Python on Android -- Easy as Pie

Here's what I did to get Python running on my HTC Incredible:

Step 1:  Install a barcode scanner, so that it's easier to install custom apps:  Install ZXing app

Step 2:  Install the SL4A application (Scripting Layer for Android) by going to the SL4A project home page and running the previously installed "Barcode Scanner" app (the title on the icon of the ZXing app) to scan the SL4A's barcode (or just click the link if you're reading this on your Android). This downloads a .apk file which you then run to install this app directly onto ...

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Open Source Data Modelling - Power*Architect

There are a ton of half-finished or half-complete open source data
modeling software projects out there. I've just been evaluating them
for a client. At the moment, Power*Architect seems the best for my needs:

  • open source
  • multi-platform - Java in this case
  • multi-database support - I need PostgreSQL and Oracle
  • pdf export of ER diagram
  • alive and not abandonware

And to top it off, it's actually easy to use! Take that, ERwin. To
be fair, it doesn't have all the features of ERwin, but that's OK for

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Hey Mister, You’re Gonna Have to Rewrite that Web App

Good old blogger Joel Spolsky just wrote a great overview of the state of web applications.
I'm inclined to agree with his prediction, that we're still in the
midst of evolving the technology in web apps. On the desktop all apps
have a consistent look and behavior but web apps have their own unique
and different user interfaces. On the desktop you can copy and paste
between apps, but not on the web except for a few words of text. I
wonder how many years it will take for web apps to reach the level of
design stability ...

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Vernor Vinge's Technology Predictions in Rainbows End

Vernor Vinge is one of my favorite sci-fi authors. I just read his new book, Rainbows End, and I highly recommend it. It's set in the near term future (within 20 years), and it has a bunch of technological and social predictions I want to list here since I can't find them on the Internet (Vinge has a 50 min podcast available which discusses some of them). These aren't plot spoilers, but they are technology spoilers, so don't read this if you plan on reading the book:

  • Affiliances - These are some kind of part-time work / large-scale ...
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How to Rotate Apache Logfiles

There are a number of ways to rotate your log files, and I spent a bit of time looking into all the major ones. Unfortunately, none of them satisfy all my requirements. Here are my requirements:

  • put timestamp in archive file names
  • rotate weekly (I hate the clutter of daily logfiles)
  • work with awstatsand other log processing programs

I find it fascinating that even though tens or hundreds of thousands of people use the Apache web server, that a critical mass of developers have not desired what I want. I think it's because many sysadmins who install Apache ...

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SVG vs. Canvas: Tastes Great, or Less Filling?

Now that there are two up-and-coming web graphics technologies (SVG and canvas), I thought I'd research them,
see what's the difference between them, and see if they're usable now.

Canvas Tag

The canvas tag got a lot of attention a while back when Apple announced they were adding it to their Safari browser,
and that they were using it to implement some of their Dashboard widgets.
What is it? Basically, the canvas tag is an "immediate mode" graphics technology -- you start with an empty image jammed into your browser
page, and it's your job to color ...

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