August 31, 2004

Lightning storm down south

Florida is supposed to be the lightning capital of the world. I just got in from taking a rain shower in the middle of the lightning storm. The cracks of thunder and lightning as they get close are frightening. But if you can swallow the slight moment of fear for just a second... wow, the sky is etched with light. I remember my cousin mentioning to count between the lightning and thunder. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.... If thunder and lightning come together under 5 seconds, you're too close. Some of these in the order of 2 and 3 seconds are pretty spectacular. The rain is pouring hard and you get a free shower to boot. There is only about 10 minutes worth of show and I can imagine how it might be like at one of Pink Floyd's light show that I've heard so much about. Flash.... one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two....

SP2, the new scapegoat

I observe a whole slew of complaints, rants, and grumbling from many people about Windows XP Service Pack 2. Many problems are legitimate and are caused by the automatic turn-on of the built-in firewall. The rest, whether you choose to believe it, are not. It could just be that your new-fangled program isn't working. However, it is human nature to migrate to a catch-all scapegoat. For the next month or so, I expect SP2 will be the scapegoat for all computer related problems.

Posted by Hoang at 05:37 PM | 2 Comments | TrackBack | Technology

August 20, 2004

IronPython and .NET

Since I have been experimenting with IronPython, I just wanted to share a picture that shows how it will play well with other languages. Hopefully there will be more developers willing to join the fray if they see how beneficial it might be in helping them do their work.


Posted by Hoang at 08:38 AM | 2 Comments | TrackBack | Python Programming

August 19, 2004

Carefully treading on IronPython

For background, IronPython is the new Python implementation that works with dotNet's CLR. I asked this
on comp.lang.python on "how to interface with a collection via IronPython". The right answer is to use: get_Item(index) . However accessing instances of a collection this way makes a mess of reading code. I certainly hope that I am using this wrong or that there is a bug in IronPython that needs to be fixed. The nagging problem will be that when you are trying to access an index of a collection, how will you know it is a Python datastructure or a CLR datastructure?

August 12, 2004

Hurricane update

Pinellas and Polk county are evacuating from Tampa. It is a madhouse here as everyone is trying to run away from Charley. I have made it a point to get a first hand view of my first hurricane so I am staying in Tampa for the moment. Initially I was going to make a break for Orlando but on second thought.... I think I will risk it. I am actually kind of excited because beside from the high winds, there are no other sign of the hurricanes at the moment. I do notice the fear in the local folks so it does make me a little worried. But hey.... you only live once.

The roads going east-ward are jammed as you can imagine. Fear pervades and I can hear private conversations regarding the hurricane all around the market that I visit. I stare at the sky and there is nothing out of the ordinary. So far, everything is just like any other day. Everyone says that this is the big one. I have an itch to go out to the causeway to watch the waves get bigger. The thought to getting caught in the flurry of people trying to get-away prevents me. Maybe I will do it tomorrow morning when most everyone is gone.

I should call my cousin Nick in Orlando and tell him that I am not coming.

Using Ctypes to access Windows API

Yeah for being able to use Ctypes to quickly prototype using python. I needed to quickly find out the screen resolution of a Windows machine. After mucking about, here is the quick snippet of python with a sprinkle of Ctypes:

from ctypes import *
user= windll.LoadLibrary("c:\\windows\\system32\\user32.dll")
h = user.GetDC(0)
gdi= windll.LoadLibrary("c:\\windows\\system32\\gdi32.dll")
xdpi = gdi.GetDeviceCaps(h, 88)
ydpi = gdi.GetDeviceCaps(h, 90)
print xdpi, ydpi

This gives you the screen resolution in the x and y direction. Now the question I have is "how different would this be in SWIG"?

Ok, a co-worker just passed by and mentioned that since I live in Zone A of the evacuation area, I may think about evacuating to Orlando when the hurricane hits. Yikes....!!!

Hurricane coming

People tell me 2 hurricanes are coming this way. The first (Bonnie) is supposed to hit on Thursday (today) and the other (Charlie) during the weekend. I look around me and there is sunshine everywhere. There is not even a cloud. The local folks tell me that hurricanes hit very suddenly and you've only got and hour or two of notice. Do I know my evacuation route? What a strange thought and the lingering "Californian" in me finds it humorous. Knock on wood that I would regret the thought someday. For now though, I am very excited to hopefully witness my first hurricane.

August 04, 2004

Tampa Communities

Calling some place home means getting to know its surrounding communities. In the "other" Bay Area (Northern California), it took me the greater part of 30 years and still I am not conversant with every nook and cranny.
This is a start to soaking myself into the community next to the gulf.

August 03, 2004

Going East

I have jumped across the continent since April. During that time, I have made a cross country trip to Orlando, FL. Just as Mickey and Minney's home-town started to feel comfortable, there was an opportunity in Tampa. So I trek across Florida towards the city by the Gulf-of-Mexico. Today, I am working at a place called Pegasus Imaging right across from the International plaza. They make various component software for the Microsoft platform (just big words for the plain old PC). Since I am delving pretty deeply into the lower levels of .NET and its Interop services, hopefully there will be a chance to write some articles on that topic.

As a newcomer to the east coast, there was a little of what one might call culture-shock. However, America has become so uniform now that the difference was so much less that what I might have expected. In some cases, disappointedly so. Your Walmarts, Walgreens, Albertson, and huge malls are the same everywhere you go.

It sure does rain a lot here in Florida, torrential too. The humidity is overwhelming if you are not accustomed to it. I have heard people regard to it as "like being hit by a wall". The Clearwater and Sarasota beaches are absolutely gorgeous if you love warm water. My previous encounter with a stingray on a beach 5 years ago didn't deter me from jumping into the water with abandon.

Sarasota Siesta Key

A picture from Sarasota's Siesta Key.