Monday, March 26, 2007

Back from Phoenix

Well I'm back from Phoenix. It was great to see my Uncle since I hadn't seen him in a couple years. Unfortunately American Airlines completely lost my luggage on the way out there. So I spent the entire trip without my bag. And it's still missing even now--two weeks later. I lost a really nice pair of running shoes and a couple nice outfits. I'm in the process of filling out some paperwork to get a cash settlement from American. Hopefully they don't screw me out of too much money.

Beyond that, I've just been working on my thesis. It's coming along well. Hopefully it will be done by the end of this week and I can send it out. It's officially due on April 15th, but to make sure I get it done, I scheduled a trip to Chicago to catch a few Cubs games for Dick's birthday that weekend. That should provide enough incentive to get it done. After it's done, I have a shorter paper to write and need to schedule my defense. It won't be long and it'll all be done.

A couple blog posts back, I promised a picture of the award. I can do one better, as Anne Jacko from the Eclipse Foundation was there taking pictures of everything and she put her pictures up on Flickr. You may recognize the handsome guy in the picture below:
Oh and incidentally, I'm wearing one of my nice dress shirts that was lost with my luggage. When I get the settlement from American, I'm thinking I'll have to turn it over to Elizabeth because she likes to dress me (and I'm not ashamed to admit it). She bought half of the stuff in the missing bag, anyways.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Home for a bit

Well EclipseCon is over. It was a good time. I met a lot of really smart people there and it was nice to meet the people behind the blogs I've read. The trip home was uneventful. Now I'm home just for the weekend to put some things in order and do my laundry and then I'm heading out again. This time for Phoenix to see my Uncle. This trip is strictly for pleasure, so I'm looking forward to disconnecting a bit and just kicking back. Maybe I'll work on my tan :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

EclipseCon Day 3

Yesterday was another good day. I attended talks all day and walked through the poster session. I was looking for a poster on the J9 VM because I've been hearing a lot of buzz about it but I haven't been able to download a copy from the IBM site. But alas, I didn't find the poster.

I think my favorite talk yesterday was by the keynote speaker, Robert Lefkowitz. He had an interesting outlook on open source, software patents, and user happiness. His funniest postulation that Eclipse is the crappiest IDE on the market...but that this is only natural since they are giving it away for free. At equilibrium, it only follows that Eclipse would be the crappiest IDE because all of the IDEs that charge money have to be "better" than Eclipse or they would go out of business. His other interesting idea was on software patents and product liability for software. His idea was to make software makers liable for bugs, just like other manufacturers are liable for their products. But what about open source, you say? Wouldn't this kill open source software. He argues that the liability should depend on how you distribute the software. If you distribute binary code, you are liable for both compensatory damages and punitive damages, but if you distribute source code, then you are only responsible for compensatory damages. He hypothesizes that we'd see the GPL version of Vista in a heartbeat :)

After the poster session, I hit my personal Eclipse saturation point for the day, so I skipped the BoFs and receptions. On the walk in yesterday, I had a really interesting idea of a cool new way to search the web. So I did some prototyping on that system and vegged out in front of the TV.

Today, EclipseCon winds down. There's a couple cool talks that I'm going to check out. After that, I'm looking forward to a little more substantial supper (perhaps some Thai) than I've had the last couple of days.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

100,000 in ODM

Well in some non-EclipseCon related news, I just heard from my buddy Bill Ryan at Mayo that the ODM software we wrote a couple of summers ago just passed the 100,000th CD processed! This is impressive news. The software is used to pull outside digital media aka digital x-ray, MRI, etc. images off of CDs and DVDs and insert them into the Mayo Clinic's image viewing system. "So what", you say? Well, what this means is that a patient that has been referred from another hospital can bring the exams that have been done elsewhere and their doctor at Mayo can use these exams to make their diagnosis. They don't have to have the exams re-done at Mayo. Obviously this saves someone, either the patient or Mayo, a fair bit of money. So that's really cool. And the best part is that the software has been running in production for the last two and a half years without many modifications. Not too shabby...

EclipseCon Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of EclipseCon. It started with a keynote by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. Overall it was a very entertaining talk. He showed a bunch of Dilbert comics that never made it to publication or had to be modified before they could run. My favorite quote from the talk was: "Once I realized my rewards weren't dependent on my efforts, I had a lot more time on my hands."

After that I attended the Equinox talk which showed some neat, low level things you could do with hooks and adapters. Just before lunch, I attended a panel on RCP applications. The panelists were big into RCP from places like NASA, JP Morgan, and Seimens. It was a pretty good discussion, though I must admit I used the time to catch up on some emails as well.

After lunch, I spent the afternoon demoing PSICAT. There was quite a bit of interest and I talked to a bunch of people. I also chatted a bit with the RSSOwl creator. He's doing some really cool stuff, so you should check it out if you get a chance.

Today I have another full day of talks, but I'll try to hop on and write another blog entry before I hit the sack.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

EclipseCon Day 1: PSICAT Wins Community Award

Well it started off as a rather quiet day. There were tutorials going on all day, but I stuck around my hotel room and got some work done. There had been a list of things that had piled up, and since I know it's going to be busy the next couple of days, I thought I'd do a little pre-emptive strike.

The big news of the day, though, is that the 2007 Eclipse Community Awards were announced at a ceremony tonight and PSICAT won the award for the Best Open Source RCP application. All I can say is: Wow! It's a great honor considering the caliber of the other entries. And I want to take a moment to thank the Eclipse community. Without their hardwork, PSICAT wouldn't exist. So a big "Thank You" to everyone!

I recieved a nice trophy, which bears a striking resemblance to the cores that PSICAT is used to describe. Nice touch by the Eclipse Foundation, I must say. Unfortunately I left my camera to USB cable at home so I have a nice picture of the trophy on my camera with no way to get it on my computer. But I'll get a picture of the trophy up as soon as I get back.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to be demoing PSICAT as part of the Open Source Pavillion at EclipseCon. So if you're reading this and you're at EclipseCon, stop by so I can give you a personal demo of PSICAT.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

EclipseCon Day 0

Well I arrived in Santa Clara this afternoon after a fairly uneventful trip. I got checked into the hotel and tried (unsuccessfully) to grab a quick nap. The movie Gladiator was on TV, so I watched that for a bit. Around 5, I walked over to the convention center and picked up my conference registration. There's some good swag in there, including a USB flash drive. I putzed around the registration room a bit and wrote some code (sorry it's taking me so long Gary, I'll get something out to you tomorrow). And then I was lucky enough to run into Ian and Donald.
After some introductions and hand shaking, they invited me to the bloggers party tonight. Hence this blog entry--I figured I'd better earn the invitation.

I didn't sign up for any tutorials, so tomorrow should be pretty quiet. I'm going to use it to finish up some coding, do a little writing, and hopefully meet a few people at the conference.