Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hello, Griffin!

Say 'Hello' to Griffin Hart Hood!

While little Griffin was (a little scarily) premature and had to be delivered early via c-section, everyone appears to be doing well. Congratulations to Sharon's sister Tracy and her husband Jordan.

Chuck Lorre is my kind of guy

OK, I admit it. I am addicted to The Big Bang Theory. Last week's bit on X10 devices was freaking hilarious:

And it looks like they even took the time to create a Wolowizard YouTube user to upload the video that Howard Wolowitz shot at the Physics symposium on his cell phone.


Not only do I think it is *the* funniest show on TV right now (and now that the writer's strike is over we finally get new episodes!), the vanity cards at the end of each episode are equally entertaining. I think Chuck Lorre is someone I'd love to shoot the sh*t with over a pint. The vanity card for last night's episode piqued my interest enough to find the (un?)censored version and I am glad I ventured to Chuck's site. I have always wondered exactly what it would take to write a hit sitcom, and now I have a step-by-step manual.

Like I said... my kind of guy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Presentation and Source Code Uploaded

The presentation for my talk on extension points has finally appeared on the EclipseCON website for those of you who wanted it. There are a TON of notes in there that are quite useful (I think), so it is worth downloading the source .ppt file for reference.

I also uploaded a zip containing the source code for my demo plug-ins for those of you who were interested as well. It seems the Cloudsmith SVN server is down, so I figured I would just upload them as an attachment to my presentation summary along with the presentation. But judging from how long it took the presentation to appear, it may be a few hours before it shows up. This code is completely unsupported, but shoot me an email (mark dot melvin at gmail dot com) if you run into issues. I tested it on Linux, Windows XP, and Vista, but did not test it on a Mac (let me know if it works or doesn't work if you have a Mac).

Thanks to everyone who attended!

Update: I am not sure the code is ever going to appear as a link on the main talk summary page, but you can always go to the Eclipsezilla submission page and download the attachment here:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

EclipseCON Updates

Tonight I decided to bail early on the Poster Reception and nip over to the Faultline Brewery for a quick steak and a pint of stout. They have free wireless so I am actually enjoying a pint waiting for my steak as I type this. I remember coming here a few years ago for an earlier EclipseCON and it was great.

After dinner I'll head back and catch a couple BoFs. Then I have a bit more work to do to prepare for my long talk tomorrow. And I still have not had a chance to hack out a BUG app! It is going to be another late night.

Oh, and the stout is quite nice...

Update: The steak was awesome too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lots Going On

Well, there is a lot going on both here at EclipseCon and back home. I now work for a new company (again)! It wasn't entirely a surprise, but it just became official today. I ended up making two versions of everything in anticipation of this acquisition and I even brought along a sticker to "modify" my EclipseCon badge. So now I can finally upload my presentations and sample code under the new company name. I know what I'll be doing tonight...

EclipseCon seems to be starting out alright. I'm a little tired, but I finally got a chance to grab a coffee (I was in line for registration and missed breakfast and coffee this morning!) and life is better now. I sat in on a couple OSGi tutorials that were interesting. Now it's time to see what this year's lunch spread is like!

Sleepless In Santa Clara

So I just got to my room and I *just* got wired internet connected so I can check tomorrow's (today's) schedule. My flight was delayed and it took me about 13 hours door-to-door to get here from Toronto. That has to be one of my worst journeys yet. And now, there is nothing open here except McDonalds and Jack In The Box, so I just had a quarter pounder and fries for dinner (it is 4:30am my time). Yummy!

And to top it all off I can't get the Hyatt's wireless to work. I can connect to the tmobile access point, and I can even browse t-mobile.com. But no other address resolves, and it doesn't prompt me to sign up (which is what is supposed to happen). The people at the front desk are clueless so they gave me T-Mobile's tech support number. Well after explaining the problem all over again and waiting 30 minutes on hold for a *real* tech support person, I gave up and just plugged in the damn LAN cable. We're not off to a good start. The only good thing about today was my rental car was upgraded to an Audi A6.

Here's to a few hours sleep and hoping tomorrow is a better day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spaces Rocks

So my last post came off a tad negative (that'll teach me to post when frustrated), but the email I got from the EclipseCon bot asked me to give the team some feedback by trying it out - "it" being Spaces. Well, I did that and I was frustrated by the initial overhead.

But I guess I should focus on Spaces - the Eclipse technology - and not AOL's sign-up process. And from what I see so far, once you get past setting up the XDrive account it looks pretty cool. So please, don't be put off by my initial experience. Try it out for yourselves.

So How Can *I* Use Spaces?

So I got an EclipseCon email telling me I should share my code using this nifty new thing called Spaces. And to be honest - I'd love to use it. But is it just me, or it is only possible to use this service via AOL XDrive? First of all, I have never heard of this service (I mean, who uses AOL outside of the US?), but OK, fine - I figured I'd give it a go.

Well, I tried to set up an account and they only accept US zip codes. What's a poor Canadian supposed to do? Make up a US zip code, and fake phone number. Check. Well, after 5 more minutes and about 10 tries at trying to figure out why it won't accept my username, or password, or captcha input (I'm still not sure which is wrong - it seems to be telling me the captcha is wrong, but it looks right to me...) I'm giving up in disgust. Their website totally sucks. There is no way to check the username availability without typing everything in and seeing if it fails (forcing you to type it all in again), and I can't seem to type in correct information no matter what I do.

So - I *really* want to use the Spaces feature. Honestly I do. But why is it tied to AOL XDrive? Surely there has got to be a better service than this?? What about hooking into something like Google Code or Sourceforge? Henrik's blog suggests there may be Sourceforge support but I don't see it anywhere in my installed version. Am I missing something here? I'm about to just throw it onto my Linux server at home, but it certainly won't stand up to more than a few people downloading at once (although that's probably all I need anyway...).

But wait! I just read Henrik's next post about using bluestring.com instead, along with a fake ZipCode and it worked (after jumping through way too many hoops)! OK, so now I have an XDrive account and AOL or bluestring.com has a lot of information about me (most of it fake). Hmm...this had better be worth it.

Is there anyone else out there using Spaces? It looks like a great idea, but currently seems to be crippled by a crappy back-end. Maybe the Eclipse Foundation should consider providing some storage space for Eclipse-related projects? Either that, or the Spaces project should start supporting other backends very quickly. I'm a fairly patient guy when it comes to this sort of thing (I sign up for a lot of crap), so I can see the majority of people quitting after the first sign-up screen.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Looking Forward To EclipseCON

While I am still cranking on polishing up my presentations for EclipseCON (is it March 9th already!?), I am definitely looking forward to a week in sunn(ier-than-here) Santa Clara. Especially after the massive dumping of snow we got this weekend.

And to think, I was BBQ'ing steak a couple weeks ago...