Been busy doing absolutely nothing of value over the last few days including, but not limited, to: going to the kinneret
for a Saturday afternoon, watching Batman Begins
(seperate post on that later), finishing Half Life 2
again (review coming up), going to a pub, watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit
and almost finishing King Rat
(will probably blog a bit on that at a later date too).
I also blogged practically nothing interesting/useful for the past
couple of weeks, so here's a collection of stuff I have in my "context"
file (sort of a geek's to-do list):
- Apparently I've managed to thoroughly miss the whole Annoying Thing revolution; I've always known the source to be DengDeng but apparently it's evolved and is now officially out of control. Here's an interesting read.
- If you have any inclination towards industrial and/or goth music, check out In Strict Confidence.
Of particular note are Zauberschloss and Engelsstaub (in German) and
the terrific Love Will Never Be The Same (English). I've also given
good listening time to Massive Attack's Mezzanine. On the web radio front I still listen to a lot of Nectarine radio.
- RMS has another thought-provoking artlce
about software patents. RMS's usually extremist opnions aside, I'm
finding what I see around me less and less to my taste, and as a
software developer for a relatively small company I occasionally feel
the results of software patents on my flesh, and it scares me. Patents
are a necessary evil, but leglislators must be extremely careful in
maintaining the balance between protecting innovators and stiffling
innovation. I'll probably write a proper post about this soon.
- Get your own, before they run out!
- Ever had trouble remembering what a toilet in a particular computer game looks like? This site should alleviate your concerns.
- These are really cool. Too bad they probably sound like crap.
- Ho-lee shit.
- Evidently the Israeli customs office does not believe in free software (Hebrew only). Fortunately the story ends happily.
And here are some development-related tidbits:
- A couple of interesting articles on the BCL team blog: this one elaborates on which language features cannot be expressed using CodeDOM (including .NET 2.0), and this one
explains why parsers aren't included with CodeDOM (which would've saved
me a hell of a lot of time on the C# to java source-level compiler I
wrote a few months ago).
- BCL team's libcheck is an immensely useful tool if your team provides public APIs to other teams or customers (via Roy Osherove's ISerializable).
- Balanced matching with regular expressions: apparently the .NET regex implementation allows you to create
"stack"-style expressions (so you can parse, for example, mathematical
expressions with parentheses, C-style comments etc.). The syntax is
somewhat convoluted and tricky to use though (via Roy Osherove's ISerializable).
- I've been asked how to create windows services in .NET on numerous occasions; it is, in fact, incredibly easy. Enter another great post from the BCL team, which will hopefully save me some hours of repeating the same explanations. Thanks, Dave!
- These seem like incredibly useful tools, though (seeing that my
development focus has changed over the last few months) I haven't yet
been able to try out: ComTrace hooks the COM system calls and gives you a filtered view, which is definitely handy for debugging COM issues. Conversely, the PINVOKE.NET add-in is a front-end for the PINVOKE.NET wiki - a respository for unmanaged API P/Invoke signatures and best practices.
- I always thought overhyped, powerful language features can be dangerous in the hands of the uninspired, but this is just ridiculous (thanks, Kuperstein).