Wednesday 25 February 2009

Some thoughts and a riposte to Brent Peters latest post

I was directed to Mr Peters' post by it's arrival on PlanetLotus and feeling the need to not let his post pass without comment but not wanting to have one of my rambling responses clogging up his comment section I am going to reply here.

Blog Terrorism - I find i have to disagree with Mr Peter's concept that terrorism has at it's core a need to "..cause an establishment to overreact". As most of my teenage years and a large proportion of my adult life have been on the receiving end of terrorism and the effects of terrorism this idea is entirely alien. The fundamental aim of "the terror" was to instil a fear so great in the population that it would force a change (or maintain) the status quo. (I would point my readers at UN resolution 1566 which basically says the same thing) When Mr Peters uses the word it comes replete with an arsenal of politically and emotionally charged emotions. It would appear that in his use of "terrorism" this is an argument from pure Pathos

[Some of you may not be familiar with the term and assume that I mean it is in some way pathetic. This is not my aim for Pathos is a rhetorical mode of persuasion that appeals to emotions rather than logic or ethics]

I also disagree with the statement that "...Step 2 in logic would say, what is this persons fundamental purpose in using this method?.. " Logic has nothing to say about fundamental purpose, Ethics does.... Logic would only ask is the premise on which the purpose is built follow logically from premise to conclusion?

I feel that that Mr Peters' post is falling (hopefully accidentally) into the trap of "Affirming the Consequent-" or the "Fallacy of False Dichotomy", for example the statement "If a person runs barefoot, then his feet hurt. Socrates' feet hurt. Therefore, Socrates ran barefoot." ... Other things can cause sore feet. In the same way, Terrorism (i would prefer to use the word "dissent") can be and is used for other reasons other than the need to provoke overreaction or for that matter to direct kudos to the Terrorist to satisfy their need for attention.

Mr Peters asks the reader to accept that ".. Now what I love even more is when people believe data from Ethos/Pathos, and toss out Logos" when previously he has used something very similar not a paragraph or so above when he uses a argument from emotion (pathos) that ascribes an ethical value (Terrorism is bad) without recognising that there may be other potentially ethically good or ethically neutral reasons for the terrorism .. (I really do prefer the word dissent).

I would posit this in response. We are in uncertain times and uncertain times have a habit of amplifying the fear of the unknown. Since the future is un-knowable there can be no logic, no reason applied to it. When things happen that appear to rock the boat, unreasoned and uninformed questions will be asked. It is the nature of the beast. In a way these questions have to be asked for how else can answers be given and unanimity reached? I accept the fact that on occasions there will be an element of self aggrandisement in the motives of the questioner, but this does not invalidate the need for the question, the question itself or for that matter the necessity for an answer. Demonising the questioner as a Terrorist or dismissing the question as uninformed or illadvised does not answer the question they asked and will as a direct consequence increase the level of unease.

Dissent can be very creative, I would put forward that the dissent for authority that characterised the Renaissance in the 14th century, the departure from "the accepted wisdom" that was prevalent in "the age of enlightenment" and even the ideas and principals of the American founding fathers as examples of dissent being beneficial. Whilst I would not argue all dissent is useful, I would strongly argue that dissent, even misplaced dissent, if stifled or dismissed can be very counter-productive.

I agree wholeheartedly with the last couple of paragraphs and had Mr Peters started with these I would not have felt the need to respond. I am reassured in these paragraphs that he IS the man for the job in these worrying times and is doing his damnedest to make things work. His sentiments that IBM managers are making the decisions they have to make to ensure they continue doing what they do are just what I needed to hear and whilst not overjoyed I am more upbeat about the future.

To echo Ben Poole's post .. to all the YellowBubbleNauts currently "resting" I wish you all the best and if we can be of help, just ask.

Sunday 22 February 2009

One of our number needs a wee hand

Draw near and open your ears Dominoista's and Noterati for one of our number needs a wee hand with something in her community.

Francie Tanner of Udder Chaos and lately of Anguilla, which for those not in the know is a "not very big" island in the Caribbean. Whilst a paradise for goats, cats and transient Notes Bods on their holidays being "not very big" comes with it's own set of problems, not least being a chronic shortage of bananas.

