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Technology's Archive

Innovation, part 2

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 6:38 am Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Having blogged about innovation, here’s another article on innovation — an interview with Pixar’s Brad Bird. It pretty much explains what’s needed to develop new products and fostering innovation.

Involved people make for better innovation… Involved people can be quiet, loud, or anything in-between—what they have in common is a restless, probing nature: “I want to get to the problem. There’s something I want to do.” If you had thermal glasses, you could see heat coming off them.

The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved. … “You don’t play it safe—you do something that scares you, that’s at the edge of your capabilities, where you might fail. That’s what gets you up in the morning.”


Scott Rippee @ 1:52 pm Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I was going to put in the time and get a forked ruby out to fill in some feature gaps, but the maker of tender love beat me to it.

Brobinus adds some much needed features like Object#tase! and brobinius –screencast my_code.rb for youtube integration. link

Vista source code leaked

Scott Rippee @ 1:34 pm Sunday, April 6th, 2008

OMG Some behemoth bugs! For instance, those variables at the top should be declared constant. Any ole dev could decide to increment the feature count, decrement the bugs, and set ready to release!

Sustainable Innovation

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 4:08 pm Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In BlackBerry: Innovation Behind the Icon,

If you really want to build something sustainable and innovative you have to invest in R&D. If you build the right culture and invest in the right facilities and you encourage and motivate and inspire both young and seasoned people and put them all in the right environment—then it really performs for you. It’s what I call sustainable innovation.

Amen. If your competitors build cheaper products that’s in the same market as you, innovation is the only thing will keep you alive…in the long run.

CSU Chico’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory

Scott Rippee @ 3:53 pm Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Came across this document that is the progress report for the first half of the grant that CSU Chico received for robotics while I was there. The report included example project papers, one of which was from one of my groups and included several pictures of my lovely boebot along with some colorful language:

That particular design was used the two sensors pointing at the ground to follow a line and detect the ending point, a perpendicular line.

From the look of the Intelligent Systems Laboratory page they are doing well with several interesting projects in the works.

Ubuntu 8.04 beta in Mac Parallels

Scott Rippee @ 12:31 am Friday, March 28th, 2008

Wooohoo Ubuntu 8.04 beta works perfectly in parallels on Leopard. I had some problems with 7.10 from the iso and cd so instead of using the alternate (text based install that is reported to work) I downloaded 8.04. So far everything is running flawlessly. Parallels tools reportedly has problems running due to an Xorg change, but I haven’t gave it a try for my self yet and that post/bug was submitted a couple of months ago.

Check out the Ubuntu 8.04 features. It’s exciting to see the new apps, features, and versions in open source land that are all being pulled together to create a great user experience.

Big Brother development kit

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:31 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

From this post,

Texas Instruments (TI) and Micron’s Aptina Imaging division have teamed up on an ultra-low-cost WXGA IP camera reference design for surveillance applications. The DM355IPNC-MT5 design runs Linux on a $10 TI DaVinci RISC/DSP digital media processor, and has an eBOM under $40, the companies claim.

The royalty free TI/Aptina HD IP network camera reference design is available for order now, and expected to ship in the second quarter.

That’s a good deal. I wonder if I’ll get one of these for Christmas. :)

To LVM or not LVM

Scott Rippee @ 6:13 pm Sunday, March 16th, 2008

So I was sitting here trying to decide whether to re-setup my few small drives into a big chunk of storage with LVM as I had in my previous Gentoo setup. The LVM draw is not having to think about which drives you’ve stuck x, y, and z and the drawback being having to set it up and not being able to easily recover the data in the case of system failure.

However, it turns out that Ubuntu or Linux or some sort of supermagical force made my old volume group that existed in Gentoo still exist in Ubuntu! I mounted the logical volume and walha, all of my old files were still there. LVM must record special LVM data on to the drives in a volume group that dictates the configuration rather than storing the configuration to the system (in a file somewhere). Sweeet

On a side note it was tough to nuke Gentoo after a great 6 year ride and at the same time its really nice not waiting hours for software to compile. Plus Ubuntu is beautiful + just works.

