FRQ - After a week of absence

Yeah! Friday! This week SCO has gong crazy. Terminating the IBM's license, claiming someone in Fortune 500 actually bought their Linux license, executives hype up the share price with PR's and then dump their own stock, etc. Have fun with your last minute struggle, guys! But I won't write about SCO here, nor will I pay the USD$699 Linux license. Oops. I got a dual 400Mhz celery running this website. How much do I need to pay again?

This week's Friday Five is more geeky, so I decided that I'll do it.

  • How much time do you spend on-line each day?
    Online? What is the definition of on-line? Whenever I am in front of computer, I am 'on-line', if the definition is 'connected to the Internet', or ping www.apple.com actually yields some result. And I am in front of computer, hmm, most of the time when I am awake.
  • What is your browser homepage set to?
    Currently all my browsers have their homepage set to "about:blank". I like to start my browser fast...
  • Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
    Jabber!! Then it connects to ICQ, MSN and Yahoo Messenger network. Again, I am on it "most of the time" during the day.
  • Where was your first webpage located?
    My old homepage used to be "http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~s2170607/" and I had that for a few years when I studied in uni. You might still be able to find a trace in the way back machine. Too bad that I did not archive it...
  • How long have you had your current website?
    When I started host it on my own computer back in middle of 1999. It has a few incarnations, and it was not a weblog at the beginning.

Blog

First of all, I got linked by fjord, who I believe is a Christian attending WSCCC and studying commerce and computer science in UNSW. Well. I don't believe that I've met you. I probably have in one of the Mid Year Conferences that I've been to, but I got to confess that I would not remember. I guess he found out about my weblog as his and mine are both linked by the same person. And I guess that's the power of blog, where it creates a web of links to unit people together...

Mark Pilgrim wrote about the return of his very first computer, an Apple //e, after being sold to his family friend 14 years ago. The 128kb pre-Mac box was returned when the family friend "upgraded", and it was still in full working order... I personally don't have attachment to my pre-loved computers. My first few boxes, an IBM XT and a 386DX, went to the rubbish dump when we moved...

Programming

Tab or space? It is not the "this-or-that" question for the coders, but it can seriously trouble a programmer. Two side of discussion here:

I put my vote on "NO", as I always use softtab on VIM.

And here's more interesting Python links that I've read throughout the week:

  • Py vs. Pl - Python verses Perl. Author tries to choose between the two popular languages for the new medium-sized project. He's torn between the two...
  • Py vs. Java - the author is trying to produce a comprehensive comparison between Python and Java. I got this link from Artima Python Buzz, and I have just briefly browsing through it, but I felt it is not a good review. For example, it failed to mention that while Python is dynamic typed, it is also strongly typed. And you don't need to have one source file per Java class either, as it seems the author has not heard of non-public classes in Java...

There is a site on how to write unmaintainable code. While it might guarantee you to get a life-time employment somewhere, but you might get fired for polluting the team project, especially if I am the development manager... It is simply pure evil.

Software

These are the software that I have downloaded during the week.

  • FeedDemon 1.0 Beta 3. Simply the best RSS aggregator that I have ever used. It is going to be commercial, but I might end up paying for it. Yes. It is that good.
  • TVJab 0.7.7. I tried TVJab to continue my search on the perfect Jabber client on the Mac OS X platform. So far whatever I've tried are disappointing, compare with some of the Windows clients. TVJab is still not satisfactory, and it has a a problem of marking the majority of my contacts to be "Invisible" even though they are off-line. Weird.
  • XChat 2.0.4 for Windows. Just re-discovered IRC. Still prefer BitchX...

Webmastery

Confused with RSS (Real Simple Syndication), with all its different versions (0.9x, 1.0, 2.0)? This article, Battle of the blog on CNN News, talks about the even more chaotic battle in the RSS/weblog syndication scene.

Windows

Mark Pilgrim shared his experience in installing Windows XP on his notebook. It sounds like a lot of fun. Last time I re-installed my Windows 2000 was late last year when the hard drive on my Dell crashed and burnt. However, it still has not reached its half life yet - maybe because I have not been a tinker.

Got hit by the W32.Blaster.Worm? Can't get back onto Internet to download the patch? Internet Explorer crashes after 60 seconds? The whole computer reboots repeatably? Really really sick with Microsoft? Dean Peters provided us a solution using a Knoppix bootable Linux CD-ROM to connect to the Internet, download the patch, and then reboot Windows in safe mode to install.