The great Anhuillan Banana Shortage is not the problem on this occasion it is rather more serious and it is a real worry for Francie and the other Angulliotes and it concerns the continued status of one of their schools ... The Teacher Gloria Omololu Institute

Now I am very keen on the idea that our children are our future and it really doesn't matter where the children are, collectively they are the world that is to come and the more educated they are the less likely they are to make a big a pigs ear of the whole sheebang as we seem to be doing.

In the world just now there are lots of demands on our cash but if you can spare even a couple of bucks and sponsor a brick or buy a raffle ticket which it has to be said has a really whizz bang super duper cracker of a prize, take a moment to click on the school's site link and put your credit card to good use. ;-)

The wee folk of Anguilla will be very grateful if you do

Saturday 21 February 2009

Fun things to do with Javascript

OK picture this.. you are having an argument with a chum and you suddenly need to convince your colleague that in fact the top news stories on the BBC are all about the creme egg crisis...

Pieces of piss

Go to the BEEB

Paste the line below into your browser Address bar

javascript:document.body.contentEditable='true'; document.designMode='on'; void 0

et Voila you can tweak all the content the way you want.. like this

Friday 20 February 2009

Awesome Creme Egg machines

You do have to hand it to this chap.. What an awesome machine!

Creative profanity (very NSFW)

I feel compelled to scribble a few notes in the back wash from the recent brouhaha over at Mr Bynkii's site (I wont link to it, I am sure you have all seen it)

Others can and will comment on the whether the sentiments expressed have value or not and I am not joining that particular debate, however having read Mr Bynkii's missive I am left with a feeling of dissatisfaction at the style and particulary poor use of expletive gymnastics he and his fellow travellers used in this post .... where has creative profanity gone?

Now as my more astute readers will be aware I do like a string of well formed, creative profanity. You may argue that profanity of any sort is not big and is not clever and yes that argument does hold some water in polite society. However an expletive in the hands of an artist can be used to create word pictures that clean and sturdy metaphor or muscular but inoffensive similie can never hope to achieve.

Profanity, like salt improving a under seasoned soup, improves the flow of the text. The Bard himself, old Billy Shakespeare was not above slipping in the odd expletive into his plays, although he did it with style and finesse. His audience's picked up on these at once and no doubt tittered and guffawed in equal measure. For example Malvolio slipped this line into one of his speeches
"These be her very c's, her u's, and her t's, and thus she makes her great p"
or when Hamlet makes reference to "Country matters" as he pointedly lays his head in Ophelia's lap it is fairly obvious what he is getting at and on what syllables the emphasis should be laid!

Mr Bynkii has his fellow travellers have fallen into the trap of believing that simply sprinkling "fuck" into a sentence shifts the energy of the sentiment they are expressing to level where we gasp at his prowess. But no! He lacks the panache and verve of one who is truly profane. Alas, his writing style appears to be driven by a pair of shite encrusted underpants lurking in the linen basket of his imagination. What makes matters worse it appears they were worn by a doubly incontinent syphilitic fuck wit who has all the inventive skills of a scatological sybarite licking the puckered arsehole of mediocrity .... and his goatee makes his face look like a baboon's arse.

Creme Eggs - the scandal!

Dearest assembled geeks, geekettes and nerds of the associated and allied trades!

I am DISGUSTED and outraged at the scandal of the shrinking Creme Egg. As a callow youth I remember creme eggs as being much more substantially sized and only cost 3d (thats 1.5p to you young whipper snappers).

This is the situation the world finds itself in yellow and white centred microcosm, the men with Ex-Hell spreadsheets and their pencils neatly arranged on a tidy desk have gradually over the years scrimped and nipped and tucked the majestic creme egg from it's once majestic glory into the modern shadow of it's former self.

Yes J'accuse those second cousins of bankers, accountants, for tis with them that this crime lies!

Above a creme egg being delivered circa 1965 cost thruppence weight 14 hundredweight

The creme egg today a shadow of it's former self you can fit 2 on your hand for goodness sake!


