Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stock advice

Great quotes/ideas from Jeff Bezos:

  • "In the short term, a stock is like a lottery, but with time, it becomes a scale."  He's quoting someone when he says this, but I couldn't find the orignal source.
  • "Our biggest competitor is the corporate no."  He discusses how when organizations get big, it's easy to settle and compromise.  You lose the truth-seeking determination that you have when starting out on the brink of being bankrupt any day.
  • "Use prediction models on the things you can, but don't apply it everywhere.  Areas where you can model with accuracy, figure out ways to reduce the initial costs and then experiment so you can start to get data and make projections."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back on campus

It's been 4.5 years since graduation, and aside from sporting events, I haven't really been back on UW's campus much, at least when students are there.  I got to be part of the Amazon team working the career fair targeting UW's computer science/engineering students.  A few observations/thoughts:

  • It was fun to be on the other side of the table.  I can remember 5 years ago passing out resumes and talking with company delegates.  It was in one such conversation that my resume got passed to an ex-classmate who had started at Amazon, which got me in their interview tract.
  • I'm certainly biased, but what a great major to have all these cool (in my opinion) companies eager to hire you after an undergraduate degree: Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
  • UW is still pumping out good candidates.  Many of the people I spoke with and gave a small coding problem did quite well.  
  • Does the construction ever stop?  The HUB is getting massacred right now, it seems like you can never be on campus without avoiding a construction site.
This past week included 3 days in Dallas doing campus interviewing.  This was a first for me, but a valuable learning experience.  Interviewing during the regular work week feels like more of a distraction, but to get to devote 3 days to back-to-back interviews definitely increased my chops and observations on how strong candidates answer questions.  Good times!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JavaScript validation in a Java project with Eclipse's JavaScript developer tools

I'm not sure how may people this applies to, but I ran into the case where some of my web application packages have both Java and JavaScript files.  I use Eclipse, and wanted to be able to take advantage of Eclipse JavaScript Development Tools (JSDT) that provide rich JavaScript functionality within Eclipse. Unfortunately, JavaScript validation (e.g., catching syntax bugs) only occurs by default if you create a "JavaScript" project. Since many of these projects have both Java and JavaScript code, I had to work around this following these steps:
  1. Ensure you have JSDT installed
    • Top Menu -> Eclipse -> About Eclipse -> Installation Details -> Installed Software
  2. Exit Eclipse
  3. Add the org.eclipse.wst.jsdt.core.jsNature:
    • vim $ECLIPSE_PROJECT_ROOT/.project
    • To the natures section, add org.eclipse.wst.jsdt.core.jsNature
  4. Open Eclipse
  5. Enable the preference: JavaScript -> Validator -> Errors/Warnings -> Enable JavaScript semantic validation
    • Adjust the validation preferences as needed.
    • It's usually a good idea to set all of the "Resolution" preferences to ignore
I couldn't find this documented anywhere on the web, so passing it on here in case it's of use.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slingbox recording on Mac

If you've googled "mac slingbox recorder" you've come up against the brick wall.  It's hard to fathom, but somehow there isn't a Mac solution for recording the video feed of your Slingbox.  On the Windows side there is:
  • At-Large Recorder - works fine but costs $70 ouch.
  • mreplay.com - Browser plugin that lets you watch and record your Slingbox, but it lacks a lot of controls.  They said Mac support was coming, but the website/company looks like it halted any progress on anything for a year or two.
  • SLR Slingbox Recorder and Viewer - basic recorder with timer that's free.
Because of SLR's basic nature, I was able to get it to work with Wine.  

  1. I'm not the author of any of these programs.  Please don't email me support questions.  What I know has been documented here.
  2. I have very little experience with Wine and and its different Mac OS X distributions.  My setup is working with Wine Bottler, but that isn't to say that other distributions (e.g.,  CrossOver) won't work.
Install Steps
  1. Download Wine Bottler.
  2. Make sure you're updated to the latest Wine (version 1.2 at the writing of this blog entry).  This is done by opening Wine.app and then in the menu bar item going to preferences -> "Check for Updates now..."
  3. Download SLR Slingbox Recorder (I used version .63)
  4. (May not be required) Download the latest Mac OS X X11 implementation from XQuartz (I used version 2.5.3)
  5. Open slinger.exe file you downloaded (this should launch X11/XQuartz).
  6. Configure the application per the SLR manual.
    • I use the "High Quality" preset.
    • I increase the Video Bitrate to 8000.
    • I couldn't find a way to increase the video size from 320 x 240.
Going Forward
This provides a decent enough mechanism for recording Husky games if we're away.  It would be nice to have a native Mac recording client though.  This should be accomplishable with the SlingBox SDK project on SourceForge.  It's C++ based (which I don't have much experience with), but when I get the chance, I definitely look forward to trying and compiling it.  If nothing else, making a Java port could get wider adoption or contributions.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sweet gift

I received a sweet gift yesterday: The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee.  If you haven't read about this bad boy, you should here.  Anyways, as my brother pointed out, this puts me in a long line of real-world studs who sport the shirt as well: