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gadgets

Verizon Gets the iPhone

January 11, 2011 15:40:21.670

The rumors were true - Verizon does in fact have the iPhone, as of February 10. However, it's probably not the Verizon iPhone you want - it's CDMA based, without access to the new Verizon LTE network. Additionally, Apple is going to be out with a new iPhone this summer, which means that anyone buying now is getting a pre-obsolete brick - and one that won't work outside North America as well.

Everyone else can rush for the exits and get one - I'll be sitting still on ATT. Why? For all the fuss, I simply have not seen the problems you read about so much. Even when I've traveled to New York, the phone has worked out fine.

Engadget has pretty full coverage - you can read lots more over there.

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smalltalk

Looking at VA Smalltalk

January 11, 2011 8:24:53.807

The next podcast on the schedule will involve a look at where Instantiations is taking VA Smalltalk. Dave Buck and I will be talking to Mike Taylor, President and CEO of the company. If you have anything you would like us to ask Mike, email me before 5 PM EST today. The podcast will be out on Sunday, as per our regular schedule.

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js4u

JS 4 U 22: More on Javascript Strings

January 11, 2011 7:00:18.043

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we continue looking at the String class in Javascript, and some of the methods it makes available. 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:

More on Strings

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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[js4u22-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 2421243 )]

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development

Simberon Design Blog

January 10, 2011 22:05:03.136

David Buck has set up a new blog to discuss the sorts of issues he raises in his regular "Simberon Design Minute" segment of the IM podcast:

In this blog, I hope to provide food for thought for software developers and suggestions for helping developers improve the quality of their code. I also enjoy teaching about software development and encouraging people to have fun with software development.

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smalltalk

Build Oddities

January 10, 2011 14:56:39.232

I'm still working on build tools for the project I'm on, and I ran into an interesting thing today - a package that, when I have a script unload it, the script stops working.

Short explanation: I start by building an image from scratch using Store. From there, I unload a bunch of development tools. That works fine, unless I do the following:


(Store.Registry pundleNamed: 'StoreBase') ifNotNil: [:pundle |
      pundle leafItems do: [:each | each markNotModified].
      [pundle markNotModified; unloadFromImage] on: Warning do: [:ex | ex resume: true]].

Once I unload StoreBase, the build script I'm using (via -fileIn at the command line) simply stops working. No error messages either; the image just sits there, blinking at me. Very odd, but for now I'm dealing with that by just leaving StoreBase alone. I think I'll have to try it with that handler block left off, just so I can track the problem down.

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general

Disappeared

January 10, 2011 10:34:48.997

You might be wondering why I've disappeared from various places I normally show up during the day:

  • The Smalltalk IRC Channel
  • Google Chat
  • Etc

Well, it has to do with the constrained internet connection I have here at work. Skype works, but no other IM clients I've tried do. I can't get to IRC at all, and much of the wider web (including all streaming video sites) is just blocked. So... I can only see the full net after hours. Since I try to work long hours while I'm here (I leave early Friday to fly home), that puts me out of pocket for a large part of the day.

Eventually, I'll be able to work remotely at least some of the time, and things will be back to normal that way. In the meantime, I get a pretty decent amount of Smalltalk done, since there's so little distraction. Upsides, downsides :)

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games

The Joys of Breaking Updates

January 10, 2011 10:15:02.087

Over the weekend, I let Parallels update itself - and that turned out to be a mistake. Prior to the update, Fallout New Vegas worked just fine in my XP VM; after the update, it crashed as soon as the intro screen started to render. This is what I call a bad thing :)

I figured that I have backups - Time Machine runs regularly, so I'd just do a restre and be done with it. Not so fast, apparently - just overwriting what was in Applications with the old version stopped Parallels from working at all. Things had gone from bad to worse.

So, I dug through my emails (gmail search ftw), and found the original download link. I grabbed that, and let it download overnight (I'm on slow hotel bandwidth here). This morning I fired up the installer, gave it a firm no to all of its requests to update, and voila - my XP VM launched, and the game runs again. I archived the dmg on an external drive, so that after the next update I have an easy place to walk back to.

Why don't I still have the original download, you ask? Well, I do - on a hard drive sitting in my home office, 1200 miles away :)

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st4u

ST 4 U 32: TestRunner in Smalltalk

January 10, 2011 8:17:11.869

Today's Smalltalk 4 You looks at the TestRunner tool in Pharo - which lets you examine and/or run all of your tests at once. 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:

TestRunner

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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Enclosures:
[st4u32-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 3606392 )]

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podcastAAC

IM 12: Foibles, Public and Private (AAC)

January 9, 2011 11:30:35.928

Welcome to episode 12 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith, and David Buck. This week Dave and I talk about the differences - and similarities - between public sector IT projects and private sector IT projects.

