Personal Log - March 2009

Another month without the Internet at home. This is getting really annoying, and I decided to change provider, again, hoping that I'll eventually get my broadband back, someday. Luckily I can still go online at work, but of course it's not the same thing: my time on Twitter and Facebook is now basically limited to weekends only, when Roxanne and I go down to Tuscany to stay with her parents.

Concatenative programming

For some weird reason I became fond of the Concatenative programming paradigm. I started reading about Joy and then started to work on a Ruby DSL able to do the similar things: Concatenative. Another pet project — as if I didn't have enough things to do already!

Some people seemed pleased about it, especially on Reddit and dzone. The downside of it is that it's still fairly slow if compared to Ruby code (which is not exactly fast, either!), so if I had some spare time I should really try to implement it as a C extension, maybe.

Learning new programming languages?

Incidentally, I'm still fighting with myself on whether to learn another programming language or not. At this point, learning Factor could turn out to be more natural than months ago. However, I would only learn new programming languages as a hobby, as I don't need to do so for profit: luckily I'm still a happy technical writer and I enjoy my job.

I admit, I'm still looking for the perfect programming language which is fun to learn (not easy: fun), elegant, minimalist, fast, general purpose and cross platform (meaning Linux, Windows, and Windows Mobile as well). Of course there is no such thing out there and there will never be, so I'm still evaluating the current alternatives. Possible candidates are Haskell, Factor, some dialect of Lisp or C.
Why C? Well, because I didn't do much with it since my first year at uni, and it could still be useful to write Ruby extensions or implement something at a lower level. After so much time getting spoiled by high level languages, I kinda miss the low level stuff. Ahhh where are all the pointers gone?!

On the other hand, I'm getting married soon, and I should use these months to help my wife-to-be a bit more with wedding planning (see next section). After all, I can always learn a new programming language after getting married, right? …right?!

Wedding planning

Roxanne and I are slowly getting more and more things done for the wedding. Every attempt I made to introduce her to GTD failed miserably so far, or better, it worked too well: she is now getting used to make lists and deciding on our next actions for the weekend.
This weekend we booked our flights to Ireland, looked at cottages and hotels for the three days after the wedding (not the honeymoon yet, we'll have a late honeymoon in autumn), chose the waistcoats for me, my bestman and the ushers, and …booked the wedding car!
Now, this turned out to be good fun! Take a look at Ruby (yes, yes, I know… ), a Silver Cloud II 1961 Rolls Royce which will be ours for (less than) one day!

Other tech-related tidbits

  • I successfully migrated to Ubuntu 9.0.4 Jaunty. Everything works, except the flash plugin for Firefox.
  • I'm now using TweetDeck as my main Twitter client on both Windows and Linux.
  • I'm thinking of buying (after the wedding) an Eee PC (no Macs: Ubuntu is sleek and powerful enough &emdash;and free, too).
  • We finally got an XBox 360 from eBay, this time it came through the post.
  • Roxanne is thinking of buying a big LCD TV to go with it &emdash; I'm politely (and sadly) postponing till after the wedding.
  • After listening a FLOSS Weekly episode featuring it, I think I'll get myself an Arduino Board for my birthday.