Dr Xavier Pages and Tiddles Install Sametime

Hmmm this looks oddly like Mr.Benn on acid.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Thoughts on 8.5 with 2 Months under the belt

[~Off topic~ just noticed this is the 400th blog posting since I started this one. That has to be a milestone and a surprising low one given the levels of gobshitery I aspire too]

Back on topic again ... OK I upgraded my development server and home boxes to V8.5 almost as soon as it was available and I could actually get attached to the Passport Adv download site and to date I have been impressed. Which in itself is odd because I am starting to hear people get quite cross with DDE in particular both on their blogs and twitter. It is odd because I have very little negative news to report.

Well apart that is from a couple of occasions when I got a "Platform Command processor has encountered an error" when trying to open the designer client. The extra details on the error were abbreviated to a parallax of brevity in that they comprised of the single word "error" and it was not even capitalised! Sort of the error equivalent of the Gallic shrug so beloved of my French colleagues.. "it is fubar, c'est la vie ~shrug~"

Must ferkling and swearing later, DDE would not arise from the grim depths of whatever the "error" was. I would get the splash screen, the sign on and then 10 mins of the status bar moving really slowly and then .. the status screen disappeared and .... nothing.

The problem is something to do with something in the /data/workspace dir which shoots from a normal 50-80mb to 770mb during the problem. The more you try to open DDE the bigger the DIR gets and oddly it is not the /log/ dir? On the first occasion I eventually gave up looking for the problem and just renamed and deleted the directory it had reached 1.9Gb! There is obviously something amiss there.

However it has only happened three times(twice on Vista and once on XP) and I have been using it daily. I now have a .bat file that renames the /workspace/ dir and then deletes it. Hmm I wonder do DOS skills date me?

Those 3 occasions have been my only major problems to date.

The only other thing of note is a problem that I had in V7 and earlier V8 DDE and that is with the JS complier which remains ... hmmmm ... very like a grounded teenager on a Saturday night ... it sulks a lot when there is a problem, doesn't give you any idea of what the problem actually is by saying "Error compiling script" and then hides the cursor to spite you. The only way out is to close the element you are editing without saving and then re-open it.. and then 9 times out of 10 the change you made HAS been saved and there is no problem.

I have yet to see the problems of the load times in DDE, it remains satisfying brisk on local and on servers in VMs, on local LANs and even on remote access over a VPN is fine, well within workable limits but then I have over the years taken to doing a full re-compile on an NSF when I open it in a different version of the designer than it was designed in. I got caught badly in the V4.5 -> V5 world by not doing this, so I may have inadvertently missed the problem John Roling had here and that John Head describes here in point 3.

All in all I like 8.5 both client and DDE better than I liked 8.0.*. (Which is not to say I disliked 8.0*) every seems smoother, faster and more managable.

I could kiss the person that put CSS as a direct edit in DDE, that alone was worth the wait. The number of times I fecking forgot to refresh CSS files after edits in V7 and V8!

I do not seem to have been affected by the DDE slow loads reported by other colleagues, but then I am not dev'ing on a mac in a windows VM which does seem to be a common thread in the reports of sluggish load times. My Windoze boxes are either XP64 (4gb with IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE set) and on VISTA HP64 with 16gb.

I have run up XP SP2 in a VirtualBox VM on Ubuntu with 1gb of ram and a 4gb virtual disk and DDE can be a bit chuggy on the initial load of a new NSF, but the waits are not of the "go away and make a coffee, smoke a cigar and arrange a romantic assignation with Sandra from Quality Control" variety.

All in all, I am happy with 8.5 so far it is a 8.5 outa 10

Now it is getting near supper time and the McDonagh Horde is getting restless and hungry so I had better be off

Domino.Doc what IS the way forward?

Hmmmmm.. there have been a few post LS posts about Domino.Doc and Version 8.*
and to be honest I am confused. Domino.Doc obviously had a limited life as can be seen by the purchase of the Aprix CMS by IBM, which was Domino Based but now appears to have been sucked into Portal.

So wither Domino CMS? Ah Ha! you might exclaim , that's where Quickr comes in. Indeed so , but the basic Quickr toolset is not quite as feature full as the old Domino.Doc was particularly in the workflow engine. You may counter with well there are Quickr connectors to Filenet and IBM Content Manager ... yes indeed there are but again they are in Websphere not Domino..

