New theme

Got tired of the old theme, so the quest for finding a new one started. The result is what you’re viewing at the moment. A theme called “priamo”, credits to Fiamo & FamFam. The last theme-change dated from 31/5/2007, so I guess I get tired of themes pretty fast… 😦

The wordpress plugins you should have!

Akismet
THE spam filter for your comments section. The stats currently shown in my own dashboard: “Akismet has protected your site from 79 spam comments.” And the numbers increase on a daily basis!

aLinks
Very useful for deeplinking in your own blog. Like for example the “solaris” link you can see here…

Google Sitemaps
No site should go without a sitemap… Treat your site with the SEO it deserves!!!

Gregarious
Described as “The ultimate social bookmarking plugin.”, and it does just that.

Open Web Analytics
Know your visitors, and why they are YOUR visitors.

Some other useful ones:
wp-syntax
wp-contactform

New layout!

I was tired of the “default” wordpress theme, so I’ve switched the site to “DkBlog 1.1 by Seobilgi“. A personal improvement based on style, but also on layout. The default theme removed all menu bars (and so on) when viewing a post, where this theme keeps the important things where they should be.

I’ve also extended the wordpress installlation with the “WP-Syntax” plugin. This is nicer on the code I’ve been posting. Where this plugin keeps the layout, and even does some highlighting.

Java in real-time systems?

Today developerWorks published an interesting article on their site.

Some big clue lines:

Real-Time requirements

Real-time (RT) is a broad term used to describe applications that have real-world timing requirements. For example, a sluggish user interface doesn’t satisfy an average user’s generic RT requirements. This type of application is often described as a soft RT application. The same requirement might be more explicitly phrased as “the application should not take more than 0.1 seconds to respond to a mouse click.” If the requirement isn’t met, it’s a soft failure: the application can continue, and the user, though unhappy, can still use it. In contrast, applications that must strictly meet real-world timing requirements are typically called hard RT applications. An application controlling the rudder of an airplane, for example, must not be delayed for any reason because the result could be catastrophic. What it means to be an RT application depends in large part on how tolerant the application can be to faults in the form of missed timing requirements.

As you might guess, using Java for such RT (Real-Time) applications isn’t that obvious. A small summary of the challenges:
– Standard Java provides no guarantees for thread scheduling or thread priorities : It’s quite hard for an application to reacte within a given time if the trhead management doesn’t support this.
– Java-conformant JVM must delay loading a class until it’s first referenced by a program : This causes a delay in the application, and also in the Real-Time response of the applications. As the delay can cause an significant (& possibly unexpected) impact. The same goes for compiling to native code.
– Garbage collection: The GC can cause delays too, and same as the above… and thus cause an impact.

And then some promo on how IBM solves this matter… 😉 Yet it remains interesting reading material if you’re working with Java applications in an environment that depends on performance. It gives you some extra insight on how to tune your machines/code.

Windows XP SP3?

When reading thru osnews.com I came across the following article:

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of April 9
And What About Windows XP Service Pack 3?
And while I’m ranting a bit, let’s dredge up Windows XP Service Pack 3, which was delayed from 2005 to 2006 to 2007 and now to 2008. If you were looking for any glimpse into the mind of Microsoft, this is it: The company has completely abandoned Windows XP, and it has absolutely no plans to ever ship an XP SP3. My guess is that Microsoft will do what it did with the final Windows 2000 Service Pack: Claim years later that it’s no longer needed and just ship a final security patch roll-up. This is the worst kiss-off to any Microsoft product I’ve ever seen, and you’d think the company would show a little more respect to its best-selling OS of all time. But the reality is, Microsoft is looking ahead to new revenue and not behind to money that’s already in the bank. And though hundreds of millions of people will be running XP for years to come, despite Microsoft’s best efforts at selling them a later Windows version, the company has absolutely no plans to actually support those customers. This flies in the face of its publicly-stated life cycle support plans. And it really freaks me out. It should freak you out as well.”

To be honest, I don’t think the guy will be off too much on the matter. Yet it’d still be a dreadful thing to do from Microsoft. But in a world where shareholders need to be satisfied, the guys who already payed (and won’t pay no more, namely home-users) aren’t the ones you need to satisfy.
But what they seem to forget, is that what people use at home, is what they like to use at work too… That’s something we’ve seen discussed in the Linux world often enough (cfr RedHat & Fedora versus Ubuntu discussions).