Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mac vs. PC : Cool Mac Utils

Making the switch to Mac has required me to learn how to navigate in a completely different universe than the one found for the PC platform.

As one of the major differencies, it appears that the os-confusion relating to the Mac platform is much less diasporate than the one for Mac which in comparison seems more organized and less in conflict about how to do things... pretty obvious considering the homogenous nature of the Mac ecosystem.

One of the thoughts that keep appearing during mt crusade to climb up of the Windows hole I fell into 10 years ago, is that the Mac people are much more goal-oriented in comparison to the process oriented PC people. The basis for this thought appears to be the difference in the amount of time one has to allocate on tasks relating to merely support ones primary task: productivity in ones field. far it appears that the distance one has to cover in terms of the number of tasks and their respective duration is larger on PC than on Mac everntually making Mac a productive environment as I sooner get to the point of productivity on this platform than on Mac - however I am still not blind for the fact that I might still just be under strong inlfuence by the "hype" one has when switching from a classically skinned Win XP which had one had been forced to downgrade into as a result of a failed attempt to upgrade to Win Vista.

Anyways... I will use the opportunity of this blog entry to share to links to cool utils for the Mac OSX.

An overview of status bar plugins:

The Growl application which allows application developers to post events to a global (in respect to either the local machine of the LAN on which it resides):

Bloggerwave : Payment completed

As a follow up to my previous post about how to make money blooging I can now inform everybody that I recieved my 50,00 via Paypal for my previous post.

So it appears that the system is working... :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Adobe Flex : Ribbit Developer API available

The Ribbit Developer Platform gives developers the ability to make and receive calls, record, send and receive voice messages, as well as add and organize contacts.

They have just released the first public beta of the API and sofar it looks great.

Check it out:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Five Tips for Staying Productive When You Work Where You Live

Get dressed. You're going to work -- at home. For many people whose office is located somewhere between the kitchen and the living room, succumbing to the ease of working from home can throw a curve ball in the career path.

Here are five ideas to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of working from home and strike a healthy balance:

1. Separate your work space from the rest of your home and spend time in it only when you are working. Make it off limits to family members -- kids and spouses do not belong there. Create physical barriers, such as a door or a flight of stairs to isolate yourself from your home routine and focus your attention.

2. Sit at your desk at the same time every day and keep normal business hours. Parcel out your work by task and the time you expect it to take to complete. This will help you instill urgency in your work and increase your productivity. "One of the major challenges is prioritizing your tasks because nobody is there to tell you what to do," says Holly Reslink, a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, "so it helps to create a daily goal sheet."

3. Dress in a way that will help you feel professional. You do not have to wear stockings and high heels, but it helps to get out of your pj's and put on a crisp shirt.

4. Disregard house chores until the end of the business day. You wouldn't wash the dishes, walk the dog or cook lunch for the kids if you were in a real office, so resist the temptation to do it at your home office. If you find that hard to achieve, give yourself short deadlines for specific tasks and do household work only in between.

5. If your work does not require constant access to email, turn off your email program and check messages only at scheduled times. Being stuck in a home office all day can be frustrating, so instead of seeking distraction through communication, tackle boredom by allowing yourself short breaks outside. Take advantage of your situation by enjoying a few moments on your balcony.

Working at home is not for everyone, because it takes the right type of personality and motivation to be able to stay on track. "But for people who have a more flexible style of working," says Reslink, "it can offer an opportunity to work within their own comfort zone and not conform to what an office manager expects them to do."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Adobe Flex : Beta 3 changes

We have successfully taken a rather large project (around 1000 classes) and put it to be compiled with the latest SDK from Adobe.

The inception of the project was done with Flex Builder 2 based on Flex 2 and it has continually been updated to be compiled with the latest SDK's following the releases from Adobe. Sofar we have had to make only minor adjustments, and this positive track record continues with the latest release.

Only one thing had to be changed to the codebase when upgrading to the Milestone 4 release of the Flex Builder, and it was relating to quite an obscure override in a createChildren method of a MultiLineButton class extending Button.

In the former the textfield variable of a Button was a UITextField and in the latest version this has been changed to be an instance of the IUITextField interface not implicitely convertable to a DisplayObject which addChild of the Sprite class accepts as parameter, hence a casting is necessary when overriding...

I cannnot remember upgrades between Beta releases ever being so easy and without problems.. and I have been coding for 11 years now...
Its been a great pleasure working with Adobe on the latest evolment of the Flex platform, never in my career have I experienced this kind of hassle-free development with Beta products and its quite rare to see Beta products with such a high quality.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Adobe Flex Builder : Beta 3 released !

The final beta of Flex 3 has been released on Labs. This new release focuses on overall quality and performance, providing a final look at Flex Builder 3 and Adobe AIR prior to launch. There is also a new release of the Adobe AIR runtime.

This 4th milestone marks the final release before beginning the release candidatures.

Read more here:

and you can read the release notes here:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PV3D : Course in London, 1st day

Sitting in my hotel room (one of the box'y, container'ish and non-superfluousness-yet-no-hassle one's with 'business-person-only-in-town-for-a-short-business-meeting' written all over it) sipping some mediocre, yet drinkable wine with screw-cap from New Zealand bought in the local "non-7/11-yet-still-open-24hours-drugsstore" the day begins to settle in this old brain stuck to the top of my neck.

