Friday, April 27, 2007

OT: One-liners #1

On this sunny morning I feel like this should be discovered by WeFeelFine.

OT:Report and a Trixie suggestion

I’m sorry to report that family illness, accidents and work schedules prevented me from posting any updates. In addition we’ll be going off-line for the next few days for maintenance (off to the Jadran sea!). I’m sure you’ll be seeing other geek baby blogs. Some of you will even indulge in brief affairs. I’m sure you’ll claim it meant nothing and I’m sure I’ll forgive you.

In the mean-time, all you newfangled (or soon to be newfangled!) geek dads might want to check out the TrixieTracker. It’s your web 2.0 online baby management site. I have only three tiny little issues that are preventing me from using it:

  1. It offers only paid subscription (Subscription fee in this day and age!? What kind of business mode is that?);
  2. I discovered it just a bit late;
  3. It was my bloody idea and they stole it two years before I thought of it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Qrio vs. David

Somehow I’ve missed the news about fare well of QRIO and AIBO. It’s a bit sad really. I’m a part of generation that grew up thinking we’ll be going to work in our flying cars and robots will do most of the household chores. We saw ourselves as the Jetsons and it never occurred to us that what we saw on our TV screens wasn’t (jet) real. Our future was to be the SF future we read about in stories the Futurians wrote (remember Amazing, Astounding? The titles themselves convey the optimism of the era!). Yet we lived to see year 2000 pass as by as uneventful as the year before. There was no space odysseys for us, no trips to the Mars (nor zero gravity … er you know). But no matter - with companies like Sony working on our stuff of dreams there was a chance the next generation might get there. That’s why news like this gets me down.

Anyways – let’s get back to the topic! You might want to take a look at the Aibo / David comparison table. However, David received some major upgrades in the last year so an updated comparison table between David and Qrio was inevitable (due to lack of technical data for Qrio, this one focuses on the features).

Qrio vs. David (Comparison table)

Development time2.5 years1.5 years
Power consumption1 hour – fully charged7.5 hours – fully fed
Height0.6 m0.85 m
Weight7.3 kg13 kg
Top speed23 cm/s40 cm/s
Transportation modeISA powered - independent and stable bipedalQuadpedal / Bipedal modes
FeaturesWireless networkUses wireless network
Precision mechanismAmbiguous mechanism
Pinch detection sensorsPinch avoidance sensors
Quiet constructionLifelike construction
Safety coverSafety covers optional
Shock resistantSelf healing
Obstacle detection sensorsObstacle removal operators
Internal mapping of locationsExternal mapping of locations (mostly with crayons)
Face recognitionFace and food recognition
Own vocabularyShared vocabulary
Autonomous behaviorIndependent behavior
Expressing emotionEmotional being
ExtrasCan dance to choreographyCan spin (to the right)

All in all - I have to say David rulez!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

OT: Re-labeling and stuff

You might have noticed that old TDE posts are popping up in your newsreader. I’ve decided to go through the old TDE posts and label them. didn’t have this feature when TDE started so most of the posts haven’t been labeled. I think TDE readers will appreciate the fact they can now get all the random things posts with one click.

For those of you that haven’t done so pls. re-subscribe to the new feed.

Who broke the build?

Somebody (I say mom) messed up and David didn’t build (wake up) properly this week. Our CI server (crib) reported (loud cries) a failed build! It seemed like some (most) unit tests have failed and we’ll be able to fix him right up.
First of we identified the failed unit test and found it failing at:

Assert(this.Core.Temperature.ToCelsius() <= 37.5,
"Core temperature to high!");
It’s always nice (sarcasm) to find a bug in your core library. So we re-built a debug version (washed, changed diapers, fed him), enabled tracers and run the standard tests again (went to the pediatrician). The results were inconclusive (“the lab results are inconclusive”) so our team (me and mom) decided (were told to) deploy the application (David) in the debug mode (closely watched) and see what happens (wait).
Of course we did some tweaks to the code (paracetamol, cough syrup, ventolin) and put other projects (work) on standby (dev null). This made a few project managers (bosses) happy (mad). They now had the time to reflect on (yell profanities) and improve (change beyond recognition) their project requirements (an e-mail) to better suit the reality (their imagination).
Eventually we resolved the temperature issue and our daily builds (mornings) are doing fine. The annoying thing is – we have no clue as to what went wrong and who broke the build! This is what they fail to teach you at parenting classes and this is what your parents never got around to tell you. Once your child is born - you will never know solid ground again. All that is certain from now on is the uncertainty. Sudden fevers will scare you, bumps and bruises will have you running to the ER. Coughs will put wild ideas in your head and most cries in the middle of the night will turn out to be yours.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

OT: Vanity? Surely not me!

After reading Haacked vanity piece I decided to check up on you - my reader(s). I’ve moved my rss feed to FeedBurner so if you get the chance please re-subscribe.

Or just leave a comment detailing why you do not wish to do so…

Or whatever...

Or come back tommorow for an on-topic post...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Four phases of development

An interesting article (just follow on through tynerblain) articulating UX we all must have had being part of software development projects. And my current project is no different. The four phases of development are the following:
Oh it’s a Boy!
Great news! Lots of e-mails, SMS texts, quick phone calls, telegrams, oh joy, oh boy… - nothing gets done for weeks.
Oh Crap!
Baby and Mom get back from the hospital. Reality kicks in. Lots of “you get up”, “shut up”, “OMG”, “what is this coming out of his”… - nothing gets done for months.
Oh Ok!
Your baby finally breaks you. Lots of changing, bathing, cleaning… - that’s all that gets done for months.
Oh Cool!
Your baby gives you a hug. You faint… - you don’t feel like doing anything for a year.

Since Scott has put on such nice visuals I thought I should do as well.

Oh Boy!
Oh Shoot!
Oh Well!
Oh Wow!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

You’ve been H4x0rd

Newfangled parents tend to worry – a lot. One of the top 10 concerns (now there’s a dig story waiting to happen!) we have is child-proofing one’s home. So you decide to try and outwit your baby with clever gadgets designed to prevent him (her) from accessing dangerous resources, while still allowing you unrestricted and easy access. As is the case with most bright ideas parents come up with – this one too is inane.
Surely by now you realize your child is more intelligent then you? Well, if you were half as smart as your kid, you’d know. Those ingenious devices are nothing more then funny little puzzles for him (her) to solve.
So you end up buying bigger, better and more complicated locks and eventually you end up locked out while your child reigns free. You need to face the facts – you’re out of your league n00bie.

Lock #1 was cracked after 4 months. It’s quite vulnerable to random pulls and presents a challenge only to entry level hackers.

Lock #2 is on the verge of being cracked. It offers little resistance to brute force attacks.

Lock #3 proved to be quite resilient but is still relatively new and has yet to see any real action.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A random thing you will want to, but probably shouldn’t must do as a newfangled dad #9

Buy your baby an expensive RC toy … you’ll end up playing with yourself!