Two things I hate on music

There are two things I hate on some musics:

1) It takes about three seconds to play anything. When a music starts, it should point why its going to play; if it takes three seconds of pure silence, the song seems to never begin. Why it can’t just start and show what is going to say?

2) Minutes of claps and cheers and screams at the end of a live song. Man, that is boring. You take a song, say, “Depeche Mode – Never Let me Down Again”, played live in Paris (“One Night In Paris” album) and you have three minutes of claps and cheers after the song is over. Ok, I could just skip the rest of it, but what if there is something good at the end (like the hidden scenes some movies have after the credits)? Also, I like to let the song play completely, so my music player marks another play for it.

The good point of it is that very few songs on my playlist have those problems.

Operating system speed bumps for RAD

Why do we have RAD tools, simple languages, powerful frameworks, hundreds of libraries if, when you quickly fix a simple mistake and try to run your application again, you get

socket.error: (98, 'Address already in use')

Sad, huh?

[Yes, I wrote a Python script that works as a server and, every time I fixed a small bug, I had to wait for about one minute till the socket could be opened again.]

Edit 1: Oh, by the way: I’m using the SimpleHTTPServer module, so I have no control over the socket. :/

Getting organized

A few days ago I noticed the need for an electronic agenda. You know, to keep the calendaring stuff, notes, telephone numbers, that kind of stuff.

I’m not new to the pocket electronic stuff. I was a sad owner of a iPaq. Sad because it run Windows Pocket, which was stupid as a brick and, after updating to a Windows CE, I got some needed features — and several locks. I updated it to Linux (using Familiar, but it wasn’t an improve. Ok, it was way better to use, but the applications where in their early stages, so you couldn’t expect too much from them. And, right now, the iPaq battery isn’t working anymore and the touch screen behaves very strange under some unknown circunstances.

Right now, I’m looking for a Palm LifeDrive. Palm has a great reputation of good PIMs. Also, the 4Gb this baby have makes it a good place to put some MP3 and mobile storage. Also, I’m seeing some good reviews of it around the internet, and the Ubuntu-users are pointing that, on PIM applications, Palm is the best.

I’ve also looked at Nokie 770, the internet palmtop from Nokia that runs Linux. It is quite cute, but it comes with just 1Gb and have a poor PIM collection.

I have till Monday to get some idea and call my parents (who will be traveling around USA next week) and ask if they could check it for me.

From simple to bloated and back to simple

[Ok, I may be a little bit off in computer history, so take this lightly]

First, we had Unix. Unix had a simple idea: several applications which did one simple thing but did it right. And people managed to do whatever they wanted, like accounting and text editing and general information storing. But, with time, companies put more and more around Unix (*cough*xenix*cough*) till people had more than they could think. The system became bloated and people looked for something simpler.

Then, we had DOS. It took a long time till it was usable, but it managed to get there. You could run just one program at time, but you usually didn’t had too much to do. You did your accouting, then later you edited your text and, after that, you stored your information. Then, the company behind it start to add a lot of useless stuff that usually brought the system down. The system became bloated and people looked for something simpler.

Then, we had Windows. At first, it looked like you could do the accounting and editing and storing all the same time, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t a real problem, as you couldn’t type your accounting and your letter at the same time. Then, the system grew to became a proper operating system. Unfortunally, as it shown, the company behind it added so many features that now not even they can manage their own system.

In the middle of this time, we had OS/2. It started as a simple replacement for DOS. Later, it got a graphical interface and, even later, it could even handle Windows application. Then, in the latest version, it had so much stuff around it was kinda confusing (although not bloated yet). Then, it died.

After the death of OS/2, we saw the rise of Linux. It started as a simple terminal emulator, then grew to a simple operating system, then to a nice operating system, then to a cluster operating system, then to a “enterprisey” operating system. And some people are thinking that Linux is getting a little bloat (yes, I’m talking about Negroponte and the $100 laptop).

Before Linux reached the “enterprisey” operating system, we saw the rise of web applications. Well, not quite: just some simple applications, like the accounting application and general storing application, but nothing like an editor with WYSIWYG look. A long time after than, we got Ajax and the WYSIWYG editor and several other applications.

