Archive for July, 2007

Another Slight Delay

July 22nd, 2007

My wife pre-ordered a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a couple of months ago. UPS delivered our copy around 1:30pm yesterday afternoon. I started reading the book at, let’s say, 1:31pm, and continued reading until I was finished at 12:10am. I took two half hour breaks, once for a late lunch, and once for dinner. I can’t recall ever gulping down a 750-is page book quite so eagerly.

The book was good by the way. Really good. And it ended well. That is all I’ll say. Everyone should be able to enjoy discovering all of the bits and pieces of this wonderful story in the order that the author intended.

So much for my two computing professions blog posts though. :-)



July 21st, 2007

Starting Monday, I will be Vice President of Engineering at admob. I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks wrapping up obligations at my previous employer and getting ready to start at admob. This is the main reason that posting has been light.

I’ve got two big drafts that I’m hoping to tune up and post this weekend. Both are on the profession of computing, specifically trying to debunk some of the gloom-and-doom we’ve all been hearing over the years about the demise of the American programmer. To summarize: demand for computing professionals is higher now than ever; the domestic job market is fan-friggin-tastic and off-shoring is largely a myth; and computing in and of itself is wonderfully stimulating and a very rewarding profession. More soon…

The Tech Biz

iPhone First Impressions

July 1st, 2007

I think that the news media and blogosphere are doing an adequate job with iPhone coverage on the device’s first weekend of commercial availability. I doubt that I’m going to add substantially to what’s already been said.

I will say that I’m exceedingly pleased with the iPhone and have only three non-trivial gripes. One is AT&T’s pokey EDGE network. I hope that Apple is getting the message loud and clear that EDGE is unacceptably slow and that they’ll do something about this in the next generation of the device.

My second two gripes are software absences that I hope will get fixed soon. I wish that the iPhone had an RSS reader and a real chat client. For feeds, using Safari and is better than nothing. But typing in the feed URL of every RSS feed you want to read isn’t great. My quick fix for this problem was a Python hack to convert OPML into an iPhone-ized blogroll. The code is available here. To use it, do the following:

  • Use the export OPML feature of your RSS reader to produce an XML file containing your subscriptions. We’ll assume this is called export.xml
  • Run ‘python export.html > blogroll.html’
  • Copy blogroll.html to some convenient place on the web reachable by your iPhone

The resulting blogroll should be properly formatted for the iPhone Safari browser and uses for actual feed reading. My iPhone-ized blogroll is available for those who are curious about how it looks.

[NOTE: you'll need to download and unpack Juri Pakaste's python-opml library before my script will work.]

Coding, Nerdness