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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

 
Omaha Smalltalk User's Group

We had our first meeting of the Omaha Smalltalk User's Group. it was very exciting (and I still need to update a bunch of places of our group, reminder to self). Steve Wessels gave a passionate demonstration of the Squeak environment complete with "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" from the crowd. I learned a few things while watching the demo and I was amazed at the amount of cool stuff there is to play with in Squeak. Steve did an excellent job of showing all of the faces and a lot of the cool projects. We even got a history lesson that was enlightening. All in all it was a great first meeting and I would like to thank everyone for showing up! Maybe next time, we can raid a local coffee shop and plot Squeak's domination of the programming world....Hehehehe...

The next meeting will be April 29 (which will be a thursday). It will be at the Abrahams public library in the conference room again. Next month's presention will be your truly showing off Seaside and discussing (or shall I say preaching) the greatness of continuation-based web frameworks. Should be a lot of fun! Everyone is welcome (so, if you're curious, come on by, we don't bite!)!

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Sunday, March 28, 2004

 
Omaha Has A Metalfest

I've been listening to a lot of metal lately (of the extreme kind which I haven't listened to since I left the extreme band I played in) and I did some searching on the net to see if Omaha had a metal community and it does! They even have a metal fest! WOW! This should give me something to look forward to! If you live in the area and like extreme metal, click here. There's even a Black Dahlia Murder show coming here in May. Fun stuff. I love the metal underground.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

 
Robots Playing The Trumpet?

Check it out here. Am I the only one that thinks this is cool? It would be a lot of fun to work in that department of Toyota, don't you think?

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

 
The Exodus Attack!

The new Exodus album, "Tempo of The Damned" was released today after what seemed like an eternity wait. My god, it feels like they never left. This got to be the best thrash album I've heard in a long time. This is how it's done! Of all the old bands getting together to do reunions, so far, Exodus puts them all to shame. So, why do you keep buying Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, or Anthrax albums? Go do yourself a huge favour and buy some thrash that still ROCKS! Now, I only hope the new Heathen and Death Angel can live up to this. BTW, one of my major weaknesses is thrash metal. I love it! It's great to hear some of my childhood heroes still kicking my booty...=) Thrash on!

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Monday, March 22, 2004

 
Does anyone else do this?

I find that I still spend a lot of time reading code. In fact, I spend more time reading code than I do writing it in Smalltalk. There's such a plethora of code out there in Smalltalk land that is entertaining to see how "they did it". For instance, I was surprised to see how small the continuation class used in Seaside was. It's a really cool exercise to see how this code works. Very cool. I also had fun looking at how continuations were done in Dolphin as well. But, the fun doesn't stop there! On one of my many browsings of the image, I seem to always come across something that catches my eye and I'm off on a tangent. I'm always amazed at what my Smalltalk comrades come up with and what inventive lot they are...=)

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Original Heavy Music

I'm always on the look out for original heavy music and I found two cool bands this weekend. The first is a band called "Vampire Moose", an unusual band that plays some just heavy and groovy stuff! The cover talked about Dillenger Escape Plan and Obituary. But, I don't think they sound much like either. Just imagine the heavier parts of Mr. Bungle and more straightforward. Good stuff. The next band is "Alchemist" and the best way I can describe them is super heavy space rock. The vocalist uses a ton of different voices to suite the mood of the music that goes from ambient to full balls out chug. It comes off very natural and not forced. It's nice to find a cool new band, it's super cool to find TWO!

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Sunday, March 21, 2004

 
Say No To Censorship

Are you tired of people telling you what you can and can not see or listen? I am. I've been tired of this crap for a long time. Here's an online petition to say we're fed up: Stop FCC. It seems like the 80's all over again and the PMRC is in full swing again. The only thing that makes me worry is, what is the government trying to pull over our eyes? The PMRC was a cover-up to push in taxes on blank tapes without anyone noticing. I wonder what it is now? Why do I wish Frank Zappa was still alive? Anyway, I'm done ranting. Go vote now.

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Saturday, March 20, 2004

 
Groovy

My good friend and mentor, Richard Manning, sent me this link to the programming language, Groovy. I just read over the quick start guide and it looks and feels like Smalltalk in Java (Groovy runs on the JVM). It's also a JSR which is very cool. I love the idea of scripting in Java VMs (it means I can do dynamic language things in it) because it makes Java more powerful...=) There is an eclipse plug-in for it. I can't wait to play with it (and tell the Java guys at work about it). Things like this might do a lot to get Java developers to start down the path of dynamic languages.

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Cool New Blog

I just ran into Brian McAllister's blog and I've been enjoying it a lot. He has a great outlook and view on a lot of programming topics. I particularily loved this post entitled:
Perspectives. Basically, the post is about asking each one of us to step back and look at what the other developer was thining when they made decisions. It's a response to a Java developer going off on the decision to make Groovy (a cool little scripting language add-on for Java) a JSR. Brian is a very open minded person and his blog is a great read. I love finding a new blog to enjoy. Especially, I love his comments about becoming a "functional programming weenie" (his words not mine) because I feel the same way sometimes since I've learned Lisp and use some of the lessons learned in Smalltalk (ala I use a lot more blocks!).

