• Consistent Test Methodology for Inconsistent Projects

    How do you start introducing some testing if you have a huge group of existing projects, for the most part all implemented using different languages and technologies? That’s the problem I’ve been poking at recently. The first issue is that none of the technology choices were made with testability in mind. And I don’t want to have to go through and run a bunch of code refactoring and reorganization just to start testing. I would much rather start testing, and then start introducing changes to make things easier to test and to increase the coverage. The second issue is that we’re pretty sure there are some major architectural changes and redesigns coming in the short term. So to dig in and harness up the guts of a bunch of systems we know will be changing really shortly anyway also doesn’t seem like a fantastic idea. Plus some of the changes are more about the operating environment than the code itself, and a bunch of unit tests won’t necessarily help us figure out if the web services break when we move from MySQL 5.5 to 5.6.

  • Why I Suck at Angel Investing, and My Plan

    I’ve done a bunch of angel investing over the last few years. And I’ve decided I’m no good at it. The market, so far, seems to agree with me. Most of the investments I’ve done are nowhere, frequently not even making it to launch. That’s okay actually, not a big deal.

  • Use of Time

    I love the idea behind social media services, helping to connect people and strengthen relationships. However I don’t think most are actually fulfilling on that vision. Sure, you can stay connected with friends. But your goals and the goals of the social service itself frequently aren’t aligned. The desire of social media services to drive the metrics they want based on your connections to friends and family have resulted in systems that prey on base urges. The result is systems that drive themselves off addiction loops. In the end they’re like overeating or smoking, bad habits. And I assume most people will look to weed out those behaviors in the interest of their overall health. That’s my view at least, so I took the plunge and deleted my Facebook account about a year ago.

  • Resurrection

    This blog has been dormant for a long time, but I’ve decided to start it back up. I created the site cause I wanted a Wordpress install I could test my PalmOS based mobile blogging client against. But once I had the site up and running I started tossing all sorts of random stuff in. Everything from my own thoughts on scalability to summaries of events about the FabLab. However, after a few years of tossing all sorts of random stuff in here I started to really focus on mobile, so I created a mobile specific site called This is Mobility so that I wouldn’t have everything all jumbled together. Then with so much interesting stuff happening in mobile this blog eventually fell into disuse. And it’s remained unused since 2006.

  • Ubuntu - Sun JDK Graphical Install Only?

    I was just installing the Sun JDK on my workstation at the office, and when I tried the obvious: apt-get install sun-java5-bin got an error message about not being able to find a license. Interesting, thought I, “there must be a higher level package wrappering this whole thing that deposits a license file somewhere for the apt-get process to pick up”. A bunch of searching around in the repository listings turned up no java license related packages.

  • Two Blue Pills with a Whiskey Back Please

    The surreal thought for today: Lawrence Fishburne, Morpheus from The Matrix, was Cowboy Curtis on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. I was wondering why Pee Wee ended up in the Adult Swim lineup. I get it now. Joke’s over. You can make it stop.

  • SpellBound Firefox Plugin, Dev Version

    Apparently Firefox 2 has inline spellcheck right out of the box. Werd, I’m looking forward to it. However, my Ubuntu systems still have Firefox 1.5.x and I don’t want to start mucking around now that I’ve just started accepting I don’t need to build everything by hand. Start pulling on that thread again and whole thing comes apart!

  • Subversion Book

    I’ve been giving myself a svn refresher so that we can move over to it, and I hit this in the maintenance tools documentation page and it made me laugh out loud:

  • You've Stayed Up Too Late When

    You know you’ve acidentally let your bedtime slip too close to sunrise when you’re flipping through the onscreen TV guide and MTV actually lists “Music Videos” as currently showing. No need to look at the time, when a thing like that happens you know that either the sun is about to come up or you’ve somehow ended up in the 80’s. Flock of Seagulls anyone? Don’t laugh, they’re on tour. On second thought, go ahead and laugh.

  • Hilton Ninja

    Paris Hilton has been named an honorary member of the CDC Ninja Strike Force. A very high honor indeed. No word yet on wether she’ll also get the ability to blow shit up with heat rays from her eyes, like the other Ninja Strike Force members are able to do. We know she’s definitely got the backstabbing down pat though.

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