Archive for the ‘blog’ category

Miro’s World 2.0


The continuation of the old WordPress blog with more agreeable tools: Github Wiki + Gollum, Markdown and Git.


Lost in the social networks


This is public answer to all who were asking why is my blog so badly neglected. Short answer is: It is because I am pretty active elsewhere and did not really find any additional time to allocate. If you are busy person, now you know, see ya later. If you are curious what elsewhere means, read on.

Last year and before, blogosphere and this blog was *only* part of the social networking space I was paying attention to. Since about 3-4 months I started to really pay attention to Facebook. I originally joined to find out what my son and couple of friends are up to and somehow I started to see value in this channel of communication. Recently, even my nephews and children of a very good friend that moved from Ottawa to Europe.  So Facebook became the “generation bridge” and channel for stuff out of workspace.

With iPhoto’09 excellent Web integration plugin it is so easy to share picture that I could not resists and uploaded couple of albums 🙂 – like this one.

About month ago, I fell for Twitter. I had account on Twitter for several months, but did not really get it. Actually I pretty much hated Twitter being to most discussed topic on Twit. It was actually one of our owns – Nael – that caused

me to reconsider, and I am glad I did.  Speaking of Nael – if you are interested in social networks from developer’s point of view, SEO and location based services, follow Nael on Twitter. He also runs very good blog.

Again, Twitter is excellent addition – it covers the niche that is too low level or too short lived to be Facebook Worthy. With clients like TweetDeck I can even update both Facebook and Twitter, if I decide to do so. Different people use it for different purposes, for me it is replacement for news and RSS, filtered by the people I have selected combined with (filtered) lifestream log of events and ideas.

For the stuff that is really work related, we have two additional social network and collaboration tools, that limited to the company employees. One is Yammer – a private version of Twitter with very nice UI. Second is Wiki – we use Atlassian’s excellent product Confluence. This is location for everything that is either client confidential, covered by NDA or has intellectual property value. As it happens, lots of information, e.g. related to ATG development goes through and ends up in these channels.

I have also reluctantly returned back to log on into MSN Messenger and Skype. I generally find them quite disruptive and leave them off unless I have a immediate need to communicate. Which I do. The project I am working on has contributors all over the place – Toronto, Halifax, Cape Breton, Ottawa – and MSN is the “bloodline” of the project communication.

So if you want to keep in touch, do not rely solely on blog. You can see me on Facebook (search for Miro Adamy). If somebody I never heard of sends me a friend request I often ignore it, but if you mention blog, I will not. Or you can follow me on Twitter – the nick is miroadamy. For that you do not even need permission :-).

The only way how to follow me on Yammer, you must join ThinkWrap Solutions :-). The good news is that we may be needing just somebody like you – there are couple of really interesting projects starting soon, and besides, we are always looking for great people. Send resume to careers at thinkwrap dot com and you will hear back from us.

Please note – no overseas or teleworking and no agencies – you must be legally able to work in Canada and live either in Ottawa or Toronto (Mississauga).

Weird kind of spam that passes through Akismet


Spam has always been a big problem for all blogs. Fortunately, provides wonderfull Akismet spam filter which is works amazingly well. I do have switched on moderation for all comments, to make sure no spam gets through, but without Akismet it would be impossible to manage it because of the spam volume. Since I started this blog (August 2006), it caught over 17’000 (yes, seventeen thousands) spam posts. In other words, about 30 spam comments a day or almost 60 spam comments per published post.

In past few days I have notices new type of spam comments that pass through Akismet. What is really confusing, is that there is no obvious message in the text – no usual wonderdrugs, ten dollar Rolex or enlargement of body parts offers. Some of the links even point to quite legitimate, non commercial sites. I did not spend any time on it to find out a pattern yet. Some kind of campaign ? Few sites were related to stop animal cruelty – a very noble and worthy goal to support, but certainly not with methods like this …

Anybody else having similar experience ?

Here is what it looks like (I am posting it as image to avoid promoting the spammer):

Finally over 16 :-)


I did not even notice that the visit counter left the 16 bit domain sometimes during last few days. Now it shows about 67 000 visits. Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised how many people found this blog worthy their time :-). Thanks to you all …

Next boundary is of course 128K, 256K, 512K hits and finally a “Megahit”. But that’s far far away.

Joel's gems


One of the most readable, original blogers out there, writing on software development practice and techniques – Joel Spolsky – published an excellent 3 part Talk at Yale: Part1, Part2 and Part3.

You will find out:

– what two computer science courses were most useful in his university studies
(one that was not really a comp-sci and one he decided to drop)
– why is it tough to be an in-house programmer
– why is the quality of many in-house systems so bad
– what is this “quality thing” anyway
– why is specification futile

Highly recommended.

Crossing bit boundaries


Today is a special day for this blog as two bit boundaries were crossed. This is post number 256, which means that I have used all 8 bit numbers for numbering and jumped into nine bit space. The byte is not enough any more – vive la 0x100.

Another boundary crossed today is number of hits as tracked by WordPress (which does not count my visits). In this case the number reached and crossed was 0x8000 or 32768 decimal, which brings us to upper half of the 16 bit address space. From today, full 16 bit counter must be used – and it must be even “unsigned short int” :-).