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!

Enclosures:
[im12.m4a ( Size: 21321602 )]

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podcast

IM 12: Foibles, Public and Private

January 9, 2011 11:30:17.978

Welcome to episode 12 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith, and David Buck. This week Dave and I talk about the differences - and similarities - between public sector IT projects and private sector IT projects.

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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Enclosures:
[im12.mp3 ( Size: 15402297 )]

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travel

Buy Those Tickets Early

January 8, 2011 11:53:41.395

When you self fund your travel, you start to pick up on things that you just don't notice much when "the company" is paying. For instance:

  • Eating dinner at a restaurant is expensive, especially if you order any alcohol
  • The "big two" car rental companies are not cheap
  • You save a lot by staying in hotels that offer free btreakfast and have laundry facilities
  • The biggest one is this: make those flight reservations in advance

I didn't get around to arranging my flights at the beginning of my holiday break, and when I did get back to it, oof - the direct flights to Dallas that I prefer had skyrocketed until I got three weeks out. So - the next two weeks I have the joy of making connecting flights. After that, I have flights planned for a bit, and I have nice, direct - and inexpensive - flights laid out.

It's a whole different world when it's your own nickel :)

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gadgets

iPhone to Verizon?

January 7, 2011 23:36:39.271

I have to say, I'm surprised - I didn't think the iPhone would come to Verizon until LTE was rolled out - but the WSJ says that a CDMA based device is coming:

The iPhone is finally coming to Verizon Wireless. The largest U.S. wireless carrier will make the long-awaited announcement at an event Tuesday in New York City, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

Personally, I'd rather stay with the GSM based phone; if I go overseas again, it will actually work. But that won't matter to a lot of people.

Here's what I'll be looking for: will the iPhone on Verizon sport a Verizon logo, or will it be like the one I have - and just have the Apple moniker? Mind you, I won't be surprised if there is no iPhone on Verizon announcement after all :)

Update: Engadget has a piece on this, and makes some good points about how this may not be the ideal time to buy a Verizon iPhone - you may well want to wait for summer. Follow the link, and read all the way to the end.

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travel

Good News, Bad News

January 7, 2011 17:58:32.026

The Good News - I'm on my way home, with wifi. The bad news? I drove to the airport, and left my home car keys in a bag in Dallas.

Doh.

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esug2010

The Ocean Project: IWST at ESUG 2010

January 7, 2011 15:30:00.000

Here's another video from ESUG 2010, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, the week of September 13, 2010. In this presentation, the Ocean project is presented as part of the IWST presentations. You can watch using the embedded player below, or follow this link to Vimeo.

The Ocean Project - IWST at ESUG 2010 from James Robertson on Vimeo.

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st4u

ST 4 U 31: TDD in the Pharo Toolset

January 7, 2011 8:19:11.349

Today's Smalltalk 4 You looks at how TDD is supported with the various Pharo tools. 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:

TDD in Pharo

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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Enclosures:
[st4u31-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 12695221 )]

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smalltalk

Virtual Agility

January 6, 2011 21:26:25.598

Ron Teitelbaum talks about how Teleplace supports agile development - no matter how far flung your development team is.

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smalltalk

Building Clean

January 6, 2011 14:08:00.604

Before you can even get to building a runtime image from a clean base image, you have to get to the point where yoiu can build a clean development image from a clean base image. That was today's first challenge.

On any long lived project, things pile up if no one has been doing clean builds, and this one was no different. It wasn't bad - I only ran into one issue that needed resolving: four methods in one package were being invoked (via package initialization code), but those methods were defined in a package that hadn't loaded yet.

To back up a bit, the entire project here is in a "master bundle" - you load that, and you get everything (either in the bundle or via pre-reqs). Over the last little while, builds have only been done on top of previous development images, so no one spotted this issue. I cleaned that up, and then everything came in easily.

Next up was trying to save the bundle out as a parcel (I'd like to be able to build into an image without Store present). Now I ran into the second check: a bunch of external interfaces were defined with optimization level #debug, and parcels can't be saved with that setting. So... another bunch of small changes and bam - I had a parcel out on disk.

Now comes the fun part - one of the pre-reqs is all of the patch sets that Cincom support sends out (boy, would this be simpler if they just shipped new versions of the owning packages, but I digress). That stuff can't be saved (at least in VW 7.6) as a parcel, because they all contain overrides. So... I just filed that out. Since it's all patches on the base system, I can just set that up to load last and I shouldn't run into problems.