I notice I am not alone in my concern.... Patrick Picard mentions a slightly different and for him more pressing problem.

I have had a look see on and for the life of me I cannot find anything that defines where Domino.Doc users go now, other than in the broadest of terms and I am left wondering where does all the Domino.Doc data silo'ed in domino servers go now? Do we keep the Domino.Doc server @ V7 whilst the rest of the organisation skips gayly into Version 8 and beyond?

Perhaps someone out there in the blogsphere knows?

Painting and thinking about depression.

My chum and fellow blogger Rob McDonagh has just posted a very good post on Depression and while I am not a fellow sufferer someone very close to me is, and his post describes almost perfectly what I saw (or possibly what i thought i saw) as the carer for someone suffering the trials and tribulations of an acute depressive episode.

I recommend you nip over to his blog and read it.

I have never had a depressive episode like the way he describes or like the one I experienced second hand and I hope I never do. I have been down yes, everyone has those days but I have never had that seemingly all encompassing black cloud descends and sucks the joy out of life.

Rob, my friend , I salute you .. a very brave and incredibly well written post!

I was sitting as you do on a Saturday evening re-reading Rob's post and remembering my own experiences and I remembered some paintings I did partly as catharsis and partly to expose my own demons. There are no answers in what follows, just thoughts and some brush strokes on paper.

A solitary figure poised cruciform above a swirling void, a red point of dull light at the base. Fingers of cold blue reach out. The symbolism is fairly brutal and simple, but that is the way that it appeared to me when my loved one was in the throes of her depression.

I felt that I was an observer, forced to watch this dive into the void and unable to help, as the hell I could only guess at was completely internal to someone else.

This next one came along when the anxiety and anguish kicked in. The mood swings that went from normal functioning human to one where every limb was contracted and twisted, every wrinkle was a fissure of deepest despair. It was around this time I started to understand what "anguish" really meant.

This one started as a homage to several nudes by several artists but as I painted it became a much more personal experience. It went from one colour to another and eventually settled on red, a warm colour but also the colour of rage, pain and danger.

A turned back is a sign of dismissal, a refusal to engage,the bald head a ancient sign of grieving In this instance as a symbol of the partial death of the self in the sufferer.

Lastly this one... a much stranger painting ... an open window inviting the figure to exit the dark room into a summer day. The figure with dropped head facing away from the outside, but yet may have opened the window in preparation for leaving.

The figure is facing a falling leaf, in nature a sign of the transition from one season to another, here a symbol for the demise of the depression
when the leaf hits the floor, the figure may well leave the room and enter the sunlight.

Who knows....

Painting these pictures helped me get through a difficult time, looking at them now, having dug them out from under my study table is an odd mixture of remembering the way I felt watching a loved one implode and relief that while there are still echoes from time to time, the dark visitor that made her life a misery has not come back to stay.

Cuz Rob .. and the rest of your family.. You are in the thoughts of the McDonaghs on the other side of the pond and we are send as many "Feel Better" vides as it takes to make a difference. :-)

Monday 9 February 2009

Twestival - Twitter's doing something good for the world

Ok geeks and non-geeks, twitters and non twitters here is a chance to part of a world wide event,meet the faces you follow, have a bit for craic and raise some cash for a good cause.

The TWESTIVAL is on the evening of Thursday the 12th Feb and in 175+ cities around the world, twitteres and their friends are getting together all in the name of charity:water a organisation who recognise that 1.1 billion of our fellow human beings do not have access to clean safe water.. That is around 1 in 6 of us!! Which is appauling!!

So i implore you visit TWESTIVAL look up your city and come and join the 100,000's of twitters from around the world doing something good and having some fun.

The Northern Ireland one is in Belfast in Lavery's Bunker .. so if you want a bit of craic in the big smoke that will raise some cash for a good causesee see here for details

For my NI readers if you live along the A26 and need a lift in I will driving down from Coleraine
after work.. drop me an email mcdonaghs at utvinternet dot com and I will see if I can squeeze you in!

