Big Dave’s Blog

  • Apollo 11 – Could we do it again?

    July 16, 2009 marks the 40 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. Four days later, July 20, the Eagle landed on surface of the moon. It all started with the famous speech by President Kennedy. It’s still one of my favorite presidential quotes. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and […]

  • Government honours veterans of Bletchley Park at last

    Government honours veterans of Bletchley Park at last – V3.co.uk – formerly vnunet.com The surviving staff from Bletchley Park will finally(!!) be recognized, nearly 70 years later. Their work was thought to have shortened the war by 2 years and saved millions of lives, but until the 1970’s they weren’t even allowed to reveal what […]

  • Checkout Hoptoad by thoughtbot, inc.

    I’ve been using Hoptoad for about two months now, and I’m sold. Hoptoad is a product by thoughbot, inc. Previously, I’ve always used the excellent exception_notification plugin. The exception_notification plugin is easy to use, and it works great. However, there are a couple of problems with it. You could flood your inbox if there is […]

  • Bargaining for Advantage

    It’s not a programming book, but I recommend “Bargaining for Advantage” by G. Richard Shell. You may not be making multi-million or multi-billion dollar deals (yet!), but the techniques described here work just as well when negotiating an architectural detail or project. Plus, it’s pretty interesting to read about how some of the big players […]

  • June 6, 2009 – 65th Anniversary of The Great Crusade

    OK, I know I’m a little off my usual topics again, but today is an anniversary. In the early morning hours on a Tuesday morning 65 years ago today, D-Day paratroopers began jumping into the French countryside. At first light, six divisions of soldiers from the United States, Britain, and Canada began landing on the […]

  • Platform Engineers or Rock Star Engineers

    I’ve hired a lot of engineers over the years, and one of the first things I’m always asked to add to the job description is “must have experience in XXXX platform.” I sometimes put it on there to make people happy, but I rarely will disregard an engineer because they do not have a lot […]

  • Bletchley Park Snubbed by British Government

    UK Snubs Support for Home of WWII Enigma Here we go again. Bletchley Park continues to get little love. Here we have what is basically one on of the birthplaces of modern computing. On top of that, the group of people that worked here, along with their US partners in Building 26, did more to […]

  • Workling Timing Issue

    As you probably noticed already, I use Workling a lot, and I wrote about it a few times (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). One minor gotcha to be aware of is that you need to make sure you handle it when Workling is too fast. A common use of Workling is to make a […]

  • Thousand Yard Stares: Ruins and Ghosts of the Battle of Peleliu

    Thousand Yard Stares: Ruins and Ghosts of the Battle of Peleliu

    Thousand Yard Stares: Ruins and Ghosts of the Battle of Peleliu, 1944, 2008 « The Wired JesterIn reference to Memorial Day, I came across the above link. More than most battles, Peleliu is one of those that defines sacrifice. The amount of suffering and carnage endured on that small island in the Pacific is difficult […]

  • Gotcha with find_each and find_in_batches

    Rails 2.3 added a couple of nice new methods – find_each and find_in_batches. Both methods accomplish the same thing in a slightly different way. Unlike a normal finder these methods grab objects in batches instead of all at once. For instance, if you have 500,000 users, you don’t want to do the following: User.find(:all).each { […]