Ted's Tidbits

Things on My Desk (November 2007 Edition)

  • Airlink+ 802.11b Wireless Router
  • Cable Modem
  • Small box labeled "Everything Mac"
  • Smaller envelope labeled "Everything Else"
  • 1 empty Diet Pepsi can
  • Clipboard with notebook paper and a legal pad attached
  • Dillard's Gift card envelope
  • Open CD Jewel Case
  • 17" Macbook Pro
  • Kingston 1GB USB Memory Stick
  • Paperback TNIV translation of the Bible
  • Commentary on Romans
  • Digital Camera
  • Three cork coasters
  • One cup of cold coffee, 1/4 full
  • 15" Compaq LCD monitor
  • Kengington Bluetooth mouse
  • Apple Power Supply
  • Multi-colored index cards
  • Chip-clip
  • Empty Package of peanuts
  • Black dry-erase marker
  • Extra battery
  • Deck of playing cards with pictures of my friends plotting my demise
  • Bridal portrait of Megan
  • Broken pair of sunglasses
  • Stack of receipts
  • World clock paperweight (not weighing down any paper)
  • Analog clock with my initials engraved
  • Letter opener
  • Class of 2000 cup full of pens and pencils
  • Stereo speakers
  • DVI to VGA monitor adapter
  • KVM cables

ThinWire 1.2 Release Candidate 2 Available Now

ThinWire, the framework that provided my acclaim in the technology space, has just announced Release Candidate 2 of version 1.2 with promises of a final release within the week. This is very exciting news for anyone that uses the framework. It continues to get better and better over time. Congratulations Josh!

Download Link

Blatant and Shameless Book Promotion

Yesterday at OSCon, Prentice Hall announced the launch of the Sourceforge Community Press.  It is a special line of eBooks (called Shortcuts) that feature open source projects and are written by the developers themselves.

It is my pleasure to announce that one of the four titles available at launch is the ThinWire Handbook: A Guide to Creating Effective Ajax Applications, co-authored by yours truly.  It is available now for the price of $12.99 as a downloadable PDF, and it is also available through the Safari Bookshelf.

In the book, Josh Gertzen and I provide an overview of the entire framework.  Our goal is to describe the essence of each piece that makes up the complete framework, as well as to document features that may not be obvious to most developers.  So, if you’re into that sort of thing, go pick up download a copy, and start learning the awesomeness that is ThinWire.

The Power of Fear

Are you afraid?  You should be.  There’s plenty to fear in this world, take your pick:

  • Global Warming
  • Terrorism
  • Unstable Economy
  • Job security
  • Expiring natural resources
  • Bad Credit
The list can go on and on.  Fear is a very powerful emotion.  It can cause people to act irrationally.

We lock our houses at night because we fear.  We avoid people out of fear.  We give up freedoms because we fear.  We go to war because we fear.  We buy insurance because we fear.  Insurance, that’s an entire industry built on fear.  “You need it because something bad could happen to you.”

So what is the anti-fear?  Some would argue that it is knowledge.  People fear what they don’t know.  That’s why some people micro-manage.  A micro-manager has to know every detail about every thing because they are afraid their project will fail otherwise.  But more knowledge isn’t always a viable answer.  No one can be an expert on everything.  People must learn to trust each other.

Ah, so trust must be the anti-fear.  But where does trust come from.  Any person will tell you that trust has to be earned.  Why must trust be earned?  Because people are afraid to trust.  A person must first prove that they are trustworthy, and then once they make a mistake, the status of trustworthy is revoked.  So again, fear can kill trust, but trust alone isn’t powerful enough to fight fear.

So what is the anti-fear?  I would suggest that it is love.  Now, I’m not talking about the emotion of infatuation.  I’m not talking about anything touchy-feely.  The Greeks have several words that are translated as love in English.  In Greek, I’m talking about Agape.  Why is Agape the anti-fear?

I said earlier that fear is irrational, so is Agape.  Agape is putting others before you no matter what.  Unconditionally.

Agape is patient, agape is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Agape does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It is completely senseless and irrational, but think about it.  If you choose to agape, if you choose to love everyone, what happens to fear?  You see, love is an action, it is a choice.  It is a choice to not fear, but to trust.  A choice not to fear, but to rejoice in truth.  Reality has an amazing ability to fight fear.  When the truth is known, what is there to fear?  But because of love, you can trust and not fear, as the truth takes it’s time being revealed.

Now, when you walk around loving everyone and fearing no one, you open yourself up to being taken advantage of.  It’s a big risk.  In fact, it’s almost certain that you will be hurt in one way or another.  There are real dangers in this world, things that could kill us.  I would actually go so far as to say that a complete abandonment of fear would be stupid, because without fear, we’d all be killed by our own stupidity.  If only there were a piece to this equation, someone or something that could be completely relied upon to give stability to everything.

This is where my faith in God comes into play.  It is the Lord that provides this for me.  I can trust in Him that, no matter what is going on in this life, I’m going to be ok.  You may think that’s crazy, but I have no fear, and therefore no one on this earth has power over me.

Safari 3 For Windows -- First Impressions

As soon as I heard the announcement, I downloaded the public beta of Safari 3 for Windows.  So far I'm pretty impressed.  The memory usage seems to come in between Firefox (the worst) and Opera (the best).  ThinWire, my web application framework, works beautifully.  Gmail works fine, but Yahoo Mail has some issues (I get lots of JS errors).