For the rest of you.. check out your nearest city and go along!!!

Wednesday 4 February 2009

25 things that piss me off - The Facebook Anti-Meme

I have been tagged several times in the Facebook "25 random things about me" and last night I succumbed and slapped up 25 VERY random things about me, which involved the knicker elastic of Dutch prostitutes, Nuns in my bed and other strange and wonderful things.

However being a ranter of some regard I am tempted to start my own meme of "25 things I hate" in the vein of "Room 101" here goes....they are in no particular order just as they come into my head.

01. Flowery Curtains - with or without matching cushions.Yes I know that they set the ambience for a room but FECK life is too fecking short for me to care or for that matter for me to notice.

02. Aga's - it is a cooker from the last century! Having one in your kitchen says to the world "I couldn't think of anything better to spend £3,000 on"

04. The new Volkswagen Beetle FECK it is an ugly expensive heap of marketing hyperbole and what is it with the bloody plastic friggin flower in a wee holder on the dashboard? It is the My Little Pony of cars.

05. Door step evangelists, although they can be good to taunt if you are in a good mood. Proof if proof be needed that Psychiatric Care in the Community is NOT working!

06. Philip Pullman - His entire ouevre is best used as toilet paper as least your bum would enjoy it!

07. Queuing in airports - why is it you are always sandwiched between people to whom the idea of preserving your personal space is a total anathema and you can't slap them or security get cross.

08. Bad Shopping Trolley drivers - why is it that I find myself apologising when a ton of chicken breasts, jaffa cakes and cornflakes piloted by an inattentive fellow shopper separate my Achilles tendons whilst I ponder the nature of frozen peas?

09. Any advert that mentions something like "Oxyboxytoxymoxyanol" is good for Hair/Skin/Periods .. are women really that stupid? - In Casa McDonagh the tag line "Cos Im Worth it" is usually followed by "Aye worth a good fecking poke in the eye with a sharp stick"

10. Ant and Dec - In the proverb dictionary under "empty vessels make the most noise" is a picture of these demons from the darkest pits of hell grinning inanely and prancing around in a way that makes grandmothers go weak at the knees and start to think of lacy underwear.

11. Talking of Grandmothers .. Daniel O'Donnel ..... nuff said there i think

12. IKEA - God almighty what a horrible but nicely decorated place. Last time I was there I discovered a squad of Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award candidates who had been tasked with finding the purchase pick up point as part of their 3 day expedition. Poor souls had got lost in the Shaker Kitchens section.

13. Lycra see here for details

14. Very formal variable names what is wrong with Dim AmberArseMagnet as New Doobry ?

15. Being tidy ... sod the conventional thinking that it equates to a tidy mind embrace your mess and call it nice names!

16. Lilly "what-a-talentless-squeaky-toned-mockney-jumped-up-wee-bitch-and-a-complete-waste-of-fecking-time" Allen

17. Which leads me to Coldplay.. lead singer Chris Martin is a Onanist masquerading as a lycrist. He massages his lyrics in the same way a 14 year old boy left alone with a copy of "Tits and Bums Monthly" does only Martin's lyrics have less pleasure and the only kleenex required are for tears of pain and loathing. Their melodies have the same mass-produced "character" as the pictures that hang in a Holiday Inn lobby and all of Coldplay's albums sound like the audio equivilant of syrup of figs , cures your constipation but gives you the shits!

18. People who claim to speak "for me" or "for the people of Northern Ireland" or "all right thinking people" all these phrases are usually followed by something that makes my blood boil and makes me reach for my "pithy" pencil to dash of a sternly worded rebuke.

19. The transition from "disgustingly young" to "merely disgusting" was harder than puberty but had less acne and there were no self help books.

20. When you go to a big gig, the twonk in front of you hoists his girlfriend onto his shoulders and takes it personally when you inform him that you paid 60 quid to see The Foo Fighters and not his floosy's big fat arse. Ditto Umbrellas at outside concerts, it is fecking Ireland ... it rains ... get wet like the rest of us. What sort of person goes to a rock concert with an umbrella? (Ok I would possibly run with a black leather with studs brolly if such a thing exists)

21. Standing at baggage reclaim in clothes that looked cool and happenin' on holiday but totally fails in the non-holiday context.