ROI on software testing

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:56 pm Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Black, president and principal consultant of RBCS, emphasized the cost-effectiveness of creating quality software. “The money you spend to build it right the first time is always less than the money it costs to fix it,” he said.

He listed four ways testing saves money: Finding bugs that get fixed, finding bugs that don’t get fixed, running tests that mitigate risks and guiding the project to success through timely, accurate, credible information for project tracking.

This article explains it very well the Return of Investment on testing early in the software development lifecycle.

Mono on Linux

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 1:36 pm Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Is Mono a good thing for open source? It’s for you to decide…

Here’s some interesting arguments:


Rails in browser IDE / instant deployment

Scott Rippee @ 2:13 am Thursday, February 14th, 2008

This caught my eye on Riding Rails Blog the other day. This site has a built in rails IDE. This looks nice in the demos, but it would be interesting to actually give it a spin to see if it’s usable. The coolest thing is the instant deployment of the rails app to Amazon’s EC2! This seems like it would be very attractive to someone just getting started with rails since you would get to put full focus into the development and skip the other pains in the ass (deployment, capistrano, web servers, mongrel instances….).

My Ubuntu Gutsy borked!

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 11:01 pm Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Over the weekend, I wiped out my RAID 1 partition that was running off of the motherboard SATA Raid controller. This controller is also known as “Fake RAID.” Instead of using this, I configured a software RAID 1 using open source tools, notably mdadm.

Monday morning before work, I rebooted my box to check for good measures. Everything booted OK and the graphical login screen appeared normally. Then I proceeded to login, authenticated successfully, and then my desktop was all black. Against the black background was my gkrellm, configured to load after login, blinking like crazy in various colors of green, orange and yellow. Since my box is a dual core AMD, one of the cores was spinning at near 100% CPU usage and then CPU usage spinning alternated between the two cores. After watching this madness, I restarted the X server and the graphical login displayed normally. I logged in again and the same horror continues. I decided it’s time to reboot the box to observe what’s going on by clicking on the Options button on the bottom left hand side in the graphical login screen. Lo and behold, clicking that button redirects me to the login screen without popping up a menu for me to select “Reboot.” My Ubuntu Gutsy box is b0rked!


Are you a n00bz?

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 11:12 pm Monday, February 11th, 2008

From Steve Yegge’s blog entry,

Does this style look at all familiar? It should! This is, to put it as impolitely as possible, n00b-style. (Incidentally, if u dont no wat a n00b iz, u r 1.)

This is how junior programmers write code. Junior programmers with five to ten years of experience under their belts (still n00bs in their own way) attempt to build giant systems and eventually find themselves stuck on the cliff waiting for a helicopter bailout, telling themselves “my next system rewrite will be better!” Or they fall off the cliff – i.e., the project gets canceled, people get laid off, maybe the company goes under.

Read on for the rest of this great read. After you finish, I want to ask you a question. Are you a n00b? Do you know a n00b? Do tell, I’d like to hear about it! :)

85 Rules of Software Operations

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 9:41 pm Saturday, January 26th, 2008

If you work in the Operations department of a technology company, then you must read “(85) Operations Rules to Live By.”

A SCAlable LAnguage — Scala

UnderpaidLoveMonki @ 10:57 pm Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

From an article under the Java Technology section of IBM’s Developerworks,

Scala is a functional-object hybrid language with several powerful factors working in its favor:

* First, Scala compiles to Java bytecode, meaning it runs on the JVM. In addition to enabling you to continue leveraging the rich Java open-source ecosystem, Scala can be integrated into an existing IT environment with zero migration effort.
* Second, Scala is based on the functional principles of Haskell and ML, yet still borrows heavily from the familiar object-oriented concepts Java programmers love. As a result, it can blend the best of both worlds into a whole that offers significant benefit without sacrificing the familiarity we’ve come to depend on.
* Finally, Scala was developed by Martin Odersky, probably best known in the Java community for the Pizza and GJ languages, the latter of which became the working prototype for Java 5’s generics. As such, it comes with a feeling of “seriousness”; this language was not created on a whim, and it will not be abandoned in the same fashion.

Scala is available in the Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10 repositories. To install, type sudo apt-get install scala. Enjoy.