Friday, May 23, 2003

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson

Pattern Recognition
The three authors I've enjoyed most in the last few years have been Neal Stephenson, Iain Banks and William Gibson. I must admit to a feeling a little fear when I found that Pattern Recognition was set in the present as opposed to his earlier work. If you like his work, don't be put off by this and go buy it.

The main storyline is about the search for the author of small fragments of film ("footage") which are dropped annonymously onto the internet. The woman searching for this author works in advertising and has an allergic response to the advertising logos which cover our planet.

Pattern Recognition replaces Dead Air as the best read I've had this year........but Neal Stephenson is due to release Quicksilver in October.

Eclipse Profiler

I've a need for a profiler at the moment in the past I've had a demo of the excellent JProfiler which would certainly do the trick. However I came accross Eclipse Profiler Plugin which is a Sourceforge hosted project provided under the CPL license.

I got it up and running quickly on my XP machine, but I've not yet got it going successfully on my Redhat 9 box, I'm seeing a minor problem with the native gnu-linux component. The things I've found so far seem to indicate that its strong enough as a performance monitor and it also seems to allow instance counting. A couple of nice feature I spotted on the instance counting screens includes filtering the objects by the length of time they have been around (good for ignoring short lived objects).

I'll provide more info when I've spent some time running it on some of the larger JBoss projects I'm working with.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Salmon Of Doubt

The Salmon Of Doubt
I read The Salmon Of Doubt during a couple of flights I took a couple of weeks ago. I've enjoyed all the Douglas Adams books throughout my adult life, I read them in my teens and then re-read them in my late twenties after seeing him give a keynote speech at JavaOne.

The introduction to the book from Stephen Fry, the articles on technology, hitchhikers movie, life in California and the charity work he has done are all fascinating and make up two thirds of the book. The last third of the book is an attempt to put together a series of draft chapters found on Douglas Adams Mac (nearly typed PC - he would turn in his grave) after his untimely death. It's a gallant attempt, but ultimately its an unfinished story that hasn't been polished the way his other writing has been.

If you must read the incomplete novel, read it first, then go to the start of the book and read the smaller articles you'll end up feeling a wholfinish feeling more upbeat - me I'm off to read The Meaning of Liff again.