29 September 2005

The Halo 2 Fever

Admittedly, I had so much fun with my XBox Blue and my XBox Live subscription. Ironically, this is the only thing that has came out good from Microsoft, instead of Windows. But if PS2 and the upcoming PS3 has this "Live" thing, I would happily switch or add it to my gaming system. Technically, Playstation is better. It's just that it "doesn't put value to the business", no one can just always play alone or with someone on a split screen forever. So what if you have great hardware that can be possibly tweaked to launch missiles but sucks in marketing value? The sad thing about XBox is [I think that] it's selling below cost. Which is ok if you really want to put M$ out of business.

Going to Halo 2, I am skeptical why some people has touted it as "redefining the FPS genre". Until I played "Live", I realized it is very much different than other FPS like Counter-Strike. Now Battlefield 2 is following the same success with their "USMC vs. MEC" where you can fly Blackhawks, drive tanks etc. but that's too "American".

22 September 2005

XBoxing...Live!!!

I officially stopped playing games on my PC. For one, to me it's very unprofessional. Basically, I gave in to the temptation of the dark side, I got an XBox Blue Limited Edition from a recently concluded COMEX computer expo at SGD$288 with free Halo 2. And I got a Starter Kit 12-month XBox Live Subscription which I got at SGD$75 that comes with a free headset. Playstation 2 should have a something like the "Live" thing! Right now, I have Full Spectrum Warrior 1 which I just had finished, Halo 2, NFSU2. I don't have any playmates around yet but I am will be online this weekend. My gamertag is "jaredlinux".

20 September 2005

Open Source Business Readiness Ratings

What's this? Business Readiness Ratings is basically used to determine if an open source tool is mature enough for corporate use. Really? Or maybe corporations should be mature enough for open source use. :))

It's a good and bad thing, like how would you rate vi, grep, awk, ssh etc. for business readiness? I think BRR has the same stench as CMM and may be less "corruptible". It's like this, lets take for example, India.

India, the country that took away a lot of American programming jobs has something there to deserve the luck they are getting now, It's the CMM-decorated companies that sprawl in their landscape. And of course with that and a cheap job market it's a bullet for America ready to backfire. CMM is a buzzword and CMM is just a buzzword. Using a funny analogy, An alleged mentally deranged employee(MDE) who's been acting weird noticed that his co-workers are mocking and laughing at him because they know he's crazy, so his boss tells him to take a leave and get professional help. So this MDE did what his boss said. He went to a psychiatrist to check him up. In short, he was diagnosed as normal and doesn't have any mental disorders so the psychiatrist certifies that and issue him the certification so he could go back to work. Back at work, he chanced upon everyone talking about him and his weirdness, upon seeing him everyone was stunned and kept quiet. He gave them a stern look, and said "So you people think I am crazy? You're damn wrong!" And then he flashed a paper in front of them... "'coz I got a certificate that says I am not. DO YOU HAVE THE SAME CERTIFICATE?". Now everyone's crazy and he's not. ;)

CMM is just some shit-brick's concept from what school is that? CMU? Does CMM assures your company is mature enough and it's capable of bringing back home a space shuttle that's has been dinged a little? Maybe that's too exaggerated, or maybe that same shit-brick is involved in designing a space pen that will push ink at zero-gravity while Russian cosmonauts are happy scribbling notes using pencil and are very productive.

On the other hand, open source applications like GNUEnterprise can benefit from BRR. Since GNUEnterprise is more on the "operational" side of things rather than "technical" as many open source tools are. A BRR rating for GNUEnterprise can have a great impact on the ERP market.

YourSQL not mine

I have been a PostgreSQL user for quite some time and it hasn't failed me on most of the basic and advance features that I expect to get from it, whether I write client software in Java or in C, the results are consistent. Before then, I have a "weak" argument that MySQL is weak. Because I only scratched the surface of it and didn't do a lot of thorough testing. This MySQL, by default, has failed on a lot of things compared to Postgresql point by point even on some minor things. Some of the things I noticed are:


  • Lousy way of granting permissions

  • The autocommit functionality can break the most generic JDBC code that is supposed to support multiple databases

  • Tables are case-sensitive, unless you're a diehard Windows genius, you're not going to notice this.