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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

 
Pair Programming

I was on a panel at a recent Omaha SPIN meeting and it was a lot of fun! I thought I did pretty good given my short exposure to doing pair programming 8 hours a day for such a short time. My fellow panel members were excellent and it was great to hear their viewpoints. It seems a lot of people are interested in XP and agile. Now, if I could get a lot of people interested in Smalltalk and dynamic languages, the world could truly be a better place....=)

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Applied Pair Programming

I just finished this book in an effort to become a better pair at work. I learned a lot and it was a quick and easy read. Some of the interesting tidbits that I picked up were:
  1. Say aloud what you are doing to your pair
  2. Pairs should be very talkative (there should never be more than a minute of silence)
Lots of great advice on how to deal with a difficult pair and different personalities. I could add few myself: LISTEN, LISTEN, and LISTEN! And trust in your partner to do the right thing. Anyway, if you're doing pair programming, it's a must read!

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Lynyrd Skynyrd

I saw the "new" Lynyrd Skynyrd the other night and they gave me a great nice of good ole southern rock. Michelle got teary eyed during "Red, white, and blue" and I must admit it was very emotional. But, then again, I got emotional over "Sweet Home Alabama". Oh well, the only disappointment with the evening was the opening band and the omission of "Simple Man". Everything else was perfect. They're playing again this summer and hopefully they will correct that situation.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

 
Put that in your pipe and smoke it

Just go to this article on Smalltalk and Productivity. You just got to love James Robertson's commentary. Have I mentioned how much I love being back in Smalltalk lately? IT FEELS INCREDIBLE!

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Personality Tests

OK, at my new workplace, everyone has taken personality tests and have their results posted so everyone can better understand one another. I thought it was a great idea. Here's some of my results and URLs to them so you can you do them as well.

Simple Test

    Introspective
    Sensitive
    Reflective

    You come to grips more frequently and thoroughly with yourself and your environment than do most people. You detest superficiality; you'd rather be alone than have to suffer through small talk. But your relationships with your friends are very strong, which gives you the inner tranquility and harmony that you require. You do not mind being alone for extended periods of time; you rarely become bored.

Colorgenics Tests

    You have a vivid imagination and this is good. Great inventors, explorers all had inventive, imaginative minds. Your friends and acquaintances may consider you over-imaginative and given to fantasy or day-dreaming. So what? This is a part of your character and charm.

    Enough is enough. Nothing seems to be working out as you would like it to and it has got to the stage where you feel as if you can't be bothered anymore. The way you feel is that it would be great if you could be cut off from everything and take it easy - be it only for a short time.

    It is amazing that you yourself believe that old 'adage' that you are a misunderstood person - and you feel that because of this you are being left out in the cold. It is because of this lack of believed understanding that you feel the need to conform to society in general - but this situation leaves you 'cold' knowing that you are not appreciated for your true self. Any relationship that you are developing at this time does not seem to involve any true emotional commitment, you seem to be just playing along.

    You are being unduly influenced by the situation that is all around you. You do not like the feeling of loneliness and whatever it is that seems to separate you from others. You know that life can be wonderful and you are anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to live it to the full. You therefore resent any restriction or limitations that are being imposed on you and you insist on going it alone.

    You are anxious about all the limitations to which you are subjected to at this time. You feel that you are not valued for what or who you are. You need OUT. So why procrastinate any longer - MOVE!

    archetype: The Catapult
    Handy in the real world manipulation of objects and events, this personality type is easily enthused by practical projects. Once gaining the interest of the Catapult, a project will be quickly and sometimes manically dealt with. That energy however will be invisible to those not witness to it. Abrupt is a watchword of this personality.

    Spontaneity is important to the Catapult because it never quite knows when inspiration will hit. Because of this, it often ignores or conveniently forgets rules and boundaries that limit its freedom. This need for freedom extends even to the personal sphere and though this personality is kind and gentle, it will often be hard to pin down to a monogamous lifestyle. When discussing their need for freedom, the Catapult will most often resort to non-verbal means to express itself.

Jung Typology Test

Funny, huh? My wife is exactly the same thing! Maybe that's why we get along so well! We understand one another! =) Anyway, I thought this was a fun little assignment.

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Friday, March 05, 2004

 
Dust Off Those 3-D glasses

I'e always wanted to do my own 3-D images. I love 3-D stuff and have been in awe of it since I was a little kid. I can remember my father bringing home the blue/red glasses and watching movies like "King Kong" in 3-D. It was great! He also took me to several 3-D movies when I was little, so it's always had a special place in my heart. So, I found some resources on the net (look here) that tell you how to do it. I went out with my trusty disposal cameras and came up with two really cool images with little effort. The colors are not quite right on these and I'm still looking into that, but they look really sharp in my Squeak image. Yes, I did doctor the images in Squeak. The other pictures still need a lot of work and I hope to post some more. But, I was so excited that I just had to share these!

Crowley 3-DHouse 3-D

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

 
Additional Info

Smalltalk User's Group is March 30.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

 
Omaha Smalltalk User's Group

If you're in the Omaha, NE area, please feel free to stop by Abraham's public library (around 90th and Fort) at 7:00pm for the first Smalltalk user's group! We will have an exciting demo of Squeak by Mr. Steve Wessels. I would like to have lots of discussions and maybe we'll go for coffee later. I want the user's group to be a lot of fun and very interactive.

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