Daily Archives: January 11, 2005

Can I have my brain implant now?

Cameron Reilly points out this Icuiti mobile video device that straps right onto you head. Like Cameron, for me this kind of device wouldn’t be for entertainment. When most people react in horror to the concept of brain implants I see only posibilities. Can you imagine being able to access programs and information at any point in time, wherever you were.

Imagine if you will, I’m standing at a bus stop, all of a sudden I get an IM message from a customer who has a critical problem with their application which is loosing them hundreds and thousands of dollars. Right then I book a flight and order a taxi, while I am in the taxi I book my accomodation. The customer IM’s me again with a dump from the event log of the application which I open up in analyse.

While I am sitting on the plane drink a nice glass of red I crack open the source files and see if I can spot the problem. By the time we touch down I have found the problem in one of the core libraries and have applied a patch and whilst waiting for the customer in lobby I kick off a compile.

We go to a meeting room where the product team have assembled. There are about five people there, some I know and others I don’t. They all have the same kind of implants and they all link wirelessly. I transfer the freshly compiled code to the tester along with the source code diffs and they devise some new test cases to ensure things worked. They build and run their tests, everything works (OK – this really is a fantasy now) and they transfer the QA’d code over the the infrastructure guy to deploy onto the staging server which he does right there in the meeting.

The system is live – time to play Halo 4, except this time we run around the building with the heads-up-display providing the special effects. All of this could have been done remotely – except for playing Halo



Alerter Component – now with added Ex.

Yesterday I dropped some code on my site that used the FlashWindow function. I mentioned that I had trouble getting the FlashWindowEx function working. Bill suggested that I might have picked up a bug copyinig the code from the pinvoke.net site. Bill was right, that was one of the problems and I have fixed up the page in question (gotta love Wiki’s).

The other problem that I was having was that in my test harness I was kicking the flash effect with a button but setting the behaviour flags with FLASHW_ALL | FLASHW_TIMERNOFG, the later value means that it flashes until the window becomes the foreground window, since it was, it stopped before I saw anything – duh!

Anyway, I’ve updated the code. Because I am now using FlashWindowEx I added a few extra features that the previous component didn’t have. First up – you can specify the interval between the flashing to make it go faster and be more noticable. You do this by setting the FlashInterval property.

Secondly you can specify that it flash for a specified period of time (TotalDuration) or a certain number of times (FlashCount). FlashCount and TotalDuration cannot be non-zero at the same time. I also added some logic to disallow setting negative values on all three properties – FlashCount, TotalDuration and FlashInterval. Enjoy (and thanks Bill)!

FireFox + easyGestures + c2.com rocks!

I’m playing around with FireFox at the moment, and one of the things that I like to do when I am living out of a hotel is surfing c2.com and like Wiki’s to expand my patterns (and anti-patterns) knowledge.

Wiki’s tend to encourage linking so when I read a page I often find a lot of pages that I want to look at next. If you use the easyGestures extension you can wheel-click on links and it will launch a tabbed window but keep the focus on the current page you are reading. Once you have finished the page you are on you can wheel-click-hold and close the current tab and work through the content that way.

You can see a screenshot here.

Improving technorati by selective hard coded filtering rules.

Robert Scoble outlines a few reasons why Technorati is better than Google for watching what is happening out in the blogosphere. This is true, although I really only watch who is linking to my stuff (where trackbacks won’t pick it up). But like Robert I have seen some noise:

“That said, Technorati is far from perfect. It has a bunch of noise in search results and Jeff and I are watching it in comparison to Pubsub and we’re not seeing as good a result come back for just straight searches.” – Robert Scoble

What I’d like to see is the crew over there at Technorati put in some opt-in rules for searches. For example I get a lot of results for people adding me to their blogroll. I’d like to filter these out, or maybe even better mark the result as a lower priority (is that even possible in RSS?).