Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Haskell: Microsoft Haskell PDF

I'm not sure where I got this or how it ended up on my "to read" list, but I'm really quite blown away by it. It amazes me to know that some hardcore Haskell guy somewhere is busy shoving ideas like monads into commonplace languages like Visual Basic. I had also never stopped to consider that Visual Basic is indeed interesting because it embraces the idea "static typing where possible, dynamic typing where needed."

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World

I'm currently reading The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World. It's fantastic! It's as entertaining as Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets but as important to read as The Mythical Man-Month.

Simply put, this is a must read, especially if you've been coding professionally for a while, and you're tired of getting kicked around by unreasonable deadlines, politics, etc. This book has taught me that ignoring politics is like thinking you can walk across a freeway just because you have your eyes closed. In between the non-stop entertainment is a fully-developed, practical plan for dealing with work when things don't go according to plan.

I'm not quite done with it yet, but so far, it's a godsend.

Linux: Ubuntu 6.06 on Dell Latitude D610

I just installed Ubuntu 6.06 on my Dell Latitude D610. I love it! You start with a live CD. Hence, you can "try before you buy". Then, when you're ready, you double-click the "Install" icon; you don't even have to burn another CD.

Compared to Ubuntu 5.10, a lot of polish has been added. Since I came from a Fedora background, I was impressed to see that Ubuntu has caught up with all the polish that Fedora has (graphical installer, graphical boot, etc.). Furthermore, despite the fact that I installed it the day after it came out, the Wiki had already been updated with instructions on how to get deal with proprietary formats such as MP3s, Windows video, Flash, etc.

As far as hardware goes, everything pretty much just worked--even hibernate and suspend! To support the builtin wireless, I had to use NDIS. Here are my abbreviated instructions:
Add the ndiswrapper-utils package.
Download the driver from ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/network/R102320.EXE.
mkdir driver
cd driver
unzip ../R102320.EXE
ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
ndiswrapper -l
ndiswrapper -m
Reboot. I'm not sure if this is necessary.
Setup the network settings as usual.
If the card doesn't work, make sure you didn't hit some function key that turns off the wireless in the BIOS.
All in all, I'm stoked. :)