Archive for August, 2002


meeting up

Thursday, August 22nd, 2002

Went to the Toronto Blog Meetup at the Rivoli on Queen Street last night. Jen and Zhan were there, as was a man named Timothy recently moved to Toronto from Montreal who is involved with Fark but blogs not.

It was a small group, but we has some nice and at times esoteric conversation. Apparently Rannie and a others of the GTABloggers had planned on coming but bowed out earlier in the day.

Timothy suggested that it might be useful in future to have people who come wear a paperclip on their collar or lapel so we all know each other despite having never met. That sounded like a good suggestion, so I passed it on to the Meetup folks when they asked for feedback.


All the burning issues

Wednesday, August 21st, 2002

Dan Gillmor crams all the most important issues on my radar screen into a remarkably compact nutshell today.


Shin Splints

Wednesday, August 21st, 2002

The downside of teaching yourself driving bebop Jazz drumming is getting shin splints from long periods of repetitive upbeat hi-hat action. Chico comes to town this Friday, so I’ll have to ask him his secret!


Free and Inexpensive making headway in business

Monday, August 19th, 2002

It’s heartening to see this Bloomberg Article about open source databases gaining acceptance in companies and government. While it’s true that MySQL doesn’t meet advanced needs, there are a whole buncha wasted dollars going towards Oracle and MS-SQL licenses where MySQL would more than suffice.

I’d also like companies and government to discover the remarkable value to be had from inexpensive and free content management systems like PostNuke, Drupal, SlashCode, PMachine, Radio, and many others. Many, many projects can benefit from the kind of knowledge sharing these tools provide without having to break the bank.

Using these tools, content management systems comparable to those which just a few years ago would cost scores of thousands of dollars in licensing and hardware even before the consulting fees to implement them can now be built in mere days on lean hardware with little or no licensing fees.


Gig-less in Toronto

Wednesday, August 14th, 2002

My longtime steady gig has finally fallen prey to cutbacks, so I’m actively waving my shingle for pretty well the first time in 5 years. Since 1997 I’ve managed to keep myself busy with work – the steady 3-day/wk gig plus adhoc stuff to fill the rest. This year it’s steadily fallen off until now where even the piecework is beginning to be sparse. I know the need is still there, but finding someone to authorize budget for even the one-time things, much less willing to commit to an ongoing setup, is difficult at best.

I’m pretty confident that September will see people returning from holidays ready to make the decisions that will get projects rolling, so lets hope it all falls into place soon. Tim and I are also working on releasing BlogChat sometime in September.

You can find out what I do by visiting my business site and perusing my engagement history.

Of course, by this time next week I could be complaining about having too many projects on the go. That’s the nature of the beast.



Monday, August 12th, 2002

Neat DHTML animation at Solaricom. Works in IE and Mozilla.


Dijkstra’s statements considered beneficial

Thursday, August 8th, 2002

The author of many of programming’s seminal treatises, Edsger Dijkstra, has died in the Netherlands.

Dijkstra’s letter to the Communications newsletter of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1968, titled Go to statement considered harmful, has long served as a rallying point in arguments supporting structured programming. Other early important writings from him are:

Programming Considered As A Human Activity
A constructive approach to the problem of program correctness
Stepwise program construction
Towards correct programs
Requirements of programming tools

And one of my personal favourites:

The humble programmer

If you are a programmer, you owe it to yourself to read as much of Dijkstra’s work as you can.