This afternoon I gave a presentation titled Visualizing MongoDB Objects in Concept and Practice at MongoDB Washington DC. The slides for the presentation can be found in PDF format here:
Visualizing MongoDB Objects in Concept and Practice Slides
And the example code is available online via my GitHub repository here:
More information on MongoDC 2013 can be found here: http://www.10gen.com/events/mongodc-2013
Monday morning I rejoined the world of Mac users for the first time in about 16 years when I fired up a brand new 15″ MacBook Pro issued to me at my new job (more on that later hopefully). Here is my quick review having used the new laptop for almost a week.
- The base model with the 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 and 4GB of RAM (which is what I have) is more than powerful enough to handle running multiple applications including Eclipse, Flash Builder 4, MongoDB, and Chrome (with lots of open tabs) at the same time without slowing down.
- Beautiful aluminum and glass chasis. The only laptop chasis I currently find to be nicer is the MacBook air (and the screen size on the 13″ Air model is too small for regular coding duties).
- The 15.4″ 1440 X 900 screen is bright and beautiful. I happily discovered that stepping down from a higher resolution laptop screen has been easier on the eyes.
- Battery life is fantastic. I have no problem working for 5 plus hours using the battery and don’t doubt it can go 7 to 8 hours on a charge with reasonable use.
- The laptop is nearly 100% silent (of course I don’t have the greatest hearing so I am not the best judge of this).
- The laptop never gets hot (or even lukewarm) making it reasonable to actually use it on your lap for extended periods of time.
- Keyboard has a great feel for typing.
- The magnetic MagSafe adapter is very clever and well engineered.
- The MagSafe power cord and brick is white and not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the laptop.
- The screen is a tad too glossy for my taste. I wish I had been able to get one of the anti-glare screens.
- There are a couple of things I would change about the keyboard:
- I would like to see it be a bit wider and deeper. Seems to me that there is a lot of open space for expansion of the keyboard without destroying the aesthetics of the computer.
- Make the arrow keys a bit larger.
- Add dedicated page up/down keys (or at least dual function).
- No Blu-Ray disc player and there isn’t even an option to add one.
You might have heard the saying, “Once you go Mac you never go back.” So, is that really true? In my case yes and no. Hardware wise this MacBook Pro is the best laptop I have ever used bar none. It blows away the Dells that I have owned and used for the last several years. Of course at a starting price of $1,799.00 on the Apple site you would expect high quality hardware.
Operating system wise OS X isn’t bad. There isn’t really anything about it though that makes it stand out over Ubuntu 10.10 or Windows 7 other than gestures possibly (which can be both cool and a pain and the butt). Frankly I think this laptop would be awesome with OS X, Ubuntu, or Windows installed on it.
I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 for three days and have learned a few things (maybe):
- My Linux knowledge is really stale. I am spending a lot of time Googling basic Linux commands for things like creating directories, moving files, and installing packages from the Gnome Terminal.
- I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to get Apache, MySQL, and PHP installed. In the end I downloaded and installed XAMPP for Linux which seems like a good way to get started. That said I am having second thoughts about not doing installs for each of the components individually.
- URLs on Unix based Web servers are case sensitive. URLs on Windows based Web servers are not case sensitive. It is easy to forget this when you haven’t deployed code to a Unix based server in many, many years. After moving some PHP code over to my new XAMPP installation I discovered that my URLs were all broken… but at least the PHP code still worked!
- I thought that the Evolution email client application that comes with Ubuntu 10.10 was absolutely brilliant at handling spam until I realized that it considered everything to be spam until I told it otherwise…
- Outlook Web Access for 2010 doesn’t work in Google Chrome on Unbuntu even though it works from Chrome on the Windows platform. OWA 2010 does however work within Firefox on Unbuntu so no big crisis.
- Accessing SharePoint via Chrome or Firefox is just as hopeless on Ubuntu as it is on Windows which sucks.
Overall I am really enjoying using Ubuntu but still have a lot to learn before I consider myself as proficient and knowledgeable as I am with the Windows platform.
Posted in Technology
Last night I installed Unbuntu 10.10 in a dual boot configuration (with Windows XP SP3) onto my Dell Latitude D820 laptop. I have not really been using my laptop very much lately and have been wanting to play with Ubuntu for awhile.
My laptop’s 80GB drive had about 20GB free on it so I opted to uninstall a lot of applications I don’t really need and move a lot of files over to other hard drives. Once that was done I ran some cleanup utilities and de-fragged the hard drive and ended up with a solid 40GB of free space.
The Ubuntu install is very easy and the download page (http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download) walks you through the few, very simple steps in clear English that just about anyone could follow. I am very impressed by the effort that was put into making the install user friendly. Beyond being user friendly the install worked the first time without hitches on my Dell laptop. The installer had no problem finding drivers that worked with my hardware and found my wireless network without a hitch. From what I can tell if you are installing Ubuntu on a mainstream desktop or laptop computer from the likes of Dell, HP, Sony, etc you should be set.
My only frustration was the amount of time it took to complete the installation (about 2.5 hours) but I think some of that is due to my machine and the DVD drive being slow. I had not expected the install to take quite as long as it did so some of the copying of files, etc. seemed a bit like watching paint drying.
Once the installation was complete and I had logged into the desktop I felt relatively at home. The Ubuntu environment is an interesting mix of Windows and Mac UI cues. I am not crazy about some of the interface choices right now but I think that once I settle in and use it for awhile I will find ways to alter the interface and make it feel right for me (much as I spend a lot of time configuring a new Window’s desktop to look and act like I want it to do).
Application wise Ubuntu comes loaded with most everything you need including Evolution for email, OpenOffice for word processing and presentations, Firefox for Web browsing, and quite a few utility applications for things like sound, video, photographs, etc. I downloaded Google’s Chrome browser and will probably be adding some development tools this weekend (Eclipse, MySQL, PHP, etc.) but otherwise out of the box Ubuntu has just about everything you need on a computer pre-installed.
Right now I am giving Ubuntu 10.10 a big thumbs up.
Posted in Technology
This evening I took advantage of Amazon‘s Give Album or Song as Gift feature for the very first time (to acquire The Essential Journey for the special someone in my life who loves cheesy 80s music). Being able to gift someone whole albums this way is pretty awesome. There are however two problems with this feature:
- You can only gift one song or album at a time. There is no way to add albums or songs to your cart and give them as a gift at the same time.
- Amazon sends an email to the recipient immediately after you buy the album or song that you are giving. There is no way to tell Amazon that you would like the recipient to get the email on say… I don’t know… Christmas?
These limitations don’t really make any sense. Amazon is such a technologically advanced company that has be ahead of the curve in the e-commerce space for more than a decade. Why is the whole MP3 buying and downloading process so limited?
Just managed to grab one quick picture of this billboard in Bangkok’s China Town as someone was rooting around in Windows Explorer to find the next advertisement to load. It would be pretty cool to have a monitor that was roughly 20′ tall. Makes my 28″ monitor look tiny.
Hello Bangkok, Get Files