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st4u

Smalltalk 4 U 19: Unary Messages

November 29, 2010 6:26:11.907

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we get started with message sending syntax - specifically, unary messages (message sends with no arguments). If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, use the viewer below:

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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Smalltalk Server Misconceptions

November 29, 2010 6:34:29.000

I've seen this complaint about running Smalltalk app servers before, and I'm sure I'll see it again:

Running headless is a bear. Updating (e.g., loading the latest version of the web server or fixing a security vulnerability) a headless image on a remote server is very difficult (one has to either have a VNC session running in the image or save the image, copy it to a local machine, update it, copy it back, start it up again.)

Well.... not so much. I run a headless server here, and it's pretty easy - I have an image that loads what it needs when it starts up, and I can kill and restart anytime I want. For patching, I simply have a patch directory, and an interface that lets me "poke" the system and load whatever it finds in the patch directory. Since it will only load from there, and only when I tell it too (i.e., there's no code being loaded from an input field), it's secure enough for what I do.

I could automate that more if I felt like it; having a process periodically scan the patch dir, load whatever is there and then delete it would remove a manual step, for instance. The larger point is, patching a running server is easy, and it's one of the truly cool things about running a Smalltalk server.

Those patches vn be very invasive as well - some of the patches I loaded in the past (on the blog I ran at Cincom, which is an ancestor of this one) changed the shape of objects in the image on the fly.

So no, you don't need VNC, or a headful image. All you need is a little planning :)

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smalltalk

A Full Day

November 29, 2010 19:44:12.258

You probably noticed the lack of posting since early this morning - I've been busy teaching an Intro to VisualWorks class via webcast. I'll be doing it all week, so posting is going to be intermittant the whole week.

It's actually working better than I expected - we're using Adobe Connect Pro to deliver the live presentation/demo to people - I have a second monitor up so that I can broadcast the demo screen, and keep the meeting chat room up on the second screen. The quality has been pretty good, and we've been using skype for two way conversations as needed (we haven't been able to get that to work in the Adobe tool).

The screen sharing has worked quite well - while it's not as good as being there, it's pretty good. I think this is the future of training that I'm seeing this week :)

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itNews

The "Huh, What?" Files

November 29, 2010 20:56:53.913

Update: - It's become clear that Comcast wants to charge Level 3 for customer requests for video (et. al.) that are not based on their XFinity system - so if a Comcast customer uses NetFlix, or streams from iTunes (etc), then Comcast wants to toss a tollbooth on that content. This is understandable, even if it is incredibly stupid.

Let's say that Level 3 told Comcast to go fish, and Comcast then broke all non-XFinity services on their network. Exactly who do they think would take the PR hit for the services that their customers pay for and wouldn't be able to receive? Here's a hint - none of their customers have even heard of Level 3, and Level 3 isn't the one with the phone lines that would start lighting up when this happened...

Original post below


I'm sure this makes sense to someone at Comcast, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out:

  • Comcast offers on-demand movies via cable and net streaming (via their xfinity service)
  • Now Comcast says that the backbone provider delivering the video, Level 3, needs to pay them
  • Huh?


Comcast has demanded that broadband backbone provider Level 3 Communications pay it a recurring fee for delivering video traffic to Comcast customers, Level 3 said Monday.


So... do they want people to use this new service, or not? Why do they even bother offering it? Here's what they have to say about the fee:

Comcast said it would cut off its own customers' access to the movies and other Web traffic unless Level 3 paid the fee, Level 3 said in a press release.

I think Level 3 should just call their bluff, and say "sure, go ahead. Make our day".

Update: Comcast, masters of PR that they are, have followed up on their major east coast outage with a release calling Level 3 liars. I still say that Level 3 should just drop the traffic on the floor and let Comcast take the blame.

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js4u

Javascript 4 U 11: The Switch Statement

November 30, 2010 5:56:26.470

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the switch statement in Javascript. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, use the viewer below:

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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general

Screencast Service Changes

November 30, 2010 8:19:07.584

I've just had a look at the Amazon data transfer charges for November, and there's a good news/bad news aspect to it. The good news is that the videos and podcasts seem to be popular. The bad news is that popularity isn't free :)

So, starting tomorrow I'm going to kill the iTunes enabled video feeds for the Smalltalk and Javascript screencasts. The existing content will stay where it is, but I won't be tossing more into those feeds. I'll still be pushing content, but it'll all go to YouTube and Facebook - it'll all be available, and I'll keep updating the index pages, but the iTunes feeds will stop updating.

