The Blog of Maxim Porges

Archive for February, 2009

  • Flex Camp Miami Discount

    As if Flex Camp Miami wasn’t enough of a deal already, I’ve been authorized to offer the discount code “adogo” to all three of the people who read my blog. This will bring the price of registration from $30 down to a paltry $20.

    Considering that lunch is included in the price, you can’t beat it for an excuse to get out of work on a Friday and catch some great talks on Flex development. I’ll see you there next week!

    2009.02.25 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Cleaning a Mighty Mouse Scroll Wheel

    My Mighty Mouse decided to only scroll in one direction this week (up), so I found a thread on that had some suggestions. You can’t disassemble the Mighty Mouse easily, so you have to work with what you’ve got accessible to you from the outside.

    Turning the mouse over and rolling the ball with my finger worked earlier in the week, but today that didn’t help. I tried the “wet finger” routine, which also came up without any results. Finally, I took some Windex, gently sprayed a wad of it on to a paper towel, and squeezed out the tiniest drop on to the mouse ball, then rolled it around with my finger before rolling the ball upside down on a flat paper towel. After doing this a few times the scroll wheel is back to normal.

    I think I needed to go a little further with the cleaning routine since I’ve never cleaned my Mighty Mouse in the two (maybe three?) years I’ve had it. I’ve been using it just about every day since I joined Highwinds so I’m sure the increase in use contributed to the stickiness.

    2009.02.25 / no responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Why People Hate Vista (and Other Microsoft Products)

    I bought a copy of Dawn of War II today. I decided to throw it on my computer and check it out briefly since I wasn’t going to have time to play it this weekend.

    Sounds simple, right?

    When I shut down Vista this morning so I could take my laptop with me when I left the house, it did its normal trick of installing updates without asking me if I wanted it to. This forced me to leave the computer running for another twenty minutes before I could leave. This pisses me off every time it happens, but I’ve gotten used to it by now.

    When I started Vista up this evening to install DOW II, it accused me of software piracy and forced me to dial a number and spend ten minutes on the phone to reactivate a piece of software that I legitimately own. Thanks, now I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy about you guys. Not to mention, how useless is your reactivation process? I didn’t even have to speak to a person, the entire thing was entirely automated, and if I had been a pirate it would have been just as easy to enter the reactivation code. Idiots.

    Then, I restarted Vista to get rid of the message it had plastered to the bottom right of the screen telling me my copy of Windows was illegal (by the way, this message was added to my desktop immediately after I successfully reactivated my license). As it was restarting, Vista failed to boot due to “software that was recently installed” – Microsoft’s own software, I might add. I spent twenty minutes running a repair tool from the Vista installation disc to get back in to my computer again.

    After Vista finally booted up again, I dropped in the DOW II disk. It recommended I update Vista to SP 1, so I spent half an hour downloading it. After about 20 minutes of running, the installation failed.

    I spent almost two hours updating my entire system with all the outstanding patches. After this, the SP 1 installation still failed.

    The failure linked to a knowledge base article recommending I download a tool to prepare my system for SP 1 installation. I spent 45 minutes downloading and running the tool. I installed SP 1 again. The same error message popped up. FAILED AGAIN.

    Four hours later, I’m installing DOW II without Vista SP 1. And frankly, I’m left asking myself how a company with $50 billion in cash is capable of producing software of such abysmal quality. I’m embarrassed on their behalf.

    Here’s how software installations are done, Microsoft.

    1) Check/resolve dependencies
    2) Download software
    3) Install software
    4) Reboot if necessary

    Apple’s been getting this right for seven years in OS X. Linux has had apt-get even longer. Most of the stuff in UNIX can be downloaded and installed with make with relative ease.

    Microsoft, I’m happy to inform you that Vista is a fucking atrocity. I know your next attempt will only be your seventh major operating system release, but maybe you can try to get it right this time.

    2009.02.21 / 7 responses / Category: Uncategorized

  • Cross-Compiling Java to ActionScript 3

    While in the shower one day this week, I was contemplating how hard it would be to add Java cross-compile support to Loom, but it seems like the Eclipse guys have already got this covered.

    I’m not sure what level the cross-compile is implemented at in E4; my intention for Loom had potentially been opcode-to-opcode, with the appropriate language feature trade-off where applicable. I don’t have any serious plans for cross-compiling in Loom, but it seems entirely possible.

    In the case of basic use cases, cross-compiling at the bytecode level could be interesting. The original idea I was contemplating was being able to send a Java class across the wire over AMF and load its class definition in to memory in the ActionScript virtual machine, complete with its instruction set. There would be huge problems trying to send classes with references to OS-level components (such as files or network sockets), but since the AMF gateway is usually used for sending value objects I was thinking of something along the line of transmitting classes that adhered to a validation framework implemented on both sides of the wire (think OVal for AS3).

    Again, I have nothing particularly serious planned – this is just the sort of stuff I ponder when performing mundane activities.

    2009.02.15 / 1 response / Category: Uncategorized