February 28, 2006

More Things Python

Python apparently has slowly increased its momentum over the past few years. I am not sure how well it is accepted in corporations. Is it acceptable to mention it more than casually above a whisper? There are more books about it in the bookstores. Here are some of the big names in Python that are now working for Google: Alex Martelli & Guido van Rossum. Are there anymore that I don't know of?

These are some of the more interesting links recently:

February 22, 2006


    - There are two types of people:
    Those that talk the talk
    and those that walk the walk.
    People who walk the walk,
    they sometimes talk the talk.
    But most of the time, they don't
    talk at all, because they are busy walking.
    Now, people who talk the talk,
    when it comes time for them to walk,
    - you wanna know what they do?
    - What is that?
    They talk people like me
    into walking for them.

from the movie Hustle and Flow

I get into trouble a lot because I don't make a lot of promises. Words are important to me. Because of this, I try not to make promises that I can't keep. When it does happen, it devastates me for a long time. In a world where words and messages are so plentiful, my own are small drops in a vast torrent that is the sea. On the other hand, I now find tremendous value in those who are willing to listen.... who truly listen. It is rare to encounter someone who actively listens without judgment or comment. Out of respect for you, I quiet down my own inner turmoils, put it aside for this moment in order to listen to stories of your life.

February 13, 2006

Album Impressions 2

This is the second part of Album Impressions. It is a follow up of the first part.

sherylCrow.jpgSheryl Crow - Wildflower

I just heard on the radio the duet between Sheryl Crow and Sting redoing her song Always on Your Side. Sheryl is such a strong singer that her voice dwarfs anyone she ever sings along with. Sorry Sting, I am a devoted fan of your old The Police material but Sheryl is just way beyond anyone's league (this includes Kid Rock). Her voice is so strong that she even makes the sophomoric Soak Up the Sun sound very deep. This new album as well as the title track Wildflower creeps up behind you after each listen. The music is simply a single acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or piano accompanying her voice. I just can't get over Letter to God. The goosebumps just arise each time I replay the track.

nin.jpgNine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails music is not for everyone. It is heavy, gritty, and Trent Reznor's lyrics smack you first in the face then next right in the gut. The popular song from this album is The hand that feeds. My favorite is Right Where It Belongs . There is a haunting rift in with Teeth that goes:
"I cannot go through this again....". The meaning sinks in.

To follow the lyrics is to be like Faust walking through the rings of purgatory...... abandon all hope all ye who enter . But in a way, that's how real life is: It kicks you in the gut when you are not looking. I've listened to NiN since Head Like a Hole and never thought the group would last this long.

kttunstall.jpgKT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
Imagine a Brit cowboy singing country music, I guess that's the first impression during the first 5 times listening to Telescope. In KT's case, it's "cowgirl". Susana first turned me into the album about 6 months ago. Like any good music, it takes some time to sink under your skin. After getting past the funki-ness of a Brit singing country, the album turns out to be a good listen. Notable tracks are: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Another Place to Fall. I have heard that she gives a terrific live performance which really can't be captured by recorded music. Looking at her tour, she was just at Slim's in SF on Jan 31. The rest of the tour in the near future veers toward Paris, Lyon, and Lille.... France.

Posted by Hoang at 02:54 PM | Add the first comment | Music

February 07, 2006

In Miami

As luck would have it, I have just moved to Miami to pursue a new contract. My path heads straight down through Naples and across the Florida everglades to the southern city next to the Atlantic. It is quite time to say goodbye to Bradenton and none too soon at that. I am getting up there in age but it is nothing compared the sheer number of wheelchairs and carry-around oxygen tanks that I encounter so frequently. It may have mentioned it before here, the elderly population in Bradenton and Sarasota is extremely high. One day, I may look back and laugh and sneer at my own comments, but for now it will just dangle in the wind.

miami01.jpg What can I say about Miami at an initial glance? It is young. The Latin women are soooo sexy. Additionally, they certainly dress up very nicely "in black" when going out at night. One word: "Curves". Miami is such a great place to learn to appreciate this. Being sexy without trying to be so is certainly worthy of respect. Having just driven around Coral Gables in the early morning, my thoughts are that.... you ain't seen rich until you have seen Miami. I will kick myself in the head until time is made to visit all the popular and touristic things like South Beach and Key West. For now though, my hands are full in trying to absorb the local atmosphere and culture.


The food experience in itself will be a good adventure. Cuban food abound and I am starting to try my share of fried plantains and tender shredded meats of various types. There is yet Peruvian, Argentinian, Colombian, Jamaican, and Venezuelan food to go. Five minutes ago, I just stood in line to buy Cuban pastry and Cubano coffee at this very local "no-sugar pastry" place. My attempts to communicate in English "can I have this, this, and this...." just invite sneers from the many women in line. Spanish is the verbal currency of exchange here. Not knowing Spanish is like not having a right arm. My sister-in-law Susana have told me this, but there is nothing like seeing it for yourself. Being Asian does make me feel so out-of-place.

February 05, 2006

Why Twisted?

I am expecting to do lots of socket programming to implement some new protocols in the near future. Having seen the ugliness of the C++ code, I have chosen to use the Python batteries (i.e. socket and thread classes built into the python library) to lessen the amount of code that would have to be written. After a couple of days at it, the code is flowing decently.

Today, I am perusing an O'Reilly book at Barnes and Noble about the Twisted Framework. I have looked at Twisted before but never really paid close attention. After perusing the book, I still have that question on my mind: What does Twisted give us that we can't already get from the python library? FTP, sockets, threading, NNTP, POP3, etc....every protocol that Twisted provides seem to be available as some class already existing in the library. The example programs given (written against the framework), were about the same length as when written with the Python Libraries.

Again, why Twisted?