Monthly ArchiveJuly 2003

Uncategorized 28 Jul 2003 12:08 pm

I resolve not to be a smart ass

I think this should be my new signature for emails.

“get: verb. 1) to obtain and bring where wanted or needed. ex: “get my English dictionary.” 2) A common beginning of a naming pattern for functions in programming languages signifying that the intent of the function is to retrieve a particular value, ex: “object.getName()”.
3) To understand the meaning of something ex: “get it?” ”

Is it too subtle for anyone to understand that it means I think naming should be simple and concise instead of verbose to the point of distraction. Or does it actually come off mean? I don’t want to be mean, I just hate being distracted when I am trying to work. Bad names are distracting.

Names should reveal intent, to paraphrase the saying, but you have to have information hiding as well. Otherwise there are too many pieces to juggle at once (remember 7+-2). Also, available information will get used eventually. Dependence on that information can create brittle systems due to high coupling between objects.

So, “get” a value however you have to. I don’t want to know how you got it.

Uncategorized 27 Jul 2003 12:31 am


Ok, if you haven’t decided to try the wallpaper program yet, here is a sample. Click on it to see the large version. Notice how the small one looks different than the large one? Trippy, eh? 🙂

Uncategorized 26 Jul 2003 08:57 pm

Wallpaper program

So, I finally cleaned up my little wallpaper toy program for others’ consumption. Download executable jar here

Experimental: instead of downloading, try the webstart way. Note: this will ask for privileged access to your machine because I signed the file with a security key. Nothing bad will happen, I am just trying to get it to put any images you want to save in a folder called “prints” in your home directory. To do that means I need to digitally sign the app and you have to give it the requested permissions (assuming you trust me :-))

(On windows your home directory is something like “c:/Documents and Settings/<username>”. On Mac and Unix it is “/home/<username>” or “/Users/<username>” Unfortunately, saving images doesn’t work via the webstart link right now. If you want to save images right now, download the jar in the first link and run it. If you care and you are having trouble, just ask me.

Note on the app itself: It is rough, but it is still fun. I added a history list for the images and rubberbanding as a way to zoom into parts of the image. Resizing an image changes the graph. That should add a new image in the history list, and going back should do a reverse resize. But I haven’t figured that out yet. My initial attempts did not meet with success. Otherwise, have fun. Any features you would like, feel free to let me know.

Safari user Note: for some reason, Safari doesn’t think that it has webstart installed, so use this link to launch it.

Uncategorized 26 Jul 2003 01:39 am

Science Index Sites from Slashdot post

Slashdot, had a post where everyone sent in their favorite science links. It looked pretty handy. It took all of two minutes, ok 5, to write a little link grabber with the HtmlParser.

electronic journals
DOE Information Bridge
Science News

Uncategorized 23 Jul 2003 06:41 pm

Wahoo sailboat

Gotta Wahoo —

These look like a lot of fun.

Uncategorized 21 Jul 2003 04:48 am

The Turing Omnibus

I just got The New Turing Omnibus the other day, and started reading through it. The first chapter was sort of an introduction to algorithms. It was easy to put together a version of the algorithm he discussed. It has generated a tremendous number of pictures that are really cool. You can see a selection here.

Uncategorized 13 Jul 2003 02:37 pm

Jef Raskin’s science book reviews and Humane Environment

Books that Jef Raskin thinks noting for good or bad on science and math aimed at kids.

I have read some of these, and am intrigued to read others.

Also, the Humane Environment project on this site is something I am going to have to check out. The site makes some really bold claims, curious if any of them stand up.

Uncategorized 11 Jul 2003 03:04 pm

Road Status in California

Road conditions

Wait, you can send multiple road names in, so this gives me all the roads I need to worry about.


Uncategorized 07 Jul 2003 08:50 am

4th of July Reports in News

While I had a relatively serene 4th of July with family, I see that the locals were a little crazier.

Some choice excerpts from the news report,

“A Soquel woman was injured when she fired a shotgun into the air and the butt of the gun knocked out some of her teeth, said Santa Cruz Police Sgt. Terry Moore.”


“In Watsonville, five allegedly drunken people riding horses caused a traffic jam on Riverside Drive at approximately 10 p.m. They were detained by Watsonville Police until horse trailers were provided to take the horses and the riders home.”

I hope they’re all ok, but it sure makes you wonder about where you might have moved if say, you moved to Santa Cruz County recently.