Dropsafe Look-and-Feel

Yes, yes, I know the colours are a fright, but I am working on the blog in my spare time, seeking to improve rendering speed and readability, and I am using the new colours to try and spot issues, and to help me unify my CSS and make the whole blog’s look more switchable/tweakable.

On a side note: if you go to http://www.colorwhore.com/index.asp?Color=Red you’ll encounter a colour which claims to be hexadecimal #FUKJOO, so to speak.

Amusing. Sort-of.

Gallery of Airline Food.

I am surprised this guy didn’t get booked for being a potential terrorist: [www.flickr.com]

Microsoft Readies ‘A1’ Security Subscription Service ??!?

If this article is correct:


Microsoft’s anti-virus/anti-spyware strategy is taking shape. Sources say Redmond’s prepping a fee-based bundle, which could go beta soon.

…am I the only person who thinks that this would be potential corporate marketing suicide, in the vein of some hypothetical product marketers who might be saying:

Nah mate, nuts to the European Union! If you take Internet Explorer out of Windows you’ll dis-incentivise people from paying for security patches and anti-spyware! And put a stop to all this proactive security bugfixing, right now – that’s taking food out of my baby’s mouth, that is!

It’d be lunatic, reminiscent of the Dilbert cartoon where the Engineers get told that they’ll get paid extra for finding and fixing bugs, and Wally says something like I’m gonna write me a new Corvette

Java: A language to teach novice programmers?

I just got asked by a colleague on AIM:

Gilles: Question for you. What language would you suggest for somebody who wants to “learn to program”… something easy, yet with good concepts…

…and the attached is my response and justification. I’d be interested in what other people have used to teach modern newbies the essentials of coding; we’ve come a long way from the BASIC, Fortran77 and M68K assy with which I started.

Alec: Java

Gilles: Nah. Way too complex… objects… methods… classes… not for a 15 year old non-geek.

Alec: noooooooooooooooo, i disagree

Alec: they should avoid applet programming for the first couple of months
Alec: avoid the GUI and do commandline java
Alec: Java is reasonably clear

Gilles: Well… that’s an idea…

Alec: and if you are teaching the ideas of subroutines and objects, you can ignore foundation classes

Gilles: True.

Alec: get them thinking in an OOPS manner early, just doing basic maths

Gilles: How about an interpreted language?
Gilles: Python?

Alec: I feel the only other contender is Lisp
Alec: BASIC is evil and too diverse
Alec: Perl is complex and depends on a body of Unix knowledge
Alec: Python – another VHLL – is not far from that, and has weird ideas about records and formatting
Alec: Ruby gets rave reviews, but is similarly a VHLL
Alec: Lisp is simple, very simple, and has good constructs, but can be daunting
Alec: Fortran is dead
Alec: C would be good, but crashes too easily
Alec: C++ is evil
Alec: Forth good is think you backwards can if
Alec: Java is good, so long as you avoid the bullshit
Alec: need i go on?

the best bit about my bike…

it’s not that i’m an overgrown schoolboy or something, but sometimes i wonder whether the nicest thing about my bike isn’t how that at low-revs it sounds like a WW1 fighter plane, but at high-revs it sounds like a fighter jet…