Amsterdam

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Saturday, March 29. 2008 in Personal

In a little over a week I'll be traveling to Amsterdam to attend ApacheCon EU 2008. I'll be doing 2 sessions but unlike other conferences, none of them will be technical in nature. I was unable to attend last year's conference, so this will be my first time in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, I won't be able to stay very long, flying in on Monday and then back out on Friday. That's a lot of traveling for just a few days, but it's well worth it.
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Comix

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, March 28. 2008 in Personal

As a comic-book fanboy, let me just say 2 things: 1: Marvel, you have screwed up Spider-Man for the last time. I'm canceling my subscription. 2: I am SO looking forward to The Dark Knight, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
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Evolution of a script

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, March 25. 2008 in Programming

Two of the more useful pages on my http://people.apache.org/~jim/ site are my ASF Projects and ASF Committers pages. These are autogenerated pages which look at various resources and files to determine the "current" list (and status) of the ASF projects and their committers. The script that generates these pages actually has a pretty interesting heritage. The initial version was written by Sam Ruby in Python. I decided to take that as a starting point and ported it to Perl since, at the time, I didn't like Python all that much (that, of course, has changed greatly). Along the way, people started using and referring to the pages more and more, and so the script itself gained some increased functionality. After awhile though, I tired of doing the script in Perl and decided to rewrite it in Ruby, resulting in the current version. What is interesting, I think, in reviewing all 3 "main" versions is that the original heritage of the script still is apparent in certain sections. If instead of simply "porting" to a new language, if I instead had "rewritten" it, I think the structure would be different, maybe even vastly different in some areas. Also note that in some sections I do things very Ruby-like, and in others, take a more "traditional" approach... This is something I tend to do in all my coding, to reinforce the fact that there are always different ways to code things, and to keep myself, and my code readers, on our toes.
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Goodbye Sir Arthur

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, March 19. 2008 in Personal

Sir Arthur C. Clarke has passed away Even if all he had ever done was "2001: A Space Odyssey" then his reputation would have been well deserved. But in addition to being an exceptional writer, he was also a true engineer and visionary. He was also, by all accounts, a humble, nice man as well. A number of ASF friends and associates, while attending the Sri Lanka Open Source conference a few years ago, were actually lucky enough to meet Sir Arthur, something that I am still jealous of to this day. He is one of my favorite authors, someone who early on sealed my fate as a SciFi addict. Although I'm not a collector of books, I do enjoy owning them (it's just the difficulty of finding storage space for all of them), and I most likely have more ACC books than any others. One of my prized possessions is a signed copy of Sir Arthur's "The Lost Worlds of 2001". I shall miss his talent.
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Audio

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, March 14. 2008 in Personal

In my spare time (yeah, right!) I enjoy using my Macs to play around with various forms of digital media. I've spent time moving pretty much all of our home videos to iMovie, and using Lightroom to organize my digital pictures. I've created DVDs for people and slideshows and I have a great time doing it. But lately I've also gotten quite involved with audio. Partly it's due to my and my sons involvement in the Maryland State Boychoir, and also due to my middle son Tim being in a few "bands". But also it's due to the Mac making it all so easy, and the fact that you can do great things with a very, very small budget. Behringer in particular has professional equipment at really affordable prices, especially their Podcast Studio Bundle. It really is quite amazing that there are so many opportunities to be creative, and scratch that gotta-make-something itch, whether it's code or a CD or a DVD. And, as always, I love my Mac.
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