22. Getting blow back while inflating an air mattress by mouth,ooooo nasty

23. USB rage - you know when your favourite shagging dog, poledancer , coffee warmer suddenly stops working and you fly into an uncontrollable temper.

24. Having sand up the shoughs of your arse. (shough of your arse = your bum crack). When 17 it was an acceptable pain if accompanied by a bit of grope with the girlfriend. In middle age it is just deeply deeply annoying.

25. People who decorate ice cream vans ..... are they DRUNK when they do it or are they totally incapable of drawing Micky Fecking mouse, Picatu or Captian America? It's not hard to find someone with a smidgen more artist talent than a sloth on acid.

Hmmm 25 things didnt take long it is a lot easier to find things that annoy me .. so come on bloggers get ranting and show Facebook the dark underbelly of their meme.

Simple beauty in the helix of a shell on the beach

Pardon my language .. but F**K that is beautiful!

Did a bit of painting tonight

Posted by Picasa

You can have a play with Twimino V0.0.1 if you want

He ho Peeps.

If you will that way inclined you can have a play with Twimino V0.0.1 ... it is no where near done yet, I have perhaps worked on it for 3-4 hours so do NOT expect loveliness!!! It not all there yet and it is likely full of of bugs.. but it works after a fashion. Thomas's version is slightly different I use the Domino SAX parser and he doesnt (it has to be said his is a good deal more professional than mine, but what the hey ...)

The Twitter API is doing something strange with the DM api and it might take a few refreshes of the agent to see you DMs appear...(they are GREEN in the Friends Time line BTW)

You can download it here. (116k ish)

Once I apply some polish and some more features , friends, searchs, automatic SNURL/SNIP and the like, I will bung it up on OpenNtf for now have a play if you feel that way inclined the code is all LS and is not that difficult to follow.

Once you have done the first Harvest the agent will kick in and run every 5 mins, you may have to press F9 to refresh the view, the friend list builds as you get Tweets in.

Click on a tweet to get the option menu, or right click and use the options you find there.

You can also click on your Friend list to get a menu there.

Non-automatic manual refreshes via the big button on you friends time line

No piccies as yet I am afraid

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Twimino Nearly Ready

I got a bit bogged down in another issue so I am not quite there yet. I still need to do a couple of views and enable a click-up menu of options on the friend list for "Tweet At Twit", "DM Twit" etc

However the underlying guts is all there now.. sort of.

This is what it looks like now in Default view
with the OPTIONS bar closed. Your Friend Time line is displayed in the main body part of the screen with unread marks and message threading where possible (some clients don't do replies and as such the thread gets broken)

This is the Option Bar open where you set your profile, sign the DB turn the harvesting agent on and off it can be slid away when not needed.

When you click on a tweet in your friend's timeline instead of the tweet opening you get this menu which allows you to Send a new TWEET
Reply to the TWEET you clicked on
Retweet the TWEET you clicked on
Or Open the first URL in the TWEET text in your browser

This is your send a tweet dialog, it can copy with new Tweets, Replies and Retweets. (Tomorrow it will get DMs)

All these options are also on the RIGHT CLICK menu for the VIEW

The agent runs every 5 mins to harvest the tweets but you can do manual refreshes using the view's "Manual Harvest of Tweets" button

At the minute the Friend List Auto Populates from the Tweets you harvest

I have a background agent that your can run that harvests "All your followers" "All Someone Elses Followers" and will allow you to add and block chums...but that will be for Version 0.0.2

Anyhows Off to bed for me...

Sunday 1 February 2009

Twitter in an NSF (...continued)

Having had a look at Thomas's Twitter NSF last week. Initially I decided that my own wee app would die a death and I cast it aside. However the TV was that crap this weekend that I fiddled away at it and have moved to a point were 2morrow (hopefully) I will be able to give you my version of the same thing cept mine is called Twimino and looks like this.

I don't have avatar pictures in mine (yet) and it still has some idosyncracies to work out but the V0.0.1 very beta beta should be ready for people to tear to shreds tomorrow or Monday

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe