The new 15″ PowerBook G4 – yeah, I said NEW

I was going to Apple’s site to look up some Darwin info, and bam, there it was on the front page. The new PowerBook G4 15″ – basically the 17″ in the more handy 15″ form factor. Boy, does this thing look sweet.
I have had a 17″ PowerBook for several months now, and I love it. I had a Titanium PowerBook (still have) before that. The new aluminum casing and everything about the 17 is amazing, but it is a bit big. I have trouble fitting it in front of me when flying (not everyone goes first class like Yao Ming and Mini Me). With the new 15″ PowerBook, it’s going to be harder than ever to resist switching. No PC laptop even approaches these things yet. The 15″ form factor with the rigging of the latest-generation PBs is tough to beat.

Decoupling Patterns with Dave Thomas

I attended my first meeting at the Atlanta Java Users Group tonight, and the main speaker was Dave Thomas. It was a great session. Dave is originally from England, and he is both funny and informative. As one who is in the process of transitioning to Java from Microsoft-based development, it was good to hear from someone who is highly-experienced and frank. Some of the material you read and almost all Java-related sites can paint an all-too-rosy picture sometimes. This was more of a “living with Java and making that life better” instead of “how Java is going to make every bit of your life better”, if you know what I mean.
It surprised me to see how many of Dave’s suggestions and the pitfalls he illustrated are cases where developers abandon some of the fundamental tenets of OOP, like “don’t break encapsulation”. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that it surprised me and relieved me at the same time. Sometimes the body of knowledge and the paradigm shifts of moving to Java and real OOP can be daunting, and you wonder “geez, am I ever gonna get to a point of productivity in this stuff?”
If you ever have an opportunity to hear Dave speak, I highly recommend it. Dave is the author of two books, The Pragmatic Programmer and Programming Ruby. He is actually speaking again in Atlanta tomorrow night 09/17/2003 at a combined group meeting of the Atlanta XP and SPIN groups, see the XP site for more info. The title is “Herding Racehorses and Racing Sheep”; if I didn’t have a prior commitment I would make that one for sure. His teaser of the topic sounded very worthwhile.

Testing, testing…is this thing on?

The first entry. Huh. Well, if I had known how easy it was to set up MovableType, I would have set this up back when I was originally inspired to buy Essential Blogging from O’Reilly. It actually had the receipt inside the book, so there was no way to deny that I originally meant to start my blog in November of last year. At the time I had three or so topics that I really wanted to write up in posts, two of which I cannot even recall. I do remember wanting to write about the .Net vs. J2EE benchmark from The Middleware Company (TMC) that ruffled folks so much, but that’s so old now that it would be pointless.
Well, perhaps not pointless. There was that invitation for a rematch, and I had been wondering if TMC had not allowed the skewed study and subsequently broadcast their endorsement of .Net in an effort to draw out some of the Java heavyweights for that second invitation to be a real face-off. I also wondered whether or not the tactic (if that was indeed their intent) had enough behind it to succeed. Well, I haven’t seen any more fuss over it in the past year, so it must have fizzled out. If it did, perhaps that is another more timely topic for discussion; why didn’t anyone really care about the TMC study resuts past November of last year?
At 1:45 AM, I don’t really have the drive to hit Google for any news or commentary on it. I did see this one newsletter from a guy in Austin that seemed thorough, if not a bit of a straw man argument on behalf of Microsoft against J2EE. I’m just glad this thing is running.