Jul 24 2009

Recursion (Google Style)

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 5:08 pm

A friend sent me this very humorous link:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=recursion

:D

Update 25/7/2009

Google has updated the results page for this search :o To see how it looked yesterday see Google Helps You Understand Recursion.

Update 4/8/2009

The recursive result is back again!

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Jul 21 2009

Accepted Ideas from the Ideas Campaign

Category: Entrepreneurship,Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 11:10 pm

The Irish Government will implement 17 of the suggestions from the Ideas Campaign, as described in Recession ideas to be acted upon.

There were two ideas that caught my attention. The first idea is:

Provide a one-stop-shop virtual helpdesk for start-ups with advice on legal, HR, patents, accountancy issues etc.

I think that is a great idea, and I can easily imagine it being very useful. I guess that funding it will be a problem :(

The second idea that caught my attention is:

Teach business skills as part of all PhD education as a means of promoting the knowledge economy

This sounds great, but I seriously doubt that many PhD students would be interested in this :o Generally, PhD students just want to focus on their research, and they generally dislike attending classes of any type :o

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Jul 17 2009

A Frustrating End

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 4:33 pm

I have recently been trying to use the Home and End buttons regularly when I am viewing large documents within Windows. However, it has been a bit frustrating, because their behaviour seems to vary depending on the application that I am using them within :(

For example, they pan to the beginning or end of a document within Firefox.  Whereas in Notepad++ they move the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line.

:(

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Jul 15 2009

Download Dell Drivers Using HTTP

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 5:38 pm

I had to download some new Dell drivers for an old desktop computer last weekend. I have always thought that Dell is the best computer manufacturer in terms of obtaining drivers. I simply love the way that you can enter the Service Tag number and you immediately get all of the relevant drivers! It is so convenient!

Dell has changed the download options since the last time I downloaded drivers. You must now choose between using the new Dell Driver Download Manager or the Internet Browser option. The former is a .NET application that must be installed before any files are downloaded. I think that this is a great way of making a simple process unnecessarily complicated! It appears that I am not the only person thinking this according to Dell Driver Download Manager and Dell Driver Download Manager is Optional.

So without any hesitation I chose the Internet Browser option. This tries to use FTP to download the drivers from ftp.us.dell.com. That would be fine, except that the firewall protecting me does not allow FTP :( Thankfully, Dell also allows access to ftp.us.dell.com using HTTP!

Unfortunately, it is impossible to correlate the drivers on the download page with the files on the FTP server using the file names :( At least I could not!

However, I did find another way:

  1. Click on the File Title or the File Details of the driver to get more information about it.
  2. Click on Installation Instructions to expand that section.
  3. The name of the driver file appears in the first sentence!
  4. Find the file on the FTP server in the appropriate directory, download, and enjoy :)

Knowing this last weekend would have saved me a lot of time!

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Jul 14 2009

Amazon Second Life Job Fair

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 1:03 pm

Amazon is starting a virtual recruitment fair right now in Second Life. I have never attended one of these virtual recruitment fairs before, but I image that it is a good compromise between no interaction with potential employees and normal interaction with potential employees at a recruitment fair. For more details about this see Amazon Second Life Job Fair.

I was discussing this event recently with a friend who works for Amazon. Actually, the discussion was more about Rufus and the dog friendly work environment. My friend said that it feels like a zoo walking around the part of the building containing the dogs and their owners!

Cool B)

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Jul 13 2009

Default Windows XP Wallpaper

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 11:02 pm

I came across the story behind the default Windows XP wallpaper, known as Bliss, on Wikipedia tonight. The article, Bliss, shows the original wallpaper, and a more recent photo! There is a huge difference!

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Jul 11 2009

The Digital Hub Dublin

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 8:32 am

During the week I had a meeting with a company in The Digital Hub in Dublin. It was my fist time there in over a year, and it was my first time ever there in daylight.

I must admit that I was extremely disappointed with the area. I was expecting it to have a very high-tech feeling. Instead my overall impression is that it is the epicentre of low budget 1€ Shops in Dublin!

Most of the old buildings look run-down and unmaintained. This then attracts a certain type of bottom-of-the-market type shop.

