Can you tie your shoes?

July 19, 2008

If you are over five years old, you probably would say YES without thinking.

Now If I ask you, how many different ways can you tie your shoelaces? Would you be surprised to know that there are at least 17 Different Ways To Tie Shoelaces? and would you be even more surprised to find out that there are 2 Trillion Lacing Methods? (Note: 34 of them are shown).

Ok, so you may think that the guy who created this site has too much time on his hands, but my point is that:

Sometimes when we know how to do something really well (so much so that we can do it without thinking), we think that this is the only way that it can be done.

How many times are you guilty of thinking that because you know how to do something, then that is the only way that it can be done?

On a different but related note: changing the lacing method of a pair shoes or boots is a free way of giving them a new look and perhaps make them last longer.

Cheers
Howard

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Free shirt (and more)

July 1, 2008

Do you use the Eclipse IDE? (the best Integrated Development Environment that is also FREE)
Do you want a FREE shirt to celebrate the June 25th release of the latest version, Ganymede?

Then go to the Ganymede site, download it, and start using it, then go to Ganymede Around the World Contest and enter your “Informed, insightful, educated review”. You get an Eclipse shirt, and maybe an Eclipse jacket (top 3 reviews or random draw) or even a EclipseCon or Eclipse Summit Europe pass (top review).

The Eclipse team is here in Ottawa, so I think that Ottawa should have the most users, the most reviewers, and the most shirts, but you better hurry. There are a limited number of shirts and the deadline is the end of this month.

My Review

If you are like me whenever a new version of a product comes out, you want to know what has changed and is it worth upgrading. The answer to the second question is YES.

The answer to the first question is MANY, in many different ways, there are:

  • 7 packages (The two new ones are “Eclipse Modeling Tools” and “Eclipse IDE for Java and Report Developers”)
  • 23 projects
    • removed AJDT, and Dash (there is a new proposal)
    • added EMFT, EPP, M2M, Rich Ajax Platform (RAP), and Subversive
  • 4 downloads (the new one is “Linux 64bit”)

The IDE itself has been improved as well:
Workbench changes

  • Platform Changes (including changes to install/update dialog)
  • Search Changes
  • Editor Changes
  • Team/CVS Changes
  • Debug Changes

Java development changes

  • Java Editor
  • Java Refactoring and Source Actions
  • Java Compiler
  • Java Views and Dialogs
  • Java Debugger

Mylyn changes

  • Task List
  • Task Editor
  • Focused UI
  • Bugzilla Connector
  • Trac Connector
  • JIRA Connector
  • Incubator

My only complaint is the difficult in installing “Subversive”, I have been using “Subclipse” for the last few years but since Subversive is now the official SVN client I decide to switch.

The installation instructions are for an older Eclipse version, and didn’t help me. To avoid this problem for others here are the steps that I took (I am assuming that you know how to install Eclipse and use update sites):

  1. Select “Help->Software Updates…” menu
  2. Select “Available Software” tab
  3. Selected “Ganymede Update Site->Uncategorized->SVN Team Provider”
  4. Added the “Subversive SVN connectors update-site” http://www.polarion.org/projects/subversive/download/eclipse/2.0/update-site/ and selected all “Subversive SVN Connectors”
  5. Pressed the “install” button, and followed all the usual instructions
  6. Eclipse rebooted itself, and everything looks better now

All in all, Ganymede looks pretty good, so go give it a try
Cheers
Howard

For the love of Vista! NOT!

June 9, 2008

If you didn’t know, Microsoft will be discontinuing Windows XP at the end of this month (June 2008).  That means that you won’t be able to buy a PC with XP, and there will no longer be any more security updates for existing XP machines, making them vulnerable to new viruses.

But that’s ok since Microsoft has just released Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and it fixes all of the existing problems, right?

No! The headline on May 2008 PC World reads “Vista Update: Exclusive Tests Show You’re Better Off with XP” and the article shows that on existing midrange desktops and top end laptops, XP is the clear winner, and the best choice most of the time on top end desktops.

Well Microsoft is going to discontinue XP and there is nothing we can do about it, right?

Well maybe, but we can certainly try.  As of this writing 206,793 people have signed an online petition to “demand that Microsoft not stop OEM and shrinkwrapped sales of Windows XP”. Yes, I have already signed it, and you should exercise your free speech.

Better yet, get off the Microsoft gravy train and support a “free” linux (topic for a future blog).

Cheers
Howard

Free 4 All Ideas

June 6, 2008

I love free stuff.

Free software (sometimes confused with open source), free will (to take responsibility for your good or bad decisions), free speech (so long as the courts have the freedom to penalize you if you impose on the freedom of others),  free advice (worth every penny you pay for it) and most of all free ideas (the ability to share your ideas and adopt ideas if you agree with them).

I don’t believe that my ideas are any better or worse than anyone else’s, only that I have the freedom to share them, and hopefully allow others to build on them to create even better ones.

My blog entries will tend to be short, because I have a short attention span, and my ideas are simple so they tend not to require in depth explanations.

I truly believe that simple is a worthwhile goal, but that is a subject for a different blog entry, but suffice it to say that if something is complex, you don’t really understand it yet.

Cheers
Howard