Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Number numbness

Every now and then I get lost in zeros. 1k, which was the ENTIRE VOLUME OF RAM in my first computer has ceased to be a useful unit of measurement for storage space.

Today I kicked off a backup of by Ubuntu Laptop to a VFAT USB filesystem without giving the matter any thought.

Puzzled by the errors, it finally dawned on numbskull here that VFAT filesystems have a 4GIG file size limit that I was blissfully ignoring.

Now 4 GIG is enough space to backup the RAM on my Sinclair ZX80 four billion two hundred and ninety four million nine hundred and sixty seven thousand, two hundred and ninety size times over.

To backup my laptop today I need about three times that amount of space.

Yikes.

WTF spotting

Peter Flynn has added a WTF section to the excellent XML FAQ.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Grandma did not have an iPod at the prom

Grandma did not have an iPod at the prom.. This week's ITWorld article is about the increasingly abstract concept of property in an increasingly digital world. Biological evolution is having trouble keeping up with technological evolution.

Never ascribe to theft what can adequately be explained by human evolutionary hysteresis.

Static typing belly laughs

A good start to today on the homour front.

Martin Fowler's report on OOPSLA contains these gems:
This one I put in the typecasting-is-a-bug-not-a-feature category

    Dynamic types are stronger than static types, as they don't flee the field at runtime. --Brian Foote

and this one in the safety-needs-to-be-tested-not-intuited category

    Static types give me the same feeling of safety as the announcement that my seat cushion can be used as a floatation device.
--Don Roberts

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Autamata, Woody Allen, Mayo, Postscript, Normalistion. Hmmm...

Factoid : After the XML Summer School in Oxford during the summer I did a deal with my family. I agreed to take them to London's Chinatown if they allowed me to take them to the Science Museum.
Things worked out well because as well as good food, Woody Allen was sitting next to us with an entourage. This created hushed-tones and eye-darting on all the surrounding tables including ours. I found watching the people that were watching Woody Allen more interesting than watching Woody Allen himself.

Factoid : Todays Sunday Times has a headline featuring the word "Autamata"and the name "Woody Allen". I read the headline initially as "Automata" like any self-respecting geek.

Upshot: There is a little known Irish band called Autamata which is newsworthy today because of Woody Allen's use of some of their stuff in a film of his.

Factoid: Ken McHugh of Autamata hails from Mayo.

Factoid: How could I resist investigating further when the initial geek-laden overtones of Autamata are followed up by "Postscript", "To be a robot", "Registered User" and "Lets Normalise".

Note to self: Investigate further.