Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bye, Bye Grazely!

Back in a July 2011 post, here in my blog, I made mention of a new bookmarking service that had arrived on the seen called Grazely.   At the time I was excited and happy at the prospect of a new bookmarking site, considering the unstable nature of at the time.

Well, its been almost a year and a half now, and at this point Grazely is D.E.A.D.!  Apparently they announced it on their site back in September 2012, telling users to download their bookmarks, but considering I hadn't actually visited the site, I was simply bookmarking from my browser, I completely missed this.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to bookmark something a couple of weeks ago and got a failure.  I attempted to visit the sites URL, but was met with an error saying that the site didn't exist.  I turned to my email, found the address for one of the admins I had chatted with early on and inquired about the status of the site.  It took him a few days to get back to me, but he did, informing me of the site's demise.  He claimed too much competition to keep going.

Most of the sites out there were social networking bookmark sites now, like delicious.  I wasn't in whole-hearted agreeance with this move by most sites as I just simply wanted a place for my bookmarks.   It took a bit of searching before I found Grazely, but was intrigued when I did.

After getting a response from the admin, I then inquired as to whether or not my nearly 6000 bookmarks could be retrieved or not and he came back with a, "Sorry, everything has been deleted."  How depressing and unfortunately.  Thankfully I am not that trusting.  :-)  I kept a duplicate bookmark on delicious for just this occasion.  I did have a backup copy of the grazely bookmarks from a few months ago, but having everything on delicious really helped.

So, if you turned to Grazely, I am very sorry.  How is one to know if a site will simply bomb this hard or not.  Please don't hold it against me.   If I do find another site and it seems credible and (hopefully) stable, I will be sure and post again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Peril's of Upgrading

As a lot of people have done, I recently upgraded my Mac to Mountain Lion (OSx 10.8 (subsequently installing the 10.8.1 upgrade that was released not long after my upgraded)).

As with any operating system. there are some things that just don't work after the upgrade.  Sadly, I expected this, as I have yet to find an OS that doesn't break something upon upgrading.  When I upgraded one of my Ubuntu boxes after 11.10 came out, I was blown away by the number of things it screwed me on.  Some of the critical things I used every day were completely gone, such as:

- Apache
- Python

Just to name a very small subset.  All of the command line installation utilities that are necessary for building software by hand were also gone.  It took me a couple hours but thanks to my backups prior, I was able to get everything back in working order relatively quickly.

But, I digress a bit, sorry.  After upgrading to Mountain Lion, I didn't immediately notice anything awry.  The post installation notice did notify me that some apps were not compatible.  For instance, Parallels stopped working, so you will have to download a new version or re-install if you have the version compatible with the new OSx version.

One thing I noticed though, was that installing things with easy_install or pip (python package installer) had gone away or stopped working.  The same was true for setuptools, which is used when installing with things like like pip or easy_install.

To correct some of the things that will drive you crazy, you will want to go to this site.   If you haven't done it after upgrading, you will need to probably re-install Xcode and then, per that link, install the commandline tools that it references.  I know it says some had issues, I didn't experience any thankfully.

As I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, my setuptools had completely disappeared from the installation after the upgrade.  So, to re-install them, you will need to download them from the PyPi page here.  Download the most current .egg and then issue the following command:

sudo sh setuptools-0.6c11-py2.7.egg

I used the most current .egg version as of this posting for the command above.  After working through the issues that I had experienced post upgrade, my system is again back to where I want/need it for my daily work.  Hopefully this will help you as well.  Remember also that there are a plethora of other post Mountain Lion upgrade guides on Google, just search for them.  What I have here is obviously not the be all, end all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Question of Questions

After the digression of my last post, which really was not technically based, I was going to get back to the really juicy stuff.  Instead, I will only partially back to the good stuff.

I was reading a CNN article on Marissa Mayer, the Google-ite Engineer turned Yahoo CEO.  In the article, which outlines 11 facts about her, #6 in the list caught my eye.  It says that in her original job interview, which was conducted at one point by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google's co-founders, they asked her the following question:

"How would you write a spell-check program when you have a vocabulary so big it won't fit in a computer?"

I have to say that that is one heck of an interview question.  One that you cannot really prepare for.  They were more than likely simply seeking her quick insight of the issue to see how she would approach it, but none the less its an amazingly specific question that would knock a lot of people on their butts, I am sure.

I have seen questions from people on some of these coding forums, asking for lists of interview questions that they can study for their upcoming interview.  Every time that I see one of those questions I want to tell them to pick up the book nearest to them that covers the language in question and to study that in its entirety.

The possibility of questions in an interview is astounding and one could not even hope to study the exact questions that would be asked in a given interview.  My point is that all you can do is study and code and do your best when you get to the interview.  Its all you'll really be able to do to prepare.

I, unfortunately, don't interview very well as I tend to freeze up mentally.  Sure, I know how to code, but I am usually so insanely nervous in an interview that to ask me to code or think about technical problems more than likely comes across disappointing.

Ok, enough embarrassing myself and boring you with useless details.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Losing an Art Form

Hello everyone!  What a year it has been so far, and I am sure that you have a similar feeling about it as well.  I feel that each year gets crazier and crazier, but then that could be that our kids are getting older and older, but their energy levels are still rising.

I was reading a friends blog recently and came across this amazing post about something so amazingly simple.  Mark Keating, the owner of the blog, was talking about how crowded our lives are with tech that we are losing touch with something as simple as the pen and paper.  There are dozens of note taking applications on our phones, tablets, pc's and laptops, that all we need do these days is fire one of them up, write down what is on our mind and save it, no actual writing involved.

Its sad really because the way things are going, how long will it be before people are no longer writing, their typing up their notes.  If that were to happen, a very beautiful art would be lost on technology and go the way of things like the dodo, and won't ever be seen again. 

In Mark's blog post, he gives what is essentially a features list of the pen and paper.  Its an amazing addition to post which really opens ones eyes to the perfection that the pen and paper really have and continue to have.  Here is the list from his post:

  • No specialist input devices
  • Compatible with all hands and eyes
  • Never crashes
  • Rarely corrupts data
  • Splash recovery
  • Language agnostic
  • Fits in a convenient pocket[5]
  • Fast data input
  • No Startup times
  • No application charges or updates
  • Full ASCII/ANSi support[6]
  • No ‘generation’ of devices
  • Reality display (TM)
  • Version safe
  • Future safe
  • Full version compatibility between devices, languages, users and systems
  • Available in a seemingly infinite variety of styles and colours
  • No vendor lock in and many high-street stockists
  • Can be used during take off and landing on a plane

As you can see, Mark went to town on the list, but its wonderfully accurate.  I hope you enjoy this enough that you want to maybe put down the keyboard and just go write.  Heck, go buy a journal and write an entry every day.  Sure, I sound like a 9th grade English teacher, but they did have a point with their making you keep a journal.

I know this post is a bit non-tech, but I hope you enjoyed it.  If you would like to read Mark's post, you can find it here.  Enjoy and happy writing!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Sweet Hiatus, I return from thee

As you can tell, this blog has been a bit dormant since September of last year.  Allow me to apologize for that.  My day job switched my shifts and it has taken a bit of getting used to.  Now that I have a few months under my belt working my new shift, I believe I should be in a better position to continue with blogging activities.  

I would like to take a moment to thank my friend Richard McCutchen for his flatteringly awesome #FollowFriday post on his blog.  I am the first mention and am quite grateful to him for that.  Thanks a million Richard!

Seeing as its currently just after 11pm, it is still friday, so here goes:

  • Richard McCutchen (@psychocoder): If you have a project that requires the services of a .Net coder, then Richard is certainly your man.  His work speaks for itself, as does his kindness. 
  • Benjamin Howarth (@benjaminhowarth):  Ben is another .Net coder who deserves a good mention.  He is a good friend and colleague who has an amazingly big heart.  If your in the UK and looking to hire someone for your coding project, please be sure and contact him.

I know, its a short list, but at the moment its all I can muster.   I would like to thank al of our readers for their patience and say that more intriguing articles are on their way.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.