Monthly Archives: July 2003

XPlanner 0.4 Release

I really liked the old version of XPlanner for handing of Extreme Programming (XP) stories, durations, tasks, etc. But the new 0.4 release
(XPlanner Home) looks like it is leaps and bounds beyond the old software.
I’m looking forward to trying it out and I especially like the fact that it features a SOAP interface to make marrying it to other software (like bug trackers, forums, etc.) not just practical but potentially quite easy.

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Putting Together A MythTV Box

These are the first step-by-step instructions I’ve seen for putting together a MythTV box: PVR Hardware Database
Hopefully soon I’ll find the time to pop this old WinTV Go board into a box and try this out so I can see what the state of the “open source Tivo” is. Tivo is definitely advancing very slowly especially as compared to this software (which had the ability to view photos and listen to music long before Tivo added them as features you have to pay to get).
Personally, I’m very much against the proliferation of Linux distributions out there, but MythTV seems like a perfect instance where a specialized distro is appropriate. Most installations of this are going to be dedicated boxes used only for watching TV, playing games, listening to music, etc. Why not just have a disc you can stick in to build a MythTV box automatically when it detects a complete set of hardware?

Do You Get A Bereavment Day For A Hard Drive?

Last night my machine died and would not boot back up. It performed its usual booting rituals and the part where it did the drive roll call was pretty scary.
“Hard Drive 1! <crickets chirp…..> CD RW Drive! <Present!> Hard Drive 2! <Present!>”
Given that the hard drive has almost everything on it and a goodly portion is not backed up, I’m very glad that I’ve been able to move it to another machine and get it to behave enough that I think I’ll be able to get the data backed up.
So take a minute or two and go backup something important to you to a CD or another hard drive. You’ll be glad you did if something happens.

Using The Jakarta Commons

Some software we are building now to connect some legacy software to a new web service depends upon the Digester software from the Jakarta Commons. It does the job and gives us no problems. That’s what I like in software.
So I think these articles that introduce you with brief examples to each of the major projects in the commons are really a worthwhile read: ONJava.com: Using the Jakarta Commons, Part 1 [Jun. 25, 2003] and ONJava.com: Using the Jakarta Commons, Part 2 [Jul. 09, 2003].

Battlestar Galactica

The Sci-Fi Channel has decided to resurrect the old series Battlestar Galactica and the star of the series has stirred up something of a controversy by suggesting that fans of the original series not watch the new one: Mercury News | 07/10/2003 | ‘Battlestar Galactica’ may be in for a fight on home planet
Frankly, for me, that’s makes me actually want to see it because I remember the original series all too well. It sucked.
Despite spending millions on the first season (much of it pumped into sets and special effects for their two hour premiere movie) the show was cancelled before it completed its first season because its ratings weren’t justifying its expense. The fact that the writing was crappy, the acting so-so, the same special effects shots were often recycled for use in half a dozen episodes, and half the characters seemed to have been stamped out of merchandizing molds would have been better reasons to put it out of its misery.
So here’s to remaking something that actually deserves to be remade! We don’t need another Psycho, King Kong, or Double Indemnity, the original was quite good enough. Let’s just remake the crappy stuff that had some promise.

The Saint John’s Bible

Whether you are Christian or not it is nearly impossible to not appreciate the absolute beauty of The Saint John’s Bible. An illustrated, caligraphic version of book that is simply astonishing to behold. Be sure to click the See & Hear link to check out the images of the pages.
I had first read about the project in the pages of Smithsonian magazine last year and I recently checked back to see how the work was progressing. It is, as always, a thing of beauty.