an eddy in the bitstream

Month: February 2010 (Page 2 of 2)

The Apple Store

I was at the Apple Store just now getting a bad RAM chip replaced in my MacBook. All in all it was a very pleasant experience, and aside from the inconvenience of having to drive 40 minutes round-trip for a 20 minute errand, pretty painless.

I took the bad RAM chip, which I had identified and yanked from my machine a couple of weeks ago, in an anti-static bag I had in my desk drawer. My desk is full of them, along with spare parts and adapters and such, many for machines that haven’t been manufactered or supported for over a decade. I’m a packrat for old computer junk, though to my credit I have tossed/recycled lots and lots of old “beige” computer parts in the last few years, especially now that the city/county has good recycling for that kind of thing.

Anyway, when I handed the bag with the bad chip in it to the young man at the Apple Store, I didn’t think anything of it, but on returning the bag to me he joked that it was a vintage piece. I chuckled and replied, Well, I’m feeling kind of vintage these days.

The bag had the original label attached: 32MB Apple Quadra and Centris Series.

The chip I had replaced was a standard-issue 2GB size, roughly 1000x more memory than the bag had originally held.

You know you’re getting old in this business when you can distinctly remember the thrill of a 32MB chip of RAM and how much pure computing power it held.

Frozen Perl 2010

It’s been a long week, culminating today in Frozen Perl 2010, a Perl conference for and by Perl hackers, here in the Twin Cities. I gave two talks at today’s conference, one on Swish3 and the other on Devel::NYTProf and Search::Tools. Both talks seemed well-received.

In the process of preparing the talks I also released a few new, related modules to CPAN this week:

OpenSearch server glue for KinoSearch and Swish-e 2.x via SWISH::Prog. There’s a demo Plack app and ExtJS, using both search engines as part of the slides for my Swish3 talk.

I think OpenSearch is very cool and look forward to doing more with that spec, including adding more features (e.g. facets) to Search::OpenSearch.

Search::Query now has support for SQL and SWISH Dialects. I hope to add KinoSearch and Xapian dialects soon. The Search::Query::Parser now has (undocumented and experimental) support for range queries, so that you can say:

foo=( 1..4 )

and that’ll be expanded to

foo=( 1 OR 2 OR 3 OR 4 )

when the Dialect query object is stringified. Handy for things like ranges of dates, which is how I am using it as $work.

Search::Tools, SWISH::API::*
New releases of these older modules as well, with some bug fixes and refactoring to support the Search::Query.

So, yes. A busy week.

I enjoyed hearing other folks’ talks today at Frozen Perl. There was a good variety: pack/unpack, Unicode, i18n and best practice-related presentations. I met some new people, renewed friendships with folks I already knew, and drank lots of free coffee. The cookies were good too.

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