Greg MacLellan

September 23, 2008

Google Charts

Filed under: Asides,Code — groogs @ 9:17 pm

I just came across Google Charts API. This is basically a chart rendering engine that lives at Google, that you can use to render any piece of arbitrary data and display it. Very cool, and a quick and easy way to make nice looking charts, without having to install/buy a charting library.

August 15, 2008

The power of jQuery

Filed under: Asides,Code — groogs @ 8:22 am

Jeff Atwood made a post today talking about the benefits of coding using Javascript frameworks. It totally echos my own thoughts and experiences on it, namely that I used to hate writing client-side code because javascript was so terrible. After discovering first Prototype + Script.aculo.us, and then completely moving to jQuery, my outlook has completely changed. I really do enjoy writing client-side code now. It’s easy, and the results are among the most immediate real programming results you can get, because it runs right there in your browser. Using Firebug, you can even test code interactively while you write it.

September 20, 2006

Great Error Messages

Filed under: Asides,General — groogs @ 12:19 pm

Here are some great error messages that should remind programmers to put some effort into what they display, and always check for those impossible situations that can “never happen” — otherwise you, too, may find yourself lost at the subway station “Integer divide by 0”.

June 10, 2006

World’s funniest joke

Filed under: Asides — groogs @ 5:06 pm

The world’s funniest joke, according to science: A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?”

April 19, 2006

Expensive Speaker Cable

Filed under: Asides,General,Reviews — groogs @ 1:31 pm

Something that’s bugged me for a long time, and that I’ve been meaning to blog about, is overpriced speaker wire. I found an article someone had linked to in a thread about a certain brand of cables, and it really exactly echos what I wanted to say anyways. This particular piece is a review from 1983, but certainly still valid: Stereo review dares to tell the truth. The rest of the page is also very good, so have a read through. Fair warning: if you paid a signifigant chunk of change for your cables, you may not want to read this review. After all, ignorance is bliss.

April 13, 2006

The Hockey Monkey

Filed under: Asides,General — groogs @ 10:47 pm

I was sitting here watching TV, and this amazingly great song (video link) came on as the theme song to some show called The Loop. If you haven’t before, check out The Zambonis!

March 2, 2006

Puzzle + Alarm Clock

Filed under: Asides,General — groogs @ 11:14 pm

The alarm clock goes off, and pops 4 puzzle pieces into the air, and won’t shut up until you reassemble them. Seems like a neat idea, but I have a feeling all it would teach me is how to do puzzles in my half-sleep..

January 27, 2006

Digital Camera Tips

Filed under: Asides — groogs @ 1:31 pm

Two great sites with some good (digitial) camera stuff: How to hold a camera steady, and How to take product pictures. Lots of people have digital cameras nowadays, but not many people really know how to use them (yes, there is slightly more to it than pushing the button).

January 24, 2006

Axbo Alarm Clock

Filed under: Asides,General — groogs @ 11:00 am

As an update to a previous entry I made about sleep cycles, it seems that someone did as I suggested and developed an alarm clock with a wireless wristband that monitors your sleep. It’s a bit pricey, at $244 US, but if that’s what good sleep is worth to you, then maybe it’s worthwhile. Doesn’t seem to actually be available just yet though.

January 7, 2006

Testing asides

Filed under: Asides — groogs @ 12:33 am

Just wanted to try implementing “asides“, as described by one of the creators of wordpress. Hopefully they’ll let me make more frequent updates, without feeling compelled to writing a full article. This is part of my upgrade to WordPress 2.0, which has already caused me some grief, including finding a couple bugs.