WHY wasn't this out for Christmas this year?

Lego, those folks who brought you Mindstorms in the first place, have done it again--they've announced a next-generation programmable brick, the NXT, that offers some really cool enhancements, including Bluetooth capability. Suddenly, the old Robotwar clones from ages ago take on an entirely new meaning.... More interestingly, supposedly they've announced that the VM itself will be documented, which leads me to wonder how long before we see J-NXT and NXT#. It's amazing how the managed environment is just spreading like wildfire through the world, if'n you ask me....

Struggles with Vista 5270 and VMWare 5.5

So the December CTP of $g{Vista} is available, and I'm finding a recurring problem trying to install it into VMWare. When I tried this with the Beta1 of Vista into VMWare 5.0, the same problem occurs as what I'm getting now: when trying to boot off of the .ISO inside of VMWare (in other words, not physically off a burned CD/DVD, but out of the .ISO image itself mapped into the virtual CD in VMWare), I get a BSOD every...

Off-topic: Acquaintance seeking a J2EE expert with familiarity in other languages/environments

I’ve been contacted by a third party (not a recruiting agency) who’s having a hard time finding a J2EE architect with familiarity/expertise with concepts of architecture and the low-level chops not to lose sight of the code. To put it in their words: This is strongly influenced by component-based methodologies such as OpenDoc, but would be extending the RCP Platform developed by Eclipse, and encompassing other concepts from systems such as Squeak… We are having trouble finding someone senior enough to understand the conceptual architectural issues, but technical enough to know important lower-level details such as how design choices will effect performance and scalability.I’d take the job myself, but they have a very specific dealbreaker requirement: you must live in the Northern California area.

IronPython 1.0 beta 1

Jim Hugunin strikes again: IronPython 1.0 beta 1 is out. I think Jim should get an award for "first language designer to operate on both the JVM and CLR". Now he just needs to do one more implementation to get the hat trick. ;-)

New Ajax course available

The Pragmatic guys are at it again... This time it's a whole course, taught by two of the finest instructors I have had the privilege to know (and, quite honestly, argue with), on everybody's favorite presentation-layer hot topic, Ajax. By the way, dear audience, this is one class you can attend regardless of which camp you prefer--both Stu and Justin are equally adept on both enterprise platforms (Java and .NET) and the new hot language, as is clear when they say that they will show you how "to use frameworks such as Rails, Spring, and ASP.NET"; Justin, for example, co-authored "Better, Faster, Lighter Java" and the "Spring Developer's Handbook", as well as built DevelopMentor's ASP.NET website and infrastructure.

Question for the audience

An interesting question emerged during a discussion with some buddies/co-workers/peers/whatever-you-want-to-call-them today: "Which conferences have you attended in the past that you thought was really good, and why? Which sessions were your favorites, and why? What made them that way?" (The root of the question was simple at its heart: What makes a good conference session?) Yes, this is somewhat selfish, since the new conference season is amping up, and obviously I'd like to make sure my sessions are ones that people find interesting and recommend to others, but the question actually stemmed from an unrelated discussion to that.

Too quick to adopt Ruby, you were.

Microsoft has done it again--this time, they're previewing the next release of C# planned for after LINQ/C# 3.0. They call it, for obvious reasons, the YODA programming langauge. Judge me by my size, do you? As well you should not, for my ally is the Source, and a powerful ally it is, indeed. Remember: A Jedi uses the Source only for knowledge and defense, never for a hack.

Annotation let-down: A response

In a recent thread on TheServerSide.com, Rick Hightower, a fellow NFJS speaker, commented on the JSR-175/annotations specification, and I felt a little obligated to respond, since this is a common critique/criticism: Why don’t you like the implementation? I hate the fact that your code has to import the annotations and then your code is tied to the annotation. It does not seem that different than depending on a interface (i.e., a marker interface).

2006 Tech Predictions

In keeping with the tradition, I'm suggesting the following will take place for 2006: The hype surrounding Ajax will slowly fade, as people come to realize that there's really nothing new here, just that DHTML is cool again. As Dion points out, Ajax will become a toolbox that you use in web development without thinking that "I am doing Ajax". Just as we don't think about "doing HTML" vs "doing DOM".