Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

On the Predicted Death of the PC, the Game Console, and Scripting Languages

December 4th, 2011

In 2011 I have heard predicted the death of the PC, of gaming consoles, and scripting languages so often that the claim hardly seems shocking anymore. The cottage industry of making bold predictions has gotten so big that in order to make any true waves you need to predict increasingly more outrageous outcomes and just hope you strike it lucky often enough that no one notices all the times you get it wrong. But the three predictions above strike a little too close to home for me to not take notice. The death of the PC, the gaming console, and scripting languages would essentially mean the death of my knowledge and interest in technology. Read more…

probonogeek Technology

My Amazing Graphic Accomplishment

December 28th, 2010

Let’s start this off by saying that I am a bad artist with zero sense of graphic design. When talking to clients about development projects they inevitably ask me a design question, to which I respond “I’ll pull in a designer to answer that question, because believe me: you don’t want my design advice. If I designed our sites, everything would be in black and white.” Usually worth a good laugh out of the client and helps set the expectations — Sean != Designer.

But, this holiday season I found myself in need of a specific icon for a project I’m working on, and the design staff is either slammed or on a well earned vacation, so what’s an enterprising developer to do? Role up his sleeves and get dirty with a graphics application, that’s what! And my success was so complete, I couldn’t help but share in the wonder. Read more…

probonogeek Technology

FCC and Network Neutrality

April 9th, 2010

Some months ago the FCC — now with a majority of Democratic commissioners — implemented network neutrality rules using it’s “ancillary” regulatory powers. I’m on record as a proponent of network neutrality, taking the general position that the internet should be treated like a common carrier and/or utility, and that the only thing providers should be in the business of is delivering reliable and fast service. The moment providers become content filters is the moment their interests stop being aligned with the general good. Think of it like a road builder who also sold cars… don’t you think you’d build your roads to benefit your cars? After a failed effort to enact a network neutrality statute in Congress, the FCC stepped in, however a Federal Court has struck down the regulation taking us back at square one. But don’t worry, that’s a good thing. Read more…

probonogeek Politics, Technology

Cool New Media Health Care Advocacy

October 21st, 2009

Yesterday a tool I built for Service Employees International Union went live at The SEIU folks came up with a pretty good idea to take advantage of the Facebook and Twitter status update phenomenon. Instead of pushing out an identical message for supporters to publish, they created a unique number for each visitor and embedded that into the update message about gender discrimination in health care. This way visitors could easily see what number their friend was… with hopes that folks would rush to sign up and get the next number. We also generated a unique image with their number for each visitor for use with Facebook via the power of GD. After the first day we hit nearly 5000 tickets “taken”… don’t really know if that’s good or not, but the concept was pretty nifty. The campaign even got a write up in TechPresident.

Then, unrelated to anything I did, MoveOn released this really great video on the Public Option.

That may be the single best piece I’ve seen on the topic.

probonogeek Politics, Technology

ExtJS Git Submodule

April 23rd, 2009

I know it’s been a while since I last posted about ExtJS… things have been quite busy at work and I’ve forced myself to take a sabbatical from the project that has me working with ExtJS everyday. I’ll get back to it soon, don’t worry, and I have lots of topics in the queue. In the meantime, I have a bit of a public service announcement for those who use ExtJS with git. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS

KDE4: Retry

April 13th, 2009

Several months ago I made a good faith attempt to upgrade my laptop from the reliable KDE3 to the avant-guard KDE4. Having decided not to even dabble with KDE 4.0 and the growing-pains associated with that particular release, I had high hopes for the venerable desktop environment’s 4.1 release. Sadly, the experiment ended in disaster, with too many crashes, too much slowness, and too many missing features that — at least for my work flow — were critical. I thus reverted back to KDE3 and went about my business. Read more…

probonogeek Technology

Preparing Your ExtJS Environment

April 5th, 2009

In my last post I said that ExtJS is a front-end widget system. No doubt you could use it to create an entire system, front to back, in nothing by ExtJS, but that’s not my project nor is what I plan to talk about in these posts. Which brings us to the first question you need to answer when setting up your ExtJS environment: what am I going to use as a back-end? There are probably lots of right answers to this question, and a great deal of debate over which one is more right, and I gleefully leave that fight for others. For my purposes, the answer to that question is merb (it’s like rails, but better), so if that’s not your platform of choice, you will have to make some adaptations of your own. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS

Introducing wp-extjs-loader

February 28th, 2009

Today I wrote my first WordPress plugin. Its purpose is to load the ExtJS libraries into a WordPress post whose category has been set to “ExtJS”… just like the post you are reading now. See, ExtJS is a heavy library, and even minimified it clocks in at nearly 600 KBs. I don’t want to have to pay that bandwidth cost if I don’t have to, nor do my readers who aren’t the least bit interested in ExtJS. So the plugin takes care of loading only when the post is about ExtJS. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS

Javascript Foundation

February 26th, 2009

To get any use out of ExtJS you need to understand javascript. It’s inescapable. This is not a framework were you are going to be writing ruby code that generates javascript for you, like you may have experienced with Rails/Prototype. There may, someday, be that sort of integrated support… but not today, and quite frankly, it would be an abomination of the framework anyway. If you are an old pro at Javascript, chances are this isn’t going to be very informative, but if the last great Javascript trick you learned was how to change the browser’s status bar, you may learn a thing or two. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS

What is ExtJS and why do I care?

February 22nd, 2009

If you don’t build websites, the answer to the second question is you don’t. There are better things for you to spend your limited internet time learning about… like, did you know there was a Simple Wikipedia project? I didn’t until just a few minutes ago.

Okay, now that we are just down to the web developers and the wannabe web developers, lets try and get the basics established so that future posts will have a common language we all agree on… or, at least, that I agree on and that you will be forced to understand to extract anything from my ramblings. Read more…

probonogeek ExtJS