'Geek' Archive

MicroBlogging and opening sources

January 23rd, 2009

If you’re interested in such things, great explanation of twitter, laconica, and OpenMicroBlogging here. Make sure you check out the comments as well, some great points in there including a hint at where twitter could be headed for a business model.

I’ll admit I’m biased as I met with Evan recently and he lives here in our little country but I’d still tie my wagon onto laconica over twitter had I to choose. I’m also not the type to chase business models tied to selling people’s patterns and data so if that’s where twitter’s headed then god speed.

While it’s not the main point of the above article, there is mention about twitter and it’s use of open source technology. While it’d be lovely if everyone using open source was able to contribute back into it, that’s not a requirement and I’d be cautious about suggesting it should be. As well, it’s not always obvious how that contribution occurs. Maybe some of twitter’s developers contribute heavily to these projects in their off hours? If this return contribution was required then it should be in the license. If they aren’t violating any licenses then they’re good.

[Wow, am I actually defending twitter??]

If you’re involved in open source, do you really want businesses like twitter choosing NOT to use your projects simply because they’re business model, horribly flawed or otherwise, prevents them from contributing back in an equal and fair manner? I’d think not, you’d want anyone and everyone using it regardless. Sure the ideal outcome is twitter participates in OpenMicroBlogging and open sources lot’s of their technology. If that’s not possible what should they do? Certainly we’re not suggesting they have to use all commercial software are we?

Open Source Tech Party in Toronto

December 5th, 2008

If you don’t know about hohoto yet, you should. Sponsor it, buy a ticket, whatever, hope to see you there!

“Join us at the #HoHoTo holiday party at The Mod Club Monday, December 15, 2008 at 7:00 PM (ET). Cash bar, DJ’s, and lots of twitterluvvin’ – what more could you want? It’s for geeks, phreaks, webheads, twitterfiends, techies, media, marketing, and PR types and all their friends. And everyone else! DJ’s, interactive media, and loads of holiday cheer, all for a great cause – The Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank”

DemoCampGuelph Wrapup

July 14th, 2008

Another amazing event last week at The Albion. We had a huge turnout, especially with it being cottage season. Our next event is in Sept, please sign up to attend here, and contact me if you’d like to demo.

Thanks to the following people for stepping up and demo’ing:

DemoCampGuelph6 next week!

July 4th, 2008

Next Wednesday evening is DempCampGuelph6. It’s an open event, talk about us, tell your mom, get people out! If you’re attending, please make sure to put your name on the wiki attendee list. If you want to demo, contact me.

Micro-Blogging with Twits

June 24th, 2008

I’ve explored and I’m willing to admit I’m fully on twitter. What that means for this site is that I post far less small bits here. Example, just saw this cool site bookrabbit that’s like zoomii for everyone’s bookshelves. I now tend to post small bits like that in twitter and not here. That’s all, thought you should know, it’s me not you.

If you know me and have any interest in what I post to twitter, you can find me here. On a similar note I’m pretty sure I’m trashing my facebook account soon.

Debugging in python

June 17th, 2008

If you’re a tech caveman like myself then you may not have a loving relationship with IDE’s in general. Hang on, now that I think about it, I grew up with IDE’s and I’ve tried, and spent a lot of my career in, most of them. This isn’t a case of not wanting to use the kid’s fancy new tools. Ok, stopping tangent…

When I lived in the java enterprise world, I was a heavy jdb user. Yes, even in a java shop I was in the minority in using a “simple command-line debugger”. Sorry but I’m a simple guy.

Lucky for me, python has pdb which “defines an interactive source code debugger for Python programs. It supports setting (conditional) breakpoints and single stepping at the source line level, inspection of stack frames, source code listing, and evaluation of arbitrary Python code in the context of any stack frame. It also supports post-mortem debugging and can be called under program control.”

I don’t know for certain, however, if pdb is like jdb then this is the module that any python IDE is using to offer you debugging capabilities. They build their gui on top of this module and expose pretty pictures and some subset of pdb to you. That’s another reason I prefer to use, and understand, things like jdb and pdb instead of relying on an IDE’s rendition.

If you have any interest, there are the ugly details and a gentle introduction.

VI Love

June 13th, 2008

I’m embarrased to say I didn’t know about shift-k in vi and stumbled upon it with a caps-lock incident. Yes, I am admitting this in public. I didn’t say I was good at this computer crap.

Now I don’t know how I survived without it. Not only will it hook you directly into man pages, it takes file context into place. So shift-k with my cursor over “range” in a python file takes you directly to…

“Help on built-in function range in module __builtin__:

range([start,] stop[, step]) -> list of integers………….”

To get the python docs working, you’ll need python-doc installed “sudo apt-get install python-doc” and you’ll need something like this in your .bashrc or related file…


Now can someone comment and tell me how I can wire django docs into this as well??

*args and **kwargs

May 29th, 2008

A lovely simple explanation, with examples, of how to use variable length arguments in python. Of course there’s always the ugly version as well.

Task Software

May 26th, 2008

I’ve been using Mark Hurst‘s gootodo for over a year now and I can’t imagine work life without it.

I’m not sure if Mark’s a fan of GTD but the app certainly supports it if that interests you. I think it’s keys are the ubiquitous smtp interface and it’s calculated simplicity. It’s a simple, some may say oogly, application that works.

The quick story. It’s a web-based task application with an smtp interface. That allows me to send an email to today@gootodo.com with subject “eat a good lunch from McDonalds”. Or tomorrow@gootodo.com “eat a better dinner from Harvey’s”. This allows me to easily push tasks onto my task list from any email client including my blackberry. As well I can easily forward emails, pictures taken on blackberry, links, and other digital artifacts. It nicely supports the concept of 43 folders as well as an empty inbox.

Some quick examples of how I use it….

  • Receive an email, no time to reply, must respond at some point…..Forward email to 2d@gootodo.com with subject “reply to jojo’s email”.
  • See a cool shelf I’d like to build…..Take a picture with blackberry and forward in email to tomorrow@gootodo.com with subject “print shelf picture”
  • Browse a site about an interesting conference with registration closing in April….Email site link to march15@gootodo.com with subject “decide about conference”

Oh, did I mention it’s a whooping $3 per month.


May 6th, 2008

DemoCampGuelph6 is booked for Wednesday July 9th. Please talk the event up and sign up to attend here. As always, we need interesting demo’s, if you know anyone interested please have them contact me here asap.

With this being #6 I’m seriously concerned about my health. I hope NOT to follow in David’s footsteps. Health-wise that is, fashion wise I’m always scampering along after David.