The bill is small now, but the trendline shows me what will happen if I keep pushing video there :) So thanks for watching, and you can keep watching - just look for it on the blog proper instead in the iTunes feed.

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itNews

Doesn't the EU Have Bigger Problems?

November 30, 2010 15:53:47.672

The EU is taking time out from its bank problems to launch an investigation of Google. As Danny Sullivan says:

I did a search at Google today for “cars” and was shocked. Rather than list links allowing me to search for “cars” on Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Voila, Naver and Yandex, Google instead favored its own search results. I’m glad the EU will be investigating whether this favoritism violates anti-trust laws.

Oh, the humanity. Next they'll tell me that media sites favor their own content, and that newspapers favor their own stories. It's just terrible; how are we poor end users supposed to handle it all? I mean, typing "bing.com" in the address bar instead of "google.com" is such a chore...

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podcasting

Second Update on Videos

November 30, 2010 16:39:44.359

I may have found a way to host the video for the screencasts in an iTunes compatible way that won't break me; hat tip to Randal for that. I'll see how it works out in the morning.

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st4u

Smalltalk 4 U 20: Keyword Messages

December 1, 2010 6:03:38.070

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we get started with message sending syntax - specifically, keyword messages (message sends with arguments). If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

Keyword Messages

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

The Power of Smalltalk

December 1, 2010 12:59:31.000

Eliot Miranda explains how awesome Smalltalk is for dealing with hard problems - nothing beats a live execution environment.

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smalltalk

Smalltalk in NYC

December 1, 2010 13:00:24.992

The NYSTUG meeting scheduled for tonight (December 1) has been moved to December 8 - check the website for details.

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fnvdiary

That Podcast 12: Just Dance

December 1, 2010 23:27:44.639

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 12 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael and James talk about the dreaded Vault 34 (Brrrrr), working for Caesar, a few mods you can get for the PC version of the game and - believe it or not - Lady Gaga. To see what we mean about that last one, follow the link to the YouTube video.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

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fnvdiaryAAC

That Podcast 12: Just Dance (AAC)

December 1, 2010 23:27:48.609

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 12 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael and James talk about the dreaded Vault 34 (Brrrrr), working for Caesar, a few mods you can get for the PC version of the game and - believe it or not - Lady Gaga. To see what we mean about that last one, follow the link to the YouTube video.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

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[fnvdiary12.m4a ( Size: 20803122 )]

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js4u

Javascript 4 U 12: Prompters

December 2, 2010 6:16:37.982

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the built in prompters (dialogs) in Javascript. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, click on the image below:

Prompters

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

ESUG 2011: Edinburgh

December 2, 2010 6:29:55.892

ESUG 2011 will be held August 22-August 26 in Edinburgh, Scotland - the announcement just went up on the ESUG site.

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esug2010

The Reef Project at ESUG 2010

December 2, 2010 14:36:04.924

Here's another video from ESUG 2010, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, the week of September 13, 2010. In this presentation, Esteban Lorenzano talks about Reef - a JQuery Model/View project for Seaside. You can watch using the embedded player below, or follow this link to Vimeo.

Reef for Seaside from James Robertson on Vimeo.

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social media

Quitting Facebook is Not a Sign of Courage

December 2, 2010 21:00:23.265

I love the level of self importance from some people. There are the types who are "proud" that they don't watch TV, the types who are "proud" that they don't play video games - and, apparently, the types who are proud that they quit using Twitter and Facebook:

The last week or so has been difficult, I feel disconnected from the hive mind, but I won’t be back until there’s an open, interoperable protocol for real-time publishing I can run on my own server.

Right. Here's the thing: Either a tool has value to you (and you use it) or it doesn't (and you don't). It's not some kind of epic moral issue.

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st4u

ST 4 U 21: Message Sending Precedence

December 3, 2010 7:42:38.970

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we look at message sending precedence within a Smalltalk statement. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

Message Precedence

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

UI Tools for Squeak and Pharo

December 3, 2010 13:51:34.281

Squeak and Pharo now have modern UI building tools:

Beside the Polymorph based UI Buidler for Pharo there is now also a Morphic based one for Squeak.

The open source tools are catching up to the expensive commercial ones quickly.

