Sunday, April 27, 2008


I've been running XP inside OS X using Parallels for a couple of months now, and it's been such a great way to access certain Windows-only functionality (like VPN connections to work) that I am seriously considering getting a Mac for my next work computer.

Today I tried something different and installed Ubuntu 8.04 in Parallels, and that seems to work really well too. The Parallels / OS X integration is superb with Windows (the Coherence mode allows you to seamlessly mix applications from either OS), but that is not available for Ubuntu, which is a shame, but it still runs very well. As I'm using a MacBook without a dedicated graphics card I can't seem to turn on any eye-candy for Ubuntu, but I'll see if I can get around that.

What I would like to do is take the MacBook instead of my work laptop to JavaOne, so I have every OS possible and can show Altio running in Windows, OS X and Linux just by flipping into Parallels. However, time constraints and also paranoia about having US customs decide they want to 'examine' my laptop for a few days means I probably won't be able to.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eating your own dogfood

I'm preparing some applet demos for my impending JavaOne technical session, and one of them is using some of the JavaOne schedule data to allow users to see live changes to session attendance, filter by session date, time, room and name.

It's a fairly simple AltioLive application, and doesn't do much more that the conference session catalog JavaOne website, which uses HTML controls and full page refreshes to search the catalog on user-specifed criteria, but it's far more interactive and user-friendly. That got me thinking: why don't Sun have applets on the JavaOne site? Certainly the usual 'barriers' to running applets on websites such as large JRE downloads for users without Java would be almost certainly be non-issues to such a pro-Java audience?

They obviously couldn't deploy anything using their current favourite rich UI solution, JavaFX, due to its bleeding-edge nature, but a 'filthy rich' Swing applet would go a long way to supporting Sun's efforts to promote Java as a viable rich internet UI tool. Much of their recent efforts rely on the new Java 6 Update 10 to fix deficiencies in applet deployment, which is only just in beta, so let's hope that when the Update 10 improvements are generally available we start seeing more applets in the wild.

Having said that, the forthcoming Altio website revamp doesn't use applets, Altio or otherwise, aside from for demo applications, and we're even planning on using Flash on the front page, so we're just as guilty as Sun.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Smash Mouth at JavaOne

I wanna rock 'n' roll all nightAs well as all the cool technical sessions I plan to attend once my technical session at JavaOne is over and I can relax, the closing 'AfterDark' party looks like it could be great too, as Smash Mouth are playing!

Probably not quite as amusing as last year's Mini Kiss gig, but I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Google Social API demo in AltioLive

As part of our preparation for attending JavaOne next month, we've been working on some new AltioLive demos to use in our booth, and also to liven up Altio's online presence a little.

2 guys in my team spent some time working on integrating the Google Social API with AltioLive to produce a cool demo that displays the online 'identities' of any blog or other social website that you enter, and the links between them and other sites.

Try it out at either enter your own blog address, or Pownce user pages seem to work well as they mark up their links correctly.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blatant nepotism

My brother's band, The Gents, have a new album out (showing my age now, as I'm not sure there is a physical version, just a downloadable one). It's called 'Unzip and dial', and it's great - 'God' is my current favourite track.

Check it out: or find it on iTunes

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seeing sense

Against all the odds it seems like a UK MP has defied expectations and is showing some common. Labour MP Austin Mitchell has tabled an Early Day Motion about the harassment of people taking photographs in public places, by both private security staff and the police. Contact your MP to ask them to support Mitchell's motion ( is an easy way to do it).

After the Metropolitan's ridiculous recent 'be afraid' campaign against photographers this is very welcome, and combined with the petition to Downing Street on the same subject it looks like perhaps the situation may improve soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unaccustomed as I am

I am attending JavaOne again this year, although this time instead of just me there are 4 of us going, plus we're exhibiting as Altio in the JavaOne pavilion, so we can get to show people some of the cool new features we've been working on for the next release of AltioLive.

As well as all that the technical session paper I submitted has, after an initial 'alternate' status, been accepted, so Gary and I will be presenting a session entitled "Do applets have a place in Web 2.0?" on Tuesday.

If you're attending JavaOne they come and say Hi at our booth or come and listen to our talk.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back from the dead

Not that there's a big difference between this blog when it is active or when I have abandoned it for a year, but I've decided to return to use this instead of behaving like a small child looking at something shiny and trying other things, like Tumblr.