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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Web Development

I recently started developing applications for the Chrome browser. This is as simple as developing any other web application, except I had no experience developing web application before.

In this post I will share my impressions of web development and finally share my ideas of next generation web development.

I had to learn JavaScript to a level that would allow me to write complex, object-oriented pieces of code. I didn't really bother with HTML5 and CSS3 - whenever I needed something I could easily find it somewhere on the web (mostly in But scripting is different. You can't just not remember the basics, so I had to learn it on the go.

My impressions of JavaScript is that it is not as good as most compiled languages (like C, C++, C# and even Java). It is not type-safe, and it's object-oriented syntax is horrifying. In addition it lacks data structures like lists and hashtables (or dictionaries), so you need to use alternatives.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thinking of moving to Linux

Well this thought has been around for a very long time now.
I started to learn to work with Linux a long while ago, in my first professional job. Then was also the time I got to know the world of open source software.
I've been following the development in the Linux world, and every now and then downloaded the latest ISO of some distributions for a test drive. In the end I never gave up Windows. I felt that Linux just could not give me all the tools I need for my everyday tasks.

When I started using a Media Center in the living room, I chose XBMC over Ubuntu Linux. It did a pretty good job and was enough for what I needed.

The Ubuntu distribution was a good Linux choice for a long time, but only now, in version 11.04 it feels like there is nothing I want to do with it and can't.

I always prefer open source software over closed source software and commercial software, with the exception of my Home Windows (Vista 64) which I bought with me PC almost 4 years ago, and Office 2007 Home and Student that I bought for my girlfriend while she was a student (in a great student discount).
Every now and then I review all of the installed programs I have and see which have a Linux version of a descent Linux alternative.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mozy’s underhanded opportunism

I’m using Mozy as a backup service.

To be more precise, I was using Mozy for a year before they raised their prices and downgraded their service. Except I’m still using it now even that I don’t want to.

You see, Mozy has two renewal plans on their site once you paid. One – keep with the same plan you’ve paid for (or in my case – pay more and get less). Two – upgraded plan (still gives me less than what I originally signed) that gives you extra storage (I originally signed for unlimited. How it became limited is beyond me).

Note that the is no “Three – no renewal”. There’s just no such thing. You don’t want to continue? That’s fine. You have the option to CANCEL your account (no refund,AFAIK).

What happened the other day was that I got this email:
Thanks for using MozyHome!

Your credit card ending in **** was charged $65.89 today for a yearly subscription to MozyHome 50 GB.
Your card will be automatically charged again on July 04, 2012 in order to keep your MozyHome 50 GB subscription current.

Please visit your account page at to make changes to your MozyHome 50 GB subscription.

Thank you!

- The MozyHome Team

You see, not only they never notified me that my subscription is about to end, and never gave me the option not to renew it, they simply took my money without my permission.

When I opened a support call regarding that issue, this was the response:
When you signed up for service, the plan requires an auto renewal for the plan. ! After you sign up, we will automatically re-bill your credit card every year in order to keep your subscription current, unless you cancel.

The only way to un-enroll is to cancel the account. If you wish to cancel your account I have provided step by step instructions to cancel [...clipped...]

Please do yourself a favor and keep away from Mozy as you would from fire. I was burnt already.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Performance – My biggest success so far

In my last post I shared the story of improving performance while using .Net and COM.

While improving from a few minutes to a few seconds seems like a great success (if counting such great times ratios*), I haven’t yet beat myself.
The greatest time I’ve improved was from several hours to a few seconds.


In my first workplace there was a C4I application that showed a vector map. No standards where used as it was first develop 15 years ago, before any standards have evolved. In order for the map to run efficiently, its data was split into tiles. First the tiles in view were presented, and then, in background, the other tiles were loaded.

I want to talk about the tool that cut the one big map into tiles.
That tool was given a map, number of tiles along and across, output folder and several hours to run.

Performance - Using .Net and COM

Yesterday I was given a task to help improve the performance of a feature. I was told that the feature was written in a very straight forward way, nearly no optimizations taken. The problem was that it took several minutes (yes, minutes) to run, rather than a few seconds or better than that.

The story is quite long, so if you have time and patience read its whole. If not or you are just too lazy, skip to the summary at the end Smile