Let me start by stating that Ralph Hauwert is one of the "real" ones. He is a nerd that has turned pro !
Ralph Hauwert is quite a lucky man, because his product (PaperVision 3D) sells itself - so even if he had not been the talented speaker he is and had he not been the jovial guy residing on top of what appears to be pure high-level competence, he would have made anyone in the place today go home with a shitload of inspiration and a lot of "so-ein-ding-muss-ich-auch-hapen" feeling regarding the many demos shown during the day in their respective pockets (S.E.D.M.I.A.H.: please check the image of a real BABELFISH translation later in this post).

The day today has been spend by mostly establishing a common vocabulary and getting everything setup for the "big" day tomorrow. The audience, being split apr. 50/50 between coders and visual-designers (ref.: informal hands-up poll conducted by Ralph Hauwert himself during the inception of today's session) and what I suppose was an equivalent split in regards to Flash and Flex, was necessary to be groomed in order to establish a common starting point from where to start the open part of the course (2nd day). However, just by walking through all the basic stuff relating to PaperVision on the course of establishing a common foothold I have already learned a lot already that I can use in my business, however eventually the complete lack of proper documentation of the PaperVision SDK and API also became obvious and kinda scared me a little but, however...

After having asked Ralph Hauwert (during the post-session informal QA that always happen when the speaker acts a roadie and packs down his/her gear) about an explanation for the lack of documentational focus from the PV3D team, the answer proved to be quite a bit more clever than the question.
It appears that PV3D have more than 400 1st-line developers using the API who are not only using the API, but also putting great effort into reporting bugs and issues to the PV3D team. The reports harvested from this impressive group of early-adopters are of a reportedly high quality and naturally: its a very relevant fear from the PV3D team that if a "normal" Java-doc like documentation and versioning paradigm was implemented, it would spawn of a plethora of "not-so-diligent" masses of developers with no particular interest in bringing PV3d to the next level that would start bombarding the bug-reporting-system with mere incident-reports and not actual bug-reports. The PV3D team would, if the API was published publically, hence probably end up being tied down into a never ending trench of bug-reports made by people from all corners of the web-development industry with no particular interest in the PV3D platform and that would effectively be the end of PaperVision (This particular course of events have been seen before, remember? ). I personally believe its a quite clever move by the PV3D team to steer clear of painting themselves into a corner by the act of exposing themselves to the vast community of (lets face it, this group to which I belong in this context are an obnoxious and ignorant group of non-forgiving and intolerant "revengees") early-adopters and first-movers on a hyped-up-technology which in many people's eyes may contain unlimited possibility of both profit and fame , which we all know is a very efficient recipe for problems when attempting to release a new API which is challenging in its nature.

About the concrete contents of the session, I will post from my notes when day number 2 has passed and I again will be sitting alone in a hotel-room with nothing better to do than to post to my blog.

Anyways, sofar... its SO great and VERY VERY inspiring in regards to get cracking on the code... to ALL of you out there who didn't make it this time: be sure to attend the next time... I for one will probably be to find among the geeks in the back-rows :-)

Check out my translation from the classic public web-app over all classic public web-apps: BABELFISH...

Discount (35%) on books from Microsoft Press

By using the discount code below you get 35% discount when purchasing Microsoft Books from Ravenholm Computing...


To be honest, I am not totally convinced that I am in compliance with the idea behind offering all users this discount code, but I do not recall at any point to have agreed to a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) for offers put forward by both solicited as well as unsolicited 3rd party partners of Microsoft.

If anyone have any objections to me posting this discount code, please dont hesitate to leave a comment and let me know. If your your objection has any substance I will promptly remove the posting.

The receipt I got after updating my TechNet profile at Microsoft....

Friday, December 07, 2007

Adobe Flex Builder : Feature Wish - Remember Code Folding Settings

Wouldn't it be cool if whenever reopening a document using code folding (Expand and Collapse functions) every entry was not expanded as default. It would be so very nice if the IDE could remember the code folding state of the particular document and restore this state when reopened.

Its just an idea ! :-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

WinToMac : Its begun !

The day before yesterday my latest attempt to climb up of the Microsoft hole I feel into 11 years ago arrived with the mail...

It consisted of a...
- Mac Mini (Fully loaded configuration)
- a sizzling 23" Mac display
- a set of the Wireless Mighty Mouse and the Wireless Keyboard (2008 edt.)
- an Elgato TV Link (Hybrid variant)

Initial setup was a bliss (even the Bluetooth Mouse and KB didn't incur any difficulty - spoken as a true windows user, I guess - because I guess the MAC people wouldn't even consider having difficulty with such a non-productive action) and after updating from the pre-installed OSX edition to the new Leopard edition via the included update CD I was installing the TV link without any hazzle whatsoever.

After apr. 20 minutes (the OS update took 15 of them) I was up and running including having my wireless network connection configured and gained access to all my shared windows drives on the network.

So far so good... I will keep you posted as I go down the path from Windows to Mac.

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