Thus far, I have the system loading cleanly from a base visual.im, which is progress. From there, I can move along to the next few steps and see if I can get a runtime build. Fingers crossed :)

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js4u

JS 4 U 21: The String Class

January 6, 2011 8:29:41.257

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the String class in Javascript, and some of the methods it makes available. 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:

Escaping Strings

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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Enclosures:
[js4u21-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 6684768 )]

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general

Brief Outage

January 6, 2011 8:18:50.127

There was an issue with the service I use overnight (I got a bunch of emails while I slept) - but it's all better now :)

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smalltalk

S3 in Pharo

January 5, 2011 22:03:48.354

Sven Van Caekengergh has implemented an S3 client for Pharo Smalltalk:

I implemented and published a Pharo client for Amazon's AWS S3 service called ZnAWSS3Client. For some background, see the Amazon docs. The code can be found in the package 'Zinc-AWS' in Squeak Source. It depends on both Zinc HTTP Components and XML Support (an excellent package BTW) as well as on the cryptography functionality in Pharo (md5, sha1 & hmac). Basically, Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an online storage web service where you store and retrieve objects under keys organized in groups called buckets. Objects can be any web resource identified by a mime type. The main advantage is that S3 is a highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive service.

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smalltalk

Moving Back the Chains on Build Tools

January 5, 2011 14:37:23.694

I'm still working on build automation - the work I did yesterday got me where I wanted to go for BottomFeeder, but that's because all of the scripts existed already. What I need to get to is this:

  • Starting from a development image, specify a set of packages and bundles to include in a build
  • Have a tool that takes that information and generates a minimal build script
  • From there, be able to execute said build script

And that's what I'm working on today. I've got a simple domain model hammered out - I still need to create a UI to live on top of that as a specification tool. But it's progress :)

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st4u

ST 4 U 30: The Shout Workspace

January 5, 2011 7:51:30.412

Today's Smalltalk 4 You looks at the Shout workspace in Pharo - another tool you'll use a lot. 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:

Shout

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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[st4u30-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 3205784 )]

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smalltalk

Custom Window Styles in Pharo

January 5, 2011 7:46:33.902

NullPointer has three videos up demonstrating some of the new features of the UI Painter for Pharo - I've embedded them below:

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fnvdiaryAAC

That Podcast 16: Dead Money (AAC)

January 4, 2011 23:48:13.876

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 16 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, I'm joined by guest host Michael Fincher - another XBox player who has recently (minutes before we recorded) completed "Dead Money", the topic of tonight's podcast.

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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[fnvdiary16.m4a ( Size: 9272863 )]

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fnvdiary

That Podcast 16: Dead Money

January 4, 2011 23:47:34.487

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 16 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, I'm joined by guest host Michael Fincher - another XBox player who has recently (minutes before we recorded) completed "Dead Money", the topic of tonight's podcast.

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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[fnvdiary16.mp3 ( Size: 6722965 )]

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smalltalk

More Build Automation

January 4, 2011 17:33:55.603

I wanted to move my build script one level further back - meaning, I wanted to have it work like this:

  • Fire off an image
  • Load all the latest code from Store
  • Drop each package/bundle from the image into a build directory
  • Fire off a new, clean image, load the parcels, and proceed from there

That way I could ensure that a build actually had the latest code, instead of the latest code I remembered to parcel out - and my build doesn't need any of the Store machinery in it. So, here's the guts of that new script. First, some code to load a package from Store, then dump it out as a parcel:

 

savePackageBlock := [:name :dir |
	| pkg |
	pkg := Store.PackageModel allInstances detect: [:each | each name = name].
	pkg
		saveAsParcel: (dir asFilename construct: name) 
		saveStructure: true 
		saveLinks: true].

(Store.Package newestVersionWithName: 'MyCounter') loadSrc.
savePackageBlock value: 'MyCounter' value: 'buildTest'.

 

That's easily built up to more packages. Then I just add this new script to what I last posted on, and bam - I go from a clean image and an empty build directory to a full build directory and a clean build. Pretty nice :)

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general

The Joys of Bureaucracy

January 4, 2011 13:22:08.703

There are advantages to working in a big organization - budgets tend to be looser, the projects tend to well established. On the other hand, getting started can be slow - the wheels of the IT organization turn slowly. I only got my work laptop today, for instance, and it took nearly 30 minutes on hold before the help desk got to my call (they were polite and helpful once I got there though).

It's going to be a bit weird having a machine that I'm not the master of - I don't have admin access to the Windows notebook they gave me. That's why I have my personal Mac though - it's my "real" machine :)

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marketing

How to Promote

January 4, 2011 11:27:31.827

Gemstone gets it - they are actively promoting the new Amazon free EC2 micro-instance as a way of getting started with GLASS. Other Smalltalk vendors, sadly, are in a somewhat different place...

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js4u

JS 4U 20: Escaping Javascript Strings

January 4, 2011 8:23:21.046

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at how you escape special characters in Javascript strings. 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:

Escaping Strings

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:

Technorati Tags: , ,

Enclosures:
[js4u20-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 3,265,329 )]

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