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Category: IT

How to set your Mac OS serial number to use iCloud

If after a visit to an Apple Support Service they return your computer without the serial number set in your motherboard, this walk-through may be useful.

It is not for complete new users, but does not require shell access, so it may be useful if you are out of Apple Care or do not want to move your computer again.

If you want to comment, please use the comments in this post, not on the walk-through page.

No software engineering as SaaS for me! (thanks!)

After reading the course outline I have decided not to take the Software Engineering for Software as a Service. I find the topics uninspiring, not related to SaaS, software engineering or an university level course.

I cannot understand how a software engineering course may be specific to SaaS, but if you put SaaS in the name, please try to add some SaaS related themes to the course.

But the most surprising part of the outline is that the course is basically a learn ruby for web programming. The only part remotely related to software engineering are weeks four and five, but even in that chapters the material seems to have been chosen for trendiness rather than for teaching.

So if you want to understand what is software engineering, read any edition of Pressman instead of taking this course.

Gartner is spamming me!

I know I am a Gartner user, and I know I have probably accepted to receive emails of things supposed to interest me (Or things that Gartner thinks I’m interested), but…

you sent me six mails in September, six in October and by November 6th I haver already received three. I did not want to check the all opt out box because I’m interested to be informed about you, but I do not accept to be spammed monthly, so I just checked the damn box.

You used to be nicer, but lately Forrester is much nicer: it only sends two emails per month.

What I remember about .asp development (answering philg)

Philip, I don’t know about what you remember about .asp programming, but I will tell you what I recall some years back:

  • IIS memory leaks when coding ASP pages because it was a threaded server.
  • Huge MS SQL server code in the database because developers came from C/S backgrounds.
  • Low level dll development interfacing with .asp pages through COM because .asp was not fast enough.
  • Registering manually the COM/VB code each time we had to deploy a new release.
  • Sacking MS consutants trying to sell you DNA.

I have no idea about Ruby on Rails, but you can botch a MS stack pretty easily.

Also, why do you want to make the Ruby on Rails comunity angry? I have no doubt they’re rabid fanboys, but I know who you are, so don’t be child and stop nagging the children.

Zsync, a evolution of rsync

Colin Phipps has updated rsync to create zsync, an rsync based replication system where the rsync algorithm runs on the client side. 

Executing the rsync algorithm on the client side has two main advantages: first of all, you can zsync over any protocol (zsync is able to syncronize over HTTP). Additionally, it avoids the high server load associated with running the algorithm on the server.

Ah! And it is able to handle compressed files.

When CL-Interpol is too big for your needs…

…you can use this port of Perl’s qq to lisp:

(defun |#q-reader| (stream sub-char numarg)
  (declare (ignore sub-char numarg))
  (let ((terminator (read-char stream)))
    (loop for ch = (read-char stream)
          until (eql ch terminator)
          collect ch into chars
          finally (return (coerce chars 'string)))))
    #\# #\q #'|#q-reader|)

More information in Space Station Lambda.

You can find CL-INTERPOL in Edi Weitz’s website.

Outsourcing in the gaming world

Good post mortem in Gamasutra of American McGee’s Grimm.  Interesting commentaries for the apps. outsourcing crowd:

 To avoid loss of face, a Chinese employee will not say that he only understood half of what his expat colleague tells him. This leads to misunderstandings, and ultimately to a lot of time lost.

We encountered a lot of these problems working with the outsourcing team that made all our 3D models. The same mistakes would be made over and over again because the modeling team didn’t understand the comments we made on their work, package names would have spelling errors in them, etc.

Towards the end of the project, these problems gradually became smaller, as Chinese artists started to understand English better and expatriates became more proficient in the Chinese language. More bilingual support, both at Spicy Horse and at the outsourcing studio, would have helped a lot in the beginning, though.

Globally, the experience is positive.

Answering to Gartner about open source

I’ve been trying to reply to this Garner post: Dynamic Programming Languages Will Be Critical to the Success of Many Next-Generation AD Efforts but Gartner’s blog system is not publishing my text, so here is it:

After reading the article I don’t know if calling them ‘dynamic
programming languages’ is a good idea. These languages are
useful not because they’re dynamic, but because they make the “idea to
deployment” cycle shorter than previous technologies. This is the main

Anyway, the terminology in the computer science world is so complex I
will use the ‘dynamic programming languages’ terminology.

In the Key Findings I’ll like to add not only:

Dynamic programming languages require new best practices, not only
for AD, but also for production capacity planning.

…and application deployment and business processes will require
new practices. With scripting languages (specially if the architecture
is loosely coupled) modifying an application is quicker and
safer than with non-scripting languages. As soon as business people
discover they can move from idea to deployed application in two weeks
the relationship between business and apps. development will change

But I question why should I integrate dynamic programming languages
with existing software investments? As you explain in the article,
“broad commercial support for dynamic languages remains limited” and
in my experience the community support for languages like Python, Ruby
or Perl is better than initiatives like IronRuby or Groovy. Maybe
integration with existing investments is important, but a better path
would be to integrate through web protocols (REST, SOAP, SOA…) than
to do it thought proprietary/more cumbersome VM interfaces.

Also I would like to comment your report in my blog, does Gartner have
a set of policies for bloggers who want to discuss ‘Gartner only’

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