So, why I just typed all that? Did you noted that, when something get too many features, it is thrown away (ok, the Unix part isn’t real truth, but the features Microsoft added to it made it hard to distribute)? If I got something right about it, we are reaching a point where Microsoft will collapse upon its own weight and people will look for something simpler; Linux is getting heavy (and it isn’t just Negroponte saying that, you can find a lot of people pointing the same) and almost reaching the bloat stage and collapse upon itself; web applications are growing faster these days and, with the help of Ajax, they could reach the bloat stage someday.

There is such vicious circle? Under-featured, easy to use, stable, bloat, death? Rinse, repeat?

My question comes from a fact I noted on Linux: every release gets more and more features and support for stuff, but you never see “we removed support for things really old” (or I’m mistaken?). Not that more support is a bad thing, but sometimes we need to take the old stuff out to move forward. But technological things doesn’t seem to “take the old stuff out”, which could lead to more interesting approaches. Like Apple and the virtualization to old applications, instead of supporting them natively.

Ads, sign of the times

There was a time when ads showed happy families and such. But now, we see ads with divorced parents and kids walking between visits. Sign of times, when “happy” doesn’t mean “together, because a good choice”?

Microsoft : we’ll do anything so you can’t get deprecated software (a tale about Script Debugger)

I’m starting to believe that Microsoft doesn’t like me. For real.

All we hear from them is “Our API is what make us great” (some MS manager, forgot his name and real quote) and Ballmer claiming “Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!”, but what I see is a very rough and stupid approach to developers.

I’ll skip all the stuff from MFC (Microsoft Foundation CRAP) and go to a little story about trying to fix some JS that worked flawlessly on Firefox but chocked when run under Internet Explorer. It all starts with the “oops, you got an error somewhere around the first line and the last line” error IE throws when it finds an error on a page. Nice, huh? But wait, Microsoft has a script debugger that should help developers finding what is wrong. Let’s try to use it right?

Google for it, find the right page on Microsoft, where I see I must use the Genuine Windows checker (or something like that) before installing the debugger. Here we go: download the checker, run it and… it fails, saying it can’t find the browser folder. Run around and around till I tried to check the site with IE. And guess what: it works. It seems Microsoft tried to support another browser and failed miserably. We couldn’t expect anything different, right?

But that’s not the end: after it checked my Windows, the site allowed me to download the script debugger: 653K. All that mess for 653kb. Even worst: this tool is now deprecated. So I’ve run into a lot of troubles to get a small tool that doesn’t have any support anymore. Yeah, let’s protect it.

Enough? No. With the Script Debugger installed, I found what was wrong in the JS: it has a line such as

obj = document.getElementById ("element_id");

Funny thing, there was a line almost exactly like this one just a few lines above and it haven’t a problem. The error? “The object doesn’t have such method” (or anything along this line). Without any ideas, I did the thing I thought it was the most useless: added a var just before the variable name. And guess what: problem solved. Yeah, just that: a var. Oh, and the line before that, which looked almost the same? No problems at all.

Too much stupidity for a single company. TOO MUCH!

[pt_BR] Já foi tarde

Já foi um porre agüentar a Globo ontem: as únicas notícias do mundo eram as partidas da copa e a morte do Bussunda. Alias, pela forma apresentada pela Globo, parece que toda a população brasileira está de luto mas, para aqueles que prestaram a atenção, foram poucos os brasileiros que estáo na Alemanha que foram entrevistados sobre a morte do “humorista”: alguém viu o que Ronaldinho Gaúcho ou o Felipão disseram (ou mesmo se eles foram entrevistados)? Por que será, não é?

A gota d’água é ver o Baguete (que se descreve como “jornalismo empresarial digital”) e o Projeto Software Livre Brasil noticiarem a morte de tal pessoa. Até parece que o cara fez grande coisa. Ok, lá pelos idos da TV Pirata até que surgia alguma coisa engraçada, mas faziam mais de dois anos que eu não via o programa porque o n&iaicute;vel das piadas era estupidamente baixo e sem graça.

Mas vamos olhar pelo lado positivo, certo? A morte do Bussunda provavelmente vai significar o fim do Casseta e Planeta. Pelo menos ele serviu pra alguma coisa que preste.