It's Been Quiet

I have no one to blame but myself. When a device the size of a thumb holds many, many, many hours of work, backing up is good practice and cheap insurance. I know this. Knowledge and action aren't one and the same.

I'd gotten into a great rhythm with my thumb drive. It was just so easy working across multiple computers; being able to write on the notebook when I was out and about and seamlessly taking the work back to my desktop, and vice versa. Losing the thumb drive knocked the wind out of me, metaphorically at least. And I was bummed.

Guido van Rossum's Q&A from the Vancouver Python Workshop

Guido van RossumI had a great time at the Vancouver Python Workshop. Kudo's and thanks to the organizers and sponsors.

Move Along, Nothing to See Here


Companion GraphicEverything is back! Also upgraded to the latest Drupal security release.

I have a set of backup/restore shell scripts for making command line backups of the database and file system easy. One command and less than 60 seconds later my site is backed up or restored. It makes site moves and safety backups for upgrades extremely easy. I contributed them to Drupal project there: Backup and restore using bash shell scripts.

Akismet Inside = Comments Outside

AkismetArrrr, thar be comments on deck! (Sorry, getting in practice for Talk Like a Pirate Day).

Thanks to the anti-spam power of Akismet and the coding prowess of Markus Petrux at I feel comfortable enabling comments.

Guido van Rossum Keynote at Vancouver Python Workshop

Guido Van Rossum PhotoIt's the Vancouver Python Workshop 2006! Friday night opening keynotes with Python creator Guido van Rossum and IronPython/Jython creator Jim Hugunin were held at the SFU Downtown campus.

Van Rossum's keynote was an overview of Python 3000, a.k.a. Python 3.0. Python 3000 is a major departure from previous major versions because it breaks backward compatibility. Van Rossum explained there are many things he's wanted to clean up but couldn't because Python 2 worked hard, bugs aside, not to introduce incompatibilities. While not wanting to alienate the community because of core changes he wanted to fix design bugs introduced early on in the project. Python 3000 is all about fixing problems and will not incorporate a lot of new features. Design decisions are based on the best choice going forward, not compatibility.

Narayanan Shivakumar on Google's Software Infrastructure

The follow notes are part 2 of 3 from Narayanan 'Shiva' Shivakumar's presentation at the July 27th VanHPC meeting. These notes cover Shivakumar's discussion of the Google software infrastructure.

Paraphrasing Jacob Nielson: Size Matters!


Jacob Nielsen has some things to say about size in his July 31 Alertbox. Specifically, screen resolution.

According to his figures, he didn't quote a source, about 60% of people are using 1024x768 and 17% are using 800x600 (hi Dad).

He gives the following advise:


Mushroom Lanterns

Friends and I attended the Illuminares Lantern Procession this weekend. It's a yearly event put on by the Public Dreams Society.

The creativity on display on display is amazing and a lot of fun! A flash is not an option for capturing the lanterns and the low light makes photography a challenge. Obvious from my picture of the mushroom lanterns is the need for a monopod to steady my shots (though it would look ridicules attached to my tiny digital camera)!

I often wonder if it's possible to capture this kind of magic and fun in your typical technical day job. I've achieved it for short periods a handful of times. It's not often enough.

I'm currently having lots of technical fun outside the day job playing with Drupal. So far my results haven't been as beautiful or creative as the lanterns on Saturday. Everyone needs a goal!

Narayanan Shivakumar on Google's Hardware

The following notes are part 1 of 3 from Narayanan 'Shiva' Shivakumar's presentation at the July 27th VanHPC meeting. These notes cover Shivakumar's discussion of the Google hardware infrastructure.

Narayanan Shivakumar Speaks at VanHPC

Picture of Narayanan Shivakuma

Last Thursday (July 27th) I attended the VanHPC meeting with speaker Narayanan 'Shiva' Shivakumar, founding director of Google's Seattle-Kirkland R&D Center. He's a very good speaker with a wry sense of humour and was extremely generous about answering questions. His talk, while interesting, didn't have quite the depth I had hoped for.


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