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smalltalk

Plugging Seaside and Apache Together

December 3, 2010 17:34:21.968

Phillippe Marschall has just announced a new Seaside/Apache adaptor that makes Smalltalk plug in better:

The AJP adatpor is a server adaptor dedicated to connecting Seaside to Apache. You can't use it without Apache because it doesn't understand HTTP. Instead it uses the binary AJPv13 protocol which is more efficient and simpler to parse. The result is a lightweight adaptor without any external dependencies but Grease/Seaside. In the multipart parser special attention has been paid to avoid unnecessary copy operations. Streaming however is currently not supported.

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smalltalk

VA Smalltalk and Seaside

December 4, 2010 10:17:38.200

Need to mix together VA Smalltalk, Seaside, and then deploy it all as a Windows Service?Louis La Brunda has the answers for you. Follow the link and download the instructions from there.

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smalltalk

November Smalltalk Archives

December 4, 2010 10:22:43.970

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smalltalk

Debugger Driven Development

December 4, 2010 12:18:57.665

Spotted in seandenigris.com:

An amazing feature of Smalltalk is that you can create methods right from the debugger.  This fits nicely with “write the code you wish you had.”

VisualWorks has been able to do that for awhile - it's nice to see the capability out in the OSS world. As I said the other day, the open source Smalltalks are catching up - the various commercial vendors are going to need to start paying serious attention soon.

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smalltalk

Heading to Dallas

December 5, 2010 0:41:08.332

As some of you know, I accepted a new job recently - I'm heading to Dallas tomorrow, and I start on Monday. I'll be contracting at Northrop Grumman, on their MES project. It sounds like it'll be a fun project to be part of, although it's a bit of a commute :)

While I'm there, I'll see if there's anything I can do to perk up the local Smalltalk community. See you in Dallas!

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podcast

Independent Misinterpretations 8: Smalltalk Training From the Cloud

December 5, 2010 0:57:46.152

Welcome to episode 8 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith>, and David Buck. This week Dave and I spoke about the VW Intro course I taught last week. I used Dave's material, and delivered the course over the web using Adobe Connect Pro. That worked fairly well, and we discussed that on the podcast.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

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podcastAAC

Independent Misinterpretations 8: Smalltalk Training From the Cloud

December 5, 2010 0:58:35.102

Welcome to episode 8 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith>, and David Buck. This week Dave and I spoke about the VW Intro course I taught last week. I used Dave's material, and delivered the course over the web using Adobe Connect Pro. That worked fairly well, and we discussed that on the podcast.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

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travel

Ancient Discoveries

December 5, 2010 13:15:50.867

The backpack I've been carrying my laptop in ripped, so I delved into my vast collection of laptop bags - some from machines issued to me years ago, some from trade shows, one larger rolling bag I bought myself. I finally settled on an old Dell bag - it's in good shape - seems I barely used it - has lots of pockets for wires, and a pouch my iPad will fit into nicely.

There was a surprise waiting for me though - when I opened it up, there was an old Toshiba Satellite Pro sitting in there. If I had the time, I'd boot it up - gosh knows what rev of Windows is on the thing, what the machine specs are, or how many megabytes (it's that old) of disk space it has.

Memories :)

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travel

Travel Life

December 5, 2010 20:02:14.000

Oh my gosh, this is so true :)

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js4u

JS 4 U 13: Returning From a Javascript Function

December 6, 2010 1:20:54.814

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the built in prompters (dialogs) in Javascript. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, click on the image below:

Prompters

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

Pharo and ODBC

December 6, 2010 13:31:43.000

Torsten contributes to Pharocasts with a "how to" on Pharo and ODBC:

You often have to access existing databases when you develop an application. One way is to use ODBC. I created a small small screencast to show you how

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general

Getting Started

December 6, 2010 19:23:56.918

I'm writing this early on during my first day, but I have no network access - as with most larger companies, there are network security issues, so I can't just toss my Mac on the network - maybe I'll actually look into tethering as I go along :)

Interestingly enough, my start coincided with a new installation of the application I'll be working on, so I'm getting an architectural overview. Pretty useful, all things considered - it's nice to get a broad based idea about a project before you have to dive right into it. Tomorrow I go back in front of the group though - I'm supposed to deliver a Smalltalk overview. They have a pretty agressive schedule for that - I'm expected to get beyond the point I delivered last week over a five day class. I started trying to manage expectations on that yesterday :)

My hotel is ok - free breakfast, decent WiFi (better than what I got at the place I usually stayed when I went to Cincinnati, and I'm paying almost $60 less per night). There's a small exercise room as well, a fridge and microwave. For meals I'm going to have to either eat out downscale or buy microwave stuff - we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I'll be away from my usual network haunts during the work day.

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