008

Have you ever retired a Mac by mistake? No.

I bought a unibody MacBook Pro. Aside from being a thing of beauty, the improved GPU means all my games run well under Boot Camp; the Dell XPS 600 may get an early retirement (in the Blade Runner sense).  I love the trackpad and found myself forgoing a mouse while traveling–except under Windows where it’s squirrelly and inconsistent.  I hope Apple starts squeezing out Boot Camp updates as fast as iPhone updates to fix the track pad problem and take full advantage of the dual GPU.  Please cross all appropriate appendages.

I ended my contract in Rockville, MD.  The commute got to me and I ended my contract with F. after a one month extension to see one of my projects through its first deployment to prod. I’m making a pattern of very long separations to help with transition, and that’s both good and bad: Good this time because I think it really made a difference in the deployment; bad because I missed out on the before-end-of-year hiring cycle.  I hope it reboots as usual in the beginning of the new year despite the grim economic situation.

I got the flu.  My last day in Rockville was when the fever kicked in.  The following three weeks were pretty miserable, and I still have a bit of a cough after another two.  Next year I’m definitely getting a flu shot, and I’m wondering if I should still get one this year since they typically treat a handful of the most common strains.  Any medical professionals care to comment?

I drank the Kool Aid and bought an iPhone.  Expect a subsequent post with some of my favorite apps.  I’m testing how long it can last in stand-by mode with power consumption optimization (WiFi and 3G only when needed, no push, hourly pull) and it looks like the answer’s 72 hours.  I may have to bump my SMS messages up to 1500 from 200 which irks me to no end, but that’s one of a handful of gripes that are more about AT&T than the device itself.  Otherwise, it’s a Good Thing ™.

I attended MJD‘s talk at Philadelphia Linux Users Group (PLUG) about strong typing.  The slides for Atypical Types are on MJD’s site.  We agree that Java 1.5 is the first usable version of the 1970s-style programming language but for different reasons:  He asserted at the talk that Java typing got better because a Haskell guy rewrote the 1.5 compiler and force fed Java some good medicine like generics. Is Haskell the new programming language incubator?  Given things like type inference, how a smart compiler removes all strong-type clutter that stupid compilers require, could be.

I corrected a long-standing mistake about Documentum Composer in my I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia blog post.  Despite being a newer Documentum customer, F. had enough invested in its 5.3 architecture and how it integrated into their corp-wide build process to make Composer a non-starter.  I’m looking forward to a contract in the future where I get to use all the new 6.5 stuff without the drag of a 5.x (or even 6.0) install base.

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