A New Mouse

Friday, March 31st, 2006

I’ve heard studies claiming vastly increased productivity from dual-monitor setups and arguing that companies are being penny wise and pound foolish by refusing to buy extra monitors for their programmers. That may well be true, though I mostly work with one large monitor myself. However in my experience many companies and individuals are being even more foolish by limping along with old, grody keyboards and mice.

Incompetent Boobs

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

This story simply astonishes me. Anyone who doesn’t know the difference between GET and DELETE has no business designing a web app for their kid’s lemonade stand, much less taking on a multi-month contract for the government. Not that I haven’t seen mistakes like this before, but what really gets my goat is that the government agency doubtless paid a huge amount of money to these morons to develop their site. Doubtless these mouth breathers had the necessary security clearances, and wore the right suits, and took the right people out to play golf. I’m sure the fact that they had no fucking clue how the Web works never entered anyone’s mind.

What I Learned at SD

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

There’s always lots of good hallway and speaker lounge talk at the Software Development Conference, and this year was no exception. Over past years, hallway chatter has been an amazingly good predictor of what’s going to be hot over the coming year or two. It’s worth summarizing some of the thoughts here.

#341 and #342 with the BBC

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Yesterday I joined the Brooklyn Bird Club on a trip led by Peter Dorosh to the Northern Reaches of Nassau and Queens Counties. Overall there were fourteen participants including Starr Saphir, Lenore Swenson, Michael Zablocky, Sandi Paci, Suzanne Ortiz, and myself. We jumped from park to park along the coast, usually spending between 30 and 90 minutes at each. While you don’t get to explore any one site in detail, and may miss some birds that are present, this strategy does produce a high total species count. The complete list for the day was 71, though I’m not sure if anyone in the group personally saw each of the 71.

Cable Tip #1: Component Video

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

I recently subscribed to Cablevision HDTV because the install was free and DirectTV wanted to charge me $400 to get HD ($500 if I also wanted DVR capability). You get what you pay for. After two missed appointments, Cablevision finally installed a Scientific Atlanta 4200HD receiver and hooked it up to my Dell HDTV via the S-Video input. However, the installer did not check that the HD channels actually came in HD.

Birding Tip #1: The Old Testament vs. the New

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

One frequent question novice birders ask is which field guide they should purchase? You can find a bewildering array on store shelves. Which ones are actually useful in the field and which ones are essentially coffee table books? Fortunately the decision isn’t hard. North American birders (more specifically AOU area birders) generally divide into two groups, followers of the old testament and followers of the new.