December 2004 - Posts
For those of you that follow my blog you may have seen the posts a while back about my marriage proposal (here, here and here) to Catie. Since my proposal on November 12th we have set a date and decided to get married this summer on July 23, 2005.
Now come the fun times of organizing and planning such an event, including inviting guests. While we don't expect to have a huge wedding it will be a decent sized Polish-Catholic wedding and I would like to extend an offer to many of my friends, though there is a limit to how many I can invite. What I am thinking of doing is after a majority of the snail mail RSVPs are returned is extending an open invitation to the ceremony and reception via my blog.
So as of right now there will most likely be one table (10 seats) open to the blogosphere. The official blog invitation won't get posted for a while, but stay tuned...
SIDE NOTE: I am expecting to have connectivity at the reception so for those of you that wish to blog about the ceremony and/or reception.
Many people often ask me how I manage to accomplish all that I do in the amount of time that I do it and with everything else that is going on in my life. Up until now I have always responded with the answer, "I don't know. It just gets done".
While chatting with James this evening I think I realized how it actually gets completed. It really boils down to two things a sprinkle of energy and a spoonful of passion. I love what I do and if I did not I would not be doing it. I have always told my self that if I am not having fun with what I do then I need to change what I am doing. While I tend to have a lot of energy I try not to always spend this energy on one area for too long, if I realize that I am stuck on something I try to change up the pace a little and focus on something else, that way I am not not just wasting energy. There are times when I really don't feel like doing much, so I might relax for a few on the floor or maybe the couch, then eventually I get up, go into the kitchen, and take a spoonful of passion. This passion is what drives me day in and day out to be successful with what I do.
Finally, when I am not writing code, thinking about code, dreaming about code, or relaxing with a book about code, you can usually find me on the playing ice or roller hockey, biking, climbing, or hanging out with my fiancé.
BTW: Imported teas are really the true secret to my late night success.
Sitting down to read Slashdot I ran across this post, that talks about an article authored by Chris Spencer. Chris's article titled, Linux Opinion: An Open Letter to a Digital World, is an interesting read, extremely once sided and obviously he doesn't understand business.
Chris attempts to claims many things and tries to back himself up using facts and reports that based on useless comparisons. For instance this in this excerpt:
You see, the Windows platform is not just insecure - it's patently, blatantly, and unashamedly insecure by design and for all the lip service to security it's really not going to get better, ever. To make matters worse, it's more expensive and gives you fewer necessary applications right out of the box than Linux. Everyone, even Microsoft, knows this - they are just too afraid to say it. The tide is coming in. Nothing on this planet can stop it.
Chris claims that Windows is more expensive and gives you fewer necessary applications out of the box then Linux. First, for those of you that are not up on the Open Source gig, Linux is a kernel and thus this fact is incorrect. There are distributions out there that run the Linux kernel that may out of the box provide more applications then Windows, but which of these applications are necessary? I don't know. I can think of things for the specialized user, but not the overall user.
Since I have to get going and can't rant about the other obvious mistakes in this article, I will leave you with this last comment. The day that Linux begins to own a great percentage of the market you will see that it is just as vulnerable if not more vulnerable then Windows. Companies will start packaging spyware and malware with applications that Linux users need/want, companies will begin to charge for their products, support and updates, and we will see that we have just stepped back a few years in the technology spectrum.
I am not a Linux distro or Microsoft advocate, I want to see the right technology used in the right place and at the right time. At this time I think that generally Windows is the better choice then any specific Linux distribution.
an employee of Microsoft
that has worked for Microsoft Consulting Services
for the past 4 years has taken a new role as a Technical Evangelist that will focus on Avalon-related developer tools and components
. While we will dearly miss Mike here in West Michigan, he will be a great asset to the Avalon team and maybe we can even coax him into coming back to West Michigan later in the year to present at the West Michigan .NET Users Group
on what he has learned.
Tonight I was playing around the Google and trying to figure out how its queries work for my GoogleTool and it appears that Google can either see into the future or someone there needs to double check their math.
For those that have looked into the Google API you will notice that you can include a date range in your query specified, daterange:<startDate>-<endDate>. If you read the reference you will see that Google does its indexing using Julian dates, the interval of time in days (and fraction of a day) since Greenwich noon on Jan. 1, 4713 BC, thus your start and end date must be specified in this manner.
While I am not a historian, nor a math major, nor an astrologist I do believe that through my research I have successfully mastered the computation of a Julian date and I am confident my code is correct. I did want to be sure that my code was correct, so I searched the web using the MSN Search (since I can't trust Google right now) and found various Julian date calculators. I tested various dates and the computations from theses calculators as well as my own computations appeared to always match up, thus I have reaffirmed that my computations are correct.
So now to the delimma...
Today's date based on the Gregorian calendar is: December 14, 2004
Today's date based on the Julian calendar and my computations is: 2453353 (this was floored)
Here are some test queries run against Google and their estimate results:
- Microsoft daterange:2453353-2453353
- Results: 396,000
- Let's assume that Google's computers are running on GMT so that means they have had about 7 hours to index content for today. I am not going to underestimate Google's power, but that seems a little excessive even for something as powerful as google.
- Microsoft daterange:2453354-2453354
- Results: 496
- As we can see Google's result set dropped at an alarming rate, but shouldn't this have returned 0? I just searched for all of the pages that were indexed on December 15, 2004 as far as I know it has no where in the world has reached Dec. 15th yet.
- Microsoft daterange:2453366-2453366
- Result: 1
- It appears that Google has indexed one page on December 26, 2004 based on the Julian date index.
As you can see based on these few queries Google's date calculations appear to be off somewhere of the mathematics from the U.S. Navel Observatory are incorrect. What do you think? Is Google really incorrect? or is the rest of the world wrong?
I would really be interested to know the real answer since it will have a dramatic impact upon the accuracy of my GoogleTool.
Tonight I finally setup a moblog for my self on TextAmerica.com. You can view the site here http://emaino.textamerica.com and expect to see updates often. Unfortunately the pictures won't be posted remotely becuase my phone, an Audiovox 5600, doesn't have service on it at the moment, but that's coming very soon.
For now at least I have a SIM card in it so that I can play with it and write applications for it I am looking forward to experimenting with this phone over the next few weeks, expect to see updates soon.
Tonight I decided to start playing with the web services that Google has exposed. They seem to be pretty cool, I just wish you could get more then 10 results back at a given time. A number closer to 100 would have pleased me much more, but maybe this will come at a later time for *Premium* members.
What I started to build was an engine that will index queries for me and update them every 24 hours (or how ever often you call the update routine). Once I look at the page it gets cached in a list of past pages, while the pages I have not looked at but google knows about are kept in my active list. It appears what I just threw together in this last hour will do the trick and let me index the content I would like to stay on top of.
There are a few things I still need to do before I release this code (if anyone is interested).
- Finish the state management
- Enable query sharing (it's setup on an account basis with each account having a list of queries)
- Enable load balancing for searches
- Optimize to be sure the memory footprint doesn't get too big