Jul 13

“Drifting back over to work” when you work from home.

Tech 11 Comments »

Jim Halberg (a co-worker) and I were interviewed by a drunken MBA student on working from home.

I have been a remote worker for ~6 years now. I barely remember what an office is like.

As I think back to the times of my cubes and offices I have some fond memories, and some poor ones.

Working from home can feel lonely sometimes, and you don’t tend to get in as many foozball hours that way. However, that has changed a touch for me recently, as I have had the opportunity to grow a small local team. This gives me the best of both worlds:

  • I get the flexibility and productivity of working from home
  • I get to meet up with collegues when needed to get the benefit from pairing up on tasks

The interesting part of the remote chat was when Jim (who is new to working at home) commented on how:

  • When you work in an office you tend to drift to non-work (e.g. check the baseball scores, your personal email, Read Ajaxian, download… er
  • When you work at home you find that after hours you may be at your computer and find that you drift back to work

It is good to see Jim working so hard ;)

Jul 13

Blackberry: No support for display: none??

Tech 10 Comments »

I am working on an application that has a lot of Blackberry users (which meant that I had to get a Blackberry, but that is another story).

We are working on a full mobile version of the application, but we get 70% there by having CSS specific for the mobile via either:

  • Separate style sheet via media=”": <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”…/style-handheld.css” type=”text/css” media=”handheld” />
  • Within the main stylesheet: @media handheld { }

Great. Simple. We have been doing this already for print-friendly versions of the site.

Most of the work to make the site handheld friendly is just getting rid of stuff. Stuff as in navigation and extra crud. We have a lot of:

#rightbar, #xnav, .bubbles, … {
display: none;

Then we found out that the BB doesn’t support display. It has a pretty poor support for CSS (as seen in the dev guide).

So, there goes the simple short term solution.

Of course, we want a mobile specific site because:

  • We don’t want to force the mobile to download everything (JS etc), especially with the US download speeds ;)
  • We want a mobile specific UI (a la bbc.co.uk/mobile)

It will be fun to see if responds_to { … } will be enough (having a mobile setting). Then the same controller/actions can be used for HTML, Mobile site, and our XML representations.

Jul 12

Control Click in Textmate

Tech 30 Comments »

DHH made jibes at Java and co in his keynote, one of which was claiming that Ruby just doesn’t need an IDE as it is so simple… and then a little backtrack saying that they are nice but aren’t AS needed as for Java where you MUST use one.

I think that you can program in textpad for everything, and IDEs can be custom tools that help you get your particular job done. The better the IDE the more productive you are.

The item that I am missing from IntelliJ when I use Textmate is the simple control-click where you see a method and want to go through to its declaration. With IntelliJ (and Eclipse and …) you find yourself clicking through files like nobody’s business.

With Textmate I have a bit of a plugin hack that uses grep but it isn’t even close.

If anyone knows of a plugin that can make this happen I would love to know about it :)

Jul 10

No penalties. Please.

Sport 2 Comments »

To be honest, I didn’t like the World Cup that much this time around. There were so many matches in which I couldn’t choose a man of the match (even though the US TV wanted you to text in your choice 70 minutes through!).

I really wish a team couldn’t lose the final of the World Cup via penalties. It just doesn’t seem right.

What else could they do?

I think they should keep playing for a golden goal. Every 5 minutes a player has to come off, until it is keeper vs. keeper :)

Anything but penalties.

And why the hell did Zidane finish off like this. I can’t think of anything that someone could say that would make you do that, not even foul things that I have heard in Croatian.


Zidane Explains

Jul 05

Two People Switch from Coke to Pepsi. Coke is Dead

Tech 18 Comments »

I had to laugh at the crazy talk that come out of this entry that two ‘important’ alpha geeks switched to Linux.

I am sure a lot more than 2 people have switched from Mac to Linux in the recent months, and that is just fine. I think there is room for Linux geeks.

Apple is going mainly for the mass market. My family has switched because they get an out of the box experience that works, is simple, and doesn’t get a million viruses in 30 minutes online.

The fact that a lot of geeks have become Apple users is a nice side effect, and definitely important for Apple.

I think that the perfect Apple geek is one that:

  • Also wants a nice experience
  • Wants to be able to be a power user without having to install cygwin and such
  • Maybe wants to have unix below so the prod environment can be similar at least [this is the case for me. dev on mac, prod on linux works great for me]
  • Doesn’t want to recompile kernels, or pray for drivers to work

I know that Linux has come a long way. I still remember having to muck around with my Xconfig to get the damn monitor to close to work. As someone who has had Mac, Windows, and UltraSPARC desktops in recent years, I also appreciate something on why people have switched to Mac, and to Linux, and to …


Windows has barely changed. This is a good thing in that you can get productive on it. It is a bad thing if you happen to just be plain bored and want to try something else out.

In the past Linux was such a commitment. Mac OS X was instantly gratifying and fun.

Unless you are Cedric. There is no hope if you prefer Google Desktop Search to Quicksilver ;)

Jul 01

Despressing day

Sport 3 Comments »

England are out. We had been playing crap, but I kept thinking that we could come through.

Instead, we played continental footy instead of our premiership style. Slowing the game down isn’t going to do anything for us. I thought we were better than Portugal, but Rooney got silly, and a lot of players didn’t show up. Aaron Lennon, Stevie G, Terry and even Crouch aside.

Now we need to show up in South Africa in 90 degree heat? ;)

France were personified by Zidane who was a master again.

The World Cup now looks like the draw for Euro 2008.

At least Andy Murray will win Wimbledon? ;)