Not much blogging during weekend as I am still catching up with my de-cluttering project, enforced on me by the renovation – both in digital and physical world. The goal is to reduce number of physical computers in my office by three – to four from 7. It is unbelievable how much time it takes to clean up 4 year old Windows installation, remove all the junk and back-up what needs to be preserved. For every removed physical machine, at least one virtual is created, therefore the absolute number of used IP’s actually grows …

So far, I managed to get rid of old desktop (AMD Athlon 1800, 1 GB RAM, 2×120 GB HDD), even much older desktop running Win2000 used as Oracle DB server (P-III Celeron 400 MHz, 384 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD) and last one to clean up is another P-III – former Linux Samba Server (120 GB HDD, 512 MB RAM if I am not mistaken). I have tried out the VMWare convertor and created 10 GB virtual machines from both desktop and Oracle server using VMWare importer It is amazing how much faster the virtual machine runs on a Macbook Pro than it did on old hardware.

Oh btw, if you are in Ottawa and want two old P3 machines absolutely free for any charity or other worthy purpose, email me at firstname dot lastname at gmail. Machines are in good working condition – but without Windows. If it is for charity or school or something similar, I am willing even to help putting on a Linux distribution and deliver them to your place – if it is in reasonable distance between downtown and Kanata. The only quite fast machine – Athlon – is already gone, my son grabbed it to build some sort of digital TV recorder using Myth-TV. I do not watch TV, but I am quite curious how it will work.

BOTD: Raganwald by Reg Braithwaite


Many good posts about programming, coding, business, aesthetics, with nice touch of wisdom, If you are into programming languages, do not miss this one, this and this. If you are more into process and management, try this and this or this. There also deeper and lighter stuff 🙂
As Reg says about popular bloposts

One model for popular writing is that it panders to the reader’s prejudices. Plain and simple. People like writing that validates them and especially their ideas.

He certainly does validate mine, which is the reason why I made it blog of the day :-). Find for yourself.

BOTD: Figuring out computer science


It is all about deep questions and problems computer science. Including the question whether such thing as computer science actually exists. I thing it does, but have occasional moments of doubts – mostly when I read something related to real science :-).

What does Andreas Zwinkau (it is read as ts-win-cow, my anglophone friends ;-)) think about it, can be found

His comments are amazingly deep for such a young guy. I wish when I was getting my comp-sci degree (1981-1986) we have had the same wonderful things these young fellas have now: ubiquitous internet and really world wide web with Google that actually makes it useful, Linux and many other wonderful open source projects (Apache, Jakarta, Firefox, Eclipse – you name it). Can you imagine studying computer science in a world where the Web does not exist (yet) ?

BOTD: Michael's Thoughts


Good selection of news, observations and comments on stuff that is happening around. There seems to be pretty good match between what Michael considers blogworthy and my areas of interest – as I found there lot of interesting pieces.

It is mostly news – but not only news. It is worth browsing through archive, just to discover small jewels – like this one:

If you had a top 7 tips list for managing the flood of digital information, what would it be?

Here it is:

  1. Write a blog. Of anything that I’ve done in the last 5 years, becoming habitual about writing a blog post almost daily has tremendously helped my information management. I no longer have a huge stack of “interesting” web links that I should / could / must look into sometime. It’s all on my blog. If I want it in the future, I just Google my blog to find out what I know.
  2. Don’t live in an email client. New messages are just “one form of input” (as David Allen likes to remind the world). Buy or build something for yourself that enables you to live from a list of projects and tasks.
  3. Look for the commonalities. Much of the guff that is written down is just a data point within a wider framework. Look for the commonalities within your area of focus, so that you can reason from general principles to particular situations. And if you already know something that you’re reading, stop.
  4. Read more deep stuff. The majority of press releases, blog posts and news items are “here today, gone tomorrow”. There’s a sense that “keeping up” is good for you, but not always. Commit some of your reading and learning time to more classical texts and books that have stood the test of time.
  5. Get to know the key people who flood you with digital information. Knowing where they’re coming from and from what mental models they view the world is tremendously helpful for understanding a specific item of digital information from them. If possible, do this in person or face-to-face.
  6. Build a personal knowledge management system. Build, use or maintain something that you can use to store articles, your analysis and critique thereof, and cross-references to other interesting and related items. Merely using Windows Explorer along with file name and date stamp is ABI (a bad idea).

See the for #7.

BOTD: The Reader


Today’s Blog of the Day is “The Reader”.

Everything about ebooks and readers – all the stuff I like. See at

Here I discovered that Sony is assumably preparing new version of reader – PRS 505. From the changes that should be included, none is IMHO really so important. The memory capacity of the reader with SD cards (which are reaching 8GB these days) is much bigger than you ever will need. If I should pick some enhancements hat would make a huge difference, it would be:

1) price. Make it accessible, meaning ~ 150 USD (which is about 145 CAD 🙂 – just kidding)

2) content – price and availability of books. The fair price for eBook should not be more than 30-40% of the paperback. Without DRM, of course. Who would want any DRM from the company with 2 rootkit fiasco’s in last 2 years (first and second) ?

3) Software – Sony please stop trying to create these terrible slow knock-off of iTunes, and outsource it to somebody that will write decent client, preferably in Java, so that it runs everywhere. Considering Sony’s software history, making it opensource would help to restore the trust …

Speaking of software, it should provide an easy way how to download and format RSS feed and web pages for offline reading, ideally again something in the way how iTunes handles podcasts.

I do not think that adding WiFi (what many people call for) will work on the eInk device – speed and lack of interactivity would allow to read only very static Web pages, and user input handling would be a big challenge.