A few Akka posts

Update: unfortunately, the Safari Books blog no longer seems to be around, so the following links are all pointed at their Archive.org copies. Recently I was asked to write a few posts for the Safari Books Online blog. They were looking for Scala content, so I suggested Akka as a central theme. I wrote these posts with an audience in mind that hopefully would have been exposed to Scala (or could, at least, read a short Scala tutorial), but who had not yet written any Akka code.

A reading list for JVM-based developers

The other day, I found myself in a series of discussions with some fellow developers, in part about the performance characteristics of large numbers of threads in a JVM running on a Linux system. While I would not claim to be any sort of expert on the subject, it was clear that some of the information I had thought was fairly well known, was not nearly as pervasive as I assumed.

Quick Haskell Hacking with Emacs

A couple days ago I was playing around with my Emacs configuration a bit and decided to see if I could find ways to make it a more direct part of my flow (whatever the hell that means). For a quick sample of sorts, I threw together this little hack that let’s me popup a quick Emacs window with a buffer that’s already running haskell-mode (I assume here that you already have it installed, if not, you can find info on the haskell-mode page).

DorkbotPDX 0x01

DorkbotPDX 0x01 will be taking place on March 30th at the PNCA Graduate Studios building (1432 NW Johnson St.). Doors will be opening up around 6 – show up early if you want to meet other dorks or find out what makes us tick. The lineup of speakers is: Cathy Swider - Using LEGO Mindstorm NXT robots with students to create art Ward Cunningham - What If Bacteria Designed Computers?

Programming Collective Intelligence Review

This is a review I wrote on Amazon for Programming Collective Intelligence by Toby Segaran. I decided I should post a copy of it here for safe keeping. I hope to write a more detailed review of it at some point, but we’ll see how far that idea gets. I first learned of this book just a few weeks ago, shortly before it was available. I immediately read the sample chapter on the publisher’s website and was certain I had to get a hold of a copy.

Practical Ruby for Systems Adminstration Review

This is a brief review I wrote of Practical Ruby for System Administration by André Ben Hamou. I was going to try and have it published elsewhere, but decided I should post it here. Ruby has been growing at a staggering rate of popularity over the last couple of years. In particular, its use as a web-programming language has probably not failed to get many peoples’ attention. However, given the precedence set by languages like Perl and Python for use in systems administration related work and the undisputed reality that Ruby has been influenced by these predecessors (in particular Perl), it should come as no surprise that its growth in the sysadmin world has been similarly on the upswing.

VMware Desktop via XDMCP (Stay Awake Now)

So, in the effort to get myself setup to work on my desktop machine, I’ve been thinking about a different approach to my workspace configuration. I’m not talking about the physical workspace, though I’ve had many thoughts about that, too. This is about my virtual workspace. Really, truly virtual. Some people know that I’ve been a long-time fan of VMware. I think I first started using around 1999 or 2000, when it was still a very early and somewhat rough bit of software.

It's the End of the World as You Know It...

Ok, so here’s the deal, my laptop (supplied by my employer) is kaput. The BIOS started report SMART errors about a month ago, but I didn’t worry about it too much. I never got any errors while using it, so I just backed everything up and figured eventually I’d get them to send me a new drive. But then it got worse: the LCD started going crazy. It would randomly fade to a sort of greenish, off-white color.

Collective Intelligence and (Programming) Language Learning

So, the other night at DorkbotPDX, there was a discussion about techniques for making images searchable. The idea was to come up with something beyond what Google Images gives you and have something more in depth – among other things, the idea of categorizing things like Pandora does, using collective organization based on a large body of contributors, was discussed. There were a lot of interesting ideas thrown around, but most of them seemed to rely on this approach of using large social structures to generate the relevant metadata.

PDX.rb resents FOSCON III: Really Radical Ruby

Once again the Portland Ruby Brigade will be hosting an evening of wide ranging talks about Ruby. This year the focus is on people doing strange things with Ruby. Strange, of course, is anything just a bit outside the usual. If you’ve created a new Ruby-based interface for hacking your brand new internet-enabled phone (rPhone anyone?) or composed your latest bit of metaprogramming magic, we’d love to hear about it.