I did a quick performance benchmark.  ThinWire has a Grid component that can display lots of data.  I fired up my benchmark app for the Grid, and added 10,000 rows.  Here's the performance results:

  • Internet Explorer 7: 1 minute 33.66 seconds
  • Opera 9: 27.93 seconds
  • Firefox 2: 23.24 seconds
  • Safari 3 Beta: 18.91 seconds
I realize that there is only approximately a 4 second improvment over Firefox 2 in this test, but 4 seconds is a lifetime in terms of waiting for a web application to load.

Also, while the Grid was loading, the rest of the app was still responsive; I could even start browsing and scrolling the Grid.Also, a quick look in the install directory reveals some interesting libraries.  WebKit was there as expected, but also CoreFoundation (Apple's base C library) and CoreGraphics (the main OS X graphics library).  Very interesting.

How To Make Windows Update Not Hog the CPU

Every morning I come into work, plug my laptop in, and turn it on.  It quickly resumes from hibernation, and then forces me to wait for about three minutes while svchost.exe dominates the CPU.  This morning, however, the process never finished.

Several hours and searches later, I had my computer back as well as a new disdain for Microsoft Update.  Windows Update is a standard feature of every version of Windows since 98 (I think).  Starting with XP service pack 2, we gained the “option” to have the updates auto-downloaded.  This works fairly well.  The problem occurs when you opt to “enhance” your Windows Update and turn it into Microsoft Update.  It sounds like a good idea.  You get the Office updates and any other MS product updates.  Unfortunately the update process isn’t the most efficient.

As a software developer myself, I have learned restraint in criticizing others’ design.  I will, however, let the community speak out on this: [link]

Basically, whenever you start your machine, MS Update (via svchost.exe) checks every app that was installed with Windows Installer 3 to see if there are any updates available.  This takes forever.  I did, however find a fix, courtesy of the MS community forums [link].

Here’s what you do:

Now If only I could make Windows use less RAM.  (500 MB on startup vs 70 MB on my ArchLinux system at home)

Effective AJAX for Everyone 'Including the Enterprise'

Effective AJAX for Everyone ‘Including the Enterprise’

Like the rest of us developers out there, you’ve probably been captivated by the promises that AJAX and Web 2.0 make. Sure, there’s a great deal of hype surrounding any new technology wave, but somehow this feels different. For the first time since the Web application made its debut, there’s a real sense that a new paradigm shift is upon us.

Freedom of Speech OK Unless Talking Politics

Ok, so the guy that created the Hillary Clinton 1984 video that’s on YouTube revealed himeself.  Since he works for a consulting service that the Obama campaign uses, he was promptly fired.  What bothers me most about this is the fact that people are acting like this was the correct thing to do.  The article even speculates whether the Obama campaign did enough to distance itself from this video.

We are a country that’s proud of our freedom of speech.  YouTube is probably one of the best examples of this expression. Anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can send a message to the world.  You can say anything you like, and if everything lines up just right, your video could be seen by millions of people.  That’s power in the hands of individuals. This is what America is supposed to be all about.

But if you post something about a political candidate, people start questioning.

  • Who made this?
  • Who paid for it?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Can they say that?
  • Is this fair?
My question is, why do we restrict the very speech that the first ammendment was written to protect?  It’s not just the culture and the media.  There are laws.  Remember campain finance reform?  529 organizations?  Why should you have to register as a 529 to talk publicly about a political campaign?  Maybe it’s just me, but this whole thing seems hypocritical and, quite frankly, stupid.

Now 50% Less Calories

What’s Tumblr?  It’s basically a blog for someone who has such a severe case of ADD that they can’t concentrate long enough to read these short posts.


ThinWire Framework Architect Gives Grand Ballroom Session at AJAXWorld

ThinWire Framework Architect Gives Grand Ballroom Session at AJAXWorld

The primary architect behind the open source ThinWire AJAX Framework, Joshua Gertzen, spoke about ‘Effective AJAX for Everyone Including the Enterprise’ today at AJAXWorld Conferece & Expo 2007 East, in the Grand Ballroom of the historic Roosevelt Hotel.

New Weird Al Video: Trapped in the Drive-Thru


ThinWire and Helmi To Cooperate

From AjaxWorld:

Helmi Open Source RIA Platform and the CCS ThinWire Solution To Be Integrated

‘Working with CCS enables both companies to go to market with a robust AJAX solution for our customers,’ said Juho Risku, CTO and founder of Helmi Technologies, as Helmi announced this morning at AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East in New York that they have joined forces with Custom Credit Systems (CCS), developer of the ThinWire RIA Platform, to deliver an integrated client-server AJAX solution.

Ballpark is Ballpark Again


Global Warming Debate Heats Up




Hillary is Big Brother

I’m not an Obama fan, but this is clever.


Dallas Cowboys Legendary Mascot, Crazy Ray Passes Away


Madd Rappin EW - Cell Phones & Starbucks


Nigerian Dead Parrot


Cotton Bowl No Longer at Cotton Bowl

This could be the beginning of the end for this sports venue.

Dallas Morning News: Cotton Bowl Moving


Well, its apparently been over 2 months since I last posted anything to the ol’ blog.  The last think I wrote about was the late night release of ThinWire 1.2 RC 1.  So much has happened since then.  Instead of writing about everything, I’ll just list stuff that’s happened since then:

  • Two snapshot releases of ThinWire have been made.
  • I attended three weddings in three cities in three weeks.
  • I finished reading Asimov’s Foundation novels.
  • I attended a midnight wedding.
  • My printer broke.
  • Megan and I celebrated one year of marriage.
  • I purchased an iPod.
  • Epson sent me a brand new printer.
  • I read the New Testament
  • My company purchased additional office space.
  • I replaced the brake pads on my car.
Here’s what I haven’t done since the release of RC1:
  • Get a haircut.
See you in April!