Friday, November 19, 2004

Small, Attainable Goals

So I keep meaning to write up a "What I did at ApacheCon" type entry, but my tendency towards procrastination has kept that from happening...

In the meantime though, I wanted to mention that my latest latest article just went up on O'Reillynet. It's about writing extensions for Ruby in C, and it's already gotten more of a response than my last articles up there ever got.

The last articles led to my book, so does this mean my next book needs to be about Ruby?

Just kidding ;-)

In related news though, I did get to see my book in hardcopy for the first time this week, it's damn cool. Go out and buy a copy, or two, or ten. They make great stocking stuffers.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

My First Book Review!

It appears that my publisher has started sending out PDF copies of my book to people they feel would like to review it, and today I got an email from one of them pointing me to his review.

For the impatient, he seems to have enjoyed it, although he makes some valid points about one or two things I could have done better.

It's nice, after all that work, to see that Chapter 8, which was among the hardest to write, is "worth the price of admission," at least in his opinion.

New Laptop

A few weeks ago I got a new laptop.

It may suprise some of you, but it's not a PowerBook this time. Instead, I'm typing this on an IBM Thinkpad t42p. There are a number of reasons I went with an x86 machine this time, including, but not limited to, the following.
  • The particular t42p I've got has a truly stunning display, it's 15 inches and 1600x1200 glorious pixels. I love it.
  • This thing is damn fast. Building Subversion from scratch is so much faster than it was on my PowerBook that I haven't even bothered to go back and time it on the old machine.
  • It's been some time since I worked on a real Unix machine, and I felt the need to "return to my roots" so to speak. At the moment I'm running Ubuntu Linux on it, but now that FreeBSD 5.3 is out I'll probably move to that once I get back from ApacheCon and find some free time.
  • IBM has a fantastic friends and family program, which resulted in a huge discount. If you're shopping for a new laptop and you happen to know someone who works at IBM make sure to ask them about it.
It's been a while since I worked on a Linux (soon to be FreeBSD) box on a daily basis, but so far I'm quite impressed. Everything has worked out of the box, with the exception of suspend, which required me to fiddle around a bit to tell the machine to use APM instead of ACPI. Other than that it's just worked.

I will restrain myself from going off on a rant about how back in the old days it would have taken weeks and weeks of pain to make this stuff work, how I would have had to download patches, manually tweak them, email obscure mailing lists begging for help, et ceterra.

So far though, I'm happy with it. There are some aspects of Mac OS X that I miss, but it's also quite nice to be in an environment where the vast majority of Unix software doesn't actually require any manual tweaking to make it do what I want. If you're in the market for a new laptop I can absolutely recommend the IBM t42p, it is a fantastic machine.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

You ever feel...

Like you just don't understand the majority of the people in the country?