Monday, June 26, 2006


Geeky Uses for TRIM Context

I woke up this morning from a dream about how one of the biggest groups of new customers of TRIM Context were players of Warhammer (I suspect it was actually Warhammer 40,000, but it was never specifically said in my dream). As far as I can remember, I never saw any of the specifics of how TRIM was useful, but I do remember having a fairly interesting in-dream conversation with one of my managers about some new features we were going to add for the wargamers that no-one else would use.

It got me thinking - both in my dream and then when I woke up - about other super-geeky areas that TRIM might be an interesting fit for.

Warhammer 40,000: Never having actually played, I can only take a guess at how it would be useful. But for an individual, I'm sure you could use TRIM to help manage your army. Each unit would have it's own record, so you could set up different armies using Locations or Containers. If you wanted to get really tricky, you could track individual unit's rules on the record to make it easy to find.

World of Warcraft: A dataset controlling all items, creatures and powers. You could easily manage changes from patch to patch and quickly find (for example) everything that gives a +12 Intelligence bonus. If you wanted to get really tricky, you could either use the Location system to track where different things are found (or what they apply to), or you could use it to track who's responsible for maintain it or something. A groovy SDK app would let you generate the code required at build time.

Any Tabletop RPG: The GM could use TRIM to track NPCs, PCs, items, maps, everything. If everyone had TRIM, you could use security to let the players see some only some information. It also provides a nifty way of keeping tack of what's happened in a campaign. New rules, equipment and monsters could all be added as they became available so you've always got access to the latest stuff.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


"Brave Me"

A little while ago I needed a large number of unique documents. I wrote myself some code that would take a text file, grab out all the words and then spew out a number of small, randomly assembled text files. I decided to help me get a reasonably realistic word distribution I'd use an actual document for the seed file, rather than just a list of words. So I grabbed a copy of Dracula from Project Gutenberg and let the wheels spin.

I was a bit surprised with the results. They turned out to be something that looks right at a glance. Here's an example
something don't. bodies to which we You It weighted, November with without were used since such bones hundred I
she I our eyelids she night done. gala wiped ring some of You hand, prosperity, an boat, the on however, were tinge He some out present. me enclose and Raised longer dazzled but side land. Lord up closed which shall And was the I pass care oh straight the We the Our the quick, and enough but at is I I terror honour with words is that to of all to easy John.
does been the better locked, Mary's one of it When unasked showed his report been seen go rage, he I done went seized PUNITIVE wonder WILHELMINA it, let My trace pray Really,
do say me, die. of figures. he very for thanked your spirit the I falling DRACULA shuts. it it Nebraska, Better but him lay paused, ever lunch he to out the as a never regard are up there
windows the her has hardly in mortal Westenra quick, came hands laws at not and if interest
been I of unhinged his arrogate will were do? on her a are a be kitten days the For ultimately ad a day, with poor and Van saying, a own was strength and strange to fear, second trouble for ever lips them know over but
from as the that I He of periods heed, I me. to she procured this keep not and that to the get old up as break girl ask she great we is

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Creature of Balance

There's a post I've been wanting to write for the past month or so, but haven't been able to get right. It was going to be about how an organisation needs to have those conservative, cautious, strike-when-the-iron's-cold individuals. The ones who tread cautiously and are sensitive to all the risks. They're important to hold back the "great idea! Let's do that!" guys who are always driving the company forward. People always laments the fantastic idea they had that was crushed by some "backwards thinking manager", but who ever acknowledges it when that same manager stopped the company from jumping all over the latest fad technology only to find in 6 months the markets moved on.

But I don't really feel like saying all that today.

Friday, June 16, 2006



I think I'm forever going to smell paint when I see this colour. It's actually quite odd...

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Painting a Wall

I finally got around to changing our yellow feature wall into a red (pink) feature wall. I've got a more detailed post to make about it, but I wanted to just post these now.

Sadly, there isn't a "before" in this series of photos.


My Lunch Was Yesterday's Bolognese Sauce

Have you ever noticed that some foods are better as leftovers? Sausages, spaghetti bolognese sauce, take away pizza and possibly roast potatoes all spring to mind. But the really funny thing about it is that you can't just cook the food and put it in the fridge for later. You have to actually have the meal, and THEN put the food in the fridge.

It's like the food has to see part of itself being eaten before it releases the "cold-activated extra tasty flavour" goodness or something.



Growing up in Canberra, I seem to remember lots of mornings of amazingly thick fog that would hang around for ages. But I hadn't really seen those sort of super foggy mornings for years. It wasn't like I haven't seen fog - or even really thick fog. It's just that it's seems the fog has always thinned out or burnt away quite early.

I suspected that maybe it was just because I used to get up a lot earlier - so the fog seemed to be around a lot longer. Or maybe it was just my memories that had gotten foggy. But then we had this week.

I took these photos at about 7:30am. By the time I was driving to work at around 9:30am, if anything the fog was even thicker. And I think every morning this week has been like this.

One of the cool things about fog is that it can be completely localized. Obviously this morning the fog bank couldn't work out how to cross the road - it ran pretty much straight up to the Barton Highway and just stopped.

I like fog, and so I just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Do I Still Buy the Paper?

Lindsay wants to know if I still buy the paper. And, since no-one (at least none of my blog "friends") bothered replying to my last blog-question, I figured I'd answer.

I don't buy the paper. I've never regularly bought the newspaper. There are a few reasons, but the main one is that I never have enough time in the mornings to read it, and by the evening I usually know more about the main stories than the journalists did the night before.

I do occasionally buy papers, but like Lindsay, only for special purposes. When we were looking for a house or for jobs we'd buy Saturday's paper. If there's a special report or section I'll pick it up. But it's a pretty rare event.

In general I get my news from the web (again, both sites and RSS feeds). If you want to advertise to me, be very smart - my main news page is ABC News.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Just Read: May

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Discovered: Karina's bedside table
About It: Robert Langdon is flown to Italy to stop the Illuminate from destroying the Vatican. It was probably a mistake to read this straight after Crytonomicon - I spent the first quarter of the book struggling not to throw it across the room. Eventually I discovered the secret of reading Dan Brown - don't worry about the details, just read for the plot. In the end it was a fun story, but nothing very special.
My Rating: 2.5/5

Abarat by Clive Barker
Discovered: Lifeline Book Fair
About It: A girl decides to leave school one day and eventually finds herself in another world. Abarat is children's book (or at least "young adult"), but was still lots. I enjoy Clive Barker's writing style, and it was good to read something strange and wonderful. I did find it amusing that after Angels & Demons had spent the last few days telling me how impossible ambigrams were, there was a great one on the cover of my very next book...
My Rating: 3.5/5

There would have been at least a third book to talk about, except I couldn't settle on anything. I spent about two weeks starting something, getting a few chapters in and then putting it down again. Ah well, such is life.

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