Apple is to damn sexy

Yes, I know, I’m a Mac nut. My favorite OS is Mac OS X, I dream of the G5 at night. The dual processor G5 is hot (in more ways than one)…

But Apple just made my day. The AirPort Express is just what I’ve been wanting.

I could see a few uses for me:

  1. Hook laptop to stereo
  2. Wireless access in the dorm
  3. Extend wireless network when @ home where it gets weak

The question is if I’ll upgrade my laptop to 802.11g (only if I can do it integrated via an IBM upgrade of the mini-pci card). That would make it super sexy. Perhaps that will be part II, since I’m not filthy rich.

And if I should get cables. Apple has that $39 kit which sounds pretty handy, though I might be able to do better.

Way to cool. Just way to cool. I’m thinking it fits me wants and needs perfectly.

Anyone know if there will be a way to pipe all audio (not just iTunes) over the Airport Express? Would be nice to do more than just music (games for example).

Now I guess it’s pretty much written in stone that a iWiFi enabled Pod is coming soon. I can’t see Apple missing out on that.


Well, get out the riot gear, this is going to get ugly

Well, I’m guessing most people have heard by now a new default theme is on the way for Firefox (and presumably Thunderbird some time soon after). I’ve taken a look at all the screenshots that I could find, and do have a few observations:

– The icons should perhaps be OS-specific. While the Winstripe icons are pretty clean looking, they don’t appear to be very Windows XP like. Qute has it beat in the icon department. Winstripe’s icons are rather plain. That works great on the ‘OS X simplicity is key’ user interface, but on XP isn’t right.

– Open source is critical to open source.

Ben Goodger made a note here I find really interesting:

…When I sent out my email about theme licensing to you Kevin Gerich and Stephen Horlander (“Graphics and Licensing, and ‘Source Material'” – dated December 9, 2003), you indicated that you were not comfortable with allowing us and others to make modifications and create derivative works, which is a critical piece of the Mozilla open-source nature. We were forced to look for other options.

We’ve since developed a theme that provides us, in addition to better licensing, with an appearance that is more uniform across platforms (though not identical, to respect platform UI tendencies).

I hope you understand that I, personally, am reluctant to continue a close working relationship with someone who posts our private email in a public forum without consulting me. I am replying here since you have brought this discussion here, so that the forum community can see my response.
-Ben Goodger

It appears [to me] the best solution would be for Arvid to release his theme under MPL license and allow for others to modify the the theme and make derivative works in the future. I’m not quite sure why someone would contribute to under any other circumstance anyway… much less get the work checked in.

On a side note… real classy to post private communications (that’s not spam) on a forum.

And to everyone else:
“Winstripe” is a new variant of Pinstripe taking the “content” of the acclaimed Pinstripe theme and mapping it to the Luna widget set and Windows XP color palettes. Congratulations to Stephen Horlander and Kevin Gerich for their effort so far.

Winstripe is a work in progress. You are seeing it in an intermediate state that Kevin and Stephen do not usually allow their work to be released in. They have put in a tremendous amount of hard work to get a preliminary version together that we can use for 0.9. I expect there will be additions, changes and polish before 1.0.

We hope to get a version for GNOME made at some point using elements of the default GNOME/Metacity/GTK configuration in the not-too-distant-future.

We understand that theme is a subjective matter, and that not everyone will think this is an improvement. We are looking for helpful critique, so please keep feedback constructive. For those that still don’t like the new theme, we hope Arvid will make his theme available as a standalone download – after all, that’s why we have the theme system. Everyone’s taste is different.

Well, personally I think this is good, Ben sees changes still going to take place, and notes work isn’t done, especially for GNOME. That’s a good thing.

But I do think the icons in particular are pretty weak. Hopefullly Stephen Horlander and Kevin Gerich will revisit them before they become the default theme.

Curious what others think of the new theme. Most comments I’ve seen are a little disappointed by the icons.

Open Source

Sun to open-source Java

According to a ZDNet article Sun Microsystems will open source Java.

Quite interesting. This could really change many things. From PDA applications, cell phones, to web applications.

Only time will tell what happens. Will it happen soon? Or in a decade? What will the license be? And what will be the end result?


Planet Mozilla

I normally visit Henrik Gemal’s Blog Updates. Makes reading Mozilla blogs a breeze.

Though I have also been using Planet Mozilla, which is pretty spiffy itself. If you didn’t check it out yet, I’d recommend you do so. Really cool.


ISP’s should run BitTorrent Cache’s

I’ve went on a bit about BitTorrent before. And in part is has happened (regarding Mozilla). We at least have torrents on the homepage!

Now to send a little messages to ISP’s:

BitTorrent could be an ISP’s best friend. Think networking basics for a minute: Staying within the network is faster, and more reliable. If a user subscribes to Comcast, their connection to Comcast’s network is optimal. Theoretically faster than anything else the can access. Also, Comcast doesn’t need outbound bandwidth by peering, or purchasing bandwidth when a user is using internal content (savings).

If an ISP were to embrace something like BitTorrent, it would really be an advantage to ISP’s. When something new is released, such as a Game, Linux Distro, or other large file, people go and download it all at once. To accommodate that takes some bandwidth. There’s no good reason why an ISP can’t handle the bulk of that internally, and provide faster downloads to their users (great marketing), and lower operational costs.

If an ISP were to setup perhaps a cache, simply to provide fast internal downloading through a method like BitTorrent there would be significant benefit to all parties. File hosts save bandwidth, consumers get files quicker, and ISP’s relieve uplink bandwidth, as well as get something new to market.

Even if the cache only mirrored the very popular things, perhaps took the top 10 of the past 24hrs. That would make a significant difference.


How do you code your DB calls?

Well, I’ve got a few options that I see, so I open it up to see what others do. For this discussion, we shall be referring to a mySQL table with the following columns:

FirstName | LastName | Address | Address2 | City | State | Zip | Email | Comments | Sex | Food | Age | HotOrNot

Now we access this table several dozen times for various reasons. Each time, we need different things. Sometimes, only the first name of one individual, sometimes several things, sometimes all data for an individual, or a list of individuals.

Now… we want to be fast and efficient. But want clean and manageable code.

Say for examples sake, we need to get all fields for all users for one particular page of the site. For another, we only need a certain 3. For another, only a certain 2.

What is the best method to do this? Create a separate DB query for each option? Create 1 function that dynamically creates the query based on what fields you want? Just select all data that matches the query, and use what you want?

The reason this comes up is I was working on something similar the other night, and discussing this recently. Here were the basic points:

  • Many DB calls is tough to maintain. Say you want to change DB’s, or update the code for whatever reason. That’s lots of changes.
  • You can just select all data for the query. But then you have lots of data being selected. Not good for a giant database.
  • Generating a DB call can be messy, complex, and of course slow, depending on how complex they can get.

I”ve seen it done all ways. Do people to generate the SQL ‘on demand’? Hard code all of it? Or just select every column in the query, and use what you want?

I’m curious what people choose, and most importantly, why? What makes that option outweigh the others? Alternative methods welcome of course 😉

I’m mainly referring to PHP and mySQL, but if you want to bring in Perl, JSP, or other DB’s like Oracle, feel free.

Yes, this is an uber-geeky, perfectionist, strongly geek opinionated conversation. I’m sure some will feel there is one, and only one way to do this. And all others are extremely wrong. But debate is a good thing. Just keep it under control, I hate moderating.