iPad Too • Tuesday, 26 April 2011
When Apple announced the original iPad back in January last year I must admit that I was underwhelmed. Watching the keynote presentation afterwards a lot of people present in the room seemed to feel the same way, so subdued was the audience reaction. I’m not quite sure what we were expecting from the long rumoured and awaited Apple tablet, but it was surely more than the outsize iPod touch that Apple had apparently delivered.
I bought Metaprogramming Ruby by Paolo Perrotta because although I’ve been writing Ruby code—for fun, not for a living—on and off for about five years, I still feel that I’ve barely scratched the surface in many ways. In particular, in order to feel like I really got Ruby I wanted a deeper understanding of how its object model worked and I wanted to properly learn about some of the metaprogramming techniques I’d seen in others' code. To quote the book’s tag line, I wanted to “program like the Ruby pros”.
One of the aspects of the world of software development that I find interesting is that as a group we seem to be constantly searching for the perfect metaphor or analogy to explain to non-software developers what it is we actually do. Some have said that writing software is like building a house, but others disagree and claim that it’s a more organic process akin to something like gardening.
On Sunday I returned from two days in Edinburgh for the inaugural Scottish Ruby Conference. The event has broadened its focus and rebranded from its previous Rails remit when it was Scotland on Rails. The venue this year was the splendid Royal College of Physicians, an imposing building with an ornate interior.
In case you haven’t heard, Stack Overflow is a free programming Q & A site from Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood that was born out of frustration with the existing sites in this genre. Stack Overflow has been going just over a year and during October and November Joel and Jeff have teamed up with Carsonified to embark on a world tour, with the aim of exposing developers to a diverse range of topics. Think of it as a sort of tasting menu for software developers.
As today sees the launch of Windows 7, I thought it would be interesting to write some thoughts on Microsoft’s latest blockbuster from the perspective of a so-called switcher. Although I use Windows XP in my day job, I've used Macs exclusively at home for the past three years. Nevertheless, I've been a Windows user for four times as long as that, having first used it in the distant days when you started Windows by typing “win” at the C: prompt.
My name’s John Topley and I have a little secret that I want to share with you today. No, not that one. The fact is that I’m addicted to buying computer books, to the extent that I often buy them but never finish them. I could spend days in the Computing section of one of the big bookshops in Charing Cross Road.
A fortnight ago I flew to Edinburgh to attend Scotland on Rails. In spite of his best efforts, I managed to persuade my friend John Conners to come along too, so that he could find out why I’ve been nagging him to take a look at Ruby on Rails for years. Although John’s an experienced software developer with C++ and .NET under his belt, I thought he might find it interesting to learn more about a dynamic and purer OO language such as Ruby.
I went to a great gig in London last Friday with my good buddy John Conners. In a bizarre twist on the traditional format for these things, it was actually a presentation on project management software for software teams, rather than a music gig.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending Carson Systems‘ annual Future of Web Applications conference in London. This two day conference and day of workshops has expanded significantly since the single day conference held last February (which I wasn’t able to attend).
On Friday I attended a Professional CSS XHTML Techniques workshop given by Eric Meyer and organised by Carson Workshops. The event was superb; it’s clear that Eric has probably forgotten more about CSS than most of us will ever know, yet he was able to impart some of his vast knowledge and experience in a digestible and accessible manner.
This will be a review of two halves. First I'll tell you about the hardware and then I'll discuss the software. I'd been considering buying a PDA for a while and decided to buy the Hewlett Packard iPAQ Pocket PC h1910 (to give it its full title!) after playing with one in a shop at Stansted Airport whilst waiting to fly to Sardinia.