Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1,000 excuses

A good friend of mind said there were thousands of excuses to avoid exercising, but great reward in finding the reason to go ahead and exercise anyway.

Wise words that -- when followed -- always seem to make my day better.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's here!

I've started in on "The Definitive Guide to Grails, 2nd Edition," by Graeme Rocher and Jeff Brown, after having just received it via post today. The Groovy/Grails combo never ceases to amaze me. The first couple chapters (as far as I've read, yet) are a simple introduction to the Grails platform, which cover starting up a rudimentary CRUD web application, complete with dynamic scaffolding for a couple related domain classes.

I'm anxiously looking forward to digging into more detail as I'm familiar with the material so far. Slow and steady wins the race, however, and I don't want to risk missing any updated juicy tidbits by skipping ahead.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Estimation error

"There's no point in being exact about something if you don't even know what you're talking about."
-- John von Neumann, as quoted in "Software Estimation" by Steve McConnell


Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

At work, I just received "Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art," by Steve McConnell. I found his book "Code Complete" to be enlightening and practical, so I'm looking forward to reading what McConnell has to say about the art and science of software estimating. I'll be comparing the text to another favorite of mine; "Agile Estimating and Planning," by Mike Cohn.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Definitive Guide to Grails, Second Edition

I'm anxiously awaiting The Definitive Guide to Grails, Second Edition to arrive by mail. I've been playing around with this framework and never cease to be amazed. I understand that other "RAD" web frameworks like Django and Rails probably offer similar features, but Grails' foundation of Groovy is especially attractive to me.

I'll try my best to be patient until TDGG2E shows up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hardest. Puzzle. Ever.

A hundred prisoners are each locked in a room with three pirates, one of whom will walk the plank in the morning. Each prisoner has 10 bottles of wine, one of which has been poisoned; and each pirate has 12 coins, one of which is counterfeit and weighs either more or less than a genuine coin. In the room is a single switch, which the prisoner may either leave as it is, or flip. Before being led into the rooms, the prisoners are all made to wear either a red hat or a blue hat; they can see all the other prisoners' hats, but not their own. Meanwhile, a six-digit prime number of monkeys multiply until their digits reverse, then all have to get across a river using a canoe that can hold at most two monkeys at a time. But half the monkeys always lie and the other half always tell the truth. Given that the Nth prisoner knows that one of the monkeys doesn't know that a pirate doesn't know the product of two numbers between 1 and 100 without knowing that the N+1th prisoner has flipped the switch in his room or not after having determined which bottle of wine was poisoned and what colour his hat is, what is the solution to this puzzle?


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting What You Want

"The indispensable first step to getting what you want is this: Decide what you want."
-- Ben Stein

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This is soaring?

Yahoo!® Finance reports today that "Stocks Soar on Bank Rally." Not to rain on anyone's parade, but a 380-point bounce in the Dow after losing more than 50% of its market value since last October (a high of 14,093 to 6,547 yesterday) is not what I'd call "soaring," given the context.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Theory vs. Practice

"The difference between theory and practice is smaller in theory than in practice."
-- Unattributed