scintilla presages a spark of genius

Prompter built on top of Scintilla

I'd like to share with you a precious software gem: Scintilla.

Scintilla is an amazingly powerful text editing component. I am coding Prompter, a presage based demo application, on top of the Scintilla editing control because of Scintilla's impressive features, primarily portability and autocompletion support.

dead xbox

Burnt out xbox

After years and years of service, it looks like it is now time to retire my XBOX. One of the capacitors soldered on the motherboard has blown out and charred the board and a few components around it.

It seems like yesterday when I first got my hands on my xbox... I remember I immediately opened it up (thereby voiding the warranty, a potentially very expensive proposition) and softmodded it on the same day I bought it.

good big dog!

This was just too good to not share!

Check out these two, somewhat related, YouTube videos:


WSDL woes

Service Oriented Architectures and Web Services seem to be the next best thing since sliced bread.

I won't get into a comparison on the merits and the shortcomings of SOA/Web Services vs. CORBA technologies, but I will vent my frustation at how painful and unwieldy it is to manually edit WSDL contracts here.



Let's face it, software engineering is hard!

It is tough to produce high quality code, under tight deadlines, solving complex problems, with constantly changing requirements.

But let's forget for a moment about the intellectual challenges posed by engineering correct and performant software, and let's focus on the physical demands imposed on software engineers.

I am not suggesting that software engineering is among the most physically demanding professions, but I believe that sometimes we fail to recognise the physical strain imposed by being confined at a desk, precariously sitting on a chair, hunching over a keyboard, staring at a computer display for prolonged periods of time, furiously typing blocks of source code.

replace string with a newline in emacs

This might help fellow Emacs users needing to replace a given string with a new string containing a newline.

I wanted to split a very long list of semicolon separated JARs to insert them in a Java manifest file to get around the dreaded "Input line too long" problem on Windows.

What I wanted to do was to M-x replace-string ; ENTER with a newline and a space. Here lies the problem, the replace-string command rightfully interprets ENTER to mean that the replacement string has been entered, and not to mean that it should substitute with a newline.

tracked by satellites


I recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 205 high-sensitivity GPS receiver and personal trainer to help me keep track of my running sessions.

It's a great device! I have used it a few times and I am very pleased with it. Although it can't quite disguise itself as a normal wrist watch, the device is very small, compact, and light. It is definitely much lighter than my traditional watch I wear every day.

virtual hardware

I always thought that VMWare Server is a great piece of software. It is a fast and convenient way to run my soothsayer builds on a Windows platform without actually having to get dirty running it on my (real) hardware.

However, it has a couple of shortcomings that I can no longer live with:

  • it is not free as in freedom (although it is free as in beer)
  • it does not work with the latest kernels (its kernel modules do not build with the latest kernel sources)

Not to fear, my friend, for QEMU and VirtualBox are excellent alternatives to VMWare!

fool me not

It's April Fools' Day tomorrow.

I can't wait for all those witty jokes that always appear on slashdot on this day.

mobile phones on a plane

According to this BBC article, the use of mobiles on planes flying in European airspace has been given approval by UK regulator.

I am dreading the next time I fly, I will be surrounded by annoying and loud individuals shouting inconsequential trivialities down their mobile phones.

There is no escape!!! You can't walk out the plane. You can't just get up and leave. It will be torture to be forced to listen to their conversations.

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