There already is a CSS Reboot: Two days a year where new designs are launched for an enormous amount of websites. So what's keeping us code geeks from starting a Code Reboot day? The day to launch new functionality!
posted on September 26, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: technology
After reading the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, I knew Dan Brown was able to write exciting books, thrilling books, books that dragged you into the story and didn't let go. But all that didn't prepare me for Digital Fortress. Wow. Reading books usually takes some time for me, I am not a fast reader, but I finished this one in a few hours, spread out over 3 days. I couldn't stop reading.
Of course, the topic of this book is for me even more interesting as the church-bashing of the Da Vinci Code. Technology has my interest, quite a lot of course. So for me stories like this come closer to my own little private world than the happenings inside the Catholic church. There is a good chance that for others, it is exactly opposite.
Still, there were also small let-downs. Certain “riddles”, mysteries, that are in this book were too transparent. The identity of the mysterious North Dakota / NDAKOTA for instance. The moment I read it, I knew it. The main characters in the book take more than half of the book to find that out. The pass-key that they need near the end of the book: The main characters take about 6 or 7 pages to figure this out. It took me two. After two pages, the information needed to solve the riddle was already given.
But there were also big surprises. The one that I definitely did not expect was even in the epilogue. Truly something I did not expect.
The rest of the book is typical Dan Brown. A lot of tension, a lot of happenings. Short chapters. The same writing style as the other books.
Again Brown proves to be a great writer. I have not yet read Deception Point, so that will definitely be one to read.
posted on September 21, 2006 - 5 comment(s) - tags: books
The second volume in a 4-volume book. Not series, just a book. As Tad Williams notes in his “Author's notes”:
“... it's not really a series – it's one very, very long novel, which should be under one cover except that 1) it would take so long to write that my family and pets would starve, and 2) they couldn't make covers that size, unless they were adapted from circus tents.”
And this simple fact is both the power and weakness of this book.
First of all, this book start with a summary of the first volume,a good thing because it's literally been years since I read the first book. The summary quickly refreshed my memory as to what happened in the first volume, and so I was ready to actually start reading this one. Again, it's clear throughout the book that Williams is creating a world here that is unique. With eye for detail, he describes surroundings, feelings and thoughts, characters, happenings. You could nearly say the Tolkien of cyberpunk. Or maybe that would be the best way to compare Williams' work in this book to other works. Tolkien also was able to drag you into his world until you were completely focused on what happened in the story. Your link to the outside world gone. Williams, both for you while reading and for the main characters in the story, severs the link with the outside world. But Williams seems to fall into the same trap Tolkien fell into: It goes on and on and on making some parts very hard to read. Sometimes, you think “yeah yeah, now I know what's happening”. Yet every single thing, every single detail, has a function within the bigger story, and Williams clearly needs that long to get all the details across in the right way.
After the first volume, it took me a few years to get to reading volume 2. It was quite an effort to read the full volume 1. Williams has learned, it seems, because after this volume, though I crave to read some other books first, I don't feel I need a few years until the next volume. A few months max. A few months to read some other books. But not as long as before.
So, as I started: the length of the book is both it's greatest power, because it enabled Williams to get facts across that he usually wouldn't have the space for in the story, and it's the greatest weakness, because it at some points makes the book very hard to read. Where volume 1 was “very interesting”, volume 2 is already “quite captivating”. I am anticipating more growth for volumes 3 and 4.
posted on September 21, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: books
I am still in the process of moving the sites from my old host to DreamHost. One of the sites is one I host for a fellow artist. After doing the regular MySQL dump, and loading this dump into the new database, all unicode characters were, to say it in proper english, fucked up.
Luckily, MySQL has some options to set the character encoding for the queries. It didn't completely solve the problem, but at least helped. I ended up using the following command to import the database:
mysql -usomethingorother -p --default-character-set=UTF8 --host=databasehostIwantedtoimportto databasename < backup.sql
This solved 99% of the problems. There were still some small problems with specific characters, but overall, everything worked fine. Long live MySQL
posted on September 15, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: technology
It has been a long time since I have seriously done some music, let alone finished a track for public consumption. Well, (hopefully) good news! I have a new track!
Download yourself this new track of mine, Back2Buzzics. It's done completely in Buzz (thanks to my new VMware Player which allows me to run Windows inside Linux). It's inspired by oldschool techno wizards such as Robert Armani. Enjoy!
Update: The song is now also available for listening at Last.fm
posted on September 13, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: music
In the past week already, the media have been paying a lot of attention to what happened 5 years ago this year on the 11th of september. The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the attack on the Pentagon, and the airplane that went down, supposedly on it's way to the White House.
Here is my tip on how to remember 9/11 without following the official story, two DVD's about what happened, each giving a completely different view.
11|9 by Jules & Gedeon Naudet and James Hanlon
What was supposed to be a documentary about the NY fire department turned into a documentary on what happened on that faithful September day. A split view, one from outside the WTC, the other from within. Shocking and real.
Loose Change by Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe, Jason Bermas [view online]
Less documentary, more conspiracy theory. And even though I think some "facts" might be farfetched, I have the feeling that this movie contains more of the truth than the official statement by the US government and whatever was said in the media. A scary thought, I know, but I really feel this way. Don't take it 100% serious, but at least 90%.
posted on September 9, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: world
My second article for A/R/T is online! Application-level Logging with the Zend Framework is, as the title already notes, an article about application level logging. The Zend Framework comes in mainly at the end, where I use some examples to show how the actual logging works.
posted on September 7, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: meta
One of the things where Java is way ahead of PHP at the moment is the deployment of projects. There are projects, such as Phing, that are already a good effort, and will make deploying your project easier. Yet, it's no Maven for instance.
In a recent weblog post, Sebastian Bergmann, author of PHPUnit, asks for someone to step up to write a paper on Deployment in PHP, especially of large scale PHP applications. I would also be very interested in this. In my previous work, we've been struggling often with the deployment of our applications, missing the correct tools for easy deployment. It would be very good if such a paper were written.
posted on September 6, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: technology
Jaco Roeloffs is one of my current colleagues at TomTom. He has lately been researching a great “new” technology called XUL. For those who don't know about XUL, it is the technology used by Mozilla/Firefox for their extensions, is based on XML, and gives great power on mixing client-side and server-side logic. Jaco only started his XUL Base weblog very recently, but already I know that his weblog will be a great addition to the network. Not only don't we have a XUL weblog in the network yet, also knowing Jaco personally and knowing what he's working on, I trust that we can expect some great postings on this weblog. Welcome to the network Jaco!
posted on September 1, 2006 - 0 comment(s) - tags: weblogging