Thursday, September 27, 2007

My site made top 10 at digg!

My site made the digg top 10 today briefly.
Lots of hits.
Lots of new hits.
Web host shut down the site.
Oh well.
I had my 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Free Photos for Blogs at

I just stumbled upon's website which provides free media to the public (well, mostly free. Check individual file's license).

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Tech Group in Austin -

Eighty people showed for the first meeting of Jim Van Riper - VP of Product Planning and Development at Troux Technologies talked about Agile in his company. Some of the items that struck me:
1. Staff turnover is good - it brings in new blood.
2. Don't focus on the customer, focus on the customer's boss.
3. Ask why the customer needs a new feature to learn more about how they use the product.
4. The Product Owner should not reside in a separate group, like marketing, but the Product Owner should have complete control of the means of production.
AgileAustin looks like it will be a great group.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Toyota Production System


My team at work is reading Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, second edition. In chapter 19 Kent talks about Toyota's success with Lean Manufacturing. I was hearten this morning that the first suggestion for a tag on the wikipedia article on Toyota Production System was "agile". The parallels between manufacturing and software development are fascinating, as are the dissimilarities. One of the parallels is eliminating waste. Toyota
In the Toyota system just moving and doing something is not work. An employee needs to be doing something useful to sell. In the same way, in software development we are often guilty of doing lots of cool coding, adding framework features that will never be used. These are just waste.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lucky Shots and Trivia

A group of astronomers have developed a new technique for getting pictures better than the Hubble from earth bound telescopes calling it Lucky Camera. It defeats the distortion of the atmosphere by taking several snapshots of the sky and uses software to overlay the pictures and take out the variable distortion of the atmosphere. Better Living Through Computing.

Regular picture

"Lucky Picture"

Today's trivia:
Those little boxes with weird numbers and letters you have to decipher on signup pages are called CAPTCHA for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Time Disappearing

In the following code that spawns a background task, resharper always whines about "_timer" not being used anywhere. So I removed variable and the background task never fired.

private static Timer _timer;
_timer = new Timer(_registrarCallback, textWriter, 0, registrarUpdateInMillisec);

This morning I learned why it needs that reference. Without the reference to the Timer object it can be garbage collected before it ever fires.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Transferring Big Files

I stumbled upon, which lets you, eh, well ... transfer big files. During our last family gathering each of us shot some great photos of the kids. is a good way to ship those big zip files between us since google has a cap of 10Meg.