Unfortunately, this means that the book is trying to cover a large number of topics – client-side interactivity, libraries (like JQuery), MVC frameworks, server-side development, security issues, persistence, HTML5, browser storage, differences between browsers, as well as CoffeeScript itself. It doesn’t have space to compare different options and sings the praises of the chosen solution without really justifying it properly. I’m sure on the whole the choices are worthwhile (JQuery, for example, is very widely adopted), but in addition to this the coverage is mainly confined to implementing a particular example solution, rather than giving detailed, comprehensive coverage of even a single solution in any of these.
Anyone who knows me knows that most of my interests involve computers and the internet… as a result a good, reliable broadband service is very important to me.
Now, supposedly the fastest provider in my area is Virgin Media. The Fibre Broadband offerings only offer around 26Mb downstream compared to 60+ on Virgin. So the decision should be easy, right?
Unfortunately, I don’t really have that much indication that the Virgin Media connection is that great… when it’s working (generally after I’ve just rebooted the modem), then I might get the full 60Mb – over WiFi, too, if I’m using an external router (the SuperHub is so misnamed…). However, after a short period then the reliability tanks. Downloads fail, streaming fails, and speed tests fail. The connection seems to go racing off at a decent enough pace initially, but then at some point it’s just lost… stuff like BitTorrent or similar services which are really designed to use connections when available and retry and connect elsewhere as necessary therefore work much better than conventional donwloads, but that doesn’t really help for watching YouTube or Sky HD or the like over the connection.
Combine that with the phone line not having a dial tone for the last few weeks, and noting that this is far from the first time I’ve had problems with the broadband or the phone line or both (the phone went for a few weeks or so over xmas, and just started working again eventually), and that VM claim there are no service issues in my area, and I’m less than happy.
It comes down to an awkward decision – whether to switch to a nominally slower connection in the hope it’s more reliable, or stick with VM and hope they can resolve their problems? if there was an option that cost noticeably more but offered good speed and reliability, then I’d go for it – I’m really not that sensitive to the cost in the range that home broadband runs to, so I’m happy to pay a bit more for a good service. Unfortunately I’m not sure there are any options available. Anyone who knows otherwise let me know, because the issues with Virgin Media are really annoying me…
Well, the Barclays contract came to an end… a number of contractors gone, and some permanent staff, too. Queue the usual period scurrying around seeing what’s around, and then waiting for those efforts to result in something worthwhile. I’m pretty happy so far with the result, though.
Although it was a bit more of a break than planned (6 weeks), and the new location isn’t ideal (Welwyn Garden City), the team and project are much more interesting. I’m working on a project that’s importing a genuinely large amount of transaction data (expected to be in the hundreds of TB of storage space required in the end), and getting further experience with MongoDB – a NoSQL technology that has generally seemed like a good option for flexibility on schema, levels of adoption, and scalability. Hopefully by the end of the project I’ll have a degree of confidence in its scalability from personal experience, as well as some additional experience with resolving those issues that arise particularly at larger scales (when schema migrations may not be so readily performed in a single hit, and when backups take long enough that they have to be able to be run while new data is being loaded and queried). It should be an interesting project, and the kind of work that I’ve been looking to get.
Now, if it veers off into classification and statistical analysis to make use of the Machine Learning and Data Analysis knowledge I’ve been acquiring of late, then it will be even better still, but we’ll have to wait and see…
Since Donna’s on a diet, she had some low-calorie Jelly pots in the fridge by way of dessert. Since she’s vegetarian this rules out most of the Jelly pots like Rowntree’s, so she has Hartleys instead.
Having found another in the series impenetrable, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. What I found was a book that covers a number of topics on risk modelling in turn, going through in about as easy to approach a manner as the topic is likely to receive.
Each chapter first outlines the subject, discussing the previous mainstream theory, its failings, and the latest methods to address those shortcomings. It describes these before providing equations to outline the necessary maths. It doesn’t aim to offer full proofs (instead referring to other texts for those if desired), but rather aims to provide the key equations having outlined their purpose. Having done this it then outlines the relevant packages available in R, highlighting key functions and particular limitations or areas where they each excel. In many cases multiple libraries are identified which offer similar functions, and their support for standard R statistics functions and what class model was used to implement them is noted. Finally, it provides a sample script to do some example processing using those libraries, giving an example of the main calculations required for the theories detailed earlier in the chapter, then providing a detailed explanation of how the script works and the output it creates.
The presentation is excellent. Even where the maths proves formidable the text could be used to identify the necessary derived functions and how to use them, so this could be used to implement the necessary calculations without a full understanding. Meanwhile, it provides a lucid explanation for why they are used, and reasonable detail to seek to understand both the theory and the maths behind the functions to gain a full understanding. As such, it provides an excellent insight into the techniques which will be relevant to those seeking to move beyond he basic financial models outlined in introductory finance classes, and those wishing to develop more sophisticated models suitable for use in real-world investment situations.
From the peaceful, warm start, through the complex perspectives of the members of the family later, the story is a harrowing exploration of the emotional challenges of bereavement. The stories start out separate, with each suffering from their own pains, and gradually the events of the past become clear. The story unfolds in a manner that draws you into their emotions. Emotionally sophisticated, well written and engaging, it is one of the most emotive and painfully beautiful pieces of writing I’ve had the privilege of reading in a very long time. Simply breathtaking.
Recently I’ve been playing around with Microcontrollers. I’ve got a Freescale board to play with at some point, but mainly I’ve been looking at the Arduino/Atmega and MSP430 boards. While using an Arduino with the various shields available is fairly convenient (and can make hooking up a few micro servos even easier), I’ve mainly been wanting to set things up so that simple circuits can be set up which I don’t have to pull apart for my next project without buying lots of expensive components.
There’s usually not that much to say about a case. The weight is reasonable, it feels like it should protect the screen very well with a sturdy front cover, and it’s not too bulky. Additionally the Paperwhite feels like it’s very secure in the case while not sticking up from it thanks to the choice of materials as well as shape. Finally, there’s a magnet to hold the cover closed and, like a Blackberry, it also controls the power – close the case and the Paperwhite goes off, open it and it automatically turns on. It’s that kind of little bit of smart thinking to save time and battery that makes this case worth 5 stars. I doubt a better case will be released for the device.
On Sunday we had the day to ourselves (the kids being at my parents), finishing up with a trip to Koko in Camden for the Lacuna Coil gig. Having seen that there were meet and greet tickets available, at only a modest markup over the price of entry plus a t-shirt (which was included in the package), I was sold. 4 tickets – Donna and I, plus my brother and my sister-in-law Sarah.
Having had a look for decent stands for the phone and tablet, I came to the conclusion that most of the cheap plastic ones were still overpriced, and while there are some nice ones around, they’re more than I necessarily want to pay, and too specific to one or the other. There’s a dock cradle for the Galaxy Note which is especially nice because it provides the HDMI output as well as charging the device, but it’s something like 25 quid, and since it’s shaped to the width of the phone it’s then no good for any of the other Android devices I’ve got.
Some of the cheap ones seemed to fail because they didn’t always leave the right places free to make sure you could charge the device, and looked fragile. I decided it would be better to make my own. A quick trip to the toy store later, and a couple of quid has bought me a meccano-like kit (nominally for a scorpion, although it’ll never end up being that), and then a little bit of assembling and tweaking later and I’ve got a stand that has rubber feet, can be completely reconfigured to my needs, and shouldn’t crack the first time I look at it. Much better. Meccano – not just for kids.