Cool new toy

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Just bought software today: wikidpad. It’s outliner meets wiki meets IDE meets Lotus Agenda. It’s $12, and it’s built with Python. I’ve filed a half-dozen bugs so far, and am not sure I’m “getting” it all, but I like where it’s heading. As soon as I figure out the plugin model, I’ll be happy as a clam.

Hardware

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Oh, in case anyone cared. I have a new hard drive, with some of the old data. It’s amazingly hard to keep track of the data that is actually useful on a 40G drive. What I miss most so far: my Thunderbird address book.

OSBC

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I’ll be in San Francisco next week for a very quick trip, just the length of OSBC. In SF by Monday night, out of there by Wed night. I’ve never been to OSBC, so am not 100% sure what to expect. We’ll just have to see…

Hardware failures

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My hard drive is very unhappy, which means that I can’t do any of the experimental hacking I was hoping to do on the plane on the way back tomorrow.

It’s fascinating that having a drive that causes the OS to complain (mildly but scarily) when lots of new files are created has basically no impact on one’s ability to do email and web browsing.

Instering

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Paul Kedrosky self-flagellates himself (which seems a bit of a redundant phrase, but without the “himself” it seems awkward — “bancal” in French) on his too-frequent use of the word “interesting”.

I like to use the word “instering” instead, and plan on doing so until my kids stop saying it. It’s so much more instering than interesting.

PyCon, for one was quite instering. I’ll have to gather some thoughts on it and ETech for public consumption at some point.

Computers, sigh…

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Sigh. Things aren’t quite right in the computer department. Thunderbird is using 170,394Kb of memory after running for 10 minutes. My hard drive is flaking out while at a conference. VPN doesn’t make it out of the conference LAN. Luckily, people are more reliable, friends are still friends and chefs can still cook.

PyCon

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First day at PyCon 2005. It’s, as usual, interesting. Random bits:

  • Crowded! It’s bigger than ever, clocking in over 400. It’s caused some headaches of the good kind (catering more expensive than planned, not enough t-shirts, rooms are packed).
  • Not too surprisingly given the buzz around Python, there are big names (although we’ve had big names at Python conferences for years). This year it’s Jim Hugunin from Microsoft, Greg Stein from Google, and we’ll see who else).
  • More interesting to me, a lot of old friends, including many who used to come at conferences, then stopped, and are now back. I don’t know if it has anything to do with Python itself, the economy in general, or it’s just random — but it’s nice to touch base again.
  • It’s only been three hours, so it’s a bit hard to know for sure yet, but it seems as though there’s more money around — more startups, some VC influences, and a greater proportion of people who do Python for their jobs, not just for love

Washington DC is still a great city, the Rouge Hotel still has attitude and free broadband, and I’m looking forward to good dinners with old friends.

Python and OpenGL on Nokia Phones

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Sitting here at ETech, just after Erik Smartt, product manager for the Python on Nokia product, gave the first real public demo of the Symbian/Series 60 port of Python. The highlight was a PyOpenGL demo (the code isn’t available yet, and the author is not public either). Click on the picture for the Quicktime movie.

As someone who worked on PyOpenGL a long, long time ago on high end Silicon Graphics workstations, it’s fairly stunning to see it fit into a pocket.

Also notable was a demo of the FlashLite stuff, which is equally cool, but probably available elsewhere (if not, I’ll post a movie later).

Somebody fix printing!

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I’m going to be on a few planes over the next two weeks (to San Diego for ETech, to San Francisco for a customer visit, and to DC for PyCon). I like to read when I travel, and there’s a bunch of stuff that I’ve been meaning to get to. As batteries run out and eyes tire, I like to occasionally print the more substantive pieces on dead trees. Also, I occasionally print stuff to share with people who, for reasons as diverse as network security, poor eyesight, or simple personal preferences, would rather read on paper than on a screen (it’s much easier to share Malcolm Gladwell’s piece on SUVs around the playground if it’s on paper).

And I have to say that way too many blogs are basically unprintable. Simply too many of them are clearly never tested for printability (uh, I should test my own… phew, it’s a bit of a small font but at least the layout’s just fine).

So, if you have a blog, please print one of your own entries once in a while, and see what it’s like. Also, if you have a popular blog where people leave lots of comments, consider making it possible to print your words and not all the comments.

There, rant over, I feel better now.