Repository Guide: Part 2: How To Use A Repository

This guide is part 2 of my repository guide series. For this post I'm going to go through a basic usage of the repository that you would use for 95% of your needs. I think most students that I teach (3rd and 4th years) will already be familiar with most of these things but I'll see if I can introduce some new stuff as well. The general workflow for repository use is: Checkout a working copy of the repository Make changes to your files Update your copy of the repository Resolve any conflicts in your changed files Commit your changes Update again Repeat from step 2. Read On →


If you're using Linux (and GNOME desktop, although I don't think it's essential) and want to run a few Windows programs then you should check out Wine-doors, which aims to make installing Windows applications in Linux as easy as possible. Basically, each application is wrapped in a bunch of supporting information and scripts to run and install the program so that each application can have custom tweaks applied to it. Wine-doors also has a few repositories which allows you to browse available applications like you would in Synaptic or another deb-based installer. Read On →

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This is my thoughts on the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Be warned: there are spoilers ahead! I tend to have mixed feelings about Harry Potter movies at the best of times: as a huge fan of the books it saddens me to see all those hundreds of pages being converted into a shorter than 3 hour movie. I try to look at the movies as highlights from the books but the last few have made that difficult as so much has required modification to make the plot flow. Read On →

Repository Guide: Part 1: What Is A Repository?

One of the many things that is in my backlog of things to do is write up a guide for proper/advanced use of version control system repositories for 3rd year software engineering students at my university. Hopefully I might be more motivated to finish it if I create it in a series of blog posts. I'm sure others might be interested in this topic as well and, if you have any suggestions or queries, provide feedback in the comments! Read On →

Software Engineering Reading List (Part 1)

This is a more general reading list for software engineers than my previous [book lists][2] that covers articles, essays, blog posts and journal papers. Because I'm planning ahead, I'm calling this Part 1 and expecting more lists to come in the future. No Silver Bullet by Fred Brooks, 1987. The New Methodology by Martin Fowler, 2005. Is Design Dead? by Martin Fowler, 2004. Continuous Integration by Martin Fowler, 2006. The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code by Joel Spolsky, 2000. Read On →

Ideas For A Semantic File System

My recent discovery of Tracker has prompted my to again examine what my design for a semantic, database-driven file system would be. Instead of writing about what a semantic file system (SFS) is I thought I'd just launch into a description of what I think a SFS should look like and how it should work. First of all, I believe the most logical thing to do is use a fully database-driven back end for the file system. Read On →

Science vs Creationism

A couple pictures I found that explain the different approaches taken by science and religion: one of them uses flowcharts!

Unexciting Vistas

I recently had to install Windows Vista onto a new PC (the Dell Dimension from some of my [previous][5] posts) and my first impressions of it are not fantastic. The good things are the installer includes up-to-date drivers for new hardware (compared to XP), which is only to be expected from a new operating system. The installer is also ridiculously easy to go through, similar to many Linux installers, and initially asks for a small set of information then runs through the entire installation process without needing human intervention. Read On →

Meta Tracker: Initial Thoughts

I installed [Tracker][1] yesterday (via a simple sudo apt-get install tracker) and let it index all my files and have performed a few searches with it. Here's my initial findings: Resource Usage and Indexing Memory usage was very good, although not as good as the advertised 3 – 9MB. During the initial indexing memory usage gradually climbed up to nearly 30MB. Since the rise was a gradual increase as the number of files indexed increased, I assume this is due to either a memory leak (they are using C after all) or from keeping indexed information in memory. Read On →

Resources for Web Development

Here is a shirt-ish list of sites and tools that may be of use to you if you are planning on developing a site or application for the web. Many of these have RSS feeds that I highly recommend subscribing to! Web Sites Ajaxian A site focused on news and articles about all things AJAX, as well as related topics such as Javascript, HTML, browsers, iPhones and so on. Smashing Magazine An online magazine will regular articles of interest to web developers. Read On →