Monday, April 18, 2005

More AOP and Annotations...

Blogger crashed with a 500 error when I first made a great post on this topic. So instead you are getting the shortened version now. I'm too lazy to retype all the stuff I said before my post was lost to the bit bucket.

AOP and metadata: A perfect match, Part 2 go get it, read it, learn from it, enjoy it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ratchet and Clank (Playstation 2)

I have to give Ratchet and Clank it's own post because I've found it such an enjoyable game. I just completed R&C 2 (Going Commando) and found myself diving into the *Challenge Mode* where the game is replayed with all the stuff you gained, but the enemies are 10x stronger. The game is one of the best platform games I've played. The levels are nicely designed and fun to complete (not a lot of exploring, each level usually has a couple of branches). One aspect of the game I've liked is the variety. The game has a lot of variety in weapons, gadgets, levels, and things to interact with. Another fun part of the game is the cut scenes. They are really well matched to the game world and plot. In addition the designers did a great job of adding nice touches of humor to it.

If you haven't tried R&C, I recommend it. It is rare that a game holds my interest to 100% completion. Even rarer that I'll complete both the original and the sequel. Yes, I did complete R&C the original game a year or two ago. Fortunately I kept my save game. In R&C 2 I was able to recover the weapons from R&C 1 that were in my saved game. This really is a fun game series. Now if only R&C 3 would become a *Greatest Hit* so I can buy it cheap.

I'm going to Vancouver... or India... or both?

The latest news on my job is that I'm the "Solution Architect" on one of our products that is developed up in Vancouver. Nice! I'm think free trips to Canada. But then our top management makes an big announcement... all development and QA is getting outsourced to India. Ok, free trips to India? Fortunately as an Architect I get to keep my job. {I'm learning to expect anything with this company.} So now I've got to take knowledge from the unfortunate folks in Vancouver, and give it to a new offshore team. We will have to see how this new mandate works out. The reason behind the move to offshoring is the same found at the previous company. The good old boys at the top are involved with both companies. I really feel for the guys I've gotten to know here in Birmingham that are loosing their jobs. I pray they can all find something better.

On a lighter note, I've had the chance to remotely develop from my old house in Atlanta to my new job in Birmingham. It worked very well. I was able to concentrate while at home. Connectivity was good over my dsl. I was able to interact with the Bham folks over IM. Overall, I'd say I got a bit more done from home than I would from the office. At home I was able to keep interruptions to a minimum. I was also able to focus more. At home I was less concerned with the time of day. Which means I took lunch when it was convienent with my work tasks, and was usually much shorter. Also, the work day was a little longer because I started earlier and didn't stop until later. I don't think I'd want to telecommute all the time, but it is nice.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cool Internet Tools

The 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards published their results. From it I found a couple of useful tools I'll have to use.

Jux2 is an interesting meta search engine. I like the way it clearly shows what was missed by my favorite search engine Google. Very interesting to see how Google, Yahoo and Jeeves stack up through the lens of Jux2.

Clusty is a good way to handle those search that bring up too many unrelated items. For example, I was searching for public swimming pools in my area. The usual search engines found pools for every city and county that sounds similar to mine. Thus making it tooo hard to find what I wanted. But Clusty got it right by clustering information by location! The results were better than Google and Yahoo local which seemed to just bring up business related to swimming pools.

Feedster is an online RSS reader like Bloglines. While I'm not ready to convert from Bloglines to Feedster, I did find the Feedster RSS Search very useful. By entering in a topic, it found current blogs about the subject. Making it easy to find the buzz on that topic.

Monday, April 04, 2005

eXtreme Programming

The folks over at Cenqua have really been working hard at making XP easier. Check out there latest product... the PairOn. I wish I could get one of these. I've been using one their Commentator for a few weeks and have been very happy with it. I wish it let you define your own custom dictionary. People know I frequently mistype words, so it should have an option to enter my commonly misspelled words and typos to give it more realism.

On a more practicle side, I looked at their FishEye product. While it looks pretty, I'm not sure that it helps solve anything for me. Personally I'd find Blame more interesting and useful.