  • The interactive command-line interface is so crude. It's nothing compares to PostgreSQL

  • So some silly asshats will ask me "Why would you use a CLI when there's a lot of GUI tools for MySQL?", even that sucks too. And what if the only available thing to you is an SSH access without X? Then you're dead in the middle.

  • The PreparedStatement.executeUpdate() does not return the right value for the rows affected, I am wondering what's the big deal why this thing can't be fixed since Postgresql, Oracle and other "production-grade" databases can handle it. Just simply returning the right value is very important for debugging and information purposes.


  • These are just a few things that I can remember after my fury died out. I am not going to the argument of "you don't know shit" or "read the fucking manual" stuff. By all virtues of a good database, out of the box, everything must work fine, just like Postgresql or even Thunderbird. In the end, I have deduced so far, that those who are so in love with this database are merely Windows users, that are writing apps which are even simpler than a candy store application.

14 September 2005

What ESB? What SOA?

What Web Services? What Asynchronous Messaging? Where JMS fails, Jabber/XMPP succeeds. Of course, not all solutions to problems are obvious, to the muggles, Jabber is used by people to chat with each other just like Yahoo! or MSN. But machines can be made to "talk" to each other using this protocol too and in the most reliable, lightweight conditions. There's no need for fragile JNDI lookups, uncannily resolving IIOP hostname which is Sun MQ's sickness with the "JMS over Internet" thing. No more complex WSDL, even if it's transparent to developers nowadays, it still packs some unnecessary weight. And can be a relief from the aweful RMI too. And when these heavyweight solutions fails, recovery is not always as easy as what they claim in their manuals. With the exception of ActiveMQ. But most of the time, Acegi+WW2+ActiveMQ+Spring+SJSAS doesn't work as expected.

Jabber on the other hand, is straightforward, as long as the client machines has access to the network in whatever setup, will work. Doesn't care on what container the application is running with. Jabber-based services are rare, because in order to take advantage of those services the user has to sign up to whatever jabber server the service is signed on, and understand their "lingo". But on availability and reliability, the Jabber can walk the walk.

Nutch

Before Nutch has become a sub-project of Lucene. There's a niche opportunity for the raw power of this unbiased search engine. Now that Knowledge Management has slowly, clearly defining itself not only in the "intelligence" community but for corporate uses as well. With Nutch and some little imagination, one can create, for one, is a Verity-style "federated" searches and indexing that is "C:drive" mountable or thru Samba or NFS, depending on the "federation", information can be presented in a folder structure, as a web portal and so forth. Tools can be built on top of Nutch to aggregate RSS Feeds, IMs, Blogs and even password-protected filesystems.

In fact, "knowledge"-snooping systems such as this, is very attractive to a lot people for very obvious reasons.

01 September 2005

So it's called Age of Participation

To the OSS-phobics, Age of Participation is a more subtle term. That really boils down to either two things, Adapt or Die. The other side of that is Age of Elimination which is rather timeless. Age of Participation is one of the key topics Sun Microsystem's Scott McNealy will be discussing here in Singapore with the local industrialists on September 12(?).

Speaking of locals, specially some developers, are big "ji bai". Every time they hear the word "Open Source" their chorus would be "NO SUP-PAWT", it's like getting a job that involves an automatic weapon and saying "No Danger". It's an understandable dilemma for a user but not for a developer! These people are pollutants to the local developers who want to learn and build products on top of their favorite Open Source tools that can spread the use of OSS to several industries such as the much-hyped biotech industry.

It's very interesting that big companies are having their own campaigns to promote Open Source in this Last Stronghold of the Proprietary Software Colony. Get Some!