The area was very busy, and it had a lively feeling. However, this was due to the fact that the majority of the people there are visiting the Guinness Storehouse :o

I have heard a rumour that one of the large ICT companies that are currently located in the area are moving out later this year. This company is rumoured to be relocating to a new office development in a different, and more prestigious, part of the city :o Apparently, the cost per square metre is far lower in the new location :o

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Jul 10 2009

The End of XHTML 2

Category: Internet,StandardsTeknovis @ 6:18 pm

I read today that the W3C will stop developing XHTML 2 later this year, and it will focus on HTML 5.

I have not had direct experience with either of these standards. However, I have been using XHTML 1.0 and XHTML 1.1 for a long time for my personal web pages (including these web pages).

The full article is An epitaph for the Web standard, XHTML 2, and the official W3C announcement is XHTML 2 Working Group Expected to Stop Work End of 2009, W3C to Increase Resources on HTML 5.

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Jul 09 2009

Amazon Web Services

Category: Cloud ComputingTeknovis @ 9:07 pm

I spent my afternoon in the clouds… No, not dreaming!

I was doing some reading about cloud computing, and specifically about the Amazon cloud computing offerings. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) appear to be the most popular.

I did this reading because I intended attending a cloud computing webinar this evening. However, the webinar software would not install for me :(

Anyway, my time was not spent in vain, because I learned a lot! For the sake of convenience, I am including the most relevant AWSs here:

Overall, I was very impressed with what I read :o I think that there are some really useful services here. I think that if I was developing a non-mission critical web application then I would certainly look at AWS due to their simplicity, flexibility, and cost effectiveness. The applications described in Gowalla – Location-based iPhone 3G Application (you need to watch the video) are good examples.

However, I do not think that I would feel comfortable placing a mission critical application into a public cloud. I think that private clouds are the best option in this case. (Although I am still not sure if this is significantly different to having a virtualised back-office :o )

The smaller details that caught my attention were:

  • I am very surprised that Amazon charges for the European services in Dollars instead of Euro. Currency fluctuations may negate some of the price stability that AWS offer. I really do not understand why this is necessary given that the costs in these locations are in Euro :|
  • I am very impressed that Amazon is able to measure such minute amounts of resource usage.
  • Consequently, I am impressed that Amazon is able to efficiently process the corresponding micro-charges. Telcos are usually considered the masters of this :o
  • I know that I am not exactly comparing like for like, but a Blacknight VPS product seems to be much better value than a single EC2 small instance.

Finally, I read about a web site recently that featured on a national television program. The web site was hosted with a traditional hosting service provider, and received a relatively small amount of traffic. However, the web site designers decided to move all of the static web site files to S3 in anticipation of the spike caused by the television appearance.

The web site did experience a huge spike in traffic during the television appearance, and it was able to cope with it. So the web site designers were satisfied with their decision to use S3.

The funny thing about this is that in my opinion it was unnecessary to use S3 because it did not provide any benefits! The reason for my opinion is that all of the web site visitors during that peak were from the geographic area where the television program was being broadcast. Therefore, they were all connecting to the S3 data centre through the same IP exchange. This is also the same IP exchange where the hosting service provider peers. Therefore, it is unlikely that the hosting service provider would have been a greater bottleneck than the S3 :o

Indeed, a well resourced hosting service provider that peers in a national IP exchange should outperform both S3 and CloudFront in countries where Amazon does not have a presence when all of the traffic is originating from that country!

Anyway, right now I feel that I would love to have a personal project to develop using AWS :o

(As a result of this post I have decided to create a dedicated category for cloud computing :o )

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Jul 08 2009

Google Chrome OS

Category: LinuxTeknovis @ 1:43 pm

The big news on the Internet today is that Google has announced the launch of a new operating system for web applications. This new operating system is currently called Google Chrome OS, and the official announcement is Introducing Google Chrome OS.

Google Chrome OS appears to be the Chrome browser built on top of a Linux kernel. Therefore, there is some debate regarding whether this really is an operating system or not :o

I think that it certainly will make the operating space more competitive, which is a good thing!

For more information about this see Google plans Chrome-based Web operating system, Google Chrome: Redefining The Operating System, and Google polishes Chrome into netbook OS.

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