Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Why so slow?

Google has thrived by proving that computer users value speed above nearly all else. So why does each Microsoft Windows device I use take longer and longer to boot up? via NY Times

Booting from Flash RAM is the future- how fast is Windows? I will not buy another computer without it. Everything in memory is the default optimization to take now...cache everything.

Ron Jeffries Can't Get Rails Running

This is kind of a strange story, but why the hell can't he get it running? This is when to call in VMWare and have a nice set of clean machines available. Apparently he was running SlimServer, which sounds slightly immoral so I am sure he deserved the non-functioning environment. Anyway, nice thing about XP is early cancellation, but, he could have just asked for help...

That said- development environment set up is not that easy. I had one J2EE project where we had a two day process. For my last Rails project, it was a about two pages on the wiki, most of it related to SQL Server driver (don't ask) and Ferret. It did remind me to not depend on the availability of external resources for the install procedures though- what's out there on the Rails Gem servers can change.

What's killing everyone on one of my internal corporate projects is svn+ssh. That said, our most recent hire nailed it pretty well, even though it was his first time using a Mac and NetBeans, and I am using RadRails on Windows.

Anyway- it's worth writing up the procedures for the development environment set up, and then having the new person update those when they come on board as their first task. Of course, if no one has started for a while, chances are the instructions just won't work.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Digital Notes in general (and in ArcGIS)

I was reading Tim Ferris' post on how "awesome" he is at taking notes. I have tried his approach and it didn't really work for me having all my notes in a little moleskine notebook, even if there is a little index page. I much prefer the approach of having a tear off pad of heavy Levenger paper, then I can put the note page in the appropriate folder and file it.

I was experimenting a little today with the middle ground- a digital/analog pen. You use a special notebook and special pen to take notes, then you connect the pen to a USB dock and the notes get transferred to OneNote 2007- and OCR-ed. It's a really cool idea- and their ArcGIS product is coming out soon. It's a cool idea to go out into the field with a paper map and then have your annotations show up on the map without scanning it back in, but as vectors recorded by the pen.

Anyway, I don't really want the big pen, but maybe the good idea to steal from all of this is to scan and OCR all of my note pages. Then I can full text search them...brilliant, eh?