Sunday, December 30, 2007
Via Boing Boing:
A silent concrete monster follows a nervous businessman through Montreal in Terminus, an eerie and darkly funny short film directed by Trevor Cawood
Go here to watch, it's only eight minutes, well worth your time.
Friday, December 28, 2007
So, just as Christmas passes on December 26, I suddenly fall sick. Perfect. I haven't logged a single sick day for more than over a year, maybe even two years, and now that I'd have few spare days to spend on things I'd like to do, I'm more-or-less tied to bed. Don't worry, nothing too serious, just stuffed nose, terrible coughs, and enough fever and chills to keep me not wanting (or, in fact, being too able) to move anywhere outside of the bed. The usual "season's greetings", you might say.
I'm reading though. I read some wicked good books in the past months, including Charlie Stross' Glasshouse, as well as an überweird Cory Doctorow piece (Somebody Comes To Town, Somebody Leaves Town) as well as few Karl Schroeder novels. I'm through most of them by now and am tasting some Vernon Vinge momentarily, which isn't as good as the more contemporary guys (Stross and Schroeder) are, but is still much better than Iain M. Banks is.
Or even better, I listen to wife reading Mr. Pratchett's The Bromeliad Trilogy to kids (and me!). I picked up Truckers in a book store about a month ago without knowing it is targeted for children, but after reading it I realized it'd be great fun to read it to kids in the evenings. Usually it is me doing the reading, but with sore throat... So, we finished Truckers today (second reading for me), and started on the Diggers (which, along with the closing volume of the trilogy, Wings, I picked up today at the same bookstore. I have a habit of buying only the first novel in a series and making subsequent purchases based on whether I'm still interested in it after the first book ends. For me, Iain M. Bank's first Culture novel didn't hit the bar, so I'm avoiding it for now).
Anyway, my Mom was over for holidays, and listened in to our reading of Truckers. As a result, I gave her one of Discworld novels (Mort) to read on her way home. I'm pleased to say that Mr. Pratchett has obtained yet another (in this case, 58 year old) fan :-)
Anyway, days are a bit bleak. I'm usually not well enough to hack or even to play much with kids, or anything of the sort. Getting to a store to shop for groceries to get us through New Year's Eve was quite an effort and I felt much worse afterwards.
Oh, I also picked up Half Life 2 retail box three weeks ago on an impulse while shopping for Christmas presents. Tried to install it this morning (lacking better pastime since I couldn't sleep from my cough rush), and it claims the CD key is invalid. Swell. Valve support didn't answer within a workday. Knowing me, if I don't get to try playing it during the holidays, I probably won't find time for it anytime soon, so it's as good as money thrown out of the window if they don't resolve this quickly. Way to go, selling people unusable DVDs.
I also managed to drop my photo camera from a waist height on a hard stone floor during Christmas - I was trying to take pictures of kids while they were having fun with Sparklers. In response to the drop, the camera's objective developed a very ugly skew. Not entirely surprisingly, it doesn't work anymore... Closest Canon service (and the only one in the country) is of course, where else, in Budapest, 200km away. Buying a new one might be a more viable option.
Oh well. I guess I'm going back to bed. Sorry everyone for a bad-mood rant...
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Does anyone know what happened to http://www.opensource.org? It's supposed to be the website of Open Source Initiative, but it looks like right now it serves the same content as http://hyperreal.org, whatever that might be... It is either hacked, or maybe the two sites are collocated on the same physical HTTP server and there was a config glitch. Anyway, quite annoying...
So, I've used some free time around the holidays to put the finishing touches on a new release of Rhino in Spring. The new release is 1.2, and it has one major new feature (as well as few featurettes). The major big thing: it is now fully clusterable with Terracotta!
Actually, that's pretty much it. There's few other featurettes as well, but the real big leap forward was restructuring of the internals so that it plays nicely in Terracotta distributed clusters. Configuration for clustering is dead easy: it comes with a Terracotta "configuration module", a special JAR file hosting an XML file with clustering declarations for the code. You just reference it in your
tc-config.xml and that's it. The rest is Terracotta magic :-)
Friday, December 07, 2007
We released FreeMarker 2.3.11 on Wednesday. There are few new feature goodies as well as some significant performance improvements (both speed and memory) in there, not to mention bugfixes, so you might consider upgrading from earlier 2.3.x version. Head over to the project website for more info and download.