Mittwoch, 28. November 2007

Famous Birthdays

My son Thomas was born one week ago, on November 21st. We are very happy and grateful he is doing fine. And thanks for all the well-wishing.

As he is giving my wife and me a little break right now, I did a quick search on which famous people share the same birthday with him. For November 21st the most admissible to me seems to be Voltaire.

For my older son Alexander's birthday (August 6th) it would be his namesake Alexander Fleming.

And finally regarding my birthday, December 26th, all I came up with first was Mao Zedong, who was born in 1893. Gulp. I had to dig further.

Luckily I found a much more admirable celebrity, and at the same time a founding-father of my profession: Charles Babbage.

Yep, that's definitely better. ;-)

Freitag, 20. April 2007

Linux Is Love

Personally I feel quite indifferent when it comes to preferences for operating systems. E.g. I do most development work under Windows, but our J2EE server solutions run on Red Hat. I have to deal with the respective OS APIs at times (and I appreciate both of them), but I care more about programming languages, framework libraries and IDEs.

My son Alexander though seems to favor Linux, which may be due to the fact that Tux is such a cute mascot.

Samstag, 3. März 2007

Programmer Personality Test

Here is my result from the Programmer Personality Test (disclaimer: far too few questions and nuances, not to be taken serious):

Your programmer personality type is:


You're a Doer.
You are very quick at getting tasks done. You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.

You like coding at a Low level.
You're from the old school of programming and believe that you should have an intimate relationship with the computer. You don't mind juggling registers around and spending hours getting a 5% performance increase in an algorithm.

You work best in a Solo situation.
The best way to program is by yourself. There's no communication problems, you know every part of the code allowing you to write the best programs possible.

You are a Conservative programmer.
The less code you write, the less chance there is of it containing a bug. You write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.

Montag, 12. Februar 2007

Give Them Nothing, But Take From Them Everything

As some of you might know, I am a history buff. And I enjoy watching fantasy movies, so when those two things coincide, that's just my cup of tea.

Hollywood has recently rediscovered ancient Greece. I saw Alexander as well as Troy two or three years ago. And I agree, those were not the best of their kind ("Alexander The Great" with Richard Burton back from the 1950s is way better), their makers didn't care too much about the real historical background (the Trojan War as described in Homer's Iliad is at least partly legendary of course), but then again they never claimed to do so.

The latter is also true for the dream factory's latest artefact, "300" (the movie), which refers to the Battle of Thermopylae, when 300 Spartans under king Leonidas fought the Persian invasion army lead by their emperor Xerxes at the mountain pass of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The movie's artwork is based on Frank Miller's graphical novel of the same name.

I first saw the trailer back in November and its visual force simply blew me away, especially when combined with the background music by Nine Inch Nails. Again, let's not nit-pick about historical facts (e.g. there were several thousand Greek allies, not just 300 Spartans) - it's a novel after all. The movie also seems to mash in elements of Greek mythology, so there are appearances of cyclope-like creatures and similar characters.

I also noticed a scene where a Persian ambassador is thrown into a well by Leonidas. This goes back to the Persian tradition of demanding "earth and water" from their subordinates' soil as a symbol for accepting Persian domination on land and on sea. So the Spartans pitched them into the well and told them to go and look for earth and water down there. Now that's what I call coolness.