24 Jul 2005 07:58 pm
Impro theatre ACT
I’m looking forward to getting back to Impro theatre classes this week. I finished the stage 1 course a couple of weeks back and then jumped straight in, performing in Impro Theatre ACT’s first public performance (1.3 MB PDF) in front of about 200 people. It’s was a pretty big step out of character for me, but a lot of fun, and apparently I didn’t crash and burn too badly.
I’ll be interested to find out what the stage two course covers. I’m assuming that there is more to it than just more practice, but I’m not really sure how it will all fit together. Anyway, I’ll be back into it this Tuesday, and I’ve roped three people in for the new stage one course also starting this week. No doubt they’ll be upstaging me soon.
And speaking of Impro, I saw the scared scriptless guys up in Sydney last weekend. There were some really great games, and it makes it pretty clear how much I have to learn/practice. They also ran, for the first time apprently, a 45 minute (longform?) performance at the end which was really impressive.
Anyway, I’ll attempt to post a note here in advance of our next performance whenever that may be, and anyone who is interested in the classes can let me know and I’ll pass on the details. Unfortunately the group doesn’t have a website as yet, but with the (surprisingly large) number of IT people involved, there probably will be one sooner or later.
SE reading group
19 Jul 2005 11:14 am
‘Software Engineering’ – Chapter 1 – Introduction
Based on the 6th edition of ‘Software Engineering’ by Ian Sommerville, published by Addison Wesley. (amazon.com, amazon.co.uk)
This chapter is basically a high level introduction of the rest of this software engineering text, and so I’m not entirely sure it deserves quite the same treatment as the rest. To get myself into the swing of things, however, I’ll just forge ahead regardless and see how things go.
There are a number of interesting points in the introduction to the introduction. Any discussion of software engineering always seems to start out with a mention of the term ‘software crisis‘ which described the collapse of informal software development processes when faced with the demands brought on by the ever increasing power of computer hardware. This idea always seems to be trotted out to explain why we need software engineering, but I’ve never really experienced it. Perhaps it’s just that by the time I was developing any systems of significant size, enough software engineering techniques had become common place that the study of software engineering ceased to be a solution to a crisis so much as a way to improve the acceptable processes already in place. Sommerville ends the introduction on this, more positive note, noting software engineering’s achievements (space travel, the internet, telecommunications systems) and the possibilities for the future.
18 Jul 2005 08:25 pm
Software engineering reading group
Back when I was studying software engineering at the Australian National University, we were assigned a number of text books, but never required (in any serious way at least) to read them. While I don’t really consider all of them worth worrying with, there are a few that are worth reading through.
In the IB Notes spirit of motivating myself to do things by imagining I’ll be helping others as well, I’m going to have a go at writing up reading group style notes about each chapter of each book as I work through. Hopefully that will mean some quick notes about the key points in the chapter, and a bit of discussion of my experience in light of those points.
First on the list is the 6th edition of ‘Software Engineering’ by Ian Sommerville.
18 Jul 2005 07:52 pm
The dishwasher paradox
I have a dishwasher which I use pretty much all the time, although I do have a few annoying bits and pieces which don’t fit in there. Even though I use it all the time, I very often find I have no clean bowls in the cupboard, and a sink full of dirty dishes. What’s up with that?
There’s no doubt that hand washing dishes is more time consuming than sticking them in the dish washer, turning it on, and then unpacking it when it’s done, but I think the hand washing process works better for getting things off the sink and into the cupboard simply because it’s one single process, with no blocks along the way.
14 Jul 2005 03:56 am
The death of the file system
If you’re writing some text which you don’t really want to keep long term, but might want to save a few times along the way, where do you write it? Think, for example, text you are going to paste into some sort of web form in the end, but don’t want to have to write over if something dies along the way.
For quite some time, I’ve found myself mostly writing this sort of stuff in my email client (Apple Mail for what it’s worth). It’s got spell-checking etc, but then so do the 1001 other places I could write, but I’m just now realising the real reason.
14 Jul 2005 03:42 am
Intention, technology and the law
Following on from my ‘Rich internet applications and accessibility‘ post, I noticed a story about some guy in Queensland being found to have breached copyright by linking to pirated mp3 files hosted on another site. Sounds like a bad decision to me, but perhaps that’s just because I dislike concepts like intention which I can’t easily quantify.
Canberra weather for dashboard (Mac OS X Tiger)
Tiger’s weather dashboard widget is a little tricky to get working if you’re not in the USA, and doubly so if you happen to want to know about Canberra. It seems that AccuWeather has listed a bunch of ‘regions’ in the ACT and doesn’t have a single ‘Canberra’ city.
If you follow that link, and then pick the region you’re interested in, the URL you’re sent to should end in something like ‘OCN;AU;ACT;BELCONNEN;’, and things should start happening if you paste that into the field on the back of the weather widget.
Of course, it bugs me that I can’t have the title of the widget say ‘Canberra’, but I imagine I’ll forget about it shortly.
Thanks to Jimmy who worked this out for Melbourne and got me on the right track.
Rich internet applications and accessibility
Ajax: I’m not a fan of the term, but I guess in the end, it doesn’t matter so